Are German Cars as Reliable as We May Want them to be?

When someone asks you about your dream vehicle, there’s a fair chance that your answer will involve certain brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, etc. But do you know what’s common in all the listed brands? It’s the fact that these are all German cars.

For decades now, Germany has taken pride in manufacturing high-end vehicles that are a dream of every car enthusiast. However, when it comes to spending your hard-earned money on an automobile, a “cool look” doesn’t get the job done. You must get something that is reliable. After all, no one has time these days to stay busy with vehicle warranty calls all day and get their car issues sorted out.

And it turns out that German cars may not be your go-to vehicles when it comes to reliability. Let’s dive into it.

Popular German Car Brands

Before listing down the issues linked with German cars’ reliability, it’s essential to note down which cars are actually made in Germany. Only when you get an idea about their popularity would you be surprised that these vehicles aren’t as reliable as one might want them to be.

  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Volkswagen
  • Audi
  • Porsche
  • BMW

In short, most of our dream cars are manufactured in Germany. But should these vehicles be trusted if you plan on owning one for a long time? Let’s discuss.

German Cars: A Technological Marvel

One of the main reasons why people are so fascinated with German cars is the fact that these vehicles are the epitome of the advancements in technology. Moreover, these cars achieved tremendous success in motorsport.

Over the years, these automakers racked up quite a good reputation amongst European drivers. But with further research and people’s experiences, it was discovered that reputation alone wasn’t enough to justify the massive price tags associated with these cars.

The Problem

Just because the European drivers have deemed brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, etc. as excellent doesn’t mean that the rest of the world would share their opinion too. In fact, when assessed on metrics such as build quality, cost, and reliability, it turns out that several reputable German automakers don’t even make the list of the top 10 automakers worldwide.

It goes without saying that the aforementioned car brands aren’t cost-friendly at all. In fact, these vehicles are estimated at fairly high prices. Unlike the Europeans, the Americans are charged a jaw-dropping premium if they import a German car.

Additionally, German vehicles are manufactured in a way that they are easy to drive on European roads. For those of you unaware, American roads aren’t exactly similar to their European counterparts. In fact, roads in the US are extremely straight and wide. Whereas a car driver in Europe must learn how to drive on winding and narrow roads.

It should also be stated that the parking spaces in Europe and those in the US are quite different from one another. In Europe, mainly the UK, the parking spaces are usually small. But that hasn’t stopped the vehicles from getting larger with time. To resolve this problem, the wheels of numerous European vehicles are designed in a way that they angle inwards once you apply a full lock on the steering wheel.

The Reputation of German Cars

German cars didn’t become as reputable as they are today right off the bat. For instance, over 30 years ago, Audi wasn’t a household name. But then, the magic of the ‘80s happened. By magic, we are referring to the emergence of the golden era of the rally sport. This period was crucial in Audi’s rise as a world-renowned brand.

Whether you consider German cars reliable or not, one thing that can’t be ignored is that these cars have impressive wheel arches and body panels. This creates a desire in one’s heart to own such a vehicle without even going on a test drive.

Additionally, while visiting a dealership or talking to German car sales representatives on vehicle warranty calls, there are high chances that you will be impressed with German automobiles. These vehicles have well-integrated controls and a comfortable seating arrangement.

Are German Cars Reliable?

Based on their reputation and design alone, many people would say that German cars are reliable. However, a survey conducted by WhatCar shows a completely different picture.

As per the said survey, even though German vehicles have their mechanical components sorted out, the reliability concerns stem from the cost (expensive replacements) and the arrangement of the electronic stuff.

WhatCar’s survey revealed what the public thinks of the German cars’ reliability. The fact that no German brands were mentioned until the 16th spot (BMW) speaks volumes about the subject in question.

So, should you just avoid German cars? Well, we never said that. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your motive behind purchasing a vehicle. If you are buying a car on lease or plan on switching vehicles every few years, then a German car could be a good fit for you.

However, if you are expecting your car to accompany you for thousands of miles, then you should opt for a Japanese car.

It goes without saying that no matter how reliable a car you own, there’s no guarantee that it wouldn’t run into maintenance issues. During the initial years while the car is covered with a coverage plan, making a few vehicle warranty calls might be enough for covering the repair or replacement expenses.

But once the factory warranty expires, resolving maintenance issues associated with German cars could end up costing you a fortune.