Top 6 most Surprisingly Unreliable cars

By CarMoney January 12, 2022
Top 6 most Surprisingly Unreliable cars

You may expect certain cars to be forever reliable simply by reputation. But in the world of used cars, this can sometimes be a mistake. Our friend Matt over at High Peak Autos is one of our favourite YouTubers at the moment, but he also runs a very successful dealership too, and he has been taking a look and exposing certain brands for their lack of reliability! 

When searching in the used car market, it can be hard enough as it is to find the right car for you with hundreds of thousands of options. But the most frustrating thing is driving away in a car you love, and then something breaks less than a month after you bought it! 

So Matt did his own research and pulled up his choice’s.

6 Most Unreliable Cars

1. Mazda 6 Skyactive Diesel (2010-2014)

Mazda 6 |

Now, this is quite specific, as it only includes the Skyactive diesel engines from 2010-2014, but with good reason. They had a severe problem with the oil pick-up pipe in where it can get clogged and starve the engine of oil which you can imagine is not very good. You end up with catastrophic engine damage. Other things that could go wrong include:

– Stretched timing chains

– Blocked DPFs (Diesel Particulate Filters)

– Blown turbocharger

The advice Matt gives here is pretty conclusive… avoid that Skyactive diesel engine! Post-2014 they improved that engine thankfully, but as Matt says you are probably far better going for a Mazda 6 petrol as they are quieter, not too thirsty and are pretty reliable! 

2. Nissan Qashqai (New + Old)

Nissan Qashqai |

The Qashqai has been one of the bestselling cars in the UK over the last couple of years but, as Matt reveals they are not very reliable. Parts are more expensive than you may expect, they are prone to rust and the tailgate handles tend to fall off! Further issues include:

– 1.2 and 1.4 models have timing chain issues

– Blown turbocharger

The overall build quality and feel of the car just isn’t great. Matt suggests a petrol Honda Civic or a VW Tiguan as alternatives. 

3. Toyota Rav4 Mark 3 (Diesel)

Toyota RAV 4 |

Another specific model here as the Toyota Rav4 Mark 3 has its turn in front of Matt’s watchful eyes… The petrol models are actually pretty reliable so this really is just the diesel side. The main issues include:

– Overheating head gaskets (£2000 fix)

– Failing oil pump starving engine of oil (£4000 fix)

As Matt says, you expect better from a company such as Toyota with their rugged and reliable reputation. But many of their diesels suffer many of the same defects. Best advice with Toyota is to stick to the petrols! 

4. MINI (well… all of them!)

Mini |

The MINI is a famous brand of car and has been around for more than 60 years! This is the last car you would expect to be consistently unreliable. Matt points out major issues with the engines, gearbox’s manual and automatic and burning too much oil. The list of issues with MINI’s goes on:

– Gearbox synchro’s wear out

– Bearings whine

– Electrics designed by a madman

– Timing chain issues

– They burn too much oil and misfire

This is not saying that all MINI’s are terrible, not by any means. The design of the MINI is brilliant and can be a lot of fun to drive when you are 18 and wearing a backwards baseball cap and hurtling along at 100mph all the time. But as a daily runaround, they are unreliable, irritating and expensive to fix.

5. Ford Diesel Models

Ford Kuga |

It is not uncommon for late low-mileage diesel Fords to come up with issues and severe problems early on. Along with terrible automatic gearbox’s that are famously unreliable. They built up a reputation over time as being great builders of reliable everyday cars for the masses, but they haven’t continued that trend:

– Dodgy fuel pumps and injectors

– EGR valve issues (connects the exhaust manifold to the intake manifold)

– DPF issues (Diesel Particulate Filters)

Still trading off the back of a brilliant reputation when the vehicles coming are not up to the same standard. As Matt states, they don’t even justify it with a supreme driving feel, so you are better off going for a Honda/Toyota petrol.

6. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa |

A favourite among first-time buyers, the Corsa is a staple of the British road network. You will struggle to drive anywhere and not see one or two with over 1 billion sold! Problem is many have not had the care and attention and have been run into the ground. The cascading list of problems tells the story:

– Timing chain issues

– Head gasket problems

– Gearbox malfunctions

– DPF issues (Diesel Particulate Filters)

– Water leaks

– Power steering problems

The list goes on and on. You can find good Corsa’s that have been well looked after and could be of unbelievable value. The hard truth is that most of them aren’t. 

The most annoying part of this is there are manufacturers on this list that have been around for more than 100 years! You would think they may have an idea on how to make a reliable car! There is a thought that it is a tactic by manufacturers to keep customers switching cars… but probably not! 

So, what do you think of Matt’s list? Has he missed any important makes/models that we could add? Watch the full video from High Peak Autos right here…

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