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Toyota's Best Used Cars to Purchase

Updated on March 26, 2019
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From my first successful eBay vehicle purchase until the present time, I have researched how to find the best deals on used cars.


Toyota Cars-Reliable 10 Years In

In tough economic times finding a car that will last a long time is both practical and necessary. Toyota vehicles have proven their worth and easily last 10 years or more. U.S. production began in 1986 with their plant in California.

Vintage Toyota Corolla
Vintage Toyota Corolla | Source

Toyota's Rise to the Top with the Corona

Toyota's reputation for excellent used cars has been a hard-fought, steady, up-hill battle. Beginning in the 1950's its founder studied the Ford Motor Company as a model to follow. At that time Ford was viewed as the top manufacturer when it came to technical and economic superiority.

The incorporation of the Ford business model was immediately successful for Toyota. Car efficiency increased and car prices decreased, making the brand more desirable for consumers. Next Toyota increased the horsepower of their cars to appeal to American drivers.

The Toyota Corona, released in 1968, was the first U.S. success for the company. It was the first success story but certainly not the last.

The Toyota Camry Moves Into the Spotlight

Coming in second-place behind the Corona is the still popular Toyota Camry. From 1991 to the present it changed to a mid-sized (wide-body) car, with front-wheel drive.

Used Toyota Camry's from 2002-Present are:

  • Toyota XV30 (2002-2006)
  • Toyota XV40 (2006-2011)
  • Toyota XV50 (2011-2012)
  • Toyota XV70 (2017-Present)

A 2015 Toyota Camry XSE Review

The Highlander - Prius - Sienna Top 3 Used Car Picks

At the top of the list of cars that will most likely last 10 years or more is the Toyota Highlander. Second and third on the list are the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Sienna. The Honda Pilot breaks up the group of Toyota cars taking 4th place. The Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia, and the Toyota Tacoma take 5th, 6th, and 7th place, respectively. Eighth place goes to the Honda Odyssey and 9th to the Honda CR-V. Rounding out the top ten is the Subaru Forester.

Toyota Hylander Fact Sheet:

The Toyota Highlander is now in its 3 generation and is still going strong with high rankings among consumers.

The first model was released in 2001. It was able to seat 5 people. A 7-seater came out in 2004. These used vehicles are very desirable for families. The all-around safety scores are high as are the reliability scores. The 2016 Highlander is No.1 in the mid-size SUV rankings

Ten years of reviews have shown the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid continue to receive top scores and rankings. The used midsize SUV rankings are just as encouraging.

These brief facts show why Toyota is tops among used car rankings, beating out its domestic and foreign counterparts.


Toyota No. 1 in Brand Recognition

Tracing used vehicles from 2007 onward, Toyota has received high marks for its cars, pick-up trucks, urban utility vehicles, and luxury Lexus and Lexus hybrid.

A thorough search reveals Toyota is now the No. 1 automotive brand and the Toyota Camry, the No. 1 selling car in the U.S. Since the Camry has held this distinction for 11 of the last 12 years, a previously owned Camry would make an excellent choice in the used car market.

Other highly rated used cars are as follows: The 2008 Toyota Tundra, the first pick-up truck to make the cut; the second-generation Scion xb, an urban utility vehicle; the third-generation Prius, a gas-electric hybrid, which gets 50 miles per gallon according to the EPA rating; the second-generation GX460 luxury utility vehicle; the third-generation, 2011 Prius liftback. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it does demonstrate the versatility and reliability of Toyota used vehicles.

Best Used Hybrid Models

The following used cars are worth adding to the list of consideration from the Toyota brand:

  • 2005 Lexus RX 400h (The first luxury hybrid vehicle)
  • 2006 Camry sedan with hybrid option.
  • 2009 Gas/electric hybrids

Best Third Generation Models

  • 2009 Prius
  • 2010 Sienna

Best Truck

  • 2008 Toyota Tundra

YouTube: CarsThatLast Reviews 2 Toyota Models Included in Cars Lasting Over 300,000 Miles

JD Power and Associates Recognition

In conclusion, the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion brands have all won special recognition from JD Power for vehicle dependability. The used cars have good reviews and are therefore valid choices for a reliable used car.

Toyota Emblem
Toyota Emblem | Source

Benefits of Buying a Car From the Same Manufacturer

Auto analysts recommend buying your new or used car from the same manufacturer to better your chances of achieving the goal of auto longevity.

Investigating Japanese manufacturers can be a good place to start since they lead most surveys as produces of long-lasting automobiles. Surveys suggest that Japanese cars are more reliable than American or European models. Non-Japaneses cars have shown to be better than they were in years past and may in fact last longer but Japanese cars still have the reputation of surpassing their American or European counterparts.

It has been suggested that Japanese reliability stems from its management style and stability. Its workforce stays consistent and its workers perform the same tasks year after year. The cars produced are therefore more uniform and exacting standards are maintained .

The Air-Bag Fiasco Affecting RAV-4 2004-2005

Toyota's image was greatly damaged when news broke of the recall by the National Highway Safety Administration because of faulty airbags produced by Takata, the supplier. The recall was for the 2004-2005 RAV 4 but was not limited to Toyota.

The NHSA described the recall as: "The largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history."

Toyota continues to address the recall and its affected vehicles by providing a website in which a license plate or VIN can be entered to check on a vehicle's status.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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