Everyone wants a vehicle that is reliable. Especially if it is a newer vehicle that payments are still being made monthly on. After all, it isn’t only frustrating to have to have your car break down in the middle of traffic, have it towed and then to have to pay for repairs, it only adds insult to injury when you still make that monthly payment once it is due. Even worse is to have to make that payment while you’re driving a rental car!
But what makes a car reliable? For most, it is getting us from point A to point B safely and without us having to pay extra money because of repairs. A popular car that some think is very reliable is the Toyota Prius. It is also popular because it has solid fuel efficiency which, with the rising gas prices, is a plus for most. While the Prius is on some of the most reliable car lists, others would differ.
About the Prius V, The Consumer Reports wrote, “the electric motor and engine have to work fairly hard, especially when the car is loaded with cargo. The ride is comfortable, but uneven pavement can cause an annoying side-to-side rocking. Handling is sound and secure but hardly inspiring.” Consumer Reports goes on to say about the Prius C, “this smaller, less expensive alternative to the regular Prius feels like a spartan subcompact, but with a hybrid powertrain. In the end, you pretty much get what you pay for, and it is no substitute for the real Prius. The C has a harsh ride, a noisy engine, and slow acceleration. The interior looks and feels cheap, the driving position and rear seats are cramped, and there’s little cargo space.”
Really the only thing about the Prius that Consumer Reports praises is its high mileage per gallon. But does this one factor really make a vehicle reliable? Certainly not! Reliability is based upon performance without issues or in the case of vehicles without more repairs. Thus, the following list consists of 20 cars that are way more reliable than a Toyota Prius.
20 Audi Q3
The Audi Q3 was named the most dependable small premium SUV for 2018 by J.D. Power. While it may not be that fast of a vehicle it will keep you on the go as it is very reliable. “With 200 hp available via a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, power won’t blow anyone away, but with broad application of this engine throughout Audi’s stable, it has proven reliable and fun.” Surprisingly, Digital Trends also believes that the Audi’s durability will be the same throughout the vehicle's life as it is so durable. “We predict its top-notch build quality, proven engine, and clean design will stand the test of time well.”
19 Chevrolet Cruze
DT stated for 2018 the Cruze's new lighter body and sturdier chassis make it more efficient and durable. The US News and World Report (USNWR) gave the 2018 excellent safety and reliability scores.
For safety it earned a 9.3 out of a possible 10 rating, while for reliability it earned an even better score of 4.5 out of a possible 10.
“Cutting-edge technology will keep the Cruze relevant for longer than its competition, and its noticeably improved build quality means a more durable vehicle.” With DT and USNWR agreeing that the Cruze is not only durable now but will be long before its competition is, speaks volumes about the reliability of this vehicle.
18 Honda Civic Si
The Honda Civic Si offers the buyer a sports car look but with the same dependability as the Civic offers. DT writes, "its new lighter chassis is more rigid than before which will help with improved performance. This car not only offers the feel and look of a sports car, but it is also very dependable." Thus, the sports car enthusiast gets the best of both worlds. They can have the sleek sporty look they want with never compromising on the steadfastness of a car that will outlast not just most cars but most sports cars. Sounds like a breath of fresh air for sports car lovers!
17 Chevrolet Malibu
According to J.D. Power, the Malibu is the most dependable midsized car beating not only the Toyota Camry, but also the Volkswagon Passat and the Honda Accord in reliability. DT states, "while the Malibu isn’t the fastest and most ‘exciting car, it will get you from one place to another without stopping by a repair shop.’"
While the Malibu is not the most adventurous car on this list it doesn’t mean that its owners deserve any less of a reliable car.
With so many Malibus still on the road from all different models and years, it's time to face the fact that the dependable if non-adventurous Malibu will continue to be around for many years to come.
16 Kia Rio
The Kia Rio was named the most dependable small car by J.D. Power for 2018. USNRW has ranked the Kia Rio #2 in subcompact cars with a score of 8.8 out of a possible 10. For reliability alone, it received a score of 4.5 out of 5. For someone looking for a subcompact car, it is difficult to get one that is very durable. These days many car buyers are finding that they need to replace their bigger gas guzzling everyday vehicles for ones that are better on gas. With gas prices continually going up, this trend doesn’t seem to be losing steam. But who wants to get a car that is great for fuel efficiency but still constantly stuck in the repair shop?
