The turnaround is something of an upset, since Japanese cars dominated most of the previous decade in reliability surveys. The Germans have definitely upped their game, however, with Audi at the leading edge. The Audi A2, A3 and A6 all ranked tops in their classes, though Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class just edged out the Audi A4 in the mid-size sedan class.
BMW’s cars also showed well, with the X3 taking its class, the 3-series convertible and coupe taking the sports car/convertible class and the 5-series ranking second behind the A6 in the large sedan class.
Japanese brands were nearly absent from many lists, getting only one car in the top 5 in any class – the Toyota Aygo, which placed second behind the A2. The bottom rungs of the classes weren’t all Japanese either, however, with Korean, French and U.S. brands taking most of the lower rungs, especially Ford, Opel, Renault and Hyundai.
The ADAC Breakdown Statistics information is compiled by analyzing the 2.46 million qualifying call-outs of the ADAC roadside assistance team for the calendar year 2008. To be considered, a vehicle must have been manufactured between 2003-2008, registered in volumes of at least 10,000 in Germany and largely unchanged for at least the past three years – ruling out brand-new cars’ effect on the previous model’s statistics.