The 100 most reliable cars of the last decade (in order)


May 20, 2006

In 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 4x4. 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.
  11. 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
About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

20th place for saab9-5 shows how underated this vehicle brand was,had several of them last two decades solid and reliable ones.


My car maker biases are confirmed by this article. ;-)

Maura Ducharme

My cars don\'t qualify becasue they are too old. My \'87 Samurai, \'89 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo GTC conv., and \'82 Ford van have NEVER been in a shop for repairs or recalls because they are simply well made. Used almost every day, they just keep running, and run well.


What are the top 10 cheapest cars on that list?

Jon Waters

Yeah nice ride. Hope to see it later.


No Way!!! I have a 1997 Chrysler Intrepid that has 230,000km and has never broke down or been in for repair. it survived an accident and still runs like new. I just sold a Chevy Silverado that had 300,000 km and the only repair i did during those 300,000kms is one bearing change, Thats it!!! and that truck was abused everyday of its life with me. American makes rock!!!!!!!!

Daniel Rachid

Any article that says that the Hyundai Accent is one of the most reliable cars has lost all creditability with me.

Chris Lhamon

I do not agree with the Daewoo Lanos being at such a high rating! A VX Astra breaks down? Don\'t think so. The Daewoo is solid, but it is a pain.

Patrick Carney

Cars are built so well today that an article on reliability is moot. Most any modern car can be expected to exceed 200,000 miles with regular maintenance. Saying one car is more reliable than another is just splitting hairs.


I have a 1990 Honda Accord, and my biggest problem with looking at a new or used car s is that mine is still running like a champ. It\'s as peppy as ever, goes like a rocket and causes no problems. I keep thinking it\'s got to break down sometime, but who knows when. I go for test drives on new or used, get back in my old car and think, I love this car it purrs, and it\'s not even that rusty, I\'m in Muskoka Ontario, lots of salt, sits outside all year round. I\'m only at 227,000 k. I\'m starting to think I could get another 10 years out of this thing. Touch wood. I\'ll tell you one thing it makes a big problem for the sales people trying to sell me a car. I just say, no rush I can hold out for the best deal, they are stumped on that

Roger J Pearce

Of course, the reliability index is for UK vehicles and the photo at the top of the article is of the North American version of the Honda Accord that isn\'t sold in the UK.

Rob Davis

I had a Maverick, reputed as a bad car, 6 cyl, automatic, let it go for 500 bucks, it took me thru College and lasted with nothing but plain maint, and a new exhaust system with 195,000 miles not KM so do the math, I think it has to do with care and just not getting the lemon.. and that is ford when people said ford was junk.. I had a hyundai excel.. hated that car every week had issues, got rid of it for 1000 dollars with only 27,000 miles.. yes we are talking about pre 2000 hyundais. not the improved cars of the last 5 years.. but best car I had was a dodge neon, drove it on alligator alley florida every day round trip, at average speeds of 90 miles an hour, never, but never had a headache, nothing. at all for 2 years, doing the trip 2 x a day.. average miles pero day were 450 miles.. so you do the math, oil changed every 3000 miles, changed tires, brakes the usual. not one day it quit..


Maura Ducharme- Not to burst your bubble, but... (recalls) 695 recalls for Chrystler vehicles; 1989 CHRYSLER LEBARON GTS - Engine and engine cooling


I had an 88 Ford Bronco that was the worst car I ever owned. Cooling, brakes, electrical, you name it. I would have to think long and hard before another Ford product, but research before buying is best. There are some decent Ford products out there. I\'ve had Toyota\'s as well, some with minor issues, but nothing like the American cars I\'ve owned. I really want to buy American, but it\'s getting very tough, when the Japanese are kicking our butts in reliability.

Remind me never to buy a used car from you...Meh


several Fords, a Chrystler, no chevybuickcady. And GM merits a bailout? This is an example of why gov\'t distortion should be kept out of markets. Y\'all can cite cases of your long lived car, or your contrary evidence of lemons among the select. This is the perogative of ilnumerate thinkers. At the statistical level, your anecdotes mean nada zip zero. Tintis, you forgot the Japaneese recalls of recent fame.


Your list is interesting, but without linefeeds or punctuation, it\'s annoying to read. Here\'s an idea, to make it still harder to read: takeout all the spaces, e.g.,



regardless of what you say.. Toyota tercels that where so glorified had bad trannies in the 80\'s models and were rust buckets!! so to me it is lemons due to quality check and care of your car!! still stand by dodge neon even when it has been cut off and had a great car!! American cars are out ranking in quality all other brands in the last 2 years!! that junk they say initial ownership means garbage.. it is reliability after the initial 50,000 miles or more that matters!


