Image via Audi
Buying a new or used car is always a tricky proposition, as consumers want to make sure that they're not only getting the right car for them, but, of course, getting it at the right price.
While we offered up some tips on what to look for during the process of buying a used car last week, we're giving you the 10 most reliable rides to consider if/when you're in the market, per Consumer Reports, which used data collected on over half a million vehicles to compile this list of their top-rated.
1. Toyota Prius - $27,323
One of the best-selling cars on the market, the Toyota Prius is in a class of its own when it comes to gas mileage and reliability. Among the many reasons Consumer Reports has the Prius ranked so high, among other things, is because of its "efficiency and low running costs," which can see the car, typically, drive on electric power alone for up to 25 miles per hour.
2. Lexus CT 200h - $32,012
With great fuel economy and some mechanical tweaks in the update 2016 model, the Lexus CT 200h has helped itself in terms of ride comfort and noise levels—which were problems for Consumer Reports in the past. This hatchback gets about 40 miles per gallon and is described by CR to have responsive and secure handling.
3. Infiniti Q70 - $53,825
With a 330-hp, V6 engine, the Infiniti Q70 might be compact to the eyes, but it sure does pack a lot of punch—V8 and V6 hybrid are also options. Consumer Reports says that the Q70's ride is "firm and absorbs bumps well, but trails the competition in terms of plushness." However, it's still competitive because of the lower prices it commands over other cars in its class.
4. Audi Q3 - $40,125
One of my personal favorite cars on the market, the Audi Q3 is a crossover that Consumer Reports describes as "delivering a premium driving experience similar to the larger Audi Q5, but in a 10-inch-shorter package." With a lively 200-hp engine, the gas mileage is decent at 22 miles per gallon, and the ride is both quiet and comfortable thanks to its responsive handling.
5. Lexus GX - $58,428
Many people are over the bulky SUV fad that hit the '90s and early-2000s, but not Consumer Reports, who actually boast a couple of them on its most reliable list for this year. The top-rated one is the Lexus GX, which CR reports is "very quiet and quick for a hulking brute, yet the GX is highly capable off-road and has a high tow rating." With that versatility mixed with the luxury of Lexus, it's easy to see why the GX is so well-liked—even if it does only get about 17 miles per gallon from it's 4.6-liter, V8 engine.
6. Lexus GS - $58,858
Delivering a "balanced combination of ride, handling, quietness, and roominess," per Consumer Reports, the Lexus GS boasts all the goods that a driver looking for quick zip and luxury wants in a car. While the interior has some gadgets that might be a little "distracting," the 3.5-liter, V6 engine packs punch that makes the 21 miles per gallon easy to live with.
7. Mercedes-Benz GLC - $49,105
The exterior may make the Mercedes-Benz GLC appear to be a larger SUV, but Consumer Reports found it to be a little more snug in the rear-seat—which was an improvement from Mercedes-Benz for this year's model. The interior has "plush furnishings inside the quiet cabin," per Consumer Reports, and feature a 241-hp, 2.0-liter, nine-speed engine that CR says, "handles with athleticism."
8. Chevrolet Cruze - $23,145
Redesigned for 2016, the Chevrolet Cruze may single-handedly change the way you think about Chevys. Getting about 30 miles per gallon from its 1.4-liter, four-cylinder, six-speed automatic transmission, the Cruz has comprehensive features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as roomy rear seats. Unfortunately, the front seats are sad to be "short on lower back support," per Consumer Reports.
9. Audi Q7 - $68,695
Another one of Audi's SUVs makes the list, as the Q7—which comes with third-row seating—finds itself among the top-rated cars. Even with a supercharged 3.0-liter, V6 engine and decent gas mileage for an SUV its size, 20 miles per gallon, the Q7 remains "very quiet, instilling a sense of tranquility," per Consumer Reports.
10. Toyota 4Runner - $37,425
A longtime staple for off-roaders and those looking for a car that will forever stay running, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner stays true to itself thanks to its rough exterior. Consumer Reports describes the engine as "rough-sounding," and the ride is "unsettled and handling is clumsy." However, the 4Runner's 4.0-liter, V6 is "powerful and reasonably fuel-efficient," per CR.
While the majority of the cars listed have a hefty price tag, for those looking for reliability, safety and handle, spending a little bit more on a car now will go a long way in its resale value years down the road.