News : Warranty figures show German cars aren’t reliable

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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Okay, so it’s not exactly news to those close to the trade, but the latest reliability figures from Warrantywise make interesting reading – as well as blowing apart the idea that ‘if it’s German, it’s more reliable’, they also seem to prove that the most dependable cars are Japanese.

A Warrantywise survey of 750 drivers finds that UK buyers think German cars are among the most reliable on the road, despite Warrantywise data showing many are ‘below average’. Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW were all in the Top 10 for reliability, but the company’s warranty data, puts them at 27th, 28th and 29th respectively. British cars also scored better than their public perception, aside from Jaguar’s disappointing performance. The highest-placed British marque (as opposed to British-built overseas-badged) is the MINI in 13th position.

The open-ended survey question asked users to pick from all manufacturers on sale in the UK and identify which they believed were the most reliable. Honda came out on top, followed by Toyota and Ford, with BMW in fourth place. However, according to Warrantywise’s Dependability Rating, the public’s perception of BMW’s reliability is wildly different to the reality, with BMW placing 29th in a list of the most reliable manufacturers.

Fellow German brands Mercedes-Benz and Audi also placed in the public’s Top 10 most reliable manufacturers, but finished well outside of the Top 10 in Warrantywise’s Dependability Table, in 27th and 28th places respectively. Both had scores that are considered ‘below average.’

Each car manufacturer has been ranked by a dependability factor, based on the number of reported faults or breakdowns, with a score of 75 representing the UK average. A rating above 75 is considered good, and below 60 signifies a high incidence of repair work is required. Average costs, vehicle age and model are also considered in the Warrantywise ranking.

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Is this BMW actually as unreliable as its namesake on the registration plate?

WARRANTYWISE DEPENDABILITY TABLE

Dependability score Make Average repair cost
93 Honda £535
93 Toyota £592
92 Suzuki £424
89 Mitsubishi £833
88 Hyundai £577
88 Mazda £617
86 Nissan £521
85 Subaru £791
85 Ford £421
84 SEAT £475
84 Peugeot £406
83 Smart £390
82 MINI £497
82 Volkswagen £631
82 Fiat £417
82 Lexus £603
81 Renault £441
81 Vauxhall £467
80 Kia £522
79 Chevrolet £548
78 Skoda £492
77 Land Rover £453
77 Volvo £553
77 MG £399
76 Saab £425
75 Citroen £501
74 Mercedes-Benz £751
74 Audi £620
69 BMW £701
64 Ferrari £2046
64 Jeep £505
64 Chrysler £464
60 Alfa Romeo £590
57 Porsche £842
54 Jaguar £794
41 Maserati £1430

 

61 Comments

  1. Er – but this is based on repair costs – presumably an average per car. Should we be that surprised that an average repair to say a Honda Civic costs less than that on a BMW M5? Like all these reliability/customer satisfaction/JD Power surveys, just a meaningless set of statistics that you could skew any way you want to suit whatever agenda your pursuing.

  2. What I have found, owning an aluminium XJ6 of 2003, is that the reliability is there, but there are issues with durability.

  3. Well, I meant to add also, that I have no problems with the car getting me there and back, it’s just that things that are expected to eventually wear out, seem to wear out far more quickly than one would expect – like suspension joints and bushes.

    PS. Why can’t this comments section have an ‘Edit’ option so mistakes can be corrected ?

  4. Surprised to see Ford on the table… Average repairs costs are low, but how often it gets repaired? Quite a lot in my previous experience! And Fiat?! Come on!

    • IME FIAT have proven to be rather better than Ford and quite a few other mass-market makes – and I’d readily believe the data that suggests Japanese-built, (as opposed to just Japanese-badged) would top the charts.

  5. Yet, another article putting a downer on German cars… The Japanese were always known as being the most reliable cars… That hasn’t changed for decades and should be norm for years to come. My late dads R8 is proof that the Honda partnership was brilliant and made beat cars, culminating with the 600.
    But the title of this article is misleading. Yes, they’re not the most reliable, but that’s doesn’t mean they’re not reliable. Is there a anti German car syndrome in this website?

    • “Is there an anti German car syndrome on this website”

      BMW killed Rover dontcha know!

