QOTD: What's the Most Reliable Car You've Ever Owned?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what s the most reliable car you ve ever owned

Back in January, we asked you B&B to tell us about the least reliable car you’d ever owned. The stories poured in, amounting to a shocking 240+ comments. It took us days to emotionally recover from the sad tales expressed in your replies.

But today will not be a day of tears. We want to know: what’s the most reliable car you’ve ever owned?

Much like unreliability, reliability is not always a surprise occurrence. Some cars can be picked from whichever particular crop is being shopped and provide the owner with reliability. It’s their nature. The most basic of upkeep, and one can enjoy thousands of miles of carefree driving.

Other times, you might discover you’ve “picked a good one,” realizing much better reliability than others who purchased the exact same ride as you. It’s not hard to find an Internet Person with a 1994 Cadillac DeVille who has not once experienced a gasket issue with their Northstar, even after 25 years and 180,000 miles. Likewise, there’s an owner of a 1998 Land Rover Discovery who has never had an electrical or water leakage issue. Miracles happen!

Your author’s most reliable ride falls squarely in the unsurprising category. A 1997 Infiniti I30. Pearl white paint, tan leather, wood tone, all propelled forward by the VQ30. It was purchased in the summer of 2005 to replace the ’93 Audi 90S (that white one up there) that was getting on its owner’s nerves. At time of purchase, the I30 had something like 120,000 miles on it, and was on its second owner, who purchased it off lease. $3,900 left my bank account, and multi-spoke alloys decorated the street in front of my parent’s house (where it got hit by a Wrangler in the door, and repaired).

In over three years, I experienced nary a mechanical issue. Oil changes and checking tire pressures sufficed for maintenance. I did fix one thing — a rattling center console lid. It was down to the clip which held it closed being slightly too worn to function. Eight dollars and five minutes, and all was well. I kept the I30 through the rest of college, until I was forced to sell it in September of 2008, shortly before fleeing The America to avoid the big unemployment.

Whichever side of the reliability coin you’ve found yourself on, today’s your chance to spill it. What was your readily reliable ride?

[Images: Corey Lewis, Infiniti]

Join the conversation
2 of 214 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 01, 2018

    Even if you have to replace a clutch, replace the brakes, put a starter motor in it, do some body work it can pay in the long run to take care of a vehicle especially one that is relatively low maintenance and trouble free for 19 years. I have had a couple of other vehicles that have lasted 18 years, 17 years, and 14 years which were relatively low cost and trouble free. I have found it is less expensive to keep an older vehicle running than to buy or lease a new vehicle every few years. It is nice to not have a car payment.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Apr 16, 2018

    Most reliable was easily the 2008 Honda Accord I got as a hand-me-down from my father-in-law. Got it in 2013 with 135,000 on it and traded it in 2016 with 165,000 on it for something that would legally seat 4 adults + 2 kids. Only thing I did was replace some bulbs in the climate control unit. Reliable, but so boring.

  • El scotto Subway or non-subway city? There is a difference.
  • MaintenanceCosts Most of our drivers actually aren't that bad, except that they're a little slow-witted. But there is a group that, post-pandemic, has decided they've had it with the rules, and they're scary.Recently I've seen a regular drumbeat of people blowing through red lights and stop signs without a care in the world; several drivers drive the wrong way (despite honking and yelling) down one-way streets; one driver driving on the wrong side of the street past a line of cars waiting for a red light, forcing an innocent oncoming driver to take evasive action; and one pickup driver deliberately ramming all the planters (used to separate a bike lane) he could see.And no one can park. There's always someone parked blocking the crosswalk, blocking the fire hydrant, blocking the bike lane, blocking the bus stop, you name it.But mostly it's OK.
  • ChristianWimmer Sunak has apparently done this because his political party has lost so much support. Once the brainless masses flock to his political party again the trap will spring shut and bam - the ICE ban will be attempted to get pushed through even quicker.Honestly, Europe right now is a complete CR** HOLE thanks to the EU.Did anyone hear of the EU’s plans to make driving even more unattractive? A French Green Party politician introduced some really perverted ideas under the guise of “Vision Zero” (Zero deaths from driving in the EU) and of course the climate hysteria…1) If you just received your driver’s license you can not drive faster than 90 km/h - basically you’re stuck behind trucks on highways or can’t even overtake them on normal roads.2) If you are 60 years old, your license is only valid for 7 more years. If you are 70 years old, 5 years. If you’re 80 years old, 2 years. You are required to “renew” your license (and pay for it yourself) which will also determine if you are still fit to drive.3) The standard B driver’s license here allows you to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tons in weight. Under this idiotic proposal from that French nutjob, those 3.5 tons will decrease to 1.8 tons meaning that you can’t legally even drive a Tesla Model 3…
  • ToolGuy I blame Canada.
  • Syke This is one of those days when you come up with an article that I just live to comment on. I'm retired from (but still working at three half days a week - retirement was boring) Richmond Honda House, a Honda/Yamaha/Can-Am/Sea Doo dealership. No, I'm not a mechanic. I'm the guy who handles all the recall/warranty claims. Which between the three major brands, and a couple of small Asian brands is enough to keep me busy for about fourteen business hours split across Tuesday thru Thursday. Yes, the Spyders are reliable, but when they do break down they can be a nightmare due to you have to have a laptop plugged into one to do most kinds of service. First hint: You absolutely do not want to do massive aftermarket sound system upgrades to a Spyder. We've had nightmares with them in the past. I swear half our original customers back in the 2008-2010 period bought theirs to turn into a three-wheeled boom box, which would invariably cause voltage fluctuations in the electrical system, thus driving the various black boxes wonky and causing all sorts of problems.Those of you who decry computerization in modern automobiles will find that the Spyder is even more so. I've noticed that the Spyder has gotten a lot better since Bombardier dropped the original V-twin engine (same one that Aprilia used on their 1000's when they first came into the country) in favor of the current triple. Mechanical repairs to the drivetrain have definitely gone down.Used? The more recent models seem to have good reliability. No, not as good as the current Gold Wing, or any generation Gold Wing for that matter, but definitely within acceptable parameters. The older ones, especially the original 2008-2010 models, I'd recommend staying away from. How bad? During the 2008 recession, when motorcycle dealers were desperately hanging on, my office at Honda House was the single best cash flow for the company, totally because of warranty claims and recalls from the original models. Yes, Bombardier has gotten an awful lot better.Oh yeah, the company itself it decent to deal with on a business and support level. From my office, they're my favorite of the three, slightly ahead of Yamaha, and a night and day improvement over Honda. All you have to remember is that you're not dealing with Canadians, you're dealing with Quebecois. Yes, there's a difference, I was married to one for thirteen years.