Skoda trounces £54,000 Jaguar in reliability test

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The Independent Online

Some of the most expensive cars in Britain are among the most likely to break down, says Which? magazine. An astonishing one in four Jaguar XJs in its survey, costing up to £54,000, conked out last year.

Some of the most expensive cars in Britain are among the most likely to break down, says Which? magazine. An astonishing one in four Jaguar XJs in its survey, costing up to £54,000, conked out last year.

Second most unreliable among cars up to two years old was the compact Peugeot 106, selling for up to £12,500. That was followed by the Land Rover Discovery, £34,400, and the old BMW 3-series at £47,600.

Next was the Audi A4, £37,500, and the Vauxhall Omega, £33,000, both letting down 16 per cent of their drivers. The least troublesomewere the Hyundai Accent, £10,800 and the Toyota RAV4, £22,000 - both with 100 per cent reliability records.

On average, 6 per cent of cars up to two years old broke down in the past 12 months, says the report. "Evergreen" vehicles such as the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civicremain among the most reliable and there were other good performers motorists do not usually associate with reliability.

For years, Skodas were the butt of jokes, but the Felicia had the last laugh, says Which? Only 2 per cent of the vehicles gave up the ghost over the past year. Owners of the Rover 600 also seemed to have had a relatively trouble-free time with only 3 per cent breaking down.

But reliability of the Peugeot 106 has plummeted, research shows. From only 3 per cent at fault in last year's survey, this year that hit 19 per cent. Many owners were less than happy with their cars. Rover was rated the least popular, followed by Citroen, Vauxhall, Ford and Fiat. Despite the record of the XJ model, 75 per cent of Jaguar owners would recommend their cars.

Owners were asked to report "irritating rattles or squeaks" or problems with air bags, for example. Nissan with its Almera, Micra, and Primera and Toyota with the Corolla and RAV4, led the field.

At the bottom were the Citroen Xantia, Ford Galaxy, Land Rover Discovery, Renault Laguna and the Vauxhall Omega and Vectra. Renault Laguna owners were irritated by rain seeping in. Vauxhall Omega owners had troublesome dashboard switches and "dodgy" control stalks.

Which? best buys among super-minis was the VW Polo, £14,460; small family cars, Toyota Corolla £16,200; large family cars, the Nissan Primera £22,200 and the Peugeot 406 £27,000; the executive Jaguar S-type £37,600 and multi-purpose Renault Scenic £18,300.

* The Japanese car company Honda has cut prices on average by 9 per cent.

The average price of a Honda Civic is being reduced by between £500 and £1,300.

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