The most reliable used cars in Ontario: 2019 edition

The cheapest option is not always the best option when it comes to finding the most reliable used cars in Ontario, especially if you’re looking for the cheapest cars to insure.

Looking past the paint job and price tag, most mechanics will tell you there are eight things you need to evaluate when it comes to choosing your new-to-you car:

  1. Current resale value
  2. Model, trim, and year
  3. Mileage (the average car puts on about 15,000km – 20,000km each year)
  4. Additional features (does it have those heated seats you wanted?)
  5. Vehicle history (did they change the oil regularly?)
  6. Safety rating
  7. Fuel efficiency
  8. Comfort requirements (especially important if you drive long distances for a living)

With these comparison points in mind, we’ve gone through the most popular, highest rated, most innovative, most valuable, and safest options on the road today to give you our 2019 list of the most reliable used cars in Ontario.

After all, no one wants to spend all that money on a lemon!

Most Reliable Used Cars of 2019

Honda Civic

Honda Accord

Toyota Camry

  • Recommended year: 2012 – 2014
  • Average cost: $9,529 – $12,852
  • Redesigned in 2012 with improved cabin materials and better safety features
  • Great reliability rating, excellent safety rating, and low cost of ownership

Ford Expedition

  • Recommended year: 2018 – 2019
  • Average cost: $41,708 – $62,482
  • Kelley Blue Book Best Full-Size SUV Award 2019
  • Top option for large SUVs with a redesign in 2018 that includes advanced safety and luxury features – the downside? It has an expensive price tag, although still a good deal compared to buying new.

Toyota Corolla

  • Recommended year: 2012 – 2015
  • Average cost: $8,005 – $16,525
  • Top-rated reliability and safety ratings
  • Where it lacks in features and design it makes up for in fuel efficiency and a spacious interior

Ford Fusion

  • Recommended year: 2010 and later (also recommend the Ford Fusion Hybrid)
  • Average cost: $3,950 – $5,219
  • Excellent fuel economy, Spacious, high-quality interior
  • Excellent safety scores and budget-friendly resale price

Toyota Avalon

  • Recommended year: 2010 – 2014
  • Average cost: $7,146 – $15,587
  • 5/5 reliability rating from JD Power
  • Near-perfect ratings in safety and cost of ownership plus the dependability of the Toyota brand

Chevrolet Malibu


How Can You Find the Most Reliable Used Cars?

AutoTRADER.ca is a classic source for used car advice because they’ve collected answers from some of the most experienced car experts out there. It’s very helpful for those of us who don’t have the time to test drive every option and just need some direction.

For example, what do you do when you know the make, model, and year you want, but there are a few cars to pick from?

Uber-experienced auto journalist Justin Pritchard knows:

Let’s look at two Ford F-150 trucks as another example.

Both are identical. Both are eight years old, from model year 2011, and both have exactly 120,000 kilometres on their odometers. Engines, drivelines, and equipment are identical. Both trucks were built in the same factory, on the same day, by the same people, one immediately after the other.

The first of these trucks was owned by someone who precisely followed the truck’s maintenance schedule, as outlined in the owner’s manual, to the letter: Fluid changes were performed regularly and on time. The engine has new spark plugs. All filters are fresh. Further, since this unit was dealer-serviced, all software updates are current, and several fluid leaks, electronic issues, and other minor problems were detected and corrected during regular servicing and inspections.

The second F-150 was owned by a busy family who often stretched oil change intervals, failed to have the vehicle serviced regularly, and largely considered the maintenance schedule to be a loose suggestion, rather than mandatory. This truck is 20,000 kilometres overdue for spark plugs and a transmission fluid change, it has an axle seal leak that never got detected, and is a few sensors and software updates from being totally sound on the electronics front, too.

Justin Pritchard

Automotive Journalist, AutoTRADER.ca

The lesson here?

Your personal needs and financial situation should dictate the make and model of the car you buy, but vehicle history is the #1 deciding factor when choosing between A or B.

Most auto experts agree that you should follow these four steps when you’re shopping around for the most reliable cars:

  1. Research the make and model information of potential cars online first.
  2. Narrow your search for potential vehicles available in your area.
  3. Get a PPI, Pre-Purchase Inspection, from a your mechanic to accurately compare cars.
  4. Buy the most reliable used car.

Still scratching your head about what to do next?

Maybe you’ll find the answer here in our common used car questions:

Q: What is the cheapest, most reliable car?

A: The Kia Rio is known to have the a great balance between reliability and price.

Q: What are the most popular used vehicles in Canada in 2019?

A: According to AutoTRADER.ca, the most popular vehicles this year are Ford Mustang, Ford F-150, Honda Civic, BMW 3 Series, Honda CR-V, and Chevrolet Corvette. The Honda Civic in particular is ranked in the top 5 of most Canadian cities.

Q: What are the most reliable used cars for long distances?

A: The Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Corolla are used cars known for their longevity on the road and inexpensive repairs.

Q: What is a safe, inexpensive used car for teenagers?

A: The Honda Accord tops the charts for best cars for teenagers because of its safety, inexpensive repairs, and reliability ratings. The Toyota Avalon is also a popular choice.

Q: What is the most reliable used truck in 2019?

A: The Ford F-150 dominates the new and used truck lists as one of the most popular choices in Canada. Powertrain options, a massive towing capacity, impressive fuel economy, remote-release tailgate and Backup Assist are just a few features that give it an excellent reliability rating.

Q: What is the most reliable used minivan in 2019?

A: The Honda Odessey is a very popular choice for a reliable, used minivan. It’s jam-packed with family features like a built-in vacuum and wifi hotspot capabilities.

Q: What is the most reliable used luxury small car?

A: The Audi A4 from 2013 onwards is a popular small luxury car choice because of its affordability (compared to other luxury vehicles) and its excellent reliability and safety ratings.


Helpful Resources

Seriously, what else can you do in 3 minutes?

Boil half an egg?

You might like these posts, too.

Meet Shwetaaha extraordinaire

Meet Shweta
aha extraordinaire

Behind every broker is a tech wiz or two, marketing mavens, culture champions, and financial aficionados. This is one of them, and aha insurance is even more awesome because of it.

read more

Say hello to Windrick!
aha insurance

Behind every broker is a tech wiz or two, marketing mavens, culture champions, and financial aficionados. This is one of them, and aha insurance is even more awesome because of it.

read more
Meet Windrickaha extraordinaire

Meet Windrick
aha extraordinaire

Behind every broker is a tech wiz or two, marketing mavens, culture champions, and financial aficionados. This is one of them, and aha insurance is even more awesome because of it.

read more

How are we doing?

How are we doing?