Lack of Civic pride.Byline: By MIKE TORPEY
JAPANESE cars have always been reliable, but they're getting even more dependable, says Which? Car - apart from the Honda Civic which is actually made in the UK.
In the UK's biggest car reliability survey, Japanese carmakers have swept the board, taking the top seven spots in this year's reliability table.
Honda is top of the chart with a reliability index rating of 85%, followed by Toyota (84%) and Daihatsu, Lexus, Mazda, Subaru and Suzuki, all of which have 83%.
Individual category toppers are the Honda Jazz (superminis), Skoda Roomster (mini-MPVs), Volvo C30 (mediumcars), Honda CivicHybrid (large cars), Mercedes-Benz E-class (luxury cars), Honda FR-V(MPVs), Lexus RX (off-roaders) and Audi TT (sport and coupes).
However, the Swindon-made Honda Civic (post-2006) falls well short of the brand's usual reliability standards, languishing in joint-bottom spot on 82%in the medium cars table along with the Citroen C4.
It's not great news for British car manufacturers either as Land Rover's reliability is very poor - joint bottom of the table with American brands Chrysler/Dodge with a disappointing 67%. Vauxhall is poor (75%), while Jaguar and Mini (78%) are just average.
Contrary to popular belief, the expensive Germanmarques of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all have average scores, while Volkswagen is rated as poor. The popular Volkswagen Pass at (post-2005) has the joint-lowest reliability score (with the Citroen C5) - 80%- in the large cars category.
Richard Headland, editor of Which?
Car, says: "Japan continues to show the rest of the world how to make consistently reliable cars, although the new Honda Civic shows they're not infallible.
"Some British-built cars, on the other hand, don't exactly run like clockwork. Land Rover, in particular, needs to raise its game."
Meanwhile, some French cars appear unpopular with UK owners, with six out of the bottom 10 in the survey being Gallic.
Renault scores an unenviable hat-trick - three cars in the bottom five with the wooden spoon going to the Espace people carrier.
A reliable guide...
MANY motorists are now guided in their choice of used car by reliability surveys, and consumer organization Which? is probably the most comprehensive in Britain.
This year, the Which? Car survey acquired data for 89,762 cars from the first two months of 2008, making it the biggest and most detailed car reliability survey ever in the UK.
It may come as no surprise that Japanese carmakers have swept the board, taking the top seven spots in this year's table.
The survey covered cars of up to two years old, with questions covering breakdowns, classed as something that leaves you unable to drive the car; faults, which required a visit to the dealer for remedial work; and niggles, those less urgent breakages or failures.
Honda topped the chart with a reliability index rating of 85%, followed by Toyota (84%), Daihatsu (83%), Lexus (83%), Mazda (83%), Subaru (83%) and Suzuki (83%).
It's not great news for British car manufacturers - Land Rover's reliability is very poor and the firm is joint bottom of the tablewith the American brands Chrysler/Dodge with a disappointing 67%.
Vauxhall is poor (75%), while Jaguar (78%) andMini (78%) are just average, the Which? poll reveals.
Meanwhile, difficult market conditions will cause a firmdownward movement in used car values, with figures down during June by between 3.5-4%- a similar story to May - according to the auto industry experts at Eurotax Glass's.
The firm, which publishes Glass's Guide, says the types of cars currently being purchased by consumers are typically lower-medium cars that sell for under pounds 6,000.
Dealers are responding to this demand by acquiring the best-condition examples of these types of models.
This avoids incurring the time, cost and aggravation of getting sub-standard cars prepared.
Furthermore, Eurotax Glass's says the abundance of premium-brand used cars aged three years and older is providing more choice, with the result that attention is being diverted away from the run-of-the-mill examples.
JAZZ SOLO: The Japanese-made Honda Jazz performs better than its British-built stable mate the Civic