Kyle's Corner - Cars - It
is the Season to Save Money
By Kyle Busch
The cost of new transportation is expensive. However,
there are several used vehicles that you might want to
consider. The following vehicles all have good ratings
and current market forces have made them available at
very reasonable prices.
Four vehicles worth your consideration:
- The Toyota Camry has been one of the best vehicles
in America for years. New Camry LEs cost $18,500-$25,000.
Now that the redesigned 2002 Camry is circulating in the
market, you can buy (if you shop carefully) a used 2000
Toyota Camry LE with 25,000-30,000 miles for about $10,500-$11,000.
I consider this car to be an excellent value for this price.
The vehicle should still have at least 6 months remaining
on the manufacturer's bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5
years remaining on the power train (engine and transmission)
warranty. This vehicle can be driven for hundreds of thousands
- The Honda Accord has also been one of America's best
selling automobiles. New Accord LXs cost $18,500-$26,000.
The Accord was redesigned for 2003 (the new model arrived
in showrooms during September).
You can buy (if you shop carefully) a 2000 Accord LX with
25,000-30,000 miles for about $11,000-$12,000. This vehicle
should also have at least 6 months remaining on the
manufacturer's bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years on
the power train. This vehicle can also be driven for hundreds
of thousands of miles.
- The Mazda 626 has also been a reliable vehicle. New 626 LXs
cost $17,500-$24,000. The 626 will be redesigned for 2003
(renamed the "6").
Mazda does not quite have the name of the Toyota or the
Honda.You can buy (if you shop carefully) a 2000 Mazda 626 LX
with 25,000-30,000 miles for about $9,000-$10,000. This vehicle
should also have at least 6 months remaining on the manufacturer's
bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years on the power train. This
vehicle can provide many years of dependable transportation.
- The Nissan Altima is also a pretty good value. New Altima 2.5s
cost $17,000-23,000. The 2002 Altima was redesigned to be a
much larger car than the previous model.
If you are on a transportation budget, you can buy (if you shop
carefully) a 1995 Altima GXE with 60,000-75,000 miles for about
$3,500-$4,000. At this age and mileage, the vehicle will likely not
include any remaining manufacturer's warranty, however, the Altima
is quite reliable and economical to drive. This car can provide a
number of years of good transportation service.
If you are in the market for a vehicle, do your homework. Consult
Consumer Report's automotive issue (April). Also, be sure to read
a couple of archived new vehicle road tests (review road tests that
were conducted at the time the vehicle was new) on the used vehicle
of interest in auto magazines (many are archived at your local library)
or Internet sources such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track,
or MotorWeek. Information from the road tests will allow you to zero in
on which of the vehicles discussed above will be the best for you.
For example, if you prefer a softer ride consider the Camry; if you
prefer a stiffer more European ride, consider the Accord; and if price
is the major consideration, consider the Mazda or the Altima. Last,
but not least, if you are going to buy a 2 to 3 year-old vehicle, try to
get the 2000 model rather than the 199... model. Years down the road
when you sell the vehicle, the 2000 model will be worth more than the
"past century" vehicle.
How to Evaluate a Used Vehicle:
Kyle Busch is the author of Drive the Best for the Price: How to
Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and
Save Money. 1 800 839-8640 or www.drivethebestbook.com.
The web site accepts all transportation questions.