Reliability Index - nick
I see the latest Warranty Direct reliability index has just been published. Some surprises there. But it is interesting to see how the cars are rated. The figure they come up with is a measure of number of breakdowns and the cost of them. Thus Subaru don't do too well because although they rarely breakdown, the cost of repairs is high. Conversely, Fiat break down much more but have a lower repair cost and come out as a better bet.
Personally, I'd much rather have a car that breaks down once a year and costs £1k to fix, than a car that breaks down 5 times at £200 each time.
And is the sample from WD truly representative?
Any thoughts?
Reliability Index - Aprilia
I think it was explained in a previous thread about WD that their index is more of a 'cost of breakdown repair' index rather than a 'how often it breaks down' index.

E.g. A car with one breakdown costing £1000 to fix will rate lower than a car with nine breakdowns that each cost £100 to fix.
Reliability Index - peterb
Isn't there a case for looking at costs as % car price rather than absolute costs?

Let's face it, you'd expect (and put up with) higher repair costs on an Imprezza than a Punto.
Reliability Index - Cardew
Am I alone in not understanding how to interpret the Reliability Index?

Is it as simplistic as some contributors to this thread assume? e.g. A car having 4 x £200 repairs will have a better(lower) Reliability Index than a car with 1 x £900 repair.

For instance the Subaru Impreza has a reliability Index of 276 with an average repair cost of £1,106. If its average repair cost was 50% of that figure i.e. £553, would the reliability index be 138?
The guide gives the average age and mileage for each car - is that factored into the equation?

Reliability Index - J Bonington Jagworth
It does seem to echo the popular myth that cars must be cheap to fix. I know plenty of people who would always choose, say, a Ford or Vauxhall over Japanese (or even German) because of perceived expense. Presumably, they are used to breakdowns and assume that all cars are like that!
Reliability Index - eMBe {P}
I presume all of you above have followed HJ's news item to the right of this thread titled "What the AA and RAC Don?t Tell You, Wed, 24 Sep 2003 " ??
Reliability Index - CMark {P}
HJ, I am going to keep my mouth shut on this one ;-)
Reliability Index - terryb
Hi Mark

Me too, although to be fair the only Jeeps in the list are yer standard Cherokees and there are other marques with higher repair costs (he says hopefully).

Reliability Index - Phoenicks
So which is the more definitive indication of reliability - JD Power of Warranty Direct?

It seems like different ways of collating details but for the same conclusions. Personally i agree to the earlier comment about having one £1000 breakdown to 5 £200 breakdowns.

I'm a bit confused on this...
Reliability Index - Dave E
J Bonington Jagworth writes

"It does seem to echo the popular myth that cars must be cheap to fix. I know plenty of people who would always choose, say, a Ford or Vauxhall over Japanese (or even German) because of perceived expense. Presumably, they are used to breakdowns and assume that all cars are like that!"

For me it goes like this.

Collectively owning various VW's, Fiat's and Alfa,s - all very unreliable, no surprises really with the Alfa.

Now we have the latest Mondeo, 2yrs old, up to date perfect. A six year old Fiesta, a new battery, brake discs and brake cylinders ( not technically breakdowns, wear and tear.) An MX5 still to new to judge but screwed together so well, supremely confident it will be as reliable as the survey says. Previously owned Marks 1,2,4 & 5 Escorts all 100% reliable. Escort Mk4 was actually the booted Orion version but what's in a name? The car did 96k with just a battery and a replacement wheel hub at 75k.

The thing is with the latter is that I replaced it with the Alfa, that I then replaced with a Mk5 Escort after 18 months of grief. Out and about in the new Escort, what do I see trundling around almost 2 years after I sold it? The old Orion, albeit looking a bit shabby but still going strong.

Taking in all the above, why would I consider buying anything but a Ford? It is certainly not because they are cheap to repair, which they are. Quite simply they do not break, so cheap repairs is not a consideration.

I will say again what I think I have already said on this website. The current Mondeo is the most satisfying car I have ever owned. I have driven and been driven in most of what is on the road in the same bracket and the only thing I think that comes near is the A4 and that is nasty inside.
Reliability Index - NVH
Interesting to note how some of these statistics come about. I have a copy of a German index published annually.
Some of the most obvious failures are missing, because it is based on the equivalent of MOT (TUV) fails.
the TUv are pretty strict. People tend to scrap or sell obvious failures for export. So some types of failure never appear, but there are loads of statistics about lighting, electrical, brakes etc.
Reliability Index - Aprilia
In Germany you can buy 'special edition' magazines with the ADAC (German 'AA') breakdown data and TuV ('MoT') inspection data. Taken together these two make very interesting reading. The ADAC also lists replacement parts prices, recalls etc. and gives a brief review of each model. Both organisations are very large and the TuV inspect just about every vehicle in Germany, so the statistical confidence level is very good.
I have read these magazines every year for several years and I've noted that the ADAC data is in good agreement with the Which? magazine surveys; i.e. Japanese at the top, with BMW/Audi/Merc a bit lower and good recent improvements from Ford. French and Italian hold up the bottom.
Reliability Index - Aprilia
Must agree that the new Mondeo is very good indeed. The 'Duratec' engine is a Mazda design (UK ones sourced from a Ford plant in Mexico, I think) and they've done away with the cambelt and gone to chain - should be reliable.
Reliability Index - J Bonington Jagworth
I just knew that someone with a Ford would prove me wrong!

