By on September 13, 2015

20 - 2001 Pontiac Aztek Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Millennials. Who knows what they’re thinking? Well, maybe GM and Dodge did … in the early and mid-2000s.

According to Edmunds, the 18-34 age group of used car buyers are flocking to some discontinued metal including the Dodge Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica, Pontiac Aztek, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Saturn Outlook.

But, why would they be buying models that were so derided or unpopular when new?

Because they’re cheap. That’s why.

“Millennials are more practical used car shoppers than we might otherwise credit them,” said Edmunds.com Analyst Jeremy Acevedo. “They may not go into the shopping process targeting these lesser-known vehicles, but when they see how their price tags stack up against other, better-known vehicles, they suddenly become a lot more attractive. When it comes to used cars, value and utility appear to trump just about anything else for many Millennial buyers.”

The millennial set isn’t just trying on something different to be different. They are being different to be cheap.

You can see the full list at Edmunds.

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122 Comments on “Millennials Digging Cars Their Parents Can’t Buy New Anymore, Including the Aztek...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    I see no downside to these kids using their heads for more than hat racks…..

    -Nate

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Nope, I see this, the Aztek in particular, as catering directly to Hipster 2.0; Where as Hipster 1.0 wanted an old Volvo wagon, Aztek is the new hotness.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would not discount the TV influence. Heisenberg made the Aztek cool.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Actually, hipster 1.0 wanted a Dart/Valiant, but there weren’t many left. Hipster 1.1 to 1.12 went through a lot of junky ’80s-’90s GM cars and Toyota/Nissan tall wagons until they were killed off by SUVs, and 2.0 are going after the 2000 and newer unloved models for the safety features and relative reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      An elderly couple moved into the house across the street. Their adult grandchildren are over frequently. One drives a yellow Aztek. I’d put him in the mountain dew drinking, neck beard having, WoW playing category rather than hipster. His brother did recently replace their mid 90s Buick something or other with a 2011ish Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “Their adult grandchildren are over frequently. One drives a yellow Aztek.”

        Oh, dear god… do they have kids yet?

        All middle-middle neighborhoods are facing this as descendants return ‘home’ like a defeated army with camp followers in tow.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Not yet. I think the neck beards help prevent that situation.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Sure hope so for your neighborhood’s sake ’cause you know who’ll be living in that house when the g-parents move on.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            It certainly is an odd situation for that family. The neighborhood is almost exclusively 30-40 year old professionals with very young children. There is an occasional older couple or some families with kids in their teen years. The last neighborhood I lived in was very old and I had a young family. It isn’t much fun living around those that have zero in common with you.

            I’d imagine that when the grandparents move on, the generation in between the grandparents and the grandkids will have the house on the market to get that equity so fast my head will spin. The grandkids don’t live there… yet. I’d imagine the parents of said grandkids are unlikely to just give this nice house to their kids when they likely don’t live in as nice of a house.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            RideHeight-

            Quentin is right. They’ll sell that house so fast. Especially if there is more than one kid. Everyone wants cash instead of buying out a sibling.

            I have two houses on my street about to go up for sale because elderly people passed (no one else is selling). The kids liked the houses, but didn’t want to get hit with the $6000/year property tax bills when teardown lots in city I live in are going for almost $200K. The grandkids come over every week or two to cut the grass of both. One drives a TrailBlazer. The other drives an MkIV Jetta TDI that arrives in a cloud of blue smoke.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      No, the original Hipstermobile was (and still is in places) the Ford Falcon.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    The general automotive ugly has caught up to, if not passed the Aztek. By contemporary standards I would say the Aztek is reserved, and even understated.

  • avatar

    From someone who is both a ‘millennial’ and a car dealer, the answer is simple – true value for the money.

    An orphan-badged vehicle transacts for less than a comparable still-existing nameplate and most of the real vehicles on this list (I don’t consider a GT-R or IS-F a ‘real’ vehicle in terms of attainability for your typical young person) are relatively robust and offer a lot for the price they command.