I have to disagree with PizzaEater \"Saying one car is more reliable than another is just splitting hairs\". Compare for yourself new vehicle predictive reliability ratings by U.S. World Report and News

Mike Jones

Michael Jones

Ive just hit 240,000miles in my 2004 Honda Element It has never been out of comission in 6 years of ownership in effect very reliable. However ive replaced the air conditoner twice. I got 230000 miles out of the original breakpads and rotors so I guess there are trade offs overall i would purchace another Element

Robert Bianco

I have a 90 Honda Accord and my baby can walk and talk. She\'s a beast and she knows it. She thanks the list for acknowledging her awesomeness.


I own a CPO Used \'06 Honda Accord EX-L V6 AT Coupe - best car by any comparison I\'ve seen on American roads. Very fast (an \'06 EX-L V6 6- speed MT Coupe did 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds - AT models are about 1 second slower - fast by any stock car standards). This black beauty has just over 31k miles on it - barely \'broken in\' by Honda standards. The ergonomics are unmatched - the reliabilitydependability is what legends are made of. The build/fit is the match of any auto made - better in fact than most. Mileage has been good - 31 mpg hiway, 21 city - about 25 mpg overall average. Only \'drawbacks\' I\'ve found are limited rear seating (common on any coupe) and that Honda, due to all the above, can be a very expensive used car - they hold residual resale value better than any other auto out there - instead of a purchase, they\'re more like investments. As well, some consider the styling to be \'bland\', but I feel in years to come, it will still be considered an attractive and timeless auto (the Coupe notably has a lot of the \'Raymond Loewy\' design appeal from the 1950\'s - flowing, simple, clean, and contemporary) - not \'retro\' or trendy\' as so many others are. I get many positive comments on the auto\'s appearance in many diffeent venues - a complimentary feature. I did add 18-inch Honda premium alloy wheels and tires (Michelin 235/40/18ZR) from an \'09 Accord V6 Coupe - it somewhat \'stiffened\' the ride (low-profile tires do this), but the grip and handling are awesome - corners like it\'s on rails! The tires also considerably \'quieted down\' a bit of annoying road noise which was present. This is my fifth Honda Accord since 1986 - I\'ve put well in excess of 250,00 trouble-free miles on most of them, and this one will be no exception. I have no doubt that I\'ll be rewarded with many years of trouble-free pleasurable driving experiences with this \'06 Honda Accord.

Facebook User

Why does the Vauxhall Corsa appear twice - at No 34 and again at No 63? Or is it because there were two different models during the ten year assessment period?

If this list is compiled by a firm that sells used vehicle warranties, does that mean it reflects their experience in the USED vehicle market? If so that might be quite different from the experiences of new car owners.


My 2000 Toyota Yaris (Echo in the states) deserves it\'s #5 slot. Normal maintenance, 200,000 miles, still gets close to 45mpg. Runs quieter than the Mercedes.

William Volk

How can you tell Honda accord is the most reliable car??? That is ridiculous, the new designed generation of accord is piece of crap! Engine problem, transmission problem, even the interior light has a big problem! a ford fusion can easily beat accord on long term reliability after 2004. Honda just got too large and out of control! They are products are all going down, look at the new designed civic, they are used to be very reliable!

Wei Li

The article headline should reflect \"cars available in europe\" or even probably more \"in the UK\" ? because the ford products mentioned are the european named cars, it leads me to believe this database was collected in europe or the UK.

Dan K

If you\'ve not driven a Honda, you owe it to yourself to own one. They are great cars. The comment about \"making 200,000\" is laughable to a Honda owner. 300k on the odo of a Honda is still a clean used car. 500k on the odo of a Honda Odyssey is realistic (seen one).

Honda\'s last serious problem was back when they had the bad head gasket in the old Accord hatchback. That burned \'em bad and they never let that happen again.

You don\'t have enough time to listen to me talk about what\'s been wrong with the Ford, GM and Dodge products I\'ve owned. Let\'s just say the list is spot-on and agree to disagree. In the meantime, I\'ll keep my Honda, thank you.


The most reliable vehicules i\'ve owned were my Neons... I\'m not counting the Fit as she is 2 years old! But even if tons of people got problems with Neons, i\'ve personately never actually had a single trouble with them except evident stuff like a radiator at 300k km and those brake lines brackets that tends to rust and crush the brake lines! The latter problem being easy to repair with pliers and a flat screwdriver anyway!! But, i\'ve had more problems with my 93 Civic Hatch and Ford Tempo.... really!

