Here is my definition of reliability; My 2000 Mercury Villager Minivan. Yes, I own a soul sucking Minivan, so you wanna make something of it?
I bought this vehicle in the summer of 2000 after I read an article in Automotive News about how Ford announced that the Quest and the Villager were going to die. You see, I leased a Mercury Mountaineer in which the lease was about to expire, and I really didn’t want another Explorer in drag. While I appreciated the room, I didn’t appreciate the lousy fuel mileage, so the perfect replacement would have the room I needed, with a bit better fuel economy.
Therefore I zeroed in on this particular Minivan because it wasn’t as long as the Windstar or the longer versions of the Chrysler Triplets, it still had plenty of room, and it’s powered by a version of the excellent VQ engine. So I started looking at the Nissan versions, with a passing glance at the Mercury versions, and I found that the Mercury dealers were pricing these units at a lower price point, which made it easy to turn in the Mountaineer when I took delivery.
The version I chose was the base van, with few options, and I was able to buy it for close to $20,000 (MSRP was around $26,000) AND 0.9% financing. The only option was the two tone paint. I now wish I went for the option package that included deep tint glass, rear A/C, as well as other sundry options, but that is water under the bridge. Anyway, I bought the van from a dealer in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and for the next decade, the Minivan that was built by Ford with Nissan components chugged on and on and on.
This van only demanded fuel, regular oil changes, a set of tires, a replacement battery, and new front brake pads. It never left me stranded, never failed to start, always operated as it should comfortably, quietly, competently, without asking anything in return. I never replaced the shocks (something I think I should), rear brake pads, spark plugs, or hoses. I replaced only one tail lamp (yes they all work), a few filters, and one transmission fluid change. I never had the A/C serviced. The van gets an average of 25 MPG, maybe a bit more when I’m on the highway.
So this is my definition of reliability. It virtually costs me nothing to fix, insurance cost is practically nothing, property taxes are almost non existent, and I’m assured that no one would steal the damn thing. It will always start, run, and never leave me stranded. So what’s your definition of reliability?