Two More Used Cars for the “Avoid” List

January 17th, 2012

2008 GMC Acadia

When the all-new 2011 GMC Acadia debuted, I didn’t hesitate to recommend it to friends and family in the market for a new SUV. I even considered one for my family before choosing to buy a used Lexus RX 330 instead.

My decision came down to one of longevity. The Lexus had proven itself as an established and reliable model. I hesitated on the Acadia because buying an American car in its first couple model years scared me.

I really want to like the Acadia. I love its looks and am impressed by the interior space it offers. However, I think I made the right choice by not buying one and believe there are better choices for people in the market for a used SUV. Keep reading for why I’d pass on a used Acadia, along with a few other cars that might not be wise buys.

Acadias are expensive, both new and used. For the price I would hope to see a lot less plastic in the interior along with a bump in quality of the fit and finish. I drove a 2011 Acadia SLT for about a week, and during that time the plastic trim on the rear passenger-side door came loose and the power liftgate clunked and churned with each use until it flat-out broke. Earlier models had complaints on the suspension and audio equipment. It’s a good car, but why settle when great cars are available for a better price? The Toyota 4Runner comes to mind, along with the Lexus RX.

Minivan shoppers should beware of the used Chrysler Town & Country. New models come highly recommended by yours truly, mostly thanks to the fantastic 3.6-liter Pentastar engine Chrysler developed. Earlier models, though, don’t have the power or grace of the new ones. A guy I know recently bought a 2010 model with the old 3.8-liter V6, and when he showed me the van, said, “I sure am glad I bought this one. The new ones only have a 3.6-liter engine! I got the 3.8.”

Of course I didn’t say anything. But I wanted to tell him that his 3.8 puts down 190 horsepower and will return 23 mpg on the highway, while that new “smaller” 3.6 smoothly pumps out 283 ponies and will return 25 mpg on the highway.

Used minivan shoppers can’t go wrong with the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. DealFinder, of course, has plenty of options to sort through!

What other used vehicles would you avoid?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used GMC Acadia
Used Toyota 4-Runner
Used Lexus RX330
Used Chrysler Town & Country
Used Toyota Sienna
Used Honda Odyssey

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  1. Randy
    January 17th, 2012 at 08:46 | #1

    You’re right to avoid a new GM model. GM’s problems with new models are so common and have been going on for so long that it’s become axiomatic to avoid a new GM in the first two years of production. While GM wants to position and price vehicles to compete with the likes of the Lexus RX330, you have to get into something like Cadillac (which cost an extra five figures over comparable Lexus models) to get the fit, finish and materials in the Lexus. Ditto for american hogs like the Town and Country. (GM is so bad at minivans they’ve stopped making them and abandoned the field.)

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