Best Deals on Used SUVs for Spring
By Liza Barth of Consumer Reports
Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertiser on MSN.
We're heading into the busy summer travel season and if a road trip is in your getaway plans, a used SUV may be a good choice to fit the family and gear. As we have been reminded by our recent tests, new SUVs can be pricey. To make shopping easier, we have identified some of the best used deals on small and midsized SUVs.
Buying a used car has many benefits. Most important is that the original owner takes the initial depreciation hit, as new cars lose much more value in the first and second years than those that follow. And, if you look for a used vehicle from a recent model year, you can still find one that is safe and reliable with key safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags, while also saving on the purchase price.
When shopping, look for vehicles that scored well in Consumer Reports' tests when new, have proven reliability, and perform well in government and insurance industry crash tests. Before handing over the cash, have the vehicle inspected by a trained and trusted mechanic to make sure there are no hidden problems.
Check out our top deals for recommended vehicles from the 2007-2008 model years in the chart below. We placed the vehicles in order of the cheapest price you might be able to get when buying from the dealer. As you'll see, the models listed below are between 21- and 41-percent less than the retail price when the vehicle was new. Plus, all of the models have at least average reliability according to our latest subscriber survey.
Full used car pricing information is available to Cars Best Deals Plus subscribers on the model overview pages. Consumer Reports also offers individual Used Car Price Reports on vehicles from the 2002 - 2011 model years. Pricing information can be adjusted for vehicle condition, mileage and optional equipment. For advice on buying a used car, see our guide and video.
See our complete list of used-car deals across a variety of vehicle categories.
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Next up, the Dodge Durango has 290 HP with the base engine and 360 HP with the optional V8 and can tow 7,400 pounds, or 2400 more than the Highlander. Its cousin the Jeep Grand Cherokee also has 290 HP with the base engine, 360 HP with the mid-range engine, and 465 HP with the top of the line V8. The Jeep can tow 7400 pounds as well. Both the V6 Durango and V6 Grand Cherokee get better highway fuel mileage than the less capable, less powerful Highlander. Even with the big honking 465 HP V8, the Jeep gets better highway fuel mileage than the Toyota Sequoia with a weaker 381 HP V8. The Jeep tows more than the Sequoia as well as the pathetic Highlander. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is also an IIHS top safety pick, the Sequoia is not. Same with the smaller Jeep Patriot being an IIHS top safety pick but its equivalent at Toyota, the RAV-4, is not, thus the Toyota being less safe.
Now let's check out the Ford Explorer, also an IIHS top safety pick. It can tow 5000 pounds like the Highlander, has a more powerful 290 HP V6 that gets better highway fuel mileage than the V6 Highlander. The 4-cylinder Explorer gets SIGNIFICANTLY better fuel mileage than the thirstier Highlander 4-cylinder.
Now for Chevrolet. The Traverse base V6 engine has 281 HP. Like the others, it is also an IIHS top safety pick. It can also out tow the Highlander and, despite being considered a large SUV vs. the Highlander's mid-size status, the larger more capable Traverse gets the same fuel economy.
So, frostyross, it looks like the Highlander isn't class leading at all and can barely match even some aspects of just a small sample of the competition that's out there. Toyota is behind the competition in technology, in fuel economy, and in capability. That's not leading, that's following.
Truth hurts, doesn't it frostyross? Now will you ever stop lying and exaggerating? Telling the truth seems to be foreign to you. Tell us again that 270 HP is "class leading" when that's a smaller number than 281, 283, 290, 360 and 465. Do you have a problem with math, too? Can't tell which number is MORE and which is LESS?
The Highlander is good for a few things like taking 5 little girls to ballet class or hauling boxes of Girl Scout cookies. It's competition is more powerful, and more manly, than the Highlander is or ever has been. Now why don't you go bake some brownies or crochet some doilies or something and leave the serious car discussion to people that know what they're talking about.
On top of that, this list contains a lot of CUVs, not SUVs. And the SUVs listed are among the least capable you can get. Cars for soccer moms going to the hair salon. I wouldn't consider a single one of them. The fact that they made this list because they depreciated faster and Consumer Reports calls that "value", tells you a lot about the warped mindset at CR.
frostyross, let me ask you a question. You say and base your comments (below) that foreign manufacturers have a higher percentage of American parts and labor than our domestic manufacturers. Where do YOU think SUV`s like GM`s Yukon, Tahoe`s or Cadillac`s Escalade or Buick`s Enclave parts and labor come from?
You claim to be patriotic, yet you clearly lack confidence and a sence of pride in our county and our ability in design, engineering and production. With one hand you say that you are American and then hand us American company`s suck with the other.
Can`t have it both ways. Like I said before, I say that YOU should be fired and replaced with Asian and European employees. I think you where beat up as a kid by a Chevy Citation!!!
It doesn't matter that a SUV can tow 5000 lbs or 4000lbs. I don't see a lot of the aforementioned vehicles doing a lot of towing. A few may tow smaller travel trailers from time to time but 95% of the time, they are solo on the way to work with one occupant.
The mileage states are a complete dream derived from near perfect conditions in the factory test centers. While it may give you an idea of what gas mileage "could" be, this is a stat that is entirely dependent on the driver of the vehicle. There are so many different ways that auto makers meet mileage demands (engine size, gear ratios, number of gears etc) mixed with driver styles that it makes the numbers almost useless.
Example in point, my 1997 Ford F-150 vs my 1995 Chevy Silverado. The Ford was the standard V-6 for the F-series standard and extended cab at the time. The Chevy was the 5.7 Liter, standard for the regular and extended cab at the time. My Ford was a regular cab-long bed and the Chevy was the extended cab-short bed making the weight very similar.
In the road handling department, the ford was the sportier of the two while the Chevy was a bit cushier. I was getting 16-19 mpg with the Chevy V-8 and 14-16 mpg with the ford V-6. Because of the handling characteristics of the Ford, I drove it harder and got worse mileage. I own a 2005 Jeep Wrangler with a 4.0 liter IL-6, 6 speed standard transmission and I'm lucky to get 15 mpg under any circumstances. I drove each vehicle different because of the characteristics of each one.
In summary, To hell with the stats. Big or small, style or lack there of, rent the vehicle you want to buy, take it out for a weekend, do the things you would normally do and examine the data, then make the choice that makes the most sense to you. Forget resale, I've never gained anything in any price range as a result of resale value.
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