PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Sunday, January 14, 2018






The most and least reliable small cars on sale today - as revealed by 14,000 supermini owners

  • What Car? readers reported on which superminis were reliable in the last year
  • Some 14,000 vehicles were reported on, all of which are up to 3 years old
  • Drivers were asked how many faults their car had and how long repairs took
  • We've listed the three most - and three least - reliable small cars on sale
Small cars need to be economical and cheap to own, and that means they shouldn’t suffer with frequent faults that take time and money to put right.
What Car?’s 2017 Reliability Survey canvassed more than 14,000 owners of cars between zero and three years old to find out about car faults they’d experienced over the last 12 months. Respondents were asked to report how long each fault had kept their car off the road and how much it cost to get them fixed.
Those cars suffering from the fewest and cheapest problems were given the top ratings. Those that sat around in workshops for ages and generated big bills were given the lowest reliability ratings. Here are the three most reliable (scroll down for the least reliable).
Jazz handy: Honda's practical small car always seems to come out on top when it comes to owner satisfaction and reliability surveys. It has done it again here
Jazz handy: Honda's practical small car always seems to come out on top when it comes to owner satisfaction and reliability surveys. It has done it again here

1. Honda Jazz

Reliability rating: 100%
Not a single Jazz owner completing the survey had any faults with their car. 
That was a perfect score for the small Japanese hatchback, reflecting the excellent performance of the previous-generation Jazz.
Want to find an affordable second-hand option? You'll find one here
Toyota Yaris owners only reported a handful of bodywork issues, which they said were easy to rectify
Toyota Yaris owners only reported a handful of bodywork issues, which they said were easy to rectify

2. Toyota Yaris 

Reliability rating: 94.2%
Nearly as reliable as the Jazz, with no faults on the newest cars and just a few bodywork issues on some of the older cars.
Proof yet again that some of the most durable cars come out of Japan. 
Looking for a used Yaris? You'll find one here 
Of the few Audi A1s that did incur problems, the issues were fixed within 7 days of them appearing
Of the few Audi A1s that did incur problems, the issues were fixed within 7 days of them appearing

3. Audi A1 

Reliability rating: 93.1%
Only 17 of every 100 zero-to-three-year-old A1s experienced a fault, and as with the Yaris they were just on the older examples. 
Every problem-affected A1 remained driveable and was mended in under a week.
Audi A1s are expensive for such a small car, and they hold their value well on the second-hand market. You can find one here 
And what about the least reliable?
The most common fault with VW Polos was non-engine electrics, including problems with the engine stop-start systems and reversing camera
The most common fault with VW Polos was non-engine electrics, including problems with the engine stop-start systems and reversing camera

3. Volkswagen Polo 

Reliability rating: 58.8%
More than one in five Polo owners had problems with their cars, according to the survey.
Easily the most common were non-engine electrics (15 per cent), half of which were air-conditioning complaints. 
Difficulties with the engine stop-start system, reversing camera and infotainment screen were reported too.
Want to a used Polo? You can find one here 
Again, the Mazda 2 was also plighted by non-engine electric gremlins, according to owners
Again, the Mazda 2 was also plighted by non-engine electric gremlins, according to owners

2. Mazda 2 

Reliability rating: 52.7%
Like the Polo, most of the petrol-engined Mazda 2s’ issues were non-engine electrical related, again centering on the air-con system. 
More than one in ten had fuel system issues.
Want to buy a second-hand Mazda 2? You can find one here 
The Nissan Note proved that all Japanese cars aren't dependable. More than a third of owners said they endured issues with their in the last 12 months
The Nissan Note proved that all Japanese cars aren't dependable. More than a third of owners said they endured issues with their in the last 12 months

1. Nissan Note 

Reliability rating: 48.6%
More than one in three (36 per cent) Note owners experienced a fault with their cars. 
Engine and engine electrics affected 10 per cent of petrol Notes with nearly 18 per cent of all Notes having non-engine electrical faults. Over 14 per cent had suspension trouble.
Looking for a used Nissan Note? You can find one here 
Not interested in a small car? Below are the vehicle brands ordered by their average reliability track record according to owners: 
Take a look at the 2017 Lexus IS 300h

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The most and least reliable car brands, according to WhatCar? 

