Top 5 Most Dependable Cars Built to Last

Holy moly, my son is 16 years old. When did that happen? It seems like just yesterday all he wanted in the world was ice cream and cartoons and now he’s asking me about his first car. I’ve had my dependable car since the early 80′s and it’s been great to me the whole time so I never thought I had a reason to keep an eye on the automobile market. I realized that for the first time since the days of neon jogging suits, mullets and parachute pants, I’m in the market for a vehicle.

Cars have changed a lot since then and I had some research to do. I browsed for days on this tool I wish I’d had in the 80s, the World Wide Web, and came across a ton of new information! But I also found that the values are the same. People are still looking for all the same qualities in a car – something that’s dependable and long lasting.

I wanted to purchase a car that will keep my son safe and last him until he has to buy his future child a car. Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite cars built to last:

Chevrolet Malibu

2009_Chevy_MalibuAn American made sedan, this vehicle is tougher than it looks. With a wide range of engine sizes, ranging from the fuel-efficient 2.2L 4 Cyl engine to the powerful 3.9L V6, there’s really a version of this car for just about everybody. I added this car to my list because it is American made and though it’s not exactly the top dog in dependability or economy, it’s up there with the champs. It’s a great first car for my boy and he really likes its stylish appeal.

Mitzubishi Charisma

Mitzubishi CharismiaThis car wasn’t exactly built with a “head-turning sleek design” in mind, but this car will get you there and back safely and without fail.Built with the “simple is sturdy” frame of mind, this vehicle runs like a clock and will keep on going into extreme high mileage (200,000+ without requiring any major repairs or part replacements). It also comes standard with 1.8L or lower, inline 4 cyl engines that just scream fuel economy. A fantastic first car because it’s not too pricey and runs with minimal hassle or worry. Plus, the estimated 45 mpg highway is hard very to beat.

Toyota RAV4

Rav4I consider the RAV4 to be a pioneer as the first compact SUV “crossover”. The RAV4 was introduced in Japan and Europe in 1994 and then in the US two years later. Paving the way for crossover type vehicles, Toyota broke the mold by aiming to design a car for consumers who want the benefits of an SUV like cargo and passenger space, 4-wheel-drive and increased visibility with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a compact car. Thus the RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 wheel drive) was born. A great little SUV with awesome mileage and dependability to boot.

Honda Accord

Honda AccordBetween 1982 and 1997, the Honda Accord was the reining champ as the best selling Japanese car in America, a title that became synonymous with dependability through real life experiences and word of mouth from real consumers. “Accord” was originally adopted as the name to express “Honda’s desire for accord and harmony between people, society and the automobile.” In 1982, the Accord also became the first Japanese car to be manufactured on U.S. soil in Marysville Ohio, concreting its position in one of the largest automobile markets in
the world.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota CorollaDating all the way back to 1966, the Toyota Corolla is widely accepted as one of the most dependable, most economical cars ever conceived. In 1997, the Corolla earned the title of the best selling nameplate in the history of cars and has maintained that status through the new millennium. You don’t get that title through good advertising alone, those numbers speak volumes about the car’s overall value and appeal. Over 35 million Corollas were sold as of 2007. One Toyota Corolla has been sold on an average every 40 seconds for the last 40 years. Where economy and dependability are concerned, it seems Corolla can’t be beat.

This is a guest post from John Durfee.  John is an Operation Freedom War veteran and a manager for Airsplat, the nation’s largest retailer of Airsoft Guns.

  • Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot

    I had a 1991 Toyota Corolla, in fact that was my first car ever… it was 8 years old at the time and fell apart pretty rapidly, thought it did have a lot of miles. To date, my Audi is the best and most reliable car Ive had, though I pay a premium for it.

  • Jon | Free Money Wisdom

    Big booyah to Honda! My family has always bought Hondas and we haven’t looked back. I splurged a little right after college and got myself a 2004 Acura TL, awesome car! I’m a believer in buying a quality/reliable car and keeping it until it explodes lol. That Chevy Malibu pick strikes me as odd though, would never think of Chevy as reliable…

    • Jason Price

      Jon, I’ll second your comment on Hondas. They are excellent vehicles. It’s not uncommon for people to get more than 200,000 miles out of them.

  • krantcents

    I am one happy 1995 Honda Accord owner with 157,000 miles!