The source of this article is CarVertical.com
A vehicle that breaks down often makes for a frustrated owner. Lateness, embarrassment, and repair costs can turn your life into a nightmare.
Reliability constitutes a quality you should seek in a used car. So, what are the most reliable car brands? Next, you’ll find car reliability rankings according to carVertical, to help you make an informed decision. But first, let’s briefly explain the process.
How was car reliability evaluated?
We’ve compiled the most reliable car brands list using a telling criterion – damage.
The findings are based on CarVertical‘s vehicle history reports.
The used car rankings you’re about to see are derived from each brand’s percentage of damaged cars from the total number of analysed brand cars.
Let’s get started with the list of the most reliable used car brands.
1. KIA – 23,47%
Kia’s slogan “The power to surprise” certainly lived up to the hype. Even with more than 1.4 million vehicles produce every year, the South Korean automaker takes the number one spot with only 23,47% of all analyzed models being damaged.
But the most reliable brand of car isn’t flawless, and its vehicles are prone to:
- Common electric power steering failure
- Parking brake failure
- Possible DPF failure
The company’s focus on reliability should come as no surprise, Kia models feature advanced safety systems, including forward collision avoidance, autonomous emergency braking, and vehicle stability management.
2. Hyundai – 26,36%
Hyundai’s Uslan factory is the largest automotive facility in Asia, spreading over a mind-boggling 54 million square feet (roughly 5 square kilometers). Hyundai clinches second place with damage occurring to 26,36% of all analyzed models.
However, Hyundai second-hand cars can experience common failures:
- Rear sub frame corrosion
- Parking brake problems
- Weak windshields
Why such a good car reliability ranking? Well, Hyundai is the only motor company that manufactures its own ultra-high strength steel. The automaker also makes the Genesis, one of the safest cars in the world.
3. Volkswagen – 27,27%
German for “The people’s car”, Volkswagen produced the legendary beetle, a 20th-century icon that sold more than 21.5 million units. The automotive manufacturer ranks third among carVertical’s most reliable car brands, showing damage to 27,27% of all analyzed models.
Although sturdy, Volkswagen cars tend to face malfunctions, particularly:
- Dual mass flywheel failure
- Manual transmission may fail
- Problems with the ABS / ESP module
Volkswagen strives to protect car occupants through a host of safety features such as adaptive cruise control, crash imminent braking, and blind spot detection.
4. Nissan – 27,79%
Nissan was the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer for a long time before Tesla took the world by storm. With space rockets among their past creations, the Japanese automobile manufacturer racked up damage to 27,79% of all analyzed models.
But as durable as they are, Nissan vehicles are vulnerable to multiple issues:
- Differential failure
- Very common structural corrosion in the center chassis rail
- Automatic transmission heat exchanger can fail
Nissan has always emphasized safety, developing innovative technologies, such as the zone body construction. Safety Shield 360, and intelligent mobility
5. Mazda – 29,89%
After starting as a cork manufacturing business, the Japanese company adapted the first automotive miller cycle engine, an engine meant for ships, power plants, and locomotives. Mazda sustained damage to 29,89% of all analyzed models according to carVertical’s database.
Most commonly, the brand’s vehicles are susceptible to:
- Turbo failures on Skyactive D engines
- Fuel injector seal failure on diesel engines
- Very common ABS pump failure
The mediocre showing doesn’t take away that its models have a few impressive safety features. For example, Mazda’s i-Activesense encompasses advanced technologies that recognize potential hazards, avert accidents, and reduce collision severity.
6. Audi – 30,08%
Latin for “Listen”, a translation of its founder’s surname, Audi has a reputation for luxury and performance, even as a used car. Before its acquisition by the Volkswagen Group, Audi once teamed up with three other brands to form Auto Union GT. The logo’s four rings symbolize that merger.
Audi missed 5th place by a tiny margin with 30,08% of all analyzed models receiving damage.
The automotive company’s cars show a tendency for the following failures:
- Extensive clutch wear
- Power steering failure
- Manual transmission failures
Strangely, Audi has a long history with safety, conducting its first crash test more than 80 years ago. Nowadays, the German automaker’s cars come with some of the most advanced active, passive, and driver-assistance safety systems.
