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Tuesday 25th September 2012

Europe's most (and least) reliable used cars

Expensive doesn't necessarily mean trustworthy



In the runup to the unveiling of much shiny new machinery at the Paris Show (we'll be there of course, scooping away), we thought it was worth reminding PHers that you do have a choice apart than new - ie used.

And if it's reliability you're after, a survey of 20,000 warranty policies recently carried out on European cars between 3 and 6 years old by Warranty Direct named the W211 Mercedes E-Class (2006-) as Europe's most reliable used car. Its 10% failure rate was 5% better than the next best car, Skoda's Fabia.

It was a good result for a company that's still trying to shake off the spectre of build quality issues from the early 2000s. Having said that, Mercedes also had two cars in the least reliable top ten, the SL and the CLS.

WD says that 85% of these had faults
WD says that 85% of these had faults
'Bottoming' the least reliable list is the '04-'09 model Land Rover Discovery 3, with 85% of examples covered by Warranty Direct recording a fault in the first 12 months. The RR Sport didn't exactly cover itself in glory either. With cars from the same company (Jaguar) doing pretty well in customer satisfaction surveys these days, it seems odd that Land Rover should be having such bother. Let's hope the upcoming Range Rover redresses the balance a bit.

The '03-'10 Bentley Continental GT did poorly too - 78% of them needed attention in the first year.

Top 5 Most Reliable (and most common fault)
Mercedes E-Class (axle/suspension)
Skoda Fabia (electrical)
Smart ForTwo (cooling/heating)
Volvo C70 (electrical)
Renault Scenic (axle/suspension)

Top 5 Least Reliable
Land Rover Discovery (axle/suspension)
Bentley Conti GT (electrical)
Renault Espace (engine)
Mercedes SL (axle/suspension)
Land Rover Range Rover Sport (axle/suspension)

Matt Bird
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Hellbound

Original Poster:

2,240 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Ooooo....three Brits are in the bottom five. The Espace isn't even built anymore so no loss in buyers there right?

The E class is the everyman's car. Taxi, motorway commuter, even family estate. It ticks a lot of boxes.

750turbo

3,937 posts

110 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Why are there no current French models in the bottom 5?

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!

Or is it because they are not actually that bad now wink

Fire99

8,653 posts

115 months

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Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Not great that Discovery's and RR Sport's are down there. I really can't see an excuse for this.

Beefmeister

11,954 posts

116 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Is that the only photo you could find of that generation E-Class? One that's been 'slammed and dealt with'?

CampDavid

8,678 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Espace is still made, just Renault UK don't import it
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Hellbound

Original Poster:

2,240 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Beefmeister said:
Is that the only photo you could find of that generation E-Class? One that's been 'slammed and dealt with'?
I know! I wonder why they went out of their way to use that awful pic?


bogie

10,158 posts

158 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
20,000 across all of them is hardly a good statistical sample is it ?

surely 20,000 of each brand or model would give a better idea ...or percentage of each brand under warranty


B10

766 posts

153 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Disco and RR sport share much. The problems on both seem to be suspension related and are similar on both. The Conti is based on a VW Phaeton. So are we talking about the Dresden made cars (sone early examples were made in Germany) or those made at Crewe. Also are the problems related to non-UK sourced components, ie engine etc?
I make these points before some Clasrkson troll talks about Britich cars of the 70s.

Frimley111R

5,701 posts

120 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Hellbound said:
Beefmeister said:
Is that the only photo you could find of that generation E-Class? One that's been 'slammed and dealt with'?
I know! I wonder why they went out of their way to use that awful pic?
Probably because it is more interesting than a std pic of an E-Class tbh.

hairykrishna

9,792 posts

89 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Hellbound said:
Beefmeister said:
Is that the only photo you could find of that generation E-Class? One that's been 'slammed and dealt with'?
I know! I wonder why they went out of their way to use that awful pic?
Maybe they were illustrating the most common fault - that orange one certainly looks like it has knackered suspension.

LouD86

2,191 posts

39 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
If you look at it, its nothing to do with the new cars either! Most models have revamped. Its 3-6 year old vehicles only, normally on the second owner by then

y2blade

54,388 posts

101 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Top 5 is interesting.
bottom 5 are as expected.

jon-

13,621 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
bogie said:
20,000 across all of them is hardly a good statistical sample is it ?

surely 20,000 of each brand or model would give a better idea ...or percentage of each brand under warranty
20,000 people who've chosen to purchase extended warranties too...

900T-R

19,429 posts

143 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Right, so the E-Class is the 'most reliable' and the damn-near-identical-under-the-skin CLS among the least reliable...

bertie

6,307 posts

170 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Hellbound said:


The E class is the everyman's car. Taxi, motorway commuter, even family estate. It ticks a lot of boxes.
But nothing says "I've given up and become middle aged" better than an E Class, I can't think of anything duller!

cure

197 posts

31 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Espace is quite accurate judging from my experience, as the engine caught fire and destroyed my fathers' car. Otherwise a very good package, and only ate a wheel-bearing before it spontaneously combusted. I liked it.

Digga

13,563 posts

169 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
B10 said:
Disco and RR sport share much. The problems on both seem to be suspension related and are similar on both.
Apparently a failure of the compressor (both models - the same underpinning as you rightly say - have self-levelling, multi-level air suspension) which is not too costly but does virtually immobilise the vehicle upon failure, as it drops to the bump stops.

There is also another issue (in six years of Disco ownership I have had one instance) where the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve fails and puts an oninous looking warning light on the dash. Works okay-ish though and doesn not cause any engine damamge, just an occasional sluggish throttle until valve is replaced.


IIRC in both cases, you're looking at about £400 for parts, plus fitting...

More here: http://www.disco3.co.uk/forum/faults-fixes-d3-vf10...

LankyPaddy

49 posts

153 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Any chance of seeing the full list?

surveyor

7,523 posts

70 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
It's either a useless survey or a useless article.

No years for the vast majority of the cars, just a vast generalisation

Espace is a prime example - 1.9 engines had a habit of letting go. not least as Cam-belt change was very expensive - so I bet loads did not bother. Later 2.0 dci has a chain.

Devil is always in the detail, but as this is based on a Warranty Direct press release there will not be much of that...

BBS-LM

3,841 posts

110 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Really?

5:00AM BST 26 Jul 2012

"If you're in the market for a used car and crave reliability above all else then seek out a model from Honda, Toyota or Lexus.
That's the advice of an annual survey carried out by What Car? and Warranty Direct, which carried out research based on 50,000 Warranty Direct policies on cars between three and 10 years old."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9426806/A...
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