Does a Toyota Make a Good First Car?

2014 Toyota Corolla LE
2014 Toyota Corolla LE

Toyota needs no introduction. Most folks know Toyota for its reputation for reliability and durability. In every corner of the world, it is equally famous and for all the right reasons. No matter which brands Toyota is compared to, its cutting-edge features always stood out, from superb sitting comfort to the sometimes quite unique appearance of some models. Toyota outperforms practically all other vehicles on the road in terms of reliability, so does a Toyota make a good first car for a new driver?

Toyota makes a commitment to give customers the highest-quality vehicles available. Even the sales of models from Mercedes, BMW, and GM are outperformed by Toyota’s well-known models like the Camry and Corolla, its Lexus luxury offshoot, and even the now-defunct Scion sub-brand. Even now, Lexus in particular continues to break records.

The accomplishment list for Toyota is quite astounding. Whether it’s the Toyota Corolla, which is the company’s best-selling car and biggest-selling car of all time, or the Toyota Tacoma, which is the company’s best-selling compact or mid-sized truck with incredible durability. Each vehicle has long dominated its particular market, and Toyota hasn’t had too many failures.

Toyota is successful for many reasons. It has developed some excellent designs, delivered unrelenting innovation, and there’s even been some risk-taking from time to time. Some of the most stunning sports vehicles ever made were made by them, the trucks appear indestructible, and the budget cars are renowned for their durability, reliability, quality, and style.

Toyota is frequently cited as the company that pioneered the market for hybrid vehicles. Others adore Toyota’s trucks for their durability and capability, such as the Tacoma and FJ Cruiser. Toyota is not confined to any single field.

Toyota has redefined what drivers should anticipate from their automobiles and pushed the boundaries in a number of ways. They’re rarely the cheapest option in their class, but Toyota is a name the world trusts and it’s hard to think of an attribute a brand would treasure above being trusted.

Critically Acclaimed

According to Customer Reports, Toyota manufactures sturdy, effective, and dependable automobiles. The majority of their models do well in consumer testing because of their well-tuned powertrains, good fuel efficiency, comfortable rides, quiet cabins, and user-friendly controls.

Toyota won top honors in four out of ten categories for the 2018 model year on Consumer Reports magazine’s annual TOP Picks List. Toyota Corolla for small cars, Toyota Camry for midsize cars, Toyota Highlander for midsize SUVs, and Toyota Sienna for minivans are among the winners.

Toyota sales in 2018 climbed by 5% over the 2017 model year, totaling close to $30 billion. For 2018, Toyota has been ranked one of the best cars in the US by Consumer Reports, and for the sixth consecutive year, BrandZ has designated Toyota as one of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.

2020 Toyota Corolla
2020 Toyota Corolla

What’s important for a first car?

1. Proven Reliability and Dependability

When buying your first car, dependability and durability are two of the most crucial elements to consider. As was already noted, there are many Toyota cars from decades past that are still on the road today.

In fact, more than 80% of Toyota cars manufactured 20 years ago are still on the road. Along with being dependable, Toyota cars are renowned for having a high resale value. The Toyota brand is rated as having one of the greatest resale values by Kelley Blue Book.

Any ancient Toyota will still run quite well if you look after it, but that doesn’t mean they take a ton of maintenance. No matter how many miles the car has driven, you won’t often notice any problems with the engine or even the electronics. These vehicles don’t exhibit premature wear-and-tear indicators like creaking sounds, engine cracking, etc. This is a key factor in Toyota’s reputation for reliability. All of this also makes Toyota cheap to keep and maintain.

Despite what anyone says, Toyota cannot be dethroned from first place in reliability, and the facts speak for themselves. This is the first check that Toyota successfully and easily passes for a good first car, especially for shoppers on a tight budget who plan to keep their first car for a decent amount of time.

2. Top Safety pick

Another important aspect to think about when buying a car is safety, and Toyota places a high focus on it and always has done. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) selected the Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Highlander as Top Safety Picks+ for the 2018 model year.

J.D. Power also rates the reliability of the Toyota range highly, particularly with the Toyota ToyotaCare and the extensive warranty that come with every purchase. Consumers have consistently given the Toyota brand top marks when evaluating the overall quality of their products. Additionally, the Toyota brand constantly offers comfort and safety without sacrificing style.

Toyota’s standard safety features, such as automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning systems, are another factor in the brand’s market popularity. Toyota claims that its ongoing dedication to providing consumers with high-quality vehicles equipped with essential safety features will always come first.

Toyota is without a doubt the industry leader in protecting motorists and passengers in the event of a collision, but the company’s cars may also assist owners in steering clear of collisions entirely. The fact that these cutting-edge safety technologies are standard across the whole lineup, separates Toyota from its rivals and is another reason for being your first car.

