Most reliable car brands: BMW bottom of the heap as mainstream models dominate

Most reliable car brands: BMW bottom of the heap as mainstream models dominate

Manufacturers from the Far East have dominated the latest survey into car reliability as premium brands fall behind more mainstream offerings.

Brands from South Korea and Japan took the top three places in the annual JD Power Dependability Study, with Hyundai ranked the most reliable brand in the UK.

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It was followed by Japanese manufacturer Suzuki and another Korean brand, Kia, ahead of Skoda and Nissan.

At the opposite end of the table, German premium brand BMW was ranked worst for dependability, below Fiat, Audi and Land Rover.

Mercedes was the highest ranked of the premium brands – at 14th.

Five most reliable brands

  1. Hyundai
  2. Suzuki
  3. Kia
  4. Skoda
  5. Nissan

Fault finding

The JD Power study is one of the biggest surveys of reliability and customer satisfaction in the country and each year rates manufacturers and models based on customer experience.

The study measured problems experienced during the past 12 months by 13,000 original owners of vehicles in the UK after 12-36 months of ownership. It examined 177 problem symptoms across eight categories ranging from engine and transmission to communication, entertainment and ventilation systems.

Five least reliable brands

  1. BMW
  2. Fiat
  3. Audi
  4. Land Rover
  5. Citroen

Overall dependability was determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The top 13 brands in the UK for vehicle dependability were all “volume” brands.

Failing technology

Josh Halliburton, head of European operations at J.D. Power, said this could in part be down to the more complicated in-car technology offered by high-end manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Land Rover.

He commented: “Automotive systems are more complex than they’ve ever been and premium brands especially are incorporating autonomous driving building blocks—adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking—into their models.

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“It’s imperative for manufacturers to address this issue in order to improve the level of consumer trust in the technology.”

As well as the overall top spot, Hyundai won a segment award for its i10 city car. The Skoda Octavia and Yeti, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Vauxhall Insignia and Peugeot 208 were also rated the most dependable in their respective segments.

The full survey results

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