February 26, 2009
Yonkers, New York – Consumer Reports has released the list of its most and least reliable used cars for the last ten years in its Annual Auto Issue. The vehicles range from model years 1999 to 2008, with Toyota and Honda dominating the majority of the nine categories.
The picks in five categories are:
Small Cars: Honda Civic, Toyota Echo, Scion xB*, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda3, Mazda Protegé, Subaru Impreza
Family Cars: Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan*, Toyota Camry (except 2008 V6), Subaru Outback (six-cylinder), 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 (2005-2008), Toyota Sequoia
* Model not sold in Canada
The report also features “Used Cars to Avoid” and “Worst of the Worst”, which names vehicles with multiple years of much worse than average reliability, including models from Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Porsche, Saturn, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Consumer Reports noted that problem rates for cars have decreased across the board, so newer used cars should hold up better than their predecessors as they age. Among five-year-old and newer cars, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan are about tied in reliability. European cars, long the least reliable overall, are pulling even with the domestics on newer models. The magazine also noted that cars with high problem rates are not always the oldest vehicles.
Across all ten years of the survey, the most commonly reported problems are with the check engine light, windows, and squeaks and rattles. Brake problems became evident at five years.
The full report is contained in the Annual Auto Issue, on sale from March 3 to May 4, 2009.