Fleet News

Germans hit back at reliability result

GERMAN car manufacturers have hit back after a survey claimed their reliability record has fallen further behind Japanese rivals.

The latest vehicle reliability study, which polled owners of more than 30,000 vehicles, placed Volkswagen in the lowest category for reliability alongside BMW and Audi, which dropped two places in two years.

Audi’s TT held the bottom place for the second year running, with consumers claiming one in five has broken down in the past year.

Honda, Mazda, Lexus and Toyota remain at the top of the Which? table alongside Suzuki and Hyundai. Mazda scored highly, with its 323 recording no breakdowns at all in the survey for the second year running.

However, a Volkswagen spokesman speaking on Radio Five’s Drive Time claimed buyers should use the Fleet News FN50 leasing league table, which covers almost one million vehicles, as a better indicator of reliability.

The spokesman added: ‘We tend to do much better in surveys such as the Fleet News FN50, which uses objective data taken from fleets under the same circumstances as our competitors. We do less well in surveys which prompt people to self-select and list problems which they have had.’

Malcolm Coles, editor of Which?, the group behind the survey, said: ‘German cars have always been expensive, but our survey reveals a worrying drop in reliability that makes them look distinctly over-priced. Audi, BMW and Volkswagen may be the choice of more badge-conscious buyers, but owners of Japanese cars are far less likely to spend time on the hard shoulder or face hefty garage bills.’

  • What do you think? E-mail fleetnews@emap.com

    Overall reliability
    Excellent Good Average Poor
    Honda Daihatsu Alfa Romeo Audi
    Hyundai Ford Jaguar BMW
    Lexus Nissan Jeep Chrysler
    Mazda Subaru Kia Citroen
    Suzuki Mercedes-Benz Daewoo
    Toyota MG Fiat
    Mitsubishi Land Rover
    Porsche Peugeot
    Proton Renault
    Seat Rover
    Skoda Saab
    Volvo Vauxhall

    (Manufacturers are listed in alphabetical order)

    Breakdown rates

    Hyundai Getz 0%
    Mazda 323 0%
    MG ZT/ZT-T 0%
    Toyota Corolla 0%
    Toyota Corolla Verso 0%

    Audi TT 21%
    Mercedes E-class 16%
    VW Polo 14%
    Seat Leon 12%
    Rover 25 12%
    (Vehicles listed in alphabetical order)

  • Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

    Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

    Login to comment


    No comments have been made yet.

    Compare costs of your company cars

    Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

    What is your BIK car tax liability?

    The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee