Consumer Reports: Most Reliable Used Cars for 2009

Consumer Reports released its 2009 Annual Auto Issue, which includes used-car reliability scores. The model data identifies the reliability of used cars from 1999 to 2008. The data comes from Consumer Reports subscribers, who report on the problems they have with their new vehicles over time.

A few notable points include the increased reliability of European vehicles, which now match newer domestic models. Also, five-year-old-vehicle reliability scores from Ford, Hyundai and Nissan are virtually tied.

Both facts help validate what many car shoppers are hearing in Ford and Hyundai commercials: That their reliability is better than ever.

While reliability has improved industry-wide, Toyota and Honda continue to dominate Consumer Reports’ “Best of the Best” used-car list.

Below are some CR top picks for used cars (1998-2008):

  • Small Cars: Honda Civic, Toyota Echo, Scion xB, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda3, Mazda Protégé, Subaru Impreza
  • Family Cars: Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Toyota Camry (except '08 V-6), Subaru Outback (six-cyl.), Nissan Altima
  • Minivans: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey
  • Small SUVs: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Midsize and large SUVs: Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, Infiniti FX35, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX4, Lexus GX, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Tribeca, Nissan Xterra ('05-'08), Toyota Sequoia 

How used cars are holding up (Consumer Reports)