New car buyers know it's not always easy to tell a reliable car from a soon-to-be lemon. A vehicle that runs smoothly on your first test drive may end up giving you mechanical trouble shortly after you take it home. If you feel intimidated by the car shopping process, the Consumer Reports list of the 10 most reliable models on the market is a good place to start.

This list comes from Consumer Reports's annual reliability survey, which looked at more than 500,000 vehicles. To determine which cars motorists can trust, the surveyors weighed 17 potential problem areas, including squeaky breaks, interior wear-and-tear, and transmission repairs.

Ranking No.1 on the reliability scale is the Lexus GX, an old-school SUV that cost $58,428 at the time of testing. The second-place vehicle, the Toyota Prius C, is much cheaper at $20,850—plus it gets 37 miles per gallon in city driving, saving owners even more. It's followed by the Toyota Prius Prime at $29,889 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata at $29,905. You can check out the full list below.

1. Lexus GX // $58,428
2. Toyota Prius C // $20,850
3. Toyota Prius Prime // $29,889
4. Mazda MX-5 Miata // $29,905
5. Toyota Corolla // $20,652
6. Lexus NX // $43,284-$51,224
7. Toyota Prius // $27,323
8. Honda Fit // $19,025
9. Kia Sedona // $34,795
10. Toyota Highlander // $41,169-$50,875

The internet is a valuable resource for car buyers, but some details about a car can only be assessed in person. Here's what you should know before taking a car for a test-drive.

[h/t Consumer Reports]