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Best Used Cars to Buy

the halo list

The Halo List Represents the Most Reliable Cars

Knowing which are the best cars to buy is the first step in my Car Buying Support Guide. The cars listed below are what I consider the best used car choices. For the Halo List I rated these cars based on reliability, safety and cost of ownership. These cars rate highest overall coming from the factory and should give you many years of trouble free service.

Click here for Used Cars To Avoid

Related Post:
Best Used Cars under $10,000

Best Used Cars  (all price categories):

♦♦ (Denotes an exceptional car, highly recommended)

Acura Integra 1994 to 1999 (only problem -transmission mounts.)
Acura MDX
Acura RL
Acura RSX
Acura TSX

Audi A5, Audi A4 (both 2021) (The cooling systems on these cars are prone to leakage after 100,000 miles)

Buick Encore (2021)
♦♦ Buick LeSabre 1999 to 2005 (with 3.8 L engine)
Buick Lacrosse
Buick Verano

Ford Mustang 2005 to 2014 (with the less expensive 4 litre V6.)

Geo Prizm (same exact model as Toyota Corolla)

♦♦Honda Accord 1988 to 2002 and 2003 to 2015
Honda Civic 2017 to present. Safe, efficient and comfortable.  (except the 2006-2009 models- cracked engine blocks)
Honda CR-V (however A/C units faulty in 2002-2004)
Honda Element (apart from window regulators)
Honda Fit 2017 to present. (Swiss army knife of cars)
Honda HR-V (2021)
Honda Odyssey (before 1999 and after 2004
Honda Pilot (except for failing auto door locks)
Honda S2000
Honda Del Sol

Hyundai Elantra (2003 to 2006 and 2011 to present)
Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai Kona (2021)
Hyundai Sante Fe
Hyundai Sonata (2006 to 2009 and then 2015 to present)
Hyundai Tucson (2011 till present)

♦♦ Infiniti G35
Infiniti G37

Kia Optima (2011 till present)
Kia Soul
Kia Sportage (2012 till present)

Lexus IS 350 (more maintenance cost than other Lexus' but very reliable)
Lexus LS 400 - 1998 to 2001 with UZ/FE engine ( bullet proof ) Has a timing belt but with interference engine.
♦♦ Lexus LS 430 (best LS ever built-maybe the best Lexus ever. The king of the Lexus line was the 2002 to 2006)
Lexus ES 300 and ES 330
Lexus GX (2021)
Lexus RX 350 (except 2007 to 2009. 2010 and 2011 have navigation/touch screen interface issues)
Lexus SC
Lexus ES 350 (any Lexus 350 with rear wheel drive has excellent reliability) It has the same engine as IS 350.
Lexus GS (RWD)
Lexus GX 470 (a 4Runner with a V-8, need I say more?)
Lexus LX 470 (Land Cruiser on aesthetic steroids. Only problem with all of the Lexus trucks was rust. Always buy from a dry region).
Lexus NX (2021)

Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car

Mazda CX-5 (2021)
Mazda MX-5 Miata 1996 to 2006 (timing belt with non-interference engine)
Mazda Protegé
Mazda3 (Except weak seat stitching)

♦♦ Mercury Grand Marquis 2001 to 2011 (4.6 engine- same as Ford Crown Victoria)

Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mitsubishi Outlander

Nissan Maxima 1995 to 2001 (except 2004-2006 which had transmission failure)
Nissan Murano (look for power steering leaks)
Nissan Pathfinder: Except the 2005-2006
♦♦ Nissan Sentra 1995 to 1999 with the 1.6L engine, great reliability and efficiency.

Pontiac Vibe with the 1.8L engine, stay away from the 2.4L engine

Porsche 911 (except '03)

Saturn (early models with the 1.9 liter I4 engine)

Scion xA
Scion xB (except for '08-'09)
Scion tC (except '07-'09)

Subaru Baja (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
Subaru Forester (2003 till present. *Prior years need to perform block test) *2011-2014 had oil consumption problems.
Subaru Impreza (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test) Also stay away from 2012-2013 2.0 due to oil consumption problems
Subaru Legacy (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test) Also stay away from 2013 model - had oil consumption problems
Subaru Outback (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test) Also stay away from 2011-2013 model -  had oil consumption problems.
The 2.5 engine is a finicky engine. Still a great engine but sometimes the head gasket problem rears it’s ugly head.
Suburu Crosstrek (all model years good except 2013 2.0 which had oil consumption problems)
Subaru Tribeca (2006 till present -except for MPG)

Suzuki Grand Vitara or XL-7 (except for MPG)

Toyota 4Runner (avoid the 3.0 liter engines, otherwise a stellar vehicle)
♦♦Toyota Avalon 2013 to 2018 (king of reliability)
♦♦Toyota Camry 2015 to 2017
♦♦Toyota Camry V6  2000 to 2001, 2004 to 2006 (except 2007 V6. And stay away from ones with the 2AZ FE 2.4L engine)
Toyota Camry Solara V6
Toyota Celica
♦♦Toyota Corolla 2005 to 2008, 2017 to 2020 (except ones equipped with the 2AZ FE2.4L engine)
Toyota Echo
Toyota FJ Cruiser (all years until it was discontinued)
♦♦Toyota Highlander 2014 to 2016 (6 cylinder is the best engine choice)
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Matrix (except ones equipped with the 2AZ FE 2.4L engine)
Toyota Prius - 2006 till present all good (except the 2010- oil consumption issues.)
2016 to 2022 have a flaw of C pillar clear coat peeling.
Toyota Prius Prime (2021)
Toyota Prius V Station Wagon
Toyota RAV4 2004 to 2005, 2013 to 2018  (except 2001-2003 which had ECU failure, or ones equipped with the 2AZ FE 2.4L engine)
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2016 to 2018
Toyota Sequoia (a Tundra with a closed back - all models.)
Toyota Sienna (except 2003 1/2 model year and 2010 models)
Toyota Previa (supercharged edition) However bad crash test scores
Toyota Tundra all models (except '07 V-8 4WD)
♦♦Toyota Tacoma 2000 to 2015 (Pre-2005 are widely considered superior) but they are all excellent
Toyota Venza
Toyota Yaris (except for marginal small overlap crash test scores)
Toyota Pickup (all older models great) Look for the 22RE motor
Toyota 4X4 – 1985 with the straight axle is the very best.

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