Jul 292016
 

The sleek, Japanese-built, Mazda MX-5 (05-15) has been named the most reliable* used convertible for summer driving, in a new study of 3-8 year old** cars by the industry’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties, Warranty Direct.

The company analysed its database of 50,000 live policies to reveal that Mazda’s classic and recently-revived roadster is the least likely of all convertibles on Warranty Direct books to leave you stranded with pricey, undesirable repairs.

The Vauxhall’s Tigra (04-09) is the next best car on the list, boasting the second lowest maximum repair cost in the top 10 convertibles table at £663.74; the Tigra however, is more than twice as likely than the MX-5 to suffer a fault, with 18 in every 100 expected to break down each year.

The Peugeot 206 CC (98-09), Mercedes-Benz SLK (04-11) and Volvo C70 (06-13) complete the top five, with both the Mercedes-Benz and the Volvo racking up wallet wilting maximum repair costs of £2695.02 and £2086.51 respectively, more than three times that of the Mazda in the most expensive case.

Top 10 Most Reliable Convertibles

Make Model Year Reliability Index Maximum Repair Cost
1 Mazda MX-5 (05-15) 16 £501.4
2 Vauxhall Tigra (04-09) 36 £663.74
3 Peugeot 206 CC (98-09) 72 £1701.37
4 Mercedes-Benz SLK (04-11) 92 £2695.02
5 Volvo C70 (06-13) 101 £2086.51
6 Volkswagen Eos (06-14) 126 £5864.46
7 Audi TT Roadster (06-14) 132 £4408.37
8 BMW Z4 (09-16) 136 £2152.4
9 Audi A3 Cabriolet (03-13) 145 £4373.11
10 BMW 3 Series (07-13) 204 £5958.06

Warranty Direct’s Chief Operating Officer, Philip Ward, said: “With the summer holidays upon us and the recent heatwave, many drivers might just be thinking about finally dropping the top.

“The Mazda MX-5 is head and shoulders above its competition. It’s fun to drive, has long-proven reliability and is surprisingly affordable in terms of convertible ownership.

“Manual folding roofs have fewer parts to go wrong, whereas modern electric roofs include motors and hydraulic pumps, which can cause expensive repairs. This explains why some high-end convertibles appear lower on the list.”

Electrical faults are the most common on the top 10 most reliable drop-tops, with an average repair cost of £349.35.

Nearly two in five (37%) of BMW Z4 garage visits are due to electrical faults, whilst 28% of Audi A3 Cabriolet breakdowns are on account of engine faults.

The BMW 3 Series is the most expensive car in the top 10 to fix if something does go wrong, with repair bills soaring to £5958.06.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Porsche Boxster (04-12) is the least reliable convertible, with 42 in every 100 suffering problems which cost an average of £731.07 to repair.

*- Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index score is calculated on a combination of vehicle criteria from a database of more than 50,000 live policies:

  • Frequency of failure
  • Cost of repair
  • Duration of repairs
  • Average age and mileage

The higher the Reliability Index score, the worse the car is – the lower the score, the better and the average RI number is 100. For more information on Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, visit; www.reliabilityindex.com/what-is

** – Warranty Direct looked only at 3-8 year old vehicles for which there was a minimum of 100 policies on each vehicle to be robust.

Apr 252016
 

VW polo

 

 

 

 

 

Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta

A small hatchback, or supermini is all many of us need to cope with daily commute and a bit of shopping. So which ones are best?

Why Buy?

The Volkswagen Polo is a just a smaller Golf and that’s why people love it. It is a quality product which makes owners feel good. It also feels like a larger car. The Fiesta is a hard working, reliable hatchback, that is cheap to run and easy to drive. A practical good value choice for many.

Which models?

The Volkswagen Polo was revised in 2005 with a fresh front end. There is a choice of excellent engines, small petrols and diesels. The Ford Fiesta stepped up a gear in ’08 and has a great range of 3 and 5 door cars starting with a 1.25 petrol and the very economical ECOnetic diesel.

Are they reliable?

Both cars have a great reputation for not breaking down. The Volkswagen Polo is tough and the Fiesta is just as durable but it is cheaper to fix overall. Mostly it is tyres, brakes and consumable items that fail.

