We Britons love hatchbacks.
While saloons are very much the preferred choice in other countries, the UK’s best-sellers are traditionally five-door models.
In fact, nine out of the ten most-registered cars of last year were models with boot doors. But which of the popular hatches are most reliable?
It’s mint: Of the most popular hatchbacks on the market, the VW Polo is the most reliable of them all, according to a new report
It’s a question car warranty provider Warranty Direct believes it has the answer to.
After checking official records for the best-selling new cars of last year, it identified the 10 most commonly purchased hatchbacks and then cross-referenced them with its own Reliability Index.
This dependability inventory consists of analysis of 50,000 live warranty policies and is ranked by the number of claims made by owners.
Topping the table as the most reliable volume-selling hatchback is the Volkswagen Polo.
It’s only the sixth best-seller of all hatches in the UK but topped the charts as the one you can most depend on.
Polos spent an average of just 1.46 hours off the road for repairs last year, which cost an average of £184.
And despite the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, the Golf also ranked highly, posting a fourth-placed finish.
According to Warranty Direct, less than 10 per cent of problems recorded for both Volkswagen models stemmed from more expensive issues such as brakes or gearbox problems.
|Model||Reliability ranking||Popularity position|
|BMW 1 Series||8||10|
|Source: Warranty Direct|
The Ford Fiesta (left) and Focus (right) also ranked highly in the stats. The Fiesta was replaced with a new version last year and the Focus has been revised for 2018
Despite the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen hatchbacks are proving to be solid, according to the Warranty Direct Reliability Index
Following the Polo closely in second place was the Ford Fiesta, which is a long-term favourite for Britons.
It was the bestseller last year, marking a ninth consecutive year as the most-bought car in the country.
Low cost and easy to repair faults helped the little Ford retain its top spot and it needed an average of only 1.51 hours off the road.
It narrowly missed out on first position due to slightly higher repair times and costs compared to the Volkswagen Polo.
Ford made it a two-three with the Focus in third spot, posting average repair costs of £238 and slightly longer periods off the road (2.05 hours) being fixed.
That said, both Ford models represented in the data have since been superseded by new versions, with the latest Focus hitting showrooms this year.
Some 40% of claims made by Mercedes-Benz A-Class owners were due to electrical issues linked to the wider availability of high-tech features. A new model arrives in 2018
The BMW 1 Series (left) and Audi A3 (right) are other examples of pricier hatches that aren’t proving as bulletproof as some cheaper alternatives
One of the biggest surprises was that more expensive hatches, like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 didn’t prove as reliable as cheaper alternatives, although they still featured in the top ten for reliability.
The Mercedes – being replaced by a new version this year – in particular was a good example, as 40 per cent of its claims came from electrical issues linked to the wider availability of high-tech features.
Proof, then, that a higher price doesn’t guarantee a more dependable package.
Simon Ackers, chief executive of Warranty Direct said: ‘When buying a new car, motorists should look beyond the initial purchase price and examine resources such as the Reliability Index to get a better indication of whether a particular model is suited to their individual needs.’
As well as finding out the overall reliability, the index also tells drivers which components on their model is most likely to fail, from fairly cheap air-conditioning issues to pricey axle and suspension defects.
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