5. 2009 Honda Accord
> Overall index rating: 0.099 (tied for 5th best)
> Repair incidents, index rating: 0.125 (8th best)
> Avg. repair cost: $201.74 (39th lowest)
> Year-to-date model sales: 276,196
The 2009 Honda Accord was the only car on this list to actually fall in the rankings — the car was ranked fourth by CarMD in 2011. The NHTSA has given the vehicle very strong safety ratings. Both the four-door and two-door Honda Accords scored five-star safety ratings in front driver, front passenger and 4×2 rollover tests. Newer models of the Accord have also scored very well. The 2012 Accord and the 2011 Accord sedan received five-star safety ratings in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. Honda sold 392,231 Accords in 2007, but sales fell every year since. In 2011, Honda sold only 235,625. So far this year, however, the carmaker sold 276,196 cars, meaning it is on pace to sell more Accords this year than any since 2008.
4. 2009 Honda Pilot
> Overall index rating: 0.093
> Repair incidents, index rating: 0.132 (10th best)
> Avg. repair cost: $141.00 (20th lowest)
> Year-to-date model sales: 94,116
The 2009 Pilot is Honda’s most-reliable car. It also was rated one of the most dependable cars in the nation for the second year in a row, up from an eighth-place ranking in 2011. Additionally, among all full-sized SUVs, the 2009 Pilot was the top-rated vehicle. The most common engine-related problem Honda vehicles have is related to the car’s battery and charging system. Repairing a battery system problem, however, has a low average cost of just $96.22 — far cheaper than replacing a catalytic converter or an oxygen sensor.
3. 2008 Toyota Yaris
> Overall index rating: 0.087
> Repair incidents, index rating: 0.100 (2nd best)
> Avg. repair cost: $259.33 (41st highest)
> Year-to-date model sales: 26,396
The 2008 Toyota Yaris jumped 29 spots between 2011 and 2012 in CarMD’s Most Reliable Vehicle Rankings. The car had second-lowest rate of repair incidents, with only the company’s Corolla having fewer. In terms of safety, the Yaris received four of five stars from the NHTSA in its front driver, front passenger and 4×2 rollover crash safety test. Meanwhile, J.D. Power gave the 2008 Yaris its highest rating for overall dependability. Toyota sold 102,328 Yaris cars in 2008, but sales have declined precipitously since then, with 2011 sales less than a third of that figure. Toyota has sold 26,396 units in the first 10 months of 2012, meaning sales are roughly on pace with 2011.
2. 2008 Ford Taurus
> Overall index rating: 0.083
> Repair incidents, index rating: 0.117 (5th best)
> Avg. repair cost: $141.17 (21st lowest)
> Year-to-date model sales: 61,737
In 2012, the 2008 Ford Taurus was the top-rated sedan for reliability, according to CarMD, ranking ahead of two other cars on this list, the 2009 Honda Accord and the 2010 Hyundai Sonata. The car is also the most dependable of the 14 other Ford models. Also, the 2008 Taurus rarely requires any repairs, with only four other models needing to be brought to a mechanic less often. Other studies have reached similar conclusions, as J.D. Power rated the 2008 Taurus as “among the best” for overall dependability. According to Kelley Blue Book, a certified pre-owned 2008 Taurus with 60,000 miles should cost just $13,758, while a new model costs nearly twice that much.
1. 2010 Toyota Corolla
> Overall index rating: 0.080
> Repair incidents, index rating: 0.088 (the best)
> Avg. repair cost: $283.13 (30th highest)
> Year-to-date model sales: 237,844
The 2008 Toyota Corolla’s rating for repair incidences topped the field handily, leading CarMD to name it as the most reliable car on the road. Not everyone seems to be gung-ho on the Corolla, however. Although J.D. Power rated it “better than most” for predicted reliability, it received the lowest rating for both overall quality and overall performance and design. Nevertheless, consumers appear to be buying more Corollas than they have in the past several years. With 237,844 cars sold in the first 10 months of 2012, Toyota is on pace to sell more Corollas this year than any year since 2008, when it sold 301,587 cars.
-By Michael B. Sauter, Samuel Weigley and Alexander E. M. Hess