      And all German brands use dastardly underhand sales tactics like offering cars with good performance, low CO2 numbers and aggressive styling.

  6. Looks like some people just can’t cope with the facts! I would like a bit more info on what happened to Jaguar. Recently there had been big improvements compared to the old days.

  7. What please is a “dependability score” ? It sounds absolutely meaningless . And what period is this supposed to cover ? SAAB being included makes it clear that this covers not just recently produced cars . And what are “repair costs” ? Does it include tyres and other consumables ?

    It looks to me like just another load of rubbish regurgitated by some journalist with no critical eye for what he is writing

  8. A nonsense table because it’s comparing an entire brand. So Jaguars are unreliable – but that could mean the XF is bulletproof and the XK spends the whole time on the ramp, you just don’t know. A full list by model would be far more useful.

  9. It is all to do with the company that did this survey, and how many cars they have had to repair outside of the normal warranty period, based on frequency and cost, not just cost alone, as that would mean cars like Lambo, Ferrari and Rolls would be at the bottom, it is a fully worked out, to give an unbiased, get that UNBIASED view point of the UK’s best and worst cars for reliability.

    German cars are very good and covering issues, but those that know better, will clearly state that they are far from the best, people still whittle on about Lotus, Fiat and Vauxhall, but they are far from bad these days, but that same bias that says BMW are good, is there to say that Fiat and Vauxhall are not, well, they are not bad, far from it, there really are no bad cars these days, just degree’s of good.

    As an aside, we did a very big journey recently, about 3000 miles in a week, (never again), and there were more BMW’s, especially the bangle 5-Series, on the road side than all other cars added together, Mini were up there, but they were mainly the early ones, and a few Mercs, NO MG’s, NO Rovers, NO Jags, and NO Land Rovers.

  10. The problem with the surveys is the questions asked. I am a member of a survey website and get asked questions all the time about things. Sometimes the answers provided are directed to provide an answer the survey company want.

    However I degress. The question is how old were the cars involved in this. I know from experiences of friends that certain brands have a “reliability life”. This is when a car performs excellently for the first few years but then has major or severe problems afterwards. A friend of mine had an Alfa from new, but when it got to 4 years old started having huge problems with the electrics, while another had a Kia whose engine failed after 4 years.

    In the home electronics industry where I use to work, cheap manufacturers would design a product with a short shelf life to make money from people either replacing their broken items or pay for very expensive repairs. For example BEKO and Indesit (or Indeshit as known in the trade) would build a washing machine to last four years, a Bosch for about 6/7 years while a Miele would be designed to last at least 10 years. But then you paid the money for the quality.

    However in the car industry this has stopped being the case. Many of the parts used in premium products like BMW’s and Mercs are just supplied by sub contractors and are used on Fiats and Fords. When my father worked for Fords, the Diesel plant at Dagenham had to stop work as the valve’s they used on one of their engines had a fault and had been recalled by the supplier. Ford was not the only business affected – BMW, Mercedes, Pug, Renault, Fiat and Volvo were also affected.

    • So what’s your recommendation when buying domestic appliances? Just go cheap and replace every 5 years? Living in a hard water area, I’ve never bothered with spending big on a Miele or whatever, but for the record my latest cheap Hotpoint washing machine is working fine after 7 years.

  11. The Japanese metal above Nissan in the table are most likely to be driven by private owners covering a lower annual mileage?
    The prestige German brands are mostly sold to companies covering high mileages by less than caring drivers. Inevitable leading to higher repair costs.
    @ Jagboy
    I too drive thousands of motorway miles per year and only last week, sadly, I witnessed a very new Range Rover suffer some sort of catastrophic mechanical failure, roll onto the hard shoulder. Yet I still believe JLR have cracked the reliability problems. Furthermore, I have owned personally 23 BMW’s and 1 MInI without a serious issue.
    As you say most cars are reliable today. Unfortunately, most of the really reliable cars are boring to drive.

