Driving Seat

7 of the most reliable cars to keep you on the road

Nobody likes breaking down. We depend so much on our cars and it’s frustrating when they’re out of action. And there’s nothing worse than being stranded on the roadside or hit with constant repair bills.

Reliability may sound boring but it’s a truly important factor for car buyers to consider. So we’ve chosen our favourite trustworthy cars, collated from driver satisfaction surveys and warranty issuer information.

Here are seven of the most reliable cars you can depend on.

Honda Jazz

Honda is one of the most reliable car brands and the Honda Jazz is a compact hatchback that consistently features in lists of reliable cars.

It’s one of the most practical cars in its class with plenty of space in the boot and back seats. It’s also a very safe car, with all but the most basic models now available with the Driver Safety Assistance pack as standard.

The new generation Honda Jazz also comes with even more interior space and a reworked and stylish exterior design.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen’s trademark German engineering and build quality abounds in this supermini hatchback. It always appears in driver satisfaction surveys for reliability.

With a Volkswagen Golf you can also be confident of a EuroNCAP 5-star safety rating. City Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Blind Spot Monitoring all come as standard and contribute to a very safety orientated vehicle.

The Golf is also very economical as standard, and the upgraded BlueMotion models achieve high miles per gallon for lower running costs. Golf's are also renowned for their practicality with a spacious, user friendly interior and impressive handling.

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the car world’s most iconic roadsters, and recently made our list of the best convertible cars. But it’s also one of the most reliable cars too.

The MX-5 is a two-seats sportscar that doesn’t cost the earth to buy and comes with a reputation for reliability not usually found in a convertible. The new generation Mazda MX-5 also has lower running costs and higher fuel efficiency than its predecessor.

Lexus GS

Lexus is renowned for being a reliable car brand, having appeared in several recent driver satisfaction surveys. And its GS saloon is a reliable executive car praised for its performance and high-quality build.

The Lexus GS 300h model is a great choice for low running costs too with a combined fuel consumption of over 55 mpg. For the most cost effective variant, you might want to consider the GS model fitted with a hybrid drivetrain, which is even cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly.

Skoda Octavia

Skoda was recently awarded the title of ‘most reliable car brand’. So it’s no surprise the Octavia hatchback saloon is commended for its reliability and practicality. It’s also good value for its class and comes with plenty of space inside.

The Octavia has a discreet exterior and stylish interior and uses much of the car tech from the Volkswagen Golf, making it a good mid-range option.

And the Octavia’s other big selling point is its low running costs. The standard 1.6L TDI in particular is impressively fuel efficient, while the Green Line III variant can achieve over 80 miles to the gallon.

BMW 4 series

More reliable German engineering is at hand for the BMW 4 series coupé, a renamed and upgraded version of the 3 series. BMW has also made serious improvements to the engine, resulting in a top 10 finish for driver satisfaction surveys.

Reliability aside, it’s also a great car to drive. The styling is slick and it’s a rare four seater coupé with plenty of space in the cabin. The 4 series diesel is also impressively economical, or there is a convertible model with a folding steel roof.

Toyota Yaris

Toyota engineering is renowned for its mechanical reliability, and the Yaris supermini is a great example. It’s a popular, cheap-to-run hatchback and also comes in a hybrid version.

The new Yaris has upgraded interiors with great in-car technology. And there’s plenty of space for passengers and luggage. It’s also a very safe car to drive.

Keeping your car reliable

The secret to driving a reliable car is keeping it in good condition and taking it for regular services. You should also check out any niggles and noises as soon as they develop.

Remember also that new cars come with a warranty to cover problems. And some brands offer extended warranties, which both protect you and keep the resale value high.

Explore our ‘best cars’ series