Is it time to replace your car? Owners of 27 percent of the vehicles in our latest Annual Car Reliability Survey acquired them used last year, and they're definitely on to something. Data from our exclusive survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, show that hundreds of used-car models provide good reliability. And they can be safe, fuel efficient, and affordable.

Used vehicles are often some of the best values you'll find because you sidestep the biggest expense associated with buying a new car: depreciation.

For example, a seven-year-old Lexus RX SUV, a safe and reliable vehicle that typically costs $40,000 when new, can be found for $12,000 to $14,000. And young drivers don't have to settle for a new small car like the Toyota Yaris when they can find a fairly new, roomier, and better equipped used vehicle in the same price range, such as a Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, or Toyota Camry.

To minimize the risks, look for vehicles that have proved to be reliable. The following lists of models from 1998 through 2007 will steer you to the gems (and away from the duds) among the thousands of used vehicles on the market.

The Best of the best and Worst of the worst are based on our larger lists of Reliable used cars and Used cars to avoid (both available to subscribers).

These comprehensive lists give you a rundown of all the models that were found, from our data, to be above or below average in reliability. Owners reported on any serious problems they had had with their cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks in the previous year.

BEST OF THE BEST

These are models that have performed well in CR road tests over the years, and have proved to have several or more years of better-than-average reliability. Listed alphabetically.

Acura Integra
Acura MDX
Acura RL
Acura RSX
Acura TL
Acura TSX
BMW M3
Buick LaCrosse
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda CR-V
Honda Element
Honda Odyssey
Honda Pilot
Honda S2000
Infiniti FX
Infiniti G20
Infiniti G35
Infiniti I30, I35
Infiniti QX4
Lexus ES
Lexus ES
Lexus GS (RWD)
Lexus GX
Lexus IS
Lexus LS
Lexus RX
Lexus SC
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car
Mazda Millenia
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda Protegé
Mazda3
Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Nissan Murano
Pontiac Vibe
Porsche 911 (except '03)
Scion tC
Scion xB
Subaru Baja
Subaru Forester
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Camry (except '07 V6)
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Echo
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Matrix
Toyota Prius
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Sienna
Toyota Tundra (except '07 V8 4WD)
Volvo S60




WORST OF THE WORST

These vehicles showed multiple Used Car Verdicts that were much worse than average, according to our survey respondents. They consistently had more problems than other models overall.

Buick Rendezvous (AWD)
Buick Terraza
Chevrolet Astro
Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Colorado (4WD)
Chevrolet S-10 Pickup (4WD)
Chevrolet Uplander
Chevrolet Venture
Chrysler Town & Country (AWD)
Dodge Grand Caravan (AWD)
GMC Canyon (4WD)
GMC Jimmy
GMC S-15 Sonoma (4WD)
GMC Safari
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sedona
Land Rover Discovery, LR3
Lincoln Aviator
Mercedes-Benz SL
Nissan Armada (4WD)
Nissan Titan (4WD)
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac G6
Pontiac Montana, Trans Sport, Montana SV6
Saturn Relay
Volkswagen Cabriolet
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan (turbo)
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan (V6)
Volkswagen Touareg


About these lists
The lists on these pages are compiled from overall reliability data covering 1998-2007 models with above-average or much-below-average reliability. CR Good Bets and Bad Bets include only the models for which we have sufficient data for at least three model years. Models that were brand-new in 2006 or 2007 do not appear. Problems with the engine major, engine cooling, transmission major, and drive system were weighted more heavily than other problems.

The full Ratings and recommendations for more than 200 vehicles, along with the latest information on thousands of other products and services, are available to ConsumerReports.org subscribers. Find out how to subscribe today.