By on March 18, 2014

2014 Toyota Camry

Several Toyota models dominated this year’s Consumer Reports list of used car recommendations, with 11 out of 28 overall belonging to the automaker’s Scion, Lexus and namesake brands.

Automotive News reports the 2011-2012 Camry and 2010-2011 Camry Hybrid among the best sedans between $15,000 and $20,000, while the 2006-2007 Lexus RX shares the same pricing space with the non-turbo 2009-2010 Subaru Forester. The 2004-2007 Prius, 2004-2006 Scion xB and the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix twins all took the $10,000 or less small car category, while the 2008-2009 Highlander Hybrid, 2011 Avalon and 2006 Lexus LS took their respective segment spots for vehicles between $20,000 and $25,000.

Overall, all but three of the 28 recommended used cars were made in Japan or South Korea; the 2011-2012 Lincoln MKZ, 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the aforementioned Pontiac Vibe were the only domestics to make the recommendation list.

Consumer Reports also unveiled their “worst of the worst” used car picks, where all but six were made by the Detroit Three, including the Chevrolet Cruze 1.8-liter and Impala, the Chrysler/Dodge trio of minivans, and the orphaned Saturn Outlook and Relay. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and MINI make up the remainder of the 21 picks to avoid.

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128 Comments on “Toyota Dominates Consumer Reports Used Car Recommendations...”


  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    The surprising thing is the Outlander. The Camry is missing, and that jives with my mechanic’s warnings. Wonder how Toyota has become so inconsistent.

    Not surprising is the Chrysler minivan which seems to have a huge fanboy Internet club, but never seem to roll past you without looking/sounding like they are about to die unless they still have dealer plates.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      I will never understand why so many people like the Chrysler minivan when its so unreliable. The Honda Odyssey is sooo much better. Looks better too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You’re right because a reliable minivan comes with a faulty transmission design for, how many model years again?

        It happened once, it can happen again.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          But the Honda is not on the worst of the worst list is it?

          Personally I have rented the Caravans, I could not get past the godawful rubbermaid interior speckled with wavy plastichrome bits. Well also the driver’s seat doesn’t go far back enough for tall people (I’m only 6’2″). The Pentastar is fun for trying to do rental car burnouts I guess. Not really a top attribute for a minivan. But hey its cheap to buy, and sincerely that counts for something.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          Which van are you talking about, 28? Both have suffered laughably ridiculous transmission problems; only on the Chrysler were they expected.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            The 1999-2004 Honda Odysseys had transmission problems, but the 2005 and up models don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            SayMyName

            Ha, so true. I’ll go on record as a jihasist against Chrysler minivans till at least MY08. I grew up with them, my friend’s families had them, and they were fraught with issues. Most notably the transmission issues after MY96 till at least MY03. But so did the Odyssey, which as you point out was unexpected by its owners. But how much more was the Odyssey vs the incentivized Chryslers? Personally if I buy a cheap product and have issues, part of that might be on me. If I buy an expensive product from a good OEM and it is issues, that’s more on them. I’m sure Honda attempted to make good with their buyers, but failures for five model years is a play from the Chrysler Kwality handbook.

            I think there is a possibility Chrysler’s minivan product has improved since the bailout. I also think Honda’s Odyssey may be a great product today, and maybe better. But I think picking on Chrysler’s past decades of minivan fail while lauding the Odyssey is disingenuous without noting Honda’s “D’oh” moment.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            The 2 people I know with the troublesome Odysseys got satisfaction from Honda in free repair well out of warranty. No hemming and hawing, either.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Hey now, my family had the following ChryCo vans:

          1995 Plymouth Voyager
          1999 Grand Caravan Sport

          BOTH had transmission and A/C issues with under 100K miles.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            MY family had the following ChryCo. vans:

            1988 Plymouth Voyager
            1996 Dodge Grand Caravan ES

            Both were bought new, and both were nightmares. The 1996 stalled several times, one time it happened on the interstate. My Mom was too scared to drive it after that. We had to get rid it, It was less than a year old. Not a good experience.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s like we’re related!

        • 0 avatar
          Sloomis

          Personally I get the impression that this Odyssey transmission failure issue is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, just overhyped given that people expect perfection from Hondas. I have a 2005 and the trans is fine at 124,000 miles. The other Odyssey owners I know have had no problems, with the exception of one family member who told me his 2004 (one of the “bad” years) lost the transmission at 140,000 miles – not that unreasonable. I know quite a few Chrysler van owners as well, and when I asked them pretty much every one reported that their transmissions crap out like clockwork every 50-60,000 miles. Big difference there, if you ask me.

