15 May 19

Peugeot tops real-life reliability tables

Fleets with a keen eye on vehicle uptime have a new, comprehensive real-world reliability index for cars on which to base their buying decisions.

The JD Power survey of 11,530 drivers in the UK tracked the reliability of cars aged between one and three years old, recording 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: vehicle exterior; driving experience; features/controls/displays (FCD); audio / communication / entertainment / navigation (ACEN); seats; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); vehicle interior; and engine and transmission. The problems and faults reported do not necessarily mean that the car broke down by the roadside.

The survey has proved a triumph for mainstream manufacturers, but only one premium brand, Volvo, featured among the top 10 most reliable brands.

Infotainment systems let cars down

In-car infotainment systems, covering audio, communication and navigation systems, were the principal cause of faults, accounting for half of all the issues reported by drivers. Voice recognition, in-built Bluetooth and poor digital radio reception all featured among infotainment problems.

Problems with ADAS systems

Drivers also reported issues with new autonomous driver assistance systems, such as lane departure warning technology.

Josh Halliburton, Head of European Operations at J.D. Power, said: “When we look at the PP100 [problems experienced per 100 vehicles] scores of relatively new safety technologies, it’s clear that manufacturers still have work to do to perfect those systems—particularly premium brands that use them as a major selling point,” said. “It’s also going to be vital for vehicle makers to win customer trust in this technology if they are to convince potential buyers that fully automated vehicles in the future will be reliable.”

Overall, Peugeot topped the ranking, with a score of 77 PP100, followed by Skoda with 88 PP100 and Hyundai at 90 PP100.

Premium brands perform poorly

Volvo was the best performing premium brand, with a score of 106 PP100, followed by Mercedes-Benz with 136 PP100. Premium brands are likely to feature more new technology and also to create higher expectations among their drivers.

"Long-term reliability has a direct impact on today's sales and tomorrow's brand loyalty," said Mark Lendrich, Head of Research at J.D. Power Europe. "The 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study premium brand award underlines that Volvo was able to satisfy the demanding group of premium customers when it comes to vehicle dependability."

The JD Power survey revealed the top three most reliable cars per segment, a factor for fleet managers to consider when creating a company car choice list.

Most reliable cars per sector
Compact car Midsize car SUV
1. Skoda Octavia 1. Vauxhall (Opel) Insignia 1. Volkswagen Tiguan
2. SEAT Leon 2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2. Peugeot 3008
3. Ford Focus 3. Volkswagen Passat 3. Honda CR-V



Authored by: Jonathan Manning