Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Cars and SUVs That You Can Buy Right Now

With the ongoing global chip shortage delaying new cars, Consumer Reports shows you the used-car sweet spot

2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade front, parked in grass
Toyota 4Runner
Photo: Toyota

Even with the incredible rise in used-car values, it’s still a wise financial move to buy a 3-year-old car instead of a brand-new one. That’s because they have many of the same safety and comfort features found in brand-new cars. This strategy also allows buyers to get a vehicle that’s almost equivalent to a new car, but at a lower price.

Some new models have been delayed or are in short supply because of a global shortage of chips needed for car safety and infotainment systems. Already in competition with consumer electronics, the supply chain of chips was disrupted this year and remains so. Because of this, buying a used car might be more than a wise choice—and depending on the vehicle you want, it might be your only option.

Three-year-old models are attractive because most leases are for three years. That means many of these cars have low miles, and because the lessor had to keep the car in good condition, the vehicles are likely to have been maintained properly and have interiors that were treated well.

More on Auto Reliability

Below you’ll find our list of the most reliable 3-year-old cars and SUVs we’ve identified based on our Annual Auto Surveys of Consumer Reports members.

The vehicles are listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer within their vehicle category. We also identify when active safety systems, including forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind spot warning (BSW) are optional or standard. Some of these models have our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

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