There are so many different ways people determine which used vehicles are consistently the most reliable that you can find an advocate for nearly every make and model ever produced. As a result, you may find yourself questioning which manufacturers truly offer the most reliable long-term solutions when you begin researching used cars. While every year brings a different level of reliability to each model, even if the model is essentially the same as the year before, there are some consistent trends and used vehicle reliability. One such trend is that Toyota is consistently chosen as one of the most reliable options on the secondary car market. To illustrate this we will look at a variety of studies which have taken place over the past several years.
Forbes 2012 List of Top 10 Most Reliable Used Cars
The first study to consider was released in 2012 by Forbes magazine. This list was compiled by analyzing the most dependable used cars on the market from the 2008 and 2009 model years. This list relied on information and statistics provided by both Consumer Reports surveys as well as JD Power and Associates Vehicle Dependency Studies. Every vehicle on this list scored highly in powertrain dependability and initial quality surveys. Powertrain dependability is critical because it directly determines the long-term reliability of key components including the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering.
There were three Toyota vehicles that made this top 10 list. The first was the 2008 Toyota Highlander which is actually a midsize crossover SUV. As a result, it appeals to car buyers that need more space. Its reliability is due in large part to the fact it shares platforms and mechanicals with the Lexus ES 350. The Toyota Prius also made this list. It is definitely the most popular and recognizable hybrid vehicle on the road today. The final Toyota vehicle to make this list was the Toyota Yaris. While it isn’t particularly quick or comfortable it is extremely affordable and economical to own. Both of the 2008 and 2009 model years featured both a sedan and two door hatchback model.
JD Power and Associates 3-Year Study Released in 2013
The next study to consider is the 2013 version of the JD Power and Associates 3 year reliability study. This annual Vehicle Dependability Study looks at 18 individual categories. All of the information used in the 2013 study came from owners of 2010 model year cars and trucks. In total, it named 18 vehicles as being the most dependable on the road.
In the compact car segment, the Toyota Prius scored a perfect five stars in three of the four criteria used to create the dependability ratings. As an added benefit, this particular model is well-known for its fuel economy and overall level of comfort. The Toyota RAV4 made the list in the compact crossover SUV segment. It barely edged out its primary rival the Honda CR-V. Not only did it rate well in reliability but the study also noted that 54% of owners returned to the same vehicle when buying again. The Toyota Sienna was also tops in the Minivan category. Both the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are long-reigning models with a loyal following however the overall dependability gives the Toyota Sienna the edge.