How to Choose the Best Car

Remember: basic laws of physics imply that larger cars are safer in collisions. Therefore, it’s best to buy a larger car from a manufacturer listed in green.




Safest Cars (listed in declining order of safety; safest cars are at the top in green):

Manufacturer Indicator
BMW (including Cooper) -46
Mazda -40
Volkswagen -39
Subaru -37
Mercedes (including Smart) -35
Honda (including Acura) -16
Toyota (including Lexus, Scion) -16
Ford (including Mercury) 0
Chrysler (including Dodge, Jeep) 6
General Motors (including GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac) 20
Hyundai 46
Kia 47
Nissan (including Infinity) 51




Reliability and Durability




To determine reliability and durability of car brands, we checked how long original owners kept their cars, before trading them in. Clearly, people get rid of their cars, when their cars become unreliable. The longer owners keep their cars, the more reliable and durable the cars are.



The table below shows the fraction of owners that kept their cars for 180,000 miles or more, compared to average. In the table, manufacturers are listed in declining order of reliability and durability. Manufacturers listed at the top (in green) produce cars that are more reliable and durable; manufacturers listed at the bottom (in RED) produce cars that are less reliable and durable.
more ↓