Most Reliable Cars of 2021


What Are the Most Reliable Cars of 2021?

A new car is a major investment, and the last thing anyone wants is to spend a five-figure sum only to be burdened with the prospect of high ongoing repair costs. Reliability is high up many motorists’ lists of desirable factors in a new car for good reason, and each year drivers look to the ratings JD Power and Consumer Reports publish, each using their own grading systems, to find the most reliable cars of the upcoming year.

Ahead of JD Power publishing their ranking for 2021, we’ve taken a look at the Consumer Reports rankings and derived our own index based on their reliability score, but adjusted to take into account the sticker price—so you can see which 2021 models are likely to be the most economical investment. 

Of course, individual preferences are highly important too. No two drivers are the same, and we each have our own criteria when it comes to selecting our next vehicle. The good news is, if you do choose to go for performance or styling over reliability, you can mitigate the risk of high costs by taking out warranty cover and we can help guide you to the best choice. You can get the lowdown on extended warranties here or explore our reviews for the main extended warranty providers

Okay, let’s have a look at the most reliable cars for 2021.

Top 10 Most Reliable Cars of 2021

Consumer Reports has published its reliability report for 2021 cars. The ratings below are based on their data gathered from 329,000 vehicles. The score is out of 100 and represents the predicted reliability, taking into account factors from interior trim to brakes and transmission. 

#1 Manufacturer: Toyota
Model: Prius

CR reliability score: 93

Price: $24,525 – $32,650

What they say:

“Utilizing the Toyota New Global Architecture, Toyota’s universal frame for all fourth-generation vehicles, the new Prius is the most efficient to date and the quietest.”


#2 Manufacturer: Lexus
Model: NX

CR reliability score: 91

Price: $37,510 – $46,810

What they say:

“The 2021 Lexus NX’s straight-line performance remains unchanged, keeping the significant improvements to the vehicle’s suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling.”


#3 Manufacturer: Buick
Model: Encore

CR reliability score: 91

Price: $23,200 – $25,220

What they say:

“Encore small SUV delivers sporty performance, impressive responsiveness and surprising efficiency on the strength of its 1.4L Turbo engine.”


#4 Manufacturer: Lexus
Model: GX

CR reliability score: 90

Price: $53,100 – $64,365

What they say:

“Versatility best describes the luxurious three-row GX. It’s not only engineered for all kinds of terrain including extreme off-road conditions, it also displays exceptional craftsmanship throughout and offers seating for up to seven passengers.”


#5 Manufacturer: Honda
Model: HR-V

CR reliability score: 90

Price: $21,020 – $27,320

What they say:

“Combining an SUV stance with sporty details like redesigned wheels and an available honeycomb grille, the HR-V stands out everywhere—from the boulevard to the campground.”


#6 Manufacturer: Toyota
Model: Prius Prime

CR reliability score: 88

Price: $28,220 – $34,000

What they say:

“Essentially, the Prius Prime takes everything people love about the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle and adds an estimated 25 miles of EV driving range (when fully charged).”


#7 Manufacturer: Hyundai
Model: Kona

CR reliability score: 87

Price: $20,400 – $45,400

What they say:

“Everything you want to see, do and explore is yours with the rugged and adaptable Kona.


#8 Manufacturer: Audi
Model: A5 

CR reliability score: 86

Price: $41,800 – $60,600

What they say:

“After an all-around refresh for the 2020 model year, 2021 A4 and A5 models bring additional technology and driver assistance features, as well as more streamlined packages across both models lines”


#9 Manufacturer: Audi
Model: A4 

CR reliability score: 86

Price: $39,100 – $44,600

What they say:

“New for 2021, A4 and A5 four-cylinder models receive a power increase of 13 horsepower and a 12v mild-hybrid electric vehicle system. New for 2021, the A4 40 TFSI is now standard equipped with quattro® all-wheel drive.”


#10 Manufacturer: Mazda
Model: CX-5 

CR reliability score: 85

Price: $25,270 – $27,320

What they say:

“Engineered and crafted with utmost care to the tiniest detail, the Mazda CX-5 makes an impression both visually and from a driver’s perspective.”

Most Reliable Cars

Here’s the new top 10:

#1: Toyota Prius

We rate the Toyota Prius as the best investment for new car buyers in 2021. It scored highly for reliability, but it will also be available for the affordable sum of $24,525. 

#2: Buick Encore

Even though the Buick Encore is slightly more affordable, its predicted reliability, though very high, is just lower.  

#3: Honda HR-V

Honda, who expect to make self-driving cars available by 2025, have invested a lot in the technology behind the 2021 HR-V. With a reliability rating 90 and an MSRP starting at $21,020, the HR-V offers great value for money.

#4: Lexus NX

A high scorer for reliability, making it good value even at the higher starting price of $37,510. 

#5: Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius Prime offers a good midpoint for the top 10 2021 models in both reliability score and starting price. 

#6: Hyundai Kona

Scoring 88/100 for reliability, and starting from $20,400, the Kona ranks in at #6 on our list.

#7: Audi A4

Seventh on our list is the 2021 A4, which combines a reliability score of 86 and a price of $39,100.

#8: Mazda CX-5

Though it’s the lowest scoring for reliability of this list (which still makes it among the top 10 most reliable 2021 cars), the CX-5 has a starting price of just $21,020, so it claims the #8 spot. 

#9: Audi A5

Predicted equally reliable as the A4, the A5 has a higher sticker price, resulting in a lower ranking of #9. 

#10: Lexus GX

The Lexus GX makes #10 on our list. Its predicted reliability is excellent at 90, but its less accessible sticker price makes it a pricier proposition overall. 

Better Technology, Better Protection

If you’re planning on investing in a new car in 2021, check out some more tips here. These days, of course, you’d expect any car to be reliable and come with a warranty. But if you want to make sure it’s a good investment, and reliability is your number one consideration, you might want to go for one of the cars listed in these rankings. 

Remember you can always take out an extended warranty to prolong your cover or to complement a manufacturer warranty—but be sure to check what’s already covered so you don’t needlessly pay twice. 

You can learn more about the different ways you can protect your vehicle here. 

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