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.
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
WORST OF THE WORST
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.
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