London - If you splash out on a fancy new car, you’d think that the price tag would reflect its quality - not mention its reliability.

But luxury cars are actually more likely to develop faults than cheaper small cars, new research conducted in the UK has found.

This may be because they are often weighed down with complex electronic gadgets that can easily go wrong.

Consumer group Which? found that 36 percent of cars costing around £50 000 (R840 000) are likely to have developed a fault in the past year.

By comparison, small city cars costing around £10 000 (R168 000) were the most reliable, with only 25 percent of owners reporting a fault.

The huge amounts of technology packed into the modern car mean there is a greater chance of drivers being met with a cacophony of alarms and warning messages every time they start up.

It could be anything from sensors monitoring tyre pressure to problems with the satnav.

And such is the sophistication of the latest models that tinkering under the bonnet won’t provide a fix. The consumer group has not published the names of the vehicles with the best and worst reliability.

But city cars that cost around £10 000 new (in the UK) include the Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up, among others. 

Which? said: "If you’d just spent £49 000 on a luxury car what would you expect?

"Leather seats and plenty of features, but probably not lots of trips to your garage to get it repaired. However, the 2017 Which? Car Survey has revealed that the most expensive class of car on the market is also one of the most prone to faults."

Looking at other categories, the fault score for compact and large SUVs was 35 percent. It was 34 percent for estates and 28 percent for sports cars.

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