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Most reliable cars: surprise results in British ownership survey

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A British survey of car reliability has returned mixed results for top manufacturers, turning some reputations for quality upside down.

Auto Express grilled new car buyers for the Driver Power ratings it describes as “Britain’s number one car satisfaction survey”.

Car lovers won’t be surprised to see Lexus finished on top for brand satisfaction, bringing reliability and ownership scores others can’t match.

Toyota’s luxury arm has an enviable reputation for quality and customer care, something UK owners experienced in the real world.

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media_cameraLexus is famous for spoiling its customers.

The only area customers felt Lexus needed major improvement was its infotainment systems, which aren’t as intuitive as rival marques.

Few might have guessed Alfa Romeo would finish second. Fewer still would guess the Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan would finish third on a long list of the best cars to own, behind the first-placed Toyota Prius and runner-up Lexus IS luxury sedan.

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media_cameraThe Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is brilliant to drive.

The BMW rival has a tricky reputation for technical trouble. US publication Car and Driver drove an example for 14 months, reporting that the car spent 80 days out of action in that period. The magazine’s final report said the Alfa “consistently disappointed by its unforgivable reliability issues” and that it recommends people “stay away” from the car.

But the survey of Britons who buy right-hand-drive cars largely identical to Australian models returned much happier results.

While the Giulia is far-from-perfect — Auto Express says “the percentage of drivers reporting a fault is worryingly high” — owners were happy with their purchase and how Alfa handled niggles.

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media_cameraNot everyone is thrilled with their Giulia experience.

The Giulia’s third-place finish on the list of the best new cars to own contrasts with the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Jaguar XE which finished in the bottom five. The Vauxhall Astra (sold locally by Holden) and Renault’s discount Romanian Dacia Sandero spin-off rounded out the bottom rungs.

Vauxhall and Dacia finished on the bottom of the list for the best brands to own, finding company with Chinese MG models and German luxury cars from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Ford featured toward the tail end of the list, below the likes of Land Rover and Renault.

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media_cameraUK owners say the Toyota Prius is the most reliable car you can buy.

The Driver Power list of the most reliable cars to buy saw the Toyota Prius finish on top, followed by the Lexus IS sedan and RX SUV. Kia’s Sorento and Sportage duo finished fourth and fifth.

Lexus topped the manufacturer list for satisfaction, ahead of Alfa Romeo, Kia, Mazda and Skoda.

Subaru, Honda, Suzuki, Jaguar and Toyota rounded out the top 10.

Originally published as Shock results in ‘most reliable car’ study

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