Which Supermini is better? The stylish French C3 or the Brit built Japanese tiddler?
The C3 has always been well equipped, and in more recent years it has become much more like a tiny people carrier than a small hatch. By contrast the Micra is a traditional, hardworking small car beloved of first time drivers and older motorists who want a car that won’t let them down.
There are two distinct C3 models, the one built from 2002 to 2010 and the revised people carrier style one from 2010 onwards. Buy the most recent. Micras, also from 2002
Are they reliable?
The older C3s seem cheaply built inside and it is electrical issues that give owners the most trouble. Warranty Direct’s figures bear this out. It is a similar story with the Micra, electricals are again the problem even if the price of fixing a Nissan is fractionally cheaper.
How much do they cost?
Safer to pay around £950 for a 2003 example. £3000 a tidy 2006 example and £8000 for a 2012 Picasso model if you want a small van. Again, £1000 is the lowest price to buy at, a £3000 Micra is a 1.2 2009 3 door model. The restyled 2012 five door from 2012 from a dealer is £6000.
It comes down to style and the Citroen looks funkier, whilst the Micra is just odd to some. Regardless, Nissan’s reputation for reliability is strong.
Average Repair Cost: £280.43
Axle and Suspension: 23.61%*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average
* failure rate
Average Repair Cost: £272.82
Axle & Suspension: 29.85*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good
* failure rate
The Citroën Berlingo Multispace and Suzuki SX4 are reliability royalty according to the latest statistics from automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct.
The company analysed data from more than 50,000 live policies to compile a chart of the best-performing MPV and Crossover models.
Warranty Direct’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) takes into account factors such as how frequently a car breaks down, typical repair costs, how long it takes to fix and average age and mileage. The lower a car’s Reliability Index, the more reliable it is.
According to the figures, the best-performing MPVs trump their Crossover cousins and the reliability Queen of the MPV sector is the Citroën Berlingo Multispace (1997-2008), with fewer than two in 10 models experiencing a fault in any given 12-month period.
Citroën has three entries in the MPV reliability chart as the big-selling Xsara Picasso ranks third and the latest Berlingo Multispace eighth.
Ford also has a trio of entries in the MPV top 10. The latest Ford C-MAX takes the runner-up spot and its predecessor, the original Ford Focus C-MAX, is ranked ninth. Tenth place goes to the practical Ford S-MAX.
MOST RELIABLE FAMILY MPVS
Only vehicles available in new car showrooms as recently as 2007 were included in Warranty Direct’s analysis and Japanese brands dominate the top of the Crossover chart. Suzuki took top spot with the SX4 crowned the most reliable high-riding, two-wheel drive model. With the lowest breakdown rate and average repair cost in its class, the Suzuki SX4 finished comfortably ahead of the original Nissan Qashqai.
The closely-related Kia Sportage (2005-2010) and Hyundai Tucson crossovers fought it out for third place, with the Hyundai winning the battle of the South Korean brands to claim the bronze medal position.
MOST RELIABLE CROSSOVERS
Motorists torn between the practical nature of a family MPV and the rugged appeal of a Crossover model should take note – the top-performing people carriers in the chart logged an average Reliability Index of 73.9, compared to 111 for their taller-riding rivals.
This trend was also reflected in other areas of the study – average repair costs for models in the MPV list averaged £309.33, compared to £349.40 for the best of their Crossover counterparts.
When it comes to individual faults, MPVs are most likely to suffer from electrical gremlins, accounting for an average of 29.6% of faults, while Crossovers are most commonly afflicted by axle and suspension issues – responsible for 28.3% of faults.
David Gerrans, managing director of Warranty Direct, said: “Reliability is a crucial part of any car-buying decision, especially for busy families with already strained household budgets.
“Both MPVs and Crossover models are aimed squarely at family motorists and this analysis of our comprehensive database will make essential reading for anyone considering a family model.”
More information can be found at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.com website.
Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk) is the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer insurer for car, van and bike mechanical and electrical failures, with automotive cover starting from as little as £15 a month.