Mechanic Picks Most Reliable Cars

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When buying a new or used car, we all want a vehicle that is extremely reliable. We want to drive for many trouble-free miles with few breakdowns. There are many ways to pick a car, truck, or SUV that is at the top of its game when it comes to reliability, and we'll explore them all here. But first things first, which cars do mechanics say are the most dependable on the market?
We checked with such sources as J.D. Powers for its well-respected Vehicle Dependability Study which ranks automotive brands with the fewest problems. Eastern Auto Group recently released its findings of brands that have earned top marks for reliability from mechanics. So which car brands and models rise to the top as most reliable? Let's find out.

What Mechanics Say

Your local mechanic has a lot of experience in dealing with car repairs, day in and day out. Mechanics work on many makes and models and when it comes to repairing today's automobiles, they have seen it all. They soon form opinions of which cars they see in their work bays the most and the least frequently. They can tell you which autos are designed for ease in switching out parts and which automakers do the best job in helping to make repairs easy by design. When it comes to vehicle dependability, mechanics are on the frontlines every day.
The top choices for auto brands that are the most dependable, according to mechanics, are Honda and Toyota. Thanks to excellent engineering and quality design, these brands suffer the fewest breakdowns as do the luxury brands associated with these manufacturers, Acura and Lexus, respectively. Mechanics report that these brands offer vehicles that can typically take you 200,000 miles or more when properly serviced and maintained. While both Honda and Toyota tie for the top spot for overall dependability, they are also both quick to fix mistakes in order to redesign and improve their vehicles.
Within those brands the two cars that stand out the most for their reliability are the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. These faithful people movers are available in a number of trim levels, from basic to more luxurious. The base line 2023 Civic Sport has an MSRP of $25,050 while the Corolla can be had for just $21,500. Both offer a suite of safety and driver assist features and the latest infotainment systems that feature Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Vehicles you can Depend On

Top crossover SUVs according to mechanics include the Toyota Highlander and Lexus GX luxury SUV. The GX was named Consumer Report's most reliable vehicle in 2022. Top-of-the-line mileage munchers include the Toyota Land Cruiser and the mighty three-row Sequoia SUV which mechanics have reported will both take you over 300,000 miles when properly maintained.
When it comes to pickup trucks, The Toyota Tundra and Honda Ridgeline are top picks as well as the line of trucks by Ford and Chevrolet. Consider that when you buy a very reliable vehicle, it will likely depreciate at a slower rate, so you'll get a better deal when you trade it in.
Top Toyota Models
At the top of the reliability rankings, Toyota has several vehicles which are all good for over 200,000 reliable miles. These include the large and luxurious Sequoia SUV. The twin-turbo V6 Hybrid version has an EPA rating of over 22 mpg combined. Using the same build platform, the Tundra pickup truck has a potential lifespan of over 250,000 miles. Then there's the faithful Prius that has an equally long lifespan on the road.
Top Honda Models
While the Honda Accord and Civic sedans have long been hailed as the most reliable cars in this automaker's stable, according to Consumer Reports, the Honda Passport midsize SUV has surpassed its sedan brethren in CR's annual Auto Reliability Survey. The Survey collects data for over 300,000 vehicles. Other most reliable Honda's include the Accord Hybrid, the Civic, and the standard Accord.

Vehicle Dependability Ratings

All this brings us to this year's Dependability Ratings. J.D. Power is an American data analytics, software, and consumer intelligence company that has pioneered the use of big data, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic modeling capabilities to better understand consumer behavior. Each year, the company releases its U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). For this year, the study reports an industry average of 186 problems per 100 vehicles, an improvement over last year. It examines how 2020 model-year cars are continuing to perform in terms of quality, component replacement, and considers new technology to aid automakers in building better vehicles.
Overall, the J.D. Power study found that after over three years of ownership, the majority of problems revolve around outdated GPS maps, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition systems. These difficulties with new technology demonstrate the importance of using over-the-air updates to correct problems that crop up in infotainment systems. The survey now covers 184 specific problem areas across nine vehicle categories. These include climate control; driver assist tech; overall driving experience; exterior; interior; control and display features; infotainment systems; powertrain problems; and difficulties with seats.

There was a tie this year for the most dependable model between the Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover and the Lexus RX SUV. Both vehicles show improvement in eight of the nine problem categories reported from a year ago. The top three brands with the greatest improvements are Ram, Volvo, and Nissan.

Most Reliable Brands
According to J.D. Power's 2023 VDS, Lexus had the highest ratings for overall vehicle dependability. Other high ranking premium brands include Genesis, Cadillac, and BMW. When it comes to the mass market vehicle segment, Kia took top honors for the third year in a row followed by Buick, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, and Toyota.
When focusing on parent companies that garnered the most awards for specific model vehicles, Toyota won the highest rating with six dependable champs including the Toyota Highlander, C-HR, Sienna, and Tacoma, as well as the Lexus NX, and RX. BMW AG and General Motors each took four segment awards. Most reliable BMWs include the 4 Series, X2, X5, and MINI Cooper. GM took the honors for the Chevrolet Blazer, Silverado HD, Tahoe, and the GMC Sierra. Hyundai Motor Group got three segment awards for the Kia Forte, Optima, and Sportage models.

Most Reliable Cars for 2023
As of this writing, the most dependable vehicles in America according to J.D. Power's 2023 Vehicle Dependability Study include compact and midsize sedans, compact crossovers, both midsize and large SUVs, a minivan, and midsize and full-size pickup trucks.
Most Reliable Small SUV Model  
  • MSRP starts at $24,280.
  • EPA rated 27 mpg city/31 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile basic
Most Overall Reliable Model 
  • MSRP starts at $47,400.
  • EPA rated 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway
  • 4-year/50,000-mile basic
Top Rated Compact Car
  • MSRP starts at $19,690.
  • EPA rated 28 mpg city/39 mpg highway
  • 10-year/100,000-mile warranty
Top Rated 
Midsize Car
  • MSRP starts at $25,290.
  • EPA rated 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway
  • 10-year/100,000-mile warranty
Top Rated Compact SUV
  • MSRP starts at $26,290.
  • EPA rated 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway
  • 5-year/60,000-mile warranty
Top Rated
 Midsize SUV
  • MSRP starts at $35,100.
  • EPA rated 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
Top Rated
 Large SUV
  • MSRP starts at $54,200.
  • EPA rated 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
Top Rated
  • MSRP starts at $36,135.
  • EPA rated 36 mpg city/36 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
Top Rated
 Midsize Pickup Truck
  • MSRP starts at $27,750.
  • EPA rated 18 mpg city/22 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
  • 6,800-pound towing capacity
Top Rated
 Full-size Pickup Truck
  • MSRP starts at $37,100.
  • EPA rated 24 mpg city/29 mpg highway
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty
  • 13,200-pound towing capacity