The most reliable car brands according to carVertical!

A vehicle that breaks down often leaves the owner frustrated. Delays and repair costs can turn life into a nightmare. Reliability is a quality that you should strive for in a used car. Now which are the most reliable car brands? Here is a ranking of the reliability according to carVertical so that you can make an informed decision. But first we want to briefly explain the process.

How was the reliability rated?

We have compiled the list of the most reliable car brands based on one meaningful criterion - Damage.

The results are based on vehicle history reports from carVertical.

The used car rankings you see here are derived from the percentage of defective cars of each brand from the total.

1. KIA - 23,47%

Kia's slogan “The power to surprise” lived up to the hype. But even with more than 1,4 million vehicles produced per year, the South Korean automaker takes first place with only 23,47% of all models analyzed that had defects. But the most reliable make of cars is not flawless because the vehicles are prone to:

  • Frequent failure of the electric power steering
  • Parking brake failure
  • Possible DPF failure

The company's focus on reliability should come as no surprise, as Kia models have advanced safety systems, including collision avoidance, autonomous emergency braking, and vehicle stability management.

2. Hyundai - 26,36%

Hyundai's Uslan factory is the largest automobile factory in Asia and covers a staggering area of ​​over 5 million square meters (approximately 5 square kilometers). Hyundai took second place with defective 26,36% of all models analyzed. Hyundai used cars can have the breakdowns:

  • Corrosion of the rear chassis
  • Parking brake problems
  • weak windshields

How does such a good reliability ranking of the vehicles come about? Hyundai is the only automobile company that makes its own steel. The automaker also produces the Genesis, one of the safest cars in the world.

3. Volkswagen - 27,27%

Volkswagen built the legendary Beetle, an icon of the 20th century, of which more than 21,5 million units were sold. The car manufacturer ranks third among the most reliable car brands by carVertical and has damage in 27,27% of all analyzed vehicles. Although rugged, Volkswagen cars are particularly prone to these malfunctions:

  • defective dual mass flywheel
  • manual shift prone
  • Problems with the ABS / ESP module

Volkswagen strives to protect vehicle occupants through a variety of safety functions such as adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and lane change assistants.

4. Nissan - 27,79%

Nissan was the world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles for a long time before Tesla took the world by storm. With space missiles among its earlier creations, the Japanese automaker recorded damage to 27,79% of all models analyzed. But as durable as they are, Nissan vehicles are prone to several problems:

  • Differential failure
  • Very common structural corrosion in the central chassis
  • The automatic heat exchanger can fail

Nissan has always prioritized safety and developed innovative technologies such as: B. Zone Body Construction, Safety Shield 360 and Smart Mobility.

5. Mazda - 29,89%

After the Japanese company began producing cork, it adapted the first automotive Miller engine, an engine that was actually designed for ships, power plants and locomotives. According to the carVertical database, 29,89% of all Mazda models analyzed have defects. Most often, the brand's vehicles are known for the following damage:

  • Turbo failures in Skyactiv D engines
  • Failure of the fuel injector seal on diesel engines
  • frequent failure of the ABS pump

The mediocre performance does not mean that the vehicles do not have some impressive safety features. For example, Mazda's i-ACTIVESENSE includes advanced technologies that identify potential hazards, prevent accidents and reduce collision severity.

6. Audi - 30,08%

Audi is Latin for “Horch”, a translation of the surname of the founder. Audi is known for luxury and performance, also as a used car. Before the takeover by the Volkswagen Group, Audi once merged with three other brands to found Auto Union AG. The four rings of the logo symbolize this union. Audi missed 5th place by a tiny margin, as 30,08% of all models analyzed showed defects. The automaker's cars tend to have the following problems:

  • heavy clutch wear
  • Power steering failure
  • Manual transmission error

Audi can look back on a long history of safety and carried out its first crash test more than 80 years ago. Today the German automaker's cars are equipped with some of the most advanced active, passive and driver-assisting safety systems.

