Want to know which is the most reliable car you can buy? Good news: according to the researchers at consumer champions Which?, it’s the Kia Picanto, which is also one of the cheapest available.

In what is billed as the UK’s largest car reliability survey, the little city car racked up very few faults and emerged with a reliability rating of 98.1%.

At the other end of the scale, the Land Rover Discovery emerged as the most fault-prone new model of the 147 included in the survey, scoring 67.8%.

The Mazda 3 took second place in the survey, which took in data from 65,000 owners over four months ending March 2010. Vehicles from Japanese makers dominated the top 10 so Daihatsu, Honda and Toyota also featured alongside Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz..

Land Rover had another car in the bottom 10, the Range Rover Sport,, while models from Jaguar, Hyundai, BMW, Ford, Citroen, Renault and Volvo kept it company.

The Picanto currently enjoys a seven-year manufacturer-backed warranty which is the longest offered on any car. But, because it has a poor Euro NCAP occupant crash safety rating and lacks stability control as standard, it is not one we’d recommend whole-heartedly.

Top 10 most reliable

1 Kia Picanto

2 Mazda 3

3 Daihatsu Sirion

4 Honda Insight

5 Honda Jazz

6 Toyota iQ

7 Toyota Prius

8 Volkswagen Golf Plus

9 Mercedes-Benz SLK

10 Mazda 2

Top 10 least reliable

1 Land Rover Discovery

2 BMW 3-series convertible

3 Hyundai Santa Fe

4 Renault Megane CC

5 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

6 Volkswagen Eos

7 Jaguar S-type

8 Ford Focus coupe cabriolet

9 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

10 Ford S-Max