19 least reliable cars according to ADAC (2020)



The German ADAC automobile association regularly publishes a car reliability index according to the number of breakdowns by its yellow angels and the number of defects that have occurred in broken cars.

In the statistics for 2020, all the 3,756,226 breakdowns of ADAC yellow angels and their partners in 2019 were recorded and evaluated. With a total of 113 models of 25 brands, there is enough data available to provide an objective picture of their reliability.

All the makes and models can be found here

A-segment / City car / Minicompact

The clear loser in this category is the Smart ForFour, which has had many defects, especially with the models produced in 2015 and 2016. Even the sibling Smart ForTwo from this period of production is not without faults. There are problems with the starter, automated shifting and battery. The Fiat 500 made in 2014 or 2015 is also not a good choice, it often has problems with the battery and shifting.

Smart ForFour

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
30,131,39,8

ForFour Recalls


Smart ForTwo

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
26,318,420,115,717,132,825,47,5

ForTwo Recalls


Fiat 500

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
27,22725,923,426,829,517,17,1

Fiat 500 Recalls


Legend: Number of breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles registered (= breakdown index) by year of first registration (EZ)



B-segment / Supermini / Subcompact

The problem child in this category is the Hyundai i20 from 2011 to 2014. Most of the breakdowns in his case were due to defects in the ignition and spark plugs. The Opel Meriva from 2017 also has an alarming number of breakdowns. These are often associated with the cooling system: leaky hoses and defective water pumps.

Hyundai i20

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
28,540,845,947,231,59,743,1

Hyundai Recalls


Opel Meriva

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
28,825,22721,922,116,611,912,7

Opel Meriva Recalls


Legend: Number of breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles registered (= breakdown index) by year of first registration (EZ)


C-segment / Small family / Compact

As in previous years, the Nissan Qashqai is a particularly bad choice. Problems occur in all the monitored production periods from 2010 to 2017. Kia Ceed from the 2011 has the highest total number of breakdowns this year. There is a wide range of different defects – so it is really difficult, if not impossible, to find a good used one. Other models from different production periods also performed badly: in alfabetical order – Ford C-MAX (2010), Ford Kuga (2012), Hyundai i30 (2010), KIA Sportage (2011), Peugeot 308 (2010-12), Renault Kangoo (2015) -17), and Renault Scénic (2014-15).

Nissan Qashqai

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
22,825,123,721,817,616,833,642,7

Nissan Qashqai Recalls


Kia Ceed

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
40,970,549,133,326,6128,83,4

Kia Recalls


Ford C-Max

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
51,83631,422,916,87,96,13,7

Ford C-Max Recalls


Ford Kuga

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
37,229,633,826,120,511,95,95,3

Ford Kuga Recalls


Hyundai i30

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
52,235,432,319,715,77,75,32,4

Hyundai i30 Recalls


Kia Sportage

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
52,430,52318,613,341,6

Kia Sportage Recalls


Peugeot 308

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
47,14437,626,513,69,36,1

Peugeot 308 Recalls


Renault Kangoo

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
27,525,120,621,118,919,92416,4

Renault Kangoo Recalls


Renault Scenic

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
35,433,525,218,728,627,77,2

Renault Scénic Recalls


Legend: Number of breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles registered (= breakdown index) by year of first registration (EZ)


If you wish to know more about eventual problems of a specific car (e.g. real mileage, potential traffic accidents damages, odometer rollback, repairs, etc.), then we suggest going to HPI-Check.

Check the vehicle

D-segment / Large family / Mid-size

The middle class also includes the MPVs Ford S-Max, Seat Alhambra and VW Sharan with a high frequency of breakdowns. With the Ford S-Max, not only does the battery fail frequently, but also the particle filter, the fuel pump or the generator. The poor result with the Seat Alhambra and VW Sharan is mostly caused by problems with the exhaust gas recirculation. The Opel Insignia from 2015-2016 is not a good choice either.

Ford S-Max

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
56,926,221,816,913,420,910,8

Ford S-Max Recalls


Seat Alhambra

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
36,938,518,212,914,4

Seat Alhambra Recalls


VW Sharan

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
3927,140,636,21910,112,1

VW Sharan Recalls


Opel Insignia

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
38,735,429,231,726,129,522,610,7

Opel Insignia Recalls


Legend: Number of breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles registered (= breakdown index) by year of first registration (EZ)


E-segment / Executive / Full-size

The nine and ten-year-old Mercedes E-Classes have given off a bad picture. Problems with components such as the starter, the ignition lock and the battery add up to worn hoses and defects in the steering. The balance only improves the E-Classes from the year of production between 2013 and 2014.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

EZ 2010EZ 2011EZ 2012EZ 2013EZ 2014EZ 2015EZ 2016EZ 2017
59,349,131,817,712,110,97,21,7

Mercedes E-Class Recalls


Legend: Number of breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles registered (= breakdown index) by year of first registration (EZ)


All the makes and models can be found here

Source: ADAC


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About the Author

Roman Beránek

Czech independent motoring journalist, ex-editor of CNC's Auto.cz website, former host of the Czech Radio's and CzechTV's "Automotorevue" show. He founded the car-recalls.eu website in 2016 to make car owners better informed and to help to improve road safety.

Deutsche version
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