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The Best Way To Get The Most Reliable New Car

It is typical for cars to come in generations, where the vehicle is mostly the same within that generation. Cars only receive a complete makeover every few years, with only slight changes made within a generation. These slight changes can make a big difference in reliability as slight improvements can be made between model years without requiring a complete overhaul of the new car. With that in mind, it makes sense that the later cars in a generation have the most improvements, and they might be worth waiting for.

The last car in new generations

Buying the first model year in a generation is like buying the latest tech. It is exciting but it can also be a big risk. When a car undergoes a massive redesign it can include new engines, transmissions, technologies, and other features that are designed to enhance and modernize the car. While this usually works out well, it does happen that on occasion certain features fail for various reasons. When it’s the first time a car has implemented a new design feature we don’t always know what problems will arise.

Blue Tesla Model Y Driving
Tesla Model Y | Tesla

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Many manufacturers run safety tests as well as try and estimate the general wear and tear a car will experience. This can be done in controlled environments or even on the road but it doesn’t necessarily show how well certain aspects of the car will hold up to the test of time.

Awaiting perfection

After the car has been in production for a few years most of the problems and imperfections have made themselves known. The manufacturer can issue recalls or technical safety bulletins for any problems or manufacturer defects that affect driver or passenger safety, but once the cars have been on the road for a few years most of these problems have made themselves evident and have been resolved for the next model year. While that isn’t always the case it is a big reason why the later years of a generation are more reliable off the dealership lot.

A blue Volvo XC60 on display at an auto show
A Volvo XC60 on display at an auto show | Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

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Waiting to buy the later models years for a car’s generation or the last year before it’s due for a complete redesign sounds silly. At this point in the production most of the car’s flaws and problems have been discovered and resolved, and that can make it more reliable than the same car from an earlier production year.