Automotive

Can you help me rank the reliability of the engine and MT combos for the following cars?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 25th, 2019 11:37 am
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
49216 posts
14548 upvotes

Can you help me rank the reliability of the engine and MT combos for the following cars?

Are Hyundai and Kia MT's still feeling a bit sheety? Any specific prevalent issue for each engine/transmission design? I guess for engines, the amount of biodegradable plastics is one telltale sign of planned obsolescence.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g ... sion-cars/

  1. BMW 2-series / M2 (are the BMW's still plagued with HPFP and plastic timing chain rails issues?)
  2. BMW 4-series coupe / M4
  3. BMW M6 Gran Coupe
  4. Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
  5. Chevrolet Camaro
  6. Chevrolet Corvette
  7. Chevrolet Sonic
  8. Chevrolet Spark / Spark Activ
  9. Dodge Challenger
  10. Fiat 124 Spider
  11. Fiat 500
  12. Ford Fiesta
  13. Ford Mustang
  14. Genesis G70
  15. Honda Accord (motor oil fuel dilution though on the 1.5T and 2.0T)
  16. Honda Civic (motor oil fuel dilution though on the 1.5T and 2.0T)
  17. Honda Fit
  18. Hyundai Accent
  19. Hyundai Elantra
  20. Hyundai Elantra GT
  21. Hyundai Veloster Turbo / Veloster N
  22. Jaguar F-type (not really known for reliability)
  23. Kia Forte
  24. Mazda MX-5 Miata
  25. Mini Cooper Hardtop / Convertible / Clubman
  26. Mitsubishi Mirage / Mirage G4
  27. Nissan 370Z
  28. Nissan Sentra
  29. Nissan Versa sedan
  30. Porsche 718 Boxster / 718 Cayman
  31. Porsche 911
  32. Subaru BRZ
  33. Subaru Impreza (head gasket failure, excessive motor oil consumption)
  34. Subaru WRX
  35. Toyota 86
  36. Toyota Corolla (RFD's choice, especially in beige)
  37. Toyota Corolla Hatchback
  38. Toyota Yaris
  39. Volkswagen Golf / SportWagen / GTI / Golf R
  40. Volkswagen Jetta / Jetta GLI
22 replies
Newbie
User avatar
Mar 8, 2014
18 posts
8 upvotes
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Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
1851 posts
1036 upvotes
Markham
This is probably the hardest list to compile, with MT usage as low as it is I don't think anybody can really tell you the overall truth. Overall manuals are quite a bit more reliable than automatics but there are real exceptions like the Mustang's lousy MT-82. Kia and Hyundai manuals don't rate favourably only because they're often not nice to use, one person I know said his Genesis coupe's MT was like stirring a bunch of rocks, it worked but again not refined in any sense. Even with my extensive resume of cars driven, MTs are the one thing fleets simply refuse to order thus any of the vehicles I've driven here were AT only, you'll need an auto reviewer to even tell you how they all are since they can select MT press cars.

Thus the only car I have actual experience with here with its MT is my own FRS, it was considered CR's #2 choice as most reliable in 2017 but this was after they didn't recommend it in 2013 for...reliability. On the forums, the stock units are exceptionally reliable and if driven on the street they'll likely never see an issue. The most concerning issues were very early in MY2013 units where odd idling problems meant engine replacements, the valve spring recall also only affects some MY2013. Tracking is the only time a FRS/BRZ's weaknesses are shown, the brakes likely will be toast after a proper track day and the engine's cooling is insufficient for track use. Cooling on track use is also a issue for the 370Z too. My own experience is this is easily my most trouble free car and unexpectedly turns out to be my most economical car too. My sister's 2017 Impreza 5MT is very reliable as well, mechanically zero issues and its only the screen during the early days where glitches were possible.
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
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If only the 86/BRZ can accommodate comfortably two adults at the back.

From that list and without in depth research on reliability, I would definitely consider the 2 Series as it can fit two adults in the rear. Maybe the Golf as a friend with the TDI now TSI liked it so much and had no complaints.

The Corollas are no-brainer if steering and handling are really much improved.

And if I didn't need a 4 seater, I would consider the MX5, the twins and the Cayman lol.
Deal Addict
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Jul 26, 2007
3898 posts
1589 upvotes
Toronto
You still looking for the ultimate 3rd car? Lol. Just buy an AMG or M car.
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
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peteryorkuca wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 11:39 am
You still looking for the ultimate 3rd car? Lol. Just buy an AMG or M car.
Still researching. Most likely a hybrid 4IS if it comes with AWD for family members if there will be no >=$65k likely reliable AWD BEV but considering a MT for myself if it means decades of fun and inexpensive ownership :)
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
27166 posts
13150 upvotes
Ottawa
I'd go with the Hyundai Elantra Essential Manual, as you can get a brand new one for less than $20K OTR.
No fancy electronics or complicated mechanical components, which will offer the lowest cost of ownership.
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
1851 posts
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Markham
alanbrenton wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 10:54 am
If only the 86/BRZ can accommodate comfortably two adults at the back.

