Most of the time, the cars you see on this list will give you reliable, trouble free driving year round without the slightest hiccup or cause for concern. However, like any mechanical object, eventually there might come a time when the need to replace something becomes essential and timely. In order to beat the burden of being without a car, here are some of the common repairs that go along with these daily drivers.
The Honda Civic is probably the most synonymous name in economy cars in the last 20 years. Ultimately, this reliable sedan, hatchback, and hybrid model delivers great gas mileage, comfort, and the ability to start when you need it to. That being said, there are some minor issues with the 9th generation Civic.
“Spider webbing” of paint was a concern with the 2006-2013 modes, so if you have a 2011, ’12, or ’13, Honda actually offered a recall for the paint as long as it meets certain criteria. If you opt for the high performance Si Civic, there are complaints about the K24Z engine’s oil consumption, which could mean periodic checking of the oil level. Finally (and this is more of an annoyance for owners), the HVAC blower motor which controls air flow for heating and cooling can become louder over time, which in turn, could drive you up the wall.
Lexus’s quirky hybrid hatchback made it’s debut in 2011—with a facelift on the 2014 model—and has been a reliable hybrid for the Lexus brand, offering excellent gas mileage and enough driving pleasure to make you forget about its green roots.
There is one recall with the 2011-12 models in which the exhaust gas control actuator was replaced, so make sure that was done prior to purchase. Interior quality seems to plague some CT 200hs with owners complaining about quality of the seating and how they hold up. Also, there seems to be some issues with connecting devices to the car’s Bluetooth; with audio quality on the stock speakers to be of a lower clarity than the upgraded option. And while not necessarily a problem, the suspension is said to be a bit on the stiffer side, which could make some think it’s a jarring ride.
Even though the Camry is the peanut butter sandwich of automobiles, in that it will give you nutrients and keep you from going hungry, it’s an extremely reliable car that does many things right without asking you for much in return. With multiple engine, interior, and optional choices, the Camry can be bought and configured in almost anyway imaginable.
It’s not without its faults, however. Owners have complained about door lock actuators failing, essentially causing the automatic lock and unlock functionality of your doors to stop working. Two other recalls, one for 2012-13 models for a clogged water drain plug, and 2013-14 models for a windshield wiper switch. Other than that, 7th generation Camrys are quite the catch.
The Subaru Forester is a practical and utilitarian monster. Smartly designed and engineered to provide the most room and utility, this small—but wisely packaged—compact crossover features Subaru’s extremely competent all-wheel drive and friendly ergonomics. It’s not going to woo you with luxury, but it will please you with everyday drivability.
There are some minor quirks to the impressive reliability of the 4th generation Subaru Forester. Carpets are known to curl due to heat exposure, a symptom that was covered under warranty. Some owners complain about the CTV automatic transmission’s ability to “get stuck” under very specific circumstances when the Forester is in a certain position. Interior quality is also an area where owners have expressed displeasure, with some actually heading back to the dealership for additional insulation to be added.
With Mazda’s more “driver-oriented” vehicles, they always provide a bit more satisfaction from behind the wheel than your typical entry-level sedan. They often drive enthusiastically, giving its drivers more pleasure behind the wheel than say a Camry or Maxima. For the most part, Mazdas are also very reliable, with the 6 offering enough space for a family and a dynamic balance between comfort and sport.
In the 2014 Mazda 6s, a few electrical gremlins seem to plaque the car such as: infotainment system, door actuators failing, tire-pressure warning staying active, and some laser cruise control guidance being inoperative. Some 2015 models also had instances where the sunroof seal would become torn or ripped. However, most 3rd generation Mazda 6s are mechanically sound.
German cars—while fun to drive—can be costly should unexpected maintenance arise. Audi’s newer Allroads are based on a modified A4 platform with a wider track, increased ground clearance, exterior enhancements, and of course, quattro all-wheel drive, which make it an attractive wagon from the Bavarian brand. Plenty of power, along with a smooth 8-speed automatic make the allroad as fun to drive as it is nice to look at.
The 2013 models have a host of engine-related issues such as water pump failure and fuel pressure sensors providing a false engine code to the computer, resulting in a check engine light. We would stay away from the ’13 models. Newer ’14-’16 models, however, seem to have overall good owner experience without any major problems to report.
Sure, Buick might be associated with elders looking for a ride to hit up the next tennis court with but that doesn’t mean Buick’s cars should be overlooked. They provide plenty of comfort, modern convenience, and great engine choices. The Verano in particular is Buick’s cousin to the Chevy cruise with a more upscale and quiet cabin.
There are two recalls with the Verano: the first replacing a steering wheel airbag coil on 2012 models; and second, 2014 models were recalled to replace the shift cable adjuster. If you notice your 2012-13 2.4-liter motor consuming more than one quart of oil per 2,000 miles, there may be a need for updated pistons and rings. Owners have also expressed door handles that become stuck in 2013 models.
For 2014, Volvo updated the S60 with a new hood, fenders, grill, and fascia among other features to distinguish itself from the ones that came before. For the 2015 model, they gave the S60 powertrain updates via a new 8-speed automatic. This Swedish brand values safety and unique driving characteristics above all else, and is a great luxury alternative.
With 2015 models, checking the oil isn’t as easy as looking under the hood. Instead, you must go to the gauge cluster’s readout and sort through the menu to access and have the car off in ignition II mode, which is a bit cumbersome to find and diagnose. The 2014 models have one recall involving the keyless ignition, in where some of the vehicle’s electronic systems can cause the V60’s wipers to run continuously, or the turn signals, high beams and headlight switch to improperly function.
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.