1. Lexus - 92.1% reliability score
2. Mitsubishi - 90.8% reliability score
3. Toyota - 89.6% reliability score
4. Suzuki - 86.6% reliability score
5. Alfa Romeo - 85.8% reliability score
6. Honda - 84.9% reliability score
7. Hyundai - 84.8% reliability score
8. MG - 83.4% reliability score
9. Ford - 82.1% reliability score
10. Subaru - 81.8% reliability score
11. Kia - 81.3% reliability score
12. Audi - 80.4% reliability score
13. Skoda - 80.1% reliability score
14. Mini - 79.6% reliability score
15. Porsche - 78.3% reliability score
16. Mazda - 77.9% reliability score 
17. BMW - 77.6% reliability score
18. Vauxhall - 76.4% reliability score
19. Dacia - 75.9% reliability score
20. Renault - 75.4% reliability score
21. Seat - 75.2% reliability score
22. VW - 74.7% reliability score
23. Mercedes - 70.4% reliability score
24. Fiat - 70.2% reliability score
25. Volvo - 62.3% reliability score
26. Jaguar - 61.9% reliability score
27. Peugeot - 56.7% reliability score
28. Citroën - 55.2% reliability score
29. Nissan - 52.7% reliability score
30. Tesla - 52.4% reliability score
31. Land Rover - 50.6% reliability score
32. Jeep - 42.1% reliability score 

The most and least reliable cars revealed: Half of the top ten are Japanese, reveals What Car?, but it's bad news for Britain

  • Four of the top ten cars had an astonishing 100% reliability score
  • The Honda Jazz, Toyota Aygo, Lexus CT200h and Audi A3 were fault-free 
  • But Britain's Range Rover Sport and Jaguar XE came bottom in their categories
  • Overall almost a third of motorists with cars under three years had a fault 
  • Tesla's Model S comes bottom of the pile for electric cars 
Half of the top ten most reliable cars in their category sold in the UK are from Japanese brands, a new owner-satisfaction report from What Car? has found.
But while it was good news for Japan, it was not so great for UK car making, with the Range Rover Sport, Jaguar XE and the British-built Nissan Qashqai coming bottom of their respective categories.
Overall, nearly a third (30 per cent) of motorists with cars of up to three years old suffered at least one fault with their car over the previous 12 months, the report said.
Good news for Honda Jazz owners: The small hatchback may not be famed for its thrilling driving but it did top the reliability league, with a 100% score
Good news for Honda Jazz owners: The small hatchback may not be famed for its thrilling driving but it did top the reliability league, with a 100% score
Britain’s hugely-popular Range Rover Sport diesel emerged as one of the worst performers with 60 per cent of vehicles suffering issues, the lowest overall breakdown reliability rating of any car reviewed and some examples being ‘off the road for a week’ while they were fixed.
That stood in contrast to the astonishing 100 per cent reliability scores racked up by four cars: the Honda Jazz, Toyota Aygo, Lexus CT200h and Audi A3, all of which owners said had been fault-free throughout the year.
Overall, six in ten of the top car makers for reliability were Japanese brands, the report found. 
Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota, tops the league table of car makes least likely to break down with owners reporting a 92.1 per cent reliability rating in the real word study of more than 14,000 vehicles no more than three-years old.
It was followed by Mitsubishi (90.8 per cent), Toyota (89.6 per cent), and Suzuki (86.6 per cent).
But propping up the bottom of the league table is Jeep with fewer than half (42.1 per cent) of vehicles proving reliable, just ahead of Land Rover (50.6 per cent) and electric car firm Tesla (52.4 per cent), revealed the research.
Japanese cars also topped five out of 10 vehicle category classes for reliability with the Honda Jazz, Toyota Aygo and Lexus CT200h taking the crowns as the most dependable small car, city car and family car respectively.
The Nissan Leaf was hailed the most reliable electric vehicle – making up for an unexpectedly poor performance by the car-maker in other areas - and the Mitsubishi Outlander was branded the most robust of all the large SUVs on the market. 