          • 0 avatar
            IndianaDriver

            I have a friend who had his Odyssey transmission go out at 95,000 and Honda did a goodwill gesture to significantly discount the cost of a new one. He is now nearing 200,000 miles on it and pondering selling it, because he is afraid of transmission failure again.

          • 0 avatar
            Tosh

            Totally right, Sloomis.
            Ironically, nowadays one option for a bad tranny in the second gen TL/CL is to put in a used one from an 05-06 Odyssey. (Best choice is 06-07 Accord 5AT.)

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Agreed. I had one and it was at the dealer at least 3 times a year. I got 1,300 for it after 7 years of ownership. My rusted out dying 15 yr. old F250 sold for 1,300. I had a ’99 Safari van I purchased used that I sold 2 years latter for 3K with the plastic nose facia smashed to sh!t.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        This site has some irrational love with the Mopar vans and I can’t fathom why. They are easily one of the worst vehicles you can buy today. Many site the large amount of space you can get for a “cheap price”. That doesn’t make them good.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          America has long been obsessed with size/quantity over quality.

          Evidence:

          McMansion
          Fast food
          Sam’s Club

          Makes sense that it carries over to cars.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s merely the perception and deception, peddled by suburbia-hating quasi-intellectuals and the chattering classes. If it were the truth, VW Passat would still be the king.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          MY14 Sienna: MSRP starts $26,920 + dest
          MY14 Odyssey: MSRP starts at $28,825 + dest
          MY14 Caravan: MSRP starts at $20,395 + dest
          MY14 Twn&Ctry: MSRP starts at $30,765 + dest

          So after say 7% tax and say $800 dest, you’re looking at three $30K or more vans and one $22678 not taking into account incentives. People need to haul stuff and children, and about the median household income in the US is just over 50K in 2011. Five grand matters to them.

          “The 2011 Median Income of US households was $50,054 per annum”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

          http://www.toyota.com/sienna/#!/Welcome
          http://automobiles.honda.com/odyssey/
          http://www.dodge.com/en/grand_caravan/
          http://www.chrysler.com/en/town-country/

          • 0 avatar
            Sloomis

            Myself, I’d take that $22678 and buy a used Honda or Toyota van instead of a new Caravan.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I am also a used car advocate but the point of the retort was new cars.

            Here’s the thing though, I’m here to tell you minivans have *no* resale yet John Q. Public will pay through the nose on them used every time.

            Case in point: MY12 Sienna FWD (base?) 41K otc, sticker at $26,767.

            http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2012-Toyota-Sienna-Pittsburgh-c23063_L29265#listing=80800874

            New the thing starts at $26,920 + dest right, say this one had another 2K in options for s*its and giggles so it was over 30K out the door new. I’m not sure which trim this one is but let’s assume its base or LE.

            Here’s LE at mid 17s:

            02/20/14 LOUISVLL Lease $17,300 39,862 Avg GREY 4G A Yes
            02/20/14 OMAHA Lease $17,400 45,743 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
            03/03/14 KC Lease $17,600 56,322 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
            03/11/14 GEORGIA Lease $17,800 32,949 Avg GREY 4G A Ye

            Here’s base at about 17:

            02/20/14 PALM BCH Regular $16,700 32,690 Avg BURG 6G A Yes
            02/27/14 PHOENIX Regular $18,700 43,886 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
            03/05/14 CEN FLA Lease $16,500 49,635 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes

            So even if you talk them down to 23 or have a 3K trade plus 23, you’re getting completely hosed out of five to six grand of depreciation for a car with high chance of young child usage and already 41K otc.

            Somebody will pay this, I guarantee it, someone ill-educated in cars and has a need/demand for what the car provides. Others who are more in the know realize it makes more sense to float the additional money and buy it new (to only get hosed on trade later). Hence a new minivan sale.

            The conversation of many ordinary folks is something along the lines of: We need to replace X and need to be able to haul Bobby, Mary, and their crap around. But wait we’re living in an Obamonomy so moneys tight, lets just get the Dodge. This is why people still buy them.

            Additional: I like to play devils advocate. I am not in a position of need of a minivan, if I was I’m going to lean on my auction connections and go buy the FWD Toyota van for 17s or 18s and do regular maintenance. If the interior is destroyed I’ll take it to my upholstery guy and get an estimate. If I get into a position of recall or Toyota design flaw, I’m going to to whine at a dealer like the rest of new buyers do. If I am not in a position to pick the car up from the block (or at block prices) I’m buying the Caravan new and leaning on my mechanic to keep it running as long as its economically feasible.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The Caravan and T&C will sell for FAR under MSRP, the Japanese vans will not. My best friend bought a new Caravan a couple years ago for something like $8K off. And based on the experience of friends and family, there is not much in it for reliability among any of them. The kids are going to destroy the thing anyway, just buy the cheapest one, and get a new one in four years. It will not give any trouble in that time frame. The Chrysler vans are more than good enough for what they are.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I have seen nor heard any complaints regarding the revamped 2011-2014 vans with the new 3.6/6 speed combo so your speaking in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        So reliable they puke there trans axles, A/C compressors and electrical components when the miles start piling on. And don’t pretend to not know this as it’s all over both the internet and forums

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The Camry is listed.