Marko Cabot

i bot \"new\" dealer/owners (6000mi) 2008 toyota landcruiser because of all the articles relating to reliability and function. i an elderly, ok \"old\" and with a broken chassis. my tale of problems is unfortunately tied to window sticker mrs. the many add-ons increase $ = failures. the electronics, third row, tv, etc oh yah, drivers refrig chest(part of a/c) actually cannot recall all this CRAP, causes tragic reduction in reliability. the remote engine start system will cause its battery to fail, including all keys because of constant \"cross-talk\". spare batteries in purse or wallet are not optional, this is a must. dead vehicle battery, carry a spare? very few dealers really know the vehicle, as high msrp precludes an inventory, and true to dealer\'s dna, their vehicle usually not available to learn upon. my local dealer\'s service mgr really tries hard but so much of info not within manuals, certainly not in owner\'s manual, bet the japanese to english translator was a babe. all my prior toyota products have been superior, just beyond their \"pricepoint\"? wonder what my old friend and mentor, peter drucker would comment, see above.


I have a 2002 BMW 530 with the built-in Motorola Timeport cellular phone. I\'ve had some continuing problems with the phone and the system itself and my cellular provider suggests that it\'s new technology will not be consistant with digital, therefore recommending bluetooth. I\'m currently trying to identify someway to retrofit or totally change my built in cel phone equipment in my 2002 530 to this new blue tooth capable technology. How do I do this and what do I need.

Facebook User

I read the list all the way down to the Jaguar X-Type. I am not partaking in pointless hyperbole when I say that I have truly NEVER read a long-term review (in Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc. in America) of the X-Type wherein the drivetrain (usually the transmission) had a major malfunction, or failed completely and had to be replaced. Traditionally, Jags have been gorgeous disasters, and the X-Type was the embodiment of that. It was a colossal failure in America. That may cause some of you to like it even more, but the fact remains that, like Land Rover, Jaguar is a highly desirable marque in America, but reliability is amongst the lowest of any vehicle available in America.

That said, in 2008, the marque that had THE worst reliability of all manufacturers that sell vehicles in America (according to dealer service records, customer feedback, J.D. Power, etc.) was none other than the brand with THE highest snob appeal of them all--the car that EVERYBODY in America wants to have, so that they can impress the neighbors: MERCEDES. Ironic, that...

One thing about the Dodge Neon: While I agree that American trucks are dependable (they are built to ENTIRELY different--much higher--standards, according to law), my friend purchased a Dodge van back in \'99, which developed a misfire within a week. When I reported it, the service technician at the dealership told me that a misfire is normal for a new car. Uh, NO. So, we took it in for repair, and got a Neon for a loaner car. The a/c broke when we were 8 miles from the dealership. When I called to tell them, they informed me that it was the third time the a/c had broken, and that they\'d be able to send it back on the lemon law (3 malfunctions of the same thing is grounds for a refund). When I looked at the odometer, I was (somewhat) surprised to find that it had less than 800 TOTAL MILES.

Long story short: I drive Japanese or German.

Craig Hackney

I drive what ever I can afford with cash purchase and can fix without owning a $100,000 computerized analyzer! Thats one of the reasons I gravitate towards diesels. I don\'t know why Europe has more diesels than the US but I sure wish American manufactures would wake up and make some economy small cars with diesel that I could afford!

Will, the tink

One thing to consider is this; some manufacturers sell more cars than others. For instance, Ford sells more pickup trucks each year in the USA and Canada than GM and Dodge combined. In fact, Ford sold more trucks in 2001 than Dodge has sold in the eight year span from 2000 to 2008. So it is likely that with the higher number of vehicles there will be more warranty repairs. But when the ratio is taken into account, it becomes moot. We have had several good Ford trucks, several good Chevy trucks and several good Dodge trucks. We like each for different reasons. We currently are dealing with a lemon of a Ford. But I don\'t judge them because we got a crapper. I talk to many other owners of the same truck and they report no issues at all. It just happens sometimes. Subaru is world renowned for their reliability. However, I owned one that was just terrible. Everything was wrong with it. But I don\'t hate Subaru because one car was junk. Just a thought.

Eric Nyhof

Yikes! Any \"reliable car\" list with Rovers, MGs, Chryslers, Fiats, or Alfa\'s, has to have been put together by someone who has owned none of them.

Michael Axel

You like the Vauxhall Corsa so much it\'s listed twice?! See 63rd and 34th???


The most reliable cars on the road feature is most interesing. I was in the Motor Trade for well over 20 years and the results mirror my own experience. We would often have a mixture of new , nearly new and old cars that were drivable for the trip home. Experience told me to drive Japanese. In fact I would take the keys for an old Datsun (Nissan now) for the weekend rather than any UK or French/Italian car. I\'d jump in with the safe knowledge that it would start and be totally rattle free and stay that way. Quite remarkable. THe quality inspections in Japan at the time were so strict. THe factory would say for example get a shipment of 10,000 Alternators in. THey would random pick a few. If there was the slightest fault then the whole consignment would be refused. It gave all the component manufactures an enormous incentive to get the components right. Hence the wonderful reliability. THe most impressive in my view are the Subaru cars. I have the lowest powered Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo Wagon. In \"Standard\" form it produced 220 bhp . I has quad cams , 4 wheel drive and all the extras. It will easily top 140 mpg 5 up with luggage. Abpve all it is a daily driver that you can easily maintain yourself wilth all service components cheap. THe Forester that came second in the survey is basically an Impreza with a estate body being pretty much identical underneath. THese cars came with 300bhp on the STi model cars and still with the same reliability. The wonderful thing is you can do so much to them and if you get it right you can have a fire breather with reliability on top. My son runs an Impreza that produces a staggering 436 bhp that he uses as a daily driver. Japanese cars demand and should get the respect they deserve.


