A European survey of more than 30,000 drivers has revealed that Honda is seen as the most reliable car brand.
The study by the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) saw Honda get a reliability rating of 93/100 and with further 79% of survey respondents saying that they would recommend a Honda vehicle.
The factors that consumers take most into account when purchasing a car are price, fuel consumption, family needs and reliability.
To assess the latter and using the experience of motorists, the OCU asked more than 30,000 drivers if they had had breakdowns in the past year and what sort in order to establish a reliability index for comparing the likelihood of a breakdown between the different makes and models of cars on the market.
Toyota, Mazda and Dacia also rank highly. But Smart, Land Rover and Alfa Romeo are the makes most likely to have suffered a breakdown, according to respondents.
“Reliability and quality are synonymous with the Honda brand,” says Honda Motor Europe’s senior vice president, Philip Ross.
“The results of the survey highlight the importance of the quality commitments Honda has made to its customers. It is important for Honda to ensure that customers can experience the joy of owning a Honda vehicle and enjoy driving them with the peace of mind that the cars are among the least likely to experience breakdowns.”
Utility cars are the ones least likely to spend time in the repair-shop, and they are the models that, in general, receive the highest ratings.
The highest rated vehicle is the Honda Jazz 1.4, followed by the Toyota Prius 1.8 M and 1.1 Renault Clio.
In contrast, the worst score is the Ford Focus 1.6 D.
According to the OCU survey, one in three drivers had a breakdown to their car during the last year and 16% had a breakdown while driving.
Among the types of breakdown, the electrical system is what fails the most (19% are caused by lights, fuses, instrument panel, electric windows or central locking) representing one in five. This is followed by the braking system (11%) and the engine electronics (10%).
The cost of breakdowns and maintenance represent a significant expense for consumers. According to the OCU survey this can be as high as €662 (£502) for Mercedes and as low as €300 (£227) in the case of Nissan, the cheapest make.
Although it is not necessary to take the vehicle to an authorised dealer in order to keep the guarantee, 52% of drivers still prefer this option, even though service costs can be cut by half in an independent repair shop, said the OCU.
> The OCU is the oldest consumer organisation in Spain.