      “Sedans $15,000 – $20,000
      Toyota Camry (2011-12), Toyota Camry Hybrid (2010-11), Acura TL (2008)

      Both the four- and six-cylinder Camry deliver impressive fuel economy (26 and 27 mpg, respectively) along with a comfortable ride, a roomy cabin, and superb reliability. For even better gas mileage, the Camry Hybrid gets 34 mpg overall and 41 on the highway. A sportier alternative is the Acura TL, which has long been one of our favorite sedans to drive.”

    • 0 avatar
      IndianaDriver

      Actually, the Outlander is not surprising. If you’ve read Consumer Reports for the past couple of years, both the Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport have gotten very high reliability ratings. The only one the beats them out is…Toyota. CR doesn’t give the MItsubishis great driving reviews, but they say they are very reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I have a memory. I am old. Those things have caused me to believe that most cars ever made by Mitsubishi were crap that depreciated faster than yellow bananas and rusted only a little more slowly.

        So, if they have turned it around in the recent decade or so, please pardon me for not knowing since no one I know would ever have bought one after those facts became well known.

        I would hate to be so hungry that I would have to go to work for a company that had deserved such a bad reputation. Maybe I hold a grudge, but if you sell my friends or family a POS, I take about twenty years to look again.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I think the exception with Mitsu was the full-size Montero, as long as it was about 1996+

        • 0 avatar
          Sanman111

          The current mitsubishi line up relies largely on the 2.4 world engine developed with Hyundai and someone else (chrysler???). Reliable, but old tech. They will run, but you may not want them too.

        • 0 avatar
          IndianaDriver

          I think the quality/durability of the vehicles improved in the last decade after they broke away from the influence of Daimler & Chrysler and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries placed a new (non-auto background) President in the company after providing a lot of bailout money to the auto group. This President is now moving on and one of the long term Mitsubishi auto executives is taking over again. We’ll see what happens.

  • avatar
    rileyru

    CR is misleading when they publish these lists- take the Toyota 4runner for example. A Japan built 2008 4runner (even with a Land Cruiser engine and drivetrain from the Toyota quality heyday) is excluded from these lists because CR doesn’t like the way 4runners handle on their road test (body on frame SUV), and so they don’t “recommend” it… But from a quality/reliability standpoint, and in CR ratings, 4runners are as good if not better than any Highlander or RAV4. (See also Mr. Lang’s article on durability). Then when CR switches to the “avoid” list, it is based on quality and problems only. I mean, I don’t like the way a Prius drives, but that won’t stop me from “recommending” one to someone looking for a car with those capabilities.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      No, this isn’t true. The car has to score at least reasonably well in the Performance reviews and be reliable.

      You’ll see they won’t recommend the otherwise-reliable Yaris, Insight or Prius C for this reason. The regular Prius doesn’t drive well, but it’s not bad enough to see it’s recommendation status stripped.

      CR has three criteria for “Recommendation”
      * The car has to have average reliability or better
      * It can’t score below-average in it’s class in terms of performance
      * It can’t have any open safety recalls

      Side note: They don’t recommend the 4Runner because some iterations actually aren’t reliable. And yes, they drive terribly for general-purpose use. The RAV and Highlander, by comparison, are reasonably reliable and perform reasonably well.

      • 0 avatar
        rileyru

        Which iterations of the 4runner aren’t reliable?

        Every Consumer Reports I’ve read shows all years of the 4runner with lots of red (which is a good thing in CR) and above average overall. As recently as October 2013 Consumer Reports named the 4runner “most reliable” mid-sized SUV for a report for CNN Money.

        I just think it is silly for CR to say, “We’ve found the 4runner to be above average in reliability, but we’re not recommending it as a used vehicle because we don’t like how it drives.”

        A developer needs to drive across freshly cleared land. A fisherman wants to drive on the beach to get to the surf. A vacationer heads to a mountain home off a washed out gravel road. None of them should buy a 4runner, they should get a Highlander instead?

        Most importantly, why does the road test factor into the “choose this” list, but NOT into the “avoid this” list?