    Pacifica and Outlook are cheap 3rd-row vehicles, great for families. The Pacifica not so much in reality as on paper, but it is a subprime/BHPH favorite and its a cheap 6-seater that isn’t a minivan. Very easy switch car.

    Azteks have a kitsch factor, plus they are a lot of car for money. Cheap to fix, dirt cheap to buy, and look distinctive and quite frankly, less offensive to the eye than disjointed rolling cans like the Quest, Sonata Hybrid, etc.

    I’ve always said the TrailBlazer – and any GMT360 for that matter – is the single best used SUV value for the money. Explorers from that era are plagued with transmission and rear-end issues, Pathfinders also have spotty transmissions, any surviving Durango as been rode-hard and given-back-to-the-bank wet and weren’t that good to start with, and try to find a 4Runner that makes sense financially (still double digits with mileage well into the three digits). GMT360s are robust, cheap to run, cheap to fix, and can actually tow/haul.

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      I had heard that TrailBlazers were renown for early transmission failures as well. I know that a friend of mine owned one and that was the cause of the vehicle’s demise. That always struck me as odd: if GM knows how to do anything, it knows how to make a decent autobox. Or at least they used to.

      That said, I agree: a decent TrailBlazer is a great SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        Not to mention bad fuel sending units, front axle shafts, electric transfer case issues and typical GM junk front unit bearings. I’ve changed more wheel bearings in S10 Blazers and Trail Blazers than any other vehicle. Ever.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      If I had to choose between the two, I’d take my chances on an explorer over a trailblazer. Those Atlas straight 6s are also known for cracked heads and I’ve sat in trailblazers and explorers from that era, and the interior on the trailblazers just seems like they by now it is going to be falling apart.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Having worked relatively extensively on all three I would rank them:

      1. Pushrod Explorers/Mountainees built before y2k. These are one of the best things Ford ever built.
      2. Jeep Grand Cherokee.
      3. GMT360s.
      4. 2002-2005 Explorer/Mountaineers. These are some of the worst things Ford ever built.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      If we’re talking dirt cheap and bang for the buck, I’d take a WJ Grand Cherokee (in basic Laredo trim with the 4.0L I6), or a Montero Sport, or a Kia Sorento back when they were BOF “real” SUVs. Every single GMT360 I see rolling down the street around here, and there are quite around, makes awful sounds from the suspension. Now, that’s probably just sway bar end links or something, but it doesn’t instill confidence in how the rest of the truck holds up. Judging by others’ input, it sounds like a pretty typical GM product in that the drivetrain is mostly solid but absolutely everything else will take a crap on you past 100k (or even before then). What’s most offensive about them to me is the absolutely sad ground clearance. What is it, like 7 inches? Throw in the mandatory side steps for the (likely) 100lb overweight owner (again, building off the stereotype I’ve observed here in Indiana) and these things look like they’d get stuck going over a curb. Now I understand that most people buying them don’t care about any sort of offroad performance, but it seems silly to have a big SUV (and pay the fuel bill for one) and not get any real 4×4 capability. For a cheap tow rig I agree, they might be just the ticket.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    The Breaking Bad effect. I never thought I would say this, but the Aztek doesn’t look that bad these days, now that we have the X6, Juke, NX, and new Prius driving around. A later Aztek sans cladding in black would be totally fine IMO.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Adulthood, then.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    I’ve seen this article all over the net, and all I can say is BS. No one I know drives any of these except for a Magnum, and they only have that because it has a kick-ass Hemi.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    I guess the term “cheap to fix” is quite relative. The parts might be cheap, labor…not so much, inconvenience when it craps out? Priceless. I hope mellenials are smart enough to look at reliability as well. I’m sure they’ll look real cool waiting on the side of the freeway, waiting for a tow. Especially in that Aztek.
    The GMT 360? One word. Recalls.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Oh yeah, anyone who buys a 3.4L 60 degree GM v6 is taking a huge gamble.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Intake manifolds can be fixed.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          True, but if it dumps enough coolant into the crankcase, you’re hosed. The first thing anyone with a GM vehicle should do is determine if it has dexcool in it and if so, flush it, and put long life EG/distilled water in it.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        The GMT360s used the LL8 / Vortec 4200 4.2L inline six, not the 3.4L V-6. The inline six is pretty damn bulletproof. You could also get the GMT360s with the 5.3L LS-block V-8, which is also very durable.