From that list and without in depth research on reliability, I would definitely consider the 2 Series as it can fit two adults in the rear.
If the 86/BRZ are no good on rear leg room, the 2-series grants an extra 3 inches so it might still be too small, head room improvement is even less with only 1.5 inches granted. I wouldn't put North American adult males in the back of either. 4 women of average size is possible for both, more of a squeeze in a 86/BRZ of course.
alanbrenton wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 10:54 am
Maybe the Golf as a friend with the TDI now TSI liked it so much and had no complaints.
Golf should work. Its one of the bigger hatchbacks, even more practical if you went with Golf wagon.
alanbrenton wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 10:54 am
The Corollas are no-brainer if steering and handling are really much improved.
Have yet to try the Corolla hatch myself...still waiting for them to finally show to us at work(they seemed to be delayed). If the Corolla sedan is poor, the Impreza is a reasonable replacement as it definitely handles better and steering is tolerable. Fortunately if you still consider the Impreza too slow, the WRX is a very good all rounder sedan. My only future worry is carbon build up, lacking the D4-S system or a form of dual injection.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2009
795 posts
607 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Those cars are all so wildly different.. Find out what you actually want out of the car and that will narrow down your options and then go test drive those cars yourself, instead of asking randoms people on the internet to rank 40 completely different cars.

Like are you just looking at every car that has a manual transmission? Do you want a sports car? an economy car? I've got some bad news for you if you're looking for a car "that does everything for everyone" prepare to be disappointed.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
10101 posts
4200 upvotes
Brampton
peteryorkuca wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 11:39 am
You still looking for the ultimate 3rd car? Lol. Just buy an AMG or M car.
If one is looking for the ultimate car choice can only be Toyota Corolla. The Corolla hatch takes a close second if you need a manual drift car.
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
49216 posts
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Ecsta wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 3:14 pm
Those cars are all so wildly different.. Find out what you actually want out of the car and that will narrow down your options and then go test drive those cars yourself, instead of asking randoms people on the internet to rank 40 completely different cars.

Like are you just looking at every car that has a manual transmission? Do you want a sports car? an economy car? I've got some bad news for you if you're looking for a car "that does everything for everyone" prepare to be disappointed.
I am looking for one that will last a few decades lol. May be to take to the grave. That's why I care about the reliability of the engine and transmission, not just one or the other.
Sr. Member
Jun 21, 2006
689 posts
199 upvotes
The Corollas are no-brainer if steering and handling are really much improved.

you should test the corolla first time i drove a 2013 corolla current gen I was impressed with the steering and handling
Newbie
May 21, 2009
92 posts
86 upvotes
Canada
34. Subaru WRX

Avoid the WRX unless you enjoy rev-hang which ruins a lot of the manual transmission experience. Sure you can go heavy on the clutch and bring the engine revs down forcibly, but hate the thought of extra clutch wear.

Hopefully by now the throw out bearing (TOB) issues are resolved. Otherwise they get pretty noisy and you get to enjoy trying to get the dealer to replace it under warranty. Got it done once, but no dice when the replacement started to make noise too.
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2007
529 posts
317 upvotes
Arviat
alanbrenton wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2019 10:54 am
If only the 86/BRZ can accommodate comfortably two adults at the back.

From that list and without in depth research on reliability, I would definitely consider the 2 Series as it can fit two adults in the rear. Maybe the Golf as a friend with the TDI now TSI liked it so much and had no complaints.

The Corollas are no-brainer if steering and handling are really much improved.

And if I didn't need a 4 seater, I would consider the MX5, the twins and the Cayman lol.
Outside of expensive performance/sport cars, you can't go wrong with the Mk7 Golf TDI/TSI if fun to drive AND roomy 4-seater are your must-haves. The latest generation TSI engine have so far been proven to be quite reliable too. Also aesthetically, if aggressive looking grilles and ipad screens that jut out are not your thing, go with a Golf.
Remember when you liked what you currently have
Member
Jul 8, 2013
497 posts
243 upvotes
Edmonton
ordered_chaos wrote:
Feb 25th, 2019 1:07 am
34. Subaru WRX

Avoid the WRX unless you enjoy rev-hang which ruins a lot of the manual transmission experience. Sure you can go heavy on the clutch and bring the engine revs down forcibly, but hate the thought of extra clutch wear.

Hopefully by now the throw out bearing (TOB) issues are resolved. Otherwise they get pretty noisy and you get to enjoy trying to get the dealer to replace it under warranty. Got it done once, but no dice when the replacement started to make noise too.
Well said. That's one of the main reason why I never purchased a WRX.

I've driven many manual vehicles and have owned several as well. WRX was by far the worst manual-driving experience for me. I was also coming from a Civic Si so after having driven a superb manual transmission and going to WRX was a bit of a shock. STI's are better, so if you have a choice, always go with the STI if you can afford it.

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