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          I think it would be silly for CR to say “We’ve found the 4runner to be above average in reliability and therefore we recommend it even if we think it is unsafe”

          • 0 avatar
            rileyru

            Unsafe?

            It is a 2013 IIHS “Top Safety Pick” and got top marks in front and side crashes for the last ten years.

            As for NHTSA/Safercar.gov, it was 4 or 5 stars for all years in overall, front and side, and even rollover got 3 stars for the last ten years, the same as some last generation RAV4′s and Highlanders…

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The 4Runner has the full red dot for every year dating back to 04 except for the 09 with the half red dot for used car prediction. It is listed as “much better than average”. In the current generation, 4 model years, out of the 8 reliability categories, only 2 partial red dots appear. Everything else is full red dot.

    • 0 avatar

      > Then when CR switches to the “avoid” list, it is based on quality and problems only.

      It’s not untoward or even unusual to use different criteria for different goals. Recommend and avoid aren’t necessarily extremes along a single dimension, even if they are for some people.

  • avatar
    Turbo-4

    That’s not a picture of the used Camry!

    CR’s worst 1/3 cars for sale are Japanese:

    Here are the cars to avoid, by category, with some of CR’s comments on why they rejected them:

    Subcompact cars

    Smart ForTwo (tiny, two-passenger cabin, a herky-jerky transmission, an under-powered engine … a dumb choice)
    Scion iQ (rear seat is awful, the cabin is loud, acceleration is molasses-like)
    Chevrolet Spark (ride is stiff, the dinky 1.2-liter engine is slow, and handling is lackluster)

    Compact cars

    Scion tC (lack of driving enjoyment, hard ride)
    Mitsubishi Lancer (under-powered engine, noisy interior)
    Dodge Dart (unrefined … more expensive than most competitors)

    Midsize sedans

    Chrysler 200/Dodge Avenger (corporate cousins … plenty of them on dealers’ lots at a discount. Don’t be tempted.)

    Large sedans

    Ford Taurus (ridiculously cramped for such a large car … controls for its MyFord Touch infotainment system are complicated and distracting … reliability has been sub-par)

    Luxury sedans

    Lexus IS (falls short — very short)
    Lincoln MKS (doesn’t cut it as a luxury sedan)
    BMW 7-Series (a ponderous, technology-laden vehicle with … ungainly handling)

    Wagons & minivans

    Honda Crosstour (ungainly handling … unintuitive and complex touch-screen radio system)

    Small SUVs

    Jeep Compass (2.4-liter engine is rough and sluggish … cabin is cramped, cheaply trimmed)
    Jeep Patriot (compliant ride and mostly simple controls. But little else stands out.)
    Jeep Cherokee with 2.4-liter engine (half-baked … under-powered and not very fuel-efficient, and the nine-speed automatic transmission is unrefined and unresponsive)
    Mitsubishi Outlander (handles clumsily, the ride is fairly stiff, and the interior feels cheap)

    Midsize & large SUVs

    Ford Edge (unrefined powertrain … ride is jittery and road noise invades the cabin. And the MyFord Touch system is convoluted to use)
    Nissan Armada (overall fuel economy of 13 mpg is abysmal, reliability is poor and ownership costs are the worst in the category)
    Dodge Journey (below-average reliability … lack of agility … transmission is reluctant to downshift)

    Luxury SUVs

    Volvo XC90 (an old design that wasn’t that competitive when new)
    Lincoln MKX (handling is clumsy, the My Lincoln Touch control system is frustrating, and it has been unreliable)
    Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (choppy ride, a noisy cabin, and disconcerting emergency handling)

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      I have a 2007 XC90, and it WAS competitive when it was new back in 2003. Though i agree that the MKX and the Evoque are terrible. Their also right on the new Lexus IS, and i’m a big fan of Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Not competitive? What does that mean?

      The thing about old models is that you do tend to know what your getting. First model year still scares me.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      CR is overly critical of cars with MyFordTouch. Having that as an option is about all it takes to get a thumbs down from CR.

      MyFordTouch has evolved a LOT since it’s introduction and is currently one of the better infotainment systems on the market. CR can’t seem to let go of the old days and they need to get over it.

  • avatar
    hifi

    I cannot stand CR. It’s intended for pear-shaped mommies, and dorks who wear pleated chinos.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Okay, so now we all know you’re prejudiced. With what will you favor us next?

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      If you can’t stand CR, then what do you like? Your handle is a perfect example of a publication industry that won’t bite the hand that feeds it. Hi-fi publications are so full of BS that you need a map to figure out the good guys from the bad. The no-BS group like Audio Critic and Sound & Vision (the Canadian not American version) are long gone, and all that’s left are a bunch of unhelpful true believers.

