7 of the most reliable cars you can buy

  • Toyota

    Styling, handling and gas mileage all loom large when you are shopping for a new car. But don't forget reliability -- knowing that there is only a slim chance you will face frequent and costly repairs with that vehicle.

    To help with that, we have compiled a list of seven of the most reliable cars you can buy -- from subcompacts to luxury sedans. To make our list, a model had to appear among the top three in its class in the recently-released J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. In addition, the car or SUV had to have a strong reliability record in Consumer Reports' annual auto issue. Both rankings involve surveys of people who own a specific vehicle and so reflect real-world experience.

    While our list is heavy with Japanese and Korean brands, Buick does get two vehicles on the list. That General Motors division has fared the best among U.S., brands, ranking number two for reliability in the Power study. Buick also finishes seventh in the Consumer Reports brand rankings -- a broader rating of how many of a brand's vehicles make the CR recommended list.

    For a model that combines high reliability with very high gas mileage, take a look at Toyota's hybrid Prius V (pictured above).

    Here's a closer look at our picks in seven categories.

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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.