Most reliable cars 2024

Looking to avoid costly repairs and high maintenance bills? We reveal the most reliable cars you can buy in 2024, based on data supplied by owners

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith March 25, 2024

When you’re buying a used car, it pays to choose something reliable. A car might be covered by a warranty, but that doesn’t mean it won’t let you down. Plus there’s the hassle of taking the car somewhere to be fixed – not to mention being without transport while it’s in the workshop.

The good news is that cars are more reliable than ever, so you’re less likely to end up with a dud. But some manufacturers are better than others, so it’s worth looking beyond the shiny badge and fancy brochure before parting with your cash.


Using data from the Satisfaction Index from BuyaCar’s sister site Honest John, we’ve created a list of the most reliable cars in the UK. The annual survey is based on the feedback from owners who are living with the cars on a daily basis, with each car given a rating out of ten for reliability.

Here are the most reliable cars in the UK, as rated by their owners.

Lexus NX

Most reliable car for quality and style
Reliable car score: 9.98
Read our full Lexus NX review

With a near-perfect score of 9.98, the Lexus NX is the most reliable car you can buy, according to the owners who took part in the Honest John Satisfaction Index survey. The Lexus NX scored highly for its comfort, road handling and practicality, while Lexus has been rated as the most reliable car brand for the past two years.

Amazingly, you can now buy a used Lexus NX for less than the price of a new Vauxhall Corsa. In other words, instead of a small car, you could own an SUV with a luxurious interior, a 475-litre boot and, if you choose the Lexus NX 300h, a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain capable of achieving an official 54.3mpg.

Even entry-level Lexus NX S models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control and a Lexus media display. Lexus NX SE, Luxury, Premier and F Sport models get progressively more luxurious.


Hyundai Tucson

Most reliable car for owner satisfaction
Reliable car score: 9.96
Read our full Hyundai Tucson review

As well as scoring well for reliability, the current Hyundai Tucson received the highest rating for owner satisfaction with a score of 99.6%. Plus, the Korean brand chucks in a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.

There are four versions of the Hyundai Tucson, each one powered by the same 1.6-litre petrol engine. In standard form, it offers an official 42.2mpg, but this is boosted to 44.1mpg in the mild hybrid version. Choose the full hybrid and you can expect 50.4mpg, while the plug-in hybrid gives an official 201.8mpg and 38 miles of range, if you remember to recharge the battery.

There are five trim levels, from the entry-level Hyundai Tucson SE Connect to the high-spec Ultimate, with Premium and sporty N Line and N Line S models in between.


Kia XCeed

Most reliable car for a long warranty
Reliable car score: 9.96
Read our full Kia XCeed review

It’s not hard to see why the Kia XCeed is one of the most popular used cars on the BuyaCar website. It’s essentially little more than a Kia Ceed hatchback with a dash of SUV attitude, but it looks more stylish and comes with a stronger feelgood factor.

The suspension has been tweaked to make it more comfortable than the Kia Ceed – very handy on Britain’s pockmarked roads – while the raised ride height ensures it rides speed bumps with ease. It’s also 85mm longer than the Kia Ceed, which means there’s more room for people and their luggage.

Most buyers choose the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, although a plug-in hybrid option offers up to 30 miles of electric range.


Skoda Superb

Most reliable car for more space that you could ever need
Reliable car score: 9.95
Read our full Skoda Superb review

Although a new Skoda Superb is on the way in 2024, there’s no need to dismiss the outgoing model. On the contrary, the spacious hatchback and cavernous estate are rated highly by owners.

We agree with them, because the current Skoda Superb still feels like an undiscovered gem, nearly a decade after its launch. In fact, it’s roomier than a Mercedes E-Class, and premium German counterparts the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series, yet costs significantly less than this illustrious trio.

Opt for the hatchback and you get a 625-litre boot, which increases to 1,760 litres with the rear seats folded down. Choose the estate and the figures are 660 litres and 1,950 litres respectively. What’s more, the big boot doesn’t come at the expense of the cabin space, with the Skoda Superb offering limo-like levels of rear legroom.


