Small cars are a growing sector, so we look at the most and least reliable
The UK market loves small cars, many of them city cars, and it’s a sector which is not only growing but also increasing in sophistication and luxury. But with more sophistication can come more complexity and with that can come more problems. To find out which cars are going to prove the most reliable, it makes sense to ask owners of the cars.
That’s what a recent survey did, it asked over 14,000 owners to catalogue their experiences over the previous year. This took into account the amount of time the car was off the road, the cost of the repairs, and much else besides. When all the numbers and facts were crunched, this is what the outcome was:
1. Honda Jazz 100%
You’d think that scoring 100 per cent was actually impossible, but the Honda Jazz managed it. This is for the latest version, but the previous one still managed fourth place. So, lots of owners, and no reported problems at all. Truly remarkable.
2. Toyota Yaris 94.2%
With only about five per cent of owners reporting any problems, the Yaris deserves its second place. As with the Audi A1 – below – it also seems that the problems start with age. We can all relate to that. Even so, most of the reported problems were minor bodywork issues, so not the sort of thing to strand you in the dark.
3. Audi A1 93.1%
It looks like the older the car gets, the more the gremlins appear – which may not be a rocket-science observation. The five-door Sportback scores more than the three-door version, and that three-door was available a couple of years before the five-door. Any of them seemed to become more problematic with age, but even so, only 17 per cent of owners had any sort of problem.
If those podium finishers leave you feeling optimistic and cheerful, then we have an antidote to such Tiggerish attitudes. Here come the Eeyores, the three worst performing small cars in the survey.
19. Volkswagen Polo 58.8%
More than one in five had a problem with their new Polo. Air con issues accounted for more than half the problems, along with issues with the infotainment screen and reversing camera. Rather more worryingly, others had problems with the stop-start technology, where only the first part of that duo actually worked.
20. Mazda 2 52.7%
It’s a surprise to see VW down the bottom here, and another one to see Mazda here. It seems to be the petrol-engined Mazda 2s that are the issue, with 10 per cent of owners reporting problems with the fuel system. Others, more predictably, had problems with the air con and other tech ancilliaries – see, when you didn’t have air con or sat nav in your city car, it couldn’t go wrong.
21. Nissan Note 48.6%
The only car to score under 50 per cent in the survey, with over a third of cars having problems. Issues weren’t just confined to electronics like air con either – suspension, engine and engine electrics all came in for criticism, making this the least reliable car in the survey.
The most reliable small cars in Britain – ranked