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Consumer Reports has made almost a fetish out of touting used cars. That makes CR a reasonable place to consult for the used-car buyer.

The publication argues that in general Japanese cars are the most trouble-free, with Honda and Toyota far ahead compared with older vehicles made by other major manufacturers - especially 2006 (five-year-old) and earlier models. That said, Canada's roads are packed with used vehicle of all makes and models, including millions from Detroit's auto makers and from European manufacturers.

The good news is that buyers of relatively new vehicles have a good chance of enjoying a positive experience. CR's survey found that three-quarters of the three-year-old vehicles were reported problem free, as were two-thirds of the five-year-olds. The most problem-free five-year-old model was the 2006 Toyota Highlander V6, which had 19 problems per 100 vehicles. Only half of the nine- and 10-year-old vehicles had gone 12 months without a reported problem.

Every used car, however, is its own package of negatives and positives. With that in mind, here's a list of CR used-car best bets:





2010 Honda Fit Sport.

Honda

1 of 9

2011 Toyota Prius

2 of 9

2010 Lexus ES 350

Bill Petro

3 of 9

2005 Acura RL

4 of 9

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2010 Mazda MX-5

5 of 9

2011 Toyota Sienna

6 of 9

2010 Honda CR-V EX-L

Honda

7 of 9

2008 Toyota Highlander

Toyota

8 of 9

Compact/Mid-Size Pickup: The Honda Ridgeline has held 37.8% of its value after 48 months

Jeremy Cato

9 of 9

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