        My Envoy has now eaten 4 alternators, one ignition switch, and its ball joints in 94k miles / 10 years of towing and hauling. Given how cheap and easy it is to fix I’m mostly okay with that.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          The aztec used the 3.4L

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            The Aztek was not body-on-frame. It was on a chopped version of the Dustbuster/Montana/Venture/Silhouette chassis. To my knowledge, the straight six was only on the BOF TrailBlazer and whatever its GMC, Saab and Isuzu equivalents were called (I don’t have enough brain cells left for this stuff anymore).

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Honda transmissions can fail too.

      Most millenials don’t have much money, so they’re taking a gamble regardless of what they get. A lower mileage, less appealing vehicle is a good way to try and tip the odds in your favor….

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Rebuilt trannies are a dime a dozen these days, except for CVTs. Many of them are rebuilt at a Vo-Tech and come with a 1-yr/12K mi warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I had a used (Junkyard) transmission put into my LeSabre a couple of years ago. The cost after installation was arounf $1500 if I remember correctly. Worse things could happen, but if you’re a High School student, that could be a really large problem.

          Point I was saying was that anything is a shot in the dark. The financially prudent part of me says to buy a cheaper brand, so you can set more money aside if you need it….

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Edmunds article is an example of data abuse. There aren’t many of these cars for sale, so the total number of units involved is low.

    This should not be confused with cars that have the highest sales volumes to this age group, but it invariably will be.

  • avatar
    takeship

    Hi! Millennial here, doing some Sunday morning reading. I mostly agree with zip89* above – I personally know of no one who drives these vehicles. Though I think a “vintage” Aztec is pretty much the bee’s knees at this point, and I hear lot of people like the Golf (god knows why). But it isn’t particularly shocking that millennials starting families would be looking for cheap high-capacity vehicles. Almost every vehicle on that list is either a mid-CUV or “wagon”. We just recently swapped our Mazda3 for a new 3 Sport on the premise that virtually any rear cargo headroom would be sufficient for us in a run-about-town car. Plus hatches just look more honest than something like an Encore or Rogue. I really don’t understand the appeal of the “light” mini-van CUV.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Around here {Southern Ontario GTA } $1500.00 a month will rent you , a low end , but decent house. With a modest down payment, $1700 will buy you that house. $2500 mortgage payments are not unheard of.

    Kudos to The young people, finding a way to own their own home. I have to agree with “Flybrain”…When it comes to transportation, their isn’t a whole lot of cash to throw around. No way can these folks justify coughing up another 3 K, just to buy a “popular” used vehicle. Even the big franchise dealers, keep 3rd row trade ins.

    Its just the reality of the world we live in.

  • avatar
    Lack Thereof

    The Aztek was ahead of it’s time. A midsize proto-CUV that fit in better with a 2010 product lineup than a 2000 product lineup. All the body cladding and general ugliness of it no longer looks wildly outlandish, but now merely outdated, while the general form has gone from looking weird to being totally mainstream. Follow one on the street today and your only tip off that it’s a 15 year old design rather than a 5 year old one, is the twist-beam axle peeking under the rear bumper.

    Today, the Equinox is basically the same formula, but minus the tent, and with less, er, speculative styling. A quarter-million of those get sold every year.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      One thing I have noticed, is as the years have ticked by, and the CUV/SUV market has exploded, and there have been a number of design flops to come by, the Aztek doesn’t look quite as whacky anymore, especially the front clip. The area that will remain a 100% fail until the end of time is the rear quarters and clip.