Most reliable cars by category 

CITY CARS - Toyota Aygo - 100.0% reliability rating
SMALL CARS - Honda Jazz - 100.0% reliability rating
FAMILY CARS - Lexus CT200h - 100.0% reliability rating
MPVS - Ford B-Max - 91.6% reliability rating
SMALL SUVS - Volkswagen Tiguan (diesel) - 96.3% reliability rating
LARGE SUVS - Mitsubishi Outlander -  91.2% reliability rating
EXECUTIVE CARS - Audi A3 Saloon (petrol) - 100.0% reliability rating
LUXURY CARS - Mercedes-Benz S-Class (diesel) - 93.2% reliability rating
COUPES & CONVERTIBLES - Audi A3 Cabrio (petrol) - 92.5% reliability rating
ELECTRIC VEHICLES - Nissan Leaf - 93.9% reliability rating 

Least reliable cars by category 

CITY CARS - VW Up - 74.8% reliability rating
SMALL CARS - Nissan Note - 48.6% reliability rating
FAMILY CARS - Nissan Pulsar - 48.3% reliability rating
MPVS - Mercedes-Benz B-Class - 46.2% reliability rating
SMALL SUVS - Nissan Qashqai (petrol) - 28.9% reliability rating
LARGE SUVS - Range Rover Sport (diesel) - 14.5% reliability rating
EXECUTIVE CARS - Jaguar XE (diesel) - 36.7% reliability rating
LUXURY CARS - Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 46.1% reliability rating
COUPES & CONVERTIBLES - Mazda MX-5 - 71.0% reliability rating
ELECTRIC VEHICLES - Tesla Model S - 52.4% reliability rating Although Italian cars are not always renowned for their reliability, Alfa Romeo (85.8 per cent) took a shock fifth spot in the league table of car-makers’ reliability.
That's despite the brand being synonymous with electrical faults on models from the past and present day. 

How are cars rated?

Owners of cars aged from new to three years old were asked to report on faults which occurred in the last 12 months, by What Car?.
These covered 14 categories, which included battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, exterior lights, fuel system, gearbox/clutch, interior trim, non-engine electrics, steering, suspension and other.
In total, What Car? received enough feedback from 14,000 car owners to report on 169 models across 32 different brands.
Full details are published in the latest issue of What Car?, on sale from today and online at www.whatcar.com/news/reliability-survey That put the stylish Italian marque just ahead of one of Japan's most trusted manufacturers, Honda (84.9 per cent), which builds all Civic hatchbacks for the global market in Swindon.
Korea’s Hyundai was seventh (84.8 per cent) ahead of Chinese-owned MG (83.4 per cent), Ford (82.1 per cent) and Japan’s Subaru (81.8 per cent).
Disappointingly for them, Mazda was down in 16th place (77.9 per cent) with fellow Japanese maker Nissan - which builds the Qashqai at the brand's UK factory in Sunderland - struggling down in a lowly 29th place (52.7 per cent).
There was positive news  for German brands, too, including under-fire Volkswagen.
The car manufacturer, which is still suffering from the ramifications of its 2015 diesel emissions cheating scandal, produces the most reliable small SUV, the Tiguan diesel with a 96.3 per cent score.
Audi, which is also part of the Volkswagen Group, topped the charts with the A3 saloon (best executive car, 100 per cent) and A3 Cabriolet (best coupe convertible, 92.5 per cent), which were both voted as the most dependable motors in their categories.
Mercedes-Benz's S-Class saloon diesel (best luxury, 93.2 per cent) and Ford's B-Max (best MPV, 91.6 per cent) also took gold in their respective categories.The Range Rover Sport diesel has been a huge sales hit for Land Rover but its owners are troubled by reliability for the luxury 4x4
The Range Rover Sport diesel has been a huge sales hit for Land Rover but its owners are troubled by reliability for the luxury 4x4
At the bottom end of the scale, the least reliable large SUV - and least reliable of all cars - is the £61,000 Range Rover Sport diesel, with an comparably appalling reliability rating of just 14.5 per cent. 
What Car? noted: ’Worryingly 60 per cent of Range Rover Sport diesels had problems. They spanned a wide range of areas, the most serious of which were the gearbox, drivetrain, engine and suspension.
'Not all cars were fixed under warranty and some were off the road for more than a week.’
Less positive for VW was the performance of its city car, the Up, which was voted the least reliable car in its class with a 74.8 per cent reliability score - despite it being one of the most expensive models on sale. 
Nissan’s Note was least reliable small car (48.6 per cent).
Worst family car was the Nissan Pulsar (48.3 per cent) and the least reliable MPV was the Mercedes-Benz B-class (46.2 per cent). 
The award for the least reliable small SUV is the Sunderland-made Nissan Qashqai petrol (28.9 per cent).
The least reliable executive car was the Jaguar XE diesel, according to What Car?'s survey
The least reliable executive car was the Jaguar XE diesel, according to What Car?'s survey
Of all the executive cars reported on, the Jaguar XE diesel (36.7 per cent) received the worst score. 
Jaguar didn't prop-up the charts in the luxury car class, though - that unwanted award went to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class diesel saloon (46.1 per cent) - a car that costs between £36,000 and £108,000 depending on which diesel engine and spec you choose.
Surprisingly, Mazda’s MX-5 convertible - a car that in previous years has been rated highly in satisfaction surveys - was named least reliable coupe or convertible (71.0 per cent).
And the results won't do much to cheer Elon Musk, with the least reliable electric car mantle going to his £65,000 Tesla Model S (52.4 per cent) 
This is the new and improved third generation of the Audi A3

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The Audi A3 was the only non-Japanese car to score 100% reliability in the What Car? survey
The Audi A3 was the only non-Japanese car to score 100% reliability in the What Car? survey
Lexus ranked best car by 2015 American Consumer report

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Top 10 most reliable car brands 

1. Lexus - 92.1% reliability rating
2. Mitsubishi - 90.8% reliability rating 
3. Toyota - 89.6% reliability rating 
4. Suzuki - 86.6% reliability rating 
5. Alfa Romeo - 85.8% reliability rating 
6. Honda - 84.9% reliability rating 
7. Hyundai - 84.8% reliability rating 
8. MG - 83.4% reliability rating 
9. Ford - 82.1% reliability rating 
10. Subaru - 81.8% reliability rating 

Least reliable car brands 

23. Mercedes-Benz - 70.4% reliability rating
24. Fiat - 70.2% reliability rating
25. Volvo - 62.3% reliability rating
26. Jaguar - 61.9% reliability rating
27. Peugeot - 56.7% reliability rating
28. Citroën - 55.2% reliability rating
29. Nissan - 52.7% reliability rating
30. Tesla - 52.4% reliability rating
31. Land Rover - 50.6% reliability rating
32. Jeep - 42.1% reliability ratingWhat Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘Japanese brands continue to lead by example when it comes to reliability. The breadth of vehicles with near-faultless scores highlights the engineering prowess of Far Eastern manufacturers.
‘It is also encouraging to see that German car manufacturers are backing up their reputation for quality with strong reliability scores.
‘The old adage that cars are getting more complicated and harder to fix needn’t be an anxiety – as long as consumers choose the most reliable model.’ 

UK demand for Japanese cars is on the rise 

UK consumer demand for Japanese car brands has risen 38.2 per cent in five years, with more than 352,800 registrations in first three quarters of 2017 alone.
They now represent represent 17.1 per cent or around 1 in 6 of the UK new car market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In return, the UK exported 12,656 cars to Japan in the first six months of this year, compared with 9,409 over the same period in 2012 – a rise of more than a third (34.5 per cent).
Top five exports were the MINI One and MINI Clubman. Swindon-built Honda Civic Type R, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport
Japan is Britain’s sixth biggest export market, and the second biggest in Asia after China.
Japanese-owned car-plants in the UK – such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota - also account for half of British car production in a relationship going back 36 years.
Speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘This summer’s agreement of an EU-Japan Free Trade Deal is welcome news for both our industries.’
The UK is also the EU’s second biggest automotive market after Germany. 

Top 5 British-built Bestsellers in Japan

1. MINI One
2. MINI Clubman
3. Honda Civic Type R
4. Range Rover Evoque
5. Land Rover Discovery Sport
6. Toyota Avensis
7. Jaguar XE
8. Range Rover Sport
9. Jaguar F-Pace
10. Land Rover Discovery

Super SUV triple test: These are the raciest 4x4s on sale today, but how do the Audi SQ5, Porsche Macan and new Range Rover Velar compare?

