Europe's most reliable car of the past 12 months has been revealed to be the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Research carried out by Warranty Direct saw the company examine the policies of 20,000 European car owners with vehicles aged between three and six years.

Its results showed that incident rates for reliability stood at just ten per cent for the model, comfortably ahead of its closest rivals the Skoda Fabia and Smart ForTwo (both 15 per cent).

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said: "It is very interesting to see the Mercedes at the top of the pile for European cars. It's big and it's packed with technology, which is not usually the recipe for a reliable car, but it's proved to be excellent.

"With the imminent opening of the Paris Motor Show, we thought it'd be a good moment to discover which European marque makes the most and least reliable cars," he added.

Other vehicles which made it into the top ten for reliability were the Volvo C70, Renault Scenic, Peugeot 207, Volvo S80, Citroen C3 Pluriel, Mini One and Seat Ibiza.

Most common reasons provided by E-Class owners for a failure of their vehicle was axle and suspension issues, while for the Fabia the problems were mainly electrical and for the ForTwo they were to do with cooling and heating.

The company carried out the research in the run-up to this year's Paris Motor Show, which is taking place next week in the French capital.

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz announced the launch of an innovative new campaign aimed at enticing more people to buy its update A-Class model.

The vehicle manufacturer released a single image of the new vehicle with the simple tagline: #NewGeneration.

Its aim was to drum up considerable interest in the brand by getting potential buyers to log on to social networking site Twitter and respond to the launch.

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Posted by Mark Thompson

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