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Toyota Corolla 'Most Reliable' Older Family Car

In an analysis of its warranty claims records for cars three to five years old, Warranty Direct has found that the 2001 - 2007 Toyota Corolla is the most reliable slightly older family car.

The analysis – based on around 30,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies – shows that the UK-built Corolla suffers the fewest brakedowns of just 7% each year on avearage.

At the other end of the scale, the 2002 - 2012 Renault Espace and Mercedes R-Class from 2006 are the most likely to leave you stranded, with three quarters of all owners suffering significant garage bills.

The latest Warranty Direct study analysed three to five-year-old cars from the small family, family and MPV categories.

Hon Civic S Side 700

Honda’s Civic from 2006 and 2002 - 2008 Accord are also among the most dependable family vehicles, both with claim rates of 10% but separated by the Accord’s more costly maintenance bills.

Hon Accord D T F34 700

Top 10 most reliable family-sized cars 

Make

Model

Range

Claim / break down rate

Largest claim

Sector

Most common reason for claim

Toyota

Corolla

(01 - 07)

7

£1,397.96

Small Family

Axle & Suspension

Honda

Civic

(06 - )

10

£980.10

Small Family

Electrical

Honda

Accord

(02 - 08)

10

£1,658.80

Family

Engine issues

Mazda

3

(04 - 09)

10

£1,672.04

Small Family

Braking System

Toyota

Auris

(07 - )

11

£528.22

Small Family

Cooling & heating System

Toyota

Prius

(03 - 09)

12

£3,257.87

Family

Axle & Suspension

Ford

C-Max

(07 - )

14

£828.90

MPV

Electrical

Ford

Mondeo

(07 - )

15

£1,130.80

Family

Electrical

Nissan

Qashqai

(07 - )

16

£1,066.00

Family

Electrical

Peugeot

308

(07 - )

16

£728.80

Small Family

Electrical

Maz 3 06 Fl Side 700

Used car buyers looking for a reliable family vehicle should also consider the Mazda 3 and another UK-built car, the Toyota Auris from 2007, which succeeded the Toyota Corolla.

 Toy Auris F34 700

The Toyota Prius, Ford C-Max, Ford Mondeo, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 308 make up the rest of the top ten.

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Most cars will go wrong at some stage but there’s nothing worse than the family’s excitement at setting off on holiday being destroyed by a morning spent on the hard shoulder.

“And, as well as the inconvenience to your holiday, a breakdown can also put a serious dent in your wallet.”

Electrical issues and axle and suspension troubles cause the majority of claims, with the latter often a result of a collision with a pothole or other road defect.

The only European manufacturer to make Warranty Direct’s top 10 rundown is Peugeot, with its 308 – the majority hail from Japan. In contrast, no Asian manufacturers feature in the 10 least reliable vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Peugeot 807 attracted the largest individual bill with a claim for repairs totaling nearly £5,000.

10 least reliable family-sized cars 

Make

Model

Range

Claim / break down rate (%)

Largest claim

Sector

Most common reason for claim

Renault

Espace

(02 - )

74

£2,756.88

MPV

Axle & suspension

Mercedes

R-Class

(06 - )

74

£1,815.68

MPV

Electrical issues

Vauxhall

Vectra

(02 - 09)

57

£2,524.00

Family

Axle & suspension

Renault

Grand Scenic/Scenic

(04 - 09)

57

£2,421.96

MPV

Electrical issues

Renault

Megane

(02 - 09)

56

£2,250.00

Small Family

Electrical issues

Skoda

Superb

(02 - 08)

55

£3,690.71

Family

Axle & suspension

Peugeot

807

(02 - )

48

£4,975.00

MPV

Cooling & heating system

Volkswagen

Passat

(05 - )

47

£2,224.09

Family

Axle & suspension

Peugeot

407

(04 - )

46

£3,701.25

Family

Braking System

Volkswagen

Touran

(03 - )

46

£2,595.19

MPV

Axle & suspension

There are some surprises amoung the ten 'least reliable' cars, including the Skoda Superb and VW Touran, though the inclusion of the 2005-2011 VW Passat confirms our own feedback.

Up-to-date vehicle reliability information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.com website.

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information or for a quote, go to www.warrantydirect.co.uk

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