Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground
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20 Reliable Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground

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Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground
skynesher/istockphoto

Reliable Rides

Looking for a reliable car that you'll be able to depend on for years to come? There are plenty of sturdy vehicles out there that fit the bill. Even better: Several of the cars on this list are inexpensive to repair when things do go wrong. Whether you want a fuel-efficient compact, a premium SUV, a commuter-friendly sedan, room for the family, or something a little more luxurious, here are 20 expert-vetted cars that should be able to go the distance.  

Related: The Cheapest New Cars and Trucks of 2019

2018 Kia Soul
Courtesy of kia.com
2018 Hyundai Elantra
Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

All-Around Solid Sedan: Hyundai Elantra

Starting price: $17,200
Though some car buyers still say Hyundai is second fiddle to Honda and Toyota, the Elantra is everything a compact car needs to be: Reliable, practical, and budget-friendly. J.D. Power notes that a redesign has also ratcheted up its drive quality, and those who want even more oomph can opt for a turbocharged Sport model

2018 Chevrolet Cruze
Courtesy of chevrolet.com

Budget-Friendly Compact: Chevrolet Cruze

Starting price: $18,870
Need a reliable compact sporty car that goes easy on the wallet? The Chevy Cruze — yes, a Chevy — received a near-perfect score in an annual auto survey from J.D. Power of the most reliable sedans. The combo of dependability, low price, and Teen Driver technology that can help eliminate common driving distractions makes it one of the best sedans for fledgling drivers. It comes in several trim levels that include features like alloy wheels and push-button start.

Related: 13 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car for a Teen

Toyota Corolla
Courtesy of toyota.com

Trusty and Safe: Toyota Corolla

Starting price: $18,700
This car is "legendary for delivering long-lasting dependability," raves J.D. Power, making it a no-brainer for years of compact-car buyers. In addition to being reliable cars, Toyotas are often noted for standout safety features, and that's again the case here: Features including forward collision and lane departure warnings are standard. The tradeoff, according to U.S. News & World Report: “Relatively dull performance” with weak acceleration.

Related: The 12 Most Trusted Toyotas of All Time

2018 Buick Encore
Courtesy of buick.com

Compact Crossover: Buick Encore

Starting price: $24,195
If seeing a Buick is a surprise on this list, it shouldn't be: It's among Consumer Reports' top 15 most reliable brands for 2019, even ranking above Honda. The Encore, a compact crossover, is the standout of the line. J.D. Power called it "a surprise hit" that checks all the boxes: You'll get dependability, style, and a well-equipped cabin, experts say.

Kia Sedona
Courtesy of kia.com

Roomy Crowd-Hauler: Kia Sedona

Starting price: $28,245
This popular minivan earned a spot on Consumer Reports' list of the 10 most reliable cars. With room for up to eight people, the Sedona offers a lower starting price than similar vehicles like the Toyota Sienna and Honda’s Odyssey while offering a much better warranty, according to Kelley Blue Book.  

2018 Toyota Prius
Courtesy of toyota.com

Hybrid Heaven: Toyota Prius

Starting price: $24,700
A whopping 32 percent of owners are still hanging onto their Prius after a decade, according to U.S. News, and other experts agree that the country's most ubiquitous hybrid is a good bet for dependability. Also not up for debate: hard-to-beat fuel economy (Consumer Reports' testers got an impressive 52 mpg.) The ride is comfortable, the hatchback design means plenty of cargo room, and seven models, including a plug-in hybrid, mean there's plenty of room for customization.

Toyota Camry
Courtesy of toyota.com

Trusty Best-Seller: Toyota Camry

Starting price: $24,765
One of the world's best sedans with a low base price, the Toyota Camry has long been the Honda Accord's stiffest competition, but if sales of the cars are any indication, it's the Camry that comes out on top — in fact, it's been the nation's most popular sedan every year but one since 1997, according to Kiplinger. Why? They're reliable cars that deliver the goods model year after model year, according to Consumer Reports testers: Buyers get nimble handling, a quiet ride, a roomy cabin, generous trunk space, and safety in spades in a compact sporty car.

Honda Accord
Courtesy of honda.com

Sturdy Sedan: Honda Accord

Starting price: $24,615
"Owners have darn few problems with these cars," raves Kiplinger, giving the Honda Accord an unsurprising but well-deserved spot on its list of "15 Cars that Refuse to Die." A compact sporty car around since the mid-'70s, the Accord also earns praise from Consumer Reports, which says they are reliable cars likely to get you to 200,000 miles or more. Expect good fuel economy, a low base price, more trunk space than the Camry, and a roomy interior, too. It also boasts adaptive cruise control on the base trim level.

2018 Honda CR-V
Courtesy of honda.com

Compact SUV to Beat: Honda CR-V

Starting price: $25,345
The versatile Honda CR-V certainly has reliability in its favor: More than a quarter of CR-V owners are still driving their cars after 10 years. U.S. News has called it one of the best compact SUVs you can get for the money, outclassing rivals when it comes to cargo space, fuel economy, safety technology, and more. 