      So I agree with you that as time has ticked by, the Aztek has aged…gracefully in some sort of weird bizzare way. The cladless final couple of years are the ones which have aged best.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Cheap is one thing, affordable is another. With Cheap I think you get what you pay for, so pay the piper (eh, muffler shop). Sometimes we pay for things we did not afford, like super low cost clothing from Vietnam. We need as a society to have a car making economy. I am not so into buying new, but I’m glad someone bought a 335i 8 years ago. I want those people do to well, and I want to do well to, and so I want to be productive and get paid a fair wage. I also want to pay a fair wage.

  • avatar

    It doesn’t surprise me that a cohort that embraces ironic posturing as a way of life would gravitate to widely derided vehicles.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Breaking Bad has done a weird thing the the Aztek used car market – their prices are going up around here (long term trend).

    An 02-04 Aztek at a dealer with around 150K miles that is clean has asking prices ranging for $4K to $6K. It is mind blowing.

    Private sale versions go for cheaper, and dogged out versions here still have asking prices of $2K+. We’re talking one step away from junkyard.

    I do know this, people that own Azteks, love them – and I’ve always been a fan conceptually of a lot of the interior concepts/ideas.

    The execution is about as bad as it gets, mouse fur cloth that wears out, Playskool buttons that rub off blank in less than 100K miles surrounded by Colemand cooler grade plastic – but the ideas were very good (generally layout, features, function, etc.)

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Price is king for Millennials. The costs of every-day living for most of us is the primary consideration in decision making. Expensive health insurance, saving for our own retirements, maybe someday buying a house, and student loans are all higher on the priority list than buying an expensive vehicle.

    Most of the Millennials I personally know in their late 20s make excellent money as we’re technical people in a good industry, but drive cheap transportation. e.g. used kia sedona, honda civic, old camaro, jeep patriot, etc.

    I’ll probably be mid to late 30s before I buy the car “I want” over the car that is simply acceptable but a good deal because a car is simply a means to an ends and there are other things that are more important, and that’s assuming I won’t meet a woman, get married, have kids, etc, which means I’ll be just like the old man and driving old junkers until my late 50s.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Most of the Millennials I personally know in their late 20s make excellent money as we’re technical people in a good industry, but drive cheap transportation. e.g. used kia sedona, honda civic, old camaro, jeep patriot, etc.”

      I’ve found this to be the case as well, to a degree. My buddy that I worked with in automation drove a ’92 Accord with 212k miles on it, then switched to an ’04 Legacy wagon that he bought for $6k to take all of his worldly belongings back to the West Coast. Another friend I went to school with tinkers with an old Mercedes diesel, a used Miata, and an old beat up Montero. I drive a fairly new but plain jane Civic LX, and an old 4Runner that I keep in tip top shape. Of course we’re all tempted by new cars, but many of us practice some very conservative spending practices. We’re more interested in house down payments and investing our hard earned money for the future. Even after I had budgeted and saved up for a fat home down payment and can technically afford a new truck “guilt free,” I still can’t bring myself to spend the big bucks to buy a nice new SUV that fits my lifestyle and interests well (4Runner Trail). I’d rather go researching forums endlessly and go searching around dealerships and craigslist to find a used truck that hits all the same notes for much less money. Some tinkering may be involved and I may have to enlist the mechanic/diagnostic services of my brother, but it will still end up costing less than a third(!) of what the new car option would be.

      Of course, I also have a friend of a friend who just broke the bank on a used S5. Something like $50k I think. Boy I hope he has a CPO warranty for when the DSG (and everything else) craps the bed.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    As a M********, I know tons of people with WRXs and Mustangs. Civics are popular (as with any market) and I actually see lots of people driving what may have been their grandparents luxo-barges from the 90s and 00s…But I also live in the Northeast so I’m not sure how it looks in areas with less rust. Oldsmobiles, Lesabres, Caddys (Northstar does NOT equal cheap though) Towncars, etc. Still a lot of old Volvos and VWs too. 90s Subaru wagons as well, me being in the northeast…

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      I’m in Wyoming, so rust is a non-issue. We have vehicles from the Malaise Era still running around without rust.

