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Consumer Reports Rates Most Reliable, Most Troublesome Used Cars

Consumer Reports Rates Most Reliable, Most Troublesome Used Cars

April 2001 issue looks at best and worst used vehicles

YONKERS, NY – Buying a used car isn’t as risky as it once was. Dramatic improvements in reliability, design, and construction have made used cars, dollar for dollar, one of the best automotive values. Consumers looking for a late-model used set of wheels can improve their odds of a better bargain, based on the April 2001 story, “Used Cars: Best & Worst” in Consumer Reports (CR).

Hundreds of models have been classified as “Reliable Used Cars” due to their above-average reliability, based on responses from subscribers surveyed. The reliable models are divided into eight price-categories from less than $6,000 to $25,000 and up, according to what you’d pay for a typically equipped car with average mileage. Reflecting the best of the best from the “Reliable Used Cars” list, “CR Good Bets” have consistently performed well in our tests and proved to be very reliable over time. At the other end of the spectrum are the “Reliability Risks,” derived from the “Used Cars to Avoid” for models with multiple years of poor reliability that CR judged consumers should not consider.

CR Good Bets The following models have performed well in Consumer Reports tests over the years and have proved to be consistently better than average in overall reliability. They are listed alphabetically.

Acura Integra Acura Legend Acura RL Acura TL BMW 3-Series Ford Escort Geo/Chevrolet Prizm Honda Accord Honda Civic Honda CR-V Honda Odyssey (except 1999) Infiniti G20 Infiniti I30 Isuzu Oasis Lexus ES300 Lexus GS300/GS400 Lexus LS400 Mazda Millenia Mazda MX-5 Miata Mazda Protégé Mercury Tracer Nissan Altima Nissan Maxima Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Sentra Subaru Forester Subaru Impreza Subaru Legacy Toyota 4Runner Toyota Avalon Toyota Camry Toyota Celica Toyota Corolla Toyota Previa Toyota RAV4 Toyota Sienna

Reliable used cars less than $6,000 These models have shown above average reliability and are listed alphabetically.

FORD Festiva ‘93 GEO Metro ’95-’96; Prizm ’93; Tracker ‘94 NISSAN Sentra ‘93 SUBARU Impreza ‘93 SUZUKI Sidekick ’94; Swift ’95-96

How we do it

The lists take the guesswork out of selecting a reliable used car. Instead, consumers can benefit from data compiled from reader responses to our annual questionnaire and years of unbiased assessments by CR’s auto experts. The lists were compiled from overall reliability data and cover model years 1993 to 2000. They show models whose reliability has consistently been better or worse than the norm. Problems with the engine, engine cooling, transmission, and driveline were weighted more heavily than other problems. For “CR Good Bets” and “Reliability Risks,” CR includes only the models for which we have sufficient data for at least three model years. Models that were introduced in 1999 or 2000 do not appear on these lists.

Our reliability data is independent of vehicle performance. A car that performed well in our tests might show worse-than-average reliability, hence its appearance on the “Reliability Risks” or “Used Cars to Avoid” lists.

For a list of Reliable Used Cars and Used Cars to Avoid, look for the April Auto Issue of Consumer Reports, which will be available March 20th, wherever magazines are sold. For comprehensive information on used cars, look for the Used Car Buying Guide 2001 by the editors of Consumer Reports, available on newsstands and in bookstores everywhere. To help navigate successfully, through the huge used car market there’s a used car selector, Consumer Reports unique reliability data, tips on inspecting a used car, and good advice on how to sell your present car, available free of charge by clicking the Auto Hub link on home page.