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Used cars Best & worst

The most reliable—and the most troublesome.

Although cars tend to be much more reliable than they used to be, buying any used vehicle involves some degree of risk. You can limit that risk by buying a car with a proven track record of reliability.

The exclusive reliability data in Consumer Reports can help guide you to models to look for and models you'd do well to avoid.

CR Good Bets, below, are the best of the best. These have performed well in our road tests and have been consistently better than average in overall reliability.

The list of Reliable used cars (available to ConsumerReports.org subscribers only) can help you find specific vehicles that have proved to be above average in reliability. At the other end of the spectrum are the Reliability Risks (also below), vehicles that are especially dicey buys because they have exhibited several years of poor overall reliability. Used cars to avoid (available to ConsumerReports.org subscribers only) lists all the models that have had below-average reliability.

CR Good Bets


Acura Integra
Acura RL
Acura TL
BMW 3-Series
Ford Escort
Ford F-150 (2WD)
Geo/Chevrolet Prizm
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Honda CR-V


Acura RL Honda Odyssey
Infiniti G20
Infiniti I30
Isuzu Oasis
Lexus ES300
Lexus GS300/GS400
Lexus LS400
Lexus RX300
Lincoln Town Car
Mazda Millenia
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda Protegé
Mercury Tracer

Honda Civic
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan Sentra
Saab 9-5
Saturn S-Series
Subaru Forester
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Legacy

Toyota 4Runner
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla
Toyota RAV4
Toyota Sienna
Toyota Tacoma


Toyota RAV4


Reliability risks



The models in this list are especially risky buys. Distilled from the list of Used cars to avoid, (available to ConsumerReports.org subscribers only), they have exhibited multiple years of poor overall reliability. The list contains many twins and triplets, which are essentially similar models sold under different nameplates. Listed alphabetically.

Cadillac Catera
Chevrolet Astro
Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet S-10 (V6, 4WD)
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (4WD)
Chrysler LHS, New Yorker
Chrysler Town & Country ('94-97)
Dodge Dakota (4WD)
Dodge Durango
Dodge Grand Caravan ('94-97)
Dodge Intrepid
Dodge Neon
Dodge Ram 1500 (4WD)
Ford Windstar
GMC Jimmy
GMC S-15 Sonoma (V6, 4WD)
GMC Safari
GMC Sierra 1500 (4WD)
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Cutlass
Plymouth Grand Voyager ('94-97)
Plymouth Neon
Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac Grand Am
Volkswagen New Beetle
Volvo S70/V70 (AWD)
Volvo S80



Good Bets and Reliability Risks are compiled from overall-reliability data covering 1994 through 2001 models with better-than or much-worse-than-average reliability. We included only the models for which we have sufficient data for at least three model years. Models that were brand new in 2000 or 2001 do not appear on these lists. Problems with the engine, engine cooling, transmission, and drive system were weighted more heavily than other problems.
 

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Anybody else surprised by...

Saab 9-5 on the "good bet" list?

I though CR hated turbos? Can you get a N/A 9-5?
 

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Paul, I notice that is mostly American made cars, so that shows us that mostly Japanese made are the one to get.:18: :29:
 

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Don't Tell Lester - It'll Kill Him

I thought about forwarding this to good old Lester89:2: but then decided that as much fun as it would be busting his bubble - NOTHING is worth giving him an excuse to come back:30:
Meep Meep
 

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Aaawww! Don't be chicken RR.

If lester did come back we are ready for him ...
:9:
:11:
 

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paul123 said:
Mercedes ML listed as a RISK
It's not just a risk, but it's "especially risky" according to CR :p Only bad thing about the list is that the MDX is conspicuously absent from the "good bet" section :( Below I have distilled the CR list down to reflect only the SUVs and after seeing the company the M-Class has been keeping, it would appear that the "M" stands for "mediocre" :2: Hmmm... is that the CR-V I see at the top of the list? Yeah, yeah, I know it's alphabetical, but it still looks nice at the top of the list :15: (BTW, I personally don't consider the Forester to be an SUV, thus I've zapped it)


CR Good Bets

Honda CR-V
Lexus RX300
Nissan Pathfinder
Toyota 4Runner
Toyota RAV4



Reliability risks

Chevrolet Blazer
Dodge Durango
GMC Jimmy
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Oldsmobile Bravada
 
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