7. Ford – 32,18%
The automotive company’s founder, Henry Ford, shaped the automotive industry of today by inventing the revolutionary “moving assembly line”, which reduced car production time from 700 to an incredible 90 minutes. Therefore, it’s baffling that the well-known car manufacturer ranks so low, but carVertical’s data shows damage to 32,18% of all analyzed Ford models.
Ford’s models seem inclined to experience:
- Dual mass flywheel failure
- Clutch, power steering pump failure
- CVT automatic transmission failures
The American automaker has long stressed the importance of driver, occupant, and vehicle safety. A prime example of that is Ford’s Safety Canopy System, which deploys curtain airbags in the event of a side or rollover accident.
8. Mercedes-Benz – 32,36%
The renowned German automaker introduced what’s regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile in 1886. Whether brand new or a second-hand, a Mercedes-Benz car conjures up luxury, however, a whopping 32,36% of all analyzed Mercedes-Benz were damaged according to carVertical.
Despite their remarkable quality, the Mercs suffer from a few common issues:
- Headlights can ingress moisture
- Fuel injector seal failure on diesel engines,
- Very common Sensotronic Braking System failure
But the brand with “The best or nothing” slogan has pioneered automotive design, technology, and innovation. From the early versions of ABS to Pre-Safe, Mercedes-Benz engineers have introduced several safety features that are now commonplace in the industry.
9. Toyota – 33,79%
The Japanese automotive company produces more than 10 million vehicles per year. The company also makes the Toyota Corolla, the best-selling car in the world with more than 40 million units sold worldwide. Shockingly, 33,79% of all Toyota models analyzed were damaged.
Toyota’s vehicles seem likely to experience a few common snags:
- Rear suspension height sensor failure
- A/C failure
- Prone to severe corrosion.
Despite its ranking, Japan’s largest automaker started conducting crash tests since the 1960s. More recently, it introduced the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense, a suite of active safety technologies capable of detecting pedestrians at night and cyclists during the day.
10. BMW – 33,87%
The Bavarian automaker started as an aircraft engine manufacturer. After the end of WW I, though, it switched to producing motor vehicles, and it’s now the world’s leading premium car company. A mere 0,09% earned BMW the lowest car reliability ranking instead of Toyota. The Bavarian motor company had damage to 33,87% of all models analyzed.
Second-hand beamers have their shortcomings:
- ABS wheel sensors can fail
- Various electrical malfunctions
- Issues with correct wheel alignment
BMW’s dead last ranking is confusing, partly because BMW is known for innovation. The German automaker even developed a safety and accident research program to help design safer cars. Sometimes, safety doesn’t translate into reliability.
Are reliable used cars bought the most?
Evidently, the most reliable brands are not in-demand when buying a used car.
Most people avoid them like the plague. Except for Volkswagen, the Top 5 most reliable car brands are nowhere to be found among the most purchased brands.
Well, the most purchased brands are a few of the largest, oldest automotive manufacturers in the world. They’ve poured millions into advertising, marketing, and building an alluring image of their cars.
People start to make favorable associations with the vehicle they see in films, TV, and the internet.
It’s often the brand that sells, not the product.
Is the second-hand market of used cars reliable?
The second-hand market of used cars is a minefield for a potential buyer, especially due to mileage rollback.
Mileage rollback, also known as “Clocking” or odometer fraud, is an illegal tactic some sellers use to make vehicles appear to have lower mileage by rolling back odometers.
As you can glean from the graph above, the most purchased brands suffer from the most mileage rollbacks with used BMW cars totaling more than half the cases.
Odometer fraud allows the seller to unjustly ask for a higher price, which means potentially scamming buyers into paying extra for a car in a poor condition.
Not only that, but they could face thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.
Undoubtedly, the brands that have a reputation for reliability are anything but reliable, yet their cars are in high demand.
Sadly, the most reliable car brands aren’t so popular.
If you’re planning on buying a used car, do yourself a favor and get a vehicle history report before you pay thousands for a lousy ride. See how the vehicle report looks like.
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We have checked the VIN code of our car with CarVertical and in this post we will share our experience with you.
