In the ’70s and ’80s, the demand for Japanese cars skyrocketed in the US market. Japanese cars conquered the US market thanks to their affordability, insane value for money, and the fact that they were a lot more reliable even in their performance versions. Since then, Japanese automakers like Toyota have cemented their reputation for making the most reliable cars money can buy, which has resulted in more sales and improved brand loyalty.
American automakers took note of that and have been improving their cars’ reliability since to ensure that they can match or even exceed Japanese reliability. This article explores 10 American cars with a reputation for reliability and low running costs, including muscle cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and even sports cars. We used trusted sources like J.D. Power and RepairPal to ensure accurate information.
10 2023 Ford Mustang – $709 Annual Maintenance Cost
The Mustang is one of those American cars that are popular not just in North America, but in all corners of the globe. The Mustang has always been the poster boy for the muscle car industry since its debut in the ’60s, which explains why it’s still in production while other muscle car models like the Chevrolet Camaro go out of production.
Part of the reason the Mustang is so popular is its reliability compared to other performance cars, which is easy to see when you look at the latest model. According to RepairPal, the 2023 Mustang costs $709 per year to maintain, which is impressive for a car that offers almost 500 hp.
9 2023 Chevrolet Corvette – $737 Annual Maintenance Cost
Another American car that commands respect in all parts of the world is the iconic Chevy Corvette. The Corvette is one of the longest-running nameplates in the world, having been in production since 1953.
Now in its eighth generation, the Corvette has stuck to its winning formula of offering affordable performance to the masses, as prices start from around $60,000. Chevrolet has also been perfecting the Corvette platform over the years, and now it’s among the most reliable sports cars. The Corvette costs $737 per annum to maintain according to RepairPal, which is a lot lower than other top sports cars.
8 2023 Ford F-150 – $788 Annual Maintenance Cost
The Ford F-150 needs no introduction, as it’s one of those vehicles you see everywhere in the US. The F-150 has topped sales charts for many years, and it’s easy to see why. Few vehicles can offer the versatility the F-150 has as it can be perfect for people looking for a work truck to haul heavy items, an off-roader for the occasional weekend getaway, or even a daily driver to move the family around.
The F-150 can also take a lot of beating without breaking down, which is why you can still find F-150s built decades ago in good condition. The latest F-150 costs $788 per year to maintain, which is less than the $936 average for full-size pickup trucks.
7 2023 Dodge Charger – $652 Annual Maintenance Cost
When the Dodge Charger made its comeback in 2005, there were mixed feelings. Some gearheads loved that one of the greatest muscle car nameplates was coming back, while others absolutely hated how it looked – it was a four-door sedan that didn’t really look like a muscle car.
However, despite the design criticism, the Charger has been a huge hit, and it is still going strong today. Part of the reason gearheads love it is that, while it may not look like a muscle car, it has a lot of muscle under the hood that allows it to be one of the fastest four-door sedans. The modern Charger is also reliable and costs just $652 per year to maintain.
6 2023 Buick Encore – $466 Annual Maintenance Cost
Buick has been going through a lot of changes over the last decade. Most significantly, the brand ditched all its sedan nameplates in North America a few years ago and seemingly became an SUV brand.
While this was sad news for gearheads who loved models like the Regal and LaCrosse, it resulted in the improvement of its SUV offerings. The 2023 Encore shows that perfectly. This fantastic subcompact SUV is stylish, practical, and affordable, which is why people love it. The 2023 Encore also has excellent ownership costs, with RepairPal estimating its annual repair costs to be just $466.
5 2023 Jeep Cherokee – $520 Annual Maintenance Cost
The Jeep Cherokee is a legend in the auto industry. The Cherokee was the first SUV to use a unibody chassis instead of body-on-frame in the ’80s, and this set up the foundation on which modern SUV platforms are built.
The Cherokee has stuck around all these years and is still one of the coolest Jeeps around. The modern Cherokee does everything you’d expect a decent compact SUV to do well, but where it really shines is in reliability. According to RepairPal, the 2023 Cherokee costs just $520 in annual repair and maintenance fees, which is lower than the average for compact SUVs.
4 2023 Dodge Challenger – $650 Annual Maintenance Cost
The Mustang may be the best-known muscle car in the world, but the most popular modern muscle car is the Dodge Challenger. The Challenger has been selling more units than the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro over the last few years, and it’s easy to see why.
For one, the Challenger has the most authentic muscle car design of all the remaining muscle cars. The Challenger also offers superb performance, especially in performance trims like the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. The Challenger is a breeze to maintain as you only need $650 per year to maintain it, which is less than the Mustang.
3 2020 Ford Fusion – $581 Annual Maintenance Cost
Ford discontinued the Fusion nameplate a couple of years ago, leaving many gearheads disappointed. The Fusion was easily among the coolest mid-size sedans on the market, largely thanks to its sleek but controversial Aston-Martin-inspired front-end design.
There were other things to love about the Fusion apart from the design, including its spacious cabin, solid build quality, and the fact that it had up to 305 hp to play with. The Fusion is also super reliable and costs $581 per year to maintain, according to RepairPal.
2 2020 Chevrolet Impala – $568 Annual Maintenance Cost
Chevrolet has used the ‘Impala’ name on several models over the years. The most popular, by far, is the Impala SS, which is among the greatest muscle cars of the ’60s.
The least popular version of the Impala was also its last version – a large full-size sedan. Gearheads didn’t love the full-size sedan version of the Impala, as they felt it had detracted too much from its muscle car roots. However, the final Impala generation was still a decent car, with a fantastic reliability score of 91 out of 100 on J.D. Power and a low annual maintenance cost of $568.
1 2023 Ram 1500 – $691 Annual Maintenance Cost
The aforementioned Ford F-150 is the king of the full-size pickup truck market, but other American automakers have been doing everything in their power to take its place. One pickup truck that comes close is the Ram 1500.
The Ram 1500 is a hard-working truck loved by many for its smooth ride, spacious cabin, high-end interior materials, and user-friendly tech features. The Ram 1500 also costs less to maintain than the Ford F-150 at $691 per year.