There was a time when European cars were the most reliable cars money could buy, these days though, the Europeans might be the innovators and still leading the technology in cars, but when it comes to reliability, the Japanese have won the game hands down, even the Koreans are doing better than some of the European / American brands.

  Manufacturer Incident Rate
1 Mazda 8.04
2 Honda 8.90
3 Toyota 15.78
4 Mitsubishi 17.04
5 Kia 17.39
6 Subaru 18.46
7 Nissan 18.86
8 Lexus 20.05
9 Mini 21.90
10 Citroen 25.98

The world’s biggest surveys that investigates the reliability of more than 450,000 cars aged from three to nine years old was carried out by Warranty Direct, an independent automotive warranty specialist company. The survey looked into the reliability of vehicles from 33 manufacturers in daily use in the USA and the UK.

The company then drew up a ‘Reliability League Table’ showing the number of mechanical failures reported for every 100 vehicles covered by its warranty policies.

Interesting to note there that apart from Mini, Kia and Citroen, all other manufacturers in the top 10 are Japanese. Surprisingly though, Kia was rated number five with a score of 17.39%, which is a fantastic score as it puts the Korean manufacturer over such names as Subaru and Nissan. What is even more interesting though is that Hyundai, Kia’s parent company is not listed in the top 10!

Other manufacturers which performed relatively poorly in the list include

  • Porsche (27.48%)
  • BMW (28.64)
  • Mercedes (29.90%)
  • Audi (36.74%)
  • Land Rover (44.21%)
  • Jeep (46.35 %)

I guess the Jeep Warranty Complaint we recently covered sheds some light on that! Its interesting to note though, that if you buy a Jeep or a Land Rover there is nearly 50% chance that something will go wrong and it will require warranty work.

  • F!LL

    See, you should have bought a Mazda like I did. Lowest incident rate (apart from the self inflicted kind…) and a nice car to boot!

    I know you’ll get back to me with all the “FWD cars suck” and “AWD cars are the dux nuts!” but meh…

    Mazda3 SP23 FTW!

    • Haagen-daa2

      I got my SP23 a month ago and I have absolutely loved it, every second. My wife loves it too. :)

      • F!LL

        Great to hear. Have had mine for a couple of months now. Did a trip from Melbourne to Adelaide and back a couple of weeks ago. It went like a dream. Planning to drive to Brisbane in summer.

  • alborz

    Hehe, Actually I am convincing the folks to buy a Mazda 3, they are great cars to get around in, but they are not sports cars 😀 … well… I’d take a last generation RX-7 anyday, I’d even consider an RX-8 (both rear wheel drive).. but the Mazda 3 (SP23/MPS) just doesn’t do it for me, too much torque steer.

    • JooberGTi

      TorqueSteer… Maybe only the MPS not the SP23…

    • LowRezFez


      Confirms my decision to buy Honda for reliability. After 2 VW Golfs I have had enough, just too many issues.

  • Jason

    Funny how all the European cars are so far down the list

    • nellar2002

      That’s primarily because the Europeans (Germans) do most of the technological (as well as styling) innovation while the Japanese wait to see what the bugs are before they use it, and Hyundai flat out copies everbody else.

      What you see on an Audi or Mercedes now will show up on a Japanese car five years from now.

    • ABMPSV

      Shut your c*nt mouth! Euros rule. Everything else is trash.
      Love from,

  • Astro

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that the european brands are way off from the Japanese in terms of quality/reliability.

    Interesting to see Mazda and Honda being placed in front of Toyota.

    Zoom Zoom!

    • Stef

      Zoom Zoom indeed. Love my MX-5!

  • alborz

    Toyota is still up there, but I think the more they cut corners to increase sales the more reliability will drop,
    The Yaris is a good example of a car which has had a make over by the plastic police.

    • Eric

      You where proved right.


  • kearton

    how do old Jags go on problems

    • Little Mini Major

      not too gr8 from what i’ve heard. avoid like the plague!!!!

  • Rick

    “There was a time when European cars were the most reliable cars money could buy,”

    when was this?
    Perhaps in 1895 when Benz built the first car?

    • Legnab

      Hahahahaha . keep telling those porkies , Rick , you can’t afford a euro to save your pathetic life . go enjoy your crummer . you’ll join it in the grave one day very soon . bogan 4 lyfe . hahahaha

  • Darcy Dunbar

    European cars may not be as reliable initially, but they are often more durable. Look at the over 20 year old cars on the road and the Euros will be proportionately better represented. VW is a case in point with quite a few niggling minor problems in the first few years of ownership but long service life from engines and gearboxes (and rustproof bodies in the later cars).

