Warranty Direct has found Audi, BMW and Volkswagen to have some of the least reliable engines in their cars.
The UK supplier of direct consumer warranties analysed data from 50,000 live consumer policies that showed the failure rate of engines from a multitude of manufacturers.
Audi nearly topped the table, only beaten by a now defunct MG Rover group, with a 3.71% failure rate in its engines. That's a whopping 1 in 27 engines failing in policies taken out with Warranty Direct.
MINI propped up the top of the table with a 1 in 40 failure rate, while BMW and Volkswagen came 7th and 10th respectively, beaten by the likes of Peugeot, SAAB and Renault.
Japanese firms Honda and Toyota performed the best, with only 1 in 344 Honda engines failing and 1 in 171 Toyota powerplants giving up the ghost.
Mercedes-Benz went some way to rescue the German reputation by slotting in third with a respectable 0.84% failure rate.
Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said, "Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they're the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of the parts and hours of labour required to fix them."
"The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for motorists who aren't covered by a warranty," explained McClure Fisher.
A separate study of motor repairs highlighted huge potential costs for motorists. An engine failure on a Range Rover Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct's highest claim - £12,998.46 - while one dealer quoted £14,853.60 to repair an engine on a Range Rover Sport after it failed catastrophically.