Buying a new car (or a used one that’s new to you) can be a messy process.
You have your personal opinions about what makes and models you like and no matter how much research you do, you’re gonna find conflicting information about everything.
That’s why we’re in luck today! Because we’re gonna hear from people who work on cars for a living about what we should be looking for when we look for a new ride.
Let’s get educated by folks on AskReddit users.
1. No issues.
“When I was deployed to Afghanistan we had this little FOB truck that was a right hand drive Diesel Toyota Hilux that we drove for transporting stuff around the base as it was more practical than an MRAP.
We beat the absolute piss out of that thing. We never serviced it and it drove almost exclusively off road or on dirt roads. Didn’t give us so much as a hiccup.”
2. Here’s the deal.
“Avoid chrysler/dodge/jeep/ram like the plague.
Avoid german cars unless you have lots of $$$
After that it gets a little more open for interpretation and depends on what kind of vehicle you are looking for. That said, you can never go wrong choosing a Toyota.”
“I’ve seen three silverados in my family go over 350,000 miles.
We even pulled the engine out of a 77 silverado with 377,000 miles that we had and put it in an 85 blazer we rebuilt from the frame up.
Those engines could take a grenade and keep running.”
4. Good quality.
“The majority of my family is mechanics and they always say “never buy a Dodge!” Two work for an auto parts store and says they’re the ones they get the most calls for, about parts and repairs.
My family has VWs and we all love them. The older ones tend to be built better though, but we find they’re good quality.”
5. Bottom of the barrel.
“Fiat/Chrysler is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, with GM not far behind. These brands can be ok if you are trying to get a performance car such as the Charger SRT Hellcat or the C8 Corvette, however for normal cars they are pretty much the worst
European car brand like Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen are ok, but expensive to buy and VERY expensive to repair.
Toyota, Honda, and Mazda are all usually pretty good.
Ford is ok as well. Less reliable than the Japanese competitors, but generally cheaper to buy.”
6. Just stay away.
“Stay away from Mini Coopers, Land Rovers, and Lotuses.
Those have to be the WORST for reliability and maintenance.
As for good ones to buy, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo, Chevrolet, and Toyota are some of the best for maintenance, repairs and reliability.”
“Mazdas are above average in reliability and are champions of fuel efficient gasoline engines.
I’ve never met anyone who has one who doesn’t like theirs, and most single daily-driver car people I’ve talked to who’ve owned one have permanently
converted to the brand.”
“Buy a Honda or Toyota.
Absolutely never touch anything German beyond a luxury lease from new. If you need a truck to do local heavy load work, buy a Ford.
Long haul towing type work, Cummins Dodge with a stick shift. That’s about it.”
“BUY A TOYOTA.
My dad was a mechanic for 30 years. Mostly BMW He was an ASE master tech. The dealership he worked for also owned a Toyota dealer.
The year before he retired he got me, my sister, and my mother a heavily discounted Toyota corolla because quote “he never wanted to fix a car again”.
They run forever, have long warranties, and are cheap to fix. Yes they’re boring… But they run forever.”
10. Good points.
“I will preface this with all manufacturers make bad models. There are always lemons and there is always those few cars that make it 500,000 miles because everyone on the assembly line was sober that day. Also, even the best built car can be made unreliable if basic maintenance is ignored.
Import cars like Mercs, Audi, Land Rover, BMW, etc. They are great to drive and are awesome so long as you are leasing them. If they break, it is someone else’s problem and I assure you it generally will be an expensive problem. European cars are a very different school of thought from design to assembly to repair.
Hell, BMW has a few models with alternators that are cooled with engine coolant that is as hot as the engine. The VW beetle requires you to basically pull the front bumper off for an alternator replacement.
The Mini (a rebadged BMW) is 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon pail. It is hard to work on, expensive to repair, and completely designed with input from Satan himself.
For US, as much as they can be called US, domestic brands to definitely avoid in my book is Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler. The parent company has been bought and sold more than a prostitute. I think Fiat owns them this week.
