The most reliable and satisfying used cars
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 7:00PM PDT
Buying a used car is a great way to save money on a big purchase. But those savings can be lost if the car isn’t reliable, or if you don’t enjoy driving it.
Consumer Reports polled more than 200,000 subscribers to see how satisfied they were with their vehicles and whether they’d buy them again.
"In addition to being reliable, they were fun to drive, had great fuel economy, and had high tech features or luxurious cabins," said Jon Kinkov with Consumer Reports.
No matter the age, test results and satisfied owners alike found you can't go wrong with these two small SUVs: the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV-4.
Need a minivan for the family? Consider the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, both of which are likely to make it to 300,000 kilometres or more.
Subscribers also liked the Toyota Tundra pickup truck for its driving and reliability.
And when it comes to the best return on investment for used vehicles, the sweet spot to buy is at the three-year mark.
“The three-year-old models are a little more expensive but they'll have the latest safety and comfort features. On the other hand while a 10-year-old model is less expensive to buy you have to figure in the cost of repairing it," explained Linkov.
For example, a mid-sized favorite, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, will cost you around $22,000 and about $70 in maintenance and repairs in year three. At year 10 expect to pay around $11,000, but $465 in annual maintenance costs.
Buying used won’t just help you save money, it can also help the planet. The Toyota Prius was among the most satisfying cars for both three- and 10-year-old models for its combination of fuel efficiency and reliability.
There were also a couple of exceptions in the survey.
Among them, the Toyota 4Runner consistently scores high marks from owners, but its unsettled ride and clumsy handling hurt it in Consumer Reports tests.