Top 5 Most Reliable Cars in the UK

Victor Faeda

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Top 5 Most Reliable Cars in the UK

Last updated on: July 4, 2024

Nobody likes having car problems, and few things are more inconvenient than breaking down on the side of the road. Knowing what are the most reliable cars you can buy will help you make an informed decision and have a trouble-free experience.

But how do you quantify reliability? Defects and failures are part of car ownership and may seem random to a certain extent. However, you can have a good idea of which models have a good history of reliability by using statistics. J.D. Power has determined the most reliable cars in each segment by looking at the number of problems reported by owners over 3 years of ownership. The study covered several problem areas, from the powertrain to the infotainment system and even the seats.

While the results pertain to cars acquired back in the 2021 model year, some of these models are still on sale in the UK today. So, the results are still valuable for those looking to buy a brand-new car in 2024. Here’s a look at the most reliable cars across some of the most important segments in the UK market.

 

Most reliable cars in the UK A red 2019 Toyota Corolla

 

Compact Hatchback: Toyota Corolla

 

Toyota is known for its robust quality control processes and has been a stalwart of reliability for several years. The company was named the most dependable mass-market manufacturer by J.D. Power, and its parent Toyota Motor Corporation amassed 9 individual accolades for its models across the Toyota and Lexus brands.

Hatchback cars continue to be the number one choice of many British drivers. Buyers in this segment are fundamentally looking for affordability, and having a dependable car goes a long way toward saving money on expensive repair bills. The current-gen Corolla – in the market since 2018 – is the biggest proponent of that, offering a perfect mix of reliability, fuel economy, and practicality.

 

Most reliable cars in the UK A grey 2019 Lexus ES

Premium Saloon: Lexus ES

Lexus has ranked in the highest position in dependability for the second year in a row according to J.D. Power, beating its parent company, Toyota, in the process. In production since 2018, the ES is still one of the best saloon cars you can buy today.

Known for its refined and quiet ride, the ES offers a blend of elegance, safety, technology, and of course, reliability. All of this makes it an excellent choice for drivers looking for the luxurious, yet hassle-free experience that is often so hard to find in this segment.

 

Most reliable cars in the UK A white 2020 Lexus NX

Compact SUV: Lexus NX

The second out of 4 categories won by Lexus in 2024. This is the only entry on this list that you cannot currently buy new. That’s because the results of the study refer to the 2021 model year NX, which was the final year of production for the previous AZ10 generation. The current-generation AZ20 Lexus NX entered production in late 2021 as a 2022 model, just missing out on the scope of the test.

It is a completely new design and rides on a brand-new platform, which means it probably doesn’t share many components with the old one. That said, you still can find plenty of low-mileage last-gen NXs in good condition. Plus, Lexus has a proven track record of reliability, so there’s a pretty good chance the new NX will score highly on the 2025 test anyway.

 

Most reliable cars in the UK A silver 2021 BMW X6

Premium Coupé-SUV: BMW X6

BMW is not always a name that’s associated with reliability, but the German automaker has been making great strides in that department. In the 2024 test, BMW ranked third overall among premium brands, behind only Lexus and Porsche. It also took two individual awards, with the small last-gen X1 joined by the larger, current-gen X6.

2020 was the first model year of the current X6, meaning that owners who took part in the test bought some of the first cars off the production line. The fact that they encountered few problems means that BMW nailed the engineering of the new X6 straight off the bat, which is a great sign for the Bavarians moving forward.

 

Most reliable cars in the UK A white 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

Sports Car: Porsche 718

Porsche was the most improved manufacturer in terms of reliability compared to last year. Perhaps more surprisingly, the 718 platform (a catch-all term for all versions of the Boxter and Cayman) took the overall crown as the most dependable model of 2024 across all segments.

Renowned for its perfectly balanced handling, the 718 proves that a sports car doesn’t have to be a burden on your finances, either. That should help make your next trip to the Porsche dealership much easier to justify…

 

Conclusion

Assessing vehicle reliability is often a difficult task. Online forums or other discussions are filled with horror stories from disgruntled owners, and it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. That’s why statistical data, like that provided by the Vehicle Dependability Study by J.D. Power, is an essential tool in helping consumers make more informed decisions.

Whether you are looking for an affordable city car, a practical and luxurious family SUV, or something a little more fun to drive, there is a reliable car out there for everyone. While “your mileage may vary”, choosing a historically dependable vehicle is a solid first step toward successful, stress-free car ownership.

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