Mar 022015

New research from Warranty Direct has revealed the top 10 most reliable city cars.
With the cost of public transport increasing, the canny urbanite may find that getting behind the wheel of a small car is a more comfortable and convenient solution.

Warranty Direct can assign any car with a Reliability Index (RI) score. This applies a formula to measure overall reliability by looking at rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost. The lower the RI number, the better a car is.

Whilst city cars are often perceived as being uncomplicated and cheap to run, picking the wrong one could result in disruption and expensive repair bills. Warranty Direct’s study revealed that repairs to some city cars exceeded £2,000, but 10 emerged as dependable ownership options, offering motorists hassle-free, low-cost urban transportation.

1. Peugeot 107 (05-)
RI Score: 19
Largest repair bill: £763.88

The Peugeot 107 takes the top spot for reliability in the A-segment with proven mechanicals that have given owners little to complain about since its launch a decade ago. Its funky styling still looks fresh and modern, inside and out and the 107 is cheap to tax and insure.

2. Citroen C1 (05-)
RI Score: 22
Largest repair bill: £1030.00

A close relative of the category winner, the Citroen C1 scores very well for the reliability of its engine, brakes and air con. The C1 was also better value than its Peugeot and Toyota siblings when new and remains an affordable choice.

3. Kia Picanto (04-)
RI Score: 27
Largest repair bill: £724.00

Lauded for its generous equipment list and affordability, the Kia Picanto is also sound beneath the skin, with a pristine record for the reliability of its gearbox and fuel system.

4. Volkswagen Lupo (99-05)
RI Score: 31
Largest repair bill: £486.75

Upholding Volkswagen’s reputation for quality, the Lupo still impresses with robust mechanicals that will keep this stylish little car on the roads for many years to come.

5. Toyota Aygo (05-)
RI Score: 32
Largest repair bill: £976.05

Like its stablemates, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1, the Toyota Aygo has strong reliability credentials and low repair costs which make it a sound choice as city transport. Electrical problems are rare and the numerous special editions are well-equipped.

6. Volkswagen Fox (06-12)
<strong>RI Score: 44
Largest repair bill: £1144.28

Successor to the Lupo, the Fox is trumped by its predecessor for reliability though it is still a solid performer with proven Volkswagen mechanicals. The Fox was praised at launch for its surprisingly spacious interior and low running costs and the VW badge brings brand kudos.

7. Ford Ka (96-09)
RI Score: 48
Largest repair bill: £1226.38

The original Ford Ka revolutionised the sector when it was launched 18 years ago with its combination of sweet handling, quirky styling and mechanical simplicity. It is one of the most reliable city cars you can buy and also now tipped to become a future classic.

8. Smart ForTwo (07-)
RI Score: 53
Largest repair bill: £918.89

For motorists who rarely venture beyond city streets and only need to seat two, the distinctive ForTwo could be ideal. It scores well for the dependability of its brakes, transmission and steering and repair costs are reasonable given its Mercedes-Benz parentage.

9. Fiat Panda (04-)
RI Score: 56
Largest repair bill: £1345.44

Fiat has long been reputed for building great little cars for city driving, and the recent incarnations of the Panda have been no exception. A low failure rate for its engine, brakes and transmission mean Fiat’s Panda is unlikely to ever face extinction.

10. Chevrolet Matiz (05-)
RI Score: 65
Largest repair bill: £319.60

The smallest Chevy is a great value proposition and makes a strong case with a good reputation for mechanical reliability. The transmission, steering and ventilation system give little cause for complaint. The 1.0 engine will happily keep up with faster traffic and most have air con as standard.