Quality and reliability is all down to the care and attention of the previous owner, not the marque.
The same tired old chiches come out - buy Japanese, avoid French. My experience of French cars has been positive, because I've always bought cars which have been well maintained.
Its funny that most of the recent car recalls have been on Honda, Toyota and Nissans!
Even yesterday Honda recalled 20,000 Jazz's in South Africa:http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/2013/07/04/honda-recalls-jazz-models-to-fix-switch
Nissan recall 841,000 vehicles in May of this year due to a faulty steering wheel:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22635439
And 2 days ago Toyota recalls 5000 UK cars due to a power steering fault:http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/toyota/yaris/64802/toyota-recall-5000-uk-cars-affected
Your best bet is to pop down to a car supermarket, see what kind of car takes your fancy (its all very well buying a car then finding you hate the interior or there's no legroom) then browse the forums for that make and see what people recommend, then look privately for that model.
If you want any advice on Peugeots, let me know.