What's The Most Reliable American Car Ever Built?

Is there an American-made car you can depend on for mile after mile?

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A 1986 Jeep Cherokee towing a boat
What do you think is the most reliable American car ever made?
Photo: Stellantis North America

Sure, it’s exciting driving around in something exotic and unpredictable, like an Alfa Romeo or classic Lotus. But every now and then, you need a car that just works. Something that can get you from A to B without any drama, leaks, or big clouds of smoke. What’s thecar you want when you need to sit behind the wheel of something reliable?

Jalopnik’s own David Tracy has been making a convincing case for a 1965 Plymouth Valiant being the most reliable car produced on American shores. He cites the Valiant’s Chrysler slant six engine as the reason for this unstoppable reputation – an engine he regards as the most unkillable American motor in history.


But what other dependable drives has America produced? Many sensible consumer websites will try and tell you it’s the latest Lincoln Continental, which was sadly killed off last year. Or, if you’re more inclined to believe it’s something older, classic examples of the ultimate American sedan can also be seen running for mile after mile.

Another motor I see still running decades after its release is the Jeep Cherokee XJ, which still looks at home on streets and trails more than 30 years after its release. Also, it was a Cherokee XJ that I’d get a ride in whenever snow brought everything else to a halt. So in my book, that’s worthy of a few extra reliability points if it doesn’t let you down when all other options fail.


But as time rolls on, what American-made cars do you think we’ll see lining the streets for years to come? With emphasis on new hybrid and electric vehicles, will any of these survive the test of time, or is America’s most reliable car sitting right under our nose already?