Here's the thing: the Toyota Prius has been named the most reliable car out there. And there is obviously some truth to that. It sits under $25,000 so it is affordable as a new car, especially when considering the fact that this is a hybrid machine. For a comparably small upgrade, a driver can get almost 650 miles of pure electric driving range, which will only get better over time as hybrid technology improves. Yes, this truly has become a very reliable car compared to regular petrol machines.
However, there are certain things about pretty much every other car out there that really make it a hard choice when it comes to choosing between the Prius and, say, a Smart or a Tesla, or even something simple like the Chevy Cruze. There is something to be said about the reliability of a gas engine, and the things that come with the cars that carry those engines.
That being said, we are going to dig into the list of top most reliable cars out there on the road, and I am going to throw in a few that might not seem like they would quite fit but are, nonetheless, incredibly reliable cars in one way or another. The Prius might be the most reliable hybrid. It might be the cheapest of the hybrids too, but I'm not sure that it is the most reliable car of all. But I'll leave that up to the dear readers to decide.
20 Toyota Corolla
It actually doesn't even have to be the hatch when it comes to reliability and the Toyota Corolla. It can't be stressed enough that when it comes to hybrid cars, it's probably true that the Prius is the most reliable thing out there on the market right now.
But when one takes into consideration that the Toyota Corolla is the most purchased vehicle in the entire world, that has got to count for something in terms of overall reliability.
It's nice that the Prius has been around since 1994, but the Corolla has been the most reliable compact for about 50 years now.
19 Dodge Caliber
Don't worry, I know. I know. The Dodge Caliber is probably not a car anyone here might have thought about as reliable. Well, it is, just perhaps not in the way that anyone might want it to be. The Caliber, for example, is probably the most reliable to have transmission issues several times while still under warranty. It might be a big pain, but at least it's covered! The Caliber is reliable in the way it messes up. Go to any forum full of Caliber owners and the story is always the same. That aside though...it was a way more fun car to drive than the Prius.
18 Ford Taurus
Alright, so the Taurus may not be the most reliable car in existence and the Prius might have a few things going for it that the Taurus does not, but this thing will take forever to end up in the junk heap.
This thing might need repairs often enough or need to have this or that touched up, but it won't drop until drivers have been waiting years for it to happen.
An ex of mine once called her Taurus the "Sparky Sparky Boom" car. To be fair, most of that stuff was from her driving and not the car itself, but it lasted her a long time before it finally quit.
17 GMC Sierra
Sure, it's a truck, but the fact that this truck is more reliable than the Prius is just the cherry on the sundae. The Sierra is so good because...well, it might be heavy but that's not because of the massive battery bank it's carrying around. It actually has room for hauling and storing. It can also handle rough terrain with a solid traction control system. In addition to that, there is a mechanism in the Sierra that allows it a quick start in cold weather. How many of these things does a Prius have?
16 Honda Accord
Apart from a stint between 1998 and 2000, the Honda Accord has continually been a very reliable car. Cards on the table, the issue with the '98-'02 Accords has to do with the transmission, but that has since been fixed and both the engine and the transmission are very reliable indeed. It also doesn't hurt knowing that the repairs on any Honda are pretty painless and cheap when compared to others cars. Other cars like say...the Toyota Prius. Honda has been bandying affordable parts around for a long time, and their cars have stood the test for just as long.
15 Dodge Charger
When it comes to larger cars, the Dodge Charger is actually one of the more reliable ones. There is something to be said for a car that has a good deal of muscle to it, along with a good deal of power and space, pitted up against something like the Prius.
Most readers on this site would rather have a Charger than a Prius...that's just my guess anyway.
Aside from the oil and the repairs on the suspension (depending on how one decides to drive this muscley car), this is pretty reliable. And knowing that the trade-off for this good-looking car is oil consumption and possible suspension repairs...that's also reliable.
14 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Taking a look at a long-term review of the Hyundai Veloster done by Car Magazine in Britain was an easy way to see just how this car is quite reliable. Sure, there are some space issues, but it is not at all like the Toyota Prius was ever a big-time winner when it came to storage and passenger space. And, at least with the Veloster, a driver gets a sporty-looking car for relatively cheap, with a good kick, and a good overall rating. Sure, the Prius might have the electric range, but the Veloster could wait for the Prius to run out of juice in a race and still catch up to it before it was charged again.
13 Honda Civic
Aside from the fact that the Honda Civic is about $6,000 cheaper than the Prius (before either starts ticking the extras boxes in the order), the Civic has way more room than a Prius.
It's also sportier than the Prius.
And this is a very unique and amazing quality. It is also rated the most reliable performance car out there (at least the Civic Si was last year). And don't get too fussy about the camber angles on the above image. I know it looks ridiculous. It's just a good quality image, that's all.
12 Mazda Miata
In terms of sports cars this year, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is at the top when it comes to reliable sports cars, followed by the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro. Now, considering that the base price of the sporty little thing is almost comparable with the Prius, I already know which one I would go for. With an overall 34 miles to the gallon, it's not quite as good with consumption as the Prius, but considering what a driver gets with the Miata, I would say the few bucks extra in gas is far and away worth it.
