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The seven most reliable car brands

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle, you should prioritise ample seating, adequate boot space, safety features and fuel economy. Reliability is also crucial in your buying decision. You don't want to buy a car that requires regular repairs and maintenance. While all vehicle manufacturers have impressive and long warranties, a dependable vehicle will minimise the running and maintenance expenses. Reliable cars have few instances of breaking down in the first five years.

Let's explore the most reliable car brands available in the market.

  • Toyota

  • Honda

  • Lexus

  • Hyundai

  • KIA

  • Ford

  • Mazda



Toyota has a remarkable track record in its vehicle models, from minivans and trucks to SUVs and hatchbacks. It earns its top spot as the most reliable car brand due to the durability of the cars. Most Toyota vehicles last longer than other models due to their sturdy components. Their engines also require minimal maintenance and can cover a large driving range. Apart from the well-deserved reputation of reliability, Toyota ensures that outstanding engineering and maintenance costs are low since minimal repairs are needed.

While other vehicle manufacturers compete to release new features, Toyota takes time to conduct sufficient market testing and research. They ensure every model is safe from all aspects and can withstand off-road driving with minimal wear. The enhanced attention to detail prioritises function over aesthetic appeal. Some of the robust models from Toyota include RAV4, Yaris and Corolla. Regardless of the vehicle type you want, you will find a reliable model from Toyota that will serve you for years.



Honda cars are common on roads for a good reason. They produce the largest number of combustion engines and are synonymous with great build and smooth drive. If you want a reliable car, Honda has consistently produced dependable vehicles. The low cost of repairs makes Honda cars reliable since they can't be off the road for long. Many luxury brands lower their reliability rates with expensive parts that are difficult to source and replace, which means a car can be off the road for weeks if it breaks down. Honda, with its locally sourced parts, is easy to repair.

When looking for a reliable Honda car, the Honda Jazz, Accord and Civic are the perfect choices. The cars are dependable, with few repairs reported within the first five years, and they can last for long. You also enjoy practicality and above-average fuel economy. While the technical features are minimal compared to other brands, you will have a suite of safety features. Apart from saloon cars, Honda also has a range of reliable SUVs like the Honda Pilot and CR-V or minivans like the Honda Odyssey.



Lexus is a sister company of Toyota; hence it's no surprise it has adopted the best features. It is renowned for manufacturing cars with attractive appearances, high performance and durability. When understanding the reliability of Lexus, the notable feature is that Toyota creates Lexus engines. Since Toyota is known for dependable vehicles that can stand the test of time, you are assured that the luxury brand offers the best cars. Lexus engines are high-quality and can last up to 10,000 miles with minor repairs. While the repair costs are high, they are rare, and you can go for years without needing any repairs.

You can choose from impressive SUVs or hatchbacks from the brand. The Lexus NX and UX are the most reliable SUVs from the brand, with owners only reporting a few issues. The Lexus LS and CT hatchback are reliable options when you want a luxury car. Most Lexus models are also hybrid, further lowering the maintenance costs.



Hyundai Motor Company quickly moved from an unknown vehicle manufacturer to a leading brand. It has earned its reputation for consistently manufacturing reliable cars. You can rely on Hyundai models for safety, mile after mile. They improve the features with every model but retain a proven structure and sturdy components that stand the test of time. The proof of reliability is in the consistent release of budget-friendly compacts that are low maintenance. Hyundai produces safe cars that require minimal repairs.

Hybrids and electric vehicles improve reliability since most EVs in the range, like the Hyundai Kona Electric, require minimal maintenance. The Hyundai Kona with petrol or diesel engine also has a quality build with minimal faults. Some of the most dependable internal combustion cars include Hyundai Elantra, Sonata and Santa Fe. Hyundai Elantra is an affordable vehicle in the brand's line-up, with exceptional features like good fuel economy, active safety and driving aids and adequate space for five. If you are looking for a crossover, the Hyundai Santa Fe is an exceptional choice that will last long.



KIA is renowned for reliable family cars and offers low-cost vehicles for different budgets. The brand has made vast improvements to develop practical and durable cars. While you won't find luxury vehicles, you can find remarkable interior features. Kia usually provides a long warranty period, and owners report minimal mechanical issues within the first three years of use.

Kia Optima tops the brand's reliable models list. Its great design and plush interior provide additional comfort in the affordable car. The rigorous testing and safety credentials make it a popular family vehicle. You will also use less cash on maintenance and running costs. Kia Sportage is a remarkable choice for a spacious and dependable car. It has impressive tech features and ranks high on safety. On the other hand, hybrid varieties like Kia Niro are popular for their enviable drive range and fuel economy. While it isn't suitable for off-road travel, it provides the best safety credentials and reliable city steering.



Ford had average reliability scores in its older models, with customers mainly complaining of faults like central locking, in-car entertainment and non-engine electrics. The recent releases of Ford vehicles are reliable due to improved non-engine electrics. For instance, the Ford Fusion is a dependable model with EcoBoost engine technology and reliable safety measures.

You will also find advanced technology packages like an infotainment system and electronic assist steering. The Ford Mustang sports car also scores highly in reliability ratings. Aside from the powerful engine, the updated technical capabilities make it more dependable than its predecessors. You can find user-friendly driving assistance aids and connectivity tools.



Mazda earns a spot in the most reliable car brands with a large market in Europe. It has a reputation for producing high-quality cars and often appears alongside companies like Lexus and Toyota. However, they have had low reporting scores due to issues related to the braking system. Most consumers have reported issues with their brakes. The recall due to faults in the Engine Control Unit also lowered their score.

Despite the low score in some areas, the brand is impressive, with minimal faults reported across most models. The vehicles also spend less time off the road for minimal repairs, and you can take advantage of the low repair costs. The most reliable models from the brand include Mazda Mx-5 and Mazda 2 and 3.

How to determine the most reliable car brands

Determining a car's reliability isn't just about the number of breakdowns. The off-road time needed to fix it and the repair costs also affect the score. When giving a car model reliability rating, several factors are considered. For instance, the industry standing will influence the rating. If the brand has a good reputation in the motor vehicle industry, the score could be higher.

Coverage like extended warranty and roadside assistance that the company provides also influences the score. Generally, companies with a five-year warranty and favourable coverage terms are considered reliable. A manufacturer won't give you a five-year warranty if they know the car will break down within two years.

The opinion of professional car critics also factors into the score. Mechanical reports and customer reviews are usually important when assessing reliability. You can determine common problems and breakdowns related to a car brand or model from the reviews. Reliability is also judged based on the cost of repairs. Vehicles with minimal maintenance costs are favourable to many customers.

Why are some vehicle brands more reliable than others?

Cars are built using different materials and components depending on the brand. Hence, their reliability depends on the technology and materials used in production. Sometimes, the need for affordable vehicles lowers the reliability score since cost reduction results in faster wear and tear. However, that isn't always the rule since KIA produces the most affordable and reliable vehicles, while Jaguar and Tesla have the lowest reliability scores despite the huge price tags.

Modern technology sometimes lowers the reliability of a car. Tesla, Audi and Mercedes Benz are less dependable because they introduce new technology fast without testing them thoroughly, leading to frequent recalls.


With many vehicle models available, it is hard to find a reliable car that can stand the test of time. Start your search by finding a reliable brand and narrowing your car options based on your budget and size. Whether you want an SUV or a truck, selecting a reliable manufacturer can speed your car search process.


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