Japanese cars head the table for reliability

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The Independent Online
Japanese cars are both the best buy when new and the most reliable according to a survey by Which?, the Consumers' Association's magazine.

For new cars, Nissan, Toyota and Mazda come top in three out of the four categories of the Guide, with Rover sharing one of the awards.

In the supermini class the guide recommends the Nissan Micra as the best buy, while the Rover 200/400 - which is based on the Honda Concerto - is joint best buy with the Mazda 323 of small family cars.

In the large family car class, the Nissan Primera and the Toyota Carine E are rated the best for the second year running.

However, Which? feels unable to recomend a car from the executive class because it feels that they are overpriced, given they depreciate in value very quickly in the first couple of years.

For example, a Citroen XM loses half its pounds 26,000 cost in the first two years after purchase and the guide recommends that purchasers look at buying nearly new cars.

From a survey of 33,000 different cars belonging to Consumers' Association members who replied to a questionnaire, the researchers found that Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Proton, Mitsubishi and Toyota cars fared better than average when considering driver satisfaction, rust resistance, and day to day running costs as well as reliability.

All those faring worse than average were European manufacturers - Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Lada, Peugeot, Renault and Vauxhall.

Which? Guide to new and used cars, 1994.