The QC is lacking and automatic transmission issues abound (The RAM trucks come to mind), electrical issues(generally body control modules), and engine longevity have been and continue to remain an issue. The reliability that they may have had in the 90’s and early 2000’s is a distant memory.
Chevy isn’t doing so great and neither is Ford. Everyone’s stuff is getting more difficult to work on and requiring more and more special tools and software.
Nissans have been going downhill but the CVT transmission is problematic.
Subaru is kind of in between like/dislike for me. The boxer engine is nice but overhauling it can be a bit cramped. The good news it that they made it relatively easy to remove/install.
If you want to look at reliable manufacturers I would argue for Japanese and Korean vehicles. Kia is getting good, though sometimes the replacement parts cost can be a bit expensive. Hyundai has gotten much better. Toyota is pretty solid although the initial cost is higher. Honda is pretty solid too.”
“Worked at a dealership for 10 years, only cars I ever seen with 400,000+ miles were mid 90s Honda civics, seen a GMC diesel truck with like 379,000 miles one time, and everyone in shop was amazed at that, but everything else was max 250,000 or so.”
“Import mechanic here. STAY AWAY FROM MINI!!
If someone offers to give you one for free, take it and get $100 scrap price for it!”
“Suzuki belongs in the decent brands. Good value for money, cheap to fix, easy to work on, but not as full featured as others.
My wife had a 2011 swift that did 200,000km with zero issues and we now have a Vitara turbo that has been nothing short of fantastic as well, a few of my friends have had swifts that I’ve worked on/services as well and they can take a flogging.”
14. As easy as that.
“Buy a Honda or Toyota or their luxury counterparts, Acura or Lexus.”
15. Piece of mind.
“My honest answer is that any car is good only thing you have to respect is your wallet. For example you buy a used Echo for 2k you know every part on an Echo is a bargain even a used engine/transmission. So you can have a certain Piece of Mind
Now problem is with cars that seem “Not High Maintenance” but are actually super high maintenance cars such as the Toyota Prius/Mini Coopers/fiats/Smarts and or any Hybrid/Electric because they’re sold as low maintenance reliable cars but parts on those are extremely expensive. Buying those cars 2nd hand is close to insanity.
Another quote told by a 30 Year mechanic. If you don’t have money for the new car you have less for the older car. Cars lose value, parts don’t and in some cases even gain value.”
16. Commuter cars.
“My dad is an auto mechanic and advocates Toyotas and Hondas for your standard commuter.
We took great care of my 97’ Camry, ran her up to 380,000 miles and still sold for $1,700 due to good maintenance and upkeep.”
17. Truck talk.
“For trucks and SUVs I’dd say go with ford though the Tacoma is on par with the ford ranger. The worst car ive ever seen is a fiat or mini vehicle. This includes anything made by fiat. Like dodge Chrysler and jeep for example.
If you want a good car go with Toyota or Honda. Chevy has been going downhill in the truck department for awhile but their traverse is a decent vehicle. Ford cars suck royally this includes their mustangs.
While car companies vary widely in dependability and efficiency the main factor to a car lasting is taking care of it but, even then its not a guarantee that some vehicles will last.”
18. Something to think about…
“I have 235,000 miles on my 2003 Hyundai Elantra so far.
It’s starting to rust and I’ve replaced the clutch three times, but I still get 30 mpg on the highway.”
19. What to avoid.
“Avoid Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler, Land Rover, Mini, BMW, Mercedes.
Hit and Miss: Ford, Chevy
Solid, Toyota, Subaru (although if buying used ask about the head gasket they do go bad), Nissan is usually good too.”
20. Dad’s opinion.
“My dad was a good hobby mechanic, as well as a race car driver, and the only company he DESPISED was Fiat.
He loved Mazda, and would drive one whenever he had the choice.”
21. Can’t go wrong.
“I’m a mechanic and I’ll drive anything. You can’t go wrong with a Toyota or a Honda, boring as hell but they’ll run forever. I always tell people to look into repair costs and service fees.
