The Best Used Cars
new car or a used one? While buying a new car carries an immeasurable degree of cachet for many consumers, buying a used model is typically a better deal. And this is even with used-car prices on the rise — they’ve jumped by around four percent over the last 12 months according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.It’s a decision that’s nearly as old as the auto business itself — should you buy a
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We’ve identified what we feel are currently the industry’s best used cars, based largely on results from the latest J.D. Power & Associates U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study of three-year-old models.
One caveat: Buying any used car involves a measure of risk. Always have a used car under your consideration checked out by a trusted mechanic before signing on the proverbial dotted line to ensure that it’s in top operating condition. Also run its vehicle identification number (VIN) through a title-search service like carfax.com to make sure it hasn’t been previously flood-damaged or wrecked and subsequently salvaged.
Even as a three-year old model, the subcompact Honda Fit is a perfect car for the times. It performs well, is reliable and gets good fuel economy at 28-city/34-highway. Best of all it’s an inexpensive car that doesn’t feel cheap. Its 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine nets just 109 horsepower, but that’s sufficient to get this small car up to speed, especially if you find one that’s equipped with the standard five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic is also available. The Honda Fit’s handling is sharper than with most small cars, which makes it a good choice for driving enthusiasts as an economical commuter. It’s roomier on the inside than its diminutive exterior might otherwise indicate and its rear-seat folds flat into the floor to create a voluminous cargo hold. A Sport model includes larger wheels and tires (for a slightly smoother ride), steering-wheel paddle shifters and a few extra features, though the base model should suit most buyers.