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Help Needed to buy a used car under 15k

tristan15tristan15 Posts: 21
edited September 2014 in General
Hello,

I am about to buy my very first car. I am looking for a quality used car, fairly recent (2011 and up), under 45kmiles and with a budget of 15k$.

I was really attracted by the kia optima and ford fusion (2013) designs but I feel that with tax sales and additional costs, I will be over budget.

I then turned to a volkswagen jetta but heard that the base model engine is not that great. So I am back to square one, lost ....

One of my main concern is to know if I should by used or Certified Pre-Owned ? I am looking for the following options in the car : Audio aux, Sat Radio and bluetooth is a plus. I would like something pretty fun to drive, enough room and decent mpg.

What model should I focus on ? should I go used or CPO ?


Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2014
    Check out the Help Me Choose discussion too - you might pick up some ideas from other posts in there from the past year.

    I'm a bit leery of CPO cars - they sound good in theory but some dealers are better than others at following the checklist and actually bringing the car up to "standards". Some people like them for the extra warranty and roadside assistance (I just have towing insurance myself).

    If you do go CPO, it's better to go with a factory backed certification than a third party or dealer certification.

    CPO or not, it's a good idea to have any used car looked at by an independent mechanic (and that has the added benefit of making you find such a mechanic before you need one).
  • Okay thank you for those informations. What kind of make and models do you think I should go for ?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2014
    I was afraid you were going to ask that. :D I'm more of a hatch/minivan/crossover fan so I'm not up on sedans very much.

    The VW has the best rep for being a good driver, but reliability is a bit questionable.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,149
    I would get the April issue of Consumer Reports and read their section on best used cars. They break them down by price, reliability, etc. Looking at their $15k and under list will help you narrow down the possibilities. Does gas mileage matter? Size? There are a lot of variables. Narrow down to 2 or 3 and then drive them. And yes, get any used car, even CPO, checked out first.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,909
    Stick with a good Japanese or S. Korean import. Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Kia, Hyndai, etc.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • stever said:

    I was afraid you were going to ask that. :D I'm more of a hatch/minivan/crossover fan so I'm not up on sedans very much.

    The VW has the best rep for being a good driver, but reliability is a bit questionable.

    Actually Stever, I was gonna head towards sedan because they seem to be the more popular is the usa. I am actually from europe and definitely prefer the aesthetic of hatchback and cross overs, so let me know what kind of models are the best bet ? I definitely like the volkswagen tiguan but it might be overpriced for me.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,320
    edited September 2014
    There are a few NEW cars you could get in your budget. Personally, I'd go that route for $1k-$2k more. You can usually get better financing rates that would offset it some, at least.

    Take the new Fit, for example, being from Europe, maybe you'd even prefer a manual transmission. So, for $16k, you get a new car. No satellite radio in the LX model, but Bluetooth, aux input, backup camera, etc. Quite well equipped, IMHO. Or, a leftover 2014 Elantra with deep discounts. There are others if you look. check out Truecar.com for possible discounts.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    @tristan15, you may want to check out the Kia Soul, Toyota Matrix and the VWs. Welcome to the States!
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