For a lot of people, a car is an absolute necessity in their day-to-day life. Whether it’s for going to work, running errands, or picking up the kids, you need a dependable vehicle to get it all done.
In fact, when looking to buy a new car, you’re making a large long-term investment and reliability is probably the most important factor to consider.
We’ll talk about which manufacturers have a good reputation and which models have stood the test of time and will serve your needs for years to come. We’ll also mention which cars have had reliability issues in the past, which car models have had faults recorded by previous owners and which new cars have the best fuel economy.
Read on to find out who is the most reliable brand and which models are worth your money.
Which Brand of Car Has the Least Problems?
Modern cars are all designed to last at least a couple hundred thousand kilometres of good use. However, there’s no denying some car manufacturers do a better job than others in terms of both durability and performance.
Consumer Reports tested 32 car brands based on road-test performance, the vehicle’s reliability, owners’ satisfaction, and safety. According to their 2022 ranking, the top names are:
As more than one model is tested, consistency in performance across lineups will also impact results. Thus, this report isn’t an end-all-be-all of reliability evaluations, and a low overall ranking doesn’t mean you won’t find a reliable vehicle produced by those manufacturers.
You should always research a specific brand and model before making a purchase to ensure it matches both your quality expectations and car finances.
What Is The Most Reliable Car?
When purchasing a new car, you want a model that’s fuel-efficient, holds up on the road and has good safety and security features. Additionally, the vehicle shouldn’t cost too much to upkeep and it should be in your preferred style.
A car’s reliability isn’t determined by its type or size, so you can find a suitable choice no matter what you need. We’ll cover a good range of models that are all great choices when buying both new and used.
The 2022 Toyota Prius is one of the most fuel-efficient compact hybrids available. Although the powertrain only produces 121 horsepower, which translates to sluggish acceleration — this Toyota offers anyone willing to overlook this minor drawback a perfect family car of outstanding build quality.
The Toyota Prius definitely deserves a mention on our list of most reliable cars for its fuel efficiency, reliability, and affordability — which all combine into one superb product.
Toyota Prius Prime
We’re not fully done with the Toyota Prius, as the plug-in hybrid the Toyota Prius Prime also warrants a mention. It has a larger battery pack and can commute on electricity alone for about 40 kilometres making it perfect for daily driving.
If you like the Prius brand but also like to have a longer electric-only driving range, you’ll definitely love the Toyota Prius Prime.
The Lexus GX is much more than “good for an SUV” - it’s one of the most reliable cars in general.
The mid-size SUV has a 4.6-litre V-8 engine that puts out 301 horsepower and can power it on any terrain, easily avoiding any obstacles while off-road. The inside of the luxury Lexus GX is quiet and comfortable, although it is a three-row vehicle, so it may not be the most spacious option.
The Mazda CX-5 is a compact SUV with a lot of competition, yet this model still stands out. All-wheel drive is now standard in new CX-5s and its 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine delivers 187 horsepower, while the turbocharged unit has 227 horsepower.
Beyond driver appeal, the Mazda CX-5 also delivers a sleek design and comfortable cabin. It’s also one of the most fuel-efficient and reliable SUVs on the market.
The Honda CR-V is known as a dependable SUV with a competitive price. It handles extremely well considering its size and offers plenty of room and storage space. It’s a smooth drive that comes in an affordable package — ideal for families that need the space, functionality, and reliability the Honda CR-V provides.
What's The Most Reliable Used Car?
The used car market is growing by the day as more and more people decide to purchase second-hand. No matter the underlying reason your purchasing used, whether it be for cheap spare parts, or you just love the look of older models, reliability is just as important as it is in a new vehicle - perhaps even more.
The car you’re buying has likely already been examined and checked by repair shops, so it’s not going to break down anytime soon. But this has been driven before, so you want to be sure it can withstand decades' worth of use on top of what it’s already gone through.
Here are some well-rounded and safe picks that can even be extremely affordable investments when you’re purchasing a used car.
Japanese brands tend to be dependable, but also economical and well-liked options among consumers. Even though the Mirage has only a small three-cylinder engine, this light new car not only makes do with this but performs much better than you’d expect.
It’s also got some attractive safety gear and useful driver-assistance features, which means that it can be a reliable low-cost purchase.
If you’re buying used, you’ll benefit from the lack of recognition the Mitsubishi brand currently has and might get an even better deal.
Who hasn’t heard of the Honda Civic? It’s one of the most purchased cars around the world that’s known for dependability and low maintenance costs.
Honda’s name remains well-known although its reputation as a brand seems to be dwindling.
This is more due to the rise in excellence by other brands than any lack of Honda’s abilities to create top-notch cars.
The brand’s become less visible in Australia, however, the Honda Civic is still a dependable force. You can buy new, or look for a well-cared older model - you’ll likely get a good run out of the car either way.
As the Civic is relatively simple mechanically, an amateur mechanic could also work on it. Thus, if you have a liking for mechanic work, you can further lower your maintenance cost by getting something you would be able to fix up yourself.