Relyability rating of greater interest to us all is that of the big Road Service companies. they help all the cars, New and old, of all types of insurance and warrenty and they are called to help when the car is so unrelyable that it stoped. if they (big Road Service companies) will give us (the public) their data so we can filter out non relevant events and focus on relyability issues we can produce a much more relyable list of relyability.


Sad that not a GM, Chev, Olds, Pontiac, E1, Volt, Camaro, Corvette, Chevelle, BelAire, Corvair, Nomad, Malibu, Nova, Impala, el Camino, Monte Carlo, Biscayne, and yes a few more recent entries that didn\'t make it. Sad but true.

Mark Hedtke

Ultimate Performance- Can you tell me exactly how you get 140 miles per gallon with your Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo Wagon? I do like Subaru\'s for their engine design but have shied away from them since a friend had a major transmission problem at only 40,000 miles. It would be interesting to see the \"real\" figures from a broad owner survey, assuming we could rely on owners to tell the truth. I loved my 93 Honda Accord and had relatively few problems with it over 165,000 miles but still, the A/C cost me plenty and it never was right after about 90K, the alternator was gone by 110K and replaced with a salvage for a more reasonable $150 (New was $400), Short shafts at 120K. Other than that it was great. If the US companies could get rid of the yoke put on them by the union they might be able to stage a comeback, but without that they will never be competitive financially speaking unless Uncle Sam owns them and pays all the extras. Yeah that\'s it let the Government pay for it, that way it won\'t cost the people anything??? Today\'s argument for the completely non-thinking public. Whoa, I went off track sorry. Any how I suspect all who are reading this and commenting take care of their cars as opposed to the masses who don\'t know much in general. \"I didn\'t know you had to change the oil?\". Thanks for reading this mess.

Dr. Veritas

I know from reading Gizmag stats a while (years) ago, the majority of their readership is American while the Publisher of this magazine is British. What I think most of the readers are missing is that this list is targeted at the European market; so you wont Find F-150s, Chevrolet Siverados, and the like.

Wei Li, the Accord Sold in Europe is is a different design than the one Made in Marysville, Ohio (i\'ve driven past the factory a few times) and sold in North America.


This seems like a ploy to get Warranty Direct some media space. Main gripe is that the vehicle model years are not mentioned, so are we supposed to believe that the reliability doesn\'t change with model evolution? That said, it\'s no secret that the Japanese manufacturers can build reliable cars. However, with few exceptions, it\'s also an observation that most of their cars are boring.


The Mercedes CLK definitely does not belong on the list. Check out Powers or Consumer Reports for a more accurate appraisal based on owners experiences with the cars. Warranty Direct generates its index with as few as 50 vehicles which is hardly a statistically accurate way to measure one car selling in the hundreds of thousands with another vehicle, like the Jaguar X series, that sells in the low thousands.


Buick with the 3800 engine is the best overall car in the world;many regurly acheive 38 mpg at 70 mph,carry 6 adults with their junk and about the only trouble is the MAF sensor that may require a spray of special cleanser on the tiny senser wires every 40,000 miles or so and one should consider replacing the timing CHAIN and gears after 250,000 miles [a simple,fast job for grease monkeys.Honda is ok when running,but you need a cutting torch to enable you to get to many parts on them;same can be said about most small cars [1,100.00 bucks to replace vw diesel timing BELT ever 50-60,000 miles if it did not break and destroy the engine!]Give me a buick [no real buicks built after the stupid GENERAL closed buick\'s last engine plant 8-08]GM was created out of BUICK with buick cash and stock;BUICK has never won indy 500 since buick finished officially racing in 1908 and would not pay millions to indy owner like everyone else,even though the 3800 engined cars were used to block other cars that were NOT supposed to win [al unser sr. used his buick to block for his son who was driving a 5 million dollar chevy engined car that al senior thought that he would have to push with his buick to win!] many buick hot rods;36 century,65 riveria gs[190 mph car],70 455 stage 1,gnx [ingersol\'s 7 second v6 doorslamer in mid 80\'s]

Kenneth Malone

I find this list a bit questionable with the Subaru forester at #2 when it used the 2.5L that\'s known for head gasket leak problems in more than one generation.

