The Family Cars You Can Rely on this Summer

Toyota Corolla

New research from the UK reveals that the most dependable family car for the summer holidays is  the Toyota Corolla (’01-’07).

At the other end of the scale, the Renault Espace (‘02-‘12) and Mercedes R-Class (’06-) are the most likely to leave your precious cargo stranded, with three quarters of all owners suffering unwanted garage bills.

The latest Warranty Direct study analysed three to five-year-old cars from the small family, family and MPV categories.

Honda’s Civic (’06-) and Accord (’02-’08) are also among the most dependable family vehicles.

Top 10 most reliable family-sized cars

Model Range Sector Most common reason for claims
Toyota Corolla (01 – 07) Small Family Axle & Suspension
Honda Civic (06 – ) Small Family Electrical
Honda Accord (02 – 08) Family Engine issues
Mazda 3 (04 – 09) Small Family Braking System
Toyota Auris (07 – ) Small Family Cooling & heating System
Toyota Prius (03 – 09) Family Axle & Suspension
Ford C-Max (07 – ) MPV Electrical
Ford Mondeo (07 – ) Family Electrical
Nissan Qashqai (07 – ) Family Electrical
Peugeot 308 (07 – ) Small Family Electrical

Used car buyers looking for a reliable family vehicle should also consider the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Auris (’07-).

Electrical issues and axle and suspension troubles cause the majority of claims, with the latter often a result of a collision with a pothole or other road defect.

The only European manufacturer to make Warranty Direct’s top 10 rundown is Peugeot, with its 308 – the majority hail from Japan. In contrast, no Asian manufacturers feature in the 10 least reliable vehicles.   

Top 10 least reliable family-sized cars

Model Range Sector Most common reason for claim
Renault Espace (02 – ) MPV Axle & suspension
Mercedes R-Class (06 – ) MPV Electrical issues
Opel Vectra (02 – 09) Family Axle & suspension
Renault Grand Scenic/Scenic (04 – 09) MPV Electrical issues
Renault Megane (02 – 09) Small Family Electrical issues
Skoda Superb (02 – 08) Family Axle & suspension
Peugeot 807 (02 – ) MPV Cooling & heating system
Volkswagen Passat (05 – ) Family Axle & suspension
Peugeot 407 (04 – ) Family Braking System
Volkswagen Touran (03 – ) MPV Axle & suspension




Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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