The only CarVertical Review you need to read.
Who or what
is a CarVertical?
The company CarVertical came on the market in summer 2018. The goal of this company is to provide services for people in an area of vehicle history verification using the VIN code by which each vehicle must be marked.
Thanks to the cooperation with BMW, the company CarVertical was practically the first, who started with realtime vehicle information collecting. Another advantage is the use of the technology BlockChain, which ensures, that the vehicle data has not been manipulated with.
FIRST STEP: Enter the VIN code
Using the entrance website VIN check free we entered the VIN code of our vehicle. For the obvious reasons, we will not provide the exact VIN code here, however it is the second generation Škoda Superb 2010 with a 2.0 TDI with output power of 125 kW.
SECOND STEP: VIN Verification and Information Retrieval
After entering the VIN code, you will be transferred to the VIN verification process and
subsequent retrieval of all available information and records relating to
entered VIN code and vehicle. You should see this screen.
As soon as is this Free VIN Check and available data collection complete, a
message will appear on the website. This message will show you, which vehicle it is
according to the VIN code and will give you the ability to view all available
history of the vehicle.
The VIN Check process is now over. To this moment the whole VIN control process is for FREE.
However, if we want a complete vehicle history report containing all of the
important information, we have no choice but to pay for it. But do not worry,
it is not a big sum and in the end this „few bucks“ can save you hundreds or thousands.
THIRT STEP: Buying the Complete Vehicle History report
Below the message of successfully finding the vehicle information, we have a choice of two
The best decision is to buy two reports, when you can save up to 35 % from the amount of one vehicle history report.
Because you are usually hesitant when it comes to finding a new vehicle, certainly this version seems to be the best solution.
We chose this package because we checked the VIN code of our another vehicle (BMW), about
which we will write another review hopefully soon.
Okay, We are choosing a package with very reasonable price of $10.49 per vehicle history report.
Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or now also by cryptocurrency Ethereum.
vehicle (vehicle history report) will be sent to your email address, where you will also find the link
to the results of the VIN check.
Detailed Overview of Our Checked VIN and Vehicle History
After opening the vehicle history report, we get to the intro-page, where we can see basic
information about the vehicle and a quick summary of the entire vehicle history report,
so-called „Your car in a nutshell “. Here comes the first „fright “, as we hear
the news that the mileage of this vehicle may be tampered.
The vehicle history report also showed the information, that there are also records about vehicle damage which we already knew about.
Although CarVertical is based on BlockChain technology, we are finding out the
information, that our overview about the tested VIN was saved to the BlockChain, so it can no longer be manipulated with.
Let’s take a look at the details about our vehicle checked VIN & vehicle history.
1. Spotted Activity
After the brief summary we are getting to the section „spotted activity “, on
the timeline we learn, when was the vehicle first registered, when was the MOT (the event of technical inspection) or emission control performed and visible are also the dates, when
was a change of the owner and damage to the car.
None of the information has been confirmed for our vehicle.
2. Stolen Vehicle Check
In this part of the vehicle history report we found out that the VIN code check
up took place in several databases, the stolen vehicles again with negative
results. The verification of the VIN code took place in a total of 13
databases of stolen vehicles around the world.
- Czech Republic
- United States of America
3. PROBLEM DETECTED! Odometer rollback?!
In this section we are returning to the problem with mileage which was
mentioned at the beginning. When we were buying the vehicle, nothing was
mentioned and according to VIN inspection at the company CEBIA, no such
information has been confirmed in their certificate.
In our purchased CarVertical vehicle history report we are finding a graph, which shows the
process of mileage on our vehicle and we are amazed to find that someone/something
has probably manipulated with the vehicle’s odometer.
At the moment, we find out that CarVertical probably has another database in which it found data on the condition of the odometer with values 161,539 km and 148,886 km.
So the questions are:
- Can the official website for checking the mileage from the Ministry of Transport really be trusted?
- How is it possible that a private company (CarVertical) has more data in a database about a specific VIN code than a state administration?
- Why didn’t CEBIA even discover this fact?
We are now really surprised by the result of the CarVertical Vin Check, and it is really WORTH OF MONEY!