Best Car Brands

By Julie Blackley

What Are the Longest-Lasting and Most Reliable Car Brands?

With so many vehicles to choose from, finding the best car can be difficult. However, a good place to start is by choosing a reliable brand. Whether you want an SUV, a truck, a sedan, or a minivan, selecting a vehicle from a reliable automaker is a smart first step in navigating the car buying process.

So what are the best brands when it comes to building the most reliable cars? To find out, iSeeCars analyzed which car brands display long-term reliability and are most likely to last 200,000 miles. If you drive close to the average mileage per year, vehicles from these automakers are the most likely to last for at least 15 years, making them the best options for your new car investment.

The Most Reliable Car Brands

Five vehicle brands are above average for their vehicles being the longest-lasting cars to reach 200,000 miles.
iSeeCars Cars Most Likely to Reach 200,000 Miles by Make
Rank Model % of Cars Over 200k Miles
1 Toyota 1.8%
2 Honda 1.6%
3 GMC 1.4%
4 Chevrolet  1.4%
5 Ford 1.1%
Average for All Models 1.0%

1. Toyota 

Toyota earns the top spot as the best automaker for reliability. Toyota vehicles are known for their longevity, and they are proven to last longer than any other brand. Toyotas are built so wellthey have below-average maintenance and repair costs, which helps contribute to why they remain on the road for so long.  

There are popular Toyota vehicles across many segments that demonstrate long-term reliability. Examples include Toyota trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, crossover SUVs including the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota RAV4, hybrids including the Toyota Prius and the Camry hybrid, the Toyota Sienna minivan, and sedans like the Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry. In fact, the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser SUV also earned the distinction as the longest-lasting vehicle across all vehicle types. Along with being the most reliable brand, it is also the car brand that retains the most value, further adding to its appeal.

2. Honda

A second Japanese manufacturer, Honda earns the second spot on the list of most reliable automakers. Honda is known for building safe and reliable vehicles that have proven to stand the test of time. From SUVs including the Honda CR-V and the Honda Pilot to the Honda Odyssey minivan and the Honda Accord and Honda Civic sedans, Honda offers vehicles that lead their classes in long-term reliability. Along with with some of the best reliability in the industry, Honda vehicles also lead for practicality, achieve above-average fuel economy, and have a suite of safety features.

3.  GMC

An American automotive brand, GMC ranks third. GMC’s high ranking on the list can be attributed to the longevity of the GMC Yukon full-size SUV, its larger variant the GMC Yukon XL, and the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck. GMC also ranks above-average for value retention and provides refinement as the upscale variant of Chevrolet

4. Chevrolet

A second American brand from General Motors, Chevrolet also makes the best brands list. Chevrolet ranks highly thanks to its truck-based SUVs the Chevrolet Suburban and the Chevrolet Tahoe, which each make iSeeCars list of longest-lasting vehicles. Other reliable vehicles by the automaker include the Silverado 1500 pickup and the Chevrolet Impala. Although the Impala was discontinued after the 2020 model year, those looking for a reliable sedan can find them in the used car marketplace. Along with reliability, Chevy as a brand ranks above average for value retention.

5. Ford

Ford, a second American brand ranks fifth. The Ford brand earns a high reliability rating thanks to the Ford Expedition full-size SUV, the Ford Explorer and the Ford F-150 pickup truck. The Ford Mustang even earns praise as one of the longest-lasting sports cars. The F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for over 40 years, which is a testament to its reliability. Ford’s newest vehicles have the Sync infotainment system, which is among the highest rated among all automakers.

Honorable Mentions

 Subaru 

Earning an honorable mention is Subaru, which is known for its safe vehicles and brand loyalty among customers. The Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester rank highly for long-term reliability and the brand scores above average for value retention.  

Jeep 

Jeep deserves special recognition as a reliable brand thanks to the sophisticated yet rugged Jeep Grand Cherokee and the iconic Jeep Wrangler off-roader. Both vehicles demonstrate long-term reliability and retain their value better than the average vehicle. Jeep is known for building capable off-road vehicles, and just as they can handle all terrains, Jeep vehicles are also built to last.

Kia

Kia might not achieve high marks for long-term reliability, but that’s only because it’s vehicles haven’t had the chance to prove themselves. Kia once had the reputation of producing cheaply made vehicles and had the reliability ratings to match. However, Kia vehicles have vastly improved in build quality, and were even named as Consumer Reports Best SUV Brand in 2020. Models like the Kia Telluride and Kia Soul have earned many awards, and the vehicles are backed by its industry-leading 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.  

Hyundai

A second Korean automaker, Hyundai, also makes the list. Hyundai and Kia are sister companies, with many of their vehicles sharing the same underpinnings. Like Kia, Hyundai reliability has drastically improved in recent years. Standout reliable vehicles include the Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, and Hyundai Tucson.

Mazda 

Mazda did not make the overall list of most reliable brands since many of its models like the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-9 have not been around long enough to commonly reach the 200,000-mile threshold. Mazda has received many accolades for its vehicles including the Consumer Reports Best Auto Brand for 2020. Mazda vehicles like the Mazda3 are known for their engaging driving experience and premium interiors that are a hit with critics and consumers alike.

Lexus 

As Toyota’s luxury extension, Lexus deserves recognition. While the brand doesn’t earn high marks for long-term reliability because luxury vehicles typically don’t accrue as high miles, luxury cars like the Lexus ES sedan and the Lexus GX SUV earn praise from JD Power and Consumer Reports for quality and predicted reliability.  

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying a new or used car, a reliable model will help you get the most of your investment and will be your best defense against costly repair and ownership costs. And when beginning your car search, choosing a reliable brand is the first step to helping you find the best car.  

 

If you’re interested in a new car or a used car, be sure to check out iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine. It uses advanced algorithms to help shoppers find the best car deals across all vehicles and body types from SUVs to hatchbacks to coupes, and provides key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report. Filter by make, model, interior color, exterior color, price, fuel type, and special features to find the best deal on your next vehicle.