Honda, Mazda, Toyota voted most reliable cars

If you want the most reliable car money can buy, go new and go Japanese.

Consumer New Zealand has released the results of its reliability survey, which has been asking motorists to report on their past 12 months of car ownership each year since 1999.

The three manufacturers causing the least headaches year in and year out were Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

The survey also showed the more modern the car, the more reliable it is likely to be.

If your car was made between 1998 and 2000 there was a 49 per cent chance it would be trouble-free.

A 2001-03 model boosted this figure to 61 per cent and 2004-07 models achieved 74 per cent reliability.

Alongside the nigh-unbreakable Toyota Corolla, the most popular cars in New Zealand were the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

Interestingly, the latter two gave owners more problems than the average vehicle, perhaps proving Kiwis are willing to make a few sacrifices to keep a bit of Aussie muscle in the garage.

However, the results don't mean owners of such vehicles should clutch their Automobile Association cards tightly each time they stray far from home, as most faults hit non-essential bits such as seats, trim and electrical equipment.

For those buying second hand, the survey offered some comfort, with no discernable difference in reliability between used imports and cars that had been imported as new.

- NZPA

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