most reliable used car under $3000
Toyota Corolla from 1998 model year on. The Camry is just as reliable but more expensive.
The best used vehicle would be one that you know the history of. Otherwise you never know what has happened to it in the past, it may be a patched lemon that runs good enough to sell, then falls apart. Even Toyota has lemons.
Agree with FordNut 1998 Corolla up and Toyota Camry -( 4 cylinder) to 2002 then 4 or 6 cylinder after.