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.’
(Manufacturers are listed in alphabetical order)
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)