  • All three of these mega-powerful SUVs have more than 300bhp
  • The Audi is the cheapest at £51,000 while the Range Rove costs £72,000
  • One is better to drive than the others while another is the most stylish
  • Find out which one we think is the best all-rounder
Think the modern premium SUV is many things, but not a sports car? Think again. 
Here, we’re testing three models that boast a minimum of 300bhp, plus incisive handling whatever the road surface, while keeping intact all the luxury and practicality buyers know and love.
Even the least powerful of the trio, the turbocharged Audi SQ5, has 349bhp from its 3.0-litre V6 engine; the Range Rover Velar P380’s supercharged V6 has 375bhp and the Porsche Macan Turbo delivers a whopping 434bhp in Performance Package guise. 
They’re expensive, particularly the latter two, but which is the most convincing?
Super SUVs: Find out which of these mega-powerful 4x4s we rated highest. From left to right: Range Rover Velar, Audi SQ5, Porsche Macan
Super SUVs: Find out which of these mega-powerful 4x4s we rated highest. From left to right: Range Rover Velar, Audi SQ5, Porsche Macan

The one most like a sports car is...

In terms of bald performance, the one most like a sports car is the Macan. It’s significantly faster than the other two away from the line. 
While the Audi and Range Rover are more closely-matched, it’s the Audi that pulls the hardest (although the Velar has the best towing capacity).
The Macan is the sportiest through the corners too. It has meaty steering weight and remarkably little body roll. You can feel the power shift to the rear wheels on the exit of a corner, which is satisfying, and it’s only an ultimate lack of feedback that dents its sports car credentials.
The SQ5 is grippy, and also has a clever quattro four-wheel drive system. It’s nicely balanced – leaving the Velar trailing in the dynamic stakes. 
The stylish Rangey wallows around corners and if you’re feeling really racy, the amount of sway can seem really striking: you can even have the stability control system cutting in at times, just to reign things in.
The Velar does have the softest, smoothest ride on the motorway as a result, but patchy road surfaces can catch it out. 
Of the trio, the Porsche Macan is the best to drive. Not surprising when you consider the German brand's background for making fine-handing sports cars
Of the trio, the Porsche Macan is the best to drive. Not surprising when you consider the German brand's background for making fine-handing sports cars
The Audi SQ5 showcased plenty of grip in our handing report
However, the Range Rover Velar was a little top-heavy in the bends
The Audi SQ5 (left) showcased plenty of grip in our handing report. However, the Range Rover Velar (right) was a little top-heavy in the bends

Comfort, quality and technology compared 

The SQ5’s is the comfiest overall, but the tighter control of the Macan might suit some better. All three ride surprisingly well given their massive 21-inch wheels, and they’re refined as well.
All of them have excellent driving positions, although they do vary in stance: the Macan is low-slung, while the Velar is high and SUV-like. 
The Macan also has sporty-looking traditional instruments, while the Audi and Range Rover use all-digital displays. You can’t get a head-up display with the Porsche.
In terms of the wow factor, the Range Rover is easily the best.
For interior wow factor, the Range Rover Velar - seen here with a fetching ivory-coloured interior - stands out most
For interior wow factor, the Range Rover Velar - seen here with a fetching ivory-coloured interior - stands out most
The Audi SQ5 had the best combination of simplicity and quality
The Macan most felt like a race car on stilts
The Audi SQ5 (left) had the best combination of simplicity and quality, while the Porsche Macan (right) most felt like a race car on stilts
You do find some disappointingly scratchy plastics when you look closer though, and its dual-screen centre console is a bit distracting. 
The Porsche’s screen is fiddly too, and a plethora of buttons make it look old-fashioned. 
Overall, the Audi is the best, both in terms of ease of use and overall quality. It has the best infotainment system – the Velar’s setup looks good but lacks both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The rear leg-room victory went to the Range Rover Velar, which offers the most comfort to back-row passengers
The rear leg-room victory went to the Range Rover Velar, which offers the most comfort to back-row passengers
The Audi's infotainment system is the most clinical to use
The Audi SQ5 also had the best boot of the three
Not only was the Audi's infotainment system the most clinical to use, it also had the best boot of the three
Although the Porsche is the roomiest up front, the Velar has the best rear legroom – and the Porsche is the tightest. 
Audi drivers will enjoy the best boot, swallowing nine carry-on suitcases. The other two can only take seven. The Velar has the longest overall load bay, though.
The air suspension on the Velar also drops down automatically when you turn the engine off, making it both more convenient for passengers, and also easier to load the boot. 
You can do the same in the other two, but you have to press a button. They all have powered tailgates.

If price is a sticking point, one is much cheaper than the others...

