Bentley, Porsche Score Unfavorably In British Reliability Survey

A recent reliability survey conducted in the UK suggests that Bentley and Porsche are the least reliable used car manufacturers, indicating (on the surface, at least) that whatever your money is going toward, the answer isn’t necessarily dependable design.

CNBC shared the results of this reliability survey, conducted by What Car? using data gathered by Warranty Direct. They received a somewhat agitated response from Bentley via email, stating plainly that this reliability survey is “not an accurate reflection of the Bentley ownership experience.” Porsche fired off its own response, saying that findings were “just one snapshot of British consumer experience,” and citing J.D. Power’s APEAL survey, which ranked Porsche highest among new US car buyers, for the 10th year in a row.

We rather take umbrage with the conduction of this reliability survey ourselves; each automaker’s scoring index was computed from the average cost of repairs over some time period, which lends far fewer data points to luxury car manufacturers like Porsche and Bentley. More importantly, as What Car? Editor Jim Holder himself notes, since “the average cost of repair is factored into the index, it puts luxury cars at a disadvantage compared to more normal brands with lower parts costs.”

In other words, of course an exotic sportscar like a Porsche will cost more to repair; it’s an exotic sportscar. The reliability survey doesn’t so much measure reliability, as it does the expense of maintenance. Maybe the survey would be fairer if each car’s repair costs were weighted based on the model’s original MSRP when new.

As questionable as it is to label this a reliability survey, perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt, and recognized for its obvious utility to the average consumer. But then… does the average consumer really need to be told they can’t afford to own a Bentley?

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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