A common aspect of Toyotas that people mention is how reliable they are.
Toyota vehicles tend to last anywhere from 200,000 miles to 250,000 miles before they start to break down beyond repair.
That’s a lot of miles to cover for the average driver.
Considering that Toyota is hardly the only manufacturer of cars and SUVs, you may wonder what it is about the company that makes its vehicles so reliable.
From a focus on long-term growth and an intensive quality inspection process, here are 10 reasons Toyota cars are reliable.
Why Is Toyota So Reliable? (10 Reasons)
1. Customer First
Toyota vehicles are reliable because the company has a customer-first approach to business.
Many businesses generally have a profit-focused approach or a shareholder-focused approach to business.
They want to ensure that the company generates enough profits to appease its shareholders.
That means they tend to focus on features that will attract customers to their vehicles rather than ensuring that their customers remain loyal to them.
They’re looking to entice with flashy new features.
Toyota doesn’t follow this approach.
They’re more interested in ensuring that their customers are happy with the vehicles that they make.
Toyota knows that its customers shop from them because they know that they’re getting a reliable vehicle.
They know that they’re going to buy a vehicle that they can hold onto for years to come.
Even if this means that Toyota may have fewer repeat customers since their vehicles last longer, Toyota still wants to ensure its customers are happy.
This also means that they use this approach when designing and engineering a vehicle.
They put themselves in the shoes of their customers.
Then they determine whether certain features are actually needed or if they just take up space.
By looking at their vehicles from their customers’ perspectives, Toyota can design the type of vehicle that customers actually want.
Their customers typically want a vehicle that will last a long time and will require only a few trips to the repair shop beyond regular maintenance visits.
Toyota is reliable because they know their customers want reliable vehicles.
2. Continuous Improvement
Toyota vehicles are reliable because Toyota has a policy of continuous improvement.
This is different from some vehicle makers.
Other vehicle makers may simply design and engineer a vehicle, then consider the project finished.
If they need to improve on the design, then they’ll typically release a new model.
These carmakers may end up making the exact same vehicle except for one detail or one new feature.
Toyota doesn’t quite do that.
They prefer to release a model and then not release another until there’s a reason to do so.
Instead, they focus on continuous improvement while designing a vehicle in the first place.
They’ll look at the vehicle from different perspectives and determine whether there’s any way to improve it.
If there is, then the vehicle doesn’t enter the engineering phase until they’ve designed it to its best potential.
Once they’re satisfied with the vehicle, then they’ll release it on the market.
From there, the experts at Toyota measure customer reactions.
They’ll listen to any complaints and mark them down for improvements on the next model that they make.
Toyota won’t move forward with a new model until they’ve received enough feedback to understand how they need their next vehicle to differ from the one that came before.
This makes Toyota reliable because it means they’re always looking to solve problems with their designs and engineering.
They are always improving which means their products are always more durable and reliable.
Toyota is reliable because of its focus on continuous improvement.
3. Complete Participation
Toyota is also reliable because of its use of complete participation.
At other vehicle manufacturing factories, the workers simply put the parts together, then move them to the next checkpoint.
While there’s some quality control throughout the process, they don’t quite match the extensive control that Toyota uses.
Toyota emphasizes complete participation among its workers.
This means that it encourages every single worker to give feedback on the design and engineering of their vehicles.
Even a salesperson can give feedback.
Toyota has implemented a system that makes it easy for employees to submit ideas or feedback.
The company then goes over those notes and determines if certain ideas are worth pursuing.
In this case, everyone has a voice in the company.
While not every voice gets the final say, Toyota does allow them to make the executives aware of certain aspects of the business.
This makes Toyota vehicles reliable for a few reasons.
The first is that it means there are more eyes on their vehicles.
There’s a greater chance of someone spotting something off.
This helps Toyota catch any problems with the design or engineering of a product.
They can then solve the problem before releasing the product to the public.
It also helps keep Toyota innovative.
Engineers and design teams may come up dry now and then when working on a new vehicle.
By getting advice and feedback from other people in the company, they might have a lightbulb moment where they get a sudden idea.
That sort of participation can lead to some new and exciting features that Toyota can offer.
Finally, it ensures everyone in the company is working together to meet the same goal.
They’re all looking to produce high-quality, reliable, vehicles that their customers will love.
Since everyone gets a voice, everyone has more motivation to inform others if they’re steering away from that goal.
Toyota is reliable because all of its employees keep it focused on producing high-quality and reliable vehicles.
4. Prioritizes Long-Term Gains
Another factor that helps Toyota produce reliable vehicles is its focus on long-term gains.
Toyota isn’t interested in short-term gains.
They’re a company that wants to be around forever.
When a company focuses on short-term gains, they’re not always looking to stick around forever.
They want to make as much money as possible as fast as possible.
Then they’ll either declare bankruptcy when their customers become frustrated with them, or they’ll sell out to another company.
These companies tend not to keep their customers in mind.
They’re mostly focused on generating as much profit as possible.
Toyota has a different approach to doing business.
They want a strong, loyal customer base that will keep buying Toyota products over the years.
They want to sell their vehicles across several generations of families.
It’s difficult to do that when you’re implementing fast-gain tactics.
The best way that Toyota focuses on long-term gains is by making their vehicles reliable.
They understand that if their customers know they can rely on them for great vehicles that last a long time, they’re going to keep buying from Toyota.
