There are plenty of websites and forums you can access when researching your next car. Most new car sites and magazines will give you a review of the car based on driving the latest model. Others, like consumer reports, will provide you with some reliability information but not much in terms of specific issues and certainly not going back very far which would be relevant to the used car buyer.
Luckily, there are new peer to peer car review and reliability sites that allow everyday users to provide information on their cars, including repair issues. One site, truedelta.com, makes the data easy to access.
What I particularly like about this site is that it provides information on recent repair issues to older models. For example, if you are looking to buy a 2004 Ford Explorer, the site will tell you the repair frequency, where on the car the repairs takes place (engine, body, brake, etc.) and the cost distribution of the repairs (how much the repair cost). Pretty useful. Even more useful it that the site will list, in chronological order, the repairs made on the model. In other words, I can see what repairs were made this year on an old 2004 Ford Explorer.
This is extremely useful to the used car buyer. I can research the issues that are only now appearing in the car, 10+ years later. That information is directly relevant to me, the used car buyer.
The website has bunch of other useful sections that I won’t go into, but it’s a great place to research your new used car.