Luxury cars are often laden with the latest technological developments, which is great, but if they go wrong they’re likely to be expensive and complicated to fix. Here we reveal the most – and least – dependable luxury cars
Luxury cars are usually the first to get all the latest technology and generally come kitted out will every bell and whistle you can think of. That means they could cost you dear if they develop a fault, so it’s important to choose a model that owners have rated as reliable.
In our 2017 Reliability Survey, we asked more than 14,200 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered during the past 12 months. We asked how long the problem kept the car off the road and how much they’d had to pay to get it fixed.
Those that had the least problems and were cheapest to fix gained the top ratings, and those that languished in workshops for days on end and racked up expensive repair bills were given the lowest ratings.
Here’s our round-up of the best and worst performers in the luxury car league.
Best luxury cars for reliability
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2009-2016)
Owners of the previous-generation E-Class reported faults a quarter of cars, with electrical problems the most common complaint, followed by interior trim, gearbox and suspension. That said, all repair work was done under warranty and most cars remained driveable and were back on the road in less than a week.
The Audi A6 put in a strong performance, with just 10% of owners reporting faults. These spanned bodywork, interior trim, non-engine electrics and the exhaust. All cars were repaired for free and put back on the road in less than a week.
Just 9% of Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloons had a problem, with engine electrics the only area of concern. The cars remained driveable and all were fixed for free in less than a week.
Worst luxury cars for reliability
The Jaguar XF didn’t put in a terrible performance, with 20% of cars suffering a fault. However, half the cars were not driveable and a third took more than a week to fix.
BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)
A shocking 34% of BMW 5 Series diesels had problems across a range of areas, from the engine and gearbox/clutch to the bodywork and interior trim. Owners also reported air conditioning and infotainment issues, and a small number told us about blistered alloy wheels.
The current version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class didn’t perform as well as the older one, with 24% of cars suffering a problem. Interior trim and electrical issues (engine and non-engine) were the most commonly afflicted areas. Although all cars were fixed under warranty, a small percentage spent more than a week in the garage.