Talking Toyota Reliability

Are Toyotas Reliable Vehicles?

When it comes to reliability, the Toyota brand has proven to be a solid choice for many consumers, not only in the U. S., but around the world. Founded in 1937, the brand has more than 80 years of experience producing well made cars, trucks and SUVs that are both safe and reliable. In the U.S. Toyota has been one of the top-selling brands for many years and there is no doubt, it is the best-selling Japanese brand in the country. Toyota is the only foregin brand to give serious competition to heavyweight American automakers like Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford in terms of sales, selling more than two million vehicles each year in the U.S, which it has been doing since 2014. And globally, it is the first automaker in the world to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year which it has been doing since 2012.

So it’s no surprise that you see so many Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs on the road today. And you shouldn’t be surprised when we tell you that many of those Toyotas are older Toyotas – many more than a decade old and even 20 years old! Why? The answer is clear – Toyota makes high-quality vehicles that last the test of time. So, to answer the questions: Is Toyota a reliable brand? Are Toyotas reliable? The answer is, yes and yes!

Let’s talk Toyota reliability and get into the nitty gritty.

Considering Reliability

Reliability has become a bigger factor for many consumers when car shopping. It’s up there with price, safety and style. Americans are keeping their cars longer, so it makes sense that reliability is a top consideration.

So, what is reliability? In general, the term “reliability” in the automotive industry is a method that is used to determine how long a vehicle will last. A reliability rating is a measurement of vehicle dependability based on cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance. The reliability rating allows consumers to research dependability and ownership costs as they relate to unscheduled repairs and maintenance. The rating also takes into account industry averages and will compare reliability factors against other vehicles.

According to a J.D. Power Auto Avoider Survey, nearly 60% of consumers want reliability data when shopping for a vehicle, ranking it third behind (and not too behind) exterior and interior styling.

Reliability is important when determining ownership costs too because the more reliable a car is, the less likely it will need major repairs over time. Reliability ratings are given to cars as a way to help consumers determine what they can expect in terms of dependability and the likelihood of potential future repair and costs associated with those repairs.

Are Toyotas Reliable?

To answer the question straight up, the answer is: Yes, Toyotas are reliable. We know that Toyota makes reliable vehicles. In fact, for many consumers, the Toyota brand is synonymous with reliability and is the reason why the brand continues to do so well both in America and around the world.

We decided to do some more digging when it comes to Toyota reliability and here’s what we found. Consumer Reports’ latest car-brand reliability rankings report confirms that the Toyota brand is indeed reliable. But how reliable?

According to Consumer Reports’ brand-level rankings for 2020, Toyota is one of the most reliable auto brands in the industry right now. It comes in at the number 2 spot, improving its position by one from the 2019 report. Toyota consistently ranks within the Top 5, but to see it continually improve, when its reliability scores are already high is impressive. Furthermore, the ranking is not based on one model alone. Consumer Reports’ brand-level rankings are based on the average predicted reliability of several vehicles in a particular brand’s line up. For Toyota, 11 models were looked at, including models from different categories like hatchbacks, sedans, trucks, SUVs and minivans. To give you some context, the number one spot was taken by fellow Japanese automaker, Mazda, in which Consumer Reports looked at 7 Mazda models. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/who-makes-the-most-reliable-cars/

Popular Toyota models, like the Camry, Corolla, Highlander, 4-Runner, Tacoma and Tundra have consistently scored 4s or 5s out of 5 in the Consumer Reports predicted reliability test over the past 10 years. There are a few outlier years with some models, but those outliers are just that, outliers. For instance the Tacoma received a score of 3 for 2018 and 2019 model years, but those 3s are not the norm when you look at the Tacoma’s overall predicted reliability over the past decade, which averages 4.7.

According to RepairPal, the Toyota brand consistently receives an above-average score for reliability. We’ll get into model-specific reliability information later on.

