Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

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The Top 9 Reliable Vehicles to Buy Used

If you’re looking for used cars, you’re likely inundated with a slur of choices. And sifting through these options can be challenging. So here is a list of nine vehicles that are more likely to be reliable used options. Remember that even makes and models listed here could potentially have issues; no car is perfect. In general, it’s advisable to take any car for a test drive and to have it checked by your mechanic before you purchase. That said, if you’re looking on the used market, you should keep your eye out for one of these nine vehicles.

9. Honda Civic (Compact Car)

In the age of the crossover SUV, there are still drivers who just want a compact car that gets excellent fuel efficiency and will last a long time. The Honda Civic is a perfect car for anyone who needs to commute or travel. This car received a redesign in 2016, though Civics from both current and past generations are likely to last well beyond the 200,000-mile mark. As one of the least expensive vehicles on this list, it’s possible to find a Civic in the range of $10,000 or less and still have a relatively recent model. Fuel efficiency ranges from year to year, but you can expect anywhere from 25 MPG to 42 MPG. Overall, this is a great, reliable, and efficient vehicle for the daily driver.

8. Dodge Challenger (Sports Car)

For the sports car lovers out there, the Dodge Challenger is a long-lasting muscle car that will deliver both power and reliability. Despite the fact that the Challenger has been built on the same platform for the last ten years, the draw of its allure is undeniable. Having a 3.6-liter V6, the 5.7-liter V8, or the mind-boggling 6.4-liter V8 means you have plenty of rev when you hit the gas. And unlike some of the competitors, this is a sports car that can serve as a sedan, and it gets an average of 23 MPG with the V6 engine. To add to all the appeal of owning an asphalt-burner, you could get lucky and find a used Challenger with all-wheel drive. Challenger owners give high ratings to this car for its reliability, and because it’s a lot of fun to drive.

A red 2019 Dodge Challenger, a popular used car, is shown from an above angle on pavement.

7. Chevy Tahoe (Truck-Based SUV)

Sometimes you need a good truck-based SUV with enough guts to handle severe driving conditions but can still serve as a family commuter. If you live on a back road, up in the mountains, or out in the wilderness, the Chevy Tahoe is a long-lasting SUV with a reputation for being able to take a beating. Chevy has been building the Tahoe since 1995, and this SUV is reported as consistently running over 200,000 miles. For those with big families, this beast can hold up to nine people and is comfortable without being too fussy. This is a great SUV to buy when you need a truck’s capability and the space for cargo or people.

6. Honda Odyssey (Minivan)

Despite the many articles that say minivans aren’t cool, plenty of people are still buying them. There’s no getting around the fact that a minivan is exceedingly comfy, caters to family life with ease, and it has a feel of pampering that other vehicles don’t have. The Honda Odyssey is aptly named, with its ability to last and last, well beyond the miles you might expect. Quality is also king when you ride in the cushy interior of the well-organized minivan, which has excellent safety ratings and is surprisingly responsive on the road for such a large vehicle. This is a great, convenient family vehicle that can be found used all over the market.

5. Toyota Prius (Hybrid)

More and more hybrids are hitting the market every year, but no matter how many manufacturers offer a hybrid option, the Toyota Prius still stands in a class of its own. This was the original hybrid car developed by the company that holds the record for most sales in this category by a long shot. The engineering used to develop the long-lasting batteries makes the Prius a very reliable car, and it has the room for passengers, cargo, and is flush with tech for modern life. There’s no comparison for fuel efficiency, either. Depending on the year, a combined efficiency of 46-52 MPG far exceeds any gas mileage you see in a strictly gas-powered sedan, and the Prius doesn’t require a plug for charging. If you want to save gas and money, find a used Prius.

4. Subaru Forester (SUV)

In parts of the United States that see a lot of snow, the Subaru Forester is practically a state car. When you need a rugged SUV with no-nonsense reliability, Foresters are known for their long lives. Aside from having standard all-wheel-drive to power through snow, mud, gravel, or pretty much anything else you want to throw at it, the Forester also offers a car-like driving experience with a smaller footprint that takes up much less room. Fuel efficiency is far better than a larger truck-based SUV, and there is a generous amount of cargo space in the versatile trunk area. While the Forester may not have the power under the hood that a larger SUV will have, it will still tow a modest light camper or trailer under 2,000 pounds. If you want an SUV that can serve many purposes, the Forester is it.

A grey 2017 Subaru Forester is driving on a city street.

3. Nissan Maxima (Sedan)

Somewhat in the same vein as the Dodge Challenger, the Nissan Maxima satisfies the desire for a sporty car that needs to accommodate family life. The Maxima is a midsize sedan that touts a V6 engine and a luxurious edge to its design while being far less costly than a true luxury sedan. Unlike most sports cars, this vehicle has four doors and trunk space that expands with rear folding seats. Gas mileage in used Maximas from the last decade will be about 22 MPG combined, and the reliability of this vehicle since 2007 has been well-regarded by owners. With all of that combined, the Maxima is a great find when buying used.

2. Audi S4 (Luxury Vehicle)

Plenty of luxury cars are considered long-lasting and reliable, but the Audi S4 deserves to be noted for its quality and capability to last up to and over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. Few cars offer the type of driving experience of an Audi. The classy, clean interior and the sleek and scaled-back exterior keep the Audi from being overly flashy, but the experience behind the wheel is certainly far above the average. From the responsiveness of the steering to the excitement of the engine’s power, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged horses of recent years will electrify your time on the road. This is a luxury car that doesn’t need to boast with excess because it’s all about finesse, and it is now only available as a used car because production halted in 2019.

1. Chevy Silverado 1500 (Truck)

Rounding us off at number one is the fan-favorite Chevy Silverado. Between durability and power, this is a reliable machine. Whether you buy a truck as a status symbol or as a workhorse, the Silverado is a well-loved truck with a long-running rep for being tough. As with so many trucks of the modern era, the options and features you may find on a used lot are endless. But what’s definitely standard across the board is a reliable truck that can handle rugged driving, towing, and hauling. Because this is such a popular vehicle, Chevy puts plenty of R&D into the making of this dependable truck. Even back a decade, you will find nifty features you might not expect, which makes this the best used vehicle on the market.