The Hyundai i30 hatchback isn’t the most exciting car, however, it’s not trying to be. Much like its close cousin, the Hyundai Kona, the car is a dependable, well-built, safe machine that’s also pretty cost-effective for buyers.
Hyundai also offers a five-year/unlimited distance warranty that can pass to a second-hand buyer. If you manage to find a car that’s still less than 5 years old it winds up to a great deal.
Again, Subaru Outback is one of those reliable cars that choose function over flashiness. So, there isn’t much to speak of in terms of the exterior or interior of an Outback - it’s simple and practical.
The Subaru Outback is a tricky car to label. It’s a high-riding car that maintains the road manners and practicality of a station wagon, with an exterior that can blend in with an SUV. It comes with an all-wheel-drive setup and is a sturdy car for different terrains.
Subaru makes some of the most reliable vehicles that need little maintenance during their lifespan.
What's The Most Reliable Luxury Car?
If you’re looking to purchase a luxury car, you’re likely expecting to get it all: looks, performance, and comfort. But reliability might get lost in the picture you’re painting.
Luxury cars are about image, but how long will that image last? Will those once impressive features and qualities start breaking down after a short time on the road? Will the complicated engine electrics prove to be more of a hassle?
Let’s see which luxury cars have proven themselves as a safe and dependable option;
BMW 3 Series
The Audi A5 comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 261 hp. This version offers impressive driver assistance and safety features. Albeit a subjective opinion, it’s also got one of the best exteriors out of all the automobiles we’ve discussed so far.
The A5 is a two-door luxury model and it can come as both a coupe and convertible. If you’re looking for more functionality in terms of space, the similar A5 Sportback adds 2 more doors and a large trunk.
The Audi A4 might be a better option for some that are after a similar type to the A5. It’s got a more traditional shape and it’s offered with both the same powertrain as the A5 or an entry-level 201hp engine. With a beautiful interior trim that would give Mercedes Benz a run for their money, you’re gonna want to take this beauty for a test drive.
What's The Most Reliable Electric Car?
Electric vehicles are one of the fastest growing markets in the car industry. We already mentioned Toyota’s plug-in model, but what about the best fully electric vehicles that have the least problems and faults reported?
Kia Niro EV6
The South Korean manufacturer giants Kia are showing the world why they’re deemed to be one of the most reliable automakers in the business with their brand new car, the Kia Niro EV6.
The Kia Niro EV6 is an all-electric spacious hatchback with a 201-horsepower motor, front-wheel-drive setup, and not to mention a handsome exterior.
It’s a refined version with a roomy interior and a driving range of 200 miles. Its price is more reasonable than many competitors and is claimed by many to be one of the best electric cars on the market.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
The infotainment system is composed of two 12.3-inch screens and the sound system is made up of eight Bose speakers.
The Hyundai Ioniq comes in two models - a single motor 2WD and a dual-motor AWD. The respective drive range is 451km and 430km.
Featuring on our ranking of Australia's 10 Best Hybrid Cars, the Ioniq is capable of fast and ultra-fast charging methods and although they might not always be available it’s a good addition to the car as they may be more common in the future.
With the success of the Hyundai Kona and i30, this car brand is once again proving why they’re one of the biggest Korean Brands on the market with the impressive Ioniq 5.
What's The Most Reliable Sports Car?
A small percentage of car owners love cars specifically for the power and drivability they can provide them. Cue, sports cars. As thrilling as driving a sports car can be, your fun can quickly be dashed by car expenses because you’ve bought an unreliable car.
So, let’s look at the most reliable sports cars that’ll perform for years to come;
The Mazda MX-5, also known as the Miata, is one of the most economical and dependable sports cars. Overall, it offers an incredible back for your buck.
The newer models naturally upgrade the specs a bit, but they don’t stray too far from the original lightweight formula - if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
The Miata is fun to drive and a great way to get a dependable car as well as a wind-in-your-hair sports car without breaking the bank. It may not be the most practical, but a sports car rarely is.
Subaru is another low-cost and dependable option that can get you a lot of bang for your buck.
The Subaru BRZ got a 2022 upgrade and now features a curvy body and a more stylish interior equipped with the latest safety tech. As it has 4 seats it can serve as both the sports car of your dreams and a convenient family runabout.
The Audi TT is undeniably a style icon with memorable and stylish designs. It’s got a solid build with all needed safety features and it’s dependable.
The TT is an enjoyable drive and while it may not be the fastest, it’s a surprisingly fuel-efficient sports automobile.
The Audi TT is eye-catching both from the inside and outside. It comes as both a coupe with 4 doors or as a convertible with 2 doors. It provides either 228 horsepower or 288 horsepower, depending on the model you choose.
There You Have It - The Most Reliable Car Brands in Australia…
Ready to make the commitment?
Before you buy a new automobile, remember that reliability is incredibly important. Even if you don’t go for any of the models listed, remember what we’ve discussed and do proper research on the cars you are interested in.
With a little planning and forethought, you can get the best car that’ll stand the test of time.