Regardless of the model or even the source, Toyota consistently comes up on top, so it’s safe to say that Yes, Toyotas are reliable vehicles and worth your consideration if you’re looking for a new car or even a pre-owned one. Besides reliability, Toyota vehicles, across the models, also have a great resale value.

Why are Toyotas so Reliable?

When you think of reliability in the automotive industry, you naturally think of Toyota. With a slew of awards to its credit and an impressive reputation when it comes to reliability, we’re not surprised. But the question begs: Why are Toyotas so reliable? Does Toyota sprinkle fairy dust on its cars before distribution? Well that would be something special, but the truth is that Toyota has consistently prioritized form and function over glitz and glamour. This doesn’t mean that Toyota vehicles are not stylish or chock full of features and the latest technology, it just means that the automaker may not be the first to release the latest tech in their cars, and for the automaker, that’s okay!

The Japanese in general have a conservative approach to business and innovation, and Toyota is no different. They take their time to roll out upgrades and take their research very seriously. Toyota will not rush its innovation through the process just to be the first one out the door with a new feature or technology.

If they are not sure an upgrade or new feature will last the test of time, the company has no problem holding off to conduct more research.

Also, function takes precedence over form at Toyota. The company is not interested in being the fastest or the shiniest on the market. Instead Toyota is more focused on economy, fuel efficiency and reliability. This doesn’t mean that buying a Toyota is going to be lacking in terms of features, gadgets or style – no sir! On the contrary – many of its models, like the Camry, consistently receive high praise from critics and consumers for both style and function.

Durability, dependability and reliability are very important factors that consumers consider when purchasing a car. Toyota is keenly aware of this fact and hence has focused its efforts on producing some of the industry’s most reliable vehicles. As noted before, Toyota vehicles perform well in reliability tests because of their powertrains, good fuel efficiency, comfy rides, quiet cabins, intuitive controls, as well as stylish design.

The brand’s success in the U.S. and around the world is not surprising when you consider the automaker’s commitment to prioritizing high-quality function and innovation that is supported by lots of R&D to last the test of time.

How Long will my Toyota Last?

It’s a question that gets asked frequently: How long will my car last? It’s an important one, but unfortunately a hard one to answer. The good news is that Toyota is a very reliable brand. And Toyota also has a reputation for making vehicles that last a long time. Some drivers report driving their Toyotas well beyond 100,000 miles, some even 200,000 and 300,000 miles.

According to a study conducted by automotive research firm iSeeCars.com, Toyota led the way when it came to vehicles most likely to last longer than 200,000 miles. iSeeCars analyzed more than 15.8 million cars sold in 2019 to determine which models have the highest percentage of cars that reached 200,000 miles, and the Toyota trucks, specifically, ranked highest, with the Land Cruiser and Sequoia taking the number one and two spots, respectively. On the Top 15 list, Toyota had seven models ranking, including the Toyota Highlander, 4-Runner, Tundra, Avalon and Tacoma. Other automakers that made the Top 15 list with more than one model are GMC and Honda, both showcasing two models, not seven! https://www.iseecars.com/longest-lasting-cars-study#v=2020

So while we can’t definitively tell you how long your Toyota will last, we can tell you that if you keep up with the necessary maintenance and show your Toyota some TLC, the chances are high that it will keep you cruising for a very long time.

Toyota Reliability Across the Models

Up to this point, we’ve been talking Toyota reliability at the brand level, now let’s dig into some of the automaker’s most popular models in categories representing sedans, SUVs and trucks. For consistency, we consulted RepairPal for its reliability ratings.

Are Toyota Camry Sedans Reliable?

The Toyota Camry is a midsize sedan and boasts an “Above Average” Reliability Rating with a score of 4.0 out of 5.0. The average for its classmates is also a 4.0, however the Camry ranks third out of 24 for midsize cars. The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Toyota Camry is $388, compared to an average of $526 for other midsize cars and $652 for all vehicle models, making it excellent in terms of ownership costs.

