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Consumer Reports Reliable Brands for a 2-Year-Old Used Car

For many, buying a used car makes far more sense than buying a new car. For thousands less, you can buy a fairly new vehicle. Plenty of features and modern design are still appealing in used models from more recent years. Big brands like Toyota, Kia, and Chrysler offer great 2-year-old models. 2018 used cars, for example, hardly sacrifice anything and can come much cheaper than a brand new model fresh off the production line.

2018 toyota Camry on display at a car show
2018 Toyota Camry sedan | AFP / SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

When buying a used car––or buying a new car for that matter––most buyers are interested in the general reliability of the vehicles they look at. Are some brands more reliable than others? In fact, yes. Some brands are definitely more reliable than others.

Consumer Reports 2018 model year survey

According to Consumer Reports in the video below, the annual survey is taken from about 640,000 different vehicles. Consumer Reports subscribers own and report on these vehicles. The popular publication then relays this information to the public in order to better inform the public on various products. It’s definitely some good information to check out if you are buying a used car.

Kia Niro EV on display at a car show
Kia Niro EV | Kia

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For brand reliability, Consumer Reports takes an average. This average comes from every vehicle in the lineup for each given brand. The average reliability score for each brand is how it ranks in terms of reliability for 2018 used cars.

The worst brands for reliable 2018 used cars

According to Consumer Reports, one brand to look out for in the 2018 model year is Volvo. Its models did not get a good overall score for predicted reliability. Chrysler apparently jumped up several spots. This is in part because of the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

However, Chrysler still sits in the bottom half of the 27 brands that Consumer Reports has in the survey. Other Chrysler brands like Jeep, Dodge, and Ram improved the reliability scores for the 2018 model year. Still, European brands did better.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica in red
2018 Chrysler Pacifica | FCA

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The most reliable brands for the 2018 model year

Of all the brands in the Consumer Reports survey, it comes as no surprise that Toyota and Lexus are right up at the top. If you are looking for a really reliable 2018 used car, you should probably start test driving Toyota models. Or, if the luxury segment is more your speed, look at a Lexus. Kia is vastly improved in terms of the 2018 model year reliability. This is largely due to the new Kia Niro, which earned the highest reliability score of all 27 brands.

The Lexus LX is one of the most reliable large SUVs.
Lexus LX 570 | Lexus

However, according to Consumer Reports, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have soared up in the rankings in terms of predicted reliability for the 2018 model year. If you are looking for a reliable luxury car, there are plenty of options. If you want luxury but tend to shop American brands, Buick is the most reliable American brand in the entire survey.