  • Sam

    wow, those results are…..astounding

    mazda and honda are quite literally half that of those that follow them? imagine looking at those results more accurately on a bar graph, anyone would dismiss it as nonsense.

    according to this, a lexus (somewhat well known for their reliability) is less reliable than a kia? whats more disturbing is toyota is supposed to be even more reliable and they are lexus!

    my father had a land rover discovery, and put it through its paces at least every few days driving in the outback, taking trips betweem kalgoolie and perth. had it for a good 10 years, serviced regularly and everything was fine right up until he sold it. had the fantastic BMW engine in it too, was soo tough

    this report just doesent seem to make sense to me.

    • milla

      to me seems it’s on of those statistics that are 99% statistically wrong, hahahaha

  • Nigel

    Just remember that if you are stupid enough to buy a mazda, when it has a problem, mazda will have no idea how to fix it.
    Then they will lie to you or try to make out it’s your fault.
    If anyone here wants a 1 year old mazda 3 let me know, I’ll gladly sell it to you.

    • maximark

      Same for Nissan. My T31 Xtrail has the transmissions replaced 2 times,and the problem is still there, they have no idea how to fix it or diagnose the problems, I have been to 2 WA Nissan service centres( Northside Nissan & Morley Nissan) and they are all the same; unhelpul,careless,poor knowledge of their own vehicle.

  • Andrew

    And where does Suzuki come in @??? I have bought a new Suzuki Jimny and the biggest problem was the dealer installed bonnet and weather deflectors, absolute rubbish…. Although they had written on them under Suzuki ‘Made In Australia’, need i say more????

  • Edward

    To Nigel,

    Too bad you got the “rotten apple”, but in terms of all around service, quality, reliability, Mazda has got them all beat. Try taking your Mazda 3 to another dealer to have it serviced. Maybe you’ll have better luck with them.

  • robert

    I had a 1997 Ford Laser (made by Mazda) for 10 years – serviced myself (most dealers overcharge) 160,000km never had a problem – 1 set of new tyres – set front brake pads sold privately (the paintwork was as new) My Mazda SP23 6 speed manual with stability control is 12 months old – brilliant no problems and never get less than 8L / 100km on a run about 7.5
    I have had many other cars but reliability is from Japan – same with electronics

  • Oz.

    Agreed :)

  • Acronyms

    Kia? No way. I work as a mechanic and trust me it can’t be true.

  • Starfish

    I thought Honda is better then a Mazda lol

  • Charmed

    I’ve been looking for 6 months now at cars. Because of the petrol thing, I’ve gone from looking at 2Lt cars to less than that.
    My research has show apart from the warrenty, Mazda has the best Small car safety, Best petrol price and to me is the beat looking small car around. I have no idea why most small cars these days look so crap. It’s beyond me why they can’t make nice looking small cars. Mazda is my choice now and I’ll be getting a Brand New Neo when I can get the money together.. My biggest dislike of this car is the in dash Audio system. :(

  • Wheelnut

    I beleive that in a couple of years Mazda will most likely overtake Ford Holden and Toyota tobecome Australias most popular make of Car. Not only because they are far more reliable than Toyotas but they have by far better looking designs; have more features; are better value for money.

    The likelihood of this occuring is even more likely when fule prices are expected to reach over $3 a litre within the next couple of years.
    This will mean that suddenly owning a 4×4 is as popular as chlamidiya. As a result Toyotas overall lead will be reduced as a considerable % of their sales figures is made up of 4x4s…. and 1000s of current 4×4 owners will be forced to dump their landcruisers and Prados for which they will be lucky to get $15-20k at trade in; in favour of more fuel efficient more practical cars.. Like those in the Mazda range.

    I beleieve one of the reasons Mazda has become so popular over the years is because they knew there was no real point in taking on the big boys such as Ford and Holden in the Large Family Car market – instead they focussed on what they are good; making smaller more compact cars which is why the Mazda 3 and mazda 6 are such a good cars

    Unlike Toyota who is trying to be everything to everyone and spending millions of dollars entering new markets to try and fight against more well known established brands

  • Tomas79

    Wingnut, aren’t you getting tired of your anti-Toyota Rhetoric?? I realize you and those brands you love so much been burnt by toyota, but please stop getting so emotional and spamming all the articles on here with your one eyed rubbish!! Do you even know the fuel consumption of a Toyota D4D diesel?

