New Zealand motorists who choose European cars are often buying some of the world's worst lemons, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.
Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says: “New Zealand motorists often think they are getting an upmarket vehicle when they buy a European brand. However, the opposite is true: European vehicles are generally poorly built, unreliable and expensive to fix.”
Matthew-Wilson quoted a recent car reliability survey by the giant English consumer organization Which?
Of the 34 makes surveyed, Volkswagen was 15th, BMW was 18th, Audi was 20th, Peugeot was 25th, Fiat was 29th, Renault was 32nd and Alfa Romeo was last. The highest rating European model was Mercedes, which came tenth. All the top nine ratings went to Japanese or Korean makes (see the full list below).
“Because many small European models are available with super-efficient engines, customers are buying these cars believing that they'll save money. In fact the opposite is likely to be true: the money these customers save on fuel is likely to be a drop in the ocean compared to the high cost of servicing and repairs, coupled with a shocking depreciation."
“Virtually all reliability surveys say the same thing: European brands may look cool, but they’re the pits to own.”
“Next to their house, a car is most people's most expensive purchase, yet the majority of car buyers purchase their vehicles without the faintest idea of what they are getting themselves into. If the New Zealanders who buy European cars knew the track record of these so-called prestige brands, they'd probably never buy them. ”
Here’s the Which? magazine 2011 list of reliable brands, from the best to the worst:
13 Chevrolet (mostly built by Daewoo)
22 Vauxhall (mostly built by Opel)
33 Land Rover
34 Alfa Romeo