Most and least reliable cars 2000 – 2010

Honda – one of your all-round best choices, either side of the pond

This is drawn from different sources for either the 2000-2010 time frame or for 2010 [click links to find out more].  It applies to the UK and Canada/U.S.A.  Obviously, cost, comfort, handling, design, appointments, fuel economy, marque and purpose are also vital criteria of satisfaction, plus how well off you are.

I don’t mean specifically the asking price but the maintenance costs.  For example, the Porsche is reliable but when it does go wrong, it’s also the most expensive of the production cars to repair.  The most disappointing, to me, were the Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

Looking at everything and given having the asking price, methinks the Miata sounds the best bet for my purposes although convertibles are not necessarily the best choice for the UK.  Here is a review of excellent affordable sports cars.

And you?


This is Money

Which? most reliable new cars

1 Kia Picanto – 98.1%
2 Mazda3 – 97.6%
3 Daihatsu Sirion – 97.0%
3 Honda Insight – 97.0%
5 Honda Jazz – 96.2%
6 Toyota iQ – 96.1%
7 Toyota Prius – 95.4%
8 Volkswagen Golf Plus – 93.3%
8 Mercedes-Benz SLK – 93.3%
10 Mazda2 – 93.2%

Which? least reliable new cars

1 Land Rover Discovery 3 – 67.8%
2 BMW 3 Series convertible – 73.9%
3 Hyundai Santa Fe – 75.0%
4 Renault Mégane CC – 75.7%
5 Volkswagen Eos – 75.7%
6 Land Rover Range Rover Sport – 75.8%
7 Jaguar S-type – 76.0%
8 Ford Focus CC – 77.2%
9 Citroën C4 Grand Picasso – 77.4%
10 Volvo S80 – 77.6%
10 Ford S-Max – 77.6%

The reliability index best

1 Toyota Corolla 8.35
2 Mazda MX-5 14.88
3 Honda HR-V 14.91
4 Honda Jazz 18.53
5 Nissan Micra 18.95
6 Honda Civic 19.30
7 Volvo S40 19.34
8 Toyota Celica 19.43
9 Mazda 323 19.60
10 Honda CR-V 24.22

The reliability index worst

1 Audi RS6 686.98
2 Jaguar XK8 370.63
3 Mercedes SL 361.39
4 BMW Z3 358.32
5 Jaguar XKR 326.51
6 Land Rover Range Rover 314.17
7 Audi Allroad 287.78
8 Mercedes V-Class 270.50
9 Mercedes S-Class 262.94
10 Jeep Cherokee 259.28

What car 2010 ratings [click to enlarge]


BMW had a bad year, with five of its 11 models scoring below average
Six of Mercedes-Benz’s 13 models were below average, and the GLK SUV was far below average.
Nearly three-quarters of the Audi models Consumer Reports analyzed were below average.



Honda Civic, Fit, Accord, S2000, CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey, Ridgeline
Toyota 4Runner, Highlander, Echo, Prius, Camry, Solara, Celica, Land Cruiser, Sienna, Tacoma V6 (’05-09)
Volkswagen Rabbit
Scion xB
Mazda3, 6 (4-cyl.), MX-5 Miata
Subaru Impreza (nonturbo), Forester, Tribeca, Baja
Mazda Protegé
Ford Fusion (FWD), Mustang (V6), Escape Hybrid
Mercury Milan (FWD), Mariner Hybrid
Lexus ES, IS, SC, RX, GX (except ’08-09), LS, GS (RWD)
Lincoln MKZ, Zephyr (FWD)
Infiniti I30, I35, G, FX35 , QX4, M35
Hyundai Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe (V6)
Volvo S60 (FWD)
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (V6, RWD)
BMW Z3, Z4 (’00-06)
Nissan 350Z
Porsche 911
Mitsubishi Outlander
Kia Sportage (’05-09)

Worst [alphabetically]

