Cars, for the most part are replaceable. They're designed to work to the point when their owners usually get tired of them and get something new and shiny. Not so with the cars on this list - these are ten cars available right now on eBay, under $20,000, that just can't quit you.
(Photo by NH53 on Flickr)
10. 2005 Lotus Elise
No, I haven't lost my mind. Yes, this is a British-made roadster made of mostly fiberglass, and this particular has a salvage title because of a front end hit that was repaired. It's also a bit over budget. Why is it on the most dependable cars list? It's because it houses a Toyota Celica engine and doesn't have any electric creature comforts, in the interest of saving weight. It will run forever and make sure you have a smile on your face while doing it.
(Suggested by damnthisburnershitsux)
9. 1970/1989 Kaiser M35A2
If the name of the game is reliability, the US military does some of the best real-world testing of machines on the planet. This Kaiser M35A2 is a perfect example. I'll let explain:
Cheap, old time simple mechanically, easy to repair with surplus parts, goes almost anywhere - runs on pretty much any type of liquid fuel too (Diesel, heating oil, jet fuel, kerosene, and even gasoline with a bit of oil mixed in to lube the injection pump).
If you end up in a pinch and find yourself in a 144month loan for one that is under water, you can easily part out things like the rockwell axles to jeep type people or maybe just pull the bank over in spite and/or start your own militia.
Just be prepared to go kinda slow and be a lot of loud.
(Suggested by polka1)
8. 2010 Toyota Avalon
A well taken-care of, top of the line Toyota luxury sedan is the very meaning of having your cake and eating it too. It's a 3.5 liter V6 putting out enough power to get you anywhere in a big hurry, while returning 30 miles per gallon nearly everywhere. This one is a Certified Used car, with an extended warranty that you'll likely never use. For those thinking about getting into a Ford Fiesta for the same money, this car should give you some pause.
(Suggested by DougHarlow)
7. 2006 Toyota 4Runner
This car is basically a Range Rover without the risk of electrical fires or internal flooding. It has the power of a utilitarian pickup, but the amenities of a German luxury sedan. Oh, and it will never break, and it costs the same as a cramped subcompact.
(Suggested by TrueBull69)
6. 2011 Lincoln Town Car
This car is the luxury equivalent of the Ford Crown Victoria no one really asked for, but everyone embraced because they were damn good. Lego Duplo interior button styling and good-old-days practicality (front bench seat, anyone?) make this car an amazing addition to anyone's long term fleet. Parts are cheap and it feels as if you're driving your favorite couch perched atop the softest of clouds. Potholes don't exist when you're in this car.
(Suggested by BigNSlow)
5. Exomotive Exocet
This car is a heavily modified track monster.....that you can drive everyday because of the reliable Miata underpinnings and the fact that its body consists of nothing but welded metal tubes and seats. You can build it yourself or buy this already finished example, right on budget. It's not the most practical thing in the world, but you can guarantee nothing else on the road will even come close to being as unique or usable when things turn fast and twisty.
(Suggested by Dat-Driver)
4. 2009 Acura RL
Here's a Japanese luxury sedan that doesn't give up when you pack on the miles. The J35 engine will last forever with minimal maintenance, and the All Wheel Drive system is dependable enough to get you through any moderate snowstorm without the worry of getting stuck or sliding into that guy that bought a base model Ford Fusion for the same money.
(Suggested by prosun)
3. Toyota Land Cruiser (Any Generation)
From the iconic FJ40, to the workhorse FZJ80, all the way up to the handsome UZJ100 pictured above, you just cannot go wrong with the rugged simplicity and ease of use that a Toyota Land Cruiser offers. Check for rust and drive away, that's all there is to buying one.
2. Mercedes-Benz 300CD
I almost bought a few of these cars, as they're insane values in terms of reliability, and they're also appreciating. If you can find one like this without rust, it's worth it, as they're only getting more rare by the day. This one isn't a turbo, but nobody's perfect. It's still a great car made when German reliability was a serious business phrase.
(Suggested by AMG OMG)
1. 2011 Honda Accord V6 EX-L
In terms of reliability and value, what's better than a 1-owner, low-mileage Certified pre-owned fully loaded Honda Accord V6 with a warranty? Nothing, that's what.
I had an '03 one of these I took to 150k with nothing but brake pads/rotors/100k belt swap/oil changes and I have an '04 with 160k on it with again only brake pads/rotors/100k timing belt swap/oil changes. The V-6 is good for 271HP and 24/30mpg, the EX features leather, sun roof, homelink garage door opener, heated seats, dual zone climate control and upgraded 6 speaker stereo. This thing will easily go 200k without missing a beat.
(Suggested by damnthisburnershitsux)
For more mind-boggling car values, check these out:
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.