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New Warranty Direct Reliability Survey

Thu, 01 Dec 2005
Press Release

The cars most likely to give British motorists the lion’s share of an annual £680 million financial headache have been revealed.

New data using thousands of claims handled by independent automotive warranty firm, www.warrantydirect.co.uk, names the cars that just can’t stop breaking down.

The worst offender in the factual reliability survey, based on more than 26,000 vehicles built between 2000 and 2002 (W to 02 registration plate), was the Renault Espace with a staggering 71 percent failure rate – almost twelve times more than the best placed model, Honda’s Civic. Eighty popular models were included in the study. A complete listing is available at www.reliabilityindex.co.uk.

Sharing the second worst position was an off-road favourite, the Jeep Cherokee and Saab’s 9-5 executive model, both with 55 failures in every 100 vehicles; they were closely followed by the Ford Galaxy and Volvo C70 with 54 breakdowns each.

Sixth from bottom in the respected Warranty Direct study was the stylish Audi TT with 51 out of 100 owners recording a mechanical failure of some degree. The luxurious Jaguar XJ, Vauxhall Frontera, Volvo V70 and Renault Laguna completed the inauspicious bottom ten.

Based on the study sample, thirty percent of cars will breakdown during the course of a year, leaving owners having to fork out an average repair bill of £310.66. With an estimated 7.2m cars*1 aged 3-5 years old on the road that’s a massive £677million on unforeseen – and unwanted repairs annually.

Ironically, the poor reliability performance of Jaguar’s XJ was in stark contrast to the manufacturer’s entry-level X-Type executive runner, which, according to Warranty Direct has so far only caused a headache for 9 percent of owners. It was fourth overall.

Top of the pile was the old-shape, Swindon-built Honda Civic with just six failures for every 100 vehicles. Two more Japanese models – the ever-present Mazda MX-5 (7 percent) and Nissan Micra (8 percent) were just behind.

"These are real cars, real claims and genuine bills. They are the statistics that really count when you weigh up what used car to buy," explained Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct. "It is hard to recommend a vehicle to someone when seventy percent of owners have had to have remedial work done to it over the past twelve months.

"The fact that nearly half of the eighty models we analysed will break down more than the national average simply isn’t good enough."

Britain’s best selling model, the Ford Focus was 26th (20 percent rate of failure), just behind its archrival the Vauxhall Astra in 25th. Other notables were the Vauxhall Corsa (11 percent), Volkswagen Golf (31 percent), Mercedes A-Class (36 percent), and Land Rover Freelander (42 percent).

The data is based on a minimum of 100 examples of each model.

Bottom Ten Performersand the cost of putting right

Pos
Model
Likelihood of failure
Average cost of repair
Largest Claim
1
Renault Espace (97-02)
71%
£373.82
£1,975.67
2
Jeep Cherokee (93-01)
55%
£474.34
£2,500.00
3
Saab 9-5 (97-01)
55%
£308.29
£1,324.57
4
Ford Galaxy (00-)
54%
£331.78
£1,996.69
5
Volvo C70 (97-02)
54%
£271.44
£681.29
6
Audi TT (99-)
51%
£453.41
£4,673.81
7
Jaguar XJ8 (97-03)
50%
£282.40
£577.89
8
Vauxhall Frontera (98-03)
46%
£691.81
£1,988.12
9
Volvo V70 (00-)
46%
£410.78
£1,879.26
10
Renault Laguna (00-04)
43%
£325.95
£898.17



Top Ten Performersand the cost of putting right
Pos
Model
Likelihood of failure
Average cost of repair
Largest Claim
1
Honda Civic (99-)
6%
£339.30
£953.57
2
Mazda MX-5 (98-05)
7%
£255.59
£282.47
3
Nissan Micra (98-02)
8%
£93.21
£205.32
4
Jaguar X-Type (01)
9%
£924.16
£1,982.50
5
Vauxhall Corsa (00-)
11%
£346.89
£768.99
6
Lexus IS200 (99-)
11%
£298.36
£1,355.23
7
Volvo V/S40 (96-04)
14%
£168.77
£722.09
8
Skoda Octavia (98-04)
16%
£157.52
£337.07
9
Mercedes SLK (96-04)
16%
£454.67
£1,890.49
10
Audi A4 (01-)
17%
£219.56
£535.29

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