When we turn to costs, the SQ5 has an immediate advantage: a list price £20,000 less than the others. 
This means it’s £230 less every single month than the Macan on a PCP, and an amazing £435 less than a Velar. It’s also the most cost-effective to insure and service.
The Audi’s advantage stretches to company car drivers as well. Over three years, 40 percent taxpayers will spend £8000 less than the Macan and £9000 less than the Velar. 
At least the Velar has the best standard spec – the Porsche is the worst here and, amazingly, you can’t get the Macan with autonomous emergency braking at all, a really surprising safety-related oversight.
While the Porsche Macan is undoubtedly the best to drive and the Range Rover Velar will get the most looks, the unsung hero of the three is the Audi SQ5 - the winner of this test
While the Porsche Macan is undoubtedly the best to drive and the Range Rover Velar will get the most looks, the unsung hero of the three is the Audi SQ5 - the winner of this test

The Car & Motoring verdict 

While it’s fun to drive, the Macan trails the others here. It’s simply not practical enough, and the mean spec also counts against it. 
Things are closer between the Range Rover and the Audi: if it were sharper to drive and had fewer cheap interior plastics, the luxurious Velar may even have pipped the SQ5 car here.
But in the end, Audi wins. 
It’s simply the best all-rounder, with few weaknesses and a broad range of talents that better the other two here. Add in acceleration that’s good enough to teach many a sports car a thing or two, plus list prices that look like a steal alongside the other two, and it’s not hard to see why it wins.

Super SUVs compared... 

3rd

Porsche Macan

Rating: 
Specification: Turbo Performance Pack 
Engine: 6cyl, 3604cc, turbo, petrol
List price: £70,760
Target Price: £70,760
Power: 434bhp @ 6000-6700rpm
Torque: 443Ib ft @ 1500-4500rpm 
0-60mph: 4.2sec
Top speed: 169mph
Claimed fuel economy: 30.1mpg
True MPG: 25.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 217g/km

2nd

RR Velar

Rating: 
Specification: P380 HSE R-Dynamic
Engine: 6cyl, 2995cc, supercharged, petrol
List price: £72,630
Target Price £72,630
Power: 375bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 332Ib ft @ 3500rpm
0-60mph: 6.0sec
Top speed: 155mph
Claimed fuel economy: 30.1mpg
True MPG: n/a
CO2 emissions: 214g/km

Winner

Audi SQ5 

Rating: 
Specification: SQ5 3.0 V6 TFSI quattro
Engine: 6cyl, 2995cc, turbo, petrol
List price: £51,200
Target Price: £49,584
Power: 349bhp @ 5400-6400rpm
Torque: 369Ib ft @ 1370-4500rpm 
0-60mph: 5.4sec
Top speed: 155mph
Claimed fuel economy: 34.0mpg
True MPG: 24.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 189g/km







The most reliable cars in the US: The 15 cars Americans keep the longest before trading in for a new one

  • Toyota models dominated the list of the top 15 cars American drivers tend to keep for at least 15 years
  • Results were from a new study by automotive research firm iSeeCars.com
  • Fourteen of the top cars that last more than 15 years are Japanese models
  • Honda was the only automaker to earn multiple spots on the list with two
These are the top 15 cars that American drivers tend to keep the longest before trading in for a new one.
Toyota models dominated the list taking out the top five spots, according to the new study by iSeeCars.com. 
Fourteen of the top cars predicted to last more than 15 years are Japanese models, with the exception of German Volkswagen.
The Toyota Highlander model took out top spot with more than 18 per cent of original owners keeping their car for at least 15 years. 
The Toyota Highlander model took out top spot with more than 18 per cent of original owners keeping their car for at least 15 years
The Toyota Highlander model took out top spot with more than 18 per cent of original owners keeping their car for at least 15 years
Along with nine Toyotas, Honda was the only automaker to earn multiple spots on the list with two.
Other manufacturers joining Volkswagen with one model on the list include Acura, Subaru, and Nissan. 
The automotive research firm analyzed more than 650,000 cars from the 1981-2002 model years sold last year.
'While a decade on the road used to be a significant milestone for vehicle life expectancy, the elevated quality of cars being produced has raised this standard to beyond ten years ,' said Phong Ly, CEO of the automotive research firm.
Toyota Sienna was second on the list with 17.1 per cent of owners keeping the car for more than 15 years
Toyota Sienna was second on the list with 17.1 per cent of owners keeping the car for more than 15 years
The Toyota Tundra ranked third with 15.7 per cent of owners keeping hold of it long-term
The Toyota Tundra ranked third with 15.7 per cent of owners keeping hold of it long-term
'Japanese automakers are known for setting quality and reliability standards, so it is no surprise that they are the most likely to reach the 15 year milestone.'

