Yonkers, New York – Some 2008 models have about the same or fewer problems than similar 2010 models, according to Consumer Reports, which said that used cars can be the best way to get the most vehicle for the money. An average new car loses 47 per cent of its value in the first three years of ownership, the magazine said.
Eleven 2008 models ranked as well or better than similar 2010 models in the same class in the report. Among the most trouble-free 2008 models were the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Yaris, with 11 and 12 problems per 100 vehicles respectively; the average 2010 car had 12 problems per 100 vehicles. While the two models did not score well in Consumer Reports road tests, some of the other most reliable models did, such as the 2008 Honda CR-V and Fit, making them better overall choices.
Overall, Japanese cars are the most trouble-free, with Honda and Toyota far ahead compared with older vehicles made by other major manufacturers, especially 2006 and earlier models.
“Knowing a brand’s reputation for reliability can aid the used-car shopper, but it’s not foolproof,” said David Champion, senior director of the Auto Test Center. “You’re buying just one model from that brand. So it’s important to check out the specific model’s reliability ratings and learn about other factors like performance and safety.”
The survey also found that five-year-old models can be good bets, although problem rates on average are worse than the rates of three- or four-year-old cars. While three-quarters of the three-year-old vehicles in the survey were problem-free, so were two-thirds of the five-year-old models. The most problem-free five-year-old model was the 2006 Toyota Highlander V6, which had 19 problems per 100 vehicles.
Cars older than five years old are not trouble-free either, and only half of the nine- and ten-year-old vehicles had gone 12 months without a reported problem.
The magazine has compiled a “Best of the Best” list to guide consumers to the 2001 to 2010models that scored well in road tests when new and have been consistently reliable. The models are:
Best Used Small Car: Honda Fit
Best Used Family Car: Toyota Prius
Best Used Upscale Car: Lexus ES
Best Used Luxury Car: Acura RL
Best Used Sport/Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Best Used Minivan: Toyota Sienna
Best Used Small SUV: Honda CR-V
Best Used Midsize/Large SUV: Toyota Highlander
Best Used Pickup Truck: Honda Ridgeline