In the market for the most reliable used diesel cars? This may be a bit of a daunting task, but we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

When buying used, it pays to look to the experts, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most reliable used diesel 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, and Edmunds 2011 Used Car Best Bets, among other trusted sources. While each uses somewhat different ratings criteria, finding a vehicle ranked high on more than one list is a good sign the used diesel vehicle has higher reliability than others.

  • 2009 BMW 3-Series – In the Edmunds 2011 Used Car Best Bets listing, under the coupe category, the 2004 through 2009 BMW 3-Series is highlighted,

    although the diesel-powered 335d sedan didn’t arrive until later in 2009. The 2009 model BMW 335d is powered by a 265-horsepower twin-turbocharged diesel engine delivering 425 pound-feet of torque, mated with a standard six-speed automatic transmission (with optional paddle shifters). As with all BMW 3-Series, in a review of the 2009 model, Edmunds editors give high praise, “It speaks the language of driving enthusiasts, yet its upscale image and comfortable interior give it unrivaled mass appeal.” Reviewing the 2009 BMW 3-Series, named a Consumer Guide Best Buy, the editors said, “The 335d diesel model is even more pricey, but it offers outstanding performance and fuel efficiency.”

  • 2008-2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – In the JDPA 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles study, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class was the second-place finisher in the large premium crossover SUV category, after the Lincoln Navigator. But only the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offered a diesel-powered model, dubbed the GL350 BlueTEC for the 2010 model year. The GL350 BlueTEC features 50-state legal “clean-diesel” technology in a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine that delivers 210 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque (in the 2010 model). Edmunds hails the GL350 BlueTEC as a top choice because “it offers excellent passenger and cargo capacity along with unsurpassed fuel economy among SUVs of this size.”
  • 2008 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class – Another Mercedes-Benz with good reliability is the 2008-2010 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC, a midsize, five-passenger

    crossover SUV. Edmunds lists the ML350 BlueTEC as one of two highly-rated diesel-powered crossover SUVs from Mercedes-Benz.

  • 2010 Volkswagen Touareg TDI – Edmunds lists the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg TDI five-passenger midsize SUV as one of the best bets in diesel-powered vehicles. In a review, Edmunds says the diesel-powered V6 TDI shines, “giving up nothing to the gas V6 in terms of performance…[while] the torque TDI also gets 25 percent better fuel economy on the highway.”
  • 2009-2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – With its stellar fuel economy, the 2009-2010 Volkswagen TDI offers clean-diesel technology at reasonable prices. Edmunds

    calls out the Jetta’s upscale look and feel and availability of Jetta SportWagen TDI in 2010. In its first year of sales, the 2009 Jetta TDI accounted for more than one-third of the units sold in the United States.