15 Toyota Corolla iM
While the USWNR ranked the Toyota Corolla iM a measly #21 in compact cars it should be noted that this lower rating was not because of its reliability. That lower number was really based on the critics' rating for performance, interior and safety.
For the intent of this article it still earns a spot as it received a 4.5 out of 5 based on its reliability alone.
According to the USWNR, their reliability score is based on the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) rating, or if unavailable, the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability rating.”
14 Toyota Camry
USWNR ranked the Camry #1 in midsized cars. This ranking was based on several key factors including Critics' rating, performance, interior, safety and reliability. With all of these key components being taken into consideration, the overall score was a 9.3 out of a 10.
With its new 17 safety features deserving of a perfect 10 rating and its reliability score of 4.5 out of a total possibility of 5, it’s no wonder it ranked #1. Again, this is another very popular car which is a testament to its great reliability. Not only do you see many different years of Camrys on the road, but many previous owners keep their older cars and continue to buy new Camrys. Because of its overall rating as well as the safety features, many owners of older models pass them on to their children.
13 Toyota Sienna
This is rated as the most reliable minivan for several reasons. First, it is the most reliable family minivan in its class as dubbed by Consumer Reports simply because it does not break down much. DT writes it is a "very durable tool for family hauling."
This is because it is also the only minivan that offers an all-wheel drive version making it also reliable to those in snowy regions.
There are so many minivans out on the road today, but the fact that this is the only minivan that offers an all-wheel drive option is amazing! Now families that live in snowy weather do not have to give up their smooth family ride with the kids for a bigger truck or SUV just to get the all-wheel drive option. This feature definitely increases the reliability of a vehicle that is already reliable.
12 Kia Soul
The USNWR ranked the 2018 Kia Soul #1 in compact cars. It came out on top of the competition because it scored an overall score of 9.1 out of 10.
What is surprising is the safety and reliability scores that it received for such a small car even though the car designer did not make any major improvements to the 2018 version.
It was given a 9.8 out of 10 for safety and for reliability it received a perfect score of 5 out of 5. This just goes to show that while it may be small like a Prius, it is way safer and reliable as the Kia Soul has not had any recalls issued.
11 Buick Encore
USNWR writes "the 2018 Buick Encore is a top-ranking subcompact SUV with high safety and predicted reliability ratings.” With the USWNR the Encore earned a 9.8 out of a perfect 10 in safety, while in reliability it earned a very respectable 4.5 out of 10. The higher safety score was more than likely made up of two factors that make the Encore a dependable car.
First, there have been no recalls reported. Secondly per the USNWR, "Buick backs up the Encore with a four-year/50,000 mile warranty and a six-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty." Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Buick is doing that with the awesome warranty it currently has on the Encore. What better way to prove that you are not only making a vehicle more reliable than to back it up in writing?
10 Chevrolet Sonic
Per the USNWR, "The 2018 Chevrolet Sonic has excellent predicted reliability and safety scores, and it was a finalist for our Best Subcompact Car for the Money award." While it only ranked #3 in subcompact cars, it was the higher reliability and safety scores that made this car shine.
For a small compact car, it received a 9.8 in safety and an almost perfect 4.5 in reliability.
You really do not have to pay much money or have a big vehicle in order to have a safe, reliable car. This car will make the person that thinks bigger is better rethink that notion. While it is a small vehicle, it is very dependable so you ultimately save on gas and save on repair costs as it has better reliability.
9 Ford Explorer
The USNWR, ranked the Ford Explorer as #12 in midsize SUVs. Surprisingly with this popular SUV, it was the poor scores on the critics rating, performance and interior that slotted this in otherwise safe and reliable vehicle so low on the overall list. Its safety rating was an awesome 9.2 out of 10 and its reliability score was a fantastic 4.5 out of 5. This is another popular vehicle with so many of them still on the road. So many of the older model Explorers have surpassed 200,000 miles and are still going strong, which a testament to its ongoing reliability.
8 Buick Enclave
According to the USNWR, even though the Buick Enclave was ranked #1 in midsize SUVs, it received a rather average overall rating of an 8.7 out of 10. While the USNWR did not have the IIHS safety rating for this vehicle yet, it was the fantastic 4.5 out of 5 for its reliability that put this SUV towards the top of the list.
When most people hear the name Buick, they think of the big huge cars from generations past.