Anything uncommon like rear engine or really tiny cars are probably going to be expensive to repair like the mini also sold by BMW and that stands for “bring money with you”.”
22. Straight shooter.
“Stay away from the Nissan Rogue, Murano and Kicks. All of them are hot garbage. The CVTs on those are unreliable, needs constant maintenance, and even with maintenance it will die on you when you need it the most. F*ck Nissan!
Also run from any Jeep. Jeeps are worse than the Nissan Rogue. Parts are expensive, and it will be always at the shop, always. Even brand new! Dont fall for “Wranglers are the best”. All Jeeps are bad. Youve been warned!
Finally, dont get any BMW. Yeah you’ll find some very cheap and from recent years, there is a reason for that.
Need something cheap and reliable? Get a Kia Rio or Forte
Need something more fancy and reliable? Toyota all the way.”
23. Short and sweet.
“Unless it’s a division or exact company of Toyota, Honda, Mazda or Ford. Stay the hell away from it.
You’re asking for nothing but problems.”
24. Rolling into the shop.
“A few of my good friends are mechanics.
The vehicles that roll into the shop the least: Nissan and Toyota. Toyotas will rust to sh*t fairly quickly, but they’ll stay intact mechanically. Nissan are the best currently, I guess.
The ones they see the most are Ford and GM, as well as pretty much anything from Europe.”
25. Nuts and bolts.
“They’re all nuts and bolts. And they all break eventually.
As far as repairs. Anything German is probably gonna be your most expensive. Followed by Chrysler/fiat. And Toyota. Toyota has a reputation of being reliable but that’s mostly because people in my experience who have Toyota’s tend to maintain them.
I’ve worked as a mechanic in a lot of different dealerships. KIA/Hyundai have a reputation of being unreliable but also look at the demographics they cater to. They typically don’t do a lot of maintenance. Land Rover has a bad reputation of being unreliable too.”
“Jaguars are notoriously unreliable mechanically, but I guess if you can afford a Jag you don’t really care about how much you have to pay your garage.”
27. Good advice.
“Toyotas are awesome- but keep is to the cars, not the suvs or trucks so much except those older trucks with lwtters and numbers for names. Good stuff. A toyota avalon from the early 2000s will last a lifeime with basic maintinence.
A corolla or camry is economical AF, but some were built annoyingly so you habe to drop half the front wnd to replace certain engine parts.
Homda accord is a lifeline until it rusts out from underneath you, starting at the rear wheel wells.
The 1990-95ford escorts had a joint thing with Mazda, so their engines are practically bulletproof. Hold onto thwm.
Jeeps ARE trash EXCEPT the inline 6 4.0 motors. Worth fixing but watch out for a cracked block. Resellers can hide them.
Dodges are pretty bogus except the magnum motors. I have a 6cyl 3.9 that is no slouch and headed to 300k.
The single best motor you can get is a a straight 6 out of old nissans … Think they are called Jz2fe or something like that. They are the perfect engines. If you find one in a junkyard, grab it. Dont pass it up. …”
28. High praise.
“My first car was a Honda accord with 120k miles that I bought from my uncle who bought it from my other uncle who bought it brand new.
That f*cking car, in 6 months, had the distributor cap blow up, needed a new windshield, and about 6 other expensive things before blowing a god d*mn head gasket on my way to work one morning. After that I financed the most reliable seeming car I could afford–a Mazda protégé.
Holy f*ck did I love that car and did it love me. I moved to a city where I didn’t need a car, so I sold it to a friend who got several thousand miles out of her and made a tribute on Facebook after she died. I’ve since moved back to a car-driving city.
Bought two more mazdas and loved the sh*t out of both. I’ve driven every vehicle you can imagine, from a 40s international truck to a ’92 3/4 ton chevy to my partner’s lifted Tacoma to a yaris to a 90s altima. I currently drive a Mazda3 and will honestly never buy anything else for a daily driver until the day they stop making manuals.
The single most underrated cars out there as far as I’m concerned.”
How about you?
Do you have any good advice about which car companies are good and which ones are bad?
If so, please talk to us in the comments. Thanks!