  12. Andy W – depends what budget you have! I have a Miele as most of the customers I dealt with had bought one it had for 15 to 20 years before they needed replacing. Most of this is the engineering Miele have been using hasn’t changed for a long time and they have got the quality just right. Also they do not use concrete blocks to hold it in place during the spin cycle – they use hydraulics which also helps with the stresses the parts have put on them.
    However if your budget cant stretch that far (they are pricey) buy a Hotpoint or a Bosch – lower mid market. Don’t go for BEKO or Indesit as they really are rubbish quality and from experience you will be lucky to get 4 years at the most!

    Best thing though if you are in a hard water area is use water softner tablets – aka Calgon or equivelant as this will extend the life of the machine too. Lidl’s do a cheaper alternative which are just as good as Calgon.

    • It’s very unfortunate that people will buy Beko (or similar) brands at knock-down prices because in terms of cost per year they’re not dissimilar to Miele (which might last three times as long but cost three times as much) and of course it’s always appealing – and sometimes just necessary – not having such a large up-front outlay. However, that Beko has a similar quantity of materials in it and represents a similar impact on the environment to manufacture, transport and ultimately scrap as the Miele. Multiplying that by three makes the Beko way more damaging to the environment than the Miele even if they perform comparably in use. Manufacturers of goods with poor quality, life-limiting engineering ought to be taxed to cover this damage. They’d quickly start making stuff that’s better, and this can only benefit the consumer – Beko seem to be in the news from time to time for selling products that catch fire, which improved engineering ought to improve. Granted, up-front costs will be higher. That’s never going to be popular but the cost of appliances has gone down enormously in real terms over the past few decades so in reality it’s ‘adjustment’.

  13. Something overlooked perhaps is the knowledge of people who use these products (as white goods and care seem to be on the thread).
    People are generally less technically aware now than in years of old. By that, I mean do not understand how things work and how to use and look after them properly and with care.
    How many people overload that washing machine and slam the door shut?
    How many people understand the reasons for smooth driving as it impacts on the underlying mechanicals?
    My son’s peers have no idea what makes a car go, stop or what has gone into making it and therefore abuse it.
    The poor interiors of old were one thing, but once you took it easy the choke lever in my SD1 survived for 15 years before being replaced because of gentle use rather than rip it up with the end of a finger in sub-zero temperatures.

    • Flipping your argument on its head, it is a massive testament to the quality of Japanese brands at the top of this list that their cars are often the ones that take the worst abuse from their drivers. Plenty of Nissan Micras survive a beating from unsympathetic learner drivers, and plenty of Honda Jazzes get braille-parked and hammered on short journey usage cycles.

      Most of those brands in the top 10 are what I would describe as “appliance cars” chosen by non-enthusiast buyers who just want transportation and have no interest in the oily bits underneath the bonnet. And they still run reliably.

  14. @daveh

    Hotpoint as a separate company doesn’t really exist anymore, other than as a brand owned by Indesit. The UK factories in Peterborough and North Wales have closed and the machines badged as Hotpoints are built in Italy nowadays.

    The UK Hotpoint tumble drier factory in Bristol does remain open and this also produces machines badged as Indesit!

  15. Andy W:

    BMW didn’t kill Rover. It certainly did put a nail in the coffin, but that coffin was already laid up in the 70’s! Phoenix did put the last nail on it and did the funeral!

    “And all German brands use dastardly underhand sales tactics like offering cars with good performance, low CO2 numbers and aggressive styling”:
    Ahem, they all do the same, some more than the others, obviously, but whichever brand is. It’s called business! Without tactics, business fail. I know, it’s unfair, but its the reality!

  16. @ Neil B, I own a Nissan Micra, not because I really want to, but because this size of car makes more sense to someone on less than the national average who does 8000 miles a year and needs a car that’s reliable and returns at least 45 mpg. However, if I had the money, I think I’d be driving something more exciting.

  17. The Japanese definitely seem to have cracked the reliability issue, but get 0/10 on rusting. I took a Xedos 9 from 40k to 128k miles and reliability was almost total. However, when it got to 120k miles, I noticed rusting in the wheel arches. I reckon the car was good for many more miles but who wants to run around in a rusty bucket ?

    In fact it was the Chairman of Nissan Motor, many years ago, who said that a Nissan would rust away before it broke down. How true !!

