Reliability is not guaranteed by a ‘posh’ brand

Posted on July 25th, 2016 by Rob Marshall

JD power 2016

The J.D. Power 2016 UK Vehicle Dependability Study’s findings echo my own, in that prestige vehicle brands tend not to be as dependable as their reputes suggest.

In my own experience of liaising with aftermarket repairers, component specialists, technicians and garage owners, repairing certain German brands tend to be quoted as their ‘bread and butter’.

Yet, the most dependable vehicle in the survey is Skoda – a marque that is a Volkswagen, mechanically. However, I do query Skoda’s value proposition these days, considering that its new car list prices are no longer as keen as they once were.

Nonetheless, the survey, now in its second year and based on responses from 13,000 drivers, establishes problems with cars aged between 12 and 36 months and the most common reports relate to Bluetooth and mobile telephone connectivity issues. While this places the simpler vehicle at an advantage over the prestige, gadget-heavy competitor, I have come across more serious mechanical and electrical defects affecting premium branded vehicles, compared to other cars wearing less prestigious badges. The premium vehicles also tend to be more expensive to repair.

Following Skoda, in the most dependable vehicle category, is Suzuki, followed by Kia, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Volkswagen. Land-Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and MINI performed relatively poorly, although it is interesting to note that Dacia came second-bottom, which suggests that respondents are not altogether satisfied with Renault’s cut-price alternative.