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ICYMI: Here are the 10 Most Reliable Car Engines – Report

A vehicle is an important means of moving from one point to another and it aids mobility of the owner. This makes reliability a crucial factor for car owners, and this factor depends largely on the functionality of the engine.

CarBuzz in a recent report selected 10 engines that have proven themselves reliable in a multitude of vehicles.

Toyota 1JZ/2JZ

Sports cars sound like the least likely place to find a reliable engine but the Mk IV Toyota Supra disproved that with its 2JZ engine and variants thereof. This legendary 3.0-liter inline-six had a cast iron block and an aluminum head and was known to be bulletproof. It only needs standard maintenance to keep on clocking hundreds of thousands of miles.

Honda K-Series

Honda’s K-series is the second engine on the list. Launched in 2001, these dual overhead camshaft-equipped (DOHC) four-cylinder motors range in displacement from 2.0 to 2.4 liters and have served in a variety of Honda models from the early Civic Type R to the Integra, Accord, CR-V, Acura RDX, and so much more.

It has proven the most reliable and popular as engine swap for car enthusiasts.


The General Motors LS family of small-block V8s has been around since 1997, spanning three generations, with a fourth due in the next few years. Used in Chevy Silverado and Camaro, the LS has proven incredibly reliable and easy to maintain in almost every form.

Toyota 1/2/3UZ-FE

Toyota has a reputation for reliable motors, with the UZ family being one of the best. In the US, the GM LS may be the default V8 swap, but everywhere else in the world, the Toyota UZ is where it’s at. This 90-degree V8 family started life in 1989 in the Lexus LS 400 – a legend in its own right – and remained in production until 2013.

Its combination of power, reliability, and refinement saw it used in luxury sedans, minibusses, pickup trucks like the Tundra, and off-road SUVs like the Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Lexus LX/GX.

Displacements offered included 4.0 liters in the 1UZ, 4.7 liters in the 2UZ, and 4.3 liters in the 3UZ, but the latter generation also included 4.5- and 5.0-liter racing variants used in the Japanese Super GT and Grand American Road Racing (Grand Am) series.


The M50 stands out as a legend among BMW six-pots. Produced for only seven years from ‪1990-1996‬, it replaced the M20 when it launched in the E34 5 Series. Displacements ranged from 2.0- to 2.5 liters and power outputs from 148 to 189 horsepower. The M50 became the first BMW motor to use variable valve timing when it received a 1992 update that included single VANOS on the intake cam.

It also served as the foundation for the S50 used in the E36 M3, and its design was so mechanically sound that it inspired the next several generations of BMW six-cylinders.


Another reliable motor engine was the Volkswagen ABF engine. This 2.0-liter 16-valve four-cylinder was produced from ‪1992-1999‬ and was a performance motor found in the Mk III Golf GTI and fourth-gen Passat in several markets. It was known as a rev-happy motor delivering 148 hp at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.

It had a cast iron block and aluminum head with hydraulic lifters and fuel injection. While it is considered extremely reliable and is often used as a performance swap in early Volkswagen builds and parts.

Mercedes-Benz OM617

The OM617 five-cylinder diesel engine was produced from 1974 to 1991 as a 3.0-liter with a cast iron block and head and a chain-driven single overhead camshaft.

The OM617 is also considered a key factor in the reputation Mercedes built for reliability in the US in the 1980s, striking a perfect balance between power and reliability, two factors that diesel engines of the era weren’t exactly well known for.

It evolved from the OM616 four-cylinder, itself a reliable motor, and debuted in 1974 on the W115 (an early predecessor to the E-Class) with just 79 hp and 127 lb-ft in naturally aspirated form.

Ford 300 Straight-6

The Ford straight-six is an icon in its own right, but the fourth-generation six introduced the Ford 300 engine, a 300 cubic inch/4.9-liter gasoline six-pot that was first offered in the 1965 F-Series pickup as a long-stroke version of the 240 six-cylinder.

It produced 170 hp to start, although a change in power rating standards meant that number dropped to 114 hp (net) in 1978 when the motor became the base option in the F-Series. Throughout its life, it saw its power increase, first to 122 hp in the 1980s and then to 150 hp in 1987 when it switched to fuel injection.

The Ford 300 was used for pickup and dump trucks that weighed as much as 20,000 lbs.

Chrysler Slant-Six/G-Engin

The Chrysler Slant-Six was the latter, an inline-six engine canted at 30 degrees that was produced in various iterations for 41 years from 1959 to the turn of the millennium across 31 models.

These included the Chrysler Cordoba, LeBaron, and Fifth Avenue; the Dodge Dart, Aspen, Challenger, and Charger; the Ram Van, Ram Pickup, and the Plymouth Barracuda, Belvedere, Duster, Gran Fury, and dozens more, earning it a reputation as an engine that could work in anything and never die, even in performance applications.

Toyota 2GR

Toyota knows how to make a reliable engine. The GR engine family – not related to GR models that use the Gazoo Racing branding – spans eight different variants and multiple sub-variants, but the 2GR is the most widely renowned for its reliability.

It is the 3.5-liter, 60-degree V6 produced from 2005 till today that is in the Toyota Tacoma, Camry, Highlander, and Avalon, as well as the Lexus ES, GS, IS, RX, and various others. It was even used in the Lotus Evora and as a racing engine in the Toyota Corolla.

It’s been used in so many models and has proven itself globally as a best-seller.


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