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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):

Acura Integra
Acura MDX
Acura RL
Acura RSX
Acura TL
Acura TSX

Buick Lacrosse
Buick Verano

Geo Prizm (Same exact model as Toyota Corolla)

Honda Accord
Honda Civic (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 (Swiss army knife of cars)
Honda Odyssey (Pre 1999 and post 2001)
Honda Pilot (except for failing auto door locks)
Honda S2000
Honda Del Sol

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

Infiniti FX
Infiniti G20
Infiniti G35
Infinity G37
Infiniti I30, I35
Infiniti QX4

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

Lexus IS
Lexus LS (All models good except for 2006-2016 - look out for front suspension issues. Also recall on brake actuator.
Lexus RX (except for navigation/touch screen interface issues in the 2010-2011 models)
Lexus SC
Lexus ES
Lexus GS (RWD)
Lexus GX

Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Town Car

Mazda Millenia
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Mazda Protegé
Mazda3 (Except weak seat stitching)

Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mitsubishi Outlander

Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima (except 2004-2006 which had transmission failure)
Nissan Murano (look for power steering leaks)
Nissan Pathfinder: Except the 2005-2006

Pontiac Vibe (except 2009 model)

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 athletic car but sometimes the head gasket problem rears it’s ugly head.
2013 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
Toyota Camry V6 (except 2007 V6) and (stay away from ones with the 2AZ FE 2.4L engine)
Toyota Camry Solara V6
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla (except ones equipped with the 2AZ FE2.4L engine)
Toyota Echo
Toyota FJ Cruiser - Capable off roader if you can accept poor visibility
Toyota Highlander (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 model which had oil consumption issues)
Toyota Prius V Station Wagon
Toyota RAV4 (except 2001-2003 which had ECU failure)and (except ones equipped with the 2AZ FE 2.4L engine)  2004-2005 are the premium years for that generation
Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Sienna (except 2003 1/2 model year and 2010 models)
Toyota Previa (supercharged edition) However bad crash test scores
Toyota Tundra (except “07 V-8 4WD)
Toyota Tacoma (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.