Revealed – the most and least reliable 4x4s on the road

Audi’s A6 Allroad fared worst, with more than half recording a fault in a typical year. A third of those problems reported were suspension-related.

At the other end of the scale, Honda’s CR-V was revealed as the off-roader least likely to let you down, followed by the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota’s RAV4. Mitsubishi and Kia make it a clean sweep for Far Eastern manufacturers in the top five.

The Volkswagen Touareg, despite winning the 2009 running of the famously tough Dakar at the hands of South African Giniel de Villiers, didn’t transfer its success to Warranty Direct’s study, finishing fourth from bottom with a quarter of faults down to electrical gremlins.

Warranty Direct’s study used its unique Reliability Index (, which takes into account how often vehicles break down, average repair cost and time spent in the garage to calculate its overall reliability. The lower the Reliability Index number, the more reliable the car.

Top 10 4×4/SUVs
Manufacturer Model Average Repair Cost Reliability Index Rating
1 Honda CR-V (01-06) ?239.63 23.10
2 Suzuki Grand Vitara (98-05) ?219.43 33.01
3 Toyota RAV4 (00-06) ?330.58 42.69
4 Mitsubishi Shogun (00-07) ?595.58 47.53
5 Kia Sorento (03-) ?332.34 59.36
6 Nissan Terrano II (93-06) ?277.25 62.81
7 Land Rover Freelander (03-06) ?370.23 66.11
8 Lexus RX300 (03-09) ?571.60 68.69
9 Nissan X-Trail (01-) ?433.18 73.69
10 Toyota Landcruiser (03-) ?525.01 82.78

The highest-placed European car is the newer incarnation of perennial 4×4 favourite, Land Rover’s Freelander, which has traditionally fared badly in Warranty Direct’s studies.

Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher said: “It’s promising to see improvement from Land Rover’s flagship model, but it’s telling that the bottom 10 is dominated by European cars, and the top of the list populated largely by Japanese vehicles, which still hold sway overall. The biggest surprise must surely be the poor performance of the XC90. It’s not what you’d expect from a manufacturer with Volvo’s reputation, but I’m signing cheques every day on XC90 repairs.”

With an average repair cost of ?595.58, the Mitsubishi Shogun (00-07) is the most expensive to fix but thankfully has a low incidence rate, with just under 8% per year suffering a glitch.

Meanwhile, a third of Nissan’s X-Trail problems are down to cooling and heating issues while almost 60% of enforced garage visits for Volvo XC-70 owners are due to suspension breakages.

Bottom 10 4×4/SUVs
Manufacturer Model Average Repair Cost Reliability Index Rating
1 Audi A6 Allroad (00-05) ?516.03 281.60
2 Volkswagen Touareg (03-) ?567.92 194.01
3 BMW X5 (00-) ?517.30 193.36
4 Jeep Cherokee (01-08) ?522.40 155.72
5 Volvo XC90 (02-) ?522.83 153.88
6 Land Rover Range Rover (02-) ?493.59 140.96
7 Land Rover Discovery (98-04) ?332.17 120.11
8 Mercedes M-Class (98-05) ?393.01 119.85
9 Land Rover Discovery (04-) ?405.10 119.44
10 Volvo XC70 (00-07) ?429.53 115.21