While some car buyers opt for all the latest technology and cool features like heated seats, reliability should also be a key factor in your purchase decision. Nobody wants to spend lots of money on frequent car repairs or end up stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken down vehicle.
Buying a car is a long-term investment, and you expect it will provide dependable transportation for the long haul.
If you're after a car that will start first time, every time, which car brand should you go with? We take a look at the Top 10 most reliable cars in Australia according to Consumer Reports' latest Annual Auto Survey (based on data collected from over 470,000 vehicles) and Budget Direct.
1. Toyota Prius C
The Toyota takes up a couple of spots on this list, but only for its Prius family. The smaller, more affordable alternative to the Prius, the entry-level Prius C is the most affordable hybrid you can buy in Australia. It delivers excellent fuel economy, and its small dimensions and easy parking makes it a reliable little car for the city commuter.
2. Subaru XV
The XV was Subaru's best-selling car of 2018 according to Drive.com.au and has grown to become one of Subaru's stronger performers. It delivers good fuel economy, secure handling, and includes automatic braking and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. Other safety features include blind spot warning and rear cross traffic warning. Subaru also topped Consumer Reports' car brand ranking chart, with the brand's "strong reliability and owner satisfaction marks drove it to the head of the pack".
3. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius regularly tops most reliable car lists for its excellent fuel economy considering it's a hybrid car.
The Mazda6 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in November 2013 and offers a suite of safety features, including lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, reverse cross-traffic alert, and traffic sign recognition, to name a few.
5. Kia Carnival
The Kia Carnival remains Australia's favourite people mover because it's huge. With a five-star ANCAP safety rating, sharp handling, hi-tech safety features, the Kia Carnival is a solid choice if you've got a large family.
6. Lexus NX
The NX is Lexus' entry point to luxury SUV ownership. A fuel-efficient SUV with sharp handling and Lexus' Safety System+ suite of driver aids makes the NX a reliable car.
7. Mazda CX-5
Australia's best-selling SUV is safe and practical, resonating with family buyers. With five trim lines, four engine options, manual or automatic transmission and front or all-wheel-drive, buyers have plenty of choice.
8. Ford Mondeo
The Ford Mondeo's smooth, reliable performance does all the talking. Ticking all the boxes for a dependable family sedan, the Mondeo has had a facelift, bringing an updated new look, a new diesel option, extra driver assist features, and for the first time, a hybrid version of the wagon.
9. Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift has been a popular used car since the 80's thanks to its impressive fuel economy, quality suspension and steering, good throttle response and low price. Its toughness and reliability make this a popular first car.
10. Holden Barina
Another staple of the Australian car market for over 30 years, the Barina has earned a solid reputation for its reliable, good safety track record and impressive list of features for its price.
It's clearly a tie between Mazda and Toyota for the most reliable car brand in Australia. But there's no need to panic if your car didn't take out top place on the list. Most cars will keep you safe on the roads, and all brands and dealerships offer a warranty if your car turns out to be a lemon.
Besides making sure you choose a reliable car, there are a number of things you can do to keep your car running smoothly. Keeping up to date with regular services and mechanical checks is the best way, but you should also be checking your car's fluids and tires often.
If reliability proves to be the deciding factor in which make and model you hop behind the wheel of, it's best to research all your options first, as well as heading down to the local dealership for a test drive.
If you think you've found the car for you, consider what type of financing you'd like to use, like a car loan.
McCowen, D (2019). 2019 Subaru XV sweet spot review. Retrieved from: https://www.drive.com.au/review/2019-subaru-xv-sweet-spot-review-120514
Consumer Reports (2019). 10 Most Reliable Cars. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/10-most-reliable-cars/
Budget Direct (2019). The best second-hand cars in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/blog/best-second-hand-cars-in-australia.html