Used Car Shopping
Earlier this week we saw a Consumer Reports rating of the best used older cars for under $10,000 that you can buy right now. The models covered only a few 2012-2013 models of Mazdas, Toyotas, and Nissans. The pricing of which you will find varies significantly depending mostly on their mileage and the dealership.
However, finding a model in fair to good condition might not be so easy, and could have overly inflated pricing in your neighborhood.
Related article: Is Your Dealership a Stealership?
If you are in the market for an older economy car and cannot find one from the listing, you might find yourself tempted to consider something else like a low mileage 2014 Chevrolet Cruze and wondering if this will suit your needs as well.
The short answer is that it could; however, it comes with significant caveats that you should be following regardless of what model of used vehicle you are looking at.
Used Car Caveats to Follow
• Do your online homework on older models and find out how they fared on reliability and check their owner history.
• Take the time to do your own used vehicle inspection and asking if any maintenance records are available.
• Always test drive on city streets and on the highway.
• If it passes your muster, then hire a mechanic who has experience with the model to do a thorough inspection and analysis.
The importance of following these caveats cannot be overstated. Especially if you are considering a vehicle like the aforementioned 2014 Chevrolet Cruze that a used car shopper could find tempting because of its low odometer reading.
The problem with this exampled model for used car shoppers is that like many not-so-popular used car models reviewed, they tend to have mediocre reliability ratings based on a few car review sites focused mostly on engine and drivetrain problems. However, you will also find personal testimonies of owners who say their vehicles made it to 100,000 miles with little to no trouble. So, what do you do?
In cases like this, it helps to consider what is the TRUE value of any used car is by following the advice given earlier by this commonsensical mechanic who talks candidly about the best used car you should not buy as well as a series of videos that helps car buyers find the true value of a used car.
The primary point he makes is that regardless of the used car, in most cases a used car is only as good as the person who maintained it.
To hammer in this point, here is a video about a 2014 Chevy Cruise with turbo that despite its low mileage was a problem car because during its 60,000-mile life, it was likely not maintained properly as opposed to being a case of a poorly designed/manufactured unreliable model.
Blown Turbo, Low Mileage Used Car
Here is an instructive look at a 2014 Chevy Cruze with a 1.4L ECOTEC engine fitted with turbo experiencing classic signs and symptoms of a blown turbo problem. The value of the video is that it shows what can happen to cars fitted with turbo that do not have their engine oil changed frequently enough. Plus, it is a good demonstration of how to replace a turbo on some older model cars.
This 2014 Chevy is hurt BAD, can I fix it?
For additional articles about reliability in used cars, here are two selected pieces to consider:
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Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
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