Posts Tagged ‘used cars’

Depreciating Darlings: The 10 Best Used-Car Bargains

November 20th, 2015

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

As soon as a brand new car leaves the dealer’s lot, the depreciation phenomenon commences. There are plenty of reasons to spring for a new car with an empty odometer, of course. They come with great warranties, include the latest technologies, offer the buyer peace of mind with regard to the vehicle’s history, and, naturally, they come with that wonderful new car smell. However, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and your new car depreciating as soon as the rubber rolls of the lot.” We took a look at the data and found that although some cars quickly lose value for good reason (looking at you, Mitsubishi Galant), there are others that actually become pretty great deals. If the smell of organic materials off-gassing is of paramount importance, feel free to pay the premium for your brand new car. If you don’t mind waiting a few years, however, we’ve picked 10 vehicles that offer incredible value on the used market.

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When Do You Decide to Sell Your Car?

June 18th, 2015

1993 Volvo 240

Today let’s discuss one of the endless debates in car ownership. It’s the bane of existence for owners everywhere and the justification many people give for buying a new car.

Here’s the issue:

An older car requires sudden and expensive repairs to continue running. Do you take your chances and fix it or get rid of it and purchase something newer?

A friend is struggling with this issue right now and might be on the verge of making the wrong choice.

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Do Too Many Cars Look Alike?

May 4th, 2015
The Porsche 924 looks just like a...

The Porsche 924 looks just like a…

Some people have an uncanny ability to spot a car and instantly recognize what other brand of car it resembles.

Look-alike cars have been around since the Model T, and each era since has had vehicles that seem like they were created by a single group of traveling designers.

The car that sparked this conversation in my household was the old rusted 1977 Porsche 924 that pulled up beside us and looked, to my wife, nearly identical to a 1970s Datsun hatchback. I can’t argue with her. Even the shape of the window behind the B-pillar is nearly identical.


Her next comparison was even more ridiculous… but right on.

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Sell the Honda, Buy a Kia?

February 25th, 2015

2014 Kia Soul

A friend of mine had a beautiful, low-mileage Honda Pilot for sale.

This is the kind of guy who keeps the paperwork on everything he buys and has required service performed at the recommended intervals and only at authorized locations. He buys reasonable, practical items, but only gets the top-of-the-line versions of them.

Let me give you an idea of what kind of guy this is. When I purchased a used hot tub from him, he handed me a manila folder with every piece of paper it came with and receipts for every service and part, sorted by date. And laminated.

So when this guy sells a car, the buyer gets a pristine example of what a used vehicle should be.

When he told me he wanted to sell his Honda and get a Kia, my reaction was two-fold.

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The $50,000 Red Delorean

November 24th, 2014


Rich guys will pay anything to relive their childhoods.

The Delorean DMC-12 has a rich history, not because of its performance or a long production life, but because of its place in pop culture courtesy of Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

The DMC-12 is a sports car that was manufactured by the Delorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981 and 1982 in Northern Ireland. I think virtually everyone who’s even remotely into cars knows its story, but the DMC-12 is the only model Delorean ever produced. The DMC-12 featured gull-wing doors with a fiberglass underbody to which those famous brushed stainless steel panels were affixed.

Despite having just 130 hp in U.S. models, the Delorean today remains one of the most collectible models from the 1980s. One “barn find” model just sold for nearly $50,000. From the picture above, I’m sure you can guess what makes it even more rare than a typical Delorean.

That’s right: It’s red.

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How’s the Car Culture in Your Town?

October 23rd, 2014


Who knew a guy could nearly be assassinated for trying to pump gas.

I forgot that in Oregon, basic human rights don’t exist. Oh sure, you can marry whoever you want and ride around on bicycles without any clothes, but try to pump gas by yourself, and the Calvary brings out its firing squad.

It’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon, so the job is performed by attendants who run ragged between cars, grabbing credit cards and swiping with reckless abandon while barking things like, “Fill ‘er up?” and “Regular or premium?”

It’s like living in 1955.

Speed limits in Oregon are from the same era. Even four-lane Interstate highways are limited to 65 miles per hour.

Yes, Oregon is automotively oppressed. But they sure have nice cars.

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Tesla Model 3: A $35,000 Game Changer?

September 16th, 2014

Tesla Model S

In 2017, $35,000 might buy you a really nice 2014 or 2015 Audi A6 or a beautiful pre-owned BMW 5 Series.

However, come 2017, the world of buying a luxury car could be very different than it is today. Keep in mind, 2017 is less than two and a half years away, and there usually isn’t a lot of change in such a short amount of time. The 2012 cars on the road today aren’t all that different from 2014 models.

Tesla, though, thinks it can usher in an era of electric driving that we’ve never seen before with its forthcoming $35,000 2017 Tesla Model 3.

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The Best Cars of the ’90s (and One from the ’80s)

August 29th, 2014

BMW E39 M5

Car designers were on their game in the 1960s, but it seems they took a two-decade vacation in the ’70s and ’80s. I’m pretty sure interns used a straight edge and T-square to churn out car designs back then.

Not until the 1990s did the real designers, and their curvalicious designs, come back, along with some quality and performance that turned the ’90s into a golden age for motoring.

That might sound funny, especially being only 15 years removed from the turn of the century, but keep reading for proof that the ’90s provided the jump-start car designers needed to propel motoring into the 21st century.

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Appreciating Classic Cars: Now’s the Time to Buy?

August 18th, 2014

Maserati MC12 Corsa

If you have a Maserati MC12 Corsa to sell, you should advertise it where potential buyers hang out.

Check your garage, loyal readers, because if you have one, you’re in luck. The Corsa is the racing version of the road-going MC12, and only 50 Corsas were ever produced.

Produced back in 2004 and 2005, the car boasts a Ferrari Enzo V12 engine that makes 620 horsepower and jumps from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds. The car is based on the Enzo, however it’s slower and bigger than its more attractive cousin.

It’s kind of like an Enzo in a fat suit, to be honest. Regardless, the car is incredibly rare and valuable, especially in Corsa trim.

So where might potential buyers of this expensive machine hang out?

The Pebble Beach Concours, of course.

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Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014


I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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