A variety of options with plenty of fun features.

Most Reliable Cars | CarMax

Whether you're looking for that next-step family sedan, a city street hybrid, or a touch of luxury—you can enjoy your search for the best in style, tech, and powertrain options knowing that your purchase will be a welcome addition to your driveway.

Most Reliable Cars: RepairPal | CarMax

To help you on your search, we've compiled this list of the 22 most reliable cars for 2020 shoppers, gathered from RepairPal reliability ratings. RepairPal’s ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010–2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.1

To determine these rankings, each year RepairPal examines repair tickets from over 2,000 auto repair shops in the U.S. Each vehicle’s dependability is rated by averaging data from millions of actual auto shop invoices. While repair cost plays a part in the rating, having a higher average cost does not necessarily mean a vehicle is less reliable. For example, parts and labor for a luxury vehicle may be more expensive, but if the severity of the repair and number of trips to the shop are minimal, that can positively impact a car’s reliability rating. This list shows a snapshot of RepairPal’s highest rated sedans, while many other cars are also highly rated as reliable.

With such a wide selection of cars from which to choose, CarMax is the ideal place to start your search. As you consider your next vehicle purchase, use this list to see which sedans RepairPal rated most reliable, and if your favorites made the top of the list.

  1. Hyundai Elantra
  2. Hyundai Elantra GT
  3. Kia Forte
  4. Chevrolet Cobalt
  5. Mitsubishi Galant
  6. Toyota Matrix
  7. Mitsubishi Mirage
  8. Kia Rio
  9. Honda Accord
  10. Honda Civic
  11. Hyundai Accent
  12. Honda Fit
  13. Mazda Mazda2
  14. Kia Forte5
  15. Lexus ES 300h
  16. Toyota Prius C
  17. Acura TSX
  18. Acura ILX
  19. Toyota Corolla
  20. Acura TLX
  21. Lexus CT 200h
  22. Toyota Yaris


Hyundai Elantra

Redesigned in 2017, the Hyundai Elantra is a compact sedan that delivers plenty of driver comfort for regular commutes. Expect intuitive tech, smooth ride suspension, and a quiet cabin experience. From 2017 the Elantra is available with three engine choices: a base-level 2.0L engine, a turbocharged 1.4L engine, and a sporty 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder version. The 2017–2019 mid-range Value Edition trim features:

  • Sunroof
  • Heated front seats
  • Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® integration
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Rearview camera


Hyundai Elantra GT

If you'd like more cargo space from your urban living compact car, then Hyundai's fun-to-drive hatchback, the Elantra GT, is the compact four-door hero you're looking for. The 2017 Elantra GT has 51 cu-ft of cargo space with rear seats folded down. A stylish, ground-up redesign in 2018 only improved the GT; maximum cargo capacity increased to 55.1 cu-ft and more driver-friendly tech features became standard. The 2018–2019 Elantra GT base trim model features:

  • 2.0L four-cylinder engine
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls


Kia Forte

An attractive compact sedan lauded for its spacious interior feel, the Kia Forte is a practical purchase that also offers plenty of choices when it comes to trim and package options. The 2017–2018 Kia Forte sedan has three trim levels, with features like remote keyless entry and Bluetooth® connectivity as standard from the base trim up. The 2017–2018 Kia Forte LX sedan with automatic transmission and optional 'Popular package' offers:

  • 2.0L four-cylinder engine
  • Seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Upgraded interior upholstery and trim
  • Cruise control
  • Secondary driver monitoring service


Chevrolet Cobalt

While the Cobalt may have retired from the Chevrolet roster in 2010, it's still appearing on urban neighborhood streets for good reason. This straightforward commuter car doubles up for family duty too: the 2010 sedan model seats five passengers and has a respectable trunk capacity of 13.9 cu-ft. There is a quiet cabin feel, clearly laid out driver controls, and just enough tech to make one this an easy win; your daily commute is entertaining and assured. The 2010 Cobalt XFE base trim offers:

  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Auxiliary audio jack
  • 60/40-split rear seat
  • 2.2L inline four-cylinder engine
  • Full-length side curtain airbag


Mitsubishi Galant

The Mitsubishi Galant, which was last produced for the 2012 model year, is a midsized sedan with plenty of driver appeal. A smooth ride with enjoyable road response makes this a nice option for a first-time commuter. Tech and entertainment features are driver-friendly too: the 2012 Galant is available in two trim levels (ES, SE) with the upper SE trim adding some welcome touches, including a sunroof and navigation system. Standard features on the 2012 Galant ES trim are more than adequate though, and include:

  • 2.4L four-cylinder engine
  • Stability control and anti-lock brakes
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Auxiliary audio jack
  • Cruise control


