Advice for buying used car- Mitsubishi, Kia, Hyundai, or Nissan?

I need to buy a used car and would like some advice on certain makes. I have always owned Honda CRVs or Jeeps. I know Hondas are awesome so they’re always in consideration, but the ones I’m seeing in my price range are 10+ years old. The Jeeps haven’t performed as great so I’m not sure I want to get another one. I’m looking at small SUVs and have seen some Kias, Mitsubishis, Hyundais and Nissans in my price range and I have read about them but they all sound pretty similar. I would like to hear about the reliability of these brands. Any opinions? Which should I choose?

jeeps are over priced. nissans have had trouble with there cvt transmissions. went through 3 on a altima under warranty before i sold it. the were so bad that they sent a letter out covering them to 100k


Just my own personal bias but Mits and Nissans are off my list, period. Hyundai and Kia may be improving over the years but I would really have to be convinced about one. Of course FCA has had mucho quality and electrical issues. Then what did I hear, Ford is buying back all their cars with dual clutch transmissions? So that is probably why some of the used cars are priced pretty high right now. Not sure what to buy anymore.

+1… mostly
From the OP’s list, I would have to choose a Hyundai or a Kia, as long as they weren’t too old, and as long as proper maintenance could be verified.

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I’d go with Hyundai and Kia from the list too.

I’d recommend the April issue of Consumer Reports for info on new and used cars.


Any used car from A to Z is a flip of the coin. The only options for improving your chances are:
A set of religious service records (Usually Holy Grail territory)
A thorough inspection by a competent mechanic.

Even those 2 things are no 100% guarantee of reliability.

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Wouldn’t have a problem with a well maintained 10yr old CRV but a relative has sworn off buying Jeep’s after a series of them all with oil leaks and other problems. Nissan has a history of transmission troubles but the group of Rogue owner’s I know have had better luck so far. A co-worker with a late model Kia Sportage is having the dealer find out if it’s really burning oil at the rate she fears it is.

Personally I’d buy a 10 year old Honda before any of the other cars on your list.

Be that as it may… even used Hondas can have hidden problems. Make sure to get any car you choose inspected before you buy it.


I wouldn’t, but I might sell you my 2017 Accord in six years. :grin:


From your list, I’d lean toward Kia and Hyundai. I’d actually look at Mazda first, though.

I had a Jeep once. It needed 52 service visits in eight years. That was my last Chrysler product.


Is that all?
I’m pretty sure I beat your record with my Chevy Citation.


I know- I have a soft spot for Jeeps because my first car was a Laredo. But, I know they’re junkers.

Yeah I know they are getting better but a guy at work bought a new Hyundai. At a get together he reported he came to a stop sign and the engine just quit. Towed it in and had to replace the engine. I think he had something like 20K on it but I don’t know which engine.

Yikes! I’ve narrowed it down to Mazda or Kia but M now also looking at Subaru

Toyota highlanders from 2004-2006

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If you get a CPO Hyundai or Kia, it might work out fine. They do have a lot of engine problems but most of them end up with extended warranty. Wife’s 2013 Sonata is now having an oil consumption test at 119K miles and with the rate it is going we will probably get a new engine soon. Hoping they won’t pull any tricks and won’t cause other issues in the process of changing the engine. Stay away from the ones with the Theta II engines!
As much as the Nissan Rogue gets a bad rep, I have rented a few and it is a decent car. Seems like with the newer ones, if you change the CVT transmission oil regularly, it will last for a while.

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Not a bad list, The CX-5 or a 3 hatch would be a great choice. The relative who’s sworn off Jeep has had great luck with a Subaru Crosstrek.

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We bought a used 2015 Mazda 3 hatchback a while back. So far it’s been a fantastic little car.


Mazda and Kia/Hyundai are both making top quality cars and although Kia/Hyundai had a manufacturing problem with an engine, the warranty is impressive and company stood behind it.

The Sonata went to the dealer for normal service around 70,000 miles, the problem was noted by the dealer, engine replaced, no discussion, no charge, free loaner provided and 2 years later the car’s still running like a top.

However my personal prejudice would be to avoid any “new fangled” CVT and stick with a 6 speed but I’m an Old Fart :slightly_smiling_face:

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