2017 Subaru Forester steering wheel
It’s no fun when something goes wrong with your new car, even if it is covered under the warranty. The smallest problem can mean time consuming trips to the dealer, where the car might have to stay until the needed parts arrive and the repair can be completed. While today’s cars are much more reliable than they were only a few decades ago, some brands still manage to stand out and have become known for their reliability. To come up with our list of the most reliable brands we went through all the data we could find, from published reliability data to personal experience, all so that you don’t have to. Read on to discover the 10 car brands with the best reliability.
To come up with our list of the most reliable brands we went through all the data we could find, from published reliability data to personal experience, all so that you don’t have to. Read on to discover the 10 car brands with the best reliability.
While Honda is generally thought to be a reliable brand, most of its models are currently average when it comes to reliability, and the brand just makes our list of the top 10 car brands with the best reliability. That’s not because its cars are getting less dependable, but more because other brands are improving at a quicker pace. Things to watch out for include overheating, oil consumption, transmission issues, charging system problems and electrical issues. A few of Honda’s most reliable models include the midsize Honda Accord sedan, the compact Honda Fit hatchback and the Honda Odyssey minivan, though all of the brand’s models are relatively reliable, and any of them should serve you well.
Hyundai has been working on its reliability ever since the brand was first introduced into our market back in 1986, and while it took a while for the brand to get a handle on its problems, it now builds some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Some of the common issues with Hyundai’s models include electrical problems, power equipment, and some minor suspension troubles. Hyundai’s most reliable models include the compact Elantra, the midsize Sonata and the Tucson compact crossover suv. If you’re looking for a reliable vehicle at a reasonable price you might want to consider a Hyundai; its cars are better than you might expect.
Lincoln is the luxury arm of Ford, and like its parent brand, it's average in terms of reliability. Common problems with Lincoln’s models include electrical issues, problems with the spark plugs, excessive brake wear, and climate control system issues. Some of the brand’s most reliable models include the midsize Lincoln MKZ sedan, the fullsize Lincoln MKS sedan and the fullsize Lincoln Navigator SUV. The rest of the brand’s models age fairly well, though some do lag a bit behind in the reliability department. If you can’t quite afford a Lincoln, the similar models offered by Ford share many of the same parts and should be equally reliable.
Photo by Lincoln
Though German brands haven’t been known of their reliability lately, Audi fares better than the rest of its compatriots. The most common problem with Audis seems to be electrical issues, but otherwise the rest of the car tends to hold up well, and the brand’s unfortunate diesel emissions issues don’t affect reliability at all. The most dependable models include the compact Audi A4 sedan, the midsize Audi A6 sedan and the compact Audi Q3 crossover SUV, though most of the brand’s other models are good bets as well. If you’re in the market for hassle-free German engineering, an Audi is the best way to go.
Photo by Audi
While you might not expect South Korea to be a hotspot for reliability in the automotive industry, Kia has made surprising (or maybe not so surprising) gains in the last few years. The brand is now one of the most reliable on the planet, especially with models such as the fullsize Kia Cadenza sedan, the midsize Kia Sorento crossover, and the compact Kia Sportage crossover. Common problems include engine issues, electrical issues, and the climate control system, but overall, Kia represents a great combination of value and reliability that makes that brand hard to ignore. While currently mid-pack on our list of the most reliable car brands, we expect Kia to continue to improve.
As a Japanese brand, Mazda is almost expected to produce reliable cars, and they don’t disappoint, with reliability that is generally above average. Though the brand’s diesel engines aren’t yet available in North America, that might not be a bad thing as they seem slightly more trouble-prone than the gasoline alternatives. Other common issues include premature suspension wear, brake issues, and electrical problems. Some of Mazda’s most reliable models include the compact Mazda CX-5 crossover, the compact Mazda3 hatchback and sedan, and the midsize Mazda6 sedan. The manufacturer’s overall reputation makes it an easy addition to our list of the 10 car brands with the best reliability.
Photo by Mazda USA
Over the past few decades, domestic automakers haven’t been known for producing reliable products, but Buick is trying to buck the trend, especially with reliable vehicles such as the subcompact Buick Encore crossover, the fullsize Buick Enclave crossover and the midsize Buick Regal sedan. Despite the brand’s work, some common problems remain, including electrical issues, premature brake wear, and the climate control system, but overall, Buick is the top-rated domestic manufacturer on our list of the the most reliable car brands. We can only hope that some of this progress is shared with GM’s other brands, which unfortunately lag behind the standard set by Buick.
Photo by General Motors
Subaru is the best of the rest, not quite able to match the level of reliability of the top two brands, but still producing very dependable automobiles. Some of the brand's best vehicles include the compact Subaru Forester crossover, the compact Subaru Impreza hatchback and sedan, and the midsize Subaru Legacy sedan. While most Subaru vehicles are reliable, a minority may experience problems with the electronics and brakes. Overall, Subaru’s cars are a compelling combination of excitement, capability, and dependability; you can buy a Subaru because it's one of the car brands with the best reliability, but if you don’t tell anyone, no one will be the wiser (and you might even forget yourself).
If it didn’t have its own upscale Lexus sub-brand to compete with, Toyota would probably be making the world’s most reliable automobiles. On a whole, its models are supremely dependable, especially the midsize Toyota Camry sedan, the hybrid Toyota Prius hatchback, and the fullsize Toyota Tundra pickup. Thanks to the brand’s attention to detail, its vehicles don’t exhibit any real common problems, and despite the fact that many are often used on the roughest terrain, some have been known to travel millions of miles. There was never a doubt that Toyota would be found near the top of our list of the car brands with the best reliability, just a question of where.
Ever since Toyota’s luxury sub-brand released its first vehicle (the Lexus LS in 1989) the marque has been known as one that produces an impressively reliable automobile. Today the story remains much the same, and despite the added technology found in the brand’s models compared to some more mainstream manufacturers, the brand regularly beats the competition when it comes to producing the most reliable vehicles. None of Lexus’ vehicles have any obvious repair trends, but top picks would be the fullsize Lexus ES sedan, the compact Lexus IS sedan, and the midsize Lexus RX crossover. If you’re looking for the car brand with the best reliability, look no further than your local Lexus dealer.
Photo by Lexus