C. Walker Walker

most ridiculos list i seen!

Zack Kim

Megane, Almera, Punto, Brava, Xsara, Lanos, Rovers, Daewoos, Peugeots are some of the most unreliable cars ever made. Don\'t know how they came up with this list! And the Alfa 145??? I had one of these, and trust me, they are far from reliable. Never got such good value from my AA membership. I\'d agree with the Accord though. Although new Hondas are not half as reliable as the old ones

Gaz O Riordan

I have a 91 accord. I give it routine maintenance. Drives like its brand new. No lie. Never been stuck with my accord. Best car I\'ve owned

Coty Marshall

Well, well, another one full of mistakes. So, the best is the Canadian made Honda Accord. What about the European Accord (being sold as an Accura in America) ? I think it is much better.

Peugeot 106 appears twice on that list.

Is it made for USA or EU ?

My worst car was a Toyota Corolla. My Mazda 323 1988 had a major break before the end of the warranty.

I have been driving an Audi 80 until 1994 without any mishaps. I have also driven a BMW 323 1886 which was my best car ever because strong, reliable and true performance.

I know myriads of people who loved their Peugeot 205, perhaps the best small car ever since it war unbreakable, economical and holding the road better than a Celica.

Peugeot have always produed very reliable cars being the best buy for the price since they also featured good performance and excellent fuel economy.

The problem with Toyota and Nissan is the lack of fun. This is what you can find with Italian and French cars.


Another error, in the 90s, the European Honda were made in the Rover plants. All Rovers of that time were just a copy of Honda so they should have the same ratings.

Another error Ford Focus and Volvo S40 are made in the same former DAF plant in the Netherlands. About the same car, so, they should have the same rating or close.

Another one, the Saab 9-2 is the Subaru Impreza, so it should sow there as well. Saab 9-3 is the Opel Omega and even the Cadillac CTC, so the same reliability should appear.

Yes, I agree even Alfa Romeos are becoming the exciting machines which are reliable. Style, pleasure and reliability has been now observed with those Italian cars.

Acutally, the problem is that most cars today al less reliable then the ones in the 90s because they have mechatronics problems whicb appeared with too many sensors breaking down prematurally, CAN bus operation are much less reliable then hardwired systems. Those acceleration problems of Renault (in fact Infinity problems) and Lexus are well known to researchers in mechatronics are becoming case studies for students. Even some airplanes have them (Boeing 737-800).


just to let u know i have a 2011 cadillac escalade and it is the best car i have ever been in. it has a smooth engine nice inside and everything is thebest. i also have a honda odyssey and compared to the ecalade it sukssss


no saturns on here? the sl series should be in top ten ,

Kyle Sapp

First let me say, having skimmed the comments: LOL! I\'m always amused by people insisting that their anecdotal experience trumps statistical facts. (In this case, the aggregate experience of many, many people!)

The other thing is, the MINI is most certainly a German car, despite the British brand identity and marketing. So, I think we can say that the Germans come in at 16. Cases like the Jaguar are more ambiguous (owned by Ford, using Ford components, and not sure how independent the design team are).

Thirdly, I wonder how much the type consumer who buys it, and how they use it affects the perception of \"reliability\". After all, the VW Golf is still the most popular car on earth, as far as I know, and has been for some time; \"reliable\" or not.

PS: can you buy a Ford Ka in the US now?


Is anyone truly surprised that Japanese cars dominate this list?

Damien Willis

to each it's own i guess ....

plus I think different road conditions and weather also have great effects so I wouldn't take this list word for word...

i now have a 95 Avalon xls and a 98 Concorde lxi ....

The lxi has turned with me from a hated big ass car to my favorite car to drive to day, and that compared even with my new 02 neon srt or some friend new cars like maxima, altima , etc .... i guess i am old style 30 year old guy.

Repairs on it not too much over the expected routine ones and it is at 190 000 miles.

My 95 dd Avalon xls is ok, 250+k miles, reliable, just regular repairs but ... just doesn't compare with the Chrysler even though its only 3 years older ..

Also depends on what they compare .... i doubt either new/old cars that are cheap such as hyundai, honda and so on will last as far as color, paint, rust as more expensive ones.

I see many newer cheaper toyotas 97-01 where the paint makes the car look ugly and old compared to my 95 ... so to each its own .....

Alexandru Balescu

Why is it that people think that their experience with one car is representative of the many thousands of the same cars sold to others and driven by them? A lot of people ate eggs during the last salmonella outbreak while others died. I am sure that there were people who "thought", "I ate the eggs and I did not get sick so what is the fuss all about?"

Warranty Direct is but one sampling of cars as it includes only cars for which people bought extended warranties. This is going to bias it in that people buying more reliable cars are less likely to buy the warranty or people who are in the habit of buying a new car whenever their current ride goes out of warranty.