      Subaru wagons are common out here with millennials, though they’re usually pretty beat up. There are of course Accords and Camrys, but a lot of the Millennial-owned vehicles are American. You don’t see many Dodges, and when you do, they’re beat within an inch of their life, and GM products are more common than Fords. There are a lot of Impalas in service, and there are a fair amount of LeSabres, but they’re the 1990s version. When I bought my 1995 LeSabre when I was in high school, it definitely blended in.

      Being Wyoming though, a majority of the vehicles in High School parking lots are pickup trucks. Most are from the 1990s, but 2000s trucks are starting to show up….

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “… rust is a non-issue. We have vehicles from the Malaise Era still running around without rust.”

        Ditto in New Mexico. Come to think of it, I’m still tooling around in a used 1989 Camry V6.

        Hey, it was cheap. $100, it runs great, and I’m a happy camper.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I own a 1986 D250 that I picked up at a county surplus auction. It has a “rust spot” on the hood. All that it amounts to is paint discoloration. It’ll look exactly like it does in another 10 years.

          Out here, as long as it doesn’t catch fire or get totaled, anything can be kept running forever. The weather is nice, and they don’t salt the roads, so no big deal there. The only thing that happens out here is paint oxidation. Clear coat frequently burns off out here. But, that won’t exactly leave you stranded….

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Aztek styling has become less polarizing over the years, yes. However, the parts that compose it are of poor quality. In fact, the Chevy Venture platform it wss based upon, has some ancient Lumina mechanicals. How many Luminas do you see still running around?? Not many…fortunately.

    • 0 avatar

      There tons of Luminas running around in Ohio. It’s just that for some reason Chevy decided to call them Monte Carlos and Impalas.

      • 0 avatar
        kmars2009

        Still garbage. The models I see, have taped up windows, body damage, or are being towed from less than desireable neighborhoods. Even the newer ones have days that are numbered. Phoenix has quite a few Impalas and Monte Carlos too. The only advantage here is, they aren’t rusty…just junk.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Ummmmm…body damage is not due to the quality or lack there of in the product – it has to deal with the person behind the wheel.

          I’m pretty sure if I throw an impala, Fusion, Avenger, Accord, Camry, Mazda6, Legacy, Altima, into reverse, back into a pole at 10 MPH, and elect not to repair it because I can’t afford the deductible, the end result is the same.

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Just an observation. I’m sure the taped up windows work great. As well as not being unable to make it to a reapir shop on thier own steam…damaged or otherwise. They should still run with a messed up bumper or dented door…or even taped up windows.

  • avatar
    Mattias

    The Outlook and Trailblazer can be explained by the fact that large SUVS have a cool factor among Gen Y. An example my friend drove a Sequoia during senior year and it got quite a bit of attention. The Aztek is almost 100% Breaking Bad almost like a modern day delorean. The Pacifica I’m not sure about but mostly due to the fact that many of us (I’m class of 2011 in HS) see Jeeps as ultra cool and the Pacifica is often cheaper than a Patriot/Compass as a wannabe Jeep. Magnum (300/Charger as well) are seen as relics of a time when gangsta rap dominated the airwaves so the Magnum is almost never seen without tints/22s or mid-2000s rap blasting out of it

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Jeeps and diesel pickups are the pinnacle of cool out here in rural PA. Hence my quest to own an old XJ, because I consider them very cool and they have the overall toughness I need in a vehicle. Damn things can survive all kinds of abuse!

