Hammer Time: 'Old' New? < or > 'All' New?
The best deal.
Most consumers use this phrase interchangeably with what they really want. The best car.
The question is whether they can find both at the same place.
Small confession here. I usually could care less if a new generation model is 10% better or 15% better than the old one.
To be frank, I consider the majority of new models to be cheaper products that, over the course of years, will fail to live up to the standards of the older model.
It may drive better at first. It’s new after all. But give it 80k miles of driving and many of those pressed plastic bits are going to be stressed to the point where vibrations and noise will make many of these cars unpleasant to drive. CVT transmissions and cheap plastics still don’t hold up from what I have seen at the auctions, and until they do, I won’t be endorsing any new model that is laden with them.
So what is a good deal these days?
1) The unpopular car that is well engineered.
2) Which is still left at the dealer lot during model changeover time.
3) That is easy to maintain and keep for the long haul.
Here’s two local models in my neck of the woods that caught my eye. Specifically because a friend of mine was recently looking for a new set of wheels. ( click!)
If you look at the top two vehicles, you will see two leftover 2012 Honda Accords. Both stickshifts. Both of these have been in their inventory forever. One was priced at $17,600 when I looked at it online this past weekend. The other was priced at $17,800.
This weekend I shared the information with a friend, who may have carried it forward to someone else. So what happens? It goes up of course … perhaps until the consumer calls the dealership and ask them if they are willing to make a deal on a car they have been sitting on for 120+ days.
Click on the stock photos for the white one, and you see it was built April 2012. The gray one? It’s upside down. But if you stand on your head you’ll find that it was built February 2012.
These are two Accords that are similar in their product staleness to what I bought for my late father back in the day. He bought a 1992 Lincoln Mark VII at a time when the Mark VIII had already launched. As a result, Ford was heavily discounting an already unpopular model, that also happened to fit my father’s desires to a T.
Nine years and one unavoidable accident later, we went out and bought the outgoing Lexus ES300 at a time when the new generation had already hit the pavement. Was the older model supposedly better than the new one? No. But that older model had already made hundreds of thousands of consumers happy. The Lexus also received the full benefit of five years worth of quality improvements and manufacturing prowess.
Those attributes are seldom factored in. However in the long run, if you are the type who is a ‘keeper’ who prefers to keep their cars for 150k miles or more, this is where your sweet spot will lie.
An outoging model. High quality. Great reputation. Proven powertrain. Discounted price.
Eleven years later that Lexus is still vault like when you drive it. I am willing to bet that the Accords I mentioned above will be a nice fit as well for somebody out there who doesn’t mind rowing their own gears.
So folks, when it comes time to buying your next new car, weigh everything in. Are you a keeper? Or a trader? Chances are if you look at your next new car as a long-term investment, it may pay to shop for that ‘old’ new instead of the ‘all’ new.
Agree? Disagree? Stories? Please post away. All the best!
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