SageBrush wrote: LeftieBiker wrote:
All I remember is that they highly recommend Toyota for reliability, something that's very important to me.
Not all of Toyota's cars are reliable. The Camry in particular has suffered some reliability issues since the turn of the century, but the Prius has benefited from its own little sub-sub-division within Toyota, with higher quality standards.
Let's see your list of more reliable models over a 20 year span. Even the best of the best models have better and worse years over time, and any one car is a gamble. Overall, Toyota has a remarkable track record for reliability AND tends to outstanding corporate stewardship and customer support. An anti-Nissan, if you will.
If I had not turned into a Tesla fan, I would stay with Toyota forever.
Hondas have generally been more reliable than Toyotas (excepting hybrid models) since 2000, as I recall. I prefer to list Toyota engineering disasters, though:
* The aluminum four used in the mid Nineties through the early Aughts in the Corolla was designed with piston oiler openings so small that any deviation from a strict oil change schedule (IOW as with any Corolla driven by a typical American) would develop at least one stuck ring that could NOT be fixed except by tearing down the engine and replacing the pistons (and maybe the rods) with the "fix": TWO tiny oil holes instead of one. My GF's car used a jaw-dropping quart of oil a WEEK in just city driving. It didn't even smoke, it just clogged its converter every couple of years while chugging oil like Marco Rubio drinks water.
* Did they learn their lesson with the above-mentioned Scion 1.5L aluminum four? Nope. They typically burn a quart of oil every 1500 miles, or what a typical American engine used in 1970. Toyota would unhappily replace the motor once it was established it was using a quart every 1200 miles or more.
The rear door handles are made entirely of relatively cheap plastic (no metal except the bolts and switch), and reliably fail every 3-10 years. I just bought an aftermarket version with metal inserts to strengthen it. Now *that's* Toyota engineering!
* The 90's Camry V-6 used an engine with - once again! - too-small oil passages, that developed excessive sludge in largely short-trip driving. Toyota at first blamed it on the owners. I don't know how that turned out, except that Camry V-6 owners who liked and wanted to keep the cars switched to full synthetic oil, or faced the consequences if they didn't.
* When Toyota Jr. took over from Toyota Senior around the turn of the century, he insisted on a redesign of the Camry transmission that would require one third fewer moving parts. His engineers delivered - delivered a transmission that failed early and often. (I was involved with the Camry newsgroup in that era, as we owned a '95 Camry LE four.) For the first year they didn't even know WHY it was failing - they had to ship the dead transmissions back to Japan. Then when the Camry was redesigned again in 2008 (?) the parts and build quality went bad. I have a friend who replaced the whole exhaust system on his 2009, only to have it fail again in just a few years. It wasn't his only repair with a fairly new car. I repeat: the Prius has its own higher-quality niche in a company that used to be known for quality, and now is considered "hit or miss" depending on model and year...