      Interestly enough, soundstage.com has an archive of NRC loudspeaker measurements that tells a lot about the relationship between price/craftsmanship and sound quality (hint: it’s inverse, if you’re familiar with how to read NRC’s family of curves). Just compare, say, any Energy model with the pricy but poorly measuring Wilson Audio.

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        “The no-BS group like Audio Critic and Sound & Vision (the Canadian not American version) are long gone, and all that’s left are a bunch of unhelpful true believers.”

        Sound & Vision…now THAT was a great audio/video mag…I still have my old copies that persuaded me to buy my Paradigm speakers back in the day, still have those too.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      No, it’s intended for anyone who looks to more than videos of Chris Harris drifting around the Italian countryside to decide on what car to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I heard CR is not that fond of you. Feel better?

      I love CR. I don’t buy anything over $300 until I check if they’ve tested/rated/reviewed it. Do I have to buy their top-rated item? Not necessarily…I like to read their reflections of testing, reliability, etc. With that knowledge I then make a less rational decision usually.

      But I’m glad they did all the leg work for me…

      Why do people feel necessary to slam them? Here’s some sage advice – don’t read CR if you don’t want to.

      • 0 avatar

        > Why do people feel necessary to slam them? Here’s some sage advice – don’t read CR if you don’t want to.

        People who slam CR have no clue what its purpose is. It’s not to pursue every enthusiast dream and ambition but provide basic functional info.

        It’s entirely reasonable a buyer is willing to trade off the general case for some other desirable feature/element, but doesn’t mean a broad one-size-fits-all approach isn’t quite useful for people who just a working appliance.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I’ve never understood CR’s logic in pointing people to a three year old used Toyonda. Have they ever checked dealer retail on these cars? You’re saving all of $4,000 over new in exchange for someone else beating on your car for the last three years. Warranty is gone, it’s three quarters of the way to a $1,000 tires/alignment/brakes job, where are the savings?

    Meanwhile, you can buy a 2012 Impala with a sweet V6 for $5,000 less than that Camcord and CR not only doesn’t recommend it but actively discourages it.

    A good used appliance is about saving money. Not CR’s subjective road test scores.

    • 0 avatar
      Short Bus

      Sure, and if you have less cash to get into a car with, that Impala may very well be the better choice. But given that the Camry that cost $5000 more up front will likely still be worth $3000 to $4000 more than that Impala when you’re done with it you haven’t exactly lit the difference you spent on the Camcord on fire and pissed on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I think CR, and many consumers place a lot of value on modern accommodations, features, style. Hence nobody is rushing to buy a used Impala with its basic black interior, and lack of tech or cool gizmos. The old W-body relic chassis makes you pay a price in ride and handling as well, though I find the compromise ok. I agree that 3.6/6-speed combo is sweet drivetrain.

      You get the feeling CR doesn’t really care about price of the used car, other than fitting into the category of course. They more want to reccomend a car that hits the criteria over some sort of great deal.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        What’s the average income of a Consumer Reports subscriber?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Actually, every time I get a rental Impala with the 3.6 it makes me wonder where about 100 of the horsepower are hiding. They sure don’t feel like they are under the hood. Out behind the barn grazing?

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Quote: Actually, every time I get a rental Impala with the 3.6 it makes me wonder where about 100 of the horsepower are hiding. They sure don’t feel like they are under the hood. Out behind the barn grazing?

          Well my 2013 with 30K on the clock will accelerate to 60 in less than 6 seconds, blow away any 2007-2014 Camry 2.5 or 3.5 V6 that I have raced and easily pulls 31-32 on the open road so it’s 300 horses seem perfectly accurate to me. You must be driving very low mileage green examples.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’ve been noticing the same thing. Someone here recommended buying a used Civic on another thread. New Civics command a bit of a premium over other marques’ similar offerings, used ones don’t depreciate enough to justify buying them over a new one.

      • 0 avatar
        Short Bus

        This seems true of even vehicles a step up, like Camrys, Accords, and Altimas. If you’re not careful you’ll spend the same up front for a used one compared to a new one.

    • 0 avatar

      I dealt with a 30k mileage Impala in 2009. NEVER AGAIN.

      P.S. Granted it was before the bailout.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      How long does a used car buyer tend to hang on to the car? If you’re going to flip it in just a couple years, then the lower purchase price might make the cheaper non-Toyonda a better economic proposition.

      However, even when I buy used, I tend to keep the car a long while.

      In my experience, I could buy a Toyonda for a $coupleK premium over the competition, keep it for 10 pretty reliable years and then still hope to get $2K out of it when I want to trade up.

