These are the least reliable used cars according to a UK survey

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

Share this article:

London - Audi’s A3 is a popular and classy hatchback, but some of the older versions could be a recipe for stress, according to a survey carried out in the UK by What Car? magazine.

The publication asked 18 000 owners of older vehicles - between five and 15 years of age - to rate how reliable their cars had been over the past year. The respondents were also asked to list the type of problems they encountered and how much they cost to be repaired.

The car with the lowest overall rating, with a score of just 40 percent, was the diesel-powered second-generation Audi A3, which was produced between 2003 and 2013. According to What Car? more than a third of diesel A3s had a fault, with 22 percent involving the engine. 

The second least reliable car, with a score of 46.5 percent, was the second-generation Ford Focus diesel, built from 2004 to 2011. 

This was followed by the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira (2005 to 2016) with 51.7 percent, while the Audi A6 (2004 - 2011) and BMW X5 (2007 to 2013) rounded off the top five with respective scores of 52 percent and 54.5 percent.

These were followed by the Peugeot 3008 (2009 – 2017), BMW 3 Series Coupe / Convertible (2006 – 2013), Renault Grand Scenic (2009 – 2012), Volkswagen Golf diesel (2003 – 2009) and Mazda 6 (2007 – 2012).

It’s worth keeping in mind though that these are UK-spec vehicles, so they don’t always represent the equivalent models in South Africa.

Lexus leads ‘most reliable’ list

There was also a winners list, which was headed by the Lexus CT hybrid hatchback (2011 onwards), which achieved a score of 99.5 percent, with only four percent of owners having reported a fault and here the only affected area was the battery.

The Suzuki Swift (2010 to 2017) came second, with a score of 98.6 percent, while the Toyota Auris Hybrid (2013 onwards) took the remaining podium position with 98.5 percent.

Also slotting into the top 10 were the Honda Civic (2012 – 2017), Peugeot 107 (2005 – 2014), Lexus RX (2009 – 2016), Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019), Fiat Panda (2012 onwards), Skoda Yeti diesel (2009 – 2017) and Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018). All of these vehicles achieved a score of more than 95 percent. 

Electrical faults most common

Across the survey, one third of owners told What Car? that their car had suffered a fault in the last year and non-engine electrical issues were the most common, followed by suspension and brake maladies.

“Reliability is often at the forefront of any vehicle purchase,” said What Car? Editor Steve Huntingford.

“With nearly eight million used vehicles sold last year, there is huge scope for things to go wrong. By shining a light on the reliability of various makes and models, we hope to help buyers make the right decision when choosing their next used purchase,” Huntingford concluded.

IOL Motoring

Click here to sign up for the IOL Motoring Newsletter and receive all the latest motoring news and launch reports, industry insights, car reviews and motorsport gossip in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Share this article: