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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesThe most reliable cars and SUVs in Canada

When a car is described as “reliable,” it generally means that the vehicle consistently performs its functions without experiencing significant mechanical problems or failures. A reliable car starts when you need it to, runs efficiently, and gets you from point A to point B without causing undue stress or requiring frequent unscheduled repairs.

Key aspects of vehicle reliability include:

  1. Durability: A reliable car is built to last. It can withstand regular use and often harsh conditions without significant wear and tear or decrease in performance.
  2. Low Maintenance: While all cars require regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake checks, a reliable car doesn’t frequently need unscheduled or surprise repairs. Parts last long and don’t break down prematurely.
  3. Consistent Performance: A reliable car performs consistently over time. Its engine, transmission, and other systems continue to function effectively as the car ages.
  4. Safety: Reliable cars are less likely to have issues that could compromise the safety of the driver and passengers. This includes not just mechanical reliability, but also the reliability of safety systems like airbags and anti-lock brakes.
  5. Dependability: If a car is reliable, you can depend on it to work as expected, whenever you need it. This means it not only runs well but also has electronics and features that consistently work correctly.

Here are some models that are often recognized for their reliability:

  1. Toyota Corolla: Toyota has always been renowned for its reliability and build quality, and the Corolla is no exception. This compact car has long been a favorite for its durability and affordability.
  2. Honda Civic: This is another compact car that’s known for its reliability. Honda Civics are also known for their fuel efficiency, making them a practical choice.
  3. Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai has made a name for itself in recent years by offering high-quality, reliable vehicles at affordable prices. The Elantra is one of its most popular models.
  4. Subaru Forester: Subaru is well-regarded for its all-wheel drive vehicles, and the Forester is known for being robust and reliable, even in harsh weather conditions.
  5. Toyota Camry: The Camry is another model from Toyota that is famous for its reliability. It’s a comfortable, midsize sedan with a reputation for long-lasting performance.
  6. Honda CR-V: This is a compact SUV that’s known for being reliable and fuel-efficient, with ample cargo space and a comfortable interior.
  7. Mazda3: Mazda’s compact car, the Mazda3, is recognized for its reliable performance and high-quality interior.
  8. Lexus RX: For those looking for a luxury vehicle, the Lexus RX is often rated highly for reliability. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand, so it shares in the reputation for reliability.

The most reliable SUVs in Canada

Looking beyond luxury brands, there are several SUVs that have earned a reputation for reliability. The following non-luxury SUVs were considered to be among the most reliable:

  1. Toyota Highlander: The Highlander has a reputation for being very reliable. It has a comfortable ride, a quiet cabin, and comes with a variety of safety features.
  2. Honda CR-V: The CR-V is a compact SUV that’s known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and roomy interior. It offers a balanced combination of quality, comfort, and performance.
  3. Subaru Forester: The Forester is recognized for its reliability and outstanding safety features. It also has excellent visibility and comes with standard all-wheel drive, which can be a plus in Canada’s winter weather.
  4. Toyota RAV4: The RAV4 is another Toyota model that’s well-known for its reliability. It offers robust performance, good fuel efficiency, and a spacious interior.
  5. Mazda CX-5: The CX-5 stands out for its sleek design, engaging driving experience, and reliability.
  6. Hyundai Santa Fe: The Santa Fe is known for its reliability, comfortable ride, and generous standard features. It also has a spacious interior and a variety of safety features.
  7. Kia Telluride: The Telluride has been praised for its reliability, luxurious interior, and array of standard safety features.
  8. Ford Escape: The Ford Escape has a reputation for reliability. It offers strong performance, plenty of cargo space, and advanced technology and safety features.

The most reliable Luxury cars in Canada

Here are some luxury cars that have generally been known for their reliability worldwide:

  1. Lexus: Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, has consistently been rated as one of the most reliable luxury car brands. Models like the Lexus GS, RX, and ES are renowned for their quality, longevity, and fewer repair needs.
  2. Genesis: The luxury brand from Hyundai, Genesis has earned a good reputation for reliability. Cars like Genesis G70 and G80 are well-regarded for their dependability.
  3. Porsche: Porsche has a good reputation for reliability, especially its 911 model which is considered one of the most reliable luxury sports cars.
  4. Audi: While it depends on the specific model and year, some Audi models like the A4 and A5 have shown great reliability.
  5. BMW: While they may have higher maintenance costs, certain BMW models like the 5 series have a good track record for reliability.
  6. Mercedes-Benz: Models like the E-Class and GLC are usually quite reliable.
  7. Acura: Acura, Honda’s luxury brand, often receives high marks for reliability. The Acura RDX and MDX are known for being dependable vehicles.

The most reliable Luxury SUVs in Canada

When it comes to reliable luxury SUVs, the list can look a little different than just luxury cars as the factors influencing reliability can vary with the vehicle type.

  1. Lexus RX: Lexus is well-known for its reliability, and the Lexus RX is no exception. It offers a comfortable ride, luxurious interiors, and is known for its long-term reliability.
  2. Acura MDX: The Acura MDX has often been rated as a reliable luxury SUV. It provides a good balance of luxury and performance, along with a reputation for long-term dependability.
  3. Porsche Macan: The Porsche Macan, despite its performance focus, has been highly rated for its reliability. Its driving dynamics are excellent and it has a well-crafted interior.
  4. Audi Q5: The Audi Q5 often ranks well in terms of luxury compact SUV reliability. It offers a comfortable ride and a high-quality interior.
  5. BMW X3: While BMWs can sometimes be expensive to maintain, the BMW X3 has a reputation for being one of the more reliable models within the BMW lineup.
  6. Mercedes-Benz GLC: The Mercedes-Benz GLC is often highly rated in terms of reliability for a luxury compact SUV. It also offers a plush, comfortable ride, and high-quality interiors.
  7. Genesis GV80: Genesis, the luxury brand of Hyundai, has been recognized for its reliability. The GV80, being their first SUV model, also carries forward this trend with a luxurious interior and advanced technology.

What is the longest lasting SUV brand?

Toyota’s SUVs are often considered among the longest-lasting on the road. Models such as the Toyota Highlander, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Toyota 4Runner are frequently reported to surpass 200,000 miles with regular maintenance. The Lexus brand, which is the luxury division of Toyota, also shares this reputation for longevity, especially models like the Lexus RX and GX.

Another brand often mentioned for its long-lasting vehicles is Subaru, especially models like the Subaru Forester and Outback.

The lifespan of an SUV depends not only on the brand and model but also on other factors such as regular maintenance, driving conditions, and driving habits. Always ensure to keep up with your vehicle’s service schedule to maximize its lifespan.

Used car reliability ratings by brand

Here are the approximate reliability ratings for various car brands based on various sources such as J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, and other automotive resources.

BrandReliability Rating (Out of 10)

These are average ratings, and reliability can vary greatly depending on the specific model and year of the vehicle. It’s always a good idea to research the specific used car model you’re considering and check the recall history and any common problems with the model. For more current and accurate data, please refer to resources such as J.D. Power or Consumer Reports.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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