Jeep named the most unreliable used car brand as top 10 worst manufacturers revealed

  • Car manufacturers named and shamed for their poor reliability by What Car?
  • Survey of 25,000 owners named best and worst car manufacturers
  • Tesla Model S named the most unreliable used electric car

Time 7:40 am, October 4, 2022

Off-road maker Jeep has been named the most unreliable car manufacturer following a survey of nearly 25,000 owners.

What Car? quizzed owners of used cars up to five years old about how often their cars had failed in the past two years.

The Reliability Survey asked how long repairs took and how much they cost to come up with an overall score out of 100. 

The higher the score, the more reliable the car brand – Jeep scored just 77 per cent.

Individual Jeep models were panned throughout the survey by owners for their unreliability.

Second most unreliable manufacturer was Land Rover with a score of 81.4 per cent. 

The Land Rover Discovery was branded the most unreliable used model when the survey was revealed last week.

Third most unreliable car manufacturer was Fiat, also panned by owners in the survey for regularly breaking down. 

Jim Holder, What Car? editorial director, told Car Dealer: ‘The bottom three is sadly familiar, and tells a tale of companies that repeatedly promise to do better, but who never seem to shift the dial.

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‘Jeep took the wooden spoon with a dreadful set of results and a miserable score. That at least slightly saved the blushes of Land Rover and Fiat – two other perennially poor performers.

‘Land Rover’s ongoing woes highlight once again the disconnect between the brand values and desirability of its vehicles and the ownership experience. 

‘Remarkably, it continues to get away with selling a large number of hugely profitable cars despite this.’

Most unreliable car manufacturers

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, Feb 2022

  1. Jeep – 77.0%
  2. Land Rover – 81.4%
  3. Fiat – 86.4%
  4. Alfa Romeo – 87.3%
  5. Peugeot – 87.4%
  6. Ford – 87.8%
  7. Jaguar – 88.7%
  8. Nissan – 89.3%
  9. Vauxhall – 89.5%
  10. Mercedes – 89.5%

The survey also broke down models by drivetrain and found the least reliable electric car was the Tesla Model S.

Scoring 78.9 per cent – only marginally higher than the worst-performing model, the Discovery – the Tesla was panned for bodywork problems, suspension, sat nav and interior trim issues.

What Car?’s editorial team said: ‘Build quality and reliability are very poor and the heater doesn’t always work.’

The Nissan Leaf was the most reliable electric car, according to the data.

At the other end of the survey, What Car? also named the most reliable car manufacturers and there was little surprise that Japanese firms dominated the top two slots.

Lexus finished first with an overall score of 98.4 per cent, while sister firm Toyota came second with 97.2 per cent.

In third place was Mini – built in the UK at Oxford – with a score of 97 per cent, matched by Mitsubishi, which no longer sells cars here, also scoring 97 per cent.

Most reliable car manufacturers

Lexus UX300e

  1. Lexus – 98.4%
  2. Toyota – 97.2%
  3. Mini – 97.0%
  4. Mitsubishi – 97.0%
  5. Hyundai – 95.8%
  6. Suzuki – 95.8%
  7. Kia – 95.5%
  8. Mazda – 95.2%
  9. MG – 95.0%
  10. Dacia – 94.4%

Holder added: ‘Lexus and Toyota deliver top-class results with such metronomic consistency that it is easy to take them for granted, but anyone doing that should take a look at the results of so many so-called premium brands who are failing to deliver year after year, or so-called brands investing in “customer-centric experience” yet failing to hit the mark.

‘It’s stark that – Lexus and Mini aside – the top 10 is dominated by mainstream brands. 

‘We’ve come to take reliability for granted from our vehicles but, while cars are so much more reliable despite being so much more complex, the What Car? survey highlights that there is a huge difference between the levels offered by the very best and very worst. 

‘The survey shows that what you pay is rarely directly related to the reliability of the vehicle you get and that, as always, buyers need to research carefully before committing to a brand if reliability is a concern.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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