European Car Owners Prefer Japanese Brands for Reliability, Survey Finds

An investigation conducted on a sample of 30,000 car owners distributed across nine European countries, including Italy, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain, has shed light on the car brands that require less frequent mechanical intervention. According to the results published, a clear preference for Japanese manufacturers emerges in terms of reliability.

According to Europeans, the decisive factor in choosing a car has proven to be reliability, indicated as crucial by 38% of survey participants, highlighting the desire to avoid breakdowns, expensive repairs, and frequent visits to the mechanic. Price ranks second as a selection criterion, followed by the importance of personal and family needs. Preferences that, it must be said, may not necessarily reflect those specific to Scandinavian customers (who were not included in the survey).

How the Study Was Conducted

To assess reliability, participants were asked for specific details about their cars, including brand, model, vehicle age, mileage, types of faults encountered, and related repair expenses. These data, based on concrete experiences, allowed for the development of a reliability index on a scale from 0 to 100.

Among the most frequently reported faults are problems with electrical components and the braking system, with particular impact on certain specific brands. Interestingly, about 23% of cars experienced issues within the first two years of life, generally covered by warranty. Furthermore, as expected, regarding regular maintenance costs, luxury brands tend to incur higher expenses.

It’s also worth mentioning that this survey, conducted between May and July 2023 through an online questionnaire, provided an overview of the perception of reliability and satisfaction among European car owners. The study did not go further to verify whether malfunctions were real or “perceived.”

Japanese Brands Triumph

Japanese cars dominate the reliability rankings, with Lexus in the first place, followed by Suzuki, Subaru, and Toyota. This trend underscores the established reputation for reliability of Japanese automakers, which occupy eight of the top eleven positions. Within the top 10, along with Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Mazda, there are also Cupra, Kia, and Smart.

Overall satisfaction among owners regarding their cars is generally high, with Tesla standing out for the performance of its electric models.

In conclusion, the survey highlights the importance of reliability as a crucial factor for European car buyers, with Japanese brands leading the pack in meeting this expectation. However, it’s essential to consider individual preferences and regional variations when interpreting these findings.

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