Tag Archives: car reviews

Which Used Cars are Reliable?

honda reliable carKnowing which used car to buy can result in huge savings when you take into consideration how much the average vehicle costs to maintain over its lifetime, as well as how likely it is to develop problems in the first place.

Top 3 Reliable Used Cars

Having looked at the most recent data from our site, here are three models that provide consumers with the best chance of keeping costs down whilst still ensuring safety and reliability are at the forefront.

Mazda 3 2004-2009

Available in a variety of editions, this well designed family hatchback consistently performs well in reviews. Coming fourth in a 2012 list of top ten reliable family cars, the Mazda 3 provides a better than average ride quality along with excellent handling and good driver feedback, making it an excellent choice for a family vehicle. It also tends to hold its value particularly well compared to other similarly sized offerings from other manufacturers which provides further peace of mind.

Honda Civic 2006

Honda has a well-deserved reputation for the reliability of its vehicles and their succesful Civic model makes a great proposition as a working family car. Its unique design allows for better than average storage space and a comfortable driving position. Running costs tend to be on the low side, and once again resale value is high, meaning the Civic is likely to perform well once placed on the second-hand market.

Toyota Corolla 2001-2007

Consumer reports rates Toyota’s Corolla model extremely highly, with recent figures placing it in the top ten most reliable cars as of 2012. Owners of its 2008 model-year vehicles rated it a 4 out of 5 on a Vehicle Dependability Index and reported that the likelihood of it developing any major cost-incurring problems was extremely low. This is borne out by figures that suggest that only seven per cent of Corollas break down each year.

Of course any vehicle will eventually incur further costs at some point down the line as wear and tear results in faults like worn gear boxes and electrical faults making themselves apparent over the car’s lifetime, but deciding to purchase any of these three models  should see the probability of such potentially costly events reduced to the minimum.

Thoughts on Getting a Reliable Used Car

Which car has been the most reliable for you and your family?

This guest post was provided by CarSales.com which specializes in used car sales in Australia. 

PHOTO CREDIT: MSVG

Car Maintenance Checks to Keep Your Car in Great Shape

used honda accord

For many people, their cars are a big expense on their monthly budget. While we don’t have a car loan, it still costs money to keep it on the road (though not much) and we want to keep it that way as long as we can.

When looking at buying a car, we tried to estimate the total cost of ownership, including the regular maintenance. It’s not only a matter of saving money, but also for safety. Keeping our car in tiptop gives us some peace of mind, especially with a little one.

If you too are looking at keeping your car running in great condition for longer, here are some tips that can help you do just that.

Maintenance Work used honda accord

For fellow Honda Accord owners, here are some check-ups you can keep up with for your vehicle.

  • Engine oil (orange loop dipstick)->Weekly or when you stop for gas. Add oil if the level is below the lower mark.
  • Engine coolant -> Weekly or when you stop for gas. Check the reserve tank; don’t remove the radiator cap – the fluid is hot and may gush out.
  • Windshield washer fluid (blue cap) -> Monthly. Frequent users should check each time they get gas.
  • Automatic transmission fluid (yellow loop dipstick) -> Monthly
  • Brake fluid (large gray cap) -> Monthly. Low brake fluid could indicate a problem. Take your Honda to a dealer for service immediately.
  • Clutch fluid (small gray cap, manual transmission only) -> Monthly
  • Power steering fluid (red cap) -> Monthly
  • Tires -> Monthly. Check pressure. Check tread for uneven or excessive wear and foreign objects.
  • Battery -> Monthly. Check condition. Check terminals for corrosion.
  • Air conditioning -> Weekly. Turn it on for a short time to make sure it’s blowing cold.
  • Lights ->Monthly. Check them all — head, tail, parking, and brake lights, high-mount brake light, turn signals, back up and license plate lights.

Thoughts on Maintaining Your Car

I’d love ot hear from you about your car care routine. How do you keep your car in great shape? Do you do some of the basic maintenance like oil changes yourself or do you take it to the shop for those services?

Finding a Reliable Used Car in Our Budget

car loans

It turns out that I subscribed to Consumer Reports at just the right time. We just received their issue for April and it is all about cars. From listing the best and worst new cars to highlighting the best cars for safety and reliability, we have a lot of information to review for our car search.

Reliable Used Cars $10,000 and Under

While I read through all of the articles, I repeatedly read their reports on reliable used cars, particularly family sized sedans. subscribers can find incredibly helpful charts not only organized by vehicle style, but also by price range. I honed in on small and mid-sized sedans that we’re $10,000 and under.

Dependable and Affordable Cars

Looking at all of the picks, here are some cars on our wish list based on Consumer Reports’ data: 

  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Civic (Hybrid)
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Scion XD
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Camry

I had originally included small SUVs in our search, but after thinking about how we’re going to use the car most of the time, it makes more sense to stay with sedans. If we need to increase the cargo space, there are more cost efficient ways to do it.

Having the list makes the hunt a bit more productive as I’m looking at the dealership inventory to see if there are any specials on those models. I’m also asking friends and family to keep an eye out for private sellers who have maintained their cars well and are looking to sell.

Just checking out some Craigslist ads over the last few weeks, I’ve seen how owners have either neglected their cars or have keep them in pristine condition just by how they list it.

Thoughts on Buying a Car

I’d love to get your feedback on buying a car. How many of you are on the market for a new car? What makes and models are you looking at?

Photo Credit: Main and Side

Consumer Reports – Reliable Used Sedans

Toyota Camry family car

I mentioned Friday that we signed up for Consumer Reports in preparation of buying a family car this year. We’re close to our savings goal so we decided to get a list of cars to check out. We want to avoid taking out a car loan, so based on our budget, we’re looking to buy a reliable used car.

We’ve done it before with my husband’s current car. When his car was declared a total loss by the insurance company, we hunted and found a replacement that we paid for completely with cash.

Now that we have a baby, we need to get a bigger car that is still fuel efficient. Right now we’re looking at getting a mid-sized sedan or small SUV for us.

 Most Reliable Used Sedans

According to Consumer Reports, here are the best reliable used sedans:Toyota Camry family car

  • Acura TSX
  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Lexus ES
  • Lincoln Zephyr, MKZ
  • Mazda6
  • Mercury Milan
  • Nissan Altima
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Prius
  • Volvo S60

Wow, that’s still a bit much to hunt for, we’re going to look at our family budget and start seeing what’s available in the area. Right now our biggest items on our list are:

  • Good Gas Mileage- We like to get a car that gets at least 30 mpg on the highway.
  • Solid Reliability– We’re buying a used vehicle so we’re hoping to minimize the chance of repairs by focusing on highly rated vehicles.
  • Cheap (in Price) Parts – We want a car that doesn’t have expensive parts to replace so we can keep repair costs manageable.

Thoughts on Shopping for a Car

I’d love to hear your thoughts on shopping for a car. How many of you are thinking about buying a car this year? What make and model do you have now? Are you happy with it?

Photo Credit: Bidgee