TOP 15 CARS OWNERS KEEP LONG-TERM

1. Toyota Highlander
2. Toyota Sienna
3. Toyota Tundra
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota RAV4
6. Honda Odyssey
7. Toyota Sequoia
8. Toyota Tacoma
9. Honda CR-V
10. Toyota Avalon
11. Acura MDX
12. Toyota Camry
13. Subaru Forester
14. Nissan Frontier
15. Volkswagen Golf
'Hybrid owners have the added incentive to keep their cars on the road for longer in order to accrue fuel savings to offset the increased upfront cost of these vehicles,' Ly said. 
'Despite consumers' concerns about battery durability and the associated high replacement cost, its appearance on the list shows that the reliability of the Prius measures up to Toyota's conventional fuel counterparts.'
But some of the nation’s most popular vehicles were noticeably absent from the overall top 15 list. 
Only three of the eight American models were above-average. 
Three American-made pickups were close to average, but failed to come close to the overall third-ranked Japanese Toyota Tundra.
Popular compact and midsize sedans, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Honda Accord all fared above average, but did not place on the Top 15 list.The Toyota Prius was 4th with 15 per cent of owners waiting at least 15 years to trade in
The Toyota Prius was 4th with 15 per cent of owners waiting at least 15 years to trade in
The Toyota RAV4 was fifth on the list with 14.3 per cent of owners keeping hold of the model for 15 years
The Toyota RAV4 was fifth on the list with 14.3 per cent of owners keeping hold of the model for 15 years

The best brand new car you can buy is a DIESEL: What Car? names Volvo XC40 as its Car of the Year and says the fuel is 'not dead yet'