Jaguar XF

Most reliable car for ride and handling
Reliable car score: 9.90
Read our full Jaguar XF review

Yes, Jaguar XF is still being built. And, yes, it’s still one of the most underrated cars in a class that features the likes of the Audi A6 and fellow German the BMW 5 Series. Don’t take our word for it; the Jaguar XF is the highest-placed premium car in the Honest John Satisfaction Index.

We admit that it is showing its age in some areas – the engines are looking a little outmoded in the age of electrification and the cabin design is dated – but it offers a great blend of ride and handling.

There are two Jaguar XF versions available: saloon and Sportbrake, with the latter being one of the most stylish estate cars you can buy. Although a six-speed manual gearbox is available on some models, the eight-speed automatic suits the character better.


Jaguar F-Pace

Most reliable car for owning a premium SUV
Reliable car score: 9.87
Read our full Jaguar F-Pace review

It’s a credit to the designers that the Jaguar F-Pace still looks fresh today, nearly a decade on from its launch. The British brand was late to the SUV party, but it made a big first impression, with the Jaguar F-Pace becoming the fastest-selling car in its history.

Early examples now cost less than the price of a new small car, although we should offer some caution here. Although the Jaguar F-Pace is rated for its reliability, it achieved a relatively low score of 8.30 for repair costs, so it could be expensive if something does go wrong.

On the plus side, it has a delightful interior, a massive boot and, following a facelift in 2021, the latest technology.


Toyota Auris

Most reliable car for grabbing a bargain
Reliable car score: 9.86
Read our full Toyota Auris review

Remember the Toyota Auris? Possibly not. It existed in that period when the Japanese brand decided to ditch the Toyota Corolla name in favour of something that sounded more exotic. The fact that the latter has since returned would suggest that the experiment failed, but the Toyota Auris is notable for being the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle to be built in Europe.

While that’s about as exciting as things get with the Toyota Auris, let’s not be too unkind. What it lacks in charm and charisma, it more than makes up for in terms of reliability, practicality and robustness. It’s also cheap to run, thanks to fuel-efficient petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.

We’d avoid the entry-level Toyota Auris Active trim in favour of the Toyota Auris Icon, but given the low prices, you could splash out on the top-spec Toyota Auris Excel trim, which features sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and parking assist.


Dacia Duster

Most reliable car for rugged dependability
Reliable car score: 9.86
Read our full Dacia Duster review

The Dacia Duster might be one of Britain’s cheapest SUVs, but it’s also one of the most reliable. That’s quite an achievement when you consider that prices initially started from less than £10,000. Sure, they have risen since then, but you can still buy a new Dacia Duster for less than £17,500.

So, what’s the catch? Well, the interior feels less upmarket than some of its rivals and the on-road performance is more functional than exciting. But these are minor complaints, especially when you consider the price.

In four-wheel-drive guise, the Dacia Duster is a genuinely capable off-roader, but all versions are spacious, cheap to run and, in our opinion, good to look at. The 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine is also extremely economical.


BMW i3

Most reliable car for zero-emission driving
Reliable car score: 9.86
Read our full BMW i3 review

Sales of the pioneering BMW i3 ended in 2022 after nearly a decade of production, but its reliability means it is still one of the best electric cars you can buy. It’s amazing to think that you can buy one for less than the price of a new city car.

Early versions come with a small 22.6kWh battery, giving a range of 81 miles, before the introduction of a larger 33kWh battery increased the range to 114 miles. In 2019, the arrival of a 42.2kWh battery boosted the range to 193 miles.

Regardless of the range, the BMW i3 boasts an impressive interior, excellent build quality and playful rear-wheel-drive handling.


Toyota RAV4

Most reliable car for hybrid efficiency
Reliable car score: 9.85
Read our full Toyota RAV4 review

The current Toyota RAV4 is available only as a hybrid, which means you can expect low running costs. Indeed, the 2.5-litre hybrid offers an official 49.5mpg, which is excellent for a family SUV of this size.

Even the entry-level Toyota RAV4 Design trim features 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.5-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay integration, sat-nav, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, electric tailgate, rear parking sensors, reversing camera and keyless entry/start.

Fancy something racier? The Toyota RAV4 GR Sport is inspired by Toyota’s GR performance sub-brand and features 19-inch black alloy wheels, GR Sport cosmetic upgrades, panoramic view monitor and memory function on the driver’s seat.