Consumer Reports on how to buy a used car includes these recommended models

The state of buying a vehicle today

According to a recent consumer reports Analyzing the Status of New and Used Vehicle Buying The outlook remains pretty bleak for the budget-conscious car buyer, it turns out the average new car transaction is over $48,000 and used car prices are rising continues to rise– -nearly 8 percent from last year. Which may not sound too bad…until you consider that, “…used cars have increased in value by 50 percent since February 2020”, say CR analysts who point out that the cause is due to the closures due to the pandemic that caused the turmoil in the world economy.

What this means for the budget-conscious car buyer is that in order to stay on budget, you may need to focus on finding older used cars that are reliable.

To help used car buyers hedge their bets and find a used car that’s reliable instead of a lemon, the good folks at consumer reports recently provided a good list of tips related to “knowing what you’re buying” when considering a used vehicle that has been repeated frequently in this column.

Tips like:

Check car history
CR analysts recommend that all used car buyers make an effort to discover a car’s history by seeking out a reputable agency like Carfax.

Carfax is well known for providing used car buyers with important, up-to-date information and warnings about vehicles involved in flood damage, odometer fraud reports, and how buyers can avoid overpaying for a vehicle.

However, a Carfax Report is not the end of making a good used car buying decision. In fact, the Carfax website tells users of its services that, “Not all information is reported to Carfax.” Cast, “The Carfax Vehicle History Report should be used in conjunction with a pre-purchase vehicle inspection and comprehensive test drive..”

To learn more about the pros and cons of relying on a Carfax report, check out this article on a Carfax warning every car buyer should know.

walk around the car
The importance of performing a walk-around inspection cannot be overstated. You should watch for signs of underbody and frame rust issues, fluid leaks that may or may not be a problem or unusual for a used car, and especially for indications that the vehicle may have been the result of of an overturned car with water damage. .

As an example of a walk-through inspection, be sure to check out this article showing a walk-through inspection of a 1986 Toyota 4Runner which is an instructional demonstration on how to give a used vehicle a good service before you buy and/or get started. repair.

Take a test drive
It goes without saying, but it bears repeating based on the advice of this CR analyst: “Before you even start driving, make sure the car is the right size for your needs, that the seats are comfortable, and that its controls don’t drive you crazy..” If you are not satisfied with the trip, you will not be satisfied with the purchase, no matter how good the offer was.

But comfort aside, a test drive is the least precaution you should take. And not just before you buy a used vehicle to find some hidden flaws, but whenever repairs are made and before the mechanic returns your car keys to you.

Get a Mechanical Inspection
CR analysts also point to a truism of buying used cars: “Unless the car is covered by a warranty or service contract, any problems with it are yours once you drive it home..” Therefore, it is essential to hire a trusted mechanic and pay for an inspection and his opinion on the real value of a used car before deciding to buy one.


With all that said, here is a list of consumer reports used car recommendations under budget-conscious categories important to used car buyers including smart choice models that are consistent consumer favorites; and, under-the-radar models, while not as popular, they have a strong reliability record and scored well overall on the road test when CR tested them like new. Models are listed in descending order of cost to purchaser.

Used Cars Over $40,000

2019 Lexus RX
Price Range: $37,625 – $47,425
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

2019 Audi Q7
Price range: $33,500 – $43,775
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

Used Cars for $30,000 to $40,000

Toyota Highlander 2019
Price Range: $28,475 – $41,050
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

2019 Buick Enclave
Price range: $27,100 – $37,000
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

Used Cars for $20,000 to $30,000

2019 Mazda CX-5
Price Range: $21,625 – $28,900
Owner Reported MPG: 25 mpg

2018 Ford Focus
Price Range: $17,750 – $27,275
Owner Reported MPG: 22 mpg

Used Cars for $10,000 to $20,000

2015 Honda CR-V
Price Range: $16,250 – $19,975
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

chevrolet equinox 2017
Price range: $15,700 – $18,425
Owner reported mpg: 24 mpg

Used Cars Under $10,000

2009-2011 Honda Accord
Price range: $7,825-$10,825

2008-2010 Honda CR-V
Price Range: $7,575-$10,850

Honda Fit 2010-2012
Price Range: $7,950-$11,200

2010-2012 Toyota Prius
Price range: $10,775-$14,600

2010-2012 Toyota Corolla
Price range: $8,350-$11,300

2009-2011 Toyota Camry
Price Range: $7,575-$10,550

2011-2012 Infiniti G
Price Range: $8,650-$10,125

For a more detailed breakdown of each vehicle’s features, visit the consumer reports website. Keep in mind that while access to some information requires a CR membership, the potential savings pale in comparison when searching for the latest information to aid in your car buying research.

And finally…

For additional articles on buying a used car, be sure to check out these favorites:

• Chevy Trucks To Buy And Not To Buy Explained By A Chevrolet Mechanic

The answer to whether you should buy a new or used car today

• Learn to inspect that used car like a car care nut

COMING SOON: The worst deals on new cars dominated by two popular brands

Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter for Torque News based in Cincinnati. With experience in early automobile restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications to improve performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily news on new and used vehicles.

Image source: pexels

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