20 Reliable Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground

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RELIABLE RIDES

Looking for a 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 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.
Photo credit: Courtesy of toyota.com

SIMPLE SUBCOMPACT: TOYOTA YARIS

Starting price: $15,635
Ideal for urban drivers who prize value, fuel economy, and a compact footprint, the Toyota Yaris grabs a spot on J.D. Power's list of most reliable hatchbacks and wagons. Experts there say high points include some nice standard safety features like driver assistance and collision avoidance systems, but U.S. News & World Report warns that "it's not very fun to drive."

Photo credit: Courtesy of kia.com

PRACTICAL HEAD-TURNER: KIA SOUL

Starting price: $16,200
The Kia Soul's distinctive silhouette makes it a stand-out on the roads. It's also a leader in reliability, according to in J.D. Power, and it's a standout choice for buyers who need a roomier interior without spending a lot. A turbocharged engine is a nice option, and it's hard to beat Kia's 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Still skeptical of Kia? It lags only Toyota and Lexus in overall reliability, Consumer Reports says.

Photo credit: Courtesy of hyundaiusa.com

ALL-AROUND SOLID SEDAN: HYUNDAI ELANTRA

Starting price: $16,950
Though some car buyers still say Hyundai is second fiddle to Honda and Toyota, the Elantra is everything a small sedan needs to be: Reliable, practical, and budget-friendly. J.D. Power notes that a recent redesign has also ratcheted up is drive quality, and those who want even more oomph can opt for a turbocharged Sport model now.

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BUDGET-FRIENDLY COMPACT: CHEVROLET CRUZE

Starting price: $16,975
Need a reliable ride that goes easy on the wallet? The Chevy Cruze -- yes, a Chevy -- receives a near-perfect score in J.D. Power's 2017 list of most reliable sedans. The combo of dependability, low price, and Teen Driver technology that can help eliminate common driving distractions makes it an especially great pick for fledgling drivers.

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TRUSTY AND SAFE: TOYOTA COROLLA

Starting price: $18,550
This car is "legendary for delivering long-lasting dependability," raves J.D. Power, making it a no-brainer for years of small-sedan buyers. Other than reliability, 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: A ho-hum, underpowered engine.

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COMPACT CROSSOVER: BUICK ENCORE

Starting price: $22,990
If seeing a Buick is a surprise on this list, it shouldn't be: It's among Consumer Reports' top 10 most reliable brands for 2018, even ranking above Honda. The Encore, a compact crossover, is the standout of the line. J.D. Power calls it "a surprise hit" that checks all the boxes: You'll get dependability, style, and a well-equipped cabin, experts say.

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ROOMY FUEL-SIPPER: KIA NIRO

Starting price: $23,340
This little-known Kia crossover hybrid earns the top spot on Consumer Reports' list of 2017's most reliable cars. The highlights: Awesome fuel economy (testers clocked 43 mpg) and lots of room for cargo when the rear seats are folded. Experts do note a choppy ride and less-than-perfect handling, though.

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HYBRID HEAVEN: TOYOTA PRIUS

Starting price: $23,475
A whopping 32 percent of owners are still hanging onto their Prius after a decade, U.S. News reports, 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 mean there's plenty of room for customization.

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TRUSTY BEST-SELLER: TOYOTA CAMRY

Starting price: $23,495
The Toyota Camry has long been the Honda Accord's stiffest competition, but if sales 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? It delivers the goods year after year, according to Consumer Reports testers: Buyers get nimble handling, a quiet ride, a roomy cabin, and safety in spades.

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STURDY SEDAN: HONDA ACCORD

Starting price: $23,570
"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." Around since the mid-'70s, the Accord also earns praise from Consumer Reports, which says it's one of the cars most likely to get you to 200,000 miles or more. Expect good fuel economy and a roomy interior, too.

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COMPACT SUV TO BEAT: HONDA CR-V

Starting price: $24,150
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 also says it's 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.

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DEPENDABLE VERSATILITY: TOYOTA RAV4

Starting price: $24,410
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 dependable workhorses that are ideal for small families who need cargo room and four-wheel drive. Consumer Reports praises its strong handling and safety features, but U.S. News says the CR-V edges out the RAV4 in overall quality.

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SPEEDY REAR-WHEEL DRIVE: SUBARU BRZ

Starting price: $25,495 (2017)
"Dependable" doesn't need to be synonymous with boring. If you're looking for a solid car with a little more pep in its step, look no further than the Subaru BRZ, Consumer Reports recommends. Jointly developed with Toyota, the car is simply fun to drive, testers there say, with responsive steering and confident handling.

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FAMILY-FAVORITE MINIVAN: TOYOTA SIENNA

Starting price: $30,750
Need something a little roomier? The Toyota Sienna gets the nod for dependabiity from both Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report. In fact, after an entire decade, almost 29 percent of buyers are still cruising around in the Sienna, U.S. News notes. This minivan draws praise for all the essentials, including generous cargo space, a quiet, smooth ride.

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ROOMY THIRD-ROW SUV: HONDA PILOT

Starting price: $30,900
Whether you're avoiding the minivan or just need an SUV with loads of passenger or storage space, the Honda Pilot is one of your most reliable buys in this segment. According to U.S. News, more than 25 percent of Pilot owners still have their cars a decade later. Though experts there say fuel efficiency is average, they like all the available safety features, including a LaneWatch system that helps drivers better see their blind spots.

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LUXURY CROSSOVER: AUDI Q3

Starting price: $32,900
This compact crossover offers a little more refinement to go along with what Consumer Reports says is top-notch reliability. Choose from front- or all-wheel drive and enjoy a relatively peppy turbo engine. U.S. News also praises the comfortable ride, but says some rivals in its segment offer more features at the base price.

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FAST AND FUN COUPE: BMW 2 SERIES

Starting price: $34,950
This indulgent little entry-level BMW is a great blend of dependability and performance. J.D. Power calls it "one of the best BMWs to drive, ever." U.S. News praises powerful engine, sporty handling, and copious trunk space -- though the back seat is a bit cramped, experts say. (If a coupe's not your thing, it's available as a convertible, too.)

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SPACE AND FUEL ECONOMY: TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HYBRID

Starting price: $36,670
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid proves bigger SUVs don't have to be gas hogs: You'll get that all-important third row and up to 30 mpg in the city. 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of lexus.com

LUXURIOUS SEDAN: LEXUS GS

Starting price: $46,310
Got a little more to spend? Lexus is the big winner when it comes to reliability in the luxury segment, with three models landing in Consumer Reports' top 10 overall reliability rankings. The GS earns praise for strong all-around performance, including a plush, roomy cabin and impressive ride and handling. (If the GS is too rich for your blood, the Lexus ES gets similar praise for reliability, but experts aren't as enthusiastic about the ride quality or cabin finishes.)

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SPORTY SPLURGE: PORSCHE MACAN

Starting price: $47,800
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 roundup of the most reliable luxury crossovers and SUVs, and experts there praise the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that now comes standard.