3. Wide Range of options

It doesn’t matter what type of car you need. Toyota most likely has it. Toyota’s current lineup covers everything from small fuel-sipping hatchbacks to desert-running rock-crawling off-roaders. Crossovers? Not a problem. Just say your preference and there will be a Toyota crossover that perfectly fulfills your needs. The fact the RAV4 is still the world’s biggest-selling SUV of any size, type, and class tells you a lot about the brand and where its priorities lie.

Recently, Toyota has been on a roll with its performance cars. Toyota’s GR division has taken the responsibility of satisfying people’s need for speed. The USA has now been graced with the GR Corolla and gearheads are more than happy with what they find.

The GR 86 has taken affordable performance to another level with its perfect balance of performance, reliability, and cost. And on the precipice of this economic downturn, no other sports car comes close to it in terms of value for money.

When the Toyota Supra was reborn recently, driving enthusiasts complained about the lack of a manual transmission. Not anymore. Toyota has put blood and sweat into making the 2023 Supra manual the best you can hope for. Again, petrolheads are over the moon. So, if you’re in the market for a performance car, Toyota once again has every right to be considered.

2022 Toyota Tacoma
2022 Toyota Tacoma

4. Best Resale Value

One of the most crucial things to think about when purchasing your first car is the depreciation of the vehicle. While some used automobiles retain their value rather well, others see a sharp decline in value as soon as the wheels leave the forecourt. Toyota is one of the greatest automakers for resale value, with returns ranging from 50% for base models to up to 70% for high-end versions over the first three years.

The Toyota brand has the highest resale value, according to Kelley Blue Book. According to KBB, the solution is straightforward: just build a high-quality car that makes people’s lives better, charge a fair price for it, and make sure it’s the most luxurious, dependable, and pleasurable car in its class. Toyota offers a wide variety of goods that achieve precisely that, and the company’s efforts are recognized with several best brand awards from the prestigious KBB.

Toyota used automobiles have high resale values for the same reasons so many people rate them when they are new. Drivers adore Toyotas, regardless of whether it’s for the safety features, the comfort of the driver, the off-road prowess, or the aesthetics. Few mass-market auto brands command the same kind of brand loyalty once people have owned one for a while.

5. Going Green

Last but not least, buyers have access to a wide range of environmentally friendly alternatives from the Toyota brand, including hybrid versions of the Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Rav4, Toyota Highlander, and all Toyota Prius models. For more than 10 years, the Prius has been the fuel-economy leader for the Toyota brand. According to Toyota, the revised model has significantly improved fuel efficiency.

Since the 1997 launch of the Toyota Prius, Toyota has been hailed for being a pioneer in the design and marketing of more fuel-efficient hybrid electric cars. The company now offers more than 40 different hybrid car models for sale worldwide.

However, more recently, the business has also been charged with greenwashing due to its skepticism of fully electric vehicles and its concentration on the creation of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, such as the Toyota Mirai, a more expensive technology that has lagged well behind electric batteries.

Nevertheless, Toyota is remembered as one of the first automakers to bring hybrid technology into the spotlight. Their continued innovation in hybrid-electric and fuel-cell vehicles has always been credited. After all, most of us will remember when the Prius was one of the only electrified cars on the market and the great and the good were falling over themselves to be seen driving their Prius to signal their virtue.

2022 Toyota Camry XSE
2022 Toyota Camry XSE


It’s easy to understand why Toyota has been one of the most respected brands in the automobile industry for so long, both in terms of dependability and total resale value. Toyota is a gold standard in terms of reliability, although some other manufacturers are starting to catch up.

Toyota automobiles have a long history of being of the highest caliber. Customers consistently report that Toyota’s overall quality is the best in the business for the price. According to consistently high figures and rankings from independent auto experts, a Toyota is your best option anytime you’re thinking about buying your first car, truck, or SUV.

Putting all this together, from the three-row Highlander to the GR86 sports car, Toyota provides a broad selection of legendary-reliable automobiles. The Supra is without a doubt the most thrilling model offered by the firm for some, but the rest of the more sensible portfolio is similarly great.

The Tacoma is known for being a tough truck that isn’t afraid to get filthy, while the Camry is one of the best mid-size sedans you can purchase. The Corolla is a fantastic option for individuals looking for affordable transportation, but the Prius hybrid is supreme when it comes to fuel efficiency.

The only downside is something of a lack of desirability. Nobody will ever criticize you for buying a Toyota, but nobody is going to beg you to show it to them or take them for a ride when they hear you own one.

A Toyota is a safe, sensible, and grown-up choice. So does a Toyota make a good first car? You bet it does. However, does every new driver dream of owning a Toyota? Not really.

I have huge respect for the brand and I’ve even worked as a sales exec for a Toyota dealer. But even though I’ve owned a lot of different brands over the years, I’ve never spent my own money on a Toyota. Make of that what you will. It probably says more about me than it does about Toyota.