Are Toyotas Reliable? A Complete Breakdown

in Reliability
Toyota engine

Source: Pixabay

Reliability is likely one of your top concerns if you find yourself out looking for a Toyota. In that case, you’re in luck - Toyotas are reliable across the board and will have you driving anywhere you wish in comfort and safety. It’s essential to understand the capabilities of your car and whether or not you can trust it, so we here at CoPilot have compiled everything you need to know about how reliable Toyotas are!


The CoPilot app is the smartest way to buy a Toyota. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll send you a curated list of the best used Toyota listings in your area - no more scrolling through hundreds of listings looking for hidden gems. 

Quick Answer: Yes, Toyotas Are Reliable

Toyotas are generally considered to be highly reliable vehicles. They often top lists of most reliable cars, are said to last longer than nearly any other brand, and rarely break down. If you’re looking for reliability, Toyota is hard to beat. From sedans to SUVs to pickup trucks, Toyota has an esteemed reputation for producing reliable vehicles that last many years when given proper care. Specific models might be more reliable than others, but ultimately, if you’re buying a Toyota, you’re in good hands and can assume that each ride will be smooth and safe.

What’s the General Consensus on Toyotas?

Toyotas are very well-respected cars for their supreme reliability. While everyone might not agree on how much they like this feature or that stylistic choice, it’s nearly unanimous that Toyotas are some of the most reliable cars out there. Toyotas are reliable because they were designed to be that way from the ground up, manufactured with reliability as the number one priority. Consumer perception sometimes pits Toyota against other major car manufacturers like Chevrolet and Ford. Still, Toyota is top of its class when it comes to buying a car you can depend on.

A considerable advantage Toyota has against other brands is their infrequency of breakdowns and the low severity of most problems they have. A Toyota rarely has a serious problem that didn’t come from mistreatment or lack of proper care. These cars aren’t like sports cars or other luxury vehicles; Toyota doesn’t introduce new features until it’s sure they’ll work and isn’t focused on style. This company uses a tried-and-true method of constructing their cars, meaning that every piece going into a vehicle has been thoroughly tested and is sure to operate correctly, aside from some sporadic defects. Rather than constantly reinventing the wheel, Toyota takes more of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. If you buy a Toyota, you probably won’t get the most innovative vehicle with cutting-edge technology. Still, if you’re in the market for one, it’s unlikely that that’s your priority.


The CoPilot app is the smartest way to buy a car. Built using the same technology that dealerships use, we’ll show you everything you want to know about each listing - like how long it’s been on the lot, or if there are similar vehicles at a better price nearby. 

Does Reliability Vary for Different Toyota Models?

While you can assume that any properly treated Toyota is a reliable vehicle, some models are indeed more robust than others. According to Consumer Reports, the most reliable 2021 Toyota models are the Prius, Corolla, Prius Prime, Camry, and 4Runner. These have all been ranked exceptionally highly for their robust comfort, ride quality, and smooth handling. 

If comfort and ease of use are your primary factors in selecting a Toyota, you’ll likely want to go with the Prius, Prius Prime, or Camry. The Prius and Prius Prime have a ton of cargo space and incredible fuel efficiency and will keep you comfortable in the extra room they provide. The 2021 Camry is also very comfortable, with controls optimized to be easier to use than ever before.

Someone looking for a little more power with their comfort should seek out one of the new Corollas or 4Runners. Both have state-of-the-art, powerful engines, but whereas the Corolla is a smaller car, the 4Runner is actually an SUV. It’s also worth noting that the 4Runner hasn’t been rated very well in handling but is still a reliable and long-lasting car. 


Buying a used or CPO luxury car is one of the smartest buys you can make - you can get a lot of car for not much money. You can pick up a three-year-old luxury car for about half of what you’d pay new. Check out this list of the best used luxury cars on the market to find the best deals. 

How Long Is the Average Lifespan of a Toyota?

