Less than $10,000 -- Small cars -- 2009 Pontiac VibeThe 2009 Pontiac Vibe's redesign brought standard ESC and stronger, more fuel-efficient engines. While the automaker closed its doors in 2011, its demise means that you can find the Vibe at a cheap price, and parts and service remain available.
Less than $10,000 -- Sedans -- 2007 Hyundai SonataThe economical and efficient Sonata has a decent ride, secure handling, and a responsive four-cylinder engine that returned 23 mpg overall.
Less Than $10,000 -- Sedans -- 2004 Acura TSXThe Acura TSX is a more upscale and sportier alternative to the Hyundai Sonata
Less Than $10,000 -- SUV -- 2004 Toyota Rav 4The RAV4 was redesigned in 2001, but it wasn’t until 2004 that it got standard antilock brakes and ESC. It has nimble handling, good brakes, easy cabin access, and a particularly strong engine. Fuel economy of 21 mpg is decent for an all-wheel-drive SUV.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Small cars -- 2011 Honda FitThe Fit is an excellent choice among hatchbacks. It has amazing space utilization; responsive, agile handling; and a super-efficient four-cylinder engine that returns 30 mpg overall with an automatic transmission.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Small cars -- 2011 Mazda3For a bit more refinement than the Honda Fit, look for a Mazda3 hatchback or sedan.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Sedans -- 2006-07 Honda AccordConsumer Reports suggests that the Accord is an excellent choice among used cars. Its smooth V6 engine is economical and strong, the ride is comfortable and compliant, and reliability is excellent. The four-cylinder version is nice but didn’t get ESC until 2008.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Sedans -- 2005 Acura TLA more luxurious option than the Honda Accord is the Acura TL.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Small SUV -- 2006-08 Toyota RAV4The 2006 RAV4 gained more interior room, a V6, and an optional third-row seat. The four-cylinder’s nimble handling, very good 23 mpg overall, and versatile cabin propelled it to the top of our small-SUV Ratings.
$10,000-$15,000 -- Midsize/Large SUV -- 2004-07 Toyota HighlanderThe Highlander is quiet and comfortable. We got 19 mpg overall with the V6. The interior is roomy and the controls are easy to use. A third-row seat was optional and a hybrid version was added in 2006.
$15,000-$20,000 -- Small cars -- 2010-11 Toyota PriusAt 44 mpg overall, the Prius delivers the best gas mileage of any non-plug-in, five-passenger vehicle. The 2010 redesign brought more room, better brakes, and sound but not agile handling.
$15,000-$20,000 -- Sedans -- 2011-12 Toyota Camry (4-cyl.)Expect impressive 26 to 27 mpg overall with the four-cylinder Camry in addition to a roomy cabin and superb reliability.
$15,000-$20,000 -- SUVs -- 2007-08 Honda PilotThe Pilot combines a roomy cabin, good driving dynamics, seating for eight, and respectable fuel economy in a package that isn’t too big to fit in your garage.
$20,000-$25,000 -- Sedans --2009 BMW 328iThe 3 Series combines agile handling, a taut ride, good brakes, and powerful six-cylinder engines in a comfortable, if slightly snug, interior.
$20,000-$25,000 -- SUVs -- 2007-08 Acura MDXThe Acura MDX is a well-rounded, family-friendly SUV. It has a strong and refined V6 powertrain that gets 17 mpg overall, a firm but pleasant ride, a well-appointed cabin, comfortable front seats, and a third-row seat.
Consumer Reports has released its list for Best & Worst Used Cars – Models 2002-2012. The list, which is intended to help drivers choose the best used car for their money, highlights the best sedans, SUVs and small cars available in four price ranges.
CR gives its seal of approval to cars that performed well in its tests and had above-average reliability for the model years.
"With so many choices, shopping for a used car can be overwhelming. Our report provides a much-needed cheat sheet that Americans can refer to for help getting the best and most reliable used car that fits their budget," Consumer Reports Auto Editor Rik Paul said Tuesday.
The Consumer Reports worst used cars list includes 2003 to 2012 models that have had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to CR's Annual Auto Survey. Among the 20 models that made the list are the BMW 7 Series, the Ford Explorer (V6, 4WD), the Kia Sorento (V6), and the Mini Cooper S.