  18. @ Alisdair Mackenzie – Hotpoint and Indesit are actually part of the Whirlpool group of companies. In 2001 Indesit parent Merloni bought part of the Hotpoint business from Marconi’s, and in 2007 bought the remaining shares, and in 2014 Whirlpool bought out a majority shareholding in the parent company.

    Indesit products mainly use older & cheaer designed parts, while Hotpoint use better quality mainly designed by Whirlpool. Whirlpool formerly use to operate in the UK, taking on the operations of Philips but unfortunately the product range was rather unreliable and Whirlpool pulled out. Their US range is known for better quality.

  19. I have a Mercedes C300 estate which is one year old. MB customer service is poor. They are not interested in most of the issues I have raised. The car has been into the dealer about 5 times for mainly gearbox issues. Seats that leave me ‘feeling’ the bump in the backrest hours after having left the car. Despite being a good car I doubt that I shall get a MB again as a company car. I would get a new XF or XE if the do an estate with no leather.

  20. German products (not just cars) have been grossly over rated for years, I can remember my father working in a Volkswagen dealership in Sunderland back in the early 90s telling me the cars were crap. Mechanics were sick of the same cars going back for warranty work but they were all kept under the cosh by VAG and absolutely no criticism of the brand was allowed. I remember my dad being given a 1995 Golf mk3 TDI as a demonstrator (brand new in British racing green), that pile broke down 4 times in three months with different faults, ironically in the same place (almost). He was given a 1.6 petrol version afterwards, he left soon after for Ford. I also work in the motor trade and constantly hear horror stories from customers with newish Audis, BMWs, Mercs and Volkswagens, ranging from low quality plastics leading to headlights falling out on BMW E90s, to a 6 WEEK old Polo where all of the headlamps and tail lamps have filled with water and condensation (a common fault apparently). A lady turned up the other day with a 13 plate Audi TT telling me her high level brake light had failed for the third time (car had 21k miles on it!) and the dealer told her it was her fault because she sat in traffic with her foot on the brake for too long!!! A friends 1993 Mk3 Golf van needed welding and paint on it’s first MOT, as well as him suffering numerous electrical issues and breakdowns, he eventually chopped it in for a Peugeot Partner which gave him ten years and nearly 200k miles with no problems whatsoever. I have seen 5 year old BMW 3 series with 60k miles with significant wear on seat bolsters, numerous creaks and loose trim, writing and surfaces worn off buttons etc. Even my wife’s Seat Altea (her choice NOT mine!) is causing all kinds of problems, endless error codes, electrical problems (tailgate release button failed, rear wiper motor burned out, central locking motors failing etc) yet my own knacky old Peugeot 407 has 126k miles now and nearly everything works fine, and is a far nicer, more comfortable, better looking car to own!

    • I am a big fan of German cars (2 BMWs and 1 Audi in the past 11 years), but even I will concede the dealers are lousy, presumably because they can get away with it because their customers are so blindly loyal. BMW was patchy, with a few good dealers if you looked hard enough. Audi dealers were universally poor. Really arrogant and condescending.

      Honda dealers are much better.

  21. @Gentil Costa People are become more aware of how bad German products are in general, previously people (like you with no awareness of quality) have ignored to faults and problems with the cars because they have been brainwashed into thinking that if it’s German, it must be good. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Let me give you one example: if a VW Golf’s door handle breaks off due to poor design/poor materials then everyone, by default blames the owner, they were “too rough with it”, or they “never maintained the handle properly” etc etc, yet if the door handle breaks off a Hyundai for instance or a Citroen, it’s a free for all on the criticisms, “French crap” or, told you not to buy “Korean rubbish” etc… People have been too biased in favour of German cars to too long and I think we are starting to wake up to it that’s all. Speaking of supposedly superior Miele products, true story: my mum has a thing about vacuum cleaners and after several years of sterling service, her 8 year old ” Hoover Turbo Junior” was deemed fit for replacement (even though it still worked fine) and she decided to be brainwashed into buying a top of the range Miele Vacuum cleaner which cost her a damn fortune from what I can remember. Three DAYS after it was commissioned, the thing broke, motor had self destructed, back to the shop, new one, that too, a months down the line had some kind of failure, back to the shop, third one, I set this one up for her in her living room and tested it out, got to the lower landing and I noticed a burning smell, then the electrics in the house tripped, motor shorted on that one too! She gave up and bought a VAX which was brilliant… Bosch Hedge trimmer 6 months of light use, plastic parts in the shuttle mechanism wore out, fell to pieces inside, cheap crap, again, Bosch Pressure washer, two uses and the lance fell apart, spraying my mum in the face with high pressure water, again, low quality junk… I would never buy another German product as long as I live because 90% of the German products I have owned or have had direct experience with have been substandard to some extent…

