Most Reliable Cars in History
MercedesBenz 240D or 300D
Model years: 1975 and beyond,If you wanted a Mercedes in the early 1980s that got reasonable mileagethat is, above 20 mpgyou got a diesel. That the company sold as many as it did was largely a fluke of federal regulations; the thrifty diesels allowed Mercedes to meet fleet fuel economy standards. They also were built to run forever, with not a single bit of electronics needed under the hood.
[These cars] are like a rocking chair made out of hickory, says Mitch Carr, whos been working on these models in his Kensington, Md., shop since 1986. Once you get it started, you could throw out the battery and it would keep running. Theres nothing to go wrong.
Generally garaged and carefully serviced by their original owners, many of these are now with their second or third owner. Theyre popular among tinkerers, especially those who like to convert them to run on recycled vegetable oil. The Mercs are still used as cabs in many countries, such as in Morocco, pictured.
Mercedes was one of the few manufacturers that continued selling diesels after this golden era of the diesel, though sales were minimal when gas was cheap. The core reliability of a diesel engine remains the same in these later models, but the later Benzes suffered the same software teething problems of their gasolinepowered counterparts in the late 1990s and 2000s.