Most reliable and cheaply maintained cars
A list of the most reliable and least expensive to maintain vehicles, according to Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio's "Car Talk."
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"The Altima runs forever, and it’s great to drive. The four-cylinder edition is a reliable car that’s easy to fix. These cars just don’t seem to break. Other than routine oil changes, we only see Altima owners when they’ve racked up 150,000 miles or more."
Original equipment manufacturer, aka OEM, parts are readily available and reasonably priced. When it comes to all-wheel-drive vehicles, the Forester is a sturdy, reliable choice.
"For an all-wheel-drive car, the Impreza is very reliable. Usually, we count on making a lot of money on all-wheel-drive vehicles, thanks to all the additional drivetrain components. Sadly, that’s not the case with this car. Thanks a lot, Subaru. We find parts to be reasonably priced and widely available."
"Unfortunately for mechanics, the Element has the same reliable drivetrain as the CR-V, so the same comments apply. The other reason we hate this car? Element owners always seem to have big dogs, which translates to a 'big stink for mechanics.' "
See “Civic” and “Accord.” The only repair issue we see with the CR-V is a “chattering” final drive in the all-wheel-drive version. Other than that, the CR-V is just as reliable as any other Honda. The transmission, engine and everything else are all great. Parts are affordable, and big repairs are infrequent. Drat!"
Ford Fusion and Ford Fusion Hybrid
"In our humble opinion, these are two of the few American cars that really approach the reliability of the Japanese brands." (Official Car Talk Disclaimer: Ray is a Ford stockholder - as well as a disgruntled former GM stockholder.)
"Unfortunately for us, only dealers are currently servicing the expensive hybrid components in the Prius. That will change in time. But, for now, we’re not making any money off the Prius.
The Prius is crammed full of technology, but Toyota has put plenty of effort into the layout, which is well thought out. Considering the number of components that are under the hood, the non-hybrid parts are pretty easy to access and service.
From our point of view, the Prius is terrible news for mechanics - not even the brakes wear out, thanks to the regenerative braking system. All we get to install are wiper blades. How are you supposed to buy a pair of Jet Skis on that money?"
"About all that’s ever needed on the Corolla are regular maintenance and an occasional brake job. We’re not making any money on this car, that’s for sure. OEM parts are affordable, too."
Honda Civic / Accord
"The Honda Civic and Accord are some of the most reliable cars available today. They rarely seem to break, and when they do, problems are easy to diagnose. original equipment manufacturer, aka OEM, parts are both affordable and easy to get."