5 On Your Side

Toyota, Honda rank high on massive used-car satisfaction survey

Posted August 15

Want a car you'll love over the long haul?

Buying a used car is a great way to save money, but some cars could cost you less over time than others. They can offer a good return on investment if you get a good one.

Consumer Reports just wrapped up a massive survey involving input from hundreds of thousands of drivers. The results revealed which used cars will cost you less over time and keep you on the road longer.

Consumer Reports polled more than 200,000 subscribers asking how satisfied they are with their vehicles and whether they'd buy them again.

"In addition to being reliable, they were fun to drive, had great fuel economy, and had high tech features or luxurious cabins," said Consumer Reports' Jon Linkov.

Although, there are some exceptions: Owners gave the Toyota 4Runner high marks, but its unsettled ride and clumsy handling hurt it in Consumer Reports tests.

Costs are also considered in the Consumer Reports survey. Besides the initial price, maintenance costs can help decide if a vehicle works for your budget.

"We broke down our data to look at 3- and 10-year-old vehicles," Linkov said. "The 3-year-old models are a little more expensive, but they'll have the latest safety and comfort features. On the other hand, while a 10-year-old model is less expensive to buy, you have to figure in the cost of repairing it."

By year three, a mid-sized favorite—the Toyota Camry Hybrid—will cost you between $13,500 to $18,000 and about $55 in maintenance and repairs per year. At year 10, expect to pay around $6,500 to $7,800 but $370 dollars in annual maintenance costs.

No matter the age, though, Consumer Reports tests and satisfied owners found you can't go wrong with the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV-4.

Need a minivan? The Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are both likely to make it to 200,000 miles or more. For pickup trucks, owners liked the Toyota Tundra for its driving and reliability.

The Toyota Prius was among the most satisfying cars for both 3- and 10-year-old models for its combination of fuel efficiency and reliability.

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  • John Kramer Aug 18, 5:12 p.m.
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    Consumer Reports is so predictable in their anti American bias. Disgusting. Biased data based on readership. American cars are every bit as good if not better. And the profits to the companies stay on our shores. What baloney.