Jeep has been ranked the most unreliable brand in a survey by an independent warranty firm. Land Rover aren’t far behind.

The Far East remains number one for reliability, with eight of the top ten manufacturers from either Japan or Korea.

Warranty Direct’s annual Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.co.uk), which looks at 30,000 vehicles from twenty-seven leading manufacturers, combines the number of faults a car suffers alongside the actual cost of repairing them. With an average of 46,500 miles, the majority of the vehicles under the spotlight were entering into the fourth and fifth years of ownership. The average repair bill stood at £321.82 – a fall of 10 percent over the last twelve months.

Mazda retained the top spot, a position it has held for four consecutive years, with Honda and Hyundai leap-frogging Ford to second and third places, respectively. At number five, Spain’s rising star, Seat makes its maiden appearance in the index as the highest placed European manufacturer.

In comparison to beleaguered Jaguar, rival executive car maker, BMW climbed nine places compared to its 2003 standing to number seven, despite recording labour rates of £100 plus per hour to carry out remedial work. Mercedes fell marginally to twelfth with Audi in twenty-first place after Warranty Direct were paying up to £147 per hour for labour.

Alongside BMW, only four other manufacturers improved their positions in the 2004 Reliability Index – Honda and Rover rose 1 place each with German giants VW and Korea’s Hyundai, both up 3.

Renault was the worst performing volume carmaker at number nineteen with a below average £287 cost of repair, but a lowly frequency of failure of over 38 percent.

Subaru and Mitsubishi’s excellent reliability records are only tarnished by the sky-high costs of repair when things do eventually go wrong.

“The Far East is still home to the most reliable and cost effective, manufacturers in the World. Encouragingly, despite the lowly positions of Land Rover and Jaguar, British workers are well represented in the top ten with Honda, Toyota and Peugeot all building models at plants over here,” says Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct.

Warranty Direct Manufacturer Reliability Index 2004

Pos

Make

Reliability Index

Ave. Cost of Repair

Pos. in 2003

1

Mazda

51.09

£244.41

1

2

Honda

65.63

£263.17

3

3

Hyundai

69.52

£315.78

6

4

Ford

69.69

£207.58

2

5

Seat

71.21

£328.32

New

6

Toyota

84.24

£430.58

4

7

BMW

84.61

£244.72

16

8

Peugeot

85.10

£246.39

7

9

Daewoo

86.14

£295.37

New

10

Volkswagen

86.26

£265.22

13

11

Vauxhall

87.04

£241.20

5

12

Mercedes

88.19

£350.76

11

13

Fiat

89.79

£269.71

9

14

Volvo

90.96

£283.83

10

15

Nissan

92.88

£363.31

8

16

Rover

94.76

£273.05

17

17

Citroen

97.37

£229.51

12

18

Mitsubishi

109.32

£510.36

14

19

Renault

115.60

£286.97

15

20

MG

116.52

£327.56

New

21

Audi

130.70

£322.05

18

22

Saab

134.46

£314.95

19

23

Alfa Romeo

155.25

£392.88

20

24

Land Rover

174.05

£367.03

21

25

Subaru

193.62

£993.58

22

26

Jaguar

206.56

£483.26

New

27

Jeep

241.09

£509.31

23

Table Illustrating Frequency Of Failure According To Warranty Direct

Pos

Manufacturer

Number of failures per 100 policies

1

Mazda

17.88

2

Toyota

18.62

3

Honda

19.41

4

Subaru

19.82

5

Mitsubishi

20.04

6

Hyundai

22.35

7

Seat

22.69

8

Nissan

23.44

9

Mercedes

24.30

10

Daewoo

29.46

11

Volvo

31.09

12

Volkswagen

31.90

13

Ford

32.16

14

Peugeot

33.00

15

BMW

33.16

16

Fiat

34.31

17

Rover

34.73

18

Vauxhall

35.34

19

MG

36.25

20

Renault

38.20

21

Alfa Romeo

39.55

22

Citroen

39.59

23

Audi

39.76

24

Jaguar

42.16

25

Saab

42.87

26

Jeep

43.75

27

Land Rover

46.23