  • Wheelnut

    I’m not getting emotional or anything like that.

    Just thought I’d see how you Toyota lovers liked it – that is if there was someone else making comments with no real point etc just simply and constantly criticising or denograting one particular make – that is all.

    It appears that by me constantly making reference to Toyota and how their sales rely on 4x4s as well as how much Toyota is likely to suffer as fuel prices increase etc..

    That you are apparently getting tired; annoyed of hearing it over and over again [adnauseum]….
    Now you know how the rest of us feel

    I mean as “real car enthusiasts” we should be able to realise that every make/model of car has its good and bad points even our beloved Holden Ford and Toyota…. we should then be able to discuss them in a civilised manner without resorting to personal insults or offensive language… we should also be able accept the fact that not everyone has the same opinion as you or I do.

  • Wheelnut

    Note – My last comment wasn’t directed specifically at You Tomas

    It was more of an attempt to try and restore some “decorum” to this website and hopefully bring an end to the constant “school yard” bickering etc that has taken over the site [virtually since the start of the year] and resulted in discussions getting way off topic etc.. not to mention made this website less of an enjoyable place to be

  • Charmed

    I’m finding it hard to pic a car because the three I like most have the CD players built into the Dash. I looked into the cost of replacing the CD player in the dash of the mazda and it was $2000 then installation. They are getting greedy. The mazda spokes person I talked to said they are doing it to make you buy their parts. I want to be able to rip out the DC player and stick a Pioneer in there when I want to and not to be limited to the in built crap they have in these cars.

    Mazda have lost my money. I’m looking into some other cars now, but the other two I like have the same thing..


    • JooberGTi

      Mate, I bet u over time, all makes will do this, no longer cars have an easy removable single-din (also one that is a control unit for other functions of the car), and eventually double-dins. Makers are looking to cash in from people with no other choice but to upgrade to the premium sound option…

      • Nath746

        Nissan Patrol has a simple cd-player / radio that looks like it could be easily removed…

  • hmmmmmm

    i think its more to do with the type of people that drive the types of cars. Eg. you’d be fanging it in a porsche but obviously mazda drivers are careful and slow.

  • Falcodore

    Hmmmmmmm, i consider myself to be a careful driver but im definitely not slow (always do max speed limit, then some if conditions allow) unlike more and more toyota drivers around here (mostly camry, corolla) who are slow but definitly not careful.

    Anyways, guess all the toyota lovers here will be upset to have their perceptions about toyota bieng the most reliable brand shattered.

    • ron

      Can you please remove yourself from the gene pool? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a
      garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a
      pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach
      sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped
      out of their sockets.

      • Nath746


  • Hiro Matsushita

    Hi all, Toyotas, mazdas, hondas, kias are like household kitchen appliances (bloody boring). Fords, holdens are #%!*&@ crap, bring back the nissan 200SX. By the way the data is getting out of date.

    • qikturbo

      The 200sx is for the dickheads that like to drift their cars.Apart from the Nissan GTR(35)I’ve smashed all that Nissan has to offer with my F6.

  • mrengine

    Most reliable car in Australia and most popular would have to be the Toyota Corolla these things seem to keep going for years and years and have no problems mechanically and are definately a car to buy for those who wish to use extra money they have for other activities rather than waste all your cash on your car, only problem about the corolla is the new ones after 2006 are getting abit too big in size to call a small car, check out the sedans and you will think its large!!

  • Daniel

    Corolla’s may be reliable but they do very little heavy work and are mostly driven by motoring nerds or old people that rarely drive over 80kmh!. I reckon an EGAS BA Falcon that does in some cases up to a million km’s (as taxis) are pretty bloody good, they also can tow lots of weight and are used by heaps of tradies, fleets, familys, cop cars, etc etc and has been produced in Victoria for nearly 50 years. I would rather the comfort and safety of the big ford over the rather boring shape of the corolla its a great little car but they are incapable of doing what a Falcon can, by the way an EGAS Falcon costs less to run than a Petrol corolla

  • Jon

    This is a relatively old report now but the data collected is more than likely flawed as generally the more expensive the car, the more pedantic people become over minor problems.
    Eg; If you’ve just spend 150K on a BMW you’re probably more likely to complain about minor issues such as squeaks, rattles, wind noise leaks, etc, far more than somebody who has purchased a KIA.
    Also, the more expensive the car, generally the more complex it is and therefore the higher chance of things going wrong.
    Overall, interesting figures but I don’t think they mean very much.

