The 100 most reliable cars of the last decade

Mercedes-Benz-S63_AMG_2014_1024x768_wallpaper_01In these pages we focus on design, breakthroughs, enabling technologies and concepts and it’s rare that we look at product that has been in the marketplace for some time, much less second-hand product. But when we saw what UK company automotive warranty company was up to, we know you’ll agree that it’s worth a mention.

As a privately owned insurance intermediary, the firm collects lots of data about warranty issues – something you’ll never find out from the only other people who have access to the information (the manufacturers). In a very clever move, it has taken this secondary data and produced a reliability index – an independent comparison of frequency of failure across the 55,000 vehicles it insures.

Read on for a list of the 100 most reliable used cars over the past decade. And before you take a peek, have a guess at where the best Japanese, German, Swedish, British, Korean and French-built cars will rank. You won’t even come close!

Firstly, the company is Warranty Direct, and their reliability index can be found here. Secondly, congratulations to the Honda Accord which ranked at number one, and to Honda, Nissan and Toyota who all managed two cars in the top 10.

Thirdly, congratulations to the Japanese automotive industry which supplied every car in the Top 10, and an amazing 16 of the Top 20. The highest placed non-Japanese model was the British built Jaguar X-Type in 13th with the mighty German automotive industry first appearing at number 25.

Volvo’s S/V40 was the highest placed Swedish manufacturer in 15th, with the nation’s most popular manufacturer, Ford, delivering its best ranked model, the Ka, in 22nd. Hyundai’s Lantra was the pick of the Koreans and the Citroen Xsara was the best-placed French model at number 26.

And a very special mention to Toyota – Toyota has an ambition to become the world’s largest motor company and on the results of this survey, it fully deserves to get there.

It scored as well as any other manufacturer in the top ten cars with two contenders, but also took eleventh spot with the Lexus IS 200, fourteenth with the Landcruiser, 19th with the Carina E, and 21st with the Lexus 400 – six cars in the top 21 represents a fantastic effort but a look down the list confirms what we’d always suspected – they have been building the most reliable cars for a long time – long product lines such as the Celica and Corolla are also there.

Those cars have been produced for 30 years in vast numbers – it’s not just one very reliable model here and there – .

“Obviously reliability is not the main reason why someone might choose one model over another, but it is still an important consideration for the majority,” says Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct.

“However, used car buyers are considerably more cautious. Japanese models may not be the most charismatic but you’re unlikely to spend a great deal of money and time in the garage keeping it on the road.”

Just a note to ensure fairness – cars with extended warranties are unlikely to appear on this list, for obvious reasons. As some manufacturers offer such schemes across the range, they will also be under-represented.

The 10 most reliable cars according to Warranty Direct:

  1. Honda Accord – A classy package, well put together and feels more special than the average family car. Superb engines and value for money.
  2. Subaru Forester – Not quite an off roader, much more than an estate with a sporty edge, making it the perfect combination. Great all round buy.
  3. Mazda MX-5 – Blueprint for the modern roadster with sweet handling and engines to match. Extremely easy to live with.
  4. Mitsubishi Carisma – Despite the name, not that interesting to look at or drive, but that’s not the point. Here is a no-nonsense hatchback that won’t let you down.
  5. Toyota Yaris – Superminis don’t come better. Bags of room and perky engines. Probably the best small car buy.
  6. Honda Civic – Solid build quality and good engines are just part of the appeal, the Civic is one of the most spacious small cars around. Great value.
  7. Nissan Almera – A dull package, but that’s no reason to dismiss the Almera which is practical and perfect for the smaller family who need a big boot and utter reliability.
  8. Honda CR-V – Proof that you don’t need an XXXL 4×4. Here is a four-wheel drive estate that is flexible, easy to drive and own.
  9. Toyota RAV4 – So few four-wheel drives are fun to drive. This car is suitably sporty, but very practical. Expensive used buy but worth it.
  10. Nissan Micra – The driving school favourite. Tough, fairly roomy, but with its light controls is easy to steer around town.

The Warranty Direct Top 100 Most Reliable Used Cars Of The Past Decade

  1. Honda Accord
  2. Subaru Forester
  3. Mazda MX-5
  4. Mitsubishi Carisma
  5. Toyota Yaris
  6. Honda Civic
  7. Nissan Almera
  8. Honda CR-V
  9. Toyota RAV4
  10. Nissan Micra
  11. Lexus IS 200
  12. Mazda 626
  13. Jaguar X-Type
  14. Toyota Landcruiser
  15. Volvo S/V40
  16. MINI (BMW)
  17. Suzuki Vitara
  18. Mazda 323
  19. Toyota Carina E
  20. Saab 9-5
  21. Lexus LS400
  22. Ford Ka
  23. Rover 45
  24. Hyundai Lantra
  25. Mercedes SLK
  26. Citroen Xsara
  27. Ford Cougar
  28. Subaru Impreza
  29. Skoda Octavia
  30. Audi A4
  31. Nissan Primera
  32. Toyota Avensis
  33. Volvo 850
  34. Vauxhall Corsa
  35. Seat Toledo
  36. Volkswagen Golf
  37. Daewoo Lanos
  38. Fiat Brava
  39. Hyundai Coupe
  40. Mitsubishi Shogun
  41. Rover 25
  42. Mercedes CLK
  43. Fiat Marea
  44. Ford Focus
  45. Peugeot 106
  46. MG MG TF
  47. BMW Z3
  48. Hyundai Accent
  49. Volkswagen Polo
  50. Fiat Punto
  51. Vauxhall Zafira
  52. Mercedes C-class
  53. Volvo S60
  54. Toyota MR2
  55. Mazda Xedos 6
  56. Ford Puma
  57. Vauxhall Astra
  58. Vauxhall Omega
  59. Chrysler Neon
  60. Audi A2
  61. Ford Fiesta
  62. Ford Mondeo
  63. Vauxhall Corsa
  64. Citroen Saxo
  65. BMW 3 Series
  66. Vauxhall Vectra
  67. Isuzu Trooper
  68. Mercedes M-Class
  69. Subaru Legacy
  70. Rover 400
  71. Fiat Ulysse
  72. Mercedes E-Class
  73. Renault Clio
  74. Toyota Celica
  75. Peugeot 306
  76. Peugeot 406
  77. Volvo S70
  78. Rover 75
  79. Daewoo Matiz
  80. Peugeot 206
  81. Mazda MX-3
  82. Vauxhall Tigra
  83. Seat Ibiza
  84. Peugeot 106
  85. Renault Megane
  86. Peugeot 406
  87. Saab 9-3
  88. Audi A3
  89. BMW X5
  90. Mercedes S-class
  91. Toyota Corolla
  92. Seat Alhambra
  93. BMW 5-series
  94. Daewoo Nubira
  95. Alfa Romeo 145
  96. Saab 900
  97. Mazda MX-6
  98. Jaguar S-Type
  99. Daewoo Leganza
  100. Porsche Boxster

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