CarMD has released its list of the Top 100 used cars of the last 10 years for 2011 and there are some surprising names at the top of the list and some that continue to thrive in spite of recent bad press that might indicate otherwise.
The CarMD Vehicle Health Index is like nothing else you have ever seen when it comes to measuring vehicle dependability of used cars. At last, the determination of a vehicle's reliability is based on statistics alone.
The Index ranking is based on the combined fewest average repair incidents and lowest average repair costs for model year 2001 to 2011 vehicles in the U.S. from Oct. 1, 2010 through Oct. 1, 2011. The CarMD Vehicle Health Index also ranks the top 100 vehicles, the top three vehicles by category and most common problems by make.
"As a result of compiling the industry's first and most comprehensive database of diagnostic trouble codes and repairs for 'check engine'-related problems, CarMD is uniquely positioned to provide actual data on a wide range of vehicles and manufacturers," said Art Jacobsen, vice president of CarMD. "Sourced directly from a nationwide network of automotive technicians and vehicle owners since 1996, our Index takes a never-before-seen approach to ranking vehicles based on total vehicle population, making it possible to compare a 10-year-old vehicle with a newer one. This is particularly important since drivers are holding onto vehicles longer than ever before with an average age in excess of 10 years. We believe this data will help consumers and the industry identify important trends and further the age-old debate on whether to buy new versus used."
The Top 10 Used Cars for 2011
According to information compiled by CarMD, these are the top 10 used cars for 2011 when it comes to vehicle dependability and cost to repair. Not surprisingly, Honda and Toyota each take four of the top spots. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata and, a surprising discovery, the 2005 Chevrolet Blazer round out the list that shakes out this way:
- 2009 Toyota Corolla
- 2008 Honda CR-V
- 2007 Honda CR-V
- 2009 Honda Accord
- 2009 Toyota RAV4
- 2011 Hyundai Sonata
- 2009 Toyota Camry
- 2009 Honda Pilot
- 2005 Chevrolet Blazer
- 2008 Toyota Highlander
The Top 10 Manufacturers
According to the 2011 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, Toyota is the no. 1 ranked manufacturer in the U.S., based on a ranking derived from the fewest percentage of "check engine" light-related related problems and lowest average repair cost. Toyota, which includes Toyota and Lexus brands, has the lowest Index rating of 0.67 (the lower the rating, the better the overall ranking).
Here are the top 10 (out of 28 manufacturers):
- General Motors
The complete CarMD Vehicle Health Index, featuring manufacturer and vehicle data, is now available at corp.carmd.com. The only problem with the new health index is CarMD is being a little altruistic. It only wants to share the 100 best used vehicles on the market, even though it has measured more than 900 used vehicles for the period.
Kristin Brocoff, marketing and PR manager for CarMD, said, "These are the best vehicles on the road, according to our statistical data. Every vehicle in the Top 100 is the top 10% of vehicles sold. That is a very impressive ranking." What sets CarMD apart from say Consumer Reports is the input of the participatints. Consumer Reports uses a wide survey of its membership and their current vehicles. The owners aren't experts.
On the other hand, CarMD only gathers data from technicians that it pays to submit information on a regular basis. It is the foundation of its diagnostic tools that it sells to consumers that tell what a problem is and how much it's going to cost depending on geographic location. CarMD has been gathering this data for 15 years. "We validate every repair before it goes into our system," said Brocoff, adding that all of the technicians are ASE certified. "It's very credible data," she said.
While this data is good for comparative purposes, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index does not accurately reflect how individual used cars are going to run. This index does not replace the need for a complete inspection before buying any used vehicle.