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Should you buy a Toyota? Your essential guide

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March 24th 2021

Toyota is popular around the world for one key reason: its utilitarian design. It’s marketed as a reliable, no-nonsense car that can take whatever you throw at it.

From the UK to the US to Asia, you’ll find Toyotas on the roads. The brand has become known for being the go-to for Uber drivers, for example, thanks to its reliability.

However, how much of Toyota’s reputation is down to hearsay? Do they truly live up to the hype? Below, we discuss the Toyota pros and cons, the brand’s reliability and, ultimately, whether you should buy one.

Why buy a Toyota? The benefits

Toyota has the reputation, but does it have the benefits to back it up? Fans of the brand love driving Toyota cars for a number of reasons, which we’ll list below.

Fuel efficiency

Toyota is a specialist in hybrid cars which means, by extension, it is a specialist in fuel efficiency. Hybrid cars are typically easier on the driver’s wallet than fuel-based motors and Toyota regularly looks at fuel efficiency as a KPI.

The Toyota Yaris, for example, regularly tops yearly fuel efficiency lists, largely thanks to how it performs in MPG tests. Second place is usually the Toyota Prius, too, meaning the carmaker has nailed how to make an efficient car.

A bonus that comes with a hybrid design is how eco-friendly they are. We’ve published a full hybrid and EV car guide, so give it a read if you’re curious about how they work.

Durability

Toyota’s aforementioned reliability is down to how durable the cars are. If a driver performs their regular maintenance checks, Toyota cars tend to last for the long haul.

This is thanks to the car maker’s commitment to quality. Instead of merely aligning with profit, the manufacturer prefers to assess itself on the quality of car it is making, the service it is providing and the value its customers get.

As such, they are quite slow to integrate new changes. This may sound like a negative, but Toyota prefers to thoroughly test new technology before implementing it. That way, it can avoid some of the teething issues that come with new car technology.

Safety

While it’s true that Toyota can be slow to integrate the newest tech, it is always ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest safety standards. Toyota cars are known for being safe, integrating technology such as:

  • Pre-collision systems
  • Lane departure alerts
  • Automatic high beams
  • Lane tracking assist

All together – when combined with the car’s excellent durability – it makes for vehicles that are incredibly safe.

Excellent resale value

Okay, it may be odd to talk about you selling a Toyota before you’ve even bought one, but updating your car is an eventuality for most drivers. Thankfully, Toyota brand cars have an excellent resale value, mostly thanks to their durability and reputation.

Retaining value says more than anything else regarding a car – if people want to buy it at a good price even when the mileage is sky-high, then it must be a dream to own.

Criticisms of Toyota

Toyota cars are, generally, good, but it’s not a perfect ride all of the time. There are some criticisms levied at the carmaker.

Slow to rectify problems

While Toyota is generally very safe, it is slow to rectify problems when they do occur. An example is the 2010 model Prius, which received some complaints in Europe for having “sticky pedals”.

None of the cars were involved in an accident, but Toyota’s response saw it as a “customer satisfaction” issue. The maker did, eventually, recall the problem cars, but it was slower to do so than other car brands.

A little boring?

Okay, we said this was a positive earlier, but for some drivers it can be a negative. Toyota’s stable nature and slow approach to change have positive consequences, but for some drivers, they want the bells and whistles to go alongside their shiny new purchase.

For most drivers, this isn’t an issue. For others, they want a bit more excitement for their buck, meaning they may not be thrilled by Toyota’s steady, middle-of-the-road strategy.

Is Toyota reliable?

As we’ve discussed, Toyota reliability is pretty legendary. The Japanese carmaker has defined itself on creating unassuming, reliable vehicles with good fuel efficiency. Some may focus on flash, but Toyota is primarily concerned with value and durability.

According to Reliability Index, Toyota averages around 59 compared to an industry average of around 118. In this score, the lower number, the better – so this shows Toyota cars are more reliable than most.

Every year, Toyota brand cars are in the top three for things that matter to most customers: safety, value and reliability.

Should you buy a Toyota?

From safety and reliability to how well they hold their value, there are a lot of points in Toyota’s favour. Hopefully, we’ve answered the reasons why you should buy a Toyota – and perhaps you want to start your search right away. Check out our Toyota page for great deals or, if you fancy driving something else, we have a wide range of used cars from trustworthy, reliable dealers across the UK.

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