Breaking Bad: Warranty Direct Lists the 10 Least Reliable Cars of the Last 15 Years

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While we have no problem replacing everyday products such as DVD players and cell phones with new ones once they go bad, if the same thing happens to our car, it's a whole different story, and rightfully so, since automobiles are the second largest investment in most single family households.

Cars tend to be much more complex than most household appliance and face seriously more adverse conditions day-in, day-out. No matter how good the car is or how much carefully you maintain it, at some point, something is bound to go wrong.

Which is the reason reliability is of such importance, especially when looking at used cars. UK’s Warranty Direct insurance company has studied more than 200,000 live and historical policies since 1997, when it started recording data for its Reliability Index.

The insurance company ranks more than 450 individual models taking into account elements such as how often a car breaks down, average age and mileage and repair costs.

Celebrating 15 years in the business, Warranty Direct has published its Reliability Index list. Below you can see the least reliable cars in Britain for said period: the lower the rating the most reliable the car is and vice versa.

Even though some of the cars included may come as a surprise, there’s a simple explanation: these are expensive cars with a lot of complex features. So not only are there more things that can fail but when they do, they come with an eye-watering repair bill, too.

According to Warranty Direct, the Porsche 911 (996) features in the 10 least reliable cars of the last 15 years, even though it features the best annual incident rate of the group, at 39%, because of its hefty average repair cost of £847.52.

"The same can be said for prestige brand, Mercedes, whose cars feature three times in the bottom 10 places on the list," states the insurance company. "The SL, for instance, breaks down less often than almost every other car in the lowest-ranked group, but high repair costs places the car near the foot of the rankings."

Remember that the next time you come across a temptingly priced dream on wheels, if you can’t afford the running costs of a new one, then it’s more than likely you can’t afford maintaining a used one, too. So, proceed at your own peril…

By Andrew Tsaousis


The Least Reliable Cars, 1997-2012

Note: Reliability Index (RI) rating not based purely on failure rate; the lower the RI rating, the more reliable the car overall

 

1. Audi RS6
Year of manufacture: 2002-2011
Reliability Index rating: 1,282

 

BMW-M52. BMW M5
Year of manufacture: 2004-2011
Reliability Index rating: 717

 

Mercedes-Benz-SL3. Mercedes-Benz SL
Year of manufacture: 2002-
Reliability Index rating: 555

 

Mercedes-Benz-V-Class4. Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Year of manufacture: 1996-2004
Reliability Index rating: 547

 

Mercedes-Benz-CL5. Mercedes-Benz CL
Year of manufacture: 2000-2007
Reliability Index rating: 512

 

Audi-A6-Allroad-quattro6. Audi A6 Allroad
Year of manufacture: 2000-2005
Reliability Index rating: 502

 

Bentley-Continental-GT7. Bentley Continental GT
Year of manufacture: 2003-
Reliability Index rating: 490

 

Porsche-9118. Porsche 991 (996)
Year of manufacture: 2001-2006
Reliability Index rating: 442

 

Range-Rover9. Land Rover Range Rover
Year of manufacture: 2002-
Reliability Index rating: 440

 

Citroen-XM10. Citroen XM
Year of manufacture: 1994-2000
Reliability Index rating: 438