It is said that your choice in a car says a lot about you, and many people believe that the brand of car you drive has an effect on
your driving ability. For example, according to the 884 drivers who responded to our survey on driving in the UK, those who drive a BMW (11%) or Vauxhall (8%) are more likely to rate their driving skills 10 out of 10.
Furthermore, it seems that as we get older we are less likely to stray away from a familiar car brand, with Rocket Fuel reporting that 29% of the 316 UK car buyers they questioned admitted that make or model of a previously owned car influenced their next purchase.
With that in mind, we have decided to take a closer look at the manufacturers to see if they are as good as people think.
When we asked participants if they’d ever been in an accident in their vehicle, the manufacturers most likely to have been involved in an accident were Ford (47%) and Volkswagen (45%), while the least likely were Toyota (77%) and Renault (76%). However, AxleGeeks reports that Mini is the least safest car brand on the road.
AxleGeeks analysed the safety features across model lines, including blind-spot monitoring, pre-collision and post-collision safety systems, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems. They also took into account the percentage of model lines with an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award.
Mini was deemed the least safe as only 10% of its 2015-2016 lineup received IIHS awards, compared to the average lineup earning 30%. Its models also lacked blind spot monitoring and pre-collision safety systems, while only 10% of models featured post-collision safety features, compared to 16.3% in other brands.
The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study looks at problems in the first 90 days of vehicle ownership and determines a score based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. Despite the industry as a whole improving, some brands are still appearing at the bottom while Porsche takes the top spot for the third consecutive year.
For another year, Fiat is the deemed the most unreliable in terms of initial quality with 161 problems per 100 cars - almost 50 more than the industry average of 112. Smart, which is owned by Mercedes owner Daimler-Benz, was runner up with 154 reported problems per vehicle and a new entry due to there not being enough Smart car owners the previous year. The rest of the top five looked like this:
- Jeep - 141 problems per 100 vehicles
- Land Rover - 134 problems per 100 vehicles
- Mitsubishi - 126 problems per vehicles
While these reviews come from several sources, it doesn’t necessarily mean that any vehicles from the manufacturers are unsafe. There is no substitute for safe driving, and it is most often the behaviour of the driver that impacts a car’s life on the road.