Americans keep their cars much longer than they did a decade ago. The average lifespan of a car on the road today has hit 12 years.
One reason people keep cars so long is the current cost of new and used cars. Auto inventories are near all-time lows, pushed down by a shortage of parts. Some car companies have had to shutter their assembly lines. Cars often sell above their manufacturer’s suggested retail prices. New car prices and scarcity has caused people to move to lightly used cars. That, in turn, has pushed these prices higher as well. The supply chain problem will not be resolved this year.
Another reason people keep cars longer is that they are built better. It is not unusual for a car to rack up 200,000 miles before it is turned out to pasture.
Several companies do car reliability studies. Among the best known is from research giant J.D. Power. Most of these studies involve the surveys of tens of thousands of people. Some cover cars recently purchased, while others cover cars bought several years ago.
The primary goals of these studies are to measure safety, durability and repair costs over time. The J.D. Power study is used by many people to make purchase decisions. Another that buyers use regularly is the 10 Most Reliable Cars study from Consumer Reports.
This study involves a review of data on 320,000 cars. The authors write: “We study 17 trouble areas, from nuisances—such as squeaky brakes and broken interior trim—to major bummers, like out-of-warranty transmission repairs or trouble with four-wheel-drive systems.” Unlike many studies, the study predicts future reliability. Vehicles are given a score from 1 to 100.
Only one car received a reliability rating of 100. This was the Lexus GX. The GX is the midsized sport utility vehicle for the model lineup of the luxury division of Toyota. Lexus and Toyota regularly do well on car quality and reliability tests.
While the GX has a base price of $52,700, with extra features that number rises above $70,000. Unlike many SUVs, the GX has seating for seven passengers.
Click here to read about the best used car brand in America.
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