7. Ford - 32,18%

The founder of the automobile company, Henry Ford, shaped today's automobile industry by inventing the revolutionary "assembly line" that reduced car production time from 700 to an incredible 90 minutes. It is therefore confusing that the well-known automaker ranks so low, but the data from carVertical shows damage to 32,18% of all Ford models analyzed. Ford models are prone to the following defects:

  • failure of the dual mass flywheel
  • Failure of clutch and power steering pump
  • CVT automatic transmission failures

The American automobile manufacturer has long emphasized the importance of the safety of the driver, occupant and vehicle. A prime example of this is Ford's Safety Canopy System, which triggers special airbags in the event of a side impact or rollover.

8. Mercedes-Benz - 32,36%

The well-known German automobile manufacturer presented what was probably the first gasoline-powered automobile in 1886. Whether brand new or used, a Mercedes-Benz car is associated with luxury, but according to carVertical a full 32,36% of all examined Mercedes-Benz vehicles were defective. Despite their remarkable quality, Mercedes suffer from these problems:

  • Moisture can get into the headlights
  • Failure of the fuel injector seal on diesel engines
  • Failure of the Sensotronic brake system

But the brand with the slogan “The best or nothing” has done pioneering work in the areas of automotive design, technology and innovation. From the early versions of ABS to Pre-Safe, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz introduced several safety features that are common in the industry today.

9. Toyota - 33,79%

The Japanese automobile company produces more than 10 million vehicles a year. The company also makes the Toyota Corolla, the top-selling car with more than 40 million units sold worldwide. Amazingly, 33,79% of all Toyota models analyzed were damaged. Toyota vehicles often appear to have the following defects:

  • Rear suspension height sensor failure
  • Air conditioning failure
  • Tendency to severe corrosion

Japan's largest automaker began carrying out crash tests back in the 1960s. More recently, he introduced the second generation of the Toyota Safety Sense, a set of active safety technologies capable of detecting pedestrians by night and cyclists by day.

10. BMW - 33,87%

The Bavarian automobile manufacturer began as a manufacturer of aircraft engines. After the end of the First World War, BMW switched to the production of motor vehicles and is now the world's leading company for premium automobiles. Only 0,09% gave BMW instead of Toyota the worst value for reliability. The Bavarian automobile company recorded various defects in 33,87% of all models examined. Used BMWs have their problems with:

  • ABS wheel sensors
  • electrical malfunctions
  • Problems with trace

The final ranking of BMW is confusing, also because BMW is known for innovation. The German automaker has even developed a safety and accident research program to help design safer cars. But sometimes security cannot be converted into reliability.

Are reliable used cars often bought?

Obviously, the most reliable brands are not in demand when buying a used car. Most people avoid them like the plague. With the exception of Volkswagen, the 5 most reliable car brands are nowhere to be found among the best-selling brands.

Why is that? The best-selling brands are some of the largest and oldest automakers in the world. You've put millions into advertising, marketing, and image building. People associate the vehicle they see in movies, on TV, and on the internet with positive traits. Often it is the brand that sells, but not the product.

Is the used car market trustworthy?

The used car market is a minefield for a potential buyer, mainly because of Odometer manipulation. Odometer manipulation, also known as clocking or mileage fraud, is an illegal tactic that some sellers use to sell vehicles with lower mileage by manipulating the odometer. As you can see from the graphic above, the best-selling brands suffer from the most odometer manipulation, with BMW used cars accounting for more than half of all cases.

Mileage fraud allows the seller to unjustifiably charge a higher price, which means that buyers may be tricked into paying extra for a car in poor condition. And that's not all, there could be thousands of euros for future repairs. Undoubtedly, the brands that are known for their reliability are far from reliable, but their cars are in high demand. Unfortunately, the most reliable brands of cars are not that popular.

If you are planning on buying a used car, do yourself a favor and get a vehicle history report before spending big bucks on a lousy car.

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