Life is fast-paced, way too busy, and full of risk, so the last thing you want to worry about is that your car might break down when you’re out and about. With so many brands and models to choose from, it can be hard to determine which are reliable, but some have built a reputation that you can count on, with cars from Kia, Toyota, BMW, Audi, and Genesis all earning a place in the rankings.
But what exactly determines whether or not vehicles are reliable? For some, just getting from point A to B is enough, while others feel that reliability means minimal maintenance. Others still want the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are safe at all times. These aren’t just arbitrary factors, so you need an in-depth review of your potential purchase that you can trust.
In the USA, there are two primary sources of safety information for almost every vehicle on the road. From sedan to coupe, or crossover to the wagon, the NHTSA and IIHS perform crash tests on passenger and commercial vehicles alike. The former gives a star rating out of five, while the latter takes a more personalized approach with scoring from Poor through to Good. Only the NHTSA keeps track of the recall history for the various models and years, though. These factors are significant when determining whether a car or a brand, is dependable.
Maintaining a good reputation
There are certain things that a test drive won’t tell you. Sure, you’ll get a good idea of the car’s performance, but there is more you need to know about your engine than just how much horsepower it develops. Knowing how long the new-car warranty is valid is important. Generally, the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain plans cover the first three years or 36,000 miles for new purchases. Some automakers are more confident in their equipment, with brands like Kia ensuring the powertrain for ten years or 100,000 miles. Free maintenance is sometimes offered, too, with names such as Genesis, Jaguar, and BMW including a plan of this nature.
Keep your arm and your leg
The cost of ownership is a complicated calculation that much first time, or even experienced buyers, often don’t fully account for when drawing up their budget. How much you can save is determined by a number of factors, and chief among this is fuel economy. It only makes sense that vehicles with better mileage figures will cost you less over an extended period of ownership. Saving on scheduled maintenance also helps, and knowing which cars have the best depreciation values certainly doesn’t hurt.
Who can you turn to?
Not every car critic or review site out there covers all this information, so, to make your life a little easier, here is a quick list of some of the most dependable cars available on the market according to J.D Power, and the safest, according to the NHTSA and IIS. The most reliable brands include:
From this list, some of the safest models include:
- Ford Explorer
- Toyota Camry
- Lexus ES
- Genesis G70, G80, and G90