Really, I was talking about the attitude of people a few years ago (or those, like me, who subscribe to bangernomics), but it was prevalent then.

Everyone speaks as they find, of course, and some of us are luckier than others...
Reliability Index - nick
It does seem crazy that it is so difficult to get hold of reliable objective data on car reliability. I take JD Power with a pinch of salt as it is based on opinions and expectations, ditto Top Gear, and the WD sample of cars is not representative with the weighting given to repair costs being somewhat subjective.
Even looking at the way the market values cars is subjective as the value of a car is only what someone will pay for it and is thus based on the prejudices and opinions of a load of individuals.
The best source in the UK is probably inside trade knowledge, such as provided by HJ, but even HJ (despite being as close to motoring divinity as is humanly possible) must have his own favourites and bias.
It's all very confusing and my head now hurts. I'll stick to Subaru and hope the reputation is deserved.
Reliability Index - T Lucas
I think the big leasing companies like Lex or Hertz have got the most comprehensive data,their fleets are huge,all bought new,run for usually no more than 48 months and all kinds of mileages.
As far as i know their imformation is kept very much in house,but i'm sure there would be a market for it.
Reliability Index - peterb
"I take JD Power with a pinch of salt as it is based on opinions and expectations"

Question is, what do you want?

If you want to be satisfied, use JD Power. If you want low maintenance costs, use these new figures. If you want high absolute reliability, then there's no perfect anwere, but buying Japanese reduces the risk.
Reliability Index - Phoenicks
As Warranty Direct dont pay out on a 'wear and tear' item is this truely indicitive of how reliabile a car is and how much the costs of ownership problems are, as opposed to the JD power survey in which owners state how they feel about running costs and repairs?

Reliability Index - Cardew
As stated earlier I cannot make sense of this Reliability Index.

If my maths is correct you can work out that they have repaired 41 Subaru Imprezas and the time/cost for repair averages 9.53 hours and £1,106.

However for the figures to give any indication of Reliability surely it is necessary to know the sample size of Imprezas they are looking at. The 41 repairs could have been carried out on a total on cover of, say, 10 cars or 1000 cars.

It is obvious from the figures that the Impreza is expensive to repair but how does one deduce that they don't break down very often?

The other puzzle is that the average age of the Impreza is given as 3.35 years. Now as a Subaru has a 3 year warranty - and one assumes you will not take out the cover until that expires - it would appear that all these expensive repairs are necessary just after expiry of the warranty.

Or am I missing something?

Reliability Index - hxj

I think that the simplest place to start is with the 'Reliability Index'. At 276 this shows that the Subaru is 2 3/4 more expensive to run as far as failures go than the average and many times more expensive than the best. This index appears to be based upon the entire population of the car and so sample size should cancel out.

I wouldn't rely on a differnce of 20% showing anything, but 175% clearly means something.

It is also interesting to note that they have greatly reduced the range of cars on which they provide information. Presumably because of sample size or age related issues.

It is sinply a guide and an interesting guide, nothing else, after all if I really wanted an Impreza then the index would be irrelevant.
Reliability Index - v0n
Not so long ago we were discussing Reliability Index and if I remember correctly the shocker at the time was Fiat on second or third place. The very same Fiat since summer switched places with Ford and entire list shuffled around too. But the main problem still remains - Warranty Direct reliability index doesn't actually tell you that Ford is more reliable than Honda. It just indicates that in particular a range of Ford cars sold with Warranty Direct extended warranty was more reliable this month than Hondas sold with the same papers. It could be that Daewoo is more reliable than both (it's just an example guys, ok?) but the range is just too cheap for anyone to buy an extra £300-400 extended warranty on them. Or perhaps Volvo or Nissan is so reliable that people just don't buy extended warranties on them at all. Maybe Mitsubishi or Audi scores so bad because the only people buying online extended warranty on them are those few that have a hard driven, broken down car on their driveway.
And other issues - like long term reliability, Warranty Direct don't sell warranties on cars with more than 100k on the clock, so maybe that top scoring Mazda will fall apart at 101k while stinker BMW will drive for another 20 years and 150k miles? If you think about it there is just too many factors to take a reliability survey prepared by warranty dealer seriously.
Reliability Index - Dizzy {P}
vOn, I agree with you 100%.

Bear in mind though that WD published the index solely for the purpose of generating publicity and it has achieved this, so top marks to them for initiative.

Reliability Index - googolplex
The best source in the UK is probably inside trade knowledge,
such as provided by HJ, but even HJ (despite being as
close to motoring divinity as is humanly possible) must have his
own favourites and bias.

I am often concerned that pages, such as on this site, can start a ball rolling which gives a certain brand an unfair reputation, either positive or negative. Its very hard to be objective based on pure "gossip" although certainly inside trade knowledge has a big part to play. The point of surveys such as JD Power, and this reliability index, is to make this data more objective and less gossip-driven. Surveys have their shortcomings but have an important part to play. Like many things in life, you have to consider all the information available and make your own judgements on how reliable it is.

Value my car