What are the most reliable family cars you can buy today? Our Driver Power survey reveals all…
Need something practical and economical with enough room to carry the kids? Then you’re in the market for a new family car, and high up your list of priorities will be something that’s crucial to any car ownership experience but always tricky to determine – reliability.
The last thing any motorist wants is a breakdown but the whole experience just gets worse when you’ve got a gaggle of unhappy children in the back seats. That’s why reliability is key for any car aimed at families and to help you find the right one, we’ve rounded up the most reliable family cars you can buy using data from our 2021 Driver Power survey.
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Despite the increasingly thorough tests and development processes that new cars are put through, there are no guarantees that any car will be reliable. However, information about the experience other motorists have had with the same cars and knowing of any specific faults or issues is a good way to determine how reliable your new purchase is likely to be after you’ve parted with your hard-earned cash. Using data from Driver Power, the UK's biggest car customer satisfaction survey, we can provide an insight into real-world reliability of new family cars that you’ll find hard to match elsewhere.
Our data below reveals the top 10 new family cars for reliability according to the people who own them. The data is also based on cars that are available to buy new and owners are asked about their satisfaction with standards of exterior and interior build quality and reliability – giving you invaluable tools to go out and buy your next family car.
Here are the 10 most reliable family cars in reverse order…
10. Kia Sportage 92.93%
Model: Mk4 – (2015 – 2021)
The Kia Sportage is one of the most popular cars on sale in Britain and while it has many appealing features, reliability seems to be one of its strongest attributes. The Ceed hatchback, Niro SUV and Rio supermini also placed well in the reliability category, so there’s no suggestion that the Sportage is a one-hit wonder for Kia. The Korean SUV also finished an impressive ninth overall in the 2021 Driver Power survey. Kia will be hoping for more of the same from it’s new fifth generation Sportage.
9. Vauxhall Grandland X 92.93%
Model: Mk1 (2017 – present)
The Grandland X is the highest-placed Vauxhall in both the reliability segment and overall for the 2021 Driver Power survey. It just edged the Sportage into ninth place in the list of reliable family cars and owners found it hard to fault the Grandland X in any one area, resulting in a seventh-placed finish overall. It’s interesting to note that despite many parts being shared with the Peugeot 3008, the Grandland X finished 25 places higher than its French cousin.
8. Toyota RAV4 93.86%
Model: Mk5 (2018 – present)
Overall, the RAV4 placed one position higher than in 2020 in Driver Power 2021 and in terms of most reliable family cars it’s up three positions. The RAV4 is not even in the top three most reliable Toyotas, the C-HR, Corolla and Prius all placed higher for the brand that’s long been known for making cars that last. Toyota’s confidence in the RAV4’s reliability is backed up by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
7. Toyota C-HR 94.16%
Model: Mk1 (2016 – present)
The Toyota C-HR had a strong performance in the 2021 Driver Power survey, coming fourth overall. Reliability was one of its poorer categories, the SUV coming 11th in the overall reliability sector – highlighting the excellent scores the C-HR received across the board. Despite being on sale for five years, the C-HR is still proving to be one of the most dependable cars you can buy.
6. Kia Ceed 94.35%
Model: Mk3 (2018 – present)
The Kia Ceed can take home the title of the most reliable family hatchback on sale. Owners have pointed out the excellent interior and exterior build quality. It’s 17th-placed finish in the overall Driver Power survey was the highest of any traditional hatchback and six places higher that the next hatchback, the Mercedes A-Class.
5. Skoda Karoq 94.97%
Model: Mk1 (2018 – present)
Skoda had a great 2021 Driver Power survey with the Kodiaq and Karoq placing in the top seven overall. The Karoq sits in the middle of the Skoda SUV range, above the Karoq and below the Kodiaq in terms of size, but when it comes to reliability it’s the best of the bunch. Just 13.77% of Skoda owners experienced faults with their cars as well, so it shows the build and engineering quality is apparent across their range.
4. Volkswagen T-Roc 95.02%
Model: Mk1 (2017 – present)
The Volkswagen T-Roc might still be in its first-generation, but it uses the tried and tested Golf Mk7 platform. SUVs based on hatchbacks are nothing new, but the T-Roc’s sporty style and reliability clearly resonate with owners and it was the highest-placed VW overall in the 2021 Driver Power survey. The T-Roc actually placed third for reliability but was brought down one spot due to its 12th position for overall quality.
3. Lexus NX 95.04%
Model: Mk1 (2014 – present)
It’s not a huge surprise to see Lexus place high in the top 10 most reliable family cars segment. The Japanese manufacturer actually had four cars in last year’s top 10, with the CT hatchback taking third place and the NX claiming tenth. Lexus owners say build quality is impeccable and the amount of Lexus owners reporting a fault backs this up with just 9.79% having problems. This generation of NX has been on sale for seven years now and it’s showing few signs of aging when it comes to reliability.
2. Mazda CX-5 – 95.64%
Model: Mk2 (2016 – present)
The Mazda CX-5 is the second most reliable family car you can buy today and it’s this level of build quality and dependability that has helped it claim third spot in the overall 2021 Driver Power survey. The CX-5 actually came first for refinement, backing up owners’ suggestions that the Japanese SUV feels upmarket and solid.
1. Skoda Kodiaq – 97.19%
Model: Mk1 (2016 – present)
Despite the success of the Yeti, the Kodiaq was the car that kicked off a new range of SUVs for the Czech brand. It’s been on sale for five years now and has recently received a mid-life refresh to keep it competitive in the increasingly tough large SUV segment. We’ve found that owners still rave about the reliability of their Kodiaqs, placing it top of the most reliable family cars sector in Driver Power 2021. The Kodiaq came top for outright dependability and plenty of owners rave about their car’s interior build quality, too. A sixth-placed finish overall shows that the Kodiaq is an SUV of many talents.
Top 10 most reliable family cars…
Premium Mid-Size SUV
Compact Family Car
Vauxhall Grandland X
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