Audi A6 Allroad
Cadillac SRX, STS (V8)
Chevrolet Aveo, Blazer, Colorado (4WD), Monte Carlo, S-10 Pickup (4WD), TrailBlazer (V8), Uplander, Venture
Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Town & Country
Dodge Caravan (V6), Grand Caravan
GMC Canyon (4WD), Envoy (V8), Jimmy, S-15,  Sonoma (4WD)
Jeep Commander, Wrangler (four-door)
Kia Sedona
Lincoln Aviator
Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Mini Cooper Convertible
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Pontiac Montana, Montana SV6
Saturn Relay
Volkswagen Cabrio, New Beetle (turbo), Passat (V6, FWD), Touareg
Volvo XC90 (6-cyl.)

Globe and Mail

Most reliable car: Porsche Boxster
Least reliable cars: Audi A6 3.0T and Jaguar XF
Most reliable brand: Scion
Least reliable brand: Chrysler

Top 10

1. Scion
2. Porsche
3. Acura
4. Honda
5. Infiniti
6. Toyota
7. Subaru
8. Volvo
9. Lexus
10. Ford

7 comments for “Most and least reliable cars 2000 – 2010

  1. October 27, 2010 at 15:23

    I have no pretensions t owning a fancy car. The second hand Toyotas the not-wife’s brother sources for us are perfectly fine. Our 20 year old Corolla would have done us for a fair few years yet had it not been stolen
    The new Corolla, a mere stripling at 8 years old is a good runner which meets our needs.

    Better still her brother maintains it with no labour charges and parts at cost, so we can’t complain!

  2. October 27, 2010 at 19:52

    That’s the thing, isn’t it – to find that car you’re comfortable with and which keeps going.

  3. Rossa
    October 27, 2010 at 20:59

    Stick with my 5 series Beamer thanks. 3rd one in 12 years. Does what it says on the tin. It’s a motorway cruiser but then that’s what I bought it for. The longer wheelbase means it soaks up the bumps in the road. Also the most comfortable car I’ve ever driven. I can get out after 5-6 hours without feeling I’ve done a long journey so great for our occasional trips to the South of France.

    It is also the only car I have ever got into after a Ryanair flight back from Carcassone, where I had backache from being crammed into a small seat. Friday night so murder on the roads but you know what? I got out this end with no backache and completely relaxed. Just put on some music and let the car take the strain.

    In terms of reliability and cost I can’t fault it. The first one was unfortunately stolen, but had 197,000 miles on it on a 2.5 litre petrol engine and still ran a dream. Nothing major ever went wrong. It was 12 years old so the electrics were a bit dodgy but hey great motoring.

    Same with the next 2. My ex bought my old one off me last year, now aged 12, 140,000 on the clock and still going strong. My “new” one is now 9, just over 50k on the clock and wouldn’t swop it for anything newer or more mainstream. Cost me less than 4k to buy (25k worth of car) which was the same as a Vectra of the same age, but higher mileage. No contest. Insurance is less than £300, she does over 30mpg which with the way I drive is good for a car that weighs 1.5tons.

    And best of all, heated seats for my cold bum on a winter’s day…absolute bliss!

    My 500+ miles in the next few days will be a doddle. I’m actually looking forward to the drive. Shame I can’t say the same for the roads or some others I have to share the roads with!

  4. March 16, 2017 at 09:53


  5. Penseivat
    March 16, 2017 at 14:59

    On my 2nd Hyundai covering the last 15 years. No street cred so would only be stolen by a thief wearing L plates. However, comfortable, reliable, good for both urban and motorway travel and basically does what it says on the tin. Been very lucky in buying the demonstrators giving me cars with less than 50 miles on the clock at used car prices. Past experiences lead me to believe that Citroen and SEAT are foreign words for ‘crap’!

    • March 16, 2017 at 17:28

      Amazing how these things reappear.

      I was driven around a bit in a Sonata, think that’s Hyundai and it was a nice car, was thinking of getting one.

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