How much do they cost?

Volkswagen Polos from 2008 in tidy condition with low mileage is over £4000. However, £2000 will buy a 2005 1.2E or 1.4S petrol. Fiestas from 2009 are £4700 for a 1.25 Style. £5500 gets the 2011 1.4 TDCi diesel, or a 2013 1.0 petrol. There really are so many to choose from.

Sum Up

There is not much to choose between them in ability. The Fiesta is better value, the Polo offers a slightly more prestigious feel. 

Volkswagen Polo

Average Repair Cost: £253.84

Engine: 18.58%*

Axle/Suspension: 33.63*

Electrical: 21.24*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above average

Ford Fiesta

Average Repair Cost: £202.04

Axle & Suspension: 33.85*

Cooling: 20%*

Electrical: 15.38%*

Cooling & Heating: 20.00*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* failure rate

Feb 292016
 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Supermini is better? The stylish French C3 or the Brit built Japanese tiddler?

Why Buy?

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.

Which models?

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.

Sum Up

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.

Citroen C3

Average Repair Cost: £280.43

Axle and Suspension: 23.61%*

Gearbox: 13.89%*

Electrical: 25.00%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* failure rate

Nissan Micra

Average Repair Cost: £272.82

Axle & Suspension: 29.85*

Electrical: 32.84%*

Steering: 17.91*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Feb 262016
 

A survey carried out by the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU), of over 30,000 European drivers focusing on the reliability of over 178 different models has found that customers rate Honda as the most reliable car brand.

Overall, Honda ranked top of the survey, receiving a reliability rating of 93/100 and with further 79% of survey respondents saying that they would recommend a Honda vehicle. The Honda Jazz was rated as the top car in terms of reliability in the “utility” vehicles category. Other Honda models were also highly rated with the Civic, CR-V and Insight placing in the top 10 of most reliable cars in their respective categories.

Price, fuel consumption, practicality and reliability are key considerations for consumers when buying a car. The OCU survey focused on reliability to find out if owners had experienced breakdowns in the past year and to find out the type of problems drivers had experienced. From this data they established a reliability index which can be used to compare the likelihood of a breakdown between different makes and models on the market.

“Reliability and quality are synonymous with the Honda brand,” says Honda Motor Europe’s senior vice president, Philip Ross. “The results of the survey highlight the importance of the quality commitments Honda has made to its customers. It is important for Honda to ensure that customers can experience the joy of owning a Honda vehicle and enjoy driving them with the peace of mind that the cars are among the least likely to experience breakdowns.”

Jan 302016
 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want a small 4 x 4 shaped car to get to shops, but off road ability is not essential, then there are two extremes to choose from.

Why Buy?

You will go for the Suzuki SX4 because it is great value for money and it is tough and practical rather than being stylish. It’s the sensible choice. The Freelander is the one that everyone wants because it is made by Land Rover, it looks the 4 x 4 part and if they needed to go off road it is brilliant.

Which models?

The SX4 was introduced in 2006. It is well equipped and the 1.6 petrol model is cheap to run and more than adequate for buyers who don’t do many miles. Although the Freelander has been around for some time this is a revised 2006 model. The diesel versions are the most sought after.

Are they reliable?

Suzuki has a reputation for reliability, rather than excitement, not only that they rarely break down and the Warranty Direct figures bear this out. By contrast, the Land Rover is expensive to fix and is well known for being more of a financial drain.

How much do they cost?

The Suzuki starts at £1700 for a 2006 model and it will be in mint condition. £5500 buys a 2012 example from a dealer, which is great value.

Freelander’s from 2006 start at around £2500 for a three door Td4 example. The best 5 door though will be £5500, so prices vary hugely.

Sum Up: It’s obvious, money to burn, but you want to make a statement: Freelander. Meanwhile, the realist will buy a Suzuki SX4.

Suzuki SX4 

Average Repair Cost: £192.90

Axle and Suspension: 57.69%*

Transmission: 11.54%*

Electrical: 11.54%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

* failure rate

Land Rover Freelander

Average Repair Cost: £403.14

Transmission: 22.14*

Electrical: 26.97%*

Engine: 12.47*

Warranty Direct Rating: Below Average

* failure rate