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Help with buying a used car...

ryanpk2018ryanpk2018 Posts: 11
edited November 2017 in General
I am in the market for a used car. I am trying to find a Honda CRV or maybe a Subaru Forester between 2010-2013 to keep it in my budget. My big question about buying used is if I should be seriously concerned about the mileage the car already has on it when looking at these two specific models/makes. For the budget I have I can't seem to find anything with less then 100k miles on it. Is that a bad decision? Should I just look for a model I am not really that fond of with lower miles? Should mileage not matter as long as the carfax looks good and I keep up with the maintenance? I am getting a lot of negative feedback from family about my decision to look at cars with over that amount of miles on it. They are all telling me I am nuts to buy something with that much already driven into it. Thoughts?
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Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 128,067
    Mileage matters. These cars hold their value well, which makes them expensive as used cars.

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    I would try for a less popular vehicle that has good reliability ratings. Does it need to be a crossover? In that category maybe a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage?
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,526
    suydam said:

    I would try for a less popular vehicle that has good reliability ratings. Does it need to be a crossover? In that category maybe a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage?

    Or a Chevy Equinox / GMC Terrain.

    Lots of choices in that particular genre; you just happened to select the two that hold their value the best.

    Can you give us a little bit more context about this?

    Location, driving needs, kids, miles per year, etc.

    The more information we have, the better we will be able to help.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,096
    In addition to the above, knowing your budget would be helpful.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,086
    edited October 2017
    I generally agree with the other responders on this topic: Miles matter, and you're going to pay a lot more for these two models than you might for similar vintage (or newer) vehicles that might perform just as well. I am also a long-time owner of Subaru vehicles, so I can give you a little insight into them as they age (hint: They are not likely to be trouble-free!).

    I actually just purchased a gen-three Forester this past June to replace the 2010 we had for nearly seven years, and I paid $16.5K for it (which I felt was too much for what it is, but happy wife....). This is a five-year-old car with, at the time, 52,000 miles on the odometer. So, what can you get for those miles and/or price in other brands? Hyundai/Kia, GM, Ford.... In the used vehicle market, I personally do not think you are any more likely to have trouble with those vehicles than with Subaru or Honda.

    As you pass 100,000 miles, emissions controls (such as oxygen sensors, EGR), suspension components, transmission, head gaskets.... These all become concerns. So, is getting one of these on your price point worth the added maintenance costs?

    My recommendation is to find a vehicle with fewer than 60,000 miles on it. That way, you are likely to enjoy a period of ownership that does not involve additional maintenance costs (while you plan for the inevitable expenses as the car ages). I personally have no issues owning high-mile vehicles, but I won't spend top dollar to acquire one when there are more prudent options out there.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Thanks for the help! I won't be putting too much mileage on it myself. Probably 12k a year would be average for me. I was looking at these models since I need a car that is great in the snow. I am tired of driving a smaller car too so I wanted to bump it up a little in size. No kids. I think something great in the snow is key. I was looking at Civics before I decided to go bigger and I just think I am tired of slipping, sliding and being out of control in the bad winters here. I have a budget of 10k max. The mileage has been an issue with the cars I have been looking at. There never seem to be any local to me (44124 zip) with low mileage on them. Also, thoughts on buying from small dealerships? Is that risky? My family and friends are all telling me to go to big dealerships and to avoid the small ones.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well if you mean by "small dealerships", some little used car dealer with a dinky office that's not too clean and big "no Credit/No Problem" signs in the window, then yeah, I'd tend to avoid those places. Usually, they end up with auction cars that the big dealers did not want---higher miles, a bit shabby perhaps.

    Now, having said that, there are, on occasion, independent used car dealers who are not small and are in fact pretty high-class operations, with a nice showroom, perhaps a 50 to 100 car inventory, all late model stuff.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,318
    so, Cleveland. Should be a good market for domestics. 12K miles.year as an only car is a lot on one starting with miles in the 6 figures. An equinox is a good option.

    and at that price point, factoring in running costs on a cheap car, you might be better off getting a blow out lease on something like a Tuscon or Equinox. In 3 years, factoring in depreciation and maintenance/repairs, might be just as cheap to drive new with a warranty.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,380
    @ryanpk2018 - hello & welcome. How is your credit? If you do 12K per year and have a 10K Max Budget, have you looked into leasing a new vehicle? I'm sure you can find something in your wheelhouse and pay around $250 - $275 per month for a new car with a full warranty and low maintenance costs.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,096
    Slipping and sliding in the snow is a tire problem, not car problem. And springing for an AWD vehicle does not guarantee you are getting decent tires. In November is the wrong damn time to be looking for an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

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

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    Well, people need cars when they need them. Cleveland, AWD is nice to have. I think Chevy or Ford is going to be your best find for a Used AWD vehicle.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,318
    actually, I forgot that. The prior generation Escape (up through IIRC 2012) is actually a very solid vehicle, and should not break the bank.

    I do think that for a lot of people, that only have 1 car and really depend on it, and are not handy with DIY fixes, and inexpensive lease is a smart idea. Generally no maintenance issues to worry about, cost certainly, and reliable day in and day out. A $250/month lease is is roughly $10K over 3 years. A $10K, 100,000 mile SUV, that will have better than 130K on it in 3 years might be worth what, $4k? so that is $6K depreciation down. Add in repairs that are bound to happen, so maybe what, $2K at least? on the low side? Maybe $3-4 is something more expensive goes.

    so putting it together, based on this, you can easily spend $10K in 3 years to own then dump a higher mile used car, with the time/hassle investment inherent in keeping one going. Or just fix your costs pretty much, and drive something way nicer.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,318
    but, looking at cars.com to see what is out there, these 2 popped up as interesting.

