The UK’s most and least reliable cars have been named, with strong showings from mainstream brands and disappointing results for premium manufacturers.
Peugeot has emerged as the top brand for cars between one and three years old in the annual JD Power Dependability Survey.
The French manufacturer beat Skoda and Hyundai at the top of the table for the cars with fewest faults.
Of the recognised premium brands, only Volvo made it into the top ten, with disappointing results for many well-known high-end makes.
The JD Power survey used data from more than 11,000 car owners to track the number of faults experienced in cars registered between November 2015 and January 2018.
It measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) across eight categories and 177 symptoms.
By brand, Peugeot recorded the lowest PP100 – at 77. German premium car maker BMW, with a score of 181 PP100 was the poorest performing manufacturer for the second year running. Other high-end brands, including Audi, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz also fell well beneath the industry average of 119 PP100.
JD Power dependability ranking
The study found that car’s entertainment and navigation systems presented the most problems across all brands, with 16.6 PP100 in the audio, communication, entertainment, navigation (ACEN) category.
While that was a decrease on the number last year it was still higher than any other category and suggests that the increasing complex functions in such systems are causing owners headaches.
The study also found that more advanced safety systems such as blind spot monitoring, collision avoidance and lane departure warning systems were responsible for 2.4 PP100, while other “features/controls/displays” technology such as alarms, cruise control and keyless entry caused 1.5 PP100.
The fact that such systems are more commonly fitted to premium cars than mainstream models may help explain why premium brands fared so badly in the survey and the figures showed that they occurred more often in high-end cars. Problems with anti-collision systems were reported twice as often in premium brands (4 PP100) than in mainstream ones (1.8 PP100).
“When we look at the PP100 scores of relatively new safety technologies, it’s clear that manufacturers still have work to do to perfect those systems—particularly premium brands that use them as a major selling point,” said Josh Halliburton, head of European operations at JD Power.
“It’s also going to be vital for vehicle makers to win customer trust in this technology if they are to convince potential buyers that fully automated vehicles in the future will be reliable. For example, such buyers are quite likely to question the safety of self-driving cars if brands still struggle with the accuracy of their navigation systems.”
The study also tracked the best-performing models across some of the main segments. Volkswagen and Vauxhall both claimed top spot in two categories with the Up, Tiguan, Insignia and Mokka/Mokka X ranked highest in their class. Mainstream models also made up the bulk of the model rankings, with only Mercedes representing premium brands in two segments.