I can remember Macksey spending a few paragraphs on the Crusader III although he does not directly quote any tankers who operated it. I agree that the Crusader series of tanks have aesthetic appeal, and the Mark III wasn't even undergunned - but the Liberty engine (originally designed for aircraft) apparently did not perform well in the desert climate. According to Macksey (IIRC), the water pump for the Liberty's cooling system was not drained prior to shipment to the Middle East, and the cooling system was not refilled after arrival in Egypt. That's bound to cause trouble in North African temperatures.
Also, the Crusader apparently used a chain transmission (!), and if the chain broke it would fall to the bottom of the tight engine compartment, meaning that you had to lift the engine to put the chain back in place - i.e. a workshop job, and the British did not have anything similar to the German's workshop companies until the time of Crusader - Operation
Crusader that is.
Strict maintenance may have done something to improve the Crusader's reliability. It was probably let down by the dusty desert climate, the absence of a competent technical branch in the British army until November 1941, and finally by better Grants and Shermans being available once teething problems had been solved. Still, there were AA tanks on Crusader chassis with British forces in NW Europe in 1944. I don't know if they suffered from as many mechanical problems as the original Crusaders did, but you would assume that some of the technical issues had been solved by then.
I have not yet bought David Fletcher's two books on British Tanks in WW2
, but judging by the title of the first volume, it addresses all the mechanical shortcomings of early British tanks.