Most Reliable Cars

When you are buying a new vehicle, there are many factors to consider, and reliability is one of the most important. Of course, you need to know how reliable the vehicle is in the short-term, but also how likely it is to stand the test of time. By looking at both the immediate predictions and long-term reliability of each brand, I have chosen 6 great vehicles you should seriously consider this year if you are looking to purchase a car, SUV or crossover that is incredibly reliable.

01
Lexus ES

Lexus ES 330
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The brand is seriously hard to beat if you are looking for reliability. This vehicle is powerful and gets 25 MPG standard or 44 MPG in the hybrid model. It comes standard with lane-departure warning and auto emergency braking. The ES also happens to be about $20,000 cheaper than the GS, which is just icing on the cake.

Price: $43,860

Reliability Score: 90/100

02
Lexus GS

Lexus GS
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After you read about the Lexus ES, is it any surprise that another Lexus vehicle is our top pick? This is by no means a cheap car, but it is, by all means, a safe and reliable car. The Lexus brand consistently trounces all other brands in terms of long-term reliability, and the Lexus GS is no exception. The inside also happens to be beautiful and roomy, making it worth the high price. It drives quietly and with agility and is sure to stand the test of time.

Price: $58,858

Reliability Score: 85/100

03
Kia Niro

Kia Niro
Getty Images/Chesnot

As the most affordable car on this list, the Kia Niro is a great bargain—and can fit a family of 5, along with all of their stuff, making it a great untraditional option for soccer moms and dads. It is a hybrid vehicle and gets an impressive 43 MPG and comes with top of the line safety features.

Price: $26,805

Reliability Score: 82/100

04
Toyota RAV4

Toyota Rav4
Getty Images/Scott Olson

The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best small SUVs on the market and also happens to be among the safest. This year’s RAV4 offers a smoother ride, quicker acceleration, and new safety features. The environmentally conscious also have cause for celebration, as this vehicle gets 31 MPG. Cool safety features include an audible collision warning system and automatic emergency braking.

Price: $29,370

Reliability Score: 78/100

05
Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ
Getty Images/Christopher Jue

This car is, simply put, a ton of fun to drive. The Subaru BRZ is a sports car that steers like a dream. It is also rear-wheel-drive, which makes it less likely to slide around during high speed driving. One disadvantage is that the inside can be quite noisy—especially during those quick accelerations that make owning a sports car worth it. If you’re considering a sports car, it’s probably also a given that you are not going to have the coziest seats or tons of leg room, either.

Price: $27,117

Reliability Score: 75/100

06
Audi Q3

Audi Q3
Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

As a brand, Audi’s reliability is pretty average, but this car rises above the rest of its brand’s fleet. The Audi Q3 is a compact SUV that handles like a luxury vehicle and drives quietly and comfortably. One downside is that this car only gets 22 MPG in the city, and I also would not recommend this vehicle for taller drivers, as the inside can get a bit cramped.

Price: $40,125

Reliability Score: 73/100

A Note About the Reliability Scoring

The calculations for reliability are based on both the short and long-term reliability. I relied on data from the J.D. Powers Vehicle Dependability Study and the Consumer Reports Top 2018 Most Reliable Cars list. The J.D. Powers study is a measure of the number of problems over 35,000 vehicle owners experienced on three-year-old vehicles during the past year and is done by brand rather than make and model. This test is a good predictor of the long-term reliability of vehicles manufactured by that company. The Consumer Reports picks are based upon a 2017 analysis of over half a million vehicles and look at both major problems and minor nuisances. They also consider whether or not repairs are covered by warranty and their own testing data.

My score is based upon the how far above or below average a vehicle’s brand’s J.D. Powers score is from the average score of all vehicles as well as the average of my top picks, combined with each vehicle’s rank-order in the Consumer Affairs list.