Reliability is a sore topic for Land Rover owners these days, but anecdotal evidence of only ever reveals part of the picture. With older vehicles, faults can often be blamed on poor maintenance and harsh working environments; when premature failure occurs in modern Land Rovers leading cushy lives, it's more embarrassing. And the stories are out there... It’s serious because so few issues these days can be fixed at home; warranties are at stake – as is the marque’s reputation as a bastion of durability and capability. That's why this reliability survey makes for strangely emotive reading...
The annual number crunching by What Car? gives us a snippet of insight into how Land Rover stacks up against the competition, and what progress it might be making, if any. Marques are compared against each other, so the results tell us how each manufacturer ranks against its rivals.
What it doesn’t show is how each marque compares against its own past performance – so the reliability survey doesn’t tell us if Land Rover owners this year are experiencing fewer faults than last year, or whether they’re having to spend more or less money getting them fixed.
What Car's survey focuses on cars, rather than commercial 4x4s. Unfortunately, Defenders were not included.
Results from the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey
The 2022 survey compiled responses from nearly 25,000 vehicle owners in the UK, who answered questions about any faults with their car in the last two years. Faults were categorised into 14 areas (such as bodywork, interior trim, gearbox/clutch etc), and owners were asked about how long the vehicle was off the road, and how much it cost to put right. What Car? then gave each model a final percentage score.
Here’s how the Land Rovers fared…
Family SUV category (out of 39 places):
Range Rover Evoque (2019-present): 36th place, 86.1%
Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019): 38th place, 78.8%.
Large SUV category (out of 32 places):
Discovery Sport (all models): 30th place, 80.8%
Note: The survey does not distinguish between first- and second-generation Discovery Sports.
Luxury SUV category (out of 11 places)
Range Rover Velar (2017-present): 7th place, 90.7%
Range Rover Sport (2013-2022): 9th place, 85.6 %
Range Rover L405 (2013-2022): 10th place, 85.2%
Discovery 5 (2017-present): 11th place, 70.7%
The most reliable Land Rover is the Range Rover Velar, according to the What Car? Reliability Survey. The Velar achieved the highest percentage of any current Land Rover: 90.7%.
The least reliable Land Rover is the Discovery 5, scoring only 70.7%. In fact, Land Rover was panned in the Luxury SUV category, taking all three of the bottom spots.
Of the 32 vehicle marques included in the survey, Land Rover achieved 31st place (ahead of Jeep). Find the full results of the What Car? Reliability Survey here.
A bit of context
The report says: ‘Land Rover’s score is dragged down by the high percentage of faults suffered by many of its models, especially the Discovery and original Range Rover Evoque. Owners of these cars told us their cars were also costly and time-consuming to fix.’
According to its latest financial report, JLR has reduced the amount of money it spends on warranties to an average of £608 per vehicle. That includes warranty expenditure for Jaguars, whose results were more mixed than Land Rover’s in the 2022 What Car? survey. (Positive results were achieved by the Jaguar XE, XF and F-type.) However, reduced warranty spend doesn’t necessarily mean improved reliability.
Outgoing CEO, Thierry Bolloré, pledged to improve the reliability of JLR vehicles. To see if the Land Rovers developed during his premiership deliver on that promise, we’ll need to wait until they have spent a bit longer on the road. Hopefully next year's What Car? Reliability Survey will include some data on the latest Range Rover...