Who makes the most reliable car brand? That’s what you’re probably wondering right now as you read this headline, and it’s also the subject of this piece, which lists the top 10 most reliable car brands of all time based on several years of research.
Read on to learn more about reliability ratings, how we ranked the brands, and what kind of vehicles rank the highest in terms of dependability.
Best Car Brands Of All Time
It’s hard to decide which is more valuable: your time or your money. If you ask me, I’ll tell you it’s both—but a new car takes care of only one of those at a time.
The good news is that there are cars out there that offer both in spades, and knowing about them will save you some serious money over their lifetime.
Some people even call it Toyota as if it were a singular word—but don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The reliability of Toyota vehicles is what made them so popular.
In fact, over 300 million Toyota have been sold since 1958. For that reason, many people consider Toyota to be one of—if not the—most reliable car brands ever created.
According to Consumer Reports, Hondas are among one most reliable car brands of all time. It’s no surprise when you look at what Honda has to offer.
In fact, it’s difficult not to see why people choose Honda; their name is synonymous with top-quality vehicles for a reasonable price.
Honda also has a great reputation when it comes to its service department, too, which is something that isn’t easily earned from drivers who don’t think their cars are reliable!
With more than 40 million cars on U.S. roads today and counting, if you’re looking for an affordable ride that gives you bang for your buck in terms of performance and reliability—look no further than a Honda vehicle.
The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV and has been rated one of Consumer Reports’ most reliable vehicles.
The vehicle was also named Best New SUV Under $25,000 in 2014 by Kelley Blue Book. With turbocharged engines and solid safety ratings, it comes as no surprise that Subaru has proven to be an affordable but reliable brand.
According to Ed Kim from AutoTrader, reliability is one of their strengths. Subaru doesn’t offer many new features or technologies on its cars, but what it does offer are safe and reliable cars, he told Autos Cheat Sheet.
The BMW Group is a German multinational company that currently produces automobiles and motorcycles, and also produced aircraft engines until 1945.
It is best known for its motor vehicles but does business in other industries including high-performance motorbike production.
BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad, Husqvarna, and KTM brands as well as MINI brand cars under license. In 2015, it produced 1,366,500 vehicles.
From 2014 onwards reports show that 12% of all cars produced by them are electric; now they have even reached 22%.
The company has long been considered to be Europe’s most prestigious automobile manufacturer.
It was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Consumer Reports, which has compiled data on more than a million vehicles spanning 14 years, named Lexus as its most reliable brand in 2015.
The Toyota-owned brand placed first in reliability for eight consecutive years between 2002 and 2010 before giving way to Porsche and BMW in 2011.
Topping such an extensive list is no easy feat; however, Lexus has managed to achieve that accolade while remaining affordable—with a model lineup that includes cars ranging from $25,000 to $70,000.
Well-Known and Respected: Audi is a German automaker that was founded in 1909.
The brand’s slogan is Vorsprung Durch Technik, which means advancement through technology. Audi’s vehicles are well-known for their high build quality and excellent fuel efficiency.
In addition to producing cars, reliable luxury cars, and SUVs, Audi has an active lifestyle division (think Quattro) that sells apparel designed for enjoying outdoor adventures like hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.
In 2015 alone, it sold 1.5 million vehicles worldwide.
The brand has consistently been rated as one of the most reliable brands by consumers in surveys over several years thanks to models like its A6 sedan or Q7 SUV.
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 was named Most Dependable Midsize SUV by J.D. Power and Associates; J.D. also gave it a second-place finish for Overall Dependability among all brands for 2016–2018 models and an overall score of 912 (out of 1,000).
On top of that, CarsDirect named it 2018’s most reliable car brand in terms of cost per year to own and maintain; in 2017, Mazda finished first place in four out of nine categories.
You can thank Nissan’s minivan for popularizing an automatic transmission with manual shifting capability, and you can also thank its 240Z sports car for kickstarting Japan’s massive car culture.
The company’s reliability is only matched by its legacy. Nissan has been building cars since 1933 and wasn’t even called Nissan until 1934.
It started out as a division of Yanase Co., Ltd., and began producing Datsun brand vehicles in 1947. In 1960, after growing too big to stay under Yanase Co.’s umbrella, it broke off on its own.
That’s even more impressive considering how long they hold their value. According to KBB, new models are often upwards of 80% less than their original MSRP within three years on the market—in other words, it pays to wait before buying.
Take solace in knowing that with an Acura, you’ve made a safe choice by going with one of America’s most reliable car brands.
With minimal moving parts and pared-down designs, it’s easy to see why even drivers who don’t require much horsepower will fall in love with these cars.
Plus, they’ve got classic good looks that just can’t be beaten. Of course, all those attributes come at a price—but we think it’s worth it.
You won’t find many bargain Porsches on sale; if you want one, you’ll have to pay up… but considering how many miles you’re likely to get out of your purchase, we’d say it’s well worth it!
What Cars Brands Last The Longest?
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you might be wondering how to find one that will last. The good news is that Consumer Reports publishes data on what car brands tend to last longer than others.
The bad news is that they don’t just publish rankings and reviews, so it can be hard to figure out which car brand is most reliable from just their site.
But if you combine their rankings with your own research, it’s easier to make an informed decision about which car is right for you (based on factors like price range and availability).
In fact, Consumer Reports has created charts for each category of a vehicle type that list cars with track records for lasting more than 200,000 miles or even more than 300,000 miles.
What Cars Have The Least Problems?
The reality is that every car brand has some level of problems; even Tesla, which is generally considered to be a premium brand, has had a few issues with its all-electric cars.
The question, then, isn’t about finding a brand that has never had problems – there are none.
Instead, it’s figuring out which brands have fewer problems than others. One way to do that is by looking at Consumer Reports data.
Most Reliable 20-Year-Old Cars
What’s your plan if you want to find a reliable vehicle that won’t break down on you?
The best bet is to stick with brands that have a proven track record of dependability.
For example, Consumer Reports says these are 20-year-old vehicles that can be expected to perform reliably: 1998 Toyota Corolla and 1997 Honda Accord; 1996 Ford Taurus and 1995 Toyota Camry; 1993 Ford Explorer and 1992 Honda Civic; 1990 Lexus LS400 and 1989 Lincoln Town Car.
Summary: Most Reliable Car Brands Off All Time
There is no shortage of lists ranking automotive brands. However, many of these don’t take reliability into account.
To create a truly reliable list, you have to rank vehicles by both quality and reliability.
This is why we compiled our own top ten most reliable car brands based on data from multiple sources in order to determine what vehicles are both high-quality and highly dependable over time.
Below you’ll find not only a list of the most reliable car brands but also more information about each vehicle that made it onto our top ten list and why it made our cut for reliability over all other models.