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Warranty Direct reveals most reliable winter 4x4s


The Honda HR-V is the SUV most likely to keep you on the road during the approaching winter period, according to Warranty Direct.

SUVs and 4x4s now claim 11% of the market, up from 4.5% in 2000*, as motorists are attracted by better ground clearance and a more commanding driving position. However, they do not always live up to their reputation for ruggedness.

The study, conducted by Warranty Direct, analysed its 50,000 live policies using the company’s unique reliability index to measure overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.

Honda’s HR-V (99-06) performed significantly better than other SUVs, with only one in 10 recording a fault in the last 12 months. The Suzuki Jimny was second most reliable in the sector, with one in five suffering a breakdown each year.

Top 10 rated 4x4/SUVs (a lower reliability index rating means the vehicle is more reliable and less expensive to run).

At the other end of the scale, the Mercedes-Benz GL is the least reliable of the off-roaders, with eight in 10 breaking down each year. The Audi Q7 and Audi A6 all-road are not far behind in a list populated mostly by European manufacturers.

Bottom 5 rated 4x4/SUVs (a higher reliability index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run).

Warranty Direct managing director David Gerrans said: “The SUV market segment has developed significantly in recent years. In comparison to some other vehicles, they are fairly expensive to run but our study shows that there are reliable SUVs available which are not too costly.

“An SUV vehicle is most definitely the transport of choice for motorists during winter; not only is the driving position more commanding, but they are more likely to withstand challenging conditions.”

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