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Used Cars: Most Reliable 5-Year-Old Midsized SUVs Recommended by Consumer Reports

Here’s a summary of the recommended best used midsized SUVs that hit the sweet spot where reliability, size, and 5-year depreciation make these midsized SUVs very attractive for smart shoppers.

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Depreciated (and appreciated) SUVs Selected

Today, analysts from Consumer Reports released their list of recommended five-year-old midsized SUVs that are a combination of significant savings and reliability for SUV shoppers looking for a good deal in a used SUV that has the room SUV owners are looking for without new SUV pricing.

Based on our exclusive Annual Auto Surveys of CR members, we’ve identified the most reliable 5-year-old midsized SUVs from the 2018 model year to help you make a smart choice...,” says Consumer Reports.

Tips Before Buying That Used SUV

While it is easy to get excited when you’ve found one of the recommendations from CR analysts, don’t be too hasty about closing that deal. Taking a little time and effort can save you a lot of money and headache down the road by making sure that you’ve followed the advice from these 3 tips when evaluating a used car deal.

Tip #1: Look for Signs of Odometer Fraud---Odometer fraud is one of the easiest scams some used car dealers resort to for deceiving unwary car buyers. This is especially common on models that look like they have not been driven that much by its previous owner.

Related article: The Most Important Used Car Scam Everyone Should Be Aware About

Tip #2: Look for Signs of Flood Damage---This is another money-making scam some used car dealers resort to that works quite well because they have gotten good at not only hiding the damage, but also counting on the fact that electrical problems due to flood damage don’t appear until months later after corrosion has had time to set in and develop.

Related articles: Used Car Seller Tricks to Resurrect a Flood Damaged Car and How to Spot a Used Car Being Flipped After a Hurricane

Tip #3: Just Because it is in Writing Doesn’t Mean It’s True---Used car scammers are aware that car shoppers know that checking a car’s history online is easy to do. So, they try to get ahead of you by handing you a printout of a car’s history report and/or their in-house maintenance checklist to appear to be credible when in fact they have selectively left out information or altered the documents.

Related articles: Scam Alert: What Dealerships Don’t Want You to Know About Used Car Inspections and Consumer Reports Warns Used Car Buyers About Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Scams

That all said and done, here is a summary of reliable 5-year-old midsized SUVs from the 2018 model year.

Most Reliable 5-Year-Old Midsized SUVs

1. 2018 Acura MDX
Price Range: $25,875 - $31,300
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg
CR States, “Fuel economy from the 3.5-liter V6 and nine-speed transmission is impressive at 21 mpg overall.”
Rated reliability: 4/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 56%

2. 2018 Lexus RX
Price Range: $31,250 - $39,625
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg
CR states, “The 3.5-liter V6 in the RX 350 has smooth and ample power. The hybrid version offers added boost and a superb 29 mpg overall.”
Rated reliability: 5/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 78%

3. 2018 Lincoln MKX
Price Range: $21,675 - $31,500
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg
CR states, “Look for one with the optional 335-hp, 2.7-liter turbo V6, which is smooth and delivers effortless thrust. The standard 303-hp, 3.7-liter V6 feels unremarkable.”
Rated reliability: 4/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 59%

4. 2018 Mazda CX-9
Price Range: $18,500 - $25,725
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg
CR states, “Power comes from a responsive, free-revving 227-hp, 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder mated to a smooth six-speed automatic. This engine is rated at 250 hp if you use premium fuel, but there’s no reason to do so; it puts out plenty of power on regular. We got an impressive 22 mpg overall.”
Rated reliability: 5/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 70%

5. 2018 Nissan Murano
Price Range: $18,775 - $24,275
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg
CR states, “There’s plenty of oomph on tap from its powerful V6, and the continuously variable transmission works well. Fuel economy averaged 21 mpg overall in our tests, typical for the class.
Rated reliability: 5/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 70%

6. 2018 Subaru Outback
Price Range: $18,500 - $24,375
Owner Reported MPG: 26 mpg
CR states, “Functionally, it does everything most midsized SUVs can do except tow a heavy load. With the 2.5i, we measured fuel economy of 24 mpg overall, although this engine won’t win you many races. Six-cylinder 3.6R versions are much quicker and even quieter, with little penalty in fuel economy. We got 22 mpg overall.”
Rated reliability: 4/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: Not listed; however, it gets a rating of 4/5 for owner satisfaction.

7. 2018 Toyota Highlander
Price Range: $25,700 - $35,175
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg
CR states, “Most Highlanders come with a refined, 270-hp V6 coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, returning 20 mpg overall—the hybrid V6 version was good for 25 mpg overall.”
Rated reliability: 5/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: 72%

8. 2018 Toyota 4Runner
Price Range: $28,150 - $41,075
Owner Reported MPG: 18 mpg
CR states, “The 4.0-liter V6 engine is powerful but gets noisy when pushed. The 18 mpg overall it manages is decent considering the engine’s 270 hp and that the 4Runner is shaped like a brick.”
Rated reliability: 5/5
Percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" as to whether or not they would buy the same vehicle again: Not listed; however, it gets a rating of 4/5 for owner satisfaction.

For a more detailed breakdown of the data, please visit the CR website. Note that while access to some information requires a CR membership, the potential savings make it negligible in comparison when looking for the latest information to aid your car buying research.

And finally…

For additional articles about buying an SUV, here are a few for your consideration:

Best Electric Cars & SUVs for 2023

Best Used Cars and SUVs for Less Than $5,000 Recommended by Consumer Reports

Best Hybrid SUVs for Less Than $35,000 From Consumer Reports' Tests

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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.

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