Car reliability is (or at least should be) the most important factor behind any car purchase. And nowhere will you find a cogent argument against Toyota as the maker of the most reliable models overall. However, Toyota’s do not come as cheap as they used to. And because of this, car shoppers need to look elsewhere for non-Toyota makes and models that are affordable and nearly as reliable.
Built Ford Tough
That was the message in a recent Car Wizard YouTube channel episode where the host does a convincing “show and tell” of why you should consider models from Ford’s Panther platform as the non-Toyota alternative to help you stay within your budget and drive off the lot with a reliable car that is built rock solid.
The Panther Platform
The Ford Panther platform is a rear-wheel-drive automobile platform that was used by Ford Motor Company for full-size, body-on-frame cars. The platform was introduced in 1978 and served as the basis for a variety of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles for several decades. The Panther platform was known for its durability, longevity, and traditional design.
Some of the well-known models built on the Panther platform include:
Ford Crown Victoria: A popular choice for police cars and taxi fleets, as well as civilian use.
Mercury Grand Marquis: Similar to the Crown Victoria, the Grand Marquis offered a more upscale and comfortable version.
Lincoln Town Car: Positioned as a luxury sedan, the Town Car was often used as a limousine or executive car.
These models were known for their robust construction, large interior space, and a smooth, comfortable ride. The Panther platform was phased out in the early 2010s as Ford shifted its focus to more modern, fuel-efficient, and lightweight vehicle architectures. Sadly (at least in my mind) the discontinuation of the Panther platform marked the end of an era for the traditional, full-size American sedan.
To give you a little more about these models and their pros and cons, here is a short and informative video from the Bcmwolverine YouTube channel as a reminder of what you may have missed out on when these models ruled the roads and sedans still looked like sedans.
A Buyer's Guide to The Panther Platform
More Details About What Makes This a Great Alternative Car Choice
Follow along with the Car Wizard as he goes over a low mileage 2002 Mercury as an example of what makes these Ford models so attractive that includes, but is not limited to:
- Ease of DIY repair.
- No shortage of affordable parts still available that are much less expensive than what Toyotas require.
- Beefy uncomplicated suspension.
- No excuses “Grandpa” car attitude.
- A price tag ranging today from a few to several thousand dollars depending on the miles and condition.
That said, here is the video review that is well worth watching and a good recommendation for car shoppers on a budget who cannot afford (or just don’t want) a Toyota.
These Are Unstoppable! Most Reliable Car on the Road Today!
For additional articles related to buying a used car, here are a three for your consideration that are not the typical choices car shoppers look for:
- Stop Buying New Hondas or Toyotas and Buy This $4,000 Project Car Instead
- Choosing A Classic Car or Truck for Use as a Daily Driver
- Chevy Trucks to Buy and Not Buy Explained by a Chevrolet Mechanic
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
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