There is naturally the tendency to spend a lot of money on a particular make and model and then to need to support that expenditure with a belief that it was warranted for reasons of reliability or safety, regardless of the facts. In point of fact, these true believers will resist any data that contradicts there strongly held beliefs (like a Republican or Tea Bagger). It is why Mercedes did so much advertising over the decades that had technical drawings and information on brakes or suspension components which served to reassure current Mercedes car owners that they had wisely purchased a superior machine.



Have just sold my fabulous-to-drive Ford Ka due old age (mine.)

And as cheaply as it was built (deliberately, to produce an economical to buy & run city car 20 years ago) it just went, and went, and went, mostly at about 110k/hr & 5.4 L/100km, which is only now being bested, usually by ludicrously expensive design exercises.


I'm surprised that the Toyota Corolla isn't higher. Of course, living in the US, I'm not privy to all of the great European cars. My 1999 Corolla though, has 260,000 mi(418,000km) and still gets 32-35mpg. Generally, American cars suck these days. Especially GM.

Andrew Jacks

Yep, stick with the Japs - the most trustworthy auto engineers these days. The Koreans are on the way now too - Toyota said years ago that Hyundai would be their biggest threat in the future. It's foolish to base opinions on anecdotal evidence but this list confirms my experience. I bought a new Ford Fiesta (made in Germany) in 2008 when there was the equivalent Mazda 2 (made in Japan) also available for the same dollars but slightly lower spec wheels/tyres. The Ford has been terrible, quality wise. Superb to drive but the list of problems I've had is almost as long as this article :-) They're about to get a loooooong letter of demand from me for out-of-warranty repairs. Should have bought the Mazda and paid for better boots! Eds - love to see an updated version of this list!

John Hogan

I had few cars, some are on this list, and some not. Well what can I say. The Fiat Punto is on 50, but I had one and my gear box went down. Costed me a lot of money to fix it. But I didn't lost my hope and got another Fiat. This time was the new Bravo 1.4 150 HP petrol and this one is working like a charm at 140.000 km. I drive also a Mitsubishi Colt 1.5 D-ID (Mercedes Diesel Engine) and even if I can't find any Colt on this list, at 130.000 Km I didn't changed a thing! This top means nothing! Many of the cars on this list are not anymore available because they are to old, so what's the point in mention them? As a rule for me, I'm trying to avoid french cars (Renault, Citroen), Ford (because I have some friends with Fords having problems, everybody knows is a piece of junk). Go with the Nippon! They are the best on reliability. Also try the Germans as a second option! That's all!

George David

My 1999 Honda CR-V has been rock solid. I'm coming up on 200K miles and it just keeps purring along. I've had to have the A/C repaired, and replaced one battery and the radio. The dashboard clock is no longer working. And because it's a manual, I've had to replace the clutch twice.

My previous car was a Dodge Neon, which was the worst car I've even owned. Things broke on that car that I've never seen break, like the turn signals. Just a complete POS. I got rid of it as soon as it was paid off.

Jon A.

Jaguar X-Type, are you serious? That is the most unreliable car I've ever driven.

Wilson Kwong

Hey jkbrigman, up until last week I would have given your comment a thumbs up as most of my previous Honda's bested over 200k miles. My previous one (odyssey) had the tranny go out at a 100K miles. It was an '02 and I was not happy but Honda stepped in and replaced at no charge to me. I traded it for an '07 pilot and sure enough the same thing happened. Tranny goes out but this time Honda is not willing to stand behind their own failure. My pilot has an upkeep record to die for and my tranny goes out at 100K miles??? The dealer agreed that based on their findings that it was probably some sort of defect on the manufacturing end. I am still holding out for Honda to do the right thing here, but the whole thing is leaving a sour taste in my mouth. Honda charges premium prices for the cars in their respective class. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have paid $10k less for a Ford or Chevy and pocket the difference. And oh I am not an isolated incident. If I were, Honda wouldn't be balking and local mechanics are telling me they like what Honda is doing because it is giving them more business.

Francisco Virella

Re Will the Tink. Regarding diesels being reliable, they used to be when they had a mechanical "jerk pump" as some people call them.

Modern electronically controlled diesels can really drain ones wallet as apart from having a greatly despised cam-belt they use "Common Rail" and electronically controlled injectors. It is not possible to make perfectly matched electronic injectors so they have to be calibrated on the car (its a computer job and one has to have the software and adapters)

A sad case that I heard about after the fiasco was a VW Caddy van with the 110 BHP Audi engine. The "check engine" light would sometimes come on and it would go into limp home mode. The Main Dealer replaced the injectors. Next the dealer replaced the camshaft! Next the dealer replaced the cylinder head! Almost £2000 was spent but the fault was still there! They then replaced the turbocharger at great expense but with about £3,500 now spent the fault had still not been found! The fault was found eventually but they would not say what it was.

