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Honda tops reliability survey

Honda has been voted as the most reliable manufacturer in the latest What Car? and Warranty Direct reliability study for the sixth year in a row.

The new figures, released today, show that cars from European brands fail most often. However, based on Warranty Direct’s 50,000 live policies on cars of between three to eight years of age, they are also typically cheaper to fix.

Honda tops the standings in the annual car reliability study for a sixth year in a row, recording a 9% failure rate. The top 10 manufacturers all come from either Japan or Korea.

The combined What Car? and Warranty Direct study names British marque Land Rover as the least reliable brand, with 55% of its upmarket vehicles suffering faults in a 12-month period. Alfa Romeo (46%), Renault (45%) and Saab (43%) – all European brands – are the next most breakdown-prone manufacturers.

The top two European brands are Skoda and Smart in 11th and 12th respectively. Only they prevent an even stronger showing for far eastern manufacturers, by nudging ahead of Daewoo.

Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “The success of Honda in this years’ reliability study is very impressive, especially as this is Honda’s sixth overall win as the UK’s most reliable car maker.

“Reliability is key for car buyers. The car makers at the bottom of the study have a lot of work to do to catch up with Honda.”

Most reliable car manufacturers with percentage chance of failure in first 12 months

  1. Honda 9%
  2. Toyota 14%
  3. Suzuki 15%
  4. Lexus 15%
  5. Mitsubishi 15%
  6. Mazda 16%
  7. Subaru 17%
  8. Hyundai 20%
  9. Kia 21%
  10. Nissan 22%


Least reliable car manufacturers with percentage chance of failure in first 12 months


35. Land Rover 55%
34. Alfa Romeo 46%
33. Renault 45%
32. Saab 43%
31. Jeep 42%
30. Chrysler 38%
29. MG 37%
28. Mercedes 34%*
27. Vauxhall 34%*
26. Audi 33%

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Honda has had a difficult few years and sales stumbled in 2014 with a fall of nearly 4% in a market where many rivals were recording double-digit growth.

Leon Brannan, head of cars in the UK, has said that 2015 will be the first year that sees the impact of renewed R&D investment for Europe.

He has revealed that the goal is to restore the Honda franchise to its former strength – “to fall back in love with ourselves” – with six new models including the new HR-V, the Civic Type-R and the NSX supercar due in 2015.

There is also a determination to "catch up the rest of the market" by migrating the business towards a PCP culture and away from HP and cash purchases, while building demand for long-term service plans to maximise customer retention, part of a plan to become the number one brand in the UK for customer loyalty.

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