Data from Warranty Direct reveals the motors you can trust
The Reliability Index compiled by Warranty Direct ranks cars according to the number of warranty claims their owners make, the length of time they spend off the road and the average cost of the work they need.
The results make for fascinating reading. In this table, reliability trumps everything – which means it’s topped by some cars you’re unlikely to see being recommended anywhere else. But there are some excellent vehicles in the Top 6 too – and being so trustworthy makes them better than ever.
1: Mitsubishi Lancer (2005-2008)
It’s not very interesting to drive, and neither is it smooth or quiet to ride in. But see past all that (if you can) and the Lancer is spacious and a bargain to buy second-hand. It’s winningly reliable, too – faults are rare and those that do crop up are normally minor and therefore cheap.
2: Honda Insight (2009-2014)
It’s slow and noisy, it rides clumsily and its steering is both over-light and over-sensitive, so the Insight is not a car we’d normally recommend. But it’s exceptionally reliable, to the extent that if that’s what you care about you can still overlook its other foibles.
3: Mercedes-Benz CLC (2008-2011)
Not one of Merc’s better efforts, the CLC feels low-rent inside and neither rides not handles to the standard you expect from a premium maker. By three-door hatchback standards, though, it’s more practical than you’d expect – and it’s also one of the most trustworthy cars you can buy.
4: Honda Accord (2008-2015)
The 2.2 i-DTEC engine was one of the best diesels of its time – it’s hard to believe now that it was the first oil-burner Honda ever made. The Accord was a good, big, well made car with much to recommend it – apart from a high price. The used market has seen to that, though – and in terms of reliability, it’s ageing like a typical Honda.
5: Honda Civic (2000-2006)
It’s a bit rowdy on the road, but the Civic was good to drive and, for its age, pretty ground-breaking in terms of cabin space and dash design alike. It completes a hat-trick of fantastically reliable Hondas, too.
6: Toyota Prius (2003-2009)
This version of the Prius was a paragon of reliability – even if the model that came after it was more user-friendly, more refined and simply better to drive.
So with three out of the top six cars, Honda continues the dominance it always seems to hold in reliability surveys. The best cars here aren’t necessarily the very most reliable, however – but none of them should break your heart so long as you shop wisely in the first place.