Why Are Toyota Cars so Reliable? — Consumer Reports Most Reliable Brand!

Toyota cars have a much-deserved reputation for reliability. They typically have minimal mechanical problems and last for many miles and years. It’s not unusual to find Toyota vehicles that are still on the road after 20 years with over 200,000 miles on the odometer. Furthermore, Consumer Reports named Toyota the most reliable automotive brand. Why are Toyota cars so reliable? To find out, read more. 

Toyota is the most reliable car brand, according to Consumer Reports

Red 2023 Toyota Corolla, Consumer Reports reliable car, driving on curvy road, showing why Toyota cars are so reliable
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Toyota further cemented its reputation for reliability after the release of the annual Auto Reliability Survey by Consumer Reports. Based on the results of the Auto Reliability Survey, CR named Toyota as the most reliable car brand. The second most reliable brand is Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division. 

Here are 10 most reliable automotive brands, according to Consumer Reports:

  1. Toyota
  2. Lexus
  3. BMW
  4. Mazda
  5. Honda
  6. Audi
  7. Subaru
  8. Acura
  9. Kia 
  10. Lincoln

Furthermore, multiple Toyota models made CR’s top 10 list for reliability. This includes the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which Consumer Reports named the most reliable new car. The standard gas-powered 2023 Corolla placed seventh. Also, the 2022 Prius earned the fourth spot, while the 2022 Prius Prime placed tenth.

Another benefit of the high reliability of Toyota vehicles is resale value. With fewer mechanical problems and other reliability issues, they retain their value more than most other automotive brands. 

Total quality management (TQM) contributes to the reliability of Toyota cars

Front angle view of red 2022 Toyota Prius, Consumer Reports reliable car, showing why Toyota cars are so reliable
2022 Toyota Prius | Toyota

As detailed by SBI Motor Japan, there are two primary reasons why Toyota cars are so reliable. The first reason is total quality management (TQM). Total quality management means that Toyota closely monitors the quality at every stage of production to ensure that the vehicles meet a very high standard. 

Toyota’s manufacturing processes are not only the gold standard for the automotive industry — but for all companies. These processes have been very influential for many manufacturers around the world. Other automotive companies have tried to adopt and emulate Toyota’s TQM, but they typically fall short. 

Toyota’s TQM features three primary principles: “complete participation,” “continuous improvement,” and “customer first.” The “complete participation” relies on the involvement and feedback from employees. Toyota was one of the pioneers for employee feedback — with the establishment of the Creative Idea Suggestion System in 1951.

For the “customer first” principle, the Japanese automaker places a high priority on the driving and ownership experience. Also, it further connects with its customer base via community programs and environmental initiatives. 

And for “continuous improvement,” Toyota is not a company that rests on its laurels. With each model year and successful generation, the automaker works to continuously improve and evolve — resulting in better quality and reliability. Also, with “continuous improvement,” Toyota works to reduce overproduction and waste. It prioritizes long-term success over short-term gains, resulting in a consistent level of quality and reliability

Toyotas have a high build quality by ‘overengineering’ the vehicles

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The second primary reason why Toyota cars are so reliable is the high build quality. The high build quality is due in part to the automaker’s common practice of “overengineering” the vehicles. An example of “overengineering” is building an engine that is capable of producing a high output — but then dialing down the settings in the electrical control unit (ECU) to make the output much lower. 

In the 1990s, Toyota utilized the 2JZ engine in its sports cars, such as the iconic Supra Mark 4. While the Supra was capable of delivering over 700 horsepower, Toyota restricted the settings to generate around 320 hp.

Toyota could build cars that have greater performance capabilities, but they “overengineer” to improve build quality. As a result, they are more reliable. Even when drivers push the vehicles to the extreme limits, the engine and other components still hold up very well. And as evidenced by the reliability rankings from Consumer Reports, these measures are worth it, with Toyota named the most reliable automotive brand.