      Or I could buy the cheaper competition, pour money into it for 5 years and then be grateful to unload it without actually having to pay to have it towed off, buy another one, rinse and repeat.

      Been there, done that.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Not to mention that the interest rate on a three-year-old car can be substantially higher than that of a brand-new car.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      The Impala drives terrible with the 3.6. The chassis wasn’t built for it, the torque steer is downright scary and unless you punch the pedal to the floor, the whole car feels sluggish.

      People see 303 HP V6 sedan on paper and think “hey that’s cool” but actually driving one for more than 30 seconds will tell you the combination is terrible. Then you also have to suffer from the Impala’s lack of features, cramped interior relative to the exterior, and cheap interior.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        If it is so bad then why did CR (you know the magazine that touts your Toyota’s) rate it so highly?

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          I think one of you is referring to a used W-body Impala and the other is referring to the new Impala. Apples and Oranges.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            This isn’t first time the two have been confused, nor will it be the last, and it certainly points to the idiocy of GM continuing to sell two dissimilar vehicles in the same category under the same damn model name.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            They knew I was referring to the W-body. They just wanted an argument.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            I prefer to think “honest mistake.”

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        All of that is true, but what else are you going to get for thirteen and change? Budget means compromises.

        A $13,000 late model Toyota looks like a last gen Camry LE if not a Corolla. You’re calling the Impala sluggish, cheap inside, and terrible to drive?

        $13,000 of Camcord with a V6 is 6 years old with 90K on the clock.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Your Toyota love is too much man. pushing your agenda on. The Impala is crap, but its not as bad as you say.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          I’ll take either generation of the Impala, over POS Toyota, any time any day.

          • 0 avatar

            I wouldn’t call all Toyotas POS, but most, except for reliability, do skim that classification in my book. The Impala does have much more cachet in my heart.

            As evidenced by my choice of words, YMMV

          • 0 avatar
            Turbo-4

            Toyota new cars are amoung the worst rated by CR with them taking 1/3 the top worse cars:

            http://autos.yahoo.com/news/disappointing-dozen–12-cars-that-fail-to-measure-up-023648565.html

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ Marcelo….My bad..I should know better, than lower myself to Toyota “Boy’s” level.

            Its not a mistake that I will repeat.

          • 0 avatar

            hey mikey! All I can say is: Keep up the good fight. You hold more insight into the auto business and cars in general ip of your little finger than some of these hopeless posers could accumulate in 10 lifetimes. I do all I can to refrain myself from really saying what I think as to some of what is mindlessly said on these pages as absolute truths. Hang in there. You can rest assured that those that know something of anything are behind you, even if silently, 100%.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Thanks Marcelo…. Were still building the classic Impala in Oshawa. I have not set foot in the plant for over 5 years.

            I know that the folks still in the plant are dammed proud of the product, they put out the door.

            I just had to say something.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey mikey, sure you did and right you are. You know that some Euro makers, I’ve heard stories of Mercedes and Fiat, would keep old timers around, on a full salary, to just stay around and join in with the young ones as they pleased, just to impart into the young ones a sense of history and tradition? Unfortunately, it seems such positions have been swept away in the name of “efficiency”. I1ve said it once, I1ve said it twice, absolute efficiency is inhuman and intolerable. You know why these things were done? ‘Cause contrary to service or mngmnt positions, industrial, technical positions take time to master.

            Some here may know more math, some may know more laws. But you know human and that’s the most important thing to know.

            As you can see, I’m a fan. Count on me, my man.

          • 0 avatar

            Cressida respect me and I’ll respect you. Pls refrain from name calling. When I wrote what I wrote to Mikey it was my evaluation of his contributions and not a direct knock on you, but if you felt directly affected, I apologize. I do have the right to value anyone’s opinions who publicly write here as much as you do. I’ll continue to value his opinions more highly than many, if not most, here.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Your disdain for the Impala Classic is well noted, many of us have similar contempt for the cheap looking Camrys you seem to ogle. I haven’t driven the Classic since it switched to the 3.6 DOHC, but I will tell you I would happily drive a brand new 3800 powered one for the next twenty years if they existed. I pretty much do now only as a Pontiac.

            Brazil as a whole is more important economically than you could possibly understand. Some day we’ll be buying serious products from there and hopefully selling serious products of our own to them. BRICs, look into it ya know.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey 28! Thanks for the support, but it’s not even necessary. Some things are just self-evident.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            No problem. I’ve been recently pushing my company to offer translations in a few key languages we lack for our international software product. I’ve been asking for Malay and Brazilian Portuguese, they responded with Thai as we had just landed a Thailand based client. I keep telling them how important South East Asia and Brazil are but so far deaf ears on the translation budget.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @Marcelo… The guy insults you, and your fine country. That speaks volumes about the guy.
            I wonder how many languages he can speak,and write, and read?

