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Land Rovers are the least reliable cars in the world!

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Robert Powell takes a look at the sturdiest nationalities of motor...


What gives a car its ‘nationality’?

Ok, obvious question – the country it was built in. But still, in an increasingly globalised world, can you find any common features of cars that originate from the same region, or even continent?

Well, according to new research from What Car? and Warranty Direct, you certainly can on certain features...

Reliability

The survey uses data from the Reliability Index website – a tool that utilises 50,000 live warranty policies and issues each make of car with an index based on repair costs, age, mileage and rate of failure.

And as you can see, the study shows some fairly unanimous results when it comes to the nationalities of cars that fail the least...

Position

Make

Chance of fault in 12 months

Country of origin

1

Honda

9%

Japan

2

Toyota

14%

Japan

3

Suzuki

15%

Japan

4

Lexus

15%

Japan

5

Mitsubishi

15%

Japan

6

Mazda

16%

Japan

7

Subaru

17%

Japan

8

Hyundai

20%

South Korea

9

Kia

21%

South Korea

10

Nissan

22%

Japan

Source: What Car? and Warranty Direct

Japanese manufacturers make up eight of the top ten most reliable cars, with two South Korean makes clinching the eighth and ninth positions. Indeed it seems that East-Asian automobiles are the dominant global force when it comes to reliability, with Honda topping the poll for the sixth year in a row.

And what’s more, a look at the most frequently failing cars reinforces something of an East-West divide over reliability...

Position

Make

Chance of a fault in 12 months

Country of origin

35

Land Rover

55%

UK

34

Alfa Romeo

46%

Italy

33

Renault

45%

France

32

Saab

43%

Sweden

31

Jeep

42%

USA

30

Chrysler

38%

USA

29

MG

37%

UK

28

Mercedes

34%

Germany

27

Vauxhall

34%

UK

26

Audi

33%

Germany

Source: What Car? and Warranty Direct

Yes, eight of the top ten worst cars for reliability are European – with the USA taking up the remaining two spots. The UK appears three times in the list and Land Rover takes the title of least reliable manufacturer with a huge 55% annual probability of a fault cropping up.

However, European cars do appear to have at least one thing going for them...

Repair costs

European cars may fail an unusually large number of times, but when they do, they should be relatively cheap to put right. Or that’s the verdict of the second part of What Car? and Warranty Direct’s research anyway.

Here are the top five cheapest makes of car to fix, according to average repair costs...

Position

Make

Average repair cost

Country of origin

1

Fiat

£241.63

Italy

2

Renault

£242.22

France

3

Ford

£253.92

USA

4

Suzuki

£255.12

Japan

5

Peugeot

£257.33

France

Source: What Car? and Warranty Direct

European manufacturers make up the bulk of the cheapest cars to fix, accounting for seven of the top ten. What Car? suggest that this could be down to something of a continental divide between the type of failures most frequently suffered by various cars. A third of faults found on European cars are down to electrical problems, while around 20% of failures in Subaru, Lexus and Suzuki cars are associated with the axle and suspension.

In essence, East-Asian cars may fail less frequently – but when they do, they’ll probably cost you more to fix. Nevertheless, East-Asian manufacturers are still outnumbered by three to two in the top five most expensive cars to fix...

Position

Make

Average repair cost

Country of origin

35

Porsche

£689.99

Germany

34

Mazda

£462.58

Japan

33

Jeep

£437.81

USA

32

Mercedes-Benz

£428.13

Germany

31

Mitsubishi

£427.98

Japan

Source: What Car? and Warranty Direct

Unsurprisingly, luxury manufacturer Porsche tops the list for the most expensive average repair cost, followed by the Japanese make Mazda.

But of course, reliability and repair costs aren’t the only two factors you consider when purchasing a new car.

Other factors

A car is a big investment. And in the current climate you’ll want to be sure that when you eventually decide to sell off your motor, you’ll get a decent return on it. That’s why it’s vital to check how fast your car of choice will depreciate in value before you part with your hard earned cash.

Car-buying magazine Parkers recently put together their best and worst depreciators over 2010. Here are the top five cars that will hold their value the best...

Position

Make and model

Cash lost during 2010

% loss

Country of origin

1

Kia Picanto

£1,247

20%

South Korea

2

Kia Rio

£1,642

22%

South Korea

3

Daihatsu Terios

£1,818

14%

Japan

4

Fiat 500

£1,943

22%

Italy

5

Volkswagen Polo

£1,987

22%

Germany

Source: Parkers

Again, the chart is dominated by East-Asian manufacturers with the South Korean make Kia clinching the top two spots, followed by Daihatsu – a Japanese manufacturer.

The research also found that a competitive depreciation rate is mainly determined by the initial purchase price, with 36 of the top 50 places held by smaller, cheaper cars. This is confirmed when looking at the top five worst depreciators – a chart that is dominated by large luxury car manufacturers such as Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Of course, the reliability of a car will also factor in to its resale value. Which is why it’s no surprise to see Kia – the ninth most reliable car in the What Car? survey – take the top two spots in Parkers’ depreciation study.

The cars that depreciate the fastest has some more information about the motors that lose their value the quickest, including a type-by-type breakdown of the worst depreciation offenders. And for some facts and figures on the thriftiest cars to fill up at the pump head over to The 10 cheapest cars to run.

What do you think?

Are Japanese and South Korean cars really the most reliable?

Let us know using the comment box below.

More: The silly car mistake that risks your life | Your Sat Nav could get your home burgled! | Seven top ways to pay for a new car

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