With all this talk of reliability, you might wonder: how can you scientifically measure how reliable a car is? What sort of rating do you give to cars in this reliability competition?

To answer these questions, let’s take a moment to consider what “reliable” even means.

When you think about a reliable car, the first thing that might come to mind is being able to start it every time you turn the key. After all, you buy a car to drive it, right? The second piece to that is not having to baby it all the time in regard to maintenance. Sure, almost all machines in this world need to be taken care of in some way, but that doesn’t have to mean you have to spend a fortune each time you change the oil.

Alongside the cost of owning a car is the initial fee you pay when you purchase it. This price should be reasonable and accurately reflect the value of the car itself. While value can be relative, a fair market price is a great benchmark to go by.

It’s given that you’ll have to gas up your car as well, so paying less at the pump is always a good thing. The more fuel efficient a car is, the better it is not only for your wallet, but for the environment as well.

Safety features are another huge component to a car’s reliability. After all, you rely on the manufacturers to produce a vehicle that will keep you safe in the event of an accident and prevent as much bodily harm as is possible.

Finally, you’ll want to invest in a car that will return at least a portion of the initial listing price when you sell it. Generally, a dependable car has a high resale value. Other car owners have come to associate that particular brand or model with reliability, therefore making it more desirable to the public.

Based upon these observations, a reliable car should have the following characteristics:

  1. Reasonable starting price
  2. Affordable maintenance costs
  3. High fuel efficiency
  4. Tons of standard safety features
  5. High resale value

To determine the most reliable cars of 2018 in the following segments, we factored in each of these characteristics, and the following lists represents our picks for the six most reliable cars of 2018.

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