So the years we were looking at for this year's used car roundup were 2008 and 2009. Especially since prices are high, we didn't want to go too much newer.
We picked ten vehicles -- five sedans, three crossovers, a wagon and a minivan -- that received top scores in Kiplinger's rankings for performance, value and safety, plus got high marks for reliability.
We didn't pick super-fuel-efficient models, such as the Toyota Prius, because prices have soared to stratospheric levels.
One thing readers should know is that all Kiplinger picks are steeped in value--performance, safety and roominess.
On the used car picks, we try to pick from a variety of categories.
So, as Mark said earlier, it might make more sense to buy a new fuel-efficient vehicle, rather than a used one?
My fave that Jess picked is the 2009 Infiniti G37x.
The 2009 price was nearly $37,000
It recently sold for about $24,000
On fuel-efficient cars, it's really important to look at the costs.
We asked Vincentric to look at ownership costs for used Toyota Corollas versus the 2012 model. A certified 2009 cost just $3,000 less than the 2012, but was over $1,000 more expensive over five years.
Another good choice from our ten picks is the 2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i sedan
Alright, here's a question from agreen about high used car prices.
It has been selling for about $12,000 recently--down from the 2009 new price of $18,000
Leasing is a good idea if you value a new vehicle
You get the three- or four-year warranty, and probably never have to pay for a repair
You may not even have to buy new tires before you turn the car back in
We often tell people that they are a good candidate for leasing if they always tend to have a car payment
However, if you drive a lot, be careful about the terms for how many miles a year you can drive.
So leasing is kind of a lifestyle, financial philosophy decision
You can ask about buying more miles upfront for a cheaper per-mile price than you'd pay if you go over after turn-in.
Used cars are best for people who can pay cash and want to drive a vehicle until it dies
The advantage is that much of the depreciation has already taken place.
With leasing, you will pay for a lot of deprecation in your monthly payments
That said, if you are all about the monthly payments on a vehicle, see what you will have to pay for a lease versus used car payment
Definitely something to consider.
Alright, let's move on to our next question from Amy.
Also, you may be able to get a good deal on a gas guzzling, truck-based SUV, if you are looking for size.
But remember: NEVER TELL A DEALER WHAT YOU CAN PAY PER MONTH!
Hi Amy--first let's narrow down what size crossover you're looking for.
Not too good for your bargaining capabilities, huh Jessica?
Nope--they can shift the numbers too much behind the scenes.
Back to Amy's question...
If you're thinking small, the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander is a great, reliable ride that has a design that's just a little different from the competition.
If you need more space, an older model Acura MDX, say 2004 might be in your price range and has a sporty upscale feel.