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What are the best reliable used cars to buy?


Topic starter

Hello Scotty Kilmer,

I was wondering if you can help me. I'm trying to buy a used reliable mid-size suv from year 2009 to 2015. I live in New York City. Should I travel to another state or should I buy it locally?

Thank you!

6 Answers

If you are open to a compact SUV, that is borderline the lower end size of a mid-sized SUV, CRV or RAV4. 

Thanks Kaizen. Also what would be an acceptable mileage for the cars you suggested if I'm buying it used.

As Kaizen said, Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4 are great picks. Ideally the vehicle will have around 60k miles. At that mileage you can change the transmission fluid without having to worrying about prior maintenance history (or lack thereof) and the engine won't have much wear (even at silly 10k mile oil change intervals). Once a vehicle gets past 100k, unless you have documentation of previous service history, it is best not to change the transmission fluid as it could do more harm than good.


That said, I'd buy a vehicle with higher mileage (close to 100k) if it:


1) Had excellent service history
2) Was selling by a motivated seller (a bargain)


Excellent service history (for CRV and RAV4) would look like:


- Oil Change every 3k-5K miles
- Trans Fluid change every 60K
- Coolant Change every 60K
- Differential fluid (if All Wheel Drive) change every 30k

What @edwards said on mileage.




My vote would go to the RAV4, Highlander, an RX350, or any Toyota product if it’s within the price range.


does it HAVE TO be an SUV? If not, I’m inclined to say something like a medium to large sedan. A Crown Victoria LX/Sport, Grand Marquis, elderly-owned Towncar. Or Or play it safe and get a Camry, an Avalon, an Accord, etc.

I don’t vote for the CRV from that generation. I know of two people personally who had their transmissions go out on them entirely. One was a brand new CRV and his tranny died at around 10K miles. Another friend had a 03 Civic coupe, always cared for, then suddenly, the transmission starts slipping and in the span of 5 minutes, it was completely dead snd not even moving in drive. So I know two Hondas who have had transmission issues and I don’t trust them.


oh, snd stay the hell away from any Nissan. Rogue, Murano, Kicks, etc. they are TERRIBLE.

Topic starter

Thank you so much Kaizen and Edwards for this great advice I'll make sure I'll put it to use. 😊 


If you're planning on servicing the car yourself, I'd look into how easy it is to do. I've got a fuel filter on my Lexus LS220D that's underneath the car, and right on top of the rear axle. Getting to those nuts is a pain, so I left it until I had a backup car and my life was less stressed.

Gonna try it in the near future. But when I consider that it's so much easier to get to the filter on a Lexus LS400, it really makes a strong case for selling the Lexus if it's a real pain.

I'd also look at whether the car is indirect or direct injection. I could be wrong here, but if you get a car with low mileage, I think you can add cleaners into the fuel tank that mix with the fuel and clean the valves on indirect injection engines. But if it's direct injection it just goes into the engine.

Please correct me on that if I'm being a moron.

Thank you I didn't think on servicing my car myself but I wouldn't mind learning.


Acura 2014, we have one and it is a pre-owned, bought it at vip site, here, and perfect for family and for everyday used. the gas mileage is great than the lincoln.