Toyota has a stellar reputation for reliability and quality.
When people ask me what I recommend for a good car I usually say Toyota. Take the Corolla for example: it’s been in production since 1966 and while the car has evolved there has never been a bad model year: they have always been reliable and dependable cars.
All that being said, Toyotas are not perfect.
A couple years back they were lambasted in the media for sudden acceleration problems. In my opinion this issue was blown hugely out of proportion and sensationalized. Having done some research at the time, I found that Ford has had more occurrences of sudden acceleration leading to several thousand deaths and yet we never heard about that. If anything, it gave the savvy car purchaser an opportunity to buy a good Toyota vehicle at a reduced price.
Many of the V6 engines in the 90s 4-Runners suffered from blown head gaskets. As reliable as the Corolla is we have replaced numerous engines though always as a result of owner neglect rather than poor manufacturing.
Toyota is the world leader in hybrid technology and seems to have set the standard. While hybrids are often criticized (by me also) for being overly complex they are part of the wave of the future – sales are staying steady but not growing anywhere near as fast as some thought. For such a complex and new technology, Toyota has done well as these vehicles are very reliable and trouble free.
Toyota has a full line up of vehicles: from the ultra compact Yaris to the full sized Tundra pick-up. While the Yaris is inexpensive and a very reliable car, the pick-ups, while well built are very pricey when compared to their American counterparts.
While Toyota had offered a few diesel trucks a couple decades ago none are currently sold in North America. The diesels that were sold were excellent!
Well built and reliable cars and trucks seems to be Toyota’s focus these days. While the Celica was sporty and the Supra was even more so, they’re no longer part of the Toyota line up. All the sporty cars come with the Lexus name badge.
The manufacturers website has interactive information on all the new models.