            Just ignore the dude.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My company is entering into the Brazilian insurance market – seems like they see great promise there. We bought a small company “with great name recognition” just recently.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Marcelo has many friends, particularly among those with whom he has had disagreements. A truer gentleman you will not find.

        • 0 avatar

          Power 6: Anyone actually gives any credence to that?

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Power6- exactly how am I wrong? It has lots of torque steer, to the point it cannot properly control all of that power that it has, it’s a big car exterior wise, yet suffers from a lack of space compared to many modern midsize cars, the interior is made of very subpar materials and build quality, especially for it being Chevy’s top end sedan. The ride is not that smooth and the handling is completely terrible with steering that doesn’t relay any feedback or grip.

          The only “features” it offers are Bluetooth, insanely cheap “leather” seats (and only front seats) and a…CD Player. It’s an early ’90s car still minted in 2014 specifically for not NOT actual people.

          It’s a cheap, extremely compromised car in pretty much everyway

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I haven’t driven the new Super-Epsilon-based Impala, but the W-Body Impala with the 3.6-liter was absolutely sublime on the interstate, in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Quote: The Impala drives terrible with the 3.6. The chassis wasn’t built for it, the torque steer is downright scary and unless you punch the pedal to the floor, the whole car feels sluggish.

        People see 303 HP V6 sedan on paper and think “hey that’s cool” but actually driving one for more than 30 seconds will tell you the combination is terrible. Then you also have to suffer from the Impala’s lack of features, cramped interior relative to the exterior, and cheap interior.

        Well speaking from an actual 2013 W-body Impala owner I know you have never driven one and are full of it. The little to no torque steer is no different than any rental Camry V6 I have driven. The 300 Hp not 303 on paper is actually what the 3.6 puts out as I have easily walked by 268 HP Camrys. The 2012-2013 Impala chassis and suspension and steering were all revised to accommodate the new 3.6 LFX and 6 speed automatic and they work seamlessly in my car or any example I have driven. I have never once had to punch the pedal to the floor to get my car moving out briskly. I have driven my car for nearly 10k miles and can tell you the combination is perfectly fine so it is very obvious you have never actually driven this car.

        Oh and speaking of lack of features the 2014.5 Camry SE rental, which is three models up from the basic Camry lacked a power seat, remote start, retained accessory power, a moon roof, dual zone climate control, lighted visor mirrors, XM radio, telematics system, lumbar support and dual exhaust outlets, all of which were included with my mid level Impala LT. Oh and it’s lackluster 2.5 4 cylinder got winded past 40 MPH and couldn’t come close to it’s 35 highway rating no matter what we tried. My Impala also rides quieter, has far superior cloth seat material that cleans in one swipe and has a two tone light and dark gray as opposed to the Camry’s all black and fake silver which looked depressing after 5 minutes. And lets not forget the lovely Camry front dash vents that can be pulled out with your pinky.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I agree. Toyota and Honda make some nice cars, but their used car prices are insane for the relatively new ones. Better to buy new to get a warranty and be sure it wasn’t abused or neglected. There are plenty of basically reliable, but unloved, used cars that provide better value than a Toyota or Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        Sanman111

        I have to agree with this. There are other reasons besides reliability that cars depreciate and the truth is that differences in reliability are getting smaller every year. My strategy was always to go with the second or third choice in the category. Usually reliable and simply more unloved. I have seen lightly used fusion/milan/mkz as well as sonatas and redesigned buick regals that are cheap lightly used buys. If you keep them for years, it can make a difference.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Used Camry prices have come way down. I just looked at several 2012′s for $13995 in LE trim with 2.5 automatic. They are priced the same as used 2012 Malibus and Fusions at Simmons Rockwell in Elmira Heights, NY if you don’t believe me.

  • avatar
    lne937s

    “Overall, all but three of the 28 recommended used cars were made in Japan or South Korea”
    There is a difference between “made in” and “branded”. All of the cars on the list that were made in the US were Asian-branded. None of the domestic-branded vehicles were made in the US.