  22. The wear on seat bolsters has nothing to do with the quality of the material, how how they used. I used to have a 1998 528i with nearly 160k on the clock with hardly any wear, apart from the stretch on the leather base.
    Saying that, costumer service on the big brands is appaling, but that has nothing to do with reliability.
    BMW are notorious for ignoring design faults and that comes from the 80’s.
    Most notorious case was when BMW started to implement run-flats and therefore many cars, especially the ones with 19″ wheels were prone to cracked wheels and BMW blamed on the costumer… Until Watchdog stepped in, but it was a bit late then. Had a 635i whose rear wheel cracked 3 times! Also BMW diesels had the dreadful swirl flap problem, which took a long time to sort out.
    Mercedes also lost their marbles and in the mid90’s went cheap. First complainers? The taxi drivers who soon got fed up with Mercedes costume service. Problems with trim, paint quality, and failing engines. However, despite the problems, many of them around the world still use Mercs.
    The bottom line is, yes German cars aren’t as good as they were, but still reliable and not as bad as the title suggests. Same for British cars… Many people simply fob them off as unreliable, but that isn’t true either.
    Also, a good reason why Japanese cars are so reliable is because of their home market. Japan has the strictest MOT regulations (called Shaken) and when cars fail it is very expensive to keep the car on the road. Therefore, the cars need to be as reliable as possible. Also, culturally, Japan is very proud of their own products and if something goes wrong, they take it personally… Remember Toyotas CEOs bowing in apology for the problems they has with some of their vehicles in USA

  23. @ Steve McGill

    Don’t buy a Miele Vacuum no better than the rest – best vacuum you can buy are Sebo – also German. You don’t see them often as they are a bag cleaner and they are now seen as old hat by public. However they are the best upright you can but buy a mile. And your mum has been lucky with her VAX.

    Bosch are no longer top quality as they were – the Bosch brand is now middle of the road with most of their products being built outside of Germany at cheaper factories. The same can be said of AEG which are just Electrolux with a big price tag.

  24. The reason BMW and Mercedes are not as reliable as they once were is profit. They use to produce cars in small numbers with high quality standards, but now produce them in large quantities which means you will drop off in quality as you cannot maintain the standard the more you make. BMW now make more 3 series than Ford makes Mondeos – no wonder the blue oval performs better!

  25. @Steve McGill, It’s an insult that you tell me that I had no awareness of quality and have been brainwashed.
    If that was the case, then I would never owned Rovers, and at the moment, an MGF.
    German products are generally good, I’ve owned a few and never had problems. My perception about German products comes through experience and ownership, not from reading Articles. So, if you had problems with the ones you bought, then it was your personal experience as well.
    I was heavily criticised either for buying a couple of rovers in the past and more recently for buying an MGF. Only because the cars were labelled as rubbish and the HGF stigma. Guess what… They were more reliable than my colleagues Fords and Fiats.

  26. Maybe as a lecturer told some of us Rover guys before the takeover was announced – BMW means “bullsh*t marketing works”. After the takeover, my German colleagues could not believe that our Japanese supplier had a failure rate one tenth of their German equivalents.

    Part of the problems may boil down to moving to factories/suppliers in low cost countries and also increasing the complexity/range of vehicles without having all the staff/procedures in place to cope with it.

    I find that Japanese suppliers my be more bureaucratic while the Germans can be “engineering led” by pioneering and introducing products to the marketplace unproven in volume. Possibly some of it boils down to what happens if somebody is found to have failed, as we have recently seen with VW and Mitsubishi.

