Mechanic’s Take: Top 10 Vehicles [Updated for 2021]


Mechanic picksAre you in the market for a new (or lightly used) car?

If so, you’re in luck because our team of Portland mechanics at AG Automotive has put together this list of 10 great options for you to consider. Our experienced auto technicians see a wide array of cars, trucks, and SUVs in gas, diesel, and even electric variants, and are experts in all vehicle makes and models!

Read on to learn about some of our favorites.



Mechanic’s Take: Top 10 Vehicles [Updated for 2021]

Below is our list of the top 10 vehicles for 2021, in no particular order. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone on this list! 

  1. Ford F150 Powerstroke Diesel: The Ford F-150 has been a staple in business trucks worldwide for years, and for good reason. It is a reliable truck with good towing capabilities, a spacious interior, and a modern style that no one will find out of date. Ford has been making the F150 line since 1948. They were originally called the Ford Bonus Built trucks, but their body code was F150. Later in their years, they followed the same trend as many manufacturers and put the body code in their name (take the Camaro ZL1 for instance,) and it’s stuck ever since. Ford’s Powerstroke turbo diesels have a long history of durability, as well as tunability, so whether you’re looking for a company truck or a personal toy, Ford has you covered with the newest F150.
  2. Ford Mustang Ecoboost: Mustangs have made a name for themselves as America’s pony car. From the very beginning, they have been stylish and powerful with a look you would never mistake for anything else. The newest set released offers not only their V8 option in the GT but the surprisingly capable Ecoboost model with a 2.3 liter turbocharged inline 4 cylinder that promises up to 330 hp from the factory. One thing to keep in mind is that the car tuning community knows very well how to squeeze more power out of a factory turbo’d motor. Just look at their success with the 2008-2011 BMW 335I, where COBB Tuning was able to get a staggering 73hp and 105tq extra to the wheels!
  3. Subaru Outback: The Subaru Outback has been in the game for a long time. It’s favorited as a reliable grocery-getter all the way to an overlanding champion. Subaru’s all-wheel-drive systems have been long renowned as some of the best in the world, their higher performance options even offering front and rear biasing (70% power to the rear, 30% to the front, and vise versa), allowing the car to handle more like a front / rear-wheel drive while still being helped by the other. These cars will last you a lifetime with proper maintenance.
  4. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:Toyota is proving their mettle once more in the hybrid game with the all-new Rav 4 Hybrid. With an estimated 38 to 40 mpg, adaptive front-to-all-wheel-drive system, and modest 219 net hp to the wheels, this is a fantastic all-around vehicle that should be capable of everything life has to offer. If their previous Rav 4 models are anything to go by, this should be a very reliable SUV that is easy to take care of with a sturdy electronics package that won’t go out of style any time soon. Starting at $28,000 before options, this is a lower-budget family car that would make for the perfect first new car.
  5. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van: The Sprinter van has been a workhorse in the industrial workforce for years now, with good reason. Now they are becoming very popular with the “van life” community due to their reliability and relative ease to work on. Their 5000 to 7,500 lb tow limit is also quite respectable for a utility van. Their 2-liter motors (either gas or diesel) are also quite capable. They are on the more expensive side of the industrial van options but you get what you pay for.
  6. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Hyundai has quickly reversed all previous beliefs and come out with some fantastic cars, starting as early as the mid-2000s. Now, they’re revamping their older Sonata model to include a hybrid variant that gets up to 50 mpg! They now have a leading class economy car, along with their performance-oriented Stinger lineup. These cars promise to be loaded with tech, at an affordable price point. The 2021 model is set to cost $28,000 before options, and they allow you to customize yours on-site, so stop by and try it out!
  7. Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Dodge has always been renowned for its heavy-duty, capable trucks, and the new Ram 1500 Ecodiesel is no exception. With a 12,500 lb towing capacity and an average 21 to 30 mpg highway, this is a great choice for your next fleet vehicle or personal duty truck. All Ram 1500s are proven workhorses that will last a very long time if well maintained – especially the diesel variations, whose engines have lasted upwards of 300,000 miles! This truck should inspire confidence if nothing else.
  8. Ford Escape Ecoboost: As with the Mustang earlier in the list, the Escape line has been running for quite some time now (not as long as the Mustang, but plenty long to gather a great fanbase.) They run a similar turbo inline four-cylinder, meaning that performance gains will be yours with little upgrading if that is your goal. As an added benefit, this vehicle is an SUV with a toggle for either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive depending on your needs. If you want to let the computers do the thinking for you, it also has an automatic mode where it will switch between them as it feels necessary. Since it comes standard with an 8-gear automatic transmission, it’s able to achieve between 21 city to 30 mpg highway, which for an AWD mid-size SUV is pretty respectable. Priced at $33,000 for a fully-loaded model, the bang for buck value is certainly there.
  9. Honda Civic Sedan:The Honda Civic… What is there that we can say that hasn’t already been said about them. Throughout the years (since the ’70s!) the Honda Civic has been a reliable commuter car for a lower budget, but as time has gone on they’ve been adding more and more premium features to them. If you want a more sporty variant, you’re able to get the Civic Si, or for the biggest package, the Civic Type R is there for the true enthusiast.
  10. Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Starting at $23,000, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid would make a fantastic introduction to the world of hybrid vehicles. Sporting an over eleven-gallon gas tank with 52 plus miles to the gallon, you’re promised to travel in comfort for a long time between fill-ups. Corolla’s have been a great family or economy car for years now, and while being at the lower end of Toyota’s lineup, they certainly aren’t a bad deal. Offering both a sedan or hatchback version in a wide array of colors, you can truly mix and match to get your perfect new (or lightly used) car here that is sure to last you for many years to come.

Our Top 10 Recap

The last few years have been incredible with what has come to the market from all common manufacturers. With technological developments on the rise and great features becoming less expensive and more accessible, the sky’s the limit with what your new car can do for you. Just make sure you take care of it with a regimented maintenance plan so it works for the longest it possibly can. 

If you’re looking for an experienced and reliable auto technician to help you stay on top of your vehicle maintenance, check out our blog on finding an honest mechanic near you. Better yet, if you’re in Portland, Oregon come into AG Auto and see why many companies and customers have already chosen to trust us with their vehicles.

Don’t Second-Guess the Condition of Your Vehicle

Many auto owners struggle to know if the right work was done the right way on their car. As a courtesy, we provide digital vehicle inspections and photos so you can quickly and easily see what our experienced, professional technicians are seeing. Overall, we go the extra mile to help you make informed decisions on the repair and maintenance plan of your vehicle, so you can drive with confidence every time you get behind the wheel.