Here is a little tip trawled-up from a motor magazine. "A common fault with the Audi 1.9TDi engine is fractured injector wires. The wires and the plastic cradle which carries them should be replaced at the 30,000 mile service." I sometimes wonder whether the bloke paid £3,500 because of a broken wire.

The high pressure pumps can also be very iffy and some people add two-stroke oil to the fuel to increase its lubricity.

Joe Bloggs

I agree with Ultimate performance. The old Datsuns were special. I still see them on the streets of Cape Town. I had a Datsun 1200 for years that had a slight oil leak which never saw a mechanic. Changed plugs and filters out. Ran it 1000km dash on near to no oil once, 3 up and a huge load of luggage. No drivers licence either. Traffic police asked for it , I just pointed at the trunk and he said go. Point is it loved the open road but got a bit hot in traffic. I think the driver of a car makes a huge difference to how long the car lasts. certainly in South Africa where very few drive Automatic cars. Most are still manual shifts but people are trending to auto now. I think if you looked at who bought the cars you would see maybe women and older people going for the ones coming in more reliably. Young guys tend to be hotrods.

Mark Withaak

I own a Mercedes CLK and no way does it deserve to be on any list for reliability. My car has had to have the entire wiring system replaced, had the ignition switch fall inside the dash, rear window blind failed, entire instrument cluster failed due to glued on ribbon cable, side rear mirror motor control failed, and many other repairs that are always expensive because it is a Mercedes. Every other auto reliability survey puts BMW consistently ahead of Mercedes so there is a problem with the reliance on a third party warranty sales company as a data source.


Daewoo reliable, lol ; it is strange they should make the list when the GM versions did not

Graham HomeMaintenance

Nice points. But I think Mazda MX-5 is better then Honda Accord. Its really cool. Though Most reliable vehicle ever is a matter of debate so I think the list can be modify. Thanks you.


Amazing that the Toyota Camry was not #1 on this list, but then again, Toyota is over-rated in my opinion. We just purchased a 2009 Honda Accord with 35,000 miles on it---this list tells me that we can look forward to many, many miles from our car. My stepdaughter has a 2007 Honda Civic and she beats the hell out of that car---she is very rough on her vehicles. It still runs like new with 90,000+ miles on it. That's a testament to Honda's durability and reliability.

Scott Lawrence

Ford Crown vicky, Merk Marq. Lincoln town car. Are the standards of people who use cars for work. Cabs, Police, county and state cars, limo's I have riden in some that had over 900,000 miles one tranie, Had problemls with coffee and soda in the window switches. ( note one with switches on the door pannels had no problems. ) This artical is bias I worked as a line mechanic and only drive Fords. Some of the cars are direct copies of U.S.A. products down to the CNC codes that were highjacked from U.S.A. production lines.

Ronald Leard

To those who cite the Jaguar X Type as an example of a poor quality premium brand car - please note that it is merely a re-skinned and re-trimmed Ford Mondeo V6.


Wonder if there's an American version of this list. Most of these vehicles aren't even available in the U.S., so it doesn't tell us much here.


I have to agree with Juhay, those early 90 Accords were amazing cars...and they would not die. I had one and I wish I remember how many miles were on that when I finally sold it, it was well over 300k and it still ran like a top!


Subaru Forester? I have a 2001 Subaru Forester story for you.

Since I drive my cars into the dust I babied this one, like the others before it. Every fluid changed yearly except for brake fluid. Full synthetic oil from 20,000 miles on. Never washed in an automatic car wash. All “cosmetic” stuff such as wax and cleaners from Griot’s garage. I never inflated the tires at a gas station-ever. Did the job myself when the car was cold and checked the pressure with a Meiser Accu-Gage barometric air gauge from Sporty’s tools.

In April of 2004 I received a notification from Subaru that a “special conditioner” be added to the coolant to “prevent a possible external coolant leak at your vehicle’s cylinder head gaskets.” Subarus were dripping and dribbling all over town. Since then, I have been adding this precautionary elixir at every coolant change.

The car averages a mere 7000 miles a year, so the 36-month warranty ran out at about 22,000 miles. Then the oxygen sensor went. Then the clock blinked out. At 70,000 miles the catalytic converter went. The wheels seem to have deformed slightly and vibrate. The rear brakes have gone too many times to count-strange, but the rear ones go before the fronts. All of the bulbs in the back have been replaced except in the top CPL. When the car was still under warranty I began to hear a sound like air being sucked into a vacuum hose. My mechanic told me it was air turbulence inside the intake system. The sucking metamorphosed into a rustling and then into a whine, which was diagnosed as a defective differential in front, meaning the transmission had to be replaced. The car now had about 80,000 miles on it. My two choices were a secondhand one with the same mileage for $2400 or one “rebuilt by Subaru” for $4500. I chose the former. Five months later, the second transmission also developed the same differential whine. Because I had a 6-month warranty, they gave me another one. Now, 20 days later, there is a whine in this transmission too. Six months over, and I have no recourse.