  • Matt

    Ha, Subaru is the best car in my opinion. Screw the others. Symmetrical AWD ftw!

  • http://opel Ian Campbell

    Isnt a Kia Carnival the one that the engine goes in or do surveys let manufacturers off with cars that they have stuck into people in the past and the poor people suffer with these old cars.


    Interesting statistics. I got one too. ADAC which is the same as in Victoria RACV comes out every year with the most reliable cars. Top 3 in each category is.
    Small cars: 1 Toyota Aygo, 2 Fiat Panda, 3 Mini
    Medium small: 1 Audi A3, 2 Mercedes B, 3 Mercedes A ( Mazda 3 No 8 )
    Medium cars: 1 Mercedes C, 2 Audi A4, 3 BMW 3,
    Big cars: 1 Audi A6, 2 BMW 5, 3 Mercedes E
    On ADAC website you can check what was a major fault and how many…etc lots of info. I would like to see it here too.

  • paul

    Every car is realiable it just depends on how you look after.
    Of course a german car or pre ford volvo will last longer than jap cars as they dont use cheap materials.Anway the yanks will destroy the jap car industry its to expensive.

    • ABMPSV

      Some cars are more reliable than others but you must service that car. Do not put cheap oil in your car very important. It is like you always eat take away food after 20-30 years you will have problem. I always use good oil like Castrol Edge 5W-30. It is worth it. Easier start in winter time, lower fuel economy, better for engine…etc. I calculated if you use cheap oil or expensive you get your money back by lower fuel economy. I had a Toyota Camry 1999 2.0L model with better oil my fuel economy in city was 0.5 liter better. Winter time at cold start the oil pressure light was off after 1-2 sec with cheap oil was around 6 sec.

    • ron

      an you please remove yourself from the gene pool? Preferably in the most painful and agonizing way possible? Retard

      Can you please remove yourself from the gene pool? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a
      garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a
      pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach
      sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped
      out of their sockets.

      • Nath746

        Maybe you should remove yourself from this website if you don’t like the comments…

    • Thistle_boy

       You obviously haven’t owned a VZ commodore. Under 100K km, driven conservatively and serviced more regularly than book suggests: new steering rack, new radiator, water pump, plastic bits falling off inside and out…


    The survey is spot-on as far as my experience goes.
    I have nothing but grief with my JEEP CHEROKEE CRD SPORT 2005.
    So much so that I do not have the courage to pass it on.
    All attempts to sort out the gearbox problems were unsucessfull including … guess … a new one.
    On the other hand my NISSAN PATROL from 1989 never, but never, lets me down … well it does not like dirty diesel … so I carry a spare filter and presto … I´m off again.

  • VW


    • me


  • Buzzy

    I am surprised to see Subaru so far down the list, I thought the Forester is suppose to be one of the most reliable cars of all time?

  • oracle

    bring back the slant motor ..ran for 30 mins without oil… au ford engine good for 1million kays..then n13 pulsar 1.8 takes a unbelievable hammering..gutsy bastard…you can keep all your new junk ..all of them with their sensors and air bags and all garbage off waste of money…id take solid metal any day ..i saw a kingswood hit a pole at 120kmh hr only smashed the side door in ….that would beat a million airbags lol suckers !!!


    This survey is from US and UK only but I checked in Germany which done by ADAC (RACV in Victoria) and middle class category Audi A3, Mercedes B class all in front Honda Civic is 13th Peugeot 307 last. Again the bigger class Audi BMW Mercedes in top 3 but Mazda 6 is 10th. In Germany they trash they cars on freeway min 130km/h. Maybe US stupid 50mph speed limit is no good I do not know but can not be that one survey German cars “last” and on the other survey on the top.

    • ABMPSV

      Hey, we have the same name. High five name-twin! I had it first, but it’s okay, you can use it too. I’m not going to be a name Nazi.

  • okies

    January 30th, 2007 NEWS?

    I dont know why I came here.

    I was here August30.2010 anyway…

    • milla

      hahahahahahahaha my tummy huts! hahaha

  • David

    I had a dream run out of my 2006 VW 2.0lt FSI Comfortline for the first 4.5 years and then…..


    ERG Valve (twice)
    Catalytic converter
    Core plugs
    + more parts

    Total cost: $12K

    Now I’ve got a Subaru.