11 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
Here is the thing about the Lancer Evo: it is not a practical car by any stretch of the imagination but when it comes to being a reliable car, it is up there for sure. Now, it might not seem that way because of the number of bad drivers who own them, but people have to remember that this car is made for the track, so it's going to be hard to find one that isn't at least a little beat up. But if a car can rock 100,000 miles before any serious repairs need doing, I call that an awfully reliable car.
10 Pontiac Sunfire
Alright, I know, it has probably been a long time since anyone here has actually seen someone driving a Pontiac Sunfire. I just saw a bright yellow one the other day and decided that I had to fit it into this article somehow. And so here we are.
It's not likely that you're going to see a brand new Sunfire kicking around, and that is the big thing here.
While a new one might not be around, there are plenty of old used ones still running the roads. Sure, the reliable breaking of windows and knobs and switches will happen, but the car itself just keeps going.
9 Audi Q3
Here is the most reliable crossover vehicle that exists on the market right now. And here is the thing that I feel I have to keep saying: the Prius is probably the most reliable hybrid, but there are other cars out there that are just better than the Prius in so many other ways. The Q3 can start simply with sheer size. Sure, it's about $7,000 more than a Prius but it can also fit five people and some luggage comfortably with a luxurious quality that is consistent with the Audi brand. That is something Toyota just doesn't have.
8 Chevy Cruze
Thousands of dollars cheaper than the Prius, the Chevy Cruze is one of the most reliable compact cars out on the market to date. Doing 42 miles to the gallon in town and 52 on the highway, I have to say that this car is almost just as reliable as the Prius in terms of fuel economy, yet it doesn't have the added weight of the electric motor, and it can fit more for a cost of significantly less. And it's got all the onboard gadgetry that any Prius owner would want anyway.
7 Lexus GS
Here we have the most reliable luxury car out there right now, the Lexus GS. It's actually not all that much to look at and fits sort of in the same vein as the Cruze or the Malibu, but obviously for far more money.
A bigger price tag is a reliable thing to expect of buying a Lexus, for sure.
Aside from that, though, if we're talking the GS V8, there is the power of 467 horses riding with this sweet machine that, no matter how powerful the engine is in the Prius, will not be matched by an affordable hybrid.
6 Pontiac Montana
I know. This does not look like much at all. And it's not likely that anyone is going to see a new Montana out on a lot any time in the near or distant future, but that isn't the point. This is all about reliability as compared to the Prius. Well, the sheer size of the thing makes up for the additional $10,000 that will have to be paid against the Prius. But, that aside, this thing can average about 260,000 miles before any major malfunction occurs. And it can even take some knocks without going down.
5 Chevy Malibu
Two Chevy Malibus have gone through my family now. They weren't scrapped because of how unreliable they were, they were scrapped because of how hard my family drove these things. They were also models from the early 2000s, so it shouldn't be all that much of a shocker.
The difference between a Malibu and a Prius is that this car can be fixed with all manner of parts.
There is no special mechanic that needs calling in to fix any hybrid electronic issue. This is also the most reliable family sedan out there right now with a price point that could even be cheaper than the Prius if we're not talking too many extras!
4 Toyota 4Runner
Here it is, the most reliable SUV on the market. I am amazed but hey, if Toyota can beat their own hybrid car with a more reliable SUV, well, I guess they just have to deal with the money their making, right?
Anyway, the 4Runner is a solid choice.
It's about $10,000 more than the Prius but this thing can handle mountain ranges like no other car on this list and it could do that and still have a pretty reasonable resell value. That cannot be said of most cars, and most likely not of the Prius.
3 Toyota Sienna
The most reliable minivan on the market right now, running for less than $10,000 more than the Prius. Obviously, if someone is looking for space, the Prius is not the way to go. What I love about Toyota though, is that they have some of the most reliable vehicles out there on the market and yet they are touting the Prius as the best. But it offers the least. It offers electric driving. Which is great, but until that tech is far better, and can be suited to something the size of the 4Runner or Sienna, or fitted with the price tag of the Corolla...the Prius will never be the most reliably purchased car.
2 Smart ForTwo
I can't even believe that I am writing positively about the Smart ForTwo right now, but I have to in order to point out some situations in which the Toyota Prius is not the most reliable car. For example, if someone wants to look absolutely ridiculous, it's going to occur more reliably in a Smart ForTwo. In all seriousness though, when it comes to price, sitting at about $12,000, the ForTwo is a pretty sweet deal. Sure, it's hard to do a grocery run in one of these but it's easy enough to do in-town driving without spending more than a nickel on gas for a good long time.
1 Tesla Roadster
First and foremost, I just had to have a hot car in this piece to make up for the fact that there are so many boring cars on this list because we're just talking about reliability. So, how is it that the Tesla Roadster is more reliable than the Prius? Well, when it comes to reliably looking good...it just wins. Right away. No contest. And beyond that, when it comes to making an impact on electric driving range, and being the big man on campus when it comes to going green, I have to say that the Roadster is leaps and bounds more reliable than the Prius.