Consumer NZ survey reveals most trusty cars

More than 11,000 members provided reviews of their cars.

Skoda owners are a satisfied bunch, with 95 percent of those who responded to a Consumer NZ car reliability survey saying they would buy the same make again.

Once regarded as a laughing stock of European brands, the Czech car has had a major uplift in quality and popularity since being taken over by Volkswagen. People should not have been surprised to see it come so high on the list, but they definitely would not have been surprised to see so many Japanese makers there

The most reliable models from this survey were the Honda Civic, CRV and Jazz; Hyundai i30; Kia Rio; Mazda2 and 3; Mitsubishi ASX and Lancer; Nissan Tiida, Suzuki Swift, and the Toyota Corolla, Prius and Yaris.

Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Suzuki makes again scored highly in Consumer NZ’s survey of 11,209 members. The makes were all given an ‘above average’ reliability rating by their owners.

As well as rating cars for their reliability, respondents also provided satisfaction ratings and stated whether they would buy the car again. Skoda scored the highest in both these categories.

Questions about vehicle models saw the Toyota Hiace came out on top. Ninety-three percent of those who reviewed the van said they were satisfied or very satisfied and all said they would buy the same model again.

Other car models that did well for satisfaction were Toyota Prius, Kia Cerato, Mazda CX-7, Suzuki Sx4 and Hyundai Getz – all were given a ‘satisfied or very satisfied’ rating by their owners.

Those models with the least satisfied owners were Holden Captiva, Nissan Murano, BMW 1 Series, Nissan Primera and Volkswagen Passat.

Respondents were asked about the problems they’d had with their vehicles and heading the list was electrical faults.

Thirty-six percent of 4-wheel-drives had at least one problem compared with 31 percent of 2-wheel-drives.

Diesel-powered vehicles were slightly less reliable than petrol vehicles - 38 percent of diesels and 32 percent of petrol vehicles had at least one problem. Used imports were slightly less reliable than NZ-new used cars.

10 most likely cars to be bought again: Skoda, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Toyota, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Subaru, Volvo

10 models least likely to be bought again: Renault, Daihatsu, Holden, Peugeot, Land Rover, Citroen, Mini, Jeep, Ford, Volkswagen

The full results can be found in our car reliability article.

Member comments

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Peter D.
01 Feb 2015
Used cars information

About a year ago I found consumer reports on used cars. Eg, a list of makes and models with reliability and recommendations. I can't seem to find any thing quite so helpful. Has information been lost in the reformatting?

Paul S.
02 Feb 2015
Why no used car recommendation?

Hi Peter,
We did have more information about used cars. That info hasn't been lost - we chose not to continue to make specific recommendations about new or used cars, as we don’t have the resource to test them. Any recommendations wouldn't be subject to the same rigour we apply to our product tests. However, our car survey shows reliability and satisfaction data from 11,209 cars – broken down into brands, models and model year groupings (with a minimum of 30 responses). We think this is a fantastic resource to be used with your own research on cars suitable for your particular needs.
Cheers, Paul - Consumer NZ staff