« Back

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
Lexus RX (after 2002)
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
Nissan Murano (look for power steering leaks)
Nissan Pathfinder: Except the 2005-2006

Pontiac Vibe (Same as Toyota Matrix)

Porsche 911 (except '03)

Saturn (early models with the 1.9 liter I4 engine)

Scion xA
Scion xB
Scion tC

Subaru Baja (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
Subaru Forester (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
Subaru Impreza (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
Subaru Legacy (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
Subaru Outback (2003 till present. Prior years need to perform block test)
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 (except 2007 V6)
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Echo
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Matrix
Toyota Prius (2006 till present)
Toyota Prius V Station Wagon
Toyota RAV4 (except 2001-2003) 2004 is the premium year for that generation.
Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Sienna (except 2003 1/2 model year and 2010 models)
Toyota Previa (supercharged edition)
Toyota Tundra (except “07 V-8 4WD)
Toyota Tacoma (Pre-2005 are widely considered superior)
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.