Unfortunately, there are only a select few vehicles where those two actually overlap, as most of the cars that used to fall into this category have also become a lot harder to find. It becomes even harder when we take running costs into account, all but eliminating the German brands. This should change soon as the used market will slowly normalize, but as it stands, some used cars are actually more expensive than their new counterparts thanks to long waiting lists for some models.
So if you are on the hunt for a reliable car that won’t break the bank, we suspect these are the only 10 cars you should be looking at.
10 Ford F150
The latest F150 is holding its value pretty well, but as long as you are willing to do without some of the latest safety features and technology, the previous generation is getting a lot cheaper now.
It is still one of the best pickups money can buy, with a huge selection of options on the used market, depending on your budget. Running costs are low thanks to the availability of parts.
9 Toyota Prius
An aging hybrid drivetrain can be a bit of a gamble, but the Prius has proven it can last and with the rest of the car being pretty simple it is the only thing that could become a concern.
It is not the most desirable of cars, so it remains affordable and certainly doesn’t offer much in terms of driver engagement, but it has proven Toyota reliability and characteristically low running costs.
The current generation Mazda6 offers incredible value on the used market, it boasts best in class reliability and the running costs are also right on par with the competition.
It is also still available new and although you will be looking at pre-facelift cars it is still very much up to date. The only downside is that it isn’t quite as powerful as its rivals, but when you take into account it costs less than a new Civic, you will quickly reevaluate that line of thinking.
7 Toyota Corolla
Low running costs combined with high reliability, practicality, and efficiency are all a given with the Corolla. Affordability isn’t always there unless you opt for the base models.
They are not necessarily the most common because their lack of basic modern features makes them less desirable, which is a good thing if budget is important as they sell for less than the upper trim levels.
6 Honda Accord
When it comes to a list of affordable Hondas most people would think of the Civic, but unfortunately the latest Civic is holding its value and the previous generation was generally not as desirable.
You can go older, but then you will lose a lot in terms of overall reliability, while with the Accord you get all the benefits and no real issues. Styling is muted, but the spirited performance, even from those with the four-cylinder engines, more than makes up for that.
5 Toyota Camry
Much like the Accord, this is not going to be winning any beauty contests, but it is actually even more reliable.
If anything it is also cheaper to run, unfortunately if driver engagement is something you are after, forget about the Camry, even the V6 is pretty uninteresting.
4 Mazda CX-5
If you are after a crossover, look no further than the CX-5, it has been around for a while now and the first generation models are now pretty affordable.
It has best in class reliability and pretty decent performance for a crossover, and is easily the most fun to drive.
3 Toyota 4Runner
If you are looking at getting a full size SUV, you are more or less out of luck and will need to choose between reliability and affordability. If you are willing to scale that down to a mid-size pickup-based SUV, then the 4Runner is an easy choice.
The previous generation 4Runner has a respectable reliability record and comes with the added benefit of great hauling numbers.
2 Ford Focus
A glance at the reliability record might make you think twice, but the overall reliability record is seriously affected by the faulty automatic transmission of 2011-2016. Manual transmission-equipped cars didn’t have any transmission problems and so that is the Focus to get.
Equipped with a manual transmission, the Focus is fun and engaging to drive as well as cheap to run.
1 Toyota Yaris
The Yaris is arguably the best bit of badge engineering Toyota has ever done, simply rebadging the Mazda2 and selling it in North America was a good move.
It didn’t sell all that well, but it is still a really underrated little car, the small Skyactiv engine performs well and is incredibly fun to drive.
About The Author