Disco out of tune in top ten unreliability chart
Prepare yourself for a shock – the best four by four by far is not as tough as everyone thinks.
The 2004-09 Land Rover Discovery III has come bottom of a reliability index showing that despite its rugged looks and go-anywhere appeal, owners are more likely to be stranded at the side of the road rather than climbing a Scottish mountain.
Luxury cars fared just as badly as the British off-roader. The 2003-10 Bentley Continental GT narrowly missed out on the bottom spot with 78 per cent of cars covered by Warranty Direct failing.
The now-deceased Renault Espace was third from bottom thanks to an incident rate of 78 per cent, while the 2002-11 Mercedes-Benz SL gave 67 per cent of Warranty Direct customers problems.
The top ten list of Europe's most unreliable cars included the 2005-10 Range Rover Sport; 2004-09 Renault Grand Scenic; 2002-12 Saab 9-3; 2001-08 BMW 7 Series; the Mercedes-Benz CLS of 2005-2010 and the 2002-09 Renault Megane.
At the other end of the spectrum, the 2006-09 Mercedes-Benz E-Class topped the survey with just one in ten Warranty Direct customers reporting faults.
Skoda builds the second most reliable used European car, the Fabia (2007-) – only 15 per cent of owners will be paying for repairs each year – while the Smart ForTwo (2007-) sits in fourth in the index with the Volvo C70 (2006-) in fifth.
Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: "It is very interesting to see the Mercedes at the top of the pile for European cars. It's big and it's packed with technology, which is not usually the recipe for a reliable car, but it's proved to be excellent.
"Running a car is more expensive than ever, particularly when it moves into its fourth and fifth year and most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. If you do your research though and buy the right car or at least protect yourself with a warranty, you're in a much better position."
Top ten most unreliable European cars