Toyota Matrix

A hot hatchback with space aplenty, the Toyota Matrix (2007–2013) is a solid choice for day-to-day driving with the capacity to perform when transporting luggage, sporting equipment, or home supplies. Seating five passengers, the 2013 Matrix has 19.8 cu-ft of trunk space; this expands to 49.4 cu-ft when the second row of fold-flat seating is down. Available in two trims (L, S), the 2013 Toyota Matrix offers as standard:

  • Bluetooth connectivity and USB port
  • Fold-flat front passenger seat
  • 1.8L four-cylinder engine
  • Stability and traction control
  • Six-speaker sound system

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Mitsubishi Mirage

The subcompact Mitsubishi Mirage returned in 2017 with an attractive redesign that makes this maneuvering master a great city car. If you need to make a trip to the home improvement store or have a lot of luggage, the 2017–2019 Mirage has 17.2 cu-ft of trunk space, which increases to 47 cu-ft with rear seats folded down. The 2017–2018 Mirage has three trim levels, increasing to five trims for 2019 models. The 2018 mid-range Mirage SE standard features include:

  • Automatic climate control
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • 6.5-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear head airbags


Kia Rio

Cracking the top 15 on RepairPal’s reliability rating list is a subcompact marvel, the Kia Rio. Available in a sedan or hatchback model, both options offer thoughtful passenger storage solutions and decent cargo space. Go for the redesigned 2018 onward models for stylish good looks and an improved 1.6L four-cylinder engine. The mid-range 2018 Rio S trim hatchback offers these standard features:

  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Rearview camera>
  • Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports
  • Dusk sensing headlights
  • Six-speaker audio system


Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is a midsize sedan with a stand-out personality and good looks. Fully redesigned in 2018 and ready to take on the crossover segment that also attracts family vehicle shoppers, the 2018–2019 Honda Accord has five trim levels with a stunning number of standard features from its base level on. The 2018–2019 Accord LX offers these standard features:

  • Turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine with CVT
  • LED exterior lighting
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking


Honda Civic

The popular Honda Civic debuted in 1990 and is currently available as a sedan, hatchback, or coupe and with some sporty editions too (2016–2019 models). Choose a 2016 or newer sedan model for its stunningly reimagined exterior, high-end interior finish, and a drivetrain that loves the highway. The 2016–2019 Honda Civic sedan has six trim levels, with 2019 models receiving a light refresh to the entertainment offering and the exterior frontage. The 2016–2019 Honda Civic sedan LX base trim offers these standard features:

  • 2.0L four-cylinder engine
  • Five-inch central display screen
  • Honda Sensing suite (optional from 2016–2018, standard from 2019)
  • Driver-side expanded-view mirror
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Four-speaker sound system


Hyundai Accent

Hyundai's third appearance in this best-of listing, the Accent is a responsive and engaging sporty subcompact, generously proportioned for passenger comfort and with easy access to its 13.7 cu-ft of trunk space (2017–2019).

Redesigned in 2018 (and dropping its previous hatchback version), the Accent sedan offers three trim levels, all with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine and (trim dependent) six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Accent is a polished performer worth a test drive if you enjoy your daily driving. The 2018–2019 Accent in its mid-range SEL trim offers as standard:

  • Seven-inch touchscreen display
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Smartphone integration
  • Rearview camera
  • Seven exterior color choices


Honda Fit

The third-generation Fit hit the road in 2015, and this quirky Honda upstart is a popular choice. The 2015–2019 models are an excellent option if you're shopping for a small hatchback with flexible cargo options. The functionality of its drivetrain is a great fit too; 2019 models with the 1.5L four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission get an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined.2 The 2018–2019 Honda Fit, in its upper mid-range EX trim has these standard features:

  • Honda Sensing suite
  • Sunroof
  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat with Honda Magic Seat function
  • Blindspot camera system

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Mazda Mazda2

Placing tenth in this list of RepairPal reliability ratings, the Mazda2 is a practical and straightforward hatchback that's remarkably fun and worth a test drive if you're looking for a commuter-friendly hatchback. For its final year of production, the 2014 Mazda2 comes in two trim levels, Sport and Touring. The 2014 Mazda2 Sport offers these standard features:

  • 60/40-split rear seats
  • Stability and traction control
  • 1.5L inline four-cylinder engine
  • Keyless entry
  • Four-speaker sound system with USB port


Kia Forte5

If the Kia Forte is already on your radar, the Forte5 is the hatchback version boasting impressive cargo space and a sporty trim option that's exclusive to this model type. The 2017–2018 Forte5 has standard cargo storage of 23.2 cu-ft expanding up to 56.4 cu-ft with the rear seats folded down. Consider the 2017–2018 Forte5 SX trim, which has these standard features:

