A car’s reliability could easily determine whether a customer’s ownership experience is excellent or poor. Even simple cars could be great to own if they are reliable, and even high-performance vehicles could be a headache if they experience intermittent problems during their ownership period. This is why reliability is arguably one of the most important things that car buyers look for when purchasing an automobile.
Motoring publication What Car? Recently conducted its annual What Car? Reliability Survey, which reveals the best and worst vehicles in the UK market today when it comes to reliability. This year’s study included nearly 13,000 car owners who were asked about how dependable their vehicles have been over the previous 12 months. For this year, What Car? also decided to ask owners how much they had to pay to get their vehicles’ problems fixed, and how long the repair process took.
“In most cases, these two factors are more important than what actually went wrong with the car, because they determine how long you could be without your car and how much of a dent a fault could put in your wallet. So we used a combination of the answers to these questions to create a unique Reliability Rating – expressed as a percentage – for each model,” the publication noted.
In what could be dubbed as a pleasant surprise, the Tesla Model 3 was deemed as the most reliable executive car today in Britain, electric or otherwise. Only 5% of the Tesla Model 3 owners who participated in the survey reported having issues with their vehicle, and even then, the problems were only connected to the car’s interior trim. Despite these faults, the Model 3 owners noted that the cars could still be driven without any problems. Even better, the issues, once reported, were fixed in a day or less and at zero cost.
Highlighting this point, a Tesla Model 3 owner told the publication that “Everything about this car is superb, and I’ve had none of the build quality issues of the earlier models.” Thanks to customers’ positive response to the Model 3, the vehicle earned a stellar 99.4% Reliability Rating from What Car?’s survey, placing the vehicle ahead of all electric cars and executive vehicles, regardless of the type of propulsion.
Interestingly enough, the Model 3’s rival from Mercedes-Benz, the C-Class, was deemed by owners as the least reliable executive car. According to the motoring publication, roughly a third of C-Classes had issues, and the faults covered several aspects of the vehicle such as its electronics, exhaust, fuel system, battery, bodywork, infotainment, breaks, steering, and interior trim, to name a few. These complaints resulted in the C-Class receiving a rather low Reliability Rating of just 87.3%, far beneath the Tesla Model 3’s stellar scores.
“A third of C-Classes went wrong, according to owners, who reported a wide range of issues. Faults rendered more than a third of cars undriveable, and one in four was off the road for more than a week. Although 81% of cars were fixed for free, a small percentage of owners paid out more than £1500 in repair bills,” the publication wrote.
The full results of What Car?’s 2020 Reliability Survey could be accessed here.