PREMIUM car brands have a reputation for frequent failures but new data exposing the chronic faults seen by UK garages suggests it’s the affordable vehicles that require the most attention.
Online car service and repair website WhoCanFixMyCar.com analysed the repair jobs being posted for the 100 most popular cars on its platform, and ranked the vehicles with the most frequently-reported problems in categories such as clutch replacement, brake faults and exhaust repairs.
Of all jobs posted for the Peugeot 107, 20.57% were for a clutch replacement – way above the 8.39% average ratio for clutch replacements on the top 100 models. This was followed by the Toyota Aygo (20.35%), which shares the same underpinnings as the 107 along with the Citroen C1 (16.14%).
“There was a manufacturer notice back in 2013 addressing issues with the clutch fork and clutch plate, and improvements were made to prevent the issues persisting, although that doesn’t help the tens of thousands of pre-2013 models,” said WhoCanFixMyCar’s Louis Butcher.
“Our data proves the issue is there and unfortunately a clutch replacement isn’t a cheap piece of work; the average quote for a clutch replacement on these models is £325.”
The Peugeot 107, Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1 all appeared in the top 10 for exhaust repairs, too, suggesting these are areas for buyers of secondhand models to investigate before doing a deal.
Other vehicles in the top 10 for chronic clutch issues were the Hyundai Coupé, Toyota RAV-4, Toyota Corolla and Kia Sportage.
The Sportage took the top spot for brake issues, with 20.03% of its total work being in this area compared with an average for brake issues of 9.19%. The Jaguar XF ranked second with 19.71% while other premium models the Mercedes C-class (13.58%) and BMW 1-series (13.51%) also appeared in the top 10 for brake faults.
However, again the majority of vehicles in for repair were from more “affordable” brands: the Nissan Jukes, Kia Picanto, Mazda6, Fiat 500, Toyota Auris and Vauxhall Insignia all appear in the top 10.
The data shows the Ford Galaxy – a large MPV – tops the list for gearbox repairs with 17.19% of its faults related to this component. This is a much higher proportion than any other car – the next model on the list is the Honda Jazz city car, with 11.12% – and way above the average 4.01% for the 100 models investigated.
Butcher said that Honda extended the gearbox warranty for some older models of Jazz to seven years after admitting issues with the gearbox bearing. “Check if you are still in warranty, if not you can expect to pay around £370,” he said.
The Jazz also ranked highly for exhaust repairs: it topped the list with 16.97% of the city car’s total work related to its tailpipe.
“The Honda Jazz suffers from a few common problems,” said Butcher. “It is understood that the brake discs do not last for as long as expected; typically, one brake disc will last two sets of brake pads but on some of the older Honda Jazz models, often the discs are replaced at the same time as the pads. It’s believed to be down to pad pressure not being evenly applied to the disc.
Meanwhile the Citroen C5 was ranked highest for issues relating to both its steering and suspension: 2.92% and 9.92% against the averages across all vehicles of 0.77% and 2.70% respectively.
“There are various mentions on owners forums of the suspension on the C5 jacking up and down when the car is stationary,” said Butcher. “If that sounds familiar then you can expect quotes of around £270.”