  • Turbocharged 1.6-L four-cylinder engine
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Sporty exterior styling
  • Folding center armrest


Lexus ES 300h

Our first hybrid vehicle on this list, this Lexus sedan is the picture of luxury. Featuring a hybrid 2.5L gasoline engine and electric battery power train, the 2017 model has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 40 mpg combined.2 As expected from Lexus, the 2017–2018 ES 300h has a host of thoughtful standard features, including:

  • Rearview camera
  • Seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Eight-speaker sound system with auxiliary jack
  • USB port


Toyota Prius C

Toyota's entry-level Prius hybrid is a refreshing addition to the subcompact hatchback sector; there's seating for five, 17.1 cu-ft of cargo space, and four easy-to-understand trim levels (2012–2018 models). As the smallest Prius available, 2017–2018 models run on a 1.5L four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor (paired with continuously variable automatic transmission) that positions it as a top choice if you're a green-conscious city-dweller. The 2017–2018 Prius C has plenty to offer at the base trim level:

  • Lane-departure warning and intervention
  • Automatic high beams
  • LED headlights, taillights and brake lights
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen display and voice command
  • Bluetooth connectivity


Acura TSX

Acura's entry-level luxury sedan, the 2004–2014 TSX sets a fine standard in base level features. Its final production year of 2014 offers a choice of two engines and some nice add-on packages. The base model features a 2.4L four-cylinder engine (with manual or automatic transmission) but there's a V6 engine with sport-tuned suspension if you need a bit more thrill on your daily drives. The 2014 TSX base trim model standard features include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Eight-way power driver seat with memory settings
  • Stability and traction controls
  • Optional technology package upgrades


Acura ILX

The Acura ILX takes position five on RepairPal’s list of most reliable cars. This compact four-door luxury sedan received a total revamp in 2016 and an exterior refresh in 2019, for an updated look. The 2016–2019 Acura ILX has just one engine option, a 2.4L four-cylinder engine with201 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The 2016–2020 base trim level has plenty of pleasing standard features, such as a power sunroof and heated front seats. The 2018 ILX base model with the Premium package has these standard features:

  • Seven-speaker audio system
  • Leather upholstery
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display


Toyota Corolla

The 2017–2019 Toyota Corolla is a consistent and practical vehicle full of standard features, easy to navigate tech, and a comfortable cabin that pleases driver and passengers alike. Its 2017 refresh added a suite of driver assistance features to all models as standard. models. Standard features on the 11th generation 2017–2019 base level L trim Corolla include:

  • 1.8L four-cylinder engine with CVT
  • Six-speaker audio system with 6.1-inch entertainment touchscreen
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Six-way adjustable driver seat
  • Rearview camera


Acura TLX

Acura's TLX compact luxury sedan debuted in 2015 and is the athletic-looking replacement for the TSX featured earlier on this best-of listing. Choosing a 2018 and onward model brings some subtle exterior updates and a new trim—the A-Spec. The TLX features a road-gripping setup thanks to its 3.5L V6 engine, 19-inch wheels, and sport-tuned suspension. All 2018 Acura TLX sedans feature:

  • AcuraWatch driver assistance suite
  • LED headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Active noise cancellation
  • 14.3 cu-ft of trunk space


Lexus CT 200h

Featured in the Lexus lineup from 2011–2017, the CT 200h is a hybrid hatchback with a touch of luxury. A city dweller's delight, it has seamless stop-start technology and a choice of four driving modes: Normal, Eco, EV, and Sport. Choose a 2014 or later CT 200h for refreshed styling and updated tech. The 2017 CT 200h has two trim levels, and its base-level model is well-equipped with these standard features:

  • 34.8 cu-ft of storage space behind the front row
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Heated mirrors with flush turn signals
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control


Toyota Yaris

Taking the top spot on RepairPal’s list of most reliable cars is the Toyota Yaris. Originally a hatchback vehicle from its 2007 debut through 2018, the Yaris has seen an evolution over the years. In 2019, Toyota offered the Yaris as a sedan-only model, previously known as the Toyota Yaris iA, which was available from 2016. Take your time to find the one that's right for you because there's no doubt that this ever-evolving vehicle will continue to please. The 2018 Toyota Yaris hatchback in the mid-range LE trim offers these standard features:

  • Automatic headlights and high-beam control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Lane-departure and forward-collision warning
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Remote locking and unlocking

With so many options to choose from, this list will help you narrow your search to find the right vehicle for 

1 RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 09/02/2020. Learn more at www.carmax.com/repairpal-reliability.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

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