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Used Cars in 2010 July 21, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Uncategorized.
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One of my co-workers has been spending time searching for a used car for her college-aged son. He was almost in an accident recently and the other car smashed into a median and she said it was totaled. This kind of freaked her out that his older model Grand Prix did not have enough safety features… air bags, anti-lock brakes, etc. All her searching has got me thinking… in 9 months, I will be turning in my lease for a “new” car.

I am not a big fan of leasing a car. It works for some people, but I really do not mind having a car that is older than 2-3-4 years. It may require a little more maintenance, but when you aren’t paying a monthly payment, I certainly think it more than balances out. We did it this time in an effort to actually save money during this short period when both the boys are in day care. (My last car was used as a trade-in for the lease and so we had no payments to make on a two-year lease.)

So, anyway, back to my thinking… with the auto industry the way it is and everything else going on in the economy, it is hard to decide what we should do… nine months from now. I think we are leaning toward buying a used car… preferably one that is less than two years old. And as much as I am loving 29 MPG I get going to and from work, we really need a seven passenger vehicle that can carry more than just the immediate family. At this point, the only vehicle on the market that can meet those two needs is a Toyota Hybrid Highlander. But, being in Michigan, it is really hard to feel good about driving a foreign car.

Despite it’s odd appearance, Kim really like the Ford Flex. Neither of us have driven one, so that would be the first step there. Of the Ford SUVs I have driven, I did not like the torque the engine seemed to have as the vehicle always seemed to really pull when you accelerated. I prefer a smoother ride in that way. I did like my Rendevous, but it has been replaced by the Outlook, Acadia, Enclave and Traverse – which are much longer and would fill up our garage big time, as would the Flex.

And there are couple of others I would consider, like the Chrysler Pacfica and Dodge Journey which seem to squeeze 7 people into smaller packages…. but who knows… what will be on the market then, what prices will they be going for, what quality/service issues will arise in the coming months as more dealerships close. I wonder if people in other parts of the country are considering all the factors that are going to affect the automobile market in the coming months or years. I know in Michigan, it is in the forefront of people’s minds.

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