  • Expert testers at What Car? name Volvo's small 4x4 as the best new car
  •  Judges said they ignored the ‘anti-diesel hysteria’ and there is still a place for it
  • Other winners included Honda Civic Type R and Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio
  • We reveal the full list of winning cars in all categories below 
Volvo’s new compact family XC40 4x4 has been crowned the best brand new car you can buy – despite being a diesel.
The Swedish diesel-powered Volvo XC40 D4 R Design took the top Car of the Year honour in the 2018 awards run by leading motoring magazine What Car?
Judges said they had ignored the ‘anti-diesel hysteria’ to give the Swedish 4X4 the top accolade and ‘to prove that diesels are definitely not dead.’
Volvo's new small family 4x4, the XC40, was named Car of the Year by What Car? - and the winner was a diesel model
Volvo's new small family 4x4, the XC40, was named Car of the Year by What Car? - and the winner was a diesel model
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The XC40 also took top slot in its category by being named Family Sports Utility Vehicle of the Year.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘We were very aware that some people would still consider the XC40 a controversial choice due to the fact the best engine in the range is a diesel.
‘But our judging panel refused to be swayed by the anti-diesel hysteria coming from politicians and some of the mainstream press and instead made their decision based purely on the merits of the cars.’
‘Our belief is that for many car buyers diesel remains the right economic and environmental choice – and for those that it doesn’t suit, a petrol or electrified alternative is available.’
Other off-roaders scored well elsewhere, as Seat’s Arona, took the Small SUV of the Year, while the Peugeot 5008 was named Large SUV of the Year, and Volvo’s XC60 - bigger brother to the top ranked XC40 - won the Safety Award.
It was a hat-trick for Audi which scooped three awards with the A4 named best executive car, the TT named best coupé and the Q7 named Luxury SUV of the Year.
Skoda took double honours with its Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L, judged best family car and the Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology named best estate.
Jaguar’s first electric car, the I-Pace, won the readers’ vote for the most exciting new car due to be launched in 2018.
The Swindon- built Honda Civic Type R GT was named hot hatch of the year
The Swindon- built Honda Civic Type R GT was named hot hatch of the year
Honda Civic Type R smashes Nurburgring lap record
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The Swindon- built Honda Civic Type R GT was named hot hatch of the year while the Sunderland-built Nissan Leaf N-Connecta was named best electric car.
Suzuki’s Ignis – the most efficient car the title has ever tested, with an average of 59.6mpg in real-world driving conditions – won the inaugural True MPG Award introduced this year.
The motoring magazine and website has also launched a new What Fuel? widget on its website to help consumers work out if a diesel car is the right choice for their lifestyle.
Sales of diesel cars fell by nearly a third (31 per cent) in December – and by nearly a fifth (17.1 per cent) during 2017, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders announced earlier this month.
Leading automotive expert Professor David Bailey says a ‘perfect storm’ of problems is forecast to slash diesel's share of UK market from a high of around half (50 per cent) to just one in seven (15 per cent) by 2025.
He has called for ministers to introduce a proper Government-backed scrappage scheme as an incentive to get diesel drivers to switch to electric.
The Peugeot 5008 is one of the cars reclaiming the French manufacturer's reputation and was named Large SUV of the Year
The Peugeot 5008 is one of the cars reclaiming the French manufacturer's reputation and was named Large SUV of the Year
Peugeot exhibits the new seven-seater SUV with thrilling promo
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What Car? is not buying the case for drumming out diesel.
Mr Huntingford said: ‘The fact is the Volvo XC40 is a stunning achievement and proves to car buyers everywhere that diesels are definitely not dead.’
What Car? pointed out that its own independent True MPG tests prove that the XC40’s latest diesel engine emits less nitrous oxide, known as NOx, than many petrol versions.
It does that ‘while offering the low CO2 that made diesels so popular in the first place’ by lowering levels of the gas blamed by environmentalists for global warming and man-made climate change.
But the Volvo (read our XC40 review here) had won the overall crown on its own all-round merits, stressed Mr Huntingford: ‘The SUV segment is incredibly competitive, so it’s testament to the brilliance of the XC40 that it stands out. With its mix of comfort and quality, safety and style, it excels in all the areas that are important to buyers.’
Volvo is the 19th car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award since the awards began in 1978.
This year’s What Car? 40th anniversary awards ceremony was held in association with Warranty Direct tonight at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.
Jon Wakefield, managing director of Volvo Car UK, said winning the overall Car of the Year Award was ‘fantastic’ for his firm in the UK and globally: ’We are immensely proud of the XC40, and for the experts at What Car? to award it their ultimate accolade is the perfect start to what will be a hugely significant year for Volvo.
‘The XC40 perfectly showcases the bold new direction Volvo is taking, and brings our class-leading connectivity, semi-autonomous drive technology and innovative storage solutions to the premium family SUV market.’
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio may be a four door saloon but it is seriously fast and eclipsed other contenders in the best sports and performance car category
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio may be a four door saloon but it is seriously fast and eclipsed other contenders in the best sports and performance car category
In other categories, Kia’s Picanto 1.25 ‘3’ was best city car, the SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95 FR best small car, the enduring Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav was best convertible, the Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE was best MPV Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio best sports and performance car, Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium best hybrid, and BMW 5 Series 520d SE best luxury car.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s pioneering electric Tesla firm was handed the Technology Award for ‘blazing a trail in the automotive industry’ with its ‘forward-thinking, innovative mind-set’.
Simon Ackers, chief executive of Warranty Direct which supports the event said: ’The What Car? Awards is one of the most celebrated events in the motoring calendar. They recognise the outstanding achievements of individual car manufacturers, creating invaluable insight and expert advice for consumers across the country.’

What Car? Car of the Year winners 

CAR OF THE YEAR
Volvo XC40 D4 R Design
CITY CAR 
Kia Picanto 1.25 ‘3’
SMALL CAR  
SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95 FR
FAMILY CAR 
Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L
SMALL SUV 
 Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 95 SE Technology
FAMILY SUV  
Volvo XC40 D4 R Design
LARGE SUV   
Peugeot 5008 1.2 Puretech 130 Allure
LUXURY SUV 
Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro 272 S Line
MPV 
Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 SE
ESTATE CAR 
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE 
HOT HATCH 
Honda Civic Type R GT 
CONVERTIBLE 
Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav
COUPÉ 
Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Sport
SPORTS AND PERFORMANCE CAR 
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
ELECTRIC CAR 
Nissan Leaf N-Connecta
HYBRID 
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium
EXECUTIVE CAR 
Audi A4 2.0 TDI 190 Ultra Sport 
LUXURY CAR 
BMW 5 Series 520d SE 
TRUE MPG AWARD
Suzuki Ignis
READER AWARD
Jaguar I-Pace
SAFETY AWARD
Volvo XC60
TECHNOLOGY AWARD
Tesla


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