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    If you want #1 reliable and #2 cheap

    Only 2 options

    Ford panther

    Gm w body

    Everything else is garbage (used Chryslers) or too expensive (camcord)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’m currently embarking on a search for a clean mid 00s Mitsubishi Montero (NOT the Sport, the full-size one). I’m the proverbial used-car buying millennial. For me it is a combination of a)looking for value and b) buying something with features that are not available in a new vehicle. I was hemming and hawing over a brand spanking new 4Runner to replace my almost 20 year old Limited to gain some peace of mind on long trips, as well as better passenger comfort and space. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around $37k for a new vehicle that will get dog slobber and mud on the interior, and scratches and bumps on the exterior. Additionally, the 4Runner’s transfer case on the non-Limited models is a pretty basic part time unit. Limited models gain fulltime 4wd, but lose their low range, and look hideous to my eyes (all ’14+ 4Runners are hideous to most people).

    The third generation of Montero offers a very interesting middle ground between SUV capability and ruggedness, and CUV on-road dynamics and comfort. It is a unibody truck with independent front and rear suspensions, but has actual ground clearance and good approach angle (but admittedly poor departure), houses some super-beefy differentials, a limited slip rear differential (or off-road savvy traction control on newer ones) and a very multi-functional transfer case with 2H, full-time 4H , 4H locked, and 4 low modes. They no longer import Monteros into the US so my only option is to sort through the BHPH survivors and hope to find a one owner diamond in the rough.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      You’re dead right.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Steve if you can get me a line on a clean, low mileage rust-free southern Montero Limited that doesn’t have a bunch of weird vibrations and torque converter chatter, I’m all ears :) Or if you’ve ever dealt with one of these trucks and what that cause of these weird vibes is I’d be curious to hear.

        So far the three I’ve driven have all had the same mechanical issues: leaking valve cover gaskets/cam seals that cause oil to burn on the exhaust manifolds (pretty easy fix, not a deal breaker), but more worryingly they all had what felt like either a unbalanced driveshaft or failing u-joint or something. The ’06 I drove had this torque converter lock-up chatter at around 45-50mph, my understanding is that this is from using the wrong ATF fluid, only Mitsu SPIII will work. All three have also had varying degrees of underbody rust, dirty/worn interiors, and one was a nasty Maaco respray.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Limiteds do not lose their low range.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        The current 4Runner Limited has a TORSEN 40:60 center diff with a differential lock:
        http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2016+toyota+4runner+product+specs.htm

        The product sheet says that the transfer case is SR5 & Trail only, but in all of the photos, the Limited shows the same differential dial that the SR5 has, which would seem to indicate that it has a low-range. Who knows.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Regardless of what the literature says, the Limited trucks have a low range with a lockable center differential. The dial isn’t exactly the same since the SR5 has H2, H4, L4 and the Limited has H4, H4-Locked, L4-Locked.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Right on Quentin, don’t know what I was thinking, I should know these things! Regardless, with the huge chrome pseudo bumper, lowering hanging trim, and absurd 20 inch rims, the 4Runner Limited is a no-go for me. Not to mention the even higher price over a Trail Premium. Shame they deviated from the old formula like my ’96 where the Limited was the most luxurious but also every bit as capable as other trims (mine has the same meaty 265/70R16 tires, chromed steel bumpers, and locking rear differential as an SR5 of the era).

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Offering the multimode transfer case probably makes more sense than trying to make the Limited as offroad worthy as the Trail/SR5. As much as I don’t get the Limited from a buyer’s perspective, they do sell a ton of them, so it makes good business sense. I’m sure my wife would have been more comfortable driving my 4Runner if she didn’t have to decide when to grab the transfer case shifter and pull into H4. There are a few guys on T4R.org that converted their Limited trucks to the same exterior as the TE (bumpers, over fenders, rockers) and added air lockers. That is an extra $3k-$5k, though.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah I figure Toyota did their homework on buyer needs/demographics. I see a lot of the restyled 5th gen Limiteds in the new subdivisions that are sprouting up around the north side of Indianapolis. The 4Runner Limited is like Tahoe LTZ “lite.” It’s a capable and durable truck underneath, but it’s been festooned with bling to the point of losing some of that capability.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Accord or Camry wagon, or 1st gen Odyssey would be my choice

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We still see a lot of those on the road in the desert Southwest. The owners seem to hold on to them forever.