While the car was a nice, smooth ride with plenty of room, people still think of a Buick as an older person's big, clunky vehicle that travels at 25 mph everywhere! For Buick now, this is not the case. With its sleek design, it not only handles nice and is roomy, it is also still very reliable. Buick is catching up with the modern world and may surpass it!
7 Toyota Sequoia
The USNWR ranked the Toyota Sequoia #3 in large SUVs. It does not have a safety rating because the IIHS safety rating is not available at this time for this vehicle. It does have 15 standard safety features. It also received a 4.5 out of 5 for its awesome reliability with its overall rating being an 8.2 out of 10. For such a large SUV, the excellent reliability rating on this vehicle is awesome. This is because most of the larger SUVs are set up more for adventure like the 4Runner. Also because their frames are much bigger most people wouldn’t think that something this size could be reliable. The Sequoia is here to prove them wrong.
6 Toyota Tundra
Although the Toyota Tundra is ranked #6 in full-size pickup trucks, it received rather low scores totaling 7.3 out of a possible 10. Again, the two best scores for this pickup were the safety and reliability scores.
It earned an 8.4 out of 10 in safety and a 4.5 out of 5 in reliability.
According to the USNWR, even though it has "more standard safety features than rivals and an outstanding predicted reliability rating, the Tundra finishes at in the bottom of our truck rankings because its engines aren’t that powerful and its towing and hauling capacities are lower than rivals."
5 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
According to the USNWR, the Silverado 1500 ranked #3 in full-size pickup trucks. It scored an impressive total of 8.8 out of 10. The safety and reliability scores again are the highest. In safety, it earned a 9.2 thanks to its 12 safety features. In reliability it earned a 4.5 because there were no safety recalls issued for this vehicle to date.
As soon as someone starts talking about a durable and dependable vehicle, one thinks of a truck. Think about that for a minute.
How many times have you been the only one that owns a truck in your family or friend circle? How many times have they asked you for help with your truck? Moving? Picking up a new big screen television? Mulch? After all, what is more durable and dependable than a pick- up truck? The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the epitome of durability and reliability.
4 Ford Escape
Per USNWR, "the 2018 Ford Escape is one of the best compact SUVs you can buy as it has excellent safety ratings." The scores from the USNWR show that the Escape earned an overall 8.7 out of 10. Likewise, the two highest scores were with its safety at 9.1 out of 10 thanks in part to its 12 safety features. In reliability, it earned a 4.5 out of 5. Once again, this is a very popular vehicle as you see so many different years and models of the Escape on the road still. Many owners are also so loyal to this reliable vehicle, that they keep buying Escapes.
3 Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma ranked #1 in compact pickup trucks with the USNWR for 2018. While the truck rated rather poorly in performance and interior, it ranked highest in safety and reliability.
A 9.3 out of 10 in safety and a 4.5 out of 5 in reliability helped to rank the Tacoma higher overall.
This truck is perfect for someone who wants a truck but who doesn’t need a big one. Not only do they get a truck that saves on gas, but one that is still just as reliable and safe as a bigger pickup truck.
2 Toyota 4Runner
This SUV is geared toward those who "need versatility, dependability and off-road capability." It is indeed still a very popular choice as there are many different years of 4Runners on the road. While it has been a popular off road SUV, DT sees it has a multi- purpose machine now.
It not only can still tackle off road obstacles but can now handle more domestic purposes like "errand runs and dinner dates."
Because of its awesome durability “the 4Runner can always be counted on to get you to, up, down, and from the mountain in quiet comfort. With a durable truck platform, high resale value, and generations of 4Runners to prove its dependability, buyers won’t regret choosing it.”
1 Lexus GS
DT named the Lexus GS as the Most Reliable Luxury Car because of its "supreme comfort and excellent build quality." It is also named by J.D. Power as the most dependable midsized premium car. DT really socks it to the competition for the Lexus GS. “The Lexus GS won’t win any drag races if stacked against BMW’s 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class, but if it’s an endurance battle covering hundreds of thousands of miles, Lexus GS drivers can relax in their plush leather cabins while parts start failing on the competition.” DT goes on to slam the competitors even more: “While some competitors suffer from electrical issues or mechanical failures, the GS offers class-leading comfort with the peace of mind that comes from a Toyota product.”
Sources: cars.usnews.com, consumerreports.org, digitaltrends.com, forbes.com, top-autoreview.com