Americans consider buying a good used car up to three years old almost the best purchase because during this time cars get much cheaper, and in terms of technology and safety “three-year-olds” are not much inferior to brand-new models…
With the development of crisis tendencies in our society, the used cars become more and more actual.
The authoritative American edition Consumer Reports considers buying a good used car up to three years old to be almost the best purchase, because the main decrease in value is over, and by technology and safety “three years” is not much inferior to very new models.
In a new study of used cars, the staff collected data on more than 1.4 million cars made between 1999 and 2008. Car owners were asked to tell about problems that arose with their car over the past year for 17 major parts of the car – from the transmission to body damage.
Of course, a car’s condition strongly depends on how its owner has treated it. However, some models still feel somewhat better than others. For example, most Toyota and Honda models. In general Japanese models for several years in a row look better than representatives of other countries. European models also show quite good results, but with the gradual aging, they have more and more issues.
Not always the oldest cars had the most serious issues. For example, the 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid was the worst car in the study in terms of electrics. About a quarter of owners cited issues with that system, especially with the battery.
By comparison, other hybrids – the Toyota Prius, Toyota Highlander, Honda Civic, and Ford Escape – were devoid of any major flaws. The 2001 Chrysler all-wheel-drive minivans, on the other hand, had a huge number of issues with all systems, such as the body — sliding doors, door locks, trunk doors. And 17% of 2001 Acura CLs need the transmission repaired or replaced.
The most “popular” issues among all cars were malfunctioning indicators on the control panel (such as check engine), broken windows, and various noises in the cabin.
The most common issues for three-year-old cars were noise, body, and powertrain damage. On average, there are 43 breakdowns per 100 cars of this age. Lexus SC, Toyota Highlander, and Toyota Prius have the best indicator – only 13 breakdowns.
For cars under five years old, the most problematic unit is the brakes. The average result for this age is 62 breakdowns per 100 cars. But the best model – Toyota Echo – again has 13 breakdowns per one hundred cars.
Finally, the oldest cars – manufactured in 1999 – have an average of 124 breakdowns per 100 cars. And the best representatives of this age are the four-cylinder pickups.
The Toyota Tacoma and Lexus LS have 49 breakdowns per 100 cars, while the most unreliable model year 2008, the Chrysler Sebring Convertible, has 59 per hundred.
Based on the results of the study, its creators selected what they believe are the best cars they would recommend for purchase. Among this year’s top picks were:
Toyota Camry (except 2008 V6),
Subaru Outback (6-cylinder),
Toyota Land Cruiser,
Hyundai Santa Fe,