Japanese car manufacturers have enhanced their already formidable reputation for first class engineering by leading a reliability league table drawn up in one of the UK’s most detailed motoring surveys.
Cars made by Japanese companies comfortably outperformed British models when it came to dependability, according to the survey carried out by Which? Car magazine.
UK-based cars performed poorly with Land Rover coming joint bottom of the table with America’s Crysler Dodge.
Japanese manufacturers took the first seven places in a reliability table of 38 brands compiled by the magazine.
Honda was the winning manufacturer, according to the study of 89,768 cars, which were up to eight years old.
Statistical analysis was used to calculate a Brand Reliability Index percentage based on readers’ reports of total breakdowns, faults that required a vehicle to be taken to a garage and minor niggles.
Break-downs were weighted more heavily than niggles. Honda achieved 85 per cent followed by Toyota, Daihatsu, Lexus, Mazda, Subaru and Suzuki.
The Korean Hyundai brand was the first to make inroads into Japanese domination, scoring 80 per cent.
The table was divided into reliability categories ranging from the best “very good” through “good”, “average” and “poor” with the least reliable being described as “very poor”.
Eight of the top ten most reliable brands were from Japan. The seven manufacturers in the “very good” category were all Japanese.
Only Hyundai and Porsche from Germany made it into the “good” category.
In contrast, British manufacturers were at the bottom of the table, with Rover (70 per cent “very poor”) and MG (73 per cent “very poor”), brands that are no longer in production, and Vauxhall (75 per cent “poor”) joining Land Rover (67 per cent “very poor”) towards the bottom of the list.
Of the UK-based companies, only Mini (78 per cent) and Jaguar reached the average figure.
Despite Japan’s overall success in the manufacturers’, there was a blip in Honda’s record with the firm’s Civic model – made in Swindon, Wiltshire – which was in joint-bottom spot in the individual models’ list.
Richard Headland, the Which? Car’ editor, said: “Japan continues to show the rest of the world how to make consistently reliable cars, although the new Honda Civic shows they’re not infallible. Some British-built cars, on the other hand, don’t exactly run like clockwork. Land Rover, in particular, needs to raise its game.”
The Which? Car survey said: “Japan continues to blaze a trail for making reliable cars. The ‘Which? Car’ ‘very good’ reliability category is not simply dominated by Japanese brands. It is Japanese brands.”
Of the British cars, Mini, Jaguar, Vauxhall and Land Rover, it said: “None of these brands is under British ownership any more, but most are built in the UK. Tata, Land Rover’s new owner must improve reliability.”