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How Reliable Will My New Car Be?

We have written about car reliability surveys on our web site here.

We, and many others, are really annoyed that no such survey happens in Australia. So we are all still in the dark as far as Australian-made cars are concerned! No local insurance company or auto magazine seems to want to produce their own survey, and the local car companies refuse to make industry quality surveys public.  Yet these very same companies benefit from millions of dollars  showered upon them by the Australian Government – that’s our tax dollars – so don’t you think they have an obligation to divulge how well they make their cars with our money, and that we have a right to know before we buy? We’d like to know how you feel, so click below to write your views


  1. Ashton Keene says:

    it should be mandatory to have this information freely available from all importers to Australia, it would also be interesting to delve deeper to see what problems are encountered

    May 24th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  2. Geoff says:

    Cadillac has little in common with Holden, and my experience with a number of Holdens has not been great, dynamics decline significantly by around 100,000kM.

    My worst ever car was an EA Falcon wagon, numerous ongoing faults combined with unsafe handling and a dealership that managed to add there own problems during any visit to the service department, which was far too frequent. Will not buy another ford.

    There has been some very good work done by individuals overseas to categorise faults on specific brands, very hepfull when looking at secondhand vehicles of non AU manufacture.

    May 24th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

  3. Alan McDonald says:

    Worst vehicle was a second-hand F250-4WD I bought with a land-purchase deal; it cost a lot to maintain and was well-flogged by the time I naively acquired it as a starry-eyed young man! To show I am a forgiving bloke the best cars I have owned were also Fords; 2 x Wagons that between them have given me over 550,000 k’s service with acceptable downtime for expected maintenance. The BA-e-gas is still going strong and has yet to spring a single oil leak, nearing 300,000 k’s.

    May 24th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

  4. Jimmy says:

    I have owned a manual, 3 door Ford Fiesta Zetec in Australia from new since December 2007.

    The car has done 14000km and has only ever given me (my wife) problems with the poor quality seat latches which snapped early on under normal use. In addition the cable ends associated with the same seat release mechanism chafed the seats and prematurely wore a hole in the seat fabric. All problems were solved under warranty.

    Otherwise the car has been fantastic in all other ways.

    When all said and done independent research prior to buying a car is often the best approach as you will get real world answers from owners who live with the car on a daily basis. Surveys can be biased and should be treated with caution and not soley relied on to gauge the reliability of any car.



    May 24th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

  5. Errol says:

    I have owned many and varied cars over my 45 years of driving. I could list the cars not to buy and the cars to look at, but like everything, we all have good experiences with a particular brand while others have been stuck with a lemon.
    There are several vehicles I would always advise against purchasing for very particular reasons, and not all related to reliability only. Having been a mechanic and repairer for over 40 years, I have seen the best and the worst of most cars. Even within some brands, lemons exist alongside reliable versions however, in Australia we have no ‘lemon laws’ that would instill confidence in buyers and therefore anecdotal evidence is the only ‘protection’ most buyers have. The insurance and car industry will not produce a list as suggested because the public would be made aware of the generally poor quality vehicles and engines imported into Australia. Engines for the Australian market are generally of lesser quality and cannot be sold into the US or European markets, although this situation is changing with only a few brands. Check out the specifications required for Australia to export engines to the US and look at Toyota’s line up of engines that will never be permitted into Australia due to our poor fuel quality.
    Well, my head is now on the block, go your hardest.

    May 25th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

  6. Shovel says:

    My 2007, 6 speed, Corolla Conquest has been an expensive mistake. Just out of warranty and the timing chain started to rattle. Dealer told me that Toyota were going to do a loyalty payment and didn’t charge me for the parts. Terrific, except for the part where they charged me 20 hours labour to remove and replace the engine (and replace the timing chain and gears). I haven’t pulled an engine in 20 years but I reckon I could still do it in under 10 hours. 15,000 km later and the aircon compresor pooped itself. Another $1800. I bought a Corolla based on the reputation for reliability but I am quite certain that my next car will NOT be a Toyota. Getting the feeling that they are living off their reputation.

    May 25th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  7. Nick Amphlett says:

    Completely agree with BA egas ‘only’ 200k on mine but restored my faith in lpg & blue oval brand -had 2EF’s both gave much grief due to gas conversion. In the mean time I thought VW diesel was the answer -I asked the wrong question !! vw quality terrible makes Ford look brillient. About to purchase G6E lpi

    May 27th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

  8. Errol says:

    I read somewhere on this site that today’s cars are more reliable than those of yesteryear, or words to that effect. I got to thinking about that and I think that the criteria need to be stated. From my experience, if a car ‘broke down’, there was usually a roadside remedy that would get you home, Remember the old “…coat hanger and a pair of pliers…” adage? Well, I think there was a lot of truth in that. With a few spares in the boot, you could almost rebuild your car on the side of the road. When a modern computerised car stops, it requires a specialist with an array of computer gadgets, an operating theatre, a committee of technicians trained in the particular brand and you may have to sleep with your bank manager to get the funds to pay for all this. I don’t recall worrying whether my car would get me to my destination many years ago, but today, driving a very expensive import, I make sure I travel where I can get phone reception and easy access to RACQ, just in case. So, are cars more reliable today? In my humble opinion, no they are not. It really depends on what criteria you use to determine reliability.

    May 28th, 2012 at 11:51 am

  9. Dave says:

    Simple, Au car company’s survive on my tax dollars, therefore public info is owed to the contributing public.

    June 5th, 2012 at 3:15 pm