Honda and Toyota top the engine reliability ratings

Latest findings by Warranty Direct indicate that if you want a car with the most-reliable engine, buy Japanese. There are also some surprises in the list of worst performers. German reliability is not as strong as many believe, as Audi, BMW and Volkswagen have some of the least reliable engines in their cars.

Warranty Direct studied data from 50,000 consumer policies which showed that the engines to have failed more than any other were from MG Rover. But with an ageing car parc, and low values, cars from this manufacturer are probably the least well maintained out there. Of the manufacturers still in business, Audi topped the list of failures, with MINI finishing a disappointing third. BMW and Volkswagen featured seventh and ninth from respectively in the bottom 10 (see below for full table).

At the top of the table, Japan led the way as Honda and Toyota proved to be the manufacturers with the most reliable power units, while Mercedes-Benz upheld some German honour by taking the third best accolade.

The study of motor repairs also highlighted huge potential costs for motorists. An engine failure on a Range Rover Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct’s highest claim - £12,998.46 - while one dealer quoted £14,853.60 to repair an engine on a Range Rover Sport after it failed catastrophically.

Warranty Direct Managing Director Duncan McClure Fisher said of the study: 'Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they’re the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of the parts and hours or labour required to fix them. The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty.'

Engine Reliability – Top 10 Manufacturers  

  Manufacturer Failure Rate (%) Failure Rate (1 in x)
1 Honda 0.29% 1 in 344
2 Toyota 0.58% 1 in 171
3 Mercedes-Benz 0.84% 1 in 119
4 Volvo 0.90% 1 in 111
5 Jaguar 0.98% 1 in 103
6 Lexus 0.99% 1 in 101
7 Fiat 1.17% 1 in 85
8 Ford 1.25% 1 in 80
9 Nissan 1.32% 1 in 76
10 Land Rover 1.38% 1 in 72

Engine Reliability – Bottom 10 Manufacturers

  Manufacturer Failure Rate (%) Failure Rate (1 in x)
1 MG Rover 7.88% 1 in 13
2 Audi 3.71% 1 in 27
3 MINI 2.51% 1 in 40
4 Saab 2.49% 1 in 40
5 Vauxhall 2.46% 1 in 41
6 Peugeot 2.26% 1 in 44
7 BMW 2.20% 1 in 45
8 Renault 2.13% 1 in 46
9 Volkswagen 1.91% 1 in 52
10 Mitsubishi 1.70% 1 in 59


Fadyady    on 15 January 2013

I am not surprised to see Volkswagen Group motors appearing towards the end of the reliability list. Their reliability is over-hyped. A few years ago the turbo chargers failed on my cousin's Passat a few months after the manufacturer warranty ran out. The fix was so costly he decided to get rid of it and moved back to Mercedes Benz.

Last summer the DSG gearbox on my uncle's four years old Passat packed up. After spending good part of two grands on fixing it he decided to keep it. From these two examples in my family it appears Volkswagen makes cars to last three years only. They develop some expensive problem soon after the warranty runs out.
Couldn't be better for Volkswagen though. They make money selling them. Then they make money fixing them. Makes awful lot of sense in the business world, I guess.

Dr Zoidberg    on 15 January 2013

Mitsubishi in the least reliable engine list?!

Anything to sell warranties?

petegeoff    on 20 January 2013

No surprise there then! I can never understand why people buy so much Eurojunk when they could be buying something decent.

petegeoff    on 20 January 2013

Badge snobbery perhaps? Why else buy Eurojunk!

Falkirk Bairn    on 25 January 2013

Flawed article by an Insurer - they make league tables out of their 50,000 cars............there are 20+million and the insurer's customers and their cars cannot be representative of cars in general.

If you survey within 1/4 mile radius of a friend's house you will find a lot of people die - much higher than the national average - why? the area includes a major hospital

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