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Best and worst used cars

The most reliable models and those to avoid

Consumer Reports magazine: April 2012

Savvy car buyers know that the best way to get the most vehicle for their money is to buy a used car. With the average new car losing 47 percent of its value in the first three years, buying used is an affordable way to get the safety and comfort features you want at a far better price.

The Best of the best list guides you to the 2002 to 2011 models that scored well in our road tests when new and have been consistently reliable over time. Each has achieved multiple years of above-average used-car verdicts (available to subscribers), indicating that owners have had relatively few problems.

Models built by Toyota and Honda dominate the list once again, and many of the best used vehicles are from Asian manufacturers. But high-quality vehicles are available from domestic and European automakers as well.

The Worst of the worst list shows models that have had multiple years of below-average reliability in our survey. It is dominated by vehicles from domestic and European manufacturers, primarily General Motors, which had 8 of the 24 models listed.

Our reliability data are derived from our Annual Auto Survey, which generated responses from subscribers on 1.3 million vehicles.

We also list reliable cars by price range (available to subscribers), so that you can easily see what's available for your budget.

Our Used cars to avoid list (available to subscribers) highlights specific models and the years that they had below-average reliability.

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