What are the most reliable cars and best buck bang?

I want to buy a new car. I just want something that runs great, is very reliable, fairly easy to maintain. My budget is probably under $2500, so I am talking used cars that are good bets.

For example, I have an 85’ honda civic and they seem pretty good. Most people say they should go 250,000 miles.

Toyota’s are pretty good i hear…

Opinions please? Makes and models and your info or pointer to more info. Thanks!

Toyota Corolla. I think this is the textbook definition of the boring-yet-reliable, best-car-for-the-money.

Generally speaking, IMHO, Japanese cars are the most reliable cars for the money.

Consumer Reports likes the Japanese cars too, although the Ford Escort made their reliable used car list.

Good luck in your search. (I hate car shopping.)

I personally favour a BMW - bus, metro, walk!

We had an '88 Nissan Sentra w/4-speed stick shift that served us well for eleven years. We put nearly 300,000 miles on the original engine, yet it still ran great when we sold it last year. The little car is still running on the same engine for the kid who now owns it.

Needless to say, we bought another Sentra.:slight_smile:

This seems similar to a thread from a couple days ago, but my answer remains the same. The Elkwoman drives a 1992 Pontiac Lemans (built by Daewoo). This car is a miser on gas (35 mpg city), and burns virtually no oil (less than 1 litre between oil changes), with over 187,000 km on the clock. Best news is they’re cheap. We paid $1100 CDN for ours last year.

If you want something a little more upscale, and fuel economy isn’t as much of a concern, I’d go Volvo. We sold our 1981 GLT last year with well over 400,000 km on the clock, of which we put on over 200,000. The kid who bought it still drives it daily, and recently returned from a trip to Toronto with it. (I’m in Edmonton) Absolutely bulletproof mechanicals; all we ever needed was brake pads, and a clutch at 310,000. They can also be quite luxurious if you go for a GL or GLT model, with leather, air, cruise, and other goodies. They are easy for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Their only downside is they rust badly, but obviously pay a little more and avoid the rusties. A good mid-eighties one goes here for around $2500CDN, not an unreasonable price for reliable transportation.

Ford Escorts, after about 91, are basically mazdas with a ford name badge.

Although not terribly cheap, I drive a 92 Jeep Cherokee, and in 150k miles, not much in the way of problems. I know people who have put over 200k on one with good results.

** Beetle99, ** here’s the thread to which ** Elkman, ** is referring. I asked the same thing, except the car is for my son, you may want to read the answers. I can only add ‘good luck, it stinks to buy a car!!’ But, I do add it * most sincerely!! * :wink:



Well, I have a 92 Civic with 115,000 and it’s still running like a dream. I’d personally go with Honda, Toyata, and Nissan. They make them to go far.


rather than assuming one make/manufacturer is inherently better, look for certain things that will make any car last longer.

reliable engine (the 4 and 6 cylinders they put in jeeps are amazing) and the little (under 2liter) japanese engines last a long time too.

look for a manual transmission, it’s easier to replace a clutch/friction plate than a torque converter. plus you can feel if the gears are chewed up by a bad driver with a simple test drive

look for a car not driven by me (or someone like me). heavy footed, young, male, with job that pays well so we can afford to be hard on cars

if I had to suggest one particular car, the mazda 626 with 4cyl and manual tranny… they’re solidly built, pretty quick and fairly cheap to repair when bad things happen… but like I said, don’t buy it from me…

you can also look at production numbers… for example. the Chevy 350 v8 is the most produced engine on the planet (don’t ask for a site, I think I read it in car and driver while waiting at the dentists office)… so if you hurt it somehow, you can probably find replacement part(s) for it anywhere in the country and probably for cheap. eg2, if you look around you’ll see lots of 95, 96, 97 mazda 626s around, which again means parts are easier to come by…

just my 2cents

I absolutely love my Toyota MR2 – it never breaks (when it does it can be expensive) and its a blast to drive. If you can stand having a 2 seat car, I’d deffinately recommend it