Related: 11 Least Expensive SUVs to Own

2018 Toyota RAV4
Courtesy of toyota.com

Dependable Versatility: Toyota RAV4

Starting price: $26,545
Just as the Honda Accord has stiff competition in the Toyota Camry, the Honda CR-V is similarly hounded by the Toyota RAV4. Experts say both vehicles are reliable cars that are ideal for small families who need cargo room and four-wheel drive. Consumer Reports has praised its strong handling and safety features, but U.S. News says the CR-V edges out the RAV4 in overall quality.

Subaru Crosstrek
Courtesy of subaru.com

A Leaner Option: Subaru Crosstrek

Starting price: $21,895
The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a lot of extra space drivers find in some compact SUVs, but it does get high marks for its mileage (29 overall, and that’s with all-wheel drive) and safety features like lane monitoring and automatic emergency braking, according to Consumer Reports. It may not be very sporty to drive, but it does have solid handling, high reliability, and a comfortable ride.

2018 Toyota Sienna
Courtesy of toyota.com

Family-Favorite Minivan: Toyota Sienna

Starting price: $32,410
Need something a little roomier? The Toyota Sienna gets the nod for dependability from Consumer Reports. In fact, after an entire decade, almost 29 percent of buyers are still cruising around in the Sienna, U.S. News once noted in a vehicle dependability study. This minivan draws praise for all the essentials, including generous cargo space, a quiet, smooth ride.

Toyota Tundra
Courtesy of toyota.com

Rough and Ready Ride: Toyota Tundra

Starting price: $31,420
Even with Toyota's small percentage of the U.S. pickup truck market compared with Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, the Tundra has its fans. Kelley Blue Book notes that it ranks only behind the Chevy and GMC pickups for best resale value, while more than 20 percent of Toyota Tundra owners keep the large, heavy-duty pickup truck for 10 years or more. It also gets a nod from Consumer Reports. A backup camera now comes standard, as does the Entune audio and information system with touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. The payload, towing capacity and, above all, reliability are what give the Toyota Tundra pickup truck such a huge following. 

Related: Which Used Cars Hold Their Value?

Lexus Nx
Courtesy of lexus.com

Luxury Crossover: Lexus NX

Starting price: $37,510
If you’re looking for something a little bit bigger but no less posh, the luxury compact SUV/crossover winner is the Lexus NX. It also made Consumer Reports’ list of the 10 most reliable cars. It starts around $37,500, much less than its German competitors, and it took the No. 2 spot for the third straight year in KBB’s annual auto survey examining used cars with the best resale value. 

Related: 44 Used Cars Where You'll Save Big

Toyota 4runner
Courtesy of toyota.com

Stalwart Off-Roader: Toyota 4Runner

Starting price: $36,155
The Toyota 4Runner is a mid-size premium SUV that’s a solid choice for smaller families who want a vehicle they can depend on for the long haul. But critics say the reliability may be one of the only major upsides, assuming you don’t need its off-roading capabilities. U.S. News editors report that it has a stiff ride and an aging interior, while Car and Driver says it’s “dated and falling behind its competition.” That said, it still got a vote of confidence from Consumer Reports, and nearly 4% of 4Runners are still going after 200,000.

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Courtesy of toyota.com

A Ride With Room to Spare: Toyota Highlander

Starting price: $31,680
A premium SUV, the Toyota Highlander provides that all-important third row, and next year’s model is going to be a couple inches longer. It just so happens this car is also one of the longest-lasting on the market: More than 32 percent of owners are still driving it a decade after buying it. Though experts there say handling is average, a strong suite of safety features helps make up for it. Its resilience also gets a hat tip from Consumer Reports

Ford Expedition
Courtesy of ford.com

Brawny and Long-Lasting: Ford Expedition

Starting price: $53,525
This full-size SUV has been a staple of Ford’s lineup since its introduction in 1997, and though it’s a little pricey, but it’s also U.S. News’ pick for the best large, non-luxury SUV. Editors praise the nicely finished cabin, roomy cargo hold, and, unsurprisingly, “above-average predicted reliability,” ranking it among the best in one of its annual auto surveys. Some 5% are still going after 200,000 miles, making it one of the best used cars to buy.

Related: Is Costco the Best Place for Buying a Car?

2018 Porsche Macan
Courtesy of porsche.com

Sporty Splurge: Porsche Macan

Starting price: $51,150
If you're going to invest in a show-stopping luxury car, you want it to last. The Porsche Macan is an eye-catching crossover that has the practicality of a small SUV, but the underpinnings and capabilities of a sleek sports car. It's the top-rated car for reliability in J.D. Power's annual auto survey of the most reliable luxury crossovers and SUVs, and experts there praise the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that comes standard. 

Related: 23 Places to Get Behind the Wheel of a Sports Car You Can't Afford

Toyota Sequoia
Courtesy of toyota.com

Standing Tall Among SUVs: Toyota Sequoia

Starting price: $50,245
Toyota’s full-size premium SUV takes the top spot on the car search engine iSeeCars’ list of longest-lasting cars, with 7.4 percent of Sequoias still on the road at the 200,000-mile mark. In production since 2000, it fuses Toyota’s legendary reliability with the advantage of being a large premium SUV that owners simply expect to last. Though the cabin isn’t quite as nice as those of some newer competitors, it’s roomy and safe with a smooth ride, U.S. News says. It also found a spot on the magazine’s rundown of most reliable vehicles.