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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 03:00 GMT 04:00 UK
Cheaper cars 'are more reliable'
AA man repairing a car
Owners reported breakdowns, faults and niggles for the survey
Small cheap cars can be more reliable than larger expensive models, a consumer survey of new cars suggests.

The Which? study found the Honda Jazz, which can cost less than 9,000, was the most reliable new car.

It outscored the BMW 5 Series and the Jaguar S-type, while almost a third of Mercedes-Benz E-class owners said their car needed repairs in the past year.

The least reliable new vehicle in the survey of 32,550 cars was Ford's MPV, the Focus C-Max.

Customer satisfaction

The Honda Jazz scored 95% for reliability, with no breakdown and only a handful of faults and niggles out of the 406 models sampled.

Several expensive models need to up their game to compete
Neil Fowler

Seven cars came equal second with 92% for reliability - Honda's Accord and CR-V, the Mazda 3, Renault Clio, Toyota Corolla, Vauxhall Corsa and Subaru Forester. The BMW 5 Series and the Jaguar S-type both scored 83%.

The Jaguar X-type, Nissan Primera, and Renault's Megane and Scenic all rated 80%, while the Focus C-Max was rated at 78%.

The survey also assessed customer satisfaction ratings for servicing and repairs at dealerships.

Lexus came out top, with 78% of customers very satisfied with servicing and repairs, followed by Porsche and Honda and 73% and 70%, while Chrysler and Alfa Romeo were joint bottom with 31%.

Neil Fowler, editor of Which?, said: "Good news for consumers, some cheaper cars are very reliable.

"Several expensive models need to up their game to compete. And several franchised dealers who repair 'prestige' cars need to raise their standards too."

The reliability scores combined breakdowns, faults and irritations reported by owners over a 12 month period on cars up to two years old.

On average, 5% of all new cars broke down in the last year, 27% had faults that required repairs and 19% had niggles, which were classed as "annoying problems".

A look at some of the 'most reliable' cars

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