Which Engine Type Is the Most Reliable?

Fri 14th Aug 2020

There used to be a time when motoring aficionados would argue over the merits of diesel over petrol, but with a range of different powertrains now available to the public, which is the most reliable?

According to data released by Which? based on the experiences of more than 55,000 vehicle owners, the most reliable engine type is ‘full hybrid’ petrol electric cars, which had the fewest mechanical problems.

The Which? survey looked at reliability across petrol, diesel, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars and found that only three per cent of full hybrid owners had reported an issue. Six per cent of petrol car owners needed mechanical assistance, for diesel and EV owners it was 10 per cent, and the worst ranked was Plug-In Hybrid which saw 15 per cent of owners suffering a problem.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, commented: “It’s great to see so few people reporting issues with their petrol-electric hybrid car. Despite the complexities of two motors working in harmony, they are mechanically simpler than conventional petrol or diesel cars, which is good news for motorists as it reduces the likelihood of problems.

"While our research shows electric cars and plug-in hybrids are still less dependable than other fuel types, we expect to see their reliability improve as these markets establish themselves. Thanks to more challenging CO2 regulations, we're seeing more choice and in the future, we will have a lot more models to report on."