Comparison: The most and least reliable small cars

The tiddlers guaranteed to get you where you’re going – and the ones that may struggle… 

Rob Adams
Thursday 30 November 2017 11:46
comments

Brits love their small cars. They sell more than any other type of vehicle, so that ought to give us a green light to be picky. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for a small car to be reliable, should it?

To find out, a big reliability survey earlier in 2017 asked over 14,000 people about whether they’d suffered any faults over the past year. Here, we’re drilling down the data into the small car section, to see which of the 21 models performed the best – and which drew small praise.

1. Honda Jazz 100%

Yes, you’re reading that right. The Honda Jazz boasted perfect reliability, a complete absence from faults. You’d think it a statistical impossibility, but all the Jazz owners who fed back to us disagreed. Just for further validation, look at the previous version of this car: even that still sits in fourth place in the overall rankings…

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/honda/jazz?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners

2. Toyota Yaris 94.2%

Even though it’s not as impressive as the Honda Jazz, over 94% is still a pretty impressive score. The newest models are, literally, completely fault-free: it’s only a few bodywork grumbles afflicting older cars that let the side down.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/toyota/yaris?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners

3. Audi A1 93.1%

Interestingly, the five-door Audi A1 Sportback sits ahead of its older three-door sibling in the fault-finding rankings. It’s more gremlin-ridden older cars that chip away at the score – regardless, overall, only 17% of A1 owners reported a fault; even when they did arise, they were rectified in less than a week.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/audi/a1?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners

So those are the stars of the supermini sector… which, then, are the models that should be ashamed of themselves? These three superminis are, says our survey, the most fault-ridden in the country…

19. Volkswagen Polo 58.8%

If only everything in life were as reliable as a Volkswagen? It’s a good job it’s not, judged by these results. One in five Polo owners reported a fault, which isn’t good for a brand that trades on its dependability. It seems the air con is the most troublesome part, while the engine stop-start system is also temperamental.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/volkswagen/polo?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners

20. Mazda 2 52.7%

Mazdas are normally reliable, but petrol-engined versions of the Mazda2 supermini seem to be the exception to the cause. A whopping 1 in 10 of cars in Britain has suffered a fault with the fuel system, for example, while the air conditioning system is also problematic.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mazda/mazda2?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners

21. Nissan Note 48.6%

How’s this for an unenviable fact: more than 1 in 3 British Nissan Notes has been afflicted by faults. 18% of them are electrical issues, but 14% of them report suspension issues – and engine issues hit a full 10% of petrol-engined models.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/nissan/note?utm_source=thisismoney&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Media%20Partners


The most reliable small cars in Britain – ranked

Rank

Brand

Score

1

Lexus

92.1%

2

Mitsubishi

90.8%

3

Toyota

89.6%

4

Suzuki

86.6%

5

Alfa Romeo

85.8%

6

Honda

84.9%

7

Hyundai

84.8%

8

MG

83.4%

9

Ford

82.1%

10

Subaru

81.8%

11

Kia

81.3%

12

Audi

80.4%

13

Skoda

80.1%

14

Mini

79.6%

15

Porsche

78.3%

16

Mazda

77.9%

17

BMW

77.6%

18

Vauxhall

76.4%

19

Dacia

75.9%

20

Renault

75.4%

21

Seat

75.2%

22

Volkswagen

74.7%

23

Mercedes-Benz

70.4%

24

Fiat

70.2%

25

Volvo

62.3%

26

Jaguar

61.9%

27

Peugeot

56.7%

28

Citroën

55.2%

29

Nissan

52.7%

30

Tesla

52.4%

31

Land Rover

50.6%

32

Jeep

42.1%

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