      I picked up a 1989 Camry V6 for $100 when my best friend bought a 2015 Avalon to replace it.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        $100 for a 1989 Camry with a V-6 how could you go wrong at that price. I still have my 99 S-10 and I still see a fair amount of the last generation of S-10 along with lots of Rangers. The parts are not too expensive for the S-10s and Rangers and with proper maintenance they will last a long time (mine S-10 is almost 17 years old and runs and looks like new–I am the original owner). As for the Aztec they are mechanically good but they are ugly. Breaking Bad helped give the Aztec notoriety. I saw a nice Saab version of the Trailblazer for sale in like new condition metallic red and black leather interior.

        I also see a lot of Crown Victorias that were police cars (spot lights still on them) and taxis being driven by teenagers and young adults along with a number of Grand Marquis. Those are not so great on the gas but a decent one can be bought at a very cheap price.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          You can’t go wrong for $100. He was going to take it to the junkyard and have it crushed and I piped in and said, “Hey wait-a-minute!”

          And the rest is history! One Benjamin later…

          Even better, I won’t have to worry about registration until Nov2016. I already have the title signed over to me and liability coverage for it on my policy.

          So we’re an “all-Toyota all-the-time family” now: 2011 Tundra, 2015 Sequoia and 1989 Camry V6.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    I haven’t seen an Aztec in my area in a couple years it seems like.. as for what people my age are buying, besides trucks(which are hugely popular around here) Trailblazer’s and last gen W-body Impala’s seem to be far and away the most popular, followed by Civics/Corolla’s. As they should be looking up prices on them shows just how good of a deal they can be.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Watching the young breeder dummies in my own kinship plume buy Azteks when they were newer was sad enough. That what’s left of the model is actively sought after by the generation behind the one I observed is beastly depressing.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Maybe Millennial’s just have fond memories of the autos they grew up with. I see plenty of 1st gen Explorer’s reasonably priced. On Craig’s list you can get a clean 2dr Sport with the 4.0 for a mere $1500. Plenty of nice upmarket trim 4 door with the final 5.0 quite reasonably priced. Perfect for the college debt laden crowd. Just invest in a good set of tires. But as Click and Clack recommended many a time. “Get get your kid an old Volvo”

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Millenials are mostly buying camcords and pickups. These oddball and orphan cars are seeing a quarter of their very low sales numbers go to Millenials. 15% of camcords/PU’s DWARFS these things numbers. BTW, thats what the cited story says.

    Better headline: Millenials more likely to swallow lot poison than more affluent buyers.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Back in the hippie days, it was considered “straight” or “bourgeois” to own a car. But it was ok if the car was a van, or a hearse, or a school bus, or anything different enough from regular cars. Then it was “cool”. People such as dealers used to keep their Corvettes out of sight of the poorer hippies. Whatever famous rock stars drove was ok.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    The RWD old Volvos are quite good…as are Panthers and even some Escorts. Mazda Protege holds up well. GM stuff I just don’t get.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I don’t think you can tally these things up to generational differences. I see tons of data coming out that state Millenials are now the generation most likely to lease a vehicle. Here’s one recent article.

    http://www.edmunds.com/about/press/millennials-more-likely-to-lease-vehicles-than-older-americans-reports-edmundscom.html

    As for those who don’t want to play that game, the most common Millenial buy I can envision is either a hand me down or the usual business/family networking. This was also par for the course for pretty much every generation trying to establish themselves.

    The first three used cars I bought back when my wife and I were just starting out cost all of $2000 back in the mid/late 1990s. Minimizing those cash flows for a solid down payment on a home and some breathing room meant the world to us back then.

