“Used Cars to Avoid” Might Actually Be Great Buys

June 21st, 2011
2008 Jeep Wrangler

Used '08 Wrangler: Buy it or skip it?

Forbes Magazine loves its lists.

Normally the well-respected financial rag dishes out primo advice on topics ranging from smart investment strategies to its infamous rundown of the World’s Richest People.

Sometimes, though, even the great can stumble. Forbes recently published a list it calls “10 Used Cars to Avoid,” and, quite honestly, there are some questionable choices earning that dubious distinction.

In fact, I agree with only two.

The majority of Forbes’ list might have been better off if it had been published in 2008 under the headline “New Cars to Avoid.” Most of the selections suffer from some combination of poor fuel economy, low resale value, sub-par build quality and questionable reliability.

Once on the used market, however, the selected cars have already lost much of their value and can actually represent killer bargains, sometimes even strong enough to justify sacrificing a few miles per gallon or trips to the repair shop.

First, the two vehicles I agree should be on a Used Cars to Avoid list:

2008 Range Rover SportThe Chevrolet Aveo and Dodge Avenger. Both suffer from every poor attribute listed above, plus the unfortunate quality of being absolutely miserable to drive. Unless you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel and need basic transportation at the cheapest cost, look elsewhere. Heck, even if you do need a bargain-basement option, there are better cars that are 10 years older for the same price.

Now for eight cars I think could be great buys on the used market, but Forbes thinks don’t deserve a second glance:

The Mitsubishi Lancer, Dodge Charger, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Jeep Liberty, Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Suzuki XL-7, Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

I won’t argue the fact that all of these vehicles have superior competitors. On the showroom floor they absolutely do, but once they are a few years old and hit DealFinder, they can represent real value for shoppers wanting a cheaper late-model vehicle.

Would you buy any of the cars listed here if the price was right?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Chevrolet Aveo
Used Dodge Avenger
Used Mitsubishi Lancer
Used Dodge Charger
Used Mitsubishi Eclipse
Used Jeep Liberty
Used Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
Used Suzuki XL-7
Used Jeep Wrangler
Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport

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  1. Randy
    June 22nd, 2011 at 18:17 | #1

    Doesn’t say much about Chrysler when so many of their vehicles appears on your list. Actually, Jeeps are very popular around here and I actually know people who use them off road. (I think Michigan leads the country in ORV registrations.) I like something a bit more stable and my Chevy Trailblazer takes me everywhere I want to go in any weather and pulls my 10X12 foot trailer or my tractor on its trailer just fine.

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