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CarMD ranks most, least reliable used cars and carmakers

The research company used data factoring in check-engine-related problems and repair costs.

By Claire_Martin Nov 21, 2012 5:26AM
CarMD chart from screenshot of CarMD.comFor the second consecutive year, Toyota ranks as the most reliable automaker in CarMD's Vehicle Health Index, which measures vehicle reliability. Even less surprising, the 2010 Corolla claimed the top spot for trustworthiness in the individual vehicle category.

The index, which was launched last year, pulls from a database of 136 million vehicle repairs from cars built within the past 10 years. To compile the rankings, it averages the number of check-engine-related problems and the amount of repair costs for each car and carmaker.

This year saw a bit of a shake-up on the domestic front. In 2011, Ford and General Motors occupied the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, but this time around, they dropped out of the top five. Instead Hyundai, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen rounded out the upper echelons of the rankings.

Yet despite its fall among automakers, Ford scored big among individual vehicles, with its 2008 Focus claiming the No. 2 spot below the Corolla. Next in the rankings came the 2008 Toyota Yaris, 2009 Honda Pilot and 2008 Honda Accord.

Among the top vehicles, Hyundai had the lowest average repair cost ($271.86) and BMW the highest ($502.48). But the BMW figure was offset by the fact that those cars rarely need repairs, according to CarMD's data.

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan took honors as the most reliable minivan, while the 2010 Subaru Forester was named the best wagon/crossover SUV. Topping the truck category was the 2008 Ford Ranger; the 2007 Lexus ES350 was the highest-ranking luxury vehicle.

The two top hybrids were Toyotas -- and in fact, they were both Priuses. The 2009 model edged out the 2008 model by a hair. These vehicles don't require many repairs, but when they do, it's costly, averaging more than $700.

Toyota's dominance came despite the fact that average repair costs for the carmaker rose since last year -- hitting $490.72. The jump was offset by a decrease in the number of required repairs.

[Source: CarMD]

Nov 27, 2012 3:29PM

Get rid of the unions and the US can compete with Japan any day.

Nov 27, 2012 3:42PM
Here's an interesting fact if your interested.

Toyota is THE most American made automobile. 
Nov 21, 2012 8:08AM
Surely CarMD is on Toyota's payroll along with JD Powers, Consumer reports and a handful of others OR would it be safer to say that all of the Japanese auto haters that have nothing to do with testing vehicles or managing repair shops are simply refusing to believe the truth, even when the facts get presented to them again and again and again?
  Yes, the gap between Japanese auto quality may have decreased slightly but you won't find a single car rating organization will agree with you when you try to claim that the US is building "as good" or "better" vehicles. The facts are what they are, the Japanese are still building better vehicles than the US and the bloggers that constantly try to slam them are simply incorrect or refuse to accept the facts.
Nov 27, 2012 3:49PM
American or import, the cars are not the problem. Manufacturers are designing, engineering and manufacturing the best automobiles they possibly can by human standards. The problem/s are the dealers. High pressure sales tactics, Outright lies and trickery!  Then there are the service departments. They should be renamed "disservice depts". They charge $90 plus per hour for labor and screw up more stuff than what they actually fix. 

Don't worry about the car. Research the dealer and the dealers service department that your going to be working with. That's where the real rubber meets the road!


Nov 27, 2012 3:25PM
My 86 Toyota Pickup with the 22R motor, just hit 304,000 miles. The engine is 100% original with the exception of timing belt and spark plugs. I have owned the truck for 14 years and other than routine maintenance, the truck has never given me any trouble. Doesn't even have any squeaks or rattles. Toyotas are awesome, reliable vehicles.
Nov 27, 2012 2:47PM

Not sure about other cars.  I have a 2008 Ford Mustang GT, I take it to the short track regularly, it has 95000 miles and its runs great, the trim is a bit loose.  I also own a 2012 Ford Focus, it already has 44500 miles and so far one of the lights had water on it, $5 dollar fix. 


Thankfully I got rid off a 2005 Hyundai Elantra which I bought new and in 7 years I had to replace the Radiator, the speakers, the radio, the power window on passenger side, the antena, had engine trouble and spent 1000+ on the mechanic, replaced the Air Flow Sensor.  I also replaced the shift knob, the lights front and back, the trim had colors that did not match.  After all that I still had the check engine on.  Based on my experience with Hyundai I am sorry but they are OK at best.


No hating, just driving

Nov 27, 2012 3:48PM
I own two Toyota cars: a Toyota Solara with 138,00 miles, and a Toyota Sequoia with 78,000 and they have been great reliable cars with very litte maintenance issues.  In response to cars being manufactured in the U.S. our Unions have hurt us big time in competing with foreign auto companies.  Check out their dues, overtime pay, strike pay, pay to other folks to picket.  Talk about a poor use of money??? Toyota does employee folks in the U.S. and yes their income turns over in our economy and does help our American families.  Our auto industry killed it self!  Look at all the plants that could not surivive Union salaries.  Interview any manager and they will tell you the same.
Nov 27, 2012 1:37PM
ya i own a new car been in shop already 4times do you know what i drive everyday not one problem ever always brings me home 1969 chevelle ya thats right a car over 30yr old and would take it anywhere where my new car is limited because if it quits thats where my mail is then delivered true fact  don
Nov 21, 2012 6:30AM

OK, where are all the haters who think CarMD gets all of it's financial support from Japan?

Nov 27, 2012 4:04PM
Have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with 75,000 miles on it. Haven't spent a penny on it. Have a 98 Plymouth Voyager. Rock solid reliable. Before that had a 17 year old Dodge Caravan with 180,00 miles on it and a 20 year old Buick Regal with over 100,000 miles on it.  
They never once left us on the side of the road. Spent very little on them.  American automobiles assembled by Union Workers thank you. 
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