    I finally broke the bank three years after putting 20% down on a house and paid $5000 for a 2 year old Escort. I remember taking several months and sweating that purchase for my wife. But she wanted to drive a car made in the same decade we lived in, and heck, it was already 1999 after all. A 1997 Escort with an automatic, 35k, and power nothing was her slice of the Gen X good life.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Gen X …simply the best!

  • avatar
    dolorean

    You know it wasn’t all that long ago on TTAC that we were bemoaning the lack of enthusiast of the younger generation for an automobile. Interesting that there is no mention of this 360 in the article or the comments.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Of course, no mention is made of “millennials” that will spend $150-200 a month on the latest iPhone and data plan – this may contribute to their lack of funds for a newer car.

    That said, they certainly don’t need the latest 4G/WiFi capable vehicle, just a stick-on phone mount/Bluetooth adapter.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      $35/mo millennial! :D

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      A new 64GB iPhone 6S w/ 2GB data/month at AT&T ripoff pricing is $80/month, $0 down.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s fracking ridiculous. And the whole “installation payments for phone” crap is garbage as well. Consumers are so stupid.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I only did that last year, for my wife’s iPhone 6, because the Verizon payment is $28/month and they decided they wanted to pay $25/month towards that. Plus, she sold her iPhone 5 for almost $300. We did that last year when Verizon changed their plans around.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        2GB/month? That isn’t enough.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          My wife and I both use less that 2GB/month. If we didn’t have wifi at home, I’d agree, but 2GB is plenty if you don’t spend all day streaming music or watching videos.

          I still do the AT&T contracts. I basically get my old iPhone unlocked and sold for $250 as soon as the 2 year contract is up and get a new phone for $300 with 2 year contract. We pay $110/month between the two of us. AT&T appears to be going away from contracts and the phones are no longer massive technological leaps, so I’ll probably move to a 3-4 year upgrade cycle and a cheaper carrier.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t use anywhere near my 2.5GB either. Always got the wifi at home and many other places as well, but I’m not big on streaming videos or etc either.

            With the payment plan and no contract pricing the bigger carriers are going to, the “2 year replacement” advantage you had with VZW or etc is about gone. Pay more for your phone up front with Virgin, then $35/mo for 300 mins and 2.5GB. At some point (why, I dunno) they’ll upgrade you to unlimited minutes as well.

            They sent me this email on 7/24: “We have increased your monthly TALK time from 300 minutes to UNLIMITED. It’s our way of saying thanks for being a loyal Virgin Mobile customer.”

            So $35 for unlimited and 2.5 isn’t bad.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I use too much data while traveling for work. Hotel WiFi makes me angry. Some airports have terrible WiFi as well. I can tell the months that I had to travel a lot because our data is almost to 10 GB. Work pays my portion of the bill, so they’d pay overages anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “They sent me this email on 7/24: “We have increased your monthly TALK time from 300 minutes to UNLIMITED. It’s our way of saying thanks for being a loyal Virgin Mobile customer.”

            Me too – I just upgraded from the old Optimus V (I was still “grandfathered” @ $25/mo) because the old 3G was just bogging down too much.
            Got the LG Tribute for $80 – a decent phone, but only 4 gigs of memory – I don’t care; a couple of apps is OK with me.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Nothing was ever wrong with the Aztek, and I don’t get all the supposed hate for the car – I think it was/is just a pile-on opinions of some trying to be “cool”.

    We looked rather seriously at the Aztek when they first came out – a nice, bright yellow one, but wound up keeping what we had for a couple more years at the time. We didn’t need a new vehicle at the time.

    As far as the Pacifica goes, these looked to be a rather comfortable way to take a trip in – not as tall as a minivan and the windows rolled down in the back doors, something that minivans weren’t doing at the time, which is why we never bought a minivan in those years.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” All middle-middle neighborhoods are facing this as descendants return ‘home’ like a defeated army with camp followers in tow.”

    I always wonder about this , in the mid 1990’s my old Boss’ daