I know this will get many different responses. I would like to see the brand and your evidence. Back it up.. For instance:
I have a 1996 Tacoma (4wd) with about 295000 miles on it and the engine and transmission have never had any work done to it aside from regular maint.
When I got it the odometer was at about 200000 and the biggest thing that I have done other than routine maint. was exhaust manifold and rear axle seal.
(neither of which had ever been done).
I am thinking I will see alot of Toyotas, Hondas, Merc. Diesels, and that type of thing.
Personally, I don't think of a car as "reliable" for the long term if the engine or transmission had to be replaced (unless good explanation).
Just wanted to start the discussion!
Oh, and the truck is a 4cyl, no smoke, knocks, leaks, etc...
I like early Toyota trucks up until around 96, but damn near every Toyota I've ever seen has had tons of rust problems and had the interior and doors fall apart, especially the doors. My aunt has had probably 4-5 Tercels that ran over god knows how many miles without any major mechanical problems, but every one of them had the seats break, the windows die or fall off the track, the locks break, the handle break, the doors latchs break and the doors get stuck shut, ect. My moms 99 Camry is starting to have the same problems. Two of the window motors died with the windows down, the door handles on the exterior have all snapped off, the rear passenger window wont stay on the track, and the trunk lock is stuck, but it just rolled over 200k and it still drives and runs like it's brand new.
Well, my truck has pretty much zero rust on it. It has also been in SC and Ga all it's life so that may explain. I also have a '99 Camry that has no rust, everything works, runs and drives well* with about 214000 miles on it that I am selling. I have seen some pretty rusted out Toyotas, but that could just mean that some other brands don't last long enough to get rusty(J/K) (I also think it depends alot on where the car has been). I don't know. I also had a 2000 4runner sith the V6 and it ran great and had no problems or rust. I think it had about 180000 miles when we sold it (needed a van for more room) and got a Sienna with about 100000 miles on it. No problems with it yet.
As you can see, I am pretty much sold on Toyotas. I also prefer non-power options just because to me that's more stuff to go wrong. My truck has manual windows, seats, etc...(oh, and no anti lock brakes)...Anyways...(The van has power EVERYTHING though....kind of scary..)
***The Camry did just have a transmission put into it because the PO had the radiator replaced but the transmission cooler line was left loose so the tranny ran without fluid!
No fault of the car** (That's one of those explanations I spoke of..)
X2 on Cherokee's with a 4.0L motor. I've had 4, and I've loved them all - the worst thing that ever happened with one was a crank position sensor. Besides that, years and years of faithful service with some maintenance!
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People have great luck or terrible trouble with all brands. For example, the worst two cars I have had were both Toyotas, and right now I have a 1997 Escort with 146,000 miles still going strong, and it sure cost a lot less than a Civic or Tercel.
My wife's 02 Liberty just hit 80,000 and needed a new battery, only problem we ever had with it in 9 years.
Overall the one I hear the least complaints about is Honda, but the 2009 Civic Hybrid I drive at work is terrible.