  27. Any ‘dependability’ survey that shows SKODA/VW/SEAT/AUDI at significantly different scores should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

  28. Maybe the problem is Audi, BMW and Mercedes dominate the executive car market, with the only serious competition coming from Jaguar and Volvo, and they’ve become complacent. 30 years ago anyone in the market for an executive car, if they didn’t want a German car( which was often more expensive to buy and maintain, if generally reliable), had the choice of Rover, Ford, Vauxhall, SAAB, Peugeot, Volvo, Renault, Citroen, or if image meant nothing, a large Japanese saloon like a Toyota Camry. Nowadays there’s only really five players, Lexus seem to have become a bit player, in the executive car market.

    • As much as I lament the disappearance of the ‘mainstream’ E segment and shrinkage of the D segment, there are still a few alternatives out there:

      Rover – while sadly missed, the XE is something of a spiritual successor to the 75

      Ford – the latest Mondeo is a good looking beast, especially in blue, the Aston style grille give it a 4 door supercar look reminiscent of the SD1…

      Vauxhall – the Insignia is a step up from the Vectra, and like the Mondeo sells enough to fleets to ensure that it shouldn’t be going anywhere

      SAAB – now dead, sadly

      Peugeot – The 508 in facelift form is a surprisingly good looking car, unfortunately no-one in the UK buys them, I expect this to go the way of the C5

      Volvo – the Volvo S90 however is an interesting and good looking alternative to a 5 series

      Renault / Citroen – They’ll no longer sell a Laguna/Talisman or C5 in the UK, the DS5 is an alternative to a German premium marque though it has similar bone shaking suspension to a 3 series.

      or if image meant nothing, a large Japanese saloon like a Toyota Camry – You can still buy an Avensis, though for how long, it looks to be on the chopping board. Honda did away with the Accord, however the Mazda 6 is still available and is a good looking car, almost a Spanish Alfa. There is also always Lexus…

      Other alternatives –
      Skoda Octavia / Superb – yes they have a whiff of airport taxi about them, and are basically VW products, but they are an alternative to an Audi using the same engines etc.

      Alfa Guilia – coming onboard soon, for all the old stereotypes (and indeed 90s twinspark 30k timing belt intervals…) this is a good looking car

      Jag – as mentioned, the XE/XF and XJ are a modern British range of executive cars

      Kia Optima – often overlooked, worthy enough

      Hyundai i40 – Hyundai’s Mondeo, a world away from a ropey old Stellar

  29. Broadly agree with the comments of Gentil above, though IME Fiat, (Italian-built models) have proved rather better reliability wise than general presumed ignorance would suggest and, (at least used to be) more cleverly engineered than the more popular GM/Ford/Nissan fare.

    As to statements of ‘facts’ about brand reliability, this has been broadly
    nonsense for years, unless talking about smaller makers who control operations within only one or two factories, (like Porsche or Japan-only assembled Daihatsu)

    Vehicles from the big players are designed and built in so many locations with parts from countless suppliers, often from different continents that levels of design, component quality and assembly varies rather more than the makers would ever like to admit.
    Witness that even the ‘premium’ makers have served-up the odd duff design that also has loads of reliability aggro every so often.

  30. @ Carroll, one thing the Italians did get right after the rust scares of the late seventies and early eighties, was to galvanise the bodies of their cars. This meant a Fiat Uno had a far longer life than a 127 and didn’t seem to develop terminal rust at 5 years old. Also for all Fiat and Alfa Romeos were often badly built and prone to electrical faults, the engines and transmissions often proved to be durable and the driving experience probably explains why both manufacturers still have a following here.
    However, there are no truly bad cars these days and most, if serviced correctly and not abused, will run for many years with few problems. Yet I think the main problems now are cost cutting, which makes the interiors of cars like the BMW 1 series look cheap and nasty, and cheap ancillary components.

  31. The big issues with modern cars are:

    a) electrical — failure of ECU or related subsystems writes many otherwise sound cars off
    b) Emission controls — the cost DPFs and Catalytic converters at £800-£1200 each kill many older cars

    Both my previous Honda and current C Class have been very reliable. Neither have had any significant time off the road, in contrast to my LR Discovery for which LR stood for Load of Rubbish.

    I’ve also had no major issues with customer service, until our local Honda dealer was bought out by a national chain.

