TÜV and DEKRA reports: very reliable cars from German makers
A car’s quality becomes apparent not only on the day when it is sold to its first owner, but above all during the years of daily use that follow. In 2016, nearly 3.4 million new passenger cars were registered in Germany. Yet the volume of trade in used cars is more than twice that, at 7.4 million sales. According to the DAT Report, people wanting to buy a used car regard vehicle reliability as the most important issue, followed by the purchase price and appearance.
Who builds the best-quality cars? Reliable rankings are provided by the TÜV Report 2017 just published and the DEKRA Used Car Report that appeared in the first quarter of 2016.
The TÜV Report 2017 evaluated almost 9 million general inspections required by law, factoring out influences such as prestige, price and vehicle origin. German cars came out with glowing results: the top five models among the two to three-year-old cars that the TÜV tested are all from German manufacturers. First place is shared by the Mercedes-Benz GLK and the Porsche 911, while third place goes to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and fourth to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, with the Mercedes-Benz SLK coming in fifth. And that’s not all: 19 out of the top 20 models in this category bear German group badges. They include the Opel Adam, the Audi Q5, the BMW X1 and the VW Golf Plus.
Among the four to five-year-old cars, too, the top five vehicles are all made by German firms: the Mercedes-Benz SLK, the Audi A6/A7, the Audi TT, the Audi Q5 and the Porsche 911.
Furthermore, the long-term quality of German models also dominates in the six to seven-year-old age group: three of the top five are German cars: Porsche’s 911, Audi’s TT and BMW’s X1. Even among the “older” cars (eight to nine years old, and ten to eleven years old), the Porsche 911 still takes first place.
A similar picture emerges from the DEKRA Used Car Report 2016, for which DEKRA’s experts evaluated the results from a total of around 15 million general inspections from a period of two years. Here 474 models were investigated. Nine vehicle classes were each divided into three groups, depending on total mileage (0 to 50,000 km; 50,001 to 100,000 km; and 100,001 to 150,000 km). Consideration was given only to defects that were genuinely relevant for assessing vehicles. Defects that are typically caused by the user (e.g. insufficient vehicle maintenance), rather than by the vehicle itself, were excluded.
The German brands also set the tone in this extensive survey. They scooped 18 out of a total of 27 best scores. The top-placed vehicles included models from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Volkswagen. The winners on quality and reliability in five out of nine vehicle segments (upper medium class/upper class, sports cars/convertibles, SUVs, small vans, and transporters) come from Germany: Mercedes-Benz’ CLS, Audi’s A6, Mercedes-Benz’ SLK, BMW’s Z4, Audi’s TT, Mercedes-Benz’ M-Class, Audi’s Q5, Mercedes-Benz’ B-Class, VW’s Sharan, the Opel Combo and the VW Amarok.
The title “Best of all Classes” – the vehicle with the best overall average score across all vehicle classes and all three mileage categories – was the Audi A6, taking first place ahead of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Audi Q5.
“Both reports demonstrate the outstanding performance of the German automotive industry when it comes to quality. In all, the data from 24 million general inspections were evaluated and produced a clear result: German models are the most reliable and exhibit the best long-term quality. It is worth noting that the German models score especially well not only in the individual age groups, but also in the higher mileage categories – from 50,000 to 150,000 kilometers. This success is based on the high levels of expenditure by our manufacturers and suppliers on research and development along the entire value chain. Another factor is that quality management at our companies is a priority at the highest level. Our manufacturers and suppliers place equally high demands on their own performance concerning the major innovative topics of electric mobility and digitization,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).