Cars becoming more reliable
Cars are becoming more reliable but more are being recalled to have problems fixed.
The findings come from research published in the Consumers' Association's Which? magazine.
A total of 94% of cars up to two years old had no breakdowns in the last 12 months compared to 93% in a similar survey last year.
However, the number of recalls increased by 150,000 to more than 1.5 million with problems ranging from faulty seat belts to difficulties with brake pedals.
For reliability, Japanese cars proved the best. The Honda HR-V, the Mazda 323, the Mazda 626, the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 all had no breakdowns in the last 12 months.
Also breakdown-free were the MGF sport car and the Volkswagen Beetle.
The worst car was the Renault Espace, with 17% breaking down. The next worst were the Volkswagen Lupo and the Land Rover Discovery, with 14% breaking down.
The vehicle improving most was the Vauxhall Omega. In last year's survey 16% broke down, but this year the figure was only 2%.
The survey of cars belonging to Which? members yielded information on nearly 34,000 vehicles.
Which? car specialist David Evans, said: "We believe that problems should be sorted out before the car gets to the showroom and if faults do happen then we think manufacturers need to be quicker about recalling cars."