What Are The Most Reliable Cars With The Highest Safety Ratings in 2023

By Alexi Falson on 10 Jul 2023
image for What Are The Most Reliable Cars With The Highest Safety Ratings in 2023 Reliability and safety should be two of your most important determining factors when tossing up your best options for a new car.

While the safety side of things is a no-brainer, long-term reliability is something that is both difficult to gauge and extremely costly when you pick the wrong car.

While modern manufacturing has helped to cut down the number of outright lemons on the market, it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the most reliable and safest cars on the market here in Australia in 2023.

What are the Most Reliable Car Brands in 2023?

To get an idea of vehicle reliability, we’ll be using the latest 2023 JD Power Dependability study. This research is now in its 34th year, and maps out reliability with the help of 30,000 consumers.

The research maps out reliability in terms of a scale that measures problems per 100-vehicles (PP100), with a lower score translating to fewer issues, and therefore more reliability over time.

According to the latest results, the most reliable car brand in 2023 is Lexus - Toyota’s luxury arm, followed by Genesis - Hyundai’s luxury arm, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota; the top 8 goes as follows:

NOTE: In the interest of a fair and honest comparison of the most reliable car brands here in Australia, we’re using two independent sources of data, including the latest JD Power and Canstar dependability studies.

Lexus (133) and Toyota (168)

The world’s largest automotive manufacturer, Toyota, has become synonymous with reliability, and the latest JD Power reliability study shows that it is maintaining high levels of quality control, even as the most popular car brand in the world.

In fact, Lexus actually topped the latest vehicle dependability study, while Toyota took out seventh place overall, making it one of the most confidence-inspiring choices for your next vehicle.

Genesis (144) and Hyundai (170)

Hyundai and its luxury arm, Genesis, have fast become some of the most popular vehicles in both the affordable and premium vehicle segments, and also some of the most reliable vehicles on the road today.

The company’s massive investments have fast-tracked their production numbers, all the while paying close attention to its quality control measures that ensures each of its vehicles are dependable for future owners.

Kia (152)

Kia is a brand that completely transformed its reputation for reliability just a few decades ago, and is now famed for its dependability thanks to a rapid expansion of Korea’s automotive manufacturing base.

The modern Kia lineup is both affordable and reliable, with a vehicle for every type of buyer, from the pint-sized Picanto and Rio hatchbacks through to the Seltos and Sportage SUVs and the all-electric Niro and EV6.

Mitsubishi (167)

Mitsubishi has ranked within the top five of both the JD Power and Canstar vehicle reliability studies, affirming its reputation as a manufacturer with a proven track record for reliable vehicles.

Nissan (170)

If you’ve noticed a bit of a Japanese trend going on in our list, you’re not mistaken, and there’s a good reason for it.

Over time, Japanese vehicles have proven particularly robust when put to the test on Australian roads, and Nissan is no exception to this rule, representing one of the most sensible and reliable car options that are relatively simple and affordable to maintain, all the way from the pint-sized Juke SUV to the seven-seat Pathfinder.

Mazda (174)

Mazda’s range of vehicles covers everything from small hatchbacks like the Mazda2, all the way through to sports cars like the MX-5 and family-friendly SUVs like the CX-5 and the all-new CX-60.

Better still, Mazda has cemented itself a reputation as a reliable manufacturer with engines that are willing to go the distance - and more - if they’re maintained properly, so you can rest assured when opting for a Mazda.

Industry Average: 186 problems per 100-vehicles

Check out our list of the Top 15 Safest Family Cars for Kids

Also read The Most Reliable Cars With The Highest Safety Ratings in 2022

What are the Most Reliable Cars with the Highest Safety Ratings in 2023?

Now, with the help of the latest Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety results, we can see which are the safest models from each of the best-ranking manufacturers.

Lexus NX

2022 lexus nx 350 f sport black

The Lexus NX SUV has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, representing one of the most reliable vehicles on sale in Australia with a high safety rating.

Standard safety equipment for the NX includes AEB braking, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, emergency steering assist, 10 airbags and a rear-view camera with parking sensors.

Lexus NX ANCAP Safety Rating: 5-Stars (Tested 2022)

  • 91% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 89% Child Occupant Protection

  • 83% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 92% Safety Assist

Mazda CX-30

mazda cx-30 hybrid 2022

The CX-30 sits as one of Mazda’s more premium vehicles, designed as a reliable compact SUV option for small families and one that is built incredibly safe from the ground up.

Atop its incredibly strong ANCAP safety scores, the CX-30 boasts forward and reverse AEB braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, traffic sign recognition and a rear-view camera with parking sensors.

Mazda CX-30 ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2019)

  • 99% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 88% Child Occupant Protection

  • 80% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 76% Safety Assist

Nissan Qashqai

2022 nissan qashqai

Nissan’s range of SUVs has been massively updated in recent years, with styling upgrades, added entertainment equipment and a generous list of safety equipment that makes cars like the Qashqai a great option.

