Car reliability

Our survey of the most reliable cars.

Aerial view of cars in parking lot.

Which cars are reliable? Our survey shows which car brands are best for reliable motoring, which vehicles have the most satisfied owners and which cost the least to maintain and repair.

Which cars are the best to own? It’s not just about reliability. Our members also told us why they bought their cars, what they loved about them, and what left them cold.

Search our database of 94 models across 19 makes and tap into the experience of the owners of 9736 cars.

Overall best model: Nissan Leaf
Overall worst model: Ford Territory

About our survey

We analyse models with more than 30 samples.

Reliability

  • Owners told us about serious, major and minor faults that happened in the past year. Cars with no serious, major or minor faults are trouble-free. Our reliability index is calculated from serious, major and minor faults – with more weight given to serious faults.
  • A higher index score is better. Our index accounts for the age of cars in the survey, so models with more older cars aren’t penalised unduly.

Satisfaction

  • We asked owners how satisfied they were with their car and specific aspects of its performance.
  • Answers were rated on a scale from zero to 10; we considered a rating between eight and 10 as “very satisfied”.

Learn more about our car reliability survey here or see our database to compare all results.

Small car reliability

White Toyota Yaris.

Most reliable: Toyota Yaris/Vitz/Echo
Index: 78% (204 cars)

Whether a New Zealand-new Yaris or an imported Vitz or Echo, this Toyota has more trouble-free cars than average (59%), despite the sample having more pre-2010 cars than average. In particular, fewer owners reported trouble with the engine, transmission, drive system or chassis (suspension, steering and brakes).

Red Holden Barina.

Least reliable: Holden Barina
Index: 30% (36 cars)

When asked: “Given your experience with this car, would you have chosen the same make and model when you did?”, fewer owners than average would choose a Barina again (81%). Many owners ended up hot and bothered, or had a hot and bothered car – the most common faults reported were with the climate system and engine cooling.

Medium car reliability

Nissan Leaf.

Most reliable: Nissan Leaf
Index: 89% (181 cars)

It’s not just ditching the petrol pumps that satisfies Leaf owners – more owners than average were very satisfied with their car’s comfort, driving performance and safety features. Leaf owners were least likely of all to follow a strict service schedule (only 39% do), yet only 1% spent more than $500 on unscheduled repairs in the past year.

White Peugot.

Least reliable: Peugeot 306, 307 and 308
Index: 22% (41 cars)

This euro model, whether the oldest 306 generation (12% of the cars in our survey), later 307 (32%) or latest 308 (56%), recorded the highest proportion with serious or major faults of any of the 81 models we analysed (46%). A quarter of owners (27%) reported a serious failure in the engine or transmission.

Large car reliability

Toyota Aurion.

Most reliable: Toyota Aurion
Index: 72% (45 cars)

Only three large car models beat the overall average reliability index of 54% – the Aurion was a step ahead of the next two with just 7% of owners reporting serious or major faults. If your Aurion suffers a fault, it’s most likely to be a minor problem with body hardware or the audio/infotainment system.

Blue Ford Falcon.

Least reliable: Ford Falcon
Index: 18% (53 cars)

Owners reported serious or major faults in 42% of Falcons. Most likely sources of problems were the suspension and brakes, though more problems than average were also reported with the engine, drive system, steering, exterior lights, paint, body hardware and interior equipment. The exhaust and fuel systems weren’t bad, though.

SUV/Crossover reliability

Blue Subaru XV.

Most reliable: Subaru XV
Index: 88% (56 cars)

The top model of 2018 still holds up a year on. The oldest only date from 2017, but so far most are free of even minor niggles (88% were reported as trouble-free), which is a good sign for the future. No XV in our survey suffered even a minor engine, gearbox or drive system fault.

Ford Territory.

Least reliable: Ford Territory
Index: 15% (42 cars)

Like the related Ford Falcon, Territory owners reported more serious and major faults than average (40%) and fewer trouble-free cars (31%). That meant a quarter of them spent more than $1000 on regular servicing and preventative maintenance in the past year, and two-fifths spent over $500 on unplanned repairs too.

Compare car reliability across 19 brands and 94 models.

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