When you are looking to purchase a used vehicle, many questions arise during the process. One of the most commonly asked questions is whether or not a certain model or brand is considered to be reliable because no one wants to end up with a lemon. Luckily, there is one automaker out there that consistently produces high-quality, long-lasting vehicles that perform well even after several owners. That brand is Toyota, and in this article, we will go over the qualifications that the Japanese automaker meets to be considered reliable. We will also provide you with a recommended list of the best used Toyota models to look for at your local used car dealership.
What Makes Toyota a Reliable Brand?
The reason why American drivers have put their faith in foreign automakers like Toyota is a very simple one. Toyota has managed to cultivate a reputation for being a reliable and affordable brand. But what does that mean? It means that Toyota manufactures high-quality vehicles that drivers trust.
We’ve all experienced that moment of panic when the “Check Engine” light comes on in our cars. That little illuminated symbol triggers a whole slew of questions to go racing through our heads. What could possibly be wrong? Is it dangerous? How much are the repairs going to cost me?
The cost of vehicle services has risen over the years, and no one enjoys waiting for hours while a mechanic fixes your vehicle. That’s why Toyota is such a fantastic brand. Maintenance and repair costs for Toyota vehicles are also lower compared to some other brands.
The average vehicle typically lasts for well over a decade, but a lot of things can happen during this time, and only about 1% of all vehicles reach 200,000 miles on their odometer. According to a recent study performed by iSeeCars, the most reliable vehicles that reached 200K miles were from Toyota. Used Toyota sedans, SUVs, and trucks scored big on the list for reliability. Here are the top four vehicles from the Toyota lineup that have proven to be worth the money.
#4 – Used Toyota Avalon
Boasting a 5-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA, the Toyota Avalon is a top-ranking car for reliability. As a four-door sedan with seating for five people, it offers an upscale interior with plenty of advanced features. Even the base model comes with subtle leather upholstery for an elegant look inside the cabin.
A great example to look at is the 2017 Toyota Avalon. Available in five trim levels, each model is powered by a reliable 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Generating 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, this pre-owned vehicle still has a decent fuel economy set at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway).
The base XLE model is well equipped with heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support. It even comes standard with the voice-controlled Entune infotainment interface. This system works with Bluetooth connectivity and is displayed on a 9-inch touchscreen. You can even find a base model that comes with the Safety Sense Package. This adds advanced features such as automatic high beams, pre-collision braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning.
#3 – Used Toyota Tundra
Ranked as one of the most reliable trucks available on the market, a used Toyota Tundra will last for generations. Understandably, you might be wary about purchasing a pre-owned truck from any brand. You don’t know how hard the previous owner was on it. However, the Toyota Tundra has proven time and time again that it can handle just about anything. You can find this used truck in a wide variety of configurations, with a selection of different powertrains, cab styles, and bed lengths to choose from.
Looking at the 2017 Toyota Tundra, the two powertrains include a 4.6-liter V8 and a 5.7-liter V8. The smaller engine is standard, and it generates 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque. The larger option produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque and is able to tow up to 10,500 pounds, which is plenty for towing a trailer, boat, or RV.
With many trim levels to choose from, you can find a used Tundra that is perfectly suited to your driving needs. The base SR comes with keyless entry, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, and an integrated trailer brake controller. If you need a 2017 model that is inexpensive and geared towards work crews, you can get the base SR with the Work Truck Package. This replaces the cloth upholstery and carpeted floors with easy-to-clean vinyl, and it also adds simple power windows.
#2 – Used Toyota Tacoma
Another reliable Toyota truck that made its way onto our list is the popular Tacoma. As a used truck, this mid-size pickup is certainly impressive. It has a lot more power than you might think, and it performs well in the city as well as in the country.
If you look at the 2017 Toyota Tundra models, you will find two powertrain options. The standard is focused around a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that pushes out 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque and gets about 21 mpg combined (19 city/23 highway). The other powertrain you might find is a 3.5-liter V6. Pumping out 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, this engine gets about 18 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway) and can tow up to 6,800 pounds.
Available in six trims levels for the 2017 model year, the base SR is similar to the aforementioned Tundra SR. It comes with cruise control, and you can find a Work Truck model that has had the nicer features removed. There are even three TRD off-roading trims that sometimes pop up on used car lots.
#1 – Used Toyota Sequoia
As the second most vehicle from the Toyota lineup, the Sequoia is extremely impressive. This full-size SUV offers three rows of seating and is the perfect option for large families. If you want to purchase a pre-owned vehicle that won’t let you down, a used Toyota Sequoia is your best bet. According to the aforementioned study by iSeeCars, approximately 9.2% of all Toyota Sequoia models reach 200,000 miles. That’s a big improvement over the average of 1%.
For consistency, let’s take a look at the 2017 model. Powered by a robust 5.7-liter V8 engine, it generates 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Using a 6-speed automatic transmission, the average fuel economy is set at 15 mpg combined (13 city/17 highway). That is pretty low, but keep in mind that this full-size SUV can haul up to 7,400 pounds.
There are three trim levels to choose from, starting with the base SR5 model. Featuring a sunroof, tri-zone climate control, sunshades, and an 8-speaker stereo, this model comes well-equipped. But if you want a fully decked-out version, look for the Sequoia Platinum trim.
Find the Perfect Used Toyota
Even though we only covered four vehicles in this article, most of the used Toyota models you will find are very reliable. They are some of the best used vehicles money can buy. You really can’t go wrong with a pre-owned Toyota, and you can find them on any used car dealership lot.