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10 Reliable Car Brands That Run Forever (Almost)

Chris Kaiser

Wisely investing your hard-earned dollars in a new or used car means finding one that’s going to last. Here’s our list of the Most Reliable Car Brands.

Mechanics are like dentists, you probably don’t want to visit them more often than is necessary. And when you do finally drop by, you don’t want your repair bill resembling a Costco receipt. Our present moment makes this scenario even less desirable. Today, it’s more important than ever to maximize your car buying dollars and avoid chronic repairs.

What does that mean, exactly? One word. Reliability. Aside from your basic maintenance, the best way to avoid overspending at the mechanic’s is to buy a reliable vehicle in the first place. Managing the lifetime expense of your vehicle goes well beyond just the sticker price.   

To help, we’ve made a list of the most reliable car brands around. We’ve combined findings for both near and longterm reliability, accounting for the frequencyexpense, and urgency of repairs. If you’re looking for a vehicle that’s going to last for years to come, this list is for you.

Subaru

2020 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

2020 Subaru Outback – subaru.com  |  Shop 2020 Subaru Outback on Carsforsale.com

Looking for a long-term relationship? Subaru has one of the most loyal fan bases in the auto industry. In fact, among vehicle brands that owners keep for over 15-years, Subaru ranks second only to Toyota. With tons of safety tech likeSubaru Eyesight, AWD in every vehicle, and a history of reliability, what’s not to love? 

Buick

2017 Buick Verano - carsforsale.com

2017 Buick Verano – carsforsale.com  |  Shop Buick Verano on Carsforsale.com

Buick halong been one of the US’s strongest offerings when it comes to marrying luxury with reliability. Buick has always been about relaxing on the road, with quiet, cozy interiors and consistent reliability. Whether it’s the Lacrosse, the Verano, or even the burly Enclave, any Buick you choose will have you riding cocooned in comfort.

Genesis

2020 Genesis G80 - genesis.com

2020 Genesis G80 – genesis.com  |  Shop 2020 Genesis G80 on Carsforsale.com

As with the rest of Hyundai’s offerings (we’ll get to those later), their spun-off luxury brandGenesis, is standing on its own just fine. They’ve been winning awards and catching the eyes of reviewers and car buyers alike with their combination of reliability and high-brow luxury. The quality of the Genesis G80 makes a strong argument that the demise of the sedan has been greatly exaggerated. 

Kia

2020 Kia Telluride - kia.com

2020 Kia Telluride – kia.com  |  Shop 2020 Kia Telluride on Carsforsale.com

While Kia used to be known for lower-end vehicles, that is no longer the case. Most new Kias are now competitive with more expensive luxury brands. The class-leading Kia Telluride is a great example. Along with vastly improved quality, Kia’s reliability has also improved. 

Mazda

2020 Mazda CX-5 - mazdausa.com

2020 Mazda CX-5 – mazdausa.com  |  Shop 2020 Mazda CX-5 on Carsforsale.com

Thanks to SKYACTIV Technology and consistent innovation, Mazda has created some of the most fun-to-drive affordable cars on the market. Mazda has been particularly successful in the crossover market with new additions like the Mazda CX-3 and Mazda CX-5. The great reliability ratings are just the cherry on top.  

Hyundai

2020 Hyundai Elantra - hyundaiusa.com

2020 Hyundai Elantra – hyundaiusa.com  |  Shop 2020 Hyundai Elantra on Carsforsale.com

Kia’s big bro, Hyundai, has been upping its game too, with high quality interiors and rock solid engineering. The new level of excellence can be seen in the likes of theHyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, andHyundai Santa Fe. 

Acura

2020 Acura MDX - acura.com

2020 Acura MDX – acura.com  |  Shop 2020 Acura MDX on Carsforsale.com

Honda’s luxury arm offers great mechanical longevity alongside all that sleek styling and performance. Whether you’re looking for everyday elegance in something like the Acura MDX or you’re in the market for serious fun with something like the Acura RDXyour new Acura will keep you looking good on the road for years to come.  

Toyota

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser - toyota.com

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser – toyota.com  |  Shop 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser on Carsforsale.com

You’re not surprised, are you? Toyota has almost always made some of the most reliable cars around. From 4Runners and Tacomas to Corollas and Priuses, the reason you see so many Toyotas on the road is there are so few in the junkyard. And don’t forget the legendary Land Cruiser, which isn’t even properly broken in before hitting 100,000 miles.  

Honda

2020 Honda Accord - automobiles.honda.com

2020 Honda Accord – automobiles.honda.com  |  Shop 2020 Honda Accord on Carsforsale.com

Honda is often cited for reliability and for good reason. Low average repair costs and infrequent trips to your mechanic’s have kept this brand at the top of the rankings for decades now. Note that Honda’s CVT (continuously variable transmission) still isn’t as refined as Toyota’s and remains the one count against them in terms of reliability.

Lexus

2020 Lexus GS - lexus.com

2020 Lexus GS F – lexus.com  |  Shop 2020 Lexus GS F on Carsforsale.com

Last but certainly not least is Toyota’s luxury arm, LexusLexus offers compelling vehicles like the Lexus LC 500, and they’ve added affordable performance options like the Lexus RC 350and the Lexus GS F and supremely capable SUVs like the RX and GX. But what all of these vehicles have in common is rock-solid reliability. When you want that luxury car investment that lasts, you buy a Lexus. 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published July 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser

Chris’ greatest passions include topiary, spelunking, and pushing aging compact cars well past 200,000 miles on cross-country road trips. His taste in cars runs from the classic and esoteric to the deeply practical with an abiding affection for VW Things, old Studebakers, and all things hybrid-crossover.

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