I know a lot of you like buying a new car... but when I see a new car all I see is major depreciation. Because of this I don't even consider cars to be real assets because you don't get more out of them than you put in them. They are expenses.
I have owned three cars in my life and I have never had any serious problems. I've had to take care of minor things like breaks, changing fluids, changing belts, fuel filter and once had to change the alternator. All of these things cost far less than the monthly payment of any new car.
Regarding the reliability of used cars: I always buy off-lease or fleet vehicles. The previous owners of these cars were contractually obligated to keep the car in good condition or face paying penalties. Because of this I have never gotten a car that was a lemon. Lease and fleet vehicles also come with programs that allow the first owners to have all sorts of maintenance done on them for free... so by the time I get them at 20,000 to 40,000 miles all of the serious bugs have been worked out of them.
A lot of people think that cars are only sold because they have problems... but in reality more and more people are getting lease cars because they just cannot afford to buy a new car or because they like to get a new car every year or two.