Bear in mind that modern cars are designed to last, without significant repairs, but with routine maintenance, for X km, where X is a somewhat variable number, but say 30000-100000 as a start (that varies by both manufacturer and model). That gets the car out of the warranty, and in most cases into the hands of the second or third owner. The third owner of a car is NOT the customer that the car is designed for, if it is a troublesome POS by then, well you are basically operating in unknown territory so far as the car's development process went. The only customer who gets really considered is the one who buys the car in the first place, and since he is affected by residuals, that means the second owner also gets a look-in. TCO is tracked by all fleet operators, so you'll find that maintenance for the expected life of a fleet vehicle is cheap. But once you are out of that zone, TCO is a low priority, except so far as it affects residuals for fleet operators.
When I started driving, a five year old, 50k mileage car was all I could afford, and was generally regarded as approaching 'banger' status. Now i see cars 10 or 15 years old still in every day use, still looking smart (the dreaded tin worm seems to be extinct) and running reliably. With modern ECUs and FI, they start without a problem even on a British winter's day. The improvement over the last 30 years or so has been huge.
And these modern 'old bangers' will out run the sporting cars of my youth, whilst returning mpg figures to give a Arab oil baron bad dreams.