    2011-2012 Camry & 2010-2011 Camry Hybrid- USA
    2006-2007 Lexus RX- Japan and Canada
    2009-2010 Subaru Forester- USA
    2004-2007 Prius- JAPAN
    2004-2006 Scion xB- JAPAN
    Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix- CANADA
    2008-2009 Highlander Hybrid- JAPAN
    2011 Avalon- USA
    2006 Lexus LS- JAPAN

    Not listed above, but made in the US on the Consumer Reports list:
    Hyundai Sonata
    Mitsubishi Outlander
    Honda CRV
    2011+ Hyundai Elantra
    Honda Pilot

    Domestic branded but foreign-made:
    2011-2012 Lincoln MKZ- MEXICO
    2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid- MEXICO
    aforementioned Pontiac Vibe- CANADA

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This morning on my 3.3mi commute, I saw some very interesting, generally rare, and nominally unreliable vehicles!

    -Tesla Model S
    -~01 Range Rover
    -Saab 9-5 (final version)
    -BMW 535 GT
    -RR Evoque

    Normally my drive isn’t so interesting.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I love the Cruze, but that 1.8-liter is a dog of an engine. I’d skip it for the 1.4-liter turbo, which is standard in every trim other than LS and Diesel.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I agree with some of the other posters here. Buying the best examples of the “most reliable” used cars list, i.e. Civic, Corolla, Accord, Camry is not a good value proposition when new car prices for those models are just not that far off and new car financing can be had with excellent terms for the credit worthy.

    If you are buying used, why not go with something that is above average in reliability but depreciated like a brick.

    • 0 avatar
      Short Bus

      I think the problem is that most basic cars (Civic, Camry, etc.) that are above average in reliability have resale values that don’t depreciate like bricks. The trick is to make sure the slightly used vehicle you’re looking at isn’t made to be a poor value by aggressive incentives. Even if the vehicle you want is being aggressively incentivised you might be able to use that information to drive down the cost of the used car you’re looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The thing is you pay more but get a lot more back when you sell. So the premium cancels out.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        This. Then there’s also the fact that the cars that depreciate like a brick are those that are usually less than desirable as new cars. Why should someone who is looking for a used car, who has enough money to purchase a more desirable used one, buy one that people didn’t want to buy new?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I don’t think they completely equal out. Just paying 5 grand extra doesn’t mean I’m going to see 5 grand more when I sell it, especially if one does the trade in thing. One may make up a portion of the cost, but I doubt it all cancels out.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    It’s interesting that CR picked the Malibu over the Fusion for “best domestic mid-size sedan”.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/03/2014-american-top-picks/index.htm

    Ouch.

    Also of note, CR could not recommend any domestic compact car or CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      The curse of MyFordTouch and flaming EcoBoost engines.

      The Malibu may be thoroughly mediocre, but at least they haven’t caught fire yet (especially on the sales charts – bahzinga!)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …Overall, all but three of the 28 recommended used cars were made in Japan or South Korea…

    Not true. Most were MADE in the United States, Canada or Mexico.

    Where a car is made is an interesting topic; Honda IIRC is exporting more iron from the US than Japan now, as one example

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well of course Honda is making more stuff in the US. It’s cheaper than making them in Japan and having to ship them to the US anyways. Saves them big money.

  • avatar
    CBXweb

    I have a 06.5 xB automatic. I like the car because I can just *drive* it and not worry about it malfunctioning. It is pretty boring. And the MPG is 22 MPG, but I drive 90% in the city and I’m a jerk. I want to get something different, like a TSX or 350Z, but I can not truly justify spending more money just because I want to drive around a box truck faster.

  • avatar
    plee

    My wife and I are leaving in a couple of days for a 2000 mile round trip from Nashville to the Northeast and back in our 2011 Taurus Limited. I am going to enjoy its smooth V6 which does 25 to 26 mpg on trips, the comfortable multi contour seats, the navigation system, the Sync system, blind spot monitors, heated/cooled seats etc. I am sure it will be just as enjoyable as our recent 2600 mile trip to Florida and back. Oh, man, just realized CR says it is cramped and unreliable. What am I going to do? It has had no warranty claims in 42000 miles and is a solid, tight car and gets many compliments. What a bunch of CR BS.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    It isn’t like it’s 1984 anymore. Even the bad cars in CR are likely to be pretty decent. The difference in a black dot versus a red is much smaller than it used to be.

  • avatar
    Turbo-4

    Toyota leads in so many categories:

    http://m.autoblog.com/2014/03/19/toyota-1.2-billion-unintended-acceleration-criminal-probe-settlement/?post=1&icid=autoblog_river_article

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Yup in record recalls the past two years and probably going for 3 this year.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      What a f*cking farce if ever I’ve seen one. Such a blatant extortion tactic from Holder and Co. makes me want to rush out and buy a Camry today.

      Those wishing to gloat should perhaps be thanking Toyota instead. They just helped us recoup nearly 10% of the amount we lost in the GM bailout.


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