  • guillaume

    hahaha, that last comment made me laugh i’m a mechanic at a vw dealership, and my parents used to own a 2006 golf confortline, we had to replace the main wiring harness twice as it got eaten by rats twice. Someone told me once that the plastic covering the wiring harness was made of recycled corn ( rats eat corn) i dont know if its true but whatever its made of rats love it! we see alot of rat damaged wiring in vw’s. my parents now own a 2003 hzj105 landcruiser with over 230000 km on it and never have rats eating their wires, i own a 1992 holden nova( ae93 corolla) with 293000km on it and it still drives great with no problems except for valve stem seals need replacing. i also saw a 1980’s toyota corolla t18 with 798000km on the clock today( not as a taxi) those 3T engines must be pretty good if it still has the original engine. As for the mazda’s being the most reliable cars, i owned a 1988 mazda 323 and the engine never ever let me down great cars! i’m not a fan of the rotaries tho! sorry

  • http://caradvice Paul

    40+ years of driving and a very lot of cars under the bridge. Drove Japanese cars when they were unpopular because I couldn’t afford the local stuff and found they simply worked. When I got wealthier I bought Aussie and sadly learned they were great in concept but poor in delivery. Merely a recipe for meeting your local mechanic. Family members have since discovered the utter reliability of Koreans. So now in this family the rule of thumb is made in Japan (or now Korea). It guarantees the car will start everytime and while performance and other attributes are important they don’t begin to matter if the car doesn’t go.

    Of course the Europeans make great looking cars but I am not a tax cheat or a criminal….and they always top the fail surveys.

  • ollie

    I have owned two Mazdas and can honestly say they were absolute DOGS.

    This site run by a Mazda dealer, perhaps ?

    • F1MotoGP

      Wow, just because you don’t like the results of one independent survey, you want to cry foul on the whole website? Get a life.

  • G6ET

    Japan is number 1 when it comes to reliability. That’s coming from a Ford and Nissan owner :)

  • http://N/A Taha

    Well I think Lexus is the most safest car ever :\

  • ohiodale

    I would question any reliability stat. Most stats include any question of complaint from a car owner. Many complaints are due to not understanding how to use high tech features that come with the car. European and some American cars have more toys of high tech features so they get way more complaints. All of these reliability stats should only focus on mechanical issues with the cars. You would see most cars manufactures being equal if you exclude complaints due to driver ignorance. There are other major issues with reliability stats.

  • emzy

    I always thought German cars were reliable?

  • Pingback: Toyota New Car Extended Warranty()

  • kriss

    I drive 25 yo Honda prelude. Bought it 6 years ago. Change oil & filter myself and the only repair was water pump that developed a hole in the housing due to age! Honda for me!

  • Rick

    Gee Toyota is that low on that survey wait till 3 yrs time when they have to include their 20million car recalls from last year they will be lucky to even make the top 10

  • Jenny

    How about Chevrolet?

  • One way traffic

    I cannot believe the amount of stereotypes that fall for this crap ,zoom zoom BOOM!!! ,jap cars can be reliable but can just as easily break down like any other car ,factors like weather environment ,the person who actually owns the car and looks after it ,well most don’t and just drive them in to the ground ,ask most people when they last opened their bonnet and they wouldn’t be able to remember.

    My wife and I own 2 german cars and they have never let us down ,I have had mine 7 years and she has had her’s for around 5 ,we look after them and keep them very well maintained.

    Don’t always believe what you read on the net because most of these opinions are either from bias people or some that really hate Germans, or it wouldn’t suprise me just those who cannot afford to buy a descent car…

    • Raf

      Nice to have a good run but mostly rubbish. Everything still runs on the dollar and sex. Its time we chased away the slavery world and made realistic vehicles. No need for fancy shiney rubbish thanks so Much little sheeples

  • Alex

    Look German cars gearbox and engine are great but im sorry but the electrics just cant last more than 6 year years. My 98 A6 had severe electrical issues with the ECU, had to change the CV joints every 50 000 km but the 2.8L V6 didn’t miss beat and the gearbox deliverd power to the wheel like a jewel. But for simplicity and reliability has to be Jap. My subie outback 98 still going strong. And hopefully my tribeca will be going strond for the next 10 years.

  • Once loved VW’s

    While I am not the least surprised with these results I do find it sad to think that once the Europeans did build reliable and durable cars. The VW Beetle, the 200 series Mercs, the original (E12) BMW 5 series are all cases in point. I have owned 3 European and 4 Japanese cars in the life and can report the only ones that gave me (expensive) grief were the Euro ones. Sorry to say. Have now owned 2 Subaru Liberties in a row, absolutely faultless.

  • Bob

    I have a toyota camry v6 1999 model and I think it is better than my mates Merc S350 of a similar age.