5 Car Brands With the Most Reliable Engines


By David Nadelle Thu, May 30, 20244 min read

You can argue that tires are a car’s four most important safety and performance features, but all the basic components are equally critical. If one fails, the vehicle becomes unusable and costs you money.

However, the engine is the heart of your car and the performance of any moving thing depends heavily on its heart. Speed and power are impressive, but Americans are increasingly driving their cars longer and want cars with engines that won’t let them down and won’t need inconvenient and expensive repairs.

Some brands are known not only for the dependability of their cars but for their engines as well.

5. Ford

It’s become second nature to say the most reliable cars on the market come from Japan and to a lesser extent, South Korea. That might be true, but U.S. brands know how to build advanced, efficient, high-performing engines that last ages.

Ford has a long history with engines. In fact, Henry Ford’s first invention was the engine, which he eventually used to power his first car.

Throughout its history, Ford engines have been synonymous with performance, reliability, and longevity, frequently taking their vehicles past owners’ mileage forecasts. Ford’s tenacious 5.0 Coyote V8 and 3.5 V6 EcoBoost engines are making way for new engine technology for internal combustion vehicles, hybrids and electric production.

4. Chevrolet

Owning many distinct car companies over the years — including Buick, Cadillac and Lotus now and Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn in the past — General Motors has built countless engines. However, Chevrolet stands out among GM’s subsidiaries for its reliable and powerful engines that hold up even after a few odometer rollovers.

While Chevy’s diesel motors are tough to beat, its V8s are iconic. The LS engine has gone through three generation changes since 1997 and has proven to be easy to maintain and trouble-free throughout its lifespan. The 5.7-liter LT1 engine powered Corvettes and Camaros with plenty of horsepower during the 1990s and the new Gen V engines are moving Chevrolet up J.D. Power’s dependability rankings yearly.

3. Lexus

According to J.D. Power’s 2023 Vehicle Dependability Study, Lexus topped the list of rankings and the RX model was named the most dependable vehicle on the market (tied with Toyota’s C-HR). For 2024, the luxury brand led its segment and the overall industry for the second year in a row.

Dependability has quickly become Lexus’ hallmark, which can’t be said about most other luxury brands on the market. According to RepairPal, Lexus owners usually spend around $551 per year on maintenance and upkeep. Equipped with engines like the 1UR-FE, 2JZ and 2GR variants, Lexus (and some Toyota) models are some of the most reliable cars you can buy.

2. Honda

For decades now, Honda has built a reputation for engines that can rack up miles without anything more than regular maintenance and care. Offhand, the typical lifespan of a Honda car is about 200,000 miles. However, many Honda models are known to outlast their owners’ wildest expectations.

Whether a Honda carries a K-Series engine (Honda Civic SI, Element, CR-V), a J35 (Honda Pilot, Acura MDX, Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey) or an H22A (turn of the century Preludes and Accord SiR Sedans and Wagons), you’re assured of top-of-the-line reliability and endurance.

1. Toyota

You don’t become the world’s best-selling and most reliable brand without making great engines that perform consistently well. Over the years, Toyota has introduced resilient engines that have regularly given owners hundreds of thousands of miles of driving enjoyment.

CarBuzz singles out a few sturdy Toyota engines that have stood the test of time, including the 3.5-liter V6 2GR engine, which has driven many of the brand’s most popular models (Tacoma, Camry, Highlander and Avalon; Lexus ES, GS, IS and RX).

Special mention should go to the powerful 1JZ and 2JZ engines and to the UZ family of engines, which have powered many of Toyota’s luxury sedans, minibusses, pickup trucks (e.g., the Tundra) and off-road SUVs (e.g., Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Lexus LX/GX).

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Car Brands With the Most Reliable Engines

David Nadelle

David Nadelle is a Canadian freelance writer specializing in financial, technical communication and music journalism. After 18 years working in the energy industry, David joined GOBankingRates in 2022 and brings a passionate style to a wide range of financial education content and news stories. A passionate advocate for autism research and music therapy, David has previously written for several music publications and websites, including Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes.


M.A in Social Sciences, Criminology University Of Ottawa/Carleton University

B.A. in Social Sciences in Sociology, University of Ottawa

Journalism Degree, Algonquin College

Technical Communication Degree, Algonquin College

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