Your most reliable vehicle

Reading the post about the perceived reliability of the Asian brand cars got me thinking. I’d be curious to know what vehicle folks have gotten the most miles out of without internal engine or transmission work. This would have to be a car that you or someone you know purchased new in order to be certain it didn’t have a significant repair before you owned it. If you post, be sure to include the year, make, model, and mileage. I will start:

2005 Buick Lesabre (originally purchased by grandparents) - 161,000 miles. No internal engine or transmission work to date.

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII - untouched at 249k miles when someone in a Dodge truck broadsided it.

1996 Lincoln Mark VIII- untouched at 292k miles, still going strong with no noticeable oil useage.

Does a new head gasket count as an internal engine repair? If it doesn’t, here is mine: 1998 Honda Civic DX 2D coupe with about 304,200 miles on the odometer.

It didn’t have a warped head, just a worn out gasket. The machine shop guy said they had never seen that before.

1998 Toyota Tacoma 4WD, standard shift, crank windows, AC, extended cab, 205,000 miles, original clutch, regular maintenance only. Starts and runs well, good fuel mileage, no complaints.

I would consider a head gasket an internal repair. Still impressive, though!

1999 Honda Civic EX: 183,000 miles no internal engine, trans, or clutch work. Runs great, looks amazing for its age.

Mom’s 1990 Mazda protoge see which had 194,000 miles when it was donated to the automotive technician program of the local community college. On the original clutch and had cost $300 at most in annual repairs

My aunt’s 1988 Honda crx hf had at least 215,000 miles with only normal wear items replaced. Sadly the body was rusted from the doors back and it was totaled the night after it went to a new owner.

2002 Camry 4cyl. Bought new by parents, bought from them by me. In 198k miles only a starter. But I think that is going to change as it is now consuming oil at a rate of 1qt. every 500 miles. It is now the “spare” car so it dtill could last forever. :joy:

04 scion xb. Needed driver door lock motor, torsion damper, and various bulbs around 80k miles. Sold it at 150k miles with the original clutch because I got a job in China during the recession and I couldn’t drive the thing across the bering strait. It was getting better gas mileage than when it was new so I can only assume the engine was still good

On the other end of the spectrum, my parents had a 92 Corolla that was built in the same plant where the geo prism was also built. It needed two alternators, brake light switch, two interior door handles, neutral safety switch, sun visors that we did not care to replace, and half shaft dust boots. The cam cover gasket leaked after the original was replaced and we just lived with it until the 3 speed auto died just short of 110k.

The reliability of Asian brand cars is not PERCEIVED, it’s REAL and proven!!!

Consumer reports had an article on the subject some years back and one couple had a Lexus with 438,000 trouble-free miles on it.

We have two Asian cars but have not accumulated enough miles yet to se a record.

The longest we have owned a car without engine or transmission problems was a 1984 Chevy Impala which got to 287,000 miles without any engine or transmission problems and still had full compression at that mileage.

The longest we put on an Asian car was 150,000 miles on a 1994 Nissan Sentra which started to rust but the power train was still perfect.`

That’s gonna be a split decision with come caveats from me.

133K mile Chevy Avalanche owned since new. engine untouched, trans untouched , transfer car repaired because of a design defect. But the braking system has been a mess, Replaced 2 window lifts and a HVAC actuator - common on these.

2001 Saab, owned since new, recently sold, 108K, no engine or trans work at all. Minor repairs.

2000 Honda S2000, purchased used at 60K, knew the 2nd owner but not the first. No engine or transmission major repairs. Sold at 118K running as strong as the day I bought it.

So American, European, Japanese.

I only said perceived because the original post I was referencing claimed it was a myth. I can’t argue either way. I own two domestics and one Toyota, myself. So I don’t care which is more reliable.

However, your GM with 287k miles with no major work is not bad at all.

I once saw a guy drive a Cadillac of some sort into the scrap yard with over 300k miles in to scrap it. It still ran fine. I asked him why he was scrapping it. He said it was a piece of crap and next time he was getting a Nissan! I guess 300k miles wasn’t considered reliable to him.

The only trans I had fail was in a '71 Toyota Corona Mark II. The only engine internal issue I ever had was a seized camshaft in a 1980 Merc Bobcat, due to my own neglect of that car. BTW- I have been running 10k oil changes since the late 80s.

My best performer was a 1992 Pontiac Grand Am with the Quad 4. I got rid of it with 272k and I never did anything to it. It was a manual and had the original clutch…

Here’s the thing, I’ve never had a car that was not reliable for the first hundred thousand or two. If you keep a car 20 years and 500,000 miles, you are going to have to do some repairs so it’s hard to determine the reliability. Like I said before, people focus on engines and transmissions, but those are not the problems anymore. It’s all the other stuff on a car like computers, sensors, and motors that cause the issues.

So someone drives a Toyota for 150K with no major repairs and thinks that’s great and I drive an Olds for 250K with some repairs (such as $15 worth of rocker arm pivots-prior to quitting the use of Pennzoil). Which is most reliable?


Probably my 1995 Bronco. Aside from the transmission requiring a rebuild around the 127k mile mark ( I got it used so I’m guessing the previous owner never changed the transmission fluid), it was flawless until I got rid of it with about 272k on the clock. Just routine maintenance and tires. My current Mustang (2016 GT) is the only car I’ve ever bought new. It’s current at the dealership, as the A/C has gone out yet again (2nd time since I bought the car).

There are variables for sure. I consider reliability as going multiple 100k miles without getting into the engine, transmission, etc. If it doesn’t impede the function of the vehicle, don’t count it. If you went 350k miles, but had to replace an expensive rear view camera at low mileage, don’t count that. If you had to open up the engine or trans (regardless of cost), do count that. My opinion anyway.

Besides, you and you half a million mile car aren’t allowed to post on the topic anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:. Kidding, of course.

See, but the trans was apparently not that reliable, right? I owned a 1998 Dodge Ram. 130k miles and the trans gave out. I’d consider that not so great reliability. The 360 engine, no doubt, ran a long time after I sold it with 198k miles (and 2 trans rebuilds).

1979 Toyota Celica. 234000 miles. One clutch and throwout bearing. Other repairs I did myself with the exception of clutch and exhaust.

Well, our 2009 Focus has been excellent other than the water outlet going and causing an overheating issue earlier this year (though as far as I can tell the head gasket did not go…oil has looked fine, consumption level hasn’t drastically risen). It’s up to 183k I think…My 94 Saturn was over 150k before it got totaled in an accident (no major problems). My parents have an early 2000s Corolla that is between 200-250k with no major problems. Our 2005 Odyssey has not had any engine/trany issues that I’ve found since we got it with 133k (over 160k now)

I remember when I was a kid, the neighbors coming over to gawk at dad’s '68 Corolla because the odometer had rolled over to 100,000 miles. They just couldn’t believe that little thing lasted that long.

Now I’ve got a lot more than that on my daily driver, and from time to time someone mistakes it for a new car. We’ve come a long way!

I bought my 1993 MR2 with 80,000 miles on it. I was tempted to hold out for the turbo version, but I figured I’d just get the non-turbo, then wait for the engine to die and swap it with something more entertaining.

It’s got 180k on the clock now, and I’m still waiting.

It’s got nothing on a friend from my old car club whom I mentioned in the other thread. He had 500k on his CRX when he junked it because of body rust. Original engine and tranny, ran fine to the last day.