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Thursday, June 3, 1999 Published at 02:47 GMT 03:47 UK

Business: The Company File

Popular cars 'are least reliable'

Leading car manufacturers fared badly in the survey

Some of the biggest-selling makes of car in the UK are the least reliable, according to a Consumers' Association survey.

Big names such as Ford and Rover came out worst in a manufacturers' reliability league table in the association's Which? Car 1999 publication.

The BBC's Simon Montague: "The big car makers will be closely monitoring these reports"
Editor Andrew McIlwraith said: "Although the truly dreadful car is mostly a thing of the past, reliability - even in new cars - still can't be taken for granted.

"Too many new cars still suffer from faults and problems, there's a huge difference between the best and worst manufacturers."

Coming out best in the table, which assessed cars on breakdowns, faults and problems, were Honda, Mazda, Proton and Toyota.

[ image:  ]
But Ford, Vauxhall and Rover were rated as "poor" in the table, as were Citroen, Fiat, Land Rover and Renault.

The findings were based on replies from members of the Consumers' Association.

They were also asked if they would recommend their car to a friend.

Again, leading manufacturers fared badly, with Ford, Vauxhall, Citroen and Rover in the bottom four places in a list of 32 car companies.

The big-name companies' individual models did not rate highly with members either.

[ image:  ]
The Vauxhall Vectra, Rover 200 and 400 and the Ford Escort were all in the "least liked" list of cars.

Ford could at least take some comfort from the fact its Ka model was among the most-liked superminis, while the Vauxhall Vectra was the most secure car in tests carried out by Which?

The magazine also listed its own "best buy" vehicles.

The best superminis were the Volkswagen Polo and the Ford Fiesta, while the best small family cars were the Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Corolla. Toyota also took the large family car accolade for its Avensis.

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