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Best Used Cars and Trucks

1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser

Like a rock is the best way to describe the Land Cruiser. They age slowly, they are heavy and solid and have fewer repair problems than their competition. The Land Cruiser and the LX470 were the best used vehicles for reliability on this list.

2. Ford E-Series

Back in 1995  GM’s  full-sized vans only had minor tweaks in design , and Dodge eventually bowed out of the scene.  Ford however stayed the course and improved their  interiors over the years, and kept  three reliable engines now in over 10,000,000 vehicles consisting of a 4.6-liter , a  5.4-liter V-8, and a 6.8-liter V-10. Consistency and reliability of the engines and overall structure has earned these vehicles a reputation for durability and trust and it shows in their trade in values.

3. Lexus LS

Luxury high end models are usually the culprits of reliability and maintenance issues basically due to all the features that can go wrong over the course of their lifetime.  Not so for the LS460, LS430 and LS400  models that can maintain their trade-in value well past the half-way mark of their existence. No other luxury car gains more miles on the odometer with fewer defects, than this series. One of the best used cars available.

4. Chevy/GMC  trucks and SUV’s

Toyota and Lexus are first and second in the  Index Rating Guide below with GMC finishing third. Click on the picture to enlarge.

GMC only sells SUVs and trucks  also sold by Chevrolet.  The combination of the two results in reliability and durability that remains unmatched resulting in domination of the truck and SUV market.  Silverados, Yukons, Suburbans and Tahoes, are among the winners of the GMC platform remaining at the top of SUV and truck longevity.

5.  Full-sized V-8 and V-10 model Ford trucks

The  Ford Excursion, now extinct,  has been rated as the 3rd most durable and reliable  SUV in this study with the Land Cruiser and LX being 1st and 2nd. Dodge is a far 3rd, while  Nissan  and Toyota are left lagging in the business of  full-sized trucks. Chevy and Ford are almost  equals.  The Ford F-Series has now become almost a household name especially the F-150 now the hottest selling American vehicle for 32 years in a row.

6.  Toyota Avalon – Lexus ES – Toyota Camry 

The best midsized vehicle to remain above average for over 20 years is the Toyota Camry ( see chart below).  Honda was found to have problems with its transmission in the V6 models.  The Nissan Altima fitted with the 2.5 liter engine was found to consume oil excessively.  The Lexus ES and the Toyota Avalon from 1995 to 2005 were built from the Camry XV platform which also brought about the creation of  the Solara and Sienna. The Avalon turned out the 2nd highest ranking.

Best Used Cars by Rate of Defects

7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470 – Older 4Runners

 Older 4Runner foundations were created from the Toyota truck. Later, it was based on an overseas model known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Toyota decided in 2003, to create the only North American 4Runner with a unique platform and a touch of Lexus. Both models of 4Runners were above average for long term reliability. The GX470 and the 4Runner and  are ranked 8th and 5th respectfully. The older Toyota truck is in the top ten.

8. Honda S2000

Over 10 year only 65,000 S2000s were manufactured but they are pretty well tied with the Mazda MX-5 Miata in terms of roadster popularity for the last 10 years.  The S2000 was rated as one of the few on this list as being super reliable and a joy to drive.

9. Toyota Prius

Enthusiasts consider the S2000 to be a fun car but the Prius is the choice for the environmental friendly user.  Less than 4 percent of the Priuses that are traded in show any type of mechanical problems including the hybrid battery. The older Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord Hybrid had battery wear problems leaving the Prius the King of the Electric jungle.

10. Lexus GS

The GS was born from the Japan-only Toyota Crown and Toyota Aristo. It is a  rear wheel drive which still fits in the the top ten in for long-term reliability.

Best Cars for $20K: A Humorous Discussion

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