Toyota Camry owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times per year, compared to an average of 0.3 times for midsize cars and 0.4 times for all vehicle models. The probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 11% for the Toyota Camry, compared to an average of 12% for midsize cars and 12% for all vehicle models. In summary, the Camry not only boasts excellent ownership costs, its repairs are less severe and less frequent, making it one of the most reliable cars on the road.

Are Toyota Corollas Reliable?

Toyota’s compact sedan, the Corolla, earns an “Excellent” Reliability Rating from RepairPal, scoring a 4.5 out of 5.0. It ranks number one out of 36 compact cars, making it the best in terms of reliability compared to its classmates.

The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Toyota Corolla is $362, compared to an average of $526 for compact cars and $652 for all vehicle models. This means that the Corolla has excellent ownership costs.

Toyota Corolla owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times per year, compared to an average of 0.3 times for compact cars and 0.4 times for all vehicle models. And the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 7% for the Toyota Corolla, compared to an average of 11% for compact cars and 12% for all vehicle models.

Are Toyota 4Runners Reliable?

The 4Runner’s Reliability Rating is above average, scoring a 4 out of 5.0, ranking it 9th out of 26 other midsize SUVs. The average midsize SUV Reliability Rating is 3.5. The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Toyota 4Runner is $514, compared to an average of $573 for midsize SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.

Toyota 4Runner owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.4 times per year, which is the same when compared to other midsize SUVs, as well as for all vehicle models. The probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 13% for the Toyota 4Runner, compared to an average of 13% for midsize SUVs and 12% for all vehicle models.

Are Toyota Highlanders Reliable?

The Highlander’s Reliability Rating is above average, scoring a 4 out of 5.0, ranking it 7th out of 26 other midsize SUVs. The average midsize SUV Reliability Rating is 3.5. The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Toyota Highlander is $489, compared to an average of $573 for midsize SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.

Toyota Highlander owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times per year, compared to an average of 0.4 times for midsize SUVs and 0.4 times for all vehicle models. And the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 13% for the Toyota Highlander, compared to an average of 13% for midsize SUVs and 12% for all vehicle models. So the Highlander has lower than average ownership costs, with the frequency and severity of repairs being fairly average.

Are Toyota Tacomas Reliable?

Toyota’s midsize truck – the Tacoma – earns a score of 3.5 out of 5.0 for it’s reliability. While a 3.5 is above average, it is below the 4.0 average reliability earned by its classmates. It ranks 7th out of 7 for midsize trucks.

The average annual repair cost is $478 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. And while repairs tend to be more severe than average, the number of those issues is low, so major repairs are uncommon for the Tacoma. The average cost for annuals repairs for midsize trucks is $548, and $652 for all other vehicle models, not just trucks.

Toyota Tacoma owners have to bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times per year, compared to an average of 0.2 times for midsize trucks and 0.4 times for all vehicle models. The probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 17% for the Tacoma, compared to an average of 13% for midsize trucks and 12% for all vehicle models.

Are Toyota Tundras Reliable?

The Tundra is Toyota’s fullsize truck. Its RepairPal Reliability Rating is 3.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 6th out of 17 fullsize trucks in its category. When compared to other trucks in the same category, the Tundra is above average for reliability, compared to an average of 3.0 out of 5.0 for other fullsize trucks.

The average annual repair cost is $606, compared to $936 for other fullsize trucks and $652 for all vehicle models. Toyota Tundra owners have to bring their trucks into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.3 times a year, which is the same for other trucks in its category and better than the 0.4 times for all vehicle models. The probability of those repairs being severe or a major issue is 18%, which is the same as its classmates, but higher when compared to all vehicle models which is 12%. So while repairs for the Tundra tend to be more severe than the average of all vehicles, these major repairs are infrequent for the Tundra.

Whether you’re considering a car, SUV or truck, Toyota has you covered and regardless of the model, you’re sure to ride in a vehicle that has consistently received high praises for its reliability.

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