Only off-road specialist Jeep recorded worse results in the study of 30,000 vehicles from twenty-seven leading manufacturers.
Far Eastern brands remains number one for reliability, with eight of the top ten manufacturers analysed by independent automotive warranty firm, Warranty Direct, from either Japan or Korea.
Warranty Direct’s annual Reliability Index which looks at 30,000 vehicles from twenty-seven manufacturers, combines the number of faults a car suffers alongside the actual cost of repairing them.
With an average of 46,500 miles, the majority of the vehicles under the spotlight were entering into the fourth and fifth years of ownership. The average repair bill stood at £321.82 – a fall of 10% over the last twelve months.
Mazda retained the top spot, a position it has held for four consecutive years, with Honda and Hyundai leapfrogging Ford to second and third places, respectively. At number five, Spain’s rising star, Seat makes its maiden appearance in the Warranty Direct Reliability Index as the highest placed European manufacturer.
In comparison to Jaguar, rival executive car maker, BMW climbed nine places compared to its 2003 standing to number seven, despite recording labour rates of £100 plus per hour to carry out remedial work. Mercedes fell marginally to twelfth with Audi in twenty-first place after Warranty Direct were paying up to £147 per hour for labour.
Alongside BMW, only four other manufacturers improved their positions in the 2004 Reliability Index – Honda and Rover rose 1 place each with German giants VW and Korea’s Hyundai, both up 3.
Renault was the worst performing volume carmaker at number nineteen with a below average £287 cost of repair, but a frequency of failure of over 38%.
Subaru and Mitsubishi’s excellent reliability records are only tarnished by the sky-high costs of repair when things do eventually go wrong.
"A car suffering a breakdown is just half the problem for the owner. To get it back on the road, they have to fund the cost of the repair. Motorists invariably fail to consider the two together," explains Duncan McClure Fisher, of Warranty Direct.
"The Far East is still home to the most reliable and cost effective, manufacturers in the World. Encouragingly, despite the lowly positions of Land Rover and Jaguar, British workers are well represented in the top ten with Honda, Toyota and Peugeot all building models at plants over here."
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Frequency of failure
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