Most reliable small cars

Updated March 23, 2017

With increasing concerns about the ever-rising costs of gas and the ever-present repair and maintenance costs associated with owning a car, it is no surprise that consumers are looking for smaller, more reliable cars in increasing numbers. Luckily, many companies exist that specialise in rating cars, car companies and individual models on things like reliability, as well as other factors. These companies all produce yearly lists and while they differ in many ways, some cars appear on list after list. These are the cars to look for.

Hyundai Accent

Hyundai's premier entry into the subcompact genre of cars receives incredibly high marks in reliability, although it doesn't really receive those high marks in many other areas, and the brand as a whole did not rank on the J.D. Power and Associates top ten most reliable brands list. However, just because the brand as a whole doesn't rank, that doesn't mean this particular car should be excluded, as it appears on numerous "most reliable" lists, including that of Consumer Reports.

Toyota Prius

Initially introduced as one the first reasonable hybrid cars in the world, this compact car offering from Toyota Motor Company garners attention as just one of many of this mark's highly reliable vehicles. Despite recent concerns over a series of recalls on the car, it continues to remain one of the industry's most reliable stalwarts from one of the world's most continually reliable brands. On top of high marks for reliability, the car is also notable for its phenomenal gas mileage.

Mazda Miata

The Miata remains the benchmark for sporty roadsters and has always been a solid choice for those looking for easy livability, zippy fun and top-notch reliability all in the same car. Although the car has certainly undergone many changes over the years, becoming bigger and more luxurious, it still remains true to its trusty sports car roots.

Lexus IS 300/350

Lexus as a brand receives top honours for reliability in the J.D. Power and Associates reliability tests, and as a part of the Toyota Motor Company, belongs to a long tradition of high standards and results for reliable performance--despite the company's recent well-publicised problems. This particular small, luxury performance car is a popular entry-level sedan with those looking for a solid, reliable and comfortable car without wanting to give up on the fun a spunky motor and performance-derived suspension can provide.

Toyota Yaris

Another offering from Toyota, this mini-car is a hugely popular first-time new car for many people. Its inexpensive cost, low maintenance costs and substantial gas mileage, coupled with its growing reputation for reliability, make it a perfect fit for many people. Since it's part of the historically renowned Toyota car line, it's no surprise that the Yaris receives acknowledgement for being reliable, but its place at the forefront of the brand's reliability ratings is a shock for many people.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Lennon Simpson is a graduate of Hendrix College where he received his B.A. in philosophy. His articles on politics and current events have appeared in "The Profile." He also volunteers for after-school creative writing clubs in local high schools where he teaches writing to at-risk youth. Simpson began his professional writing career in 2008 as a poet in Central Arkansas.