    OK, it’s all statistical, but I’m a high mileage driver and would certainly not want to have another Ford or Alfa. I’ve also been unimpressed with recent Volvos, which used to be very reliable and good for a huge mileage, despite not being very exciting.

    One of my colleagues has a Toyota Avensis with over 200,000 on the clock which still goes well. It’s deadly dull, but deadly reliable too.

  32. I never cease to be bewildered at the common attitude that lumps all products from a single country together.

    How can all German products be either good or bad? Or British, or French?

    I buy British where I can because I want the unemployed to live elsewhere – the quality is as good or bad as anywhere else….

  33. Basically cars from the German marques are a con trick they’re overpriced under equipped, mostly not built in Germany, option prices are stupid labour costs for repairs verge in the extortionate. Still never mind you can feel a smug b*****d that you’ve got an Audi,BMW, Merc, Porsche or VW andyour car is on the back of a recovery transporter when you car has conked out again.

  34. @ Ian Parker, rather like people still thinking Ford are British, when in reality all their cars imported now, cars people think as traditionally being German often are not. Volkswagen have long produced their Polos in Spain, the Audi A1 is made in Belgium, and the Audi TT comes from Hungary. I’m not sure about BMW and Mercedes, but I know Mercedes have a factory in South Africa.
    However, I will certainly agree that German cars are very expensive for what they are. I was talking to a disgruntled ex BMW owner who said he ditched his car for a Toyota as he was sick of the extortionate servicing costs, when two of his alloy wheels were damaged being quoted £ 4000 to replace them with black alloys, and the poor quality of the interior and electrical faults on his car. Would I really want to pay £ 24,000 for a basic BMW 3 series with an interior like a 1973 Marina( all black plastic), an options list that would add another £ 4000 to the price, and rip off servicing costs, when I could get a Ford Focus that could do the same job better for £ 9000 less?

  35. I’m a bit confused about the Japanese reputation for reliability. I’ve owned 4 Japanese motorcycles and 3 modern Triumphs. I’ve kept each of the Hinckley built bikes for much longer and ridden the more miles and all 3 of the Triumphs have been better made, better finished, more robust and more reliable than any of the Jap bikes were.
    It’s years since I’ve owned a Japanese car, the last one being a Nissan Sunny in 1983, but I still remember how tinny and plasticy it was, even in comparison to the Mk2 Astra that replaced it.
    Moving on, I went car hunting with my Nephew last year and looked at Jaguar X Types, a Skoda Octavia and something else that I struggling to remember! As a curved ball, we looked at a Toyota Avensis. It was so hateful that we didn’t even bother driving it – the seat was so cheaply built that it had no support at all and the whole car felt like it had been built from Pound Shop parts. The only car that I could compare it with was the Nissan Sunny from 1983!
    I’ve just seen the inside of a recent Jap double cab pick up and it was equally horrible inside (especially in comparison to my current Land Rover)
    So how can cars built this way still be reliable? Can they be reliable enough to overcome their general nastiness?

    PS: Nephew bought an X-Type. It’s his first car (!). He loves it and I reckon there’s a chance he’ll be a “Jag man” for life 🙂

  36. @ John, I’ve been in the latest Mazda 3 and this is quite an upmarket car inside and it’s clear Mazda, whose latest cars look very upmarket, that they’re trying to beat BMW and Audi with a car that’s cheaper to buy and probably more reliable.
    Also Hyundai, whose cars were cheap and nasty ten years ago and full of grey plastic, now make the I40, which looks like something Audi would make rather than the company which used to make the Getz. I think like all countries Far Eastern manufacturers have their grey porridge, Mitsubishi make the awful Mirage and don’t mention Korean Chevrolet, but also have some very desirable and interesting cars like the Honda Civic, the Nissan Qashqai, most Mazdas and Lexus.

  37. I’ve had my 2001 Toyota Yaris since 2007 & it’s lasted well, & interiorwise a lot of it seems solid & factory fresh after 15 years on the road.

  38. @ Richard 16378, 2011 Nissan Micra, owned since three years old, two MOT passes, only expenditure has been three tyres and a set of wiper blades. Also annual service is either £ 90 or £ 180 depending on type, considerably less than what I’d pay for a German car. I know the plastics are a bit dull and it’s no ultimate driving machine, but everything works well like your Yaris. No wonder Japanese badged cars do so well in reliability surveys.

