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The Most Reliable Used Cars

Hanna Kielar4-minute read
April 26, 2022

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Finding a reliable car to drive when you run errands, commute to work or go on adventures is a must. However, with car prices soaring, buying a reliable used car instead of a new car might make the most sense. Let’s take a look at some of the most reliable used car makes and models to consider when you’re ready to upgrade your ride.

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The 10 Most Reliable Used Cars

To find the most dependable used cars, we reviewed ratings, reviews and data for the last several years, looking closely at maintenance costs and reliability ratings for each make and model. We gathered insight from top automotive journalists and data collectors, including U.S. News & World Report, Car and Driver, J.D. Power and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Safety ratings.

1. Lexus ES 350

Front and side view of a bright, saturated blue Lexus ES 350 car.

Best for: Luxury sedan

Mpg: 22 city | 34 highway

The Lexus ES is widely considered among the most reliable luxury cars available today. The engine is powerful enough to make driving in high-traffic situations easy but fuel-efficient enough to help you save at the pump. The ES is a Top Safety Pick with the IIHS, and the standard automatic transmission makes for a smooth, easy-handling driving experience.

Browse used Lexus ES cars nationwide.

2. Chevrolet Cruze

Side view of a bright blue Chevrolet Cruze car.

Best for: Compact sedan

Mpg: 31 city | 47 highway

The Chevrolet Cruze is the perfect commuter car for budget shoppers. The engines are designed with fuel efficiency in mind but still have enough power to help you quickly get up to speed on the interstate. Chevrolet produced the Cruze from 2008 to 2019, so there are a lot on the used market. Available as a sedan or hatchback, the Cruze was consistently ranked among the best compact cars from Consumer Reports.

Browse used Chevrolet Cruzes nationwide.

3. Honda Civic

Rear and side view of a black Honda Civic car.

Best for: Budget-friendly commuter

Mpg: 31 city | 41 highway

The Honda Civic has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most reliable and lowest maintenance vehicles in any class. The model consistently earns top safety ratings, and drivers repeatedly praise the smooth ride quality and minimal road noise. The car is ideal if you’re a commuter looking for a fuel-efficient ride to get you from Point A to Point B without sacrificing the comfort and features standard in more expensive vehicles.

Browse used Honda Civics nationwide.

4. Kia Soul

Front and side view of a mustard yellow Kia Soul car.

Best for: Compact SUV

Mpg: 27 city | 33 highway

The Kia Soul is a great entry-level reliable SUV with enough cargo space to make weekend camping trips with your closest friends a breeze. The Soul consistently gets top safety ratings in crash tests and has below-average maintenance costs. Reviews suggest that a well-maintained Soul is incredibly reliable over many years.

Browse used Kia Souls nationwide.

5. Toyota Prius

Front and side view of a gray Toyota Prius car.

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Best for: Hybrid vehicles

Mpg: 58 city | 48 highway

The Prius is widely regarded as the first car to make hybrids a viable alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. Standard models feature a roomy interior with modern safety features. Maintenance costs are affordable, and with the average Prius battery lasting up to 12 years, the cars last a long time if properly maintained.

Browse used Toyota Prius cars nationwide.

6. Toyota Camry

Front and side view of a black Toyota Camry car.

Best for: Family sedan

Mpg: 28 city | 39 highway

Toyotas are broadly considered some of the most reliable used cars on the road, and the Camry is one of the most popular models. The Camry features a strong engine and responsive handling. As a midsize sedan, the Camry offers plenty of room for the family, making road trips and long drives more enjoyable.

Browse used Toyota Camrys nationwide.

7. Honda Accord

Front and side view of a bright red Honda Accord car.

Best for: Midsize sedan

Mpg: 29 city | 35 highway

The Honda Accord offers a superior ride quality, minimal road noise and the latest safety technology to make driving easy. There’s plenty of trunk space to make hauling groceries, sports equipment, suitcases and other items as manageable as possible. Like with the Civic, you can expect Accords to run smoothly for well over 150,000 miles as long as you stay on top of routine maintenance.

Browse used Honda Accords nationwide.

8. Mazda Mazda3

Front and side view of a deep green Mazda Hatchback car.

Best for: Sporty sedan

Mpg: 28 city | 36 highway

The Mazda3 is Mazda’s most reliable sedan that’s compact and available in different trim options to help you get in the car of your dreams without breaking the bank. The car earns high safety ratings across all years and trims. Drivers often praise the Mazda3’s excellent handling, fuel economy, safety ratings and interior room. Maintenance requirements are minimal, and repairs tend to be on the affordable side.

Browse used Mazda3 vehicles nationwide.

9. Hyundai Elantra

Front and side view of a silver Hyundai Elantra car.

Best for: Smooth, comfortable ride

Mpg: 33 city | 43 highway

The Elantra features a comfortable ride quality, with impressive body control and shock absorption. It has seating for five and a generously sized trunk with folding rear seats to accommodate just about anything you want to bring along. With the Elantra’s several trim options across each model year, you can find one that fits your budget and driving style. Consumers report needing few repairs, making it one of the most reliable used cars available.

Browse used Hyundai Elantras nationwide.

10. Subaru Impreza

Front and side view of a deep blue Subaru Impreza car.

Best for: All-wheel drive adventuring

Mpg: 28 city | 38 highway

The Impreza combines the best of city driving and light off-road travel with a responsive all-wheel-drive drivetrain. With 5.1 inches of ground clearance, the Impreza won’t take you on extreme adventures, but it can handle rough dirt roads as well as ice and snow. The engine is low-maintenance, with most drivers reporting only minor repair issues over time.

Browse used Subaru Imprezas nationwide.

The Bottom Line: The Top-Rated Used Cars Have Tremendous Benefits

A car’s reliability record is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when searching for one of the finest pre-owned vehicles, but you’ll still want to consider how you’ll use the car, where you’ll go and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking for used cars to avoid or what used cars not to buy, the key is to verify the vehicle’s maintenance and accident history. If the car has a clean record, you can feel fairly confident in your purchase. This list is a terrific place to start the search. If you’re ready to begin looking for a reliable used car, browse the top used cars in our Rocket AutoSM inventory.

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Hanna Kielar

Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto℠, RocketHQ℠, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.