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Best Used Cars at the Right Price Lists Consumer Reports

A new listing from analysts at Consumer Reports reveals what car brands consistently provide models of used cars that rate the best in reliability, safety, fuel economy and customer satisfaction. Here is their latest listing of those brands and their recommended selection of the top 5-year-old cars and SUVs.

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Finding a Good Reliable Used Car from a Trusted Brand

Shopping for a good used car is fraught with the reality that too often too little is known about a used car’s history. In fact, some mechanics point out that when it comes to buying a used car that it is really a matter of how well maintained the car is over the make and model’s street cred when shoppers ask the well-intentioned question of “Which model is best?

Related article: Consumer Reports Reveals How to Find Hidden Problems in a Used Car Before Buying It

However, according to today’s Consumer Reports revised listing of used car recommendations, there is something to be said about used car shopping with confidence when seeking out a used car from a dependable brand that you can trust.

And where does the trust come from? It comes from a careful analysis of survey data gleaned from car owners who tell it like it is with the last car they bought regarding the pros and cons they found as car owners under real world driving conditions for a wide range of makes and models.

Bear in mind, however, that multiple models within makes do not always rate equally well. Therefore, for used car shopping it is pertinent to know how the makes compare overall AND which models within the makes are proven reliable standouts as opposed to less reliable and/or less safe sister models within each manufactured year.

Used Car Shopping Made Less Complicated

That said, shopping for a used car is complicated when trying to make an informed buying decision. However, to help you find the car you want, Consumer Reports analysts have already done the work for you.

The good news is that there are a variety of safe and reliable used-car choices out there,” says Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing. “We picked an assortment of car types from the most reliable brands, including a few that just might be off your radar.”

With that in mind, here is a summary of their listing that comes in two parts: (1) Overall brand reliability per customer surveys. (2) Eight highlighted models from their list of the top reliable brands of the 2017 model year.

Related article: Consumer Reports Recommends These Used Compact Cars with the Best Fuel Economy


According to CR’s brand ratings, picking out almost any model from Toyota or Lexus will greatly increase your chances of having chosen a good used car as long as it has been reasonably maintained. Lexus came out on top as #1 with a reliability rating of 91 while Toyota came in second with a reliability rating of 84. However, it is fair to note that Toyota has 12 models in comparison to Lexus with 5 models.

Next in order down for the top 10 rated reliable brands we have:

#3. ACURA (average reliability: 81)

#4. INFINITI (average reliability: 77)

#5. MERCEDES-BENZ (average reliability: 66)

#6. NISSAN (average reliability:65)

#7. BUICK (average reliability: 61)

#8. MAZDA (average reliability: 61)

#9, LINCOLN (average reliability:59)

#10. VOLKSWAGEN (average reliability: 59)


1. Luxury Midsized SUV: 2017 Lexus RX
Price Range: $33,150 - $38,650
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

2. Midsized 3-row SUV: 2017 Toyota Highlander
Price Range: $24,950 - $34,150
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

3. Compact SUV: 2017 Honda CR-V
Price Range: $21,925 - $27,350
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg

4. Midsized 2-row SUV: 2017 Nissan Murano
Price Range: $33,210 - $46,460 (2022 pricing, n/a for 2017 currently listed)
CR MPG: Overall 21 / City 15 / Hwy 29 mpg

5. Midsized Sedan: 2017 Subaru Legacy
Price Range: $23,495 - $36,695 (2022 pricing, n/a for 2017 currently listed)
CR MPG: Overall 28 / City 19 / Hwy 39 mpg

6. Large Sedan: 2017 Buick LaCrosse
Price Range: $18,825 - $25,375
Owner Reported MPG: 26 mpg

7. Luxury Sedan: 2017 Infiniti Q50
Price Range: $19,175 - $28,950
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

8. Compact Car: 2017 Mazda 3
Price Range: $16,500 - $19,050
Owner Reported MPG: 30 mpg

And finally…

For additional information about buying used cars, here are some selected articles to consider:

Consumer Reports on How to Assess a Used Vehicle’s True Value

Consumer Reports Best Used Older Cars for Under $10,000 That You Can Buy Right Now

Best Low Cost Used Cars and SUVs That Consumer Reports Analysts Would Recommend for Their Own Family

COMING UP NEXT: Oil Change Customer Sued for Death in Car Service Center Incident

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pexels

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