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10 most reliable cars under $25,000

10 most reliable cars under $25,000

We are all watching our wallets these days, but when looking for a new car, we still want a reliable model that will be worry free and dependable. To help narrow the field to such models that are unlikely to break the bank, we looked through the most reliable cars based on our 2013 Annual Auto Survey.

To filter the list down to models priced under $25,000, we focused on the price paid for testing, as we buy cars popularly equipped. (Basing such research on advertised base prices may lead to disappointment, as those bare-bones models often are not on dealership lots and they are less-equipped than what most buyers expect.)

To create a list of truly good cars, we also made sure the final roster only included those models that meet the criteria for a Consumer Reports recommendation, including performing well in our road tests and in safety tests conducted by the government and/or insurance institute.

These vehicles have been relatively problem-free as reported by car owners in our survey, so they should keep running for a long time. The cars are listed in rank order starting with the highest predicted reliability score.

Scion xB: $18,360    

The funky-looking Scion xB is a versatile and reliable little hauler. With its enormous backseat, spacious cargo area, easy access, and relatively powerful engine, the Scion xB is a practical alternative to a similarly priced small sedan.

Honda Fit $16,020

The Fit seems roomier on the inside than you might expect, with an interior that is unusually versatile and flexible. It has easy cabin access and a very good view out. It also comes relatively well equipped and has comfortable seating.

Mazda5: $24,670

Tremendously practical, the Mazda5 has a wide range of attributes that can’t be matched by any other vehicle on the market. Sliding side doors and seating for six make it an alternative for larger and more-expensive minivans and SUVs, yet its fuel economy is decidedly more carlike, returning 23 mpg overall.

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