Toyotas typically last an extremely long time before seriously deteriorating. According to Forbes, Toyota topped the list of longest-lasting car brands in 2014 and continues to rank highly to this day, with their vehicles lasting an average of 210,705 miles while still fully functioning. For your Toyota to last this long, it will need proper maintenance, such as timely oil changes and inspections throughout its life. Even with a reliable brand, a car won’t be fully functional for long if it’s mistreated.

Of course, even with great reliability expectations, it’s crucial to have a manufacturer-guaranteed warranty that will also have your back. In addition to the 36-month/36,000-mile limited coverage warranty attached to every vehicle, Toyota offers a few options when it comes to warranty:

  • 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain coverage
  • 60-month/unlimited mile rust-through coverage
  • Emissions coverage that varies by state

Common Reliability Issues With Toyota Vehicles

The number of problems a vehicle has is usually a good indicator of its reliability. This is true for the Toyota brand overall. Here are some of the most common issues that many Toyota models share:

  • Brake issues: While brake issues were prevalent with the Toyota Corolla, many other models also suffered from brake system problems. You don’t want to miss these issues, from faulty anti-lock brakes (ABS) to defective brake systems.
  • Excessive oil consumption: Many Toyota vehicles have struggled with excessive oil consumption. Some people reported burning through a quart of oil in just 1,200 miles. Excessive oil consumption has affected models from the Scion to the Camry Hybrid.
  • Defective airbags: Like many car brands, Toyota has been affected by the infamous and deadly Takata airbags. These airbags tend to explode and turn the inflators into small metal fragments in the direction of the passengers. Toyota recalled thousands of vehicles, including the Yaris, Tundra, Sienna, RAV4, Corolla, 4Runner, and more.
  • Unintended acceleration: Toyota owners have complained about their vehicles suddenly accelerating on their own. Apparently, the factory floor mats may jam the accelerator pedals, which leads to unintended acceleration. Toyota had to recall several of its models.
  • Musty air conditioner: Many Toyota models were reported to have air conditioners that blow out musty and moldy air. This is a significant concern among drivers and passengers since the air cabin quality could potentially threaten one’s health. Toyota sent numerous service bulletins that the smells could arise from blocked evaporator housing drain pipes, leading to condensation inside the vehicle.
  • Bluetooth calls with echoing: Owners of several Toyota models, including the Highlander, Avalon, Sienna, Tacoma, etc., have complained about echoing while making hands-free Bluetooth calls; while it’s not the most serious issue out there, it’s still an annoying defect, especially when you rely on hands-free calls to communicate while driving. Toyota suggested a fix of turning up the volume, defeating the purpose of hands-free calls.
  • Rodent-friendly soy-based wire coating: In an attempt to be more eco-friendly, there was an industry push to use biodegradable wire coating in cars. While it’s a noble idea, these soy-based coatings attracted all sorts of critters, including mice and squirrels. The rodents would chew on the wires and use them for nesting. Unfortunately, Toyota didn’t cover these defects, eventually leading to a wide-scale lawsuit.


We looked into price, reliability, features, and more to create this list of the best used SUVs under $10k on the market today. Take a look - some of the best used SUVs have gone mostly overlooked or forgotten. 

What Else Should I Know about Toyotas?

An interesting fact about the Toyota brand (that helps explain why they last so long) is that each year model for a given style of Toyota is pretty similar. If any significant changes are made to a model, it’s rolled out for several years in minor adjustments to ensure nothing goes wrong with the car. You won’t see any vast differences in a Toyota model line for years to come, and you can purchase nearly any year model of a Toyota with little worry. 

That said, it’s always vital to have a trusted mechanic inspect any car before purchasing. This will help eliminate any leftover concerns about the reliability of the Toyota you’re looking at. Even though the brand is well-respected, there’s no telling how an individual car has been treated, especially a used one. For this reason, you must also get a copy of the car’s pre-inspection report to look at any maintenance issues the vehicle has had in the past. You should be good to go if you have multiple, trusted sets of eyes on the car before you purchase your next Toyota!

Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You

The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.

Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars five years or newer with low mileage — CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.

The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices — just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.