As such, Toyota invests a lot of energy and money into making their vehicles dependable and durable.
They may not earn as much money upfront as some other companies, but they are going to make more money over the long term.
Toyota is reliable because it emphasizes a business model focused on long-term gains over short-term gains.
One of the secrets behind Toyota’s reliability is the fact that they over-engineer their engines.
This means that Toyota uses high-quality materials and designs engines that can produce a lot more power than they actually allow.
They’ll take an engine that can produce 700 horsepower, for example, then reduce it so that it can only produce 330 horsepower.
You’re still able to get a lot of performance out of the vehicle, but what ends up happening is that you also get a lot of use from it.
That’s because the vehicle is technically designed for heavier use than the driver can give it.
Since you’re not operating the vehicle at 700 horsepower, the vehicle isn’t experiencing as much wear and tear as it could withstand.
It lasts longer because the parts don’t get as much wear and tear.
While it’s always possible to undo some of the reductions that Toyota has done to the vehicle, the average vehicle owner won’t.
They’ll leave the engine as it is and enjoy the performance that they can get out of it.
Since they’re not pushing their vehicles to reach their full potential, the vehicles last longer.
Other car companies don’t always do this.
Instead, they build their vehicles for performance.
They want their customers to be able to reach high speeds.
As such, they build their engines specifically for that purpose.
Since the driver is using the vehicle at its full potential, it’s also doing the maximum amount of wear and tear that it can do to the vehicle.
The vehicle breaks down sooner as a result.
Toyota is able to produce reliable vehicles because they over-engineer their engines and other parts.
6. Total Quality Management
Toyota has reliable vehicles because it focuses on total quality management.
This means that they have everyone on the floor checking each stage of the vehicle’s development.
While many of Toyota’s factories use robots to put parts together, Toyota still has lots of people on the floor.
Those workers have the task of checking over each thing that the robot does to ensure it’s correct.
There are different stages, too.
The bottom-tier worker will check something, then the next person will check it, and then the supervisor will check it.
Toyota even encourages employees who aren’t part of the factory to check over the vehicle.
If they happen to pass by a showroom, for example, and notice something wrong, then they’re encouraged to report it.
By having several different people check over every aspect of the vehicle’s build, Toyota is able to keep its vehicles reliable.
This is also different from other car manufacturers.
Some will simply have one or two people check for irregularities.
If the vehicle needs a recall, they’ll take the brunt of the expenses involved with recalling a vehicle.
Toyota wants to avoid recalls.
As such, the company does everything it can to ensure the vehicle gets checked over at each stage.
7. Doesn’t Rush New Features
You may notice that Toyota doesn’t release new models as quickly as some other car manufacturers.
This is part of their business model.
Toyota isn’t caught up in the race to release vehicles with brand new features as quickly as possible.
Many car manufacturers are part of that race.
They compete with one another to release similar features as quickly as possible.
The main attraction of their customers is the new features.
Toyota doesn’t take part in that race.
They prefer to wait until they have the perfect feature before selling a vehicle.
Usually, this means they perform a lot of tests on a new feature before including it in their vehicle.
That means testing the feature to see if it’s something their customers even care about.
If it isn’t something that their customers particularly need or care to have, then they’ll scrap the project.
If the feature is something that customers want, then Toyota will test it thoroughly to ensure that it works.
They don’t rush their products just to beat out other competitors.
Toyota knows that its customers are willing to wait to receive a high-quality product.
Because the company waits, it’s able to produce reliable products.
8. Prioritizes Function Over Appearance
Another reason Toyota’s vehicles are reliable is that they prioritize function over appearance.
A lot of other car companies will put more focus on the features or appearances of their vehicles.
That also means they don’t pay as much attention to what’s going on under the hood.
Some customers care more about the appearance of a vehicle than how reliable it is.
While Toyota does put some effort into the appearance of their vehicles, their resources primarily go into ensuring that the vehicle functions well.
While this might mean that they might lose customers who are more concerned with looks and features, it also means that they’re able to make a reliable vehicle for those who want something that will last for years.
Toyota is reliable because it doesn’t get caught up in appearances when designing and engineering its vehicles.
9. Zero Defect Goals
Toyota is also reliable because it has a zero-defect goal.
This means that every vehicle that leaves its assembly line has to have zero defects.
The goal is to limit how many recalls Toyota has to put out for a known problem.
Recalls cost money.
They also damage the car company’s reputation.
Since Toyota wants to have a reputation for producing reliable vehicles, they need to do what they can to limit recalls as much as possible.
To ensure they reduce as many chances for defects as possible, they keep to their policies of continuous improvements and feedback.
Toyota vehicles are reliable because there are lower chances of having defects.
10. Simple Engines
A final reason Toyota has reliable vehicles is that they use simple engines.
This makes their vehicles reliable for a few reasons.
The first is that it means it contains fewer moving parts.
The fewer moving parts there are, the less chance of the engine breaking down.
Secondly, it also makes repair bills less costly.
When engines are more complex, it takes mechanics more time and effort to fix them.
This results in higher repair bills.
Since Toyota uses simple engines, they’re less prone to breakdowns.
Toyota has a reputation for selling reliable vehicles that last a long time.
Its focus on its customers and intensive quality checks are partly why it produces reliable vehicles.
Due to reliability, Toyota customers have to spend less on their vehicles.