    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/709712103/overview/

    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/716369564/overview/

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • Thanks so much everyone! It's a lot of info to think about! I'm going to start looking at cars with lower mileage. Leasing is not really that appealing to me. I would rather own the vehicle. Although, I am not in any way handy with things so the repairs will have to be paid for completely. If only I had been gifted with those skills! :)

    I'll update if I find anything I want an opinion on. My dad actually came across a Mazda CX 7 for like 4k with 85k miles on it but it had repairs it needed and I could have sworn someone told me that specific model was problematic with needing things fixed all the time. Is there a make to stay away from these days that has a lot of issues with needing repairs all the time? Anything I should try to avoid?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,318
    a CX-7 with the turbo engine can have problems.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • ryanpk2018ryanpk2018 Posts: 11
    edited October 2017
    Thanks Stickguy! I thought that was the case.

    Also, what are your thoughts on a car with low mileage but is fairly old? I have found a few Honda CRV's that I was interested in but they were 2006 or 2005. The mileage wasn't too high but the year scares me a bit. I like those older Honda CRV models though with the tires on the back. I have always wanted one. But, a ten or more year old car kind of makes me nervous. Is it good to steer clear of a car that old even though it might have lower miles (like 60k)?

    And finally, any thoughts on Nissan Rogue models? Are they dependable? I've seen a couple 2010-2011 Rogue's within my price range with close to 80-90k miles on them. Anything bad about those that I should steer (no pun intended) clear of?

    Thanks again!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,318
    when you get older or higher miles, condition (and how it was maintained) is the key. Needs a really good mechanics inspection. But, in general, older cars not driven a lot can have just as many issues (and can develop some due to not enough use). Plus, while they are cute, not really that great to drive compared to new models (in terms of features, performance, comfort and how it drives).

    I tend to lean toward a newer car that was driven a lot but maintained well. Something like that red 2014 Escape I posted, but I also don't drive a ton of miles. at least you get a nicer, more modern car out of it.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • Good points on everything you mentioned there. I don't want to have to start throwing money into upgrading the interior entertainment features too. I'm not a big fan of Ford though only because I owned an Explorer for 10 years and it gave me so much trouble and wound up being a big waste of money in the long run. So, maybe I'll just try to look for a Honda or Subaru model that I like with the lower mileage but possibly have to bump my budget a little. We'll see. I just want to find something super reliable that's going to last me at least 4 or 5 years with no MAJOR problems. Haha :)
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    Part of the problem is that SUVs tend to be more expensive to start with than their sedan counterparts. You could more easily find a Chevy Malibu or Cruze that will fit your budget. Have you looked at a used Toyota RAV 4? That should be a very reliable vehicle.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Yes, true. I just feel a little more drawn to SUV's or cross-overs just because I feel a little safer in them in our nasty winters we have. But, I am open to sedans and coupe models too. I might just need to put some snow tires on it and go that route if it's a great deal. :) I am definitely interested in Rav 4's but haven't really seen many while looking. I'm keeping my eye out though! Thank you!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 128,067
    2006 CR-V was the last year for GEN II. Those are great cars. The only weak spot was the A/C compressor.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,096
    edited October 2017
    That's actually a REALLY good price on that 2010 CRV. Should be $2k more.

    Of course, I'd be partial to the Magnum R/T. Hell, I wish I could buy it and have it sent to me. But with its accident history and current needs it visibly has, it is likely not a good choice for you.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,380
    qbrozen said:

    Slipping and sliding in the snow is a tire problem, not car problem. And springing for an AWD vehicle does not guarantee you are getting decent tires. In November is the wrong damn time to be looking for an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

    I've preached this many times to no avail. Have you seen some of the el-cheapo tires they put on some of the base model Small SUVs?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    Buying used I doubt they’ll be OEM tires. And that’s one thing to especially check out when you buy a used vehicle.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,380
    qbrozen said:

    That's actually a REALLY good price on that 2010 CRV. Should be $2k more.

    Of course, I'd be partial to the Magnum R/T. Hell, I wish I could buy it and have it sent to me. But with its accident history and current needs it visibly has, it is likely not a good choice for you.
    I like that 2010 CRV, the 2011 V6 Escape that @stickguy posted, and that 2010 RDX. 3 very solid choices at the price point.

    @ryanpk2018 - just be aware (as others have warned) that a reliable vehicle DOESN't mean it will be maintenance free. Vehicles above 75K miles and 6+ years old need vital fluids to keep them going besides oil changes. Transmission fluid, differential fluid, brake fluid (hopefully this has been done at least 2x), coolant (hopefully this has been done at least 2-3x). Be on the look out for "el cheapo" tires that a dealer put on just to make an older car look more appealing. At 100K miles, these cars will need spark plugs.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,096
    don't forget timing belt service in some cases. That is $$$.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,380
    I definitely didn't forget about that. In fact, I will have to have to have that done on our Pilot which is closing in on 100K miles. I think the maintenance minder will call for it around 105,000.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 128,067
    CR-V has a chain, so that's a plus... don't know about the others.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

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