The local dealership is known for its “award winning” service. (Aren't they all? Judging by those plaques. . .) Early on, there was a recall on the car for reprogramming the engine management computer. They could not reprogram it because it “refused” the new code. They said they would have to order a new computer from Subaru. They were so very kind, so very generous. They said they would give me a loaner car while they replaced the computer. “Look," the Manager said, “this thing is harmless. All it is, is a piece of junk code in the computer. That’s all. It don’t hurt nothin.’" When I got into my car I found that they had placed a certificate of warranty repair on the passenger’s seat. It then became obvious to me that these scoundrels had no intention of working on this car. I never went back.

So I decided to try another dealership. I “tested” them with a simple job of rotating the wheels and an oil change. I placed some very subtle crayon marks on the right-side front and rear tires. When I got the car back it was evident that the tires had not been rotated. I asked to speak with the technician who had done this job. He was “out to lunch.” I never went back there either.

From other dealers I know that the recall on this car is still open. Subaru, the VIN is JF1SF 65541H749293. The fraudulent repair certificate is dated 12/27/2002.

The car’s air conditioner justifies a lamentation in itself. Though I make it a point to turn on the AC briefly even in winter (and the heater in summer), I have been through one episode of short-cycling and three refills of refrigerant. The air conditioner checks out as having the right amount of refrigerant, but it won’t cool adequately. There was a time last summer that the inside air was 2oC cooler than the air outside.

The point of writing all this is that every car manufacturer can turn out a lemon. And secondly, they can, with good advertising (a slogan such as “ultimate driving machine” can help) create an “image.”

My experience is that there is nothing like a Toyota. When I was dirt-poor I bought a used Corolla from Avis. It lasted for 222,000 miles. I later bought a Corolla for my wife. It has 160,000 miles on it and it drives as though it has 40,000. It’s 16 years old, but the AC cools as on day one. Oh, the transmission and catalytic converter? Original and doing just fine.

As for a Subaru? Never again, and I have warned all my friends. Buy a car; not an image. Images don’t get you from point A to point B.


Having owned a couple of these cars I can honestly say it they don't belong on the list

Gavin Roe

The reliability index referenced in the article contradicts (in some cases severely) what the article claims. It lists the X-type for example as a highly unreliable and expensive car to fix (as expected) and has almost a completely different top 10 list on its homepage.

My own personal input as a car enthusiast, test driver, and having lived with many examples on the list is indeed that it is not credible at all.

Any reliability list that spans into the 80's and would not include the legend of Toyota Cressida (mother of the Toyota Camry) is flawed, especially when the same list includes the problematic Mazda 626.

Citroen Xsara has no place in any reliability list, the car is so notorious it sells for 5% of its original price before reaching 10 years of age.

Mazda 929 was famous for its reliability and the cheapest extended warranty. The dealership technician used to tell us the car is bad for their business due to that it doesn't break down and all the parts are excellently engineered for long-lasting hard-work and economy, the car was made to be a techy competition with the Cressida. It should not be out of the top 10 spot. But then we don't know the inclusion criteria.

Judging from the contradition with the source cited, and the comments filled with objections, I think this article should be pulled or rechecked.

Sam Helmy

Hard to believe the Corolla is so far down the list. Hard to believe the word "Acura" appears nowhere on this page.

Todd Jones

This list must be wrong...why are there three Saabs on it!? I mean, I love Saabs but reliable is something they are not...even the GM era ones...

Alexander Moore

Think anyone saying honda are reliable should check out the 35 pages of 10 per page people with clutch failures after around 10k-30k due to a known fault of honda's with them in alot of cases not paying for the repair due to the fact they do not wish to recall all 2.2 i-ctdi versions up until 2009. this for a car brand that has been most reliable for 8 years at one point kinda makes me think that their die hard older age customers might be rating the surveys and not the people who have problems with honda's as there are alot. alot of honda 2.2 owners have slipping clutch and just think its down to the age and get it replaced without knowing its faulty for manufacturer setting on a clutch pedal setting or a few problems with cruise control models. the link below is one of many different forums where people who can be bothered to make remarks have about the faulty parts from honda. i have seen less pages on alfa romeo forums about faulty parts.

warranty companies for most cars being out of warranty period and most drivers do not buy a 3rd party warranty is a pretty bad source. a reliable source for a cars reliability is a cars forums as people join forums to shout about either how great their car is or to find out how to solve problems/faults.

David Gould
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles