The MoT Files: Top 10 SUVs and crossovers for passing the MoT
SUVs and crossovers have soared in popularity over the past two decades and have become more sophisticated and car-like in their design and mechanical make-up, the flip side of that being that they require as much maintenance and attention as a conventional car too.
We have trawled through the data to look at the best SUVs and crossovers that were registered in 2014, hence they had to go through their first MoT test in 2017. The data reveals how each individual model fares as its mileage increases and also in comparison with other cars registered in the same year. It also shows which elements of the car perform better or worse than vehicles of a similar age, which is particularly useful so you know which areas are potential failure points when it comes to vehicle maintenance or specific design weaknesses.
Mercedes-Benz GLA - 93.1% pass rate
A strong showing from this Mercedes-Benz that first appeared in 2014, the GLA not only tops the tree in the SUV segment but is actually the best-performing vehicle in any category with just 221 failures from 3146 performed MoT tests. That’s better than the average from the brand, and the most common failure is tyres - something which can usually be spotted ahead of the test.
Lexus RX - 92.2% pass rate
Just a whisker behind the GLA is the Lexus RX, scoring an impressive 92.2 per cent pass rate with only 112 failures from 1445 vehicles tested. As with many cars at their first MoT tyres are a key cause of failure but a point of note is also headlamps and headlamp cleaning devices, which is three times more than other 2014 cars. Overall however the RX performs 46 per cent better than other cars built in the same year.
Audi Q5 - 92.1% pass rate
Less than one per cent separates second and third place in this list, with Audi’s Q5 achieving a 92.1 per cent pass rate from 7763 vehicles tested, giving only 610 failures for vehicles registered in 2014. Q5s of all ages achieved an 87.7 per cent pass rate when tested in 2017, well above average. Of the failure issues, the number that failed on account of a fault with the passenger front door was three times worse than other 2014-registered cars, suggesting a particular issue with this component.
Audi Q3 - 92.0% pass rate
More impressive consistency from Audi, with the Q5’s smaller sibling recording only 998 MoT fails from 12,313 2014-registered vehicles tested, giving a pass rate of 92 per cent. That compares favourably with the Q3’s overall performance, with a 91.1 per cent pass rate for all ages of vehicle. The key failure points are headlamp defects that do not require an aim check on retest and headlamp cleaning devices.
Volkswagen Tiguan - 91.5% pass rate
With some shared underpinnings it is no surprise that Volkswagen’s Tiguan performs similarly well to its Audi sister brand, with 1179 failures recorded from 13,932 tests to give a 91.5 per cent pass rate. Looking at the data more closely suspension issues are a key failure area - a 2.1 per cent failure rate is 140 per cent worse than other 2014 cars, with suspension arms, pins, bushes, attachment and bonded suspension all failure areas several times more frequently than other cars of the same age.
Porsche Macan - 91.3% pass rate
Another product with some shared heritage, although interestingly the Macan doesn’t perform quite as well as its less-expensive relatives. The performance SUV recorded 89 failures from 1027 2014-year cars tested to achieve a pass rate of 91.3 per cent, which is very consistent with Macans of all ages. Although a 2.6 per cent failure rate for lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment is nearly 50 per cent better than the 2014 average, headlamp defects unrelated to aim checks are 12 times worse than average for the era.
Mazda CX-5 - 90.2% pass rate
A strong performance here from Mazda’s CX-5, which recorded 626 failures from 6368 tests conducted to give a pass rate of 90.2 per cent. That is highly consistent with CX-5s of other ages, suggesting a marked reliability improvement compared to older Mazda models. The data reveals that brakes and hub components are a significant failure point, 22 and 54 per cent worse than other 2014-era vehicles respectively.
Vauxhall Mokka - 90.0% pass rate
One of Vauxhall’s most popular models and one that benefits from improvements in reliability, scoring significantly above the brand’s average pass rate. 2840 failures were recorded from 28,416 tests conducted for a pass rate of 90 per cent, compared to a pass rate of 88.6 per cent for all ages of Mokka. Other than commonplace lighting failures the data shows issues with the steering; although the overall failure on steering is 46 per cent better than the 2014 average, within those failures steering control, coupling and universal joint failures are five or more times worse than the 2014 average.
Honda CR-V - 89.5% pass rate
A good performance here from the Honda CR-V with a pass rate of 89.5 per cent, thanks to 1397 failures from 13,357 vehicles tested. Even better, there are no significant areas of weakness that cause MoT failures other than the headlamp levelling device, which is recorded as being six times worse than other 2014 cars although overall headlamp failures are 82 per cent better than similarly-aged cars.
MINI Paceman - 89.5% pass rate
Strong consistency from the MINI Paceman shows up in the results, recording 358 failures from 3421 vehicles tested to give a pass rate of 89.5 per cent; Pacemans registered the year before average 86.2 per cent. Two particular areas stand out, with MoT failures due to brake fluid warning lamp 24 times worse than the 2014 average, and those due to bonded suspension 17 times worse.