  39. I’m really pleased to hear that you’re happy with your cars. However, having averaged between 30,000 and 45,000 miles a year for the last 30 years, in a huge variety of cars (and motorcycles!), I’ve found that we are able to produce vehicles that are as reliable (and usually more robust) than anything else I’ve had the pleasure of useing. On the other hand, the only lasting memory that I’ve had from the Japanese stuff is it having been built to a “very careful” budget.

  40. I’m not sure why Glen Aylett derides the Getz . We had a 1993 Micra for 12 years from 1993 to 2005 and it was a splendid car but it became difficult to keep going because of all the fastenings rusting, although the structure itself was sound. It was replaced with a new getz which has been an equally splendid car, the only faults in 11 years having been corrosion of the power steering pipes, and the well known key recognition ( or lack of it ) fault

  41. @ christopher storey, I didn’t have a good experience with mine. I bought it at 2 years old, a top of the range model, and under warranty it needed a repair to the exhaust( possibly stone damage), a new airon compressor and the headlights failed. Fairly annoying but fixed for free, but when the 5 year warranty expired, the clutch died a week later and then the ECU failed, costing me £ 900 in repairs. Also it seldom bettered 40 mpg and proved to be a costly mistake for me.
    I do reckon more of the newer Hyundais, which are serious competitors to their more established rivals, but I’d be very wary of buying one.

    • The Getz was an important car for Hyundai, the first model they designed with serious Euro/Global market aspirations.
      Maybe it did’nt quite make it in all areas, but got very close and was a nicer car than a Micra and one or two other rivals at the time.
      Point is it was a definite step-up for them and was a platform in general terms that they successfully built upon.

  42. Love everybodies oppinions. Mine is that the premium marques such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are nowhere near as well built as they used to be. In fact I wish as a manager responsible for managing and maintaining a sizeable fleet, that BMW in particular went back in time to the 90’s and built cars of similiar quality. Their cars upto 2002 in my experience were amoungst the most beautifully built ever. Mercedes-Benz are thankfully getting back to their best. Audi still have some work to do but to be fair I wish everybody built interiors like they do.

    Volvo between 2009 and 2013 lost their way but the recent V40 and latest XC90 are superbly built and are proving to be reliable with mileage.

    Lexus are beautifully built and thakfully have recovered from the Mk2 IS fiasco.

    So far the make that really impresses is Jaguar. For me it started with thye X-type, much derided but in my experience a brilliant high mileage car. The XF and XJ have always been great and sofar the 5 XEs we have are proving with an average of 45000 kilometres to be brilliantly built.

  43. If you wish to delve into the car manufacturing quality and reliability read the book from the 5 year study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machine_That_Changed_the_World_(book)

    Also try and figure out how Toyota and Honda etc have conquered the market with most demanding consumers of all (the USA, and not the Germans

    Why do VW need double the headcount of employees of Toyota to manufacture the same annual output of vehicles? It is certainly not to do with quality assurance.

    • The Toyota Kanban system has been mirrored by many software companies as an efficient lean system

      http://blog.toyota.co.uk/kanban-toyota-production-system

      The Lexus LS seemed tailored for the US market, where other luxury marques such as Acura and Infiniti found some success.

      Interestingly, on the likes of thetruthaboutcars, US commenters view German cars as temperamental and unreliable. One common meme is that a VW dashboard has an engine light on as standard.

  44. I don’t think that I can agree that the USA has the most demanding consumers, judging by the absolute rubbish that a. is produced by their motor industry and b. is bought by the general public in the USA . This is why I do not regard the Japanese success in the USA as counting for much. There are impressive Japanese machines which will sell outside the USA ( some Nissans and Mazdas in particular ) but there are an awful lot of “white goods” of which Toyota are the most prominent. This includes Lexus which is regarded with awe in the USA but merely provokes derisive laughter in Europe . I have never owned a Toyota, but have had many on hire in the Antipodes . Reliable – yes ; Interesting to drive ? Definitely not ; Feeling of quality ? Engineering ok but very , very questionable in other respects

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