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Civic tops reliability survey

Honda’s British built Civic is the most reliable small family car on the road according to Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index.

The ‘real world’ reflection of reliability – based on the cost of repairs versus the number of garage visits – consistently placed the Japanese model (01-on) at the top.

Despite reasonably high average repair of £335.10, the Civic recorded a Warranty Direct Index of just 16.75. This compared to the segment average of 67.39 and repair bill of £238.95.

It is a table of surprise packages with the now replaced Citroen Xsara in third behind the Rover 45.

Pos. Model Reliability Index Average Age Average Repair Cost Largest Repair Cost paid by Warranty Direct
1 Honda Civic (01-on) 16.75 3.42 £335.10 £431.31
2 Rover 45 (99-05) 28.63 2.66 £168.45 £604.54
3 Citroen Xsara (97-05) 28.87 3.61 £160.44 £1,037.42
4 Skoda Octavia (98-04) 32.76 3.95 £172.46 £353.47
5 Ford Focus (98-04) 33.82 3.69 £153.77 £649.66
6 Vauxhall Astra (98-04) 56.53 3.82 £235.55 £694.57
7 Fiat Brava/o (96-02) 58.44 3.54 £254.13 £1,052.98
8 VW Golf (97-04) 81.38 3.83 £271.29 £3,203.80
9 Renault Megane (99-02) 83.66 3.50 £246.07 £1,603.16
10 Seat Leon (00-05) 88.58 3.26 £233.11 £891.39

Skoda’s Octavia is next in the reliability index table – although it is liable to suffer electrical problems (50 per cent of all claims handled by Warranty Direct).

Britain’s best selling small family runner, the Ford Focus, completes the top five with an average repair figure of £153.77. Although the cost of fixing is low a raft of axle and suspension problems skew its overall performance in the table.

Warranty Direct spokesman, Duncan McClure Fisher said Honda’s Civic was ‘historically and repeatedly’ the most reliable small family car. "As far back as 1991, and the generations since, the Civic has consistently proved to be a bullet-proof little buy. It does cost if things do go wrong, but that’s not a regular occurrence," he said.

The complete Warranty Direct Reliability Index is based on 48,000 vehicles up to eight years old.

A full listing is available at

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