If you’re in the market for a great bargain in a used vehicle, and one that has outstanding reliability reports, definitely check out our list of the most reliable used small cars.

When buying used, it pays to look to the experts, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most reliable used small cars by scouring reports from the J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA) 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles study and Consumer Reports Best and Worst Used Cars, among other trusted sources.

  • 2008 Honda FitAt the top of the list from both sources is the 2008 Honda Fit. The Fit leads the field as the highest-ranked subcompact car in the J.D. Power and

    Associates 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles study, with five-star ratings in overall dependability and powertrain dependability, four stars in feature and accessory dependability, and three stars in body and interior dependability. Consumer Reports says the Fit has been “an economical, reliable, and versatile hatchback ever since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2007,” citing the Fit’s huge amount of usable space in a small package, standard anti-lock brakes and curtain airbags.

  • 2008 Scion xBConsumer Reports identifies the Scion xB as one of the other good choices for a reliable small car. The JDPA dependability study says the Scion xB, all-new for 2008, benefits from a more powerful standard engine, has an all-new platform with larger wheels and brakes, and an all-new interior. The 2008 Scion xB ranked highest in the compact multi-purpose vehicle segment with five stars in overall, powertrain, and feature and accessory dependability and four stars in body and interior dependability.
  • 2008 Toyota YarisRanking second in the JDPA subcompact car category, the 2008 Toyota Yaris earned five stars in overall dependability and body and interior dependability, four stars in powertrain dependability, and three stars in feature and accessory dependability.
  • 2008 Hyundai Accent Similarly, the 2008 Hyundai Accent was a close contender for award-recipient in the JDPA subcompact car category. The Accent earned

    five stars in overall and feature and accessory dependability, four stars in body and interior dependability, and three stars in powertrain dependability.

  • 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata – The highest-ranked compact sporty car has to be included in any list of the most reliable small cars. The trademark Mazda “Zoom-zoom” fun-to-drive characteristics coupled with its high reliability are reasons to consider this affordable fun car, available in hard-top and soft-top versions. The 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata makes a clean sweep with five stars in all the JDPA 2011 dependability study ratings factors for compact sporty cars: overall dependability, powertrain dependability, body and interior dependability, and feature and accessory dependability. Consumer Reports calls out the fact that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is “affordable and fun to drive,” putting the small car at the top of its list of

    best sports and sporty cars.

Other cars considered the most reliable used small cars according to Consumer Reports include the Toyota Echo and Corolla, Honda Civic and Civic Hybrid, Pontiac Vibe and its structural twin, the Toyota Matrix, Mazda3 and Protégé, Volkswagen Rabbit, Suzuki SX4 and Subaru Impreza (non-turbo model).

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