Popular cars that are surprisingly unreliable
Recently, WhatCar? Released their list of the most and perhaps more importantly, the least reliable cars between one and four years old. 159 models and 31 brands have been rated with the help of over 18,000 owners. This is important work, as when looking for a new car, reliability is often a big concern for buyers. Well, at least I thought this was the case until I looked further into the results. Having spent some time digging, I’ve compiled a list of popular cars that are surprisingly unreliable. By this I mean, they’re cars that have remained popular despite a below par result in this survey.
Class: City and Small Cars
Score: 21st out of 23 in class with a score of 85.8%
Despite being at the end of its life cycle, the MK5 Volkswagen Polo remained an extremely popular car. In fact, the Polo was the 7th best-selling car in the UK during 2017. With a model proving to be this popular, even with a replacement imminent, you’d have thought that VW would have got most of the issues that affected the Polo ironed out. However, with over half being left undriveable because of their faults, this wasn’t necessarily the case. Nevertheless, the allure of a Volkswagen badge appears to be as strong as ever. Hopefully, the new Polo can perform better than its predecessor.
MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS DIESEL
Class: Family Cars
Score: 25th out of 27 in class with a score of 86.9%
As with the Polo, the 3rd generation Mercedes A-Class was a hit with UK buyers. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that a well-designed, practical, hatch back with a 3 pointed star on its nose was the 10th best-selling car of 2017. What may come as a surprise, is that 33% of Diesel A classes were affected by a fault. Again, you’d hope that Mercedes have learnt from this, and as a result have made sure that the new A class isn’t going to suffer the same fate.
Class: Family SUVs
Score: 15th and 16th out of 16 in class. Petrol models scored 85.3% and diesel models scored 79.7%
The Nissan Qashqai is the most popular car featured here, in 2017 it was the 4th best selling car in the country. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t like SUVs, the Qashqai is proof that the masses still have a soft spot for them. Much to my surprise, it seems that such a poor reliability score isn’t putting people off the Qashqai, it is currently the 3rd best selling car of 2018. 47% of diesel models and 46% of petrol models developed a problem. Fortunatly, despite having so many issues, most remained operational when a fault occurred.
Class: Large and Luxury SUVs
Score: 20th out of 25 in class with a score of 82.1%
With over 70,000 models sold across Europe in 2017, the previous generation Audi Q5 was hugely popular within its class. If you fancied your practical, prestigious, German estate with a more domineering driving position, then the Q5 appears hard to beat. Well, that is until you look at its reliability score. Fortunately, the newest generation Audi Q5 faired much better with a score of 96.3%. So, if you prefer your SUVs to have an Audi badge on them, it might be worth waiting for the newer model to come down in price.
BMW 5 SERIES & MERCEDES E-CLASS
Class: Luxury Cars
Score: 5th and 6th out of 7 in class. The 5 Series scored 85.3% and E-Class scored 83.5%
Despite being a small group, two entrances to the luxury car list make for surprising reading. Having outsold the competition across Europe in 2017, both the new BMW 5 series and the latest generation Mercedes E-class are chariots of choice for business executives on the move. They offer comfort, refinement, adequate pace and most of all, luxury. However, it seems that the latest generation cars have had some teething troubles. Both are out performed by their older generation siblings in this survey. It seems that electrics were a cause of faults in both cars, maybe this is a sign that whilst impressive; over the top in-car tech, isn’t worth the extra hassle.
How reliable is your car? Let me know in the comments section below!
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