The Most Reliable Toyota Is a Pop Culture Icon

When you think about the most reliable Toyota the first cars that come to mind are obvious. The Toyota Camry, the Toyota Corolla, or SUVs like the 4Runner or the Highlander come into focus. Then the reliable and rugged trucks Toyota’s lineup offers like the Toyota Tundra or the Tacoma. And yeah, all of these models are insanely reliable. From basically every generation and model year. That’s Toyota for you. But the most reliable Toyota is a car that definitely did not earn its claim to fame by being reliable.

In addition to making it onto Car and Driver’s “15 Greatest Toyotas Ever Built” list, the Toyota 2000GT is one of the most reliable cars in history. Its seemingly flawless engine and simple sport have given this James Bond car a place in Toyota’s lineup not only as one of the coolest, but also the most reliable Toyota ever. Only some 300 of them were manufactured from 1967-1970, and this classic car deserves reliability accolades. Since it’s so used to its You Only Live Twice claim to fame, the Toyota 2000GT will probably enjoy this loving testament to its reliability.

The Toyota 2000GT

Inspired by the first Japanese Grand Prix held in 1963, the Toyota 2000GT was created in order to meet the new demand of performance- and sport-interested drivers. It was a collaboration with Yamaha and it put Toyota on the map. A halo car that inspired love and trust in Toyota performance, and the Toyota fan became a thing. The 2000GT also made this list of most reliable Toyotas in addition to being one of Car and Driver’s “15 Greatest Toyotas Ever Built.”

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The 2.0 L 6 cylinder –– also known as the 3M was loosely based on the Toyota Crown engine, but The Toyota 2000GT wasn’t just a beautiful sports car with Yamaha piano-inspired interior details. It was a race car. The 2000GT raced in the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix finishing third. Then, a year later, it won the Fuji 1000 Kilometers race. It’s real world experience lent well to its engineering and that’s why we’re naming it as the most reliable Toyota.

It proved itself

It was a machine that was tested hardcore for its reliability. According to Road and Track, the Jaguar E-Type was renown for its reliability in competition. So, of course, Toyota was raring to prove their sport car was worth its salt.

Toyota famously subjected a 2000GT prototype to the Yatabe Speed Trial in 1966. At the 72-hour event, the 2000GT averaged a speed of 128.76 mph around a banked oval. The 2000GT straight-six, dubbed the 3M, had proven its worth.

Road and Track

This famed event is full proof the Toyota that replaced James Bond’s Aston Martin was a worthy replacement. Not just as a high speed performer but as a solid, reliable car. Thus the Toyota reliability reputation was born and gained instant global traction.

The 2000GT today

Today this classic car is a rare find indeed. The Yatabe Speed Trial car died in a pace car accident, and many others have been lost. Since its production was very limited, The Toyota 2000GT is extremely difficult to find anywhere besides places like Jay Leno’s car collection. Still, we feel like –– given its history as Toyota’s halo car and the worldwide affection this car has earned –– it is easy to say this is Toyota’s most reliable car.