Jan 232007

Jeep 4x4'sOff-road specialist, Jeep, has come bottom in arguably the world’s largest ever study into car reliability, just ahead of another 4×4-maker, Land Rover.

Almost one in every two (46 percent) of the American 4×4 giant’s models recorded a mechanical failure during a given twelve-month period. That figure was nearly six times worse than Mazda, which topped the table with a frequency of failure of just 8.04 percent.

The study by independent automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct, looked at more than 450,000 vehicles, across 33 manufacturers, from the UK and the USA.

Only two non-Far East manufacturers made it into the top ten – the BMW-owned, but Oxfordshire-built, MINI, and French player, Citroen, scoring ninth and tenth places respectively.

The unique Warranty Direct reliability league table was based on the number of failures reported for every 100 policies sold to owners of vehicles aged 3-9 years old. Vehicles analysed were available in both UK and US markets.

Korean manufacturer, Kia, proved that budget does not necessarily mean corner cutting when it comes to reliability. The rising star of world motoring was fifth in the table with an incidence rate of 17.4 percent.

BMW (18th) was placed at the head of Germany’s ‘Big Three’ of Mercedes (20th) and Audi, which was languishing in 27th spot.

“The performance of some of the worlds largest manufacturers in terms of reliability is there for all to see,” said Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director, Warranty Direct. “Off-road may mean rugged, but the data suggests that it may not always stand for reliability if you consider the specialists.”

“This is unique data based on real cars, driving real miles. It is the kind of information manufacturers would probably rather you didn’t see.”

The reliability of the UK’s top five selling makes does not necessarily reflect their status amongst the car buying populace. The nation’s number one choice, Ford, was 14th, followed by Vauxhall in 19th, Volkswagen in 23rd, Renault in 29th and Peugeot the best of the bunch in 13th.

For further information visit www.reliabilityindex.co.uk