Used Cars to Avoid
For millions of cash-strapped motorists, buying a used car or truck, rather than a brand-new one, is an option based on sheer necessity. The average transaction price of a new vehicle is nearly $30,000 according to TrueCar.com, an industry research and forecasting company–a figure far too steep to absorb for many U.S. households. Consumers can indeed save thousands of dollars selecting a pre-owned car but buyer beware: shopping for a used vehicle can be in many ways far more difficult–and certainly more perilous–than buying a new one.
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Though the Mitsubishi Eclipse was the small sports car to beat during the early 1990′s, its appeal has suffered a steep decline in recent years. It could have something to do with its dismal resale value. Offered in coupe and Spyder convertible renditions, the Eclipse not only gets poor marks from J.D. Power & Associates for reliability, Automotive Lease Guide says the Eclipse will retain as little as just 25% of its original value after five years of ownership, which is among the lowest residual values–percentage wise–among all cars.
Most three-year-old pickup trucks seem to fare well in the J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, with the exception of midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Offered in three cab configurations, they lack power, particularly when compared to the V-6 and V8-equipped competition. An underwhelming 185-horsepower 2.9-liter four-cylinder standard engine makes these used duds suited only for the most-casual truck buyers.
As far as disappointing used luxury rides go, there’s the costly Land Rover Range Rover Sport, a top-shelf luxury SUV with certified brand cachet that, as a three-year-old model, gets slammed for its poor fuel economy, low resale value and dubious reliability ratings. Developed as a livelier alternative to its larger non-Sport Range Rover sibling, the 2008 vintage comes powered by a relatively lackluster choice of engines rated at 300 and 390 horsepower. Add to that, this generation of the Range Rover Sport remains plagued by what remain among the most confusing dashboard ergonomics in the auto industry.
Even without its dismal scores in the current J.D. Power & Associates U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study of three-year-old models, the subcompact