As standard, the Qashqai picks up forward and reverse AEB braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure alerts, blind-spot intervention, adaptive cruise control and curtain airbags throughout the cabin.

Nissan Qashqai ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2021)

  • 91% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 93% Child Occupant Protection

  • 74% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 97% Safety Assist

Toyota RAV4

toyota rav4 2023

Toyota’s family-favourite RAV4 SUV is a heavy-hitter when it comes to both safety and reliability, and in the case of the RAV4 Hybrid, very impressive running costs.

The entry-level RAV4 picks up safety equipment like AEB braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, lane-trace assist and trailer sway control.

Toyota RAV4 ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2019)

  • 93% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 89% Child Occupant Protection

  • 85% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 83% Safety Assist

Kia Niro

2023 kia niro ev gt line blue

Kia’s updated Niro range has seen a major styling refresh and added safety equipment as standard, making it a great option when it comes to reliability, ownership costs and impressive safety credentials.

Standard safety equipment for the Niro includes AEB braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, junction assist, lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention monitoring and reverse AEB in the range-topping Niro GT-Line.

Kia Niro ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2022)

  • 88% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 84% Child Occupant Protection

  • 76% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 87% Safety Assist

Mitsubishi Outlander

2023 mitsubishi outlander aspire phev

Mitsubishi’s updated Outlander has resulted in one of the most impressive and practical SUVs on the road today, with the company’s value-for-money proposition very much extending to safety equipment.

Standard safety gear for the Outlander includes forward and reverse AEB braking with junction assist, moving object detection, lane-departure alerts with lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear-cross traffic alerts and eight airbags.

Mitsubishi Outlander ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2022)

  • 83% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 92% Child Occupant Protection

  • 81% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 83% Safety Assist

Hyundai Ioniq 5

2023 hyundai ioniq 5

Hyundai’s futuristic SUV comes out of the gate with a raft of active safety technologies, and a clever electric powerplant that requires far less maintenance than a petrol-powered rival.

Safety equipment for the Ioniq 5 includes forward and rear AEB braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, lane centering and seven airbags inside the cabin.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2021)

  • 88% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 87% Child Occupant Protection

  • 63% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 89% Safety Assist

Genesis G80

2023 genesis g80 electrified green

While all members of the Genesis range, including SUVs like the GV70 and GV80 have picked up five-star ANCAP ratings, the G80 saloon is the outright winner when it comes to safety.

Standard safety kit includes AEB braking with turning and junction crossing assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, multi-collision braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, safe exit assist, a surround-view camera, an active bonnet and 10 airbags in the cabin.

Genesis G80 ANCAP Safety Score: 5-Stars (Tested 2020)

  • 91% Adult Occupant Protection

  • 86% Child Occupant Protection

  • 77% Vulnerable Road User Protection

  • 80% Safety Assist

What are the top five safety features in a new car? 

While some car owners might value some safety features more than ever, the basics of a safe car revolve around just a few, important aspects of keeping the car stable. These include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control systems, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward and rear collision avoidance, lane-keep assistance and, of course, as many airbags as the manufacturer can possibly squeeze into the cabin’s packaging. 

How do I find a safe new car? 

The best way to find the perfect new car packed with safety technology is to either search through ANCAP’s database directly, or get in contact with one of Online Auto’s expert car buyers that can find a car that matches all your key criteria, and provide all the relevant safety information directly to you. As our team of car researchers gets familiar with your needs, they can do the majority of the heavy lifting and point you in the direction of a make, model or segment of vehicles that tick all of your important boxes.

How to Keep Your Vehicle Reliable?

The most simple and effective way to keep your vehicle operating reliably is to keep it serviced on time and to use high-quality parts and fluids while servicing the vehicle.

You don’t necessarily have to take your vehicle to the manufacturer for its servicing, so long as you’re taking it to an authorised mechanic that has the know-how to work on your individual make and model.

Keeping the vehicle’s engine serviced with simple ingredients like fresh oil, a new oil filter, new spark plugs - when needed - and more significant work like ensuring the engine’s timing is within specification will help to keep the powertrain happy, and can result in hundreds of thousands of extra kilometres over its lifetime.

Other ways to keep your vehicle working reliably is to keep it garaged, when possible, to minimise exposure to the rain, which can cause corrosion, and UV light which can cause some types of plastic trim to degrade over a long period of time.

Simple Ways to Keep Your Vehicle Reliable

  • Keep your vehicle serviced

  • Check tyre pressures

  • Replace oil, oil & air filters regularly

  • Check coolant levels regularly (never while engine is hot)

  • Check power steering and transmission fluid

  • Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation for things like timing chains/belts

  • Rotate your tyres

  • Check your battery’s health

  • Look out for any warning lights and contact a mechanic ASAP when noticed

Request a Quote

If you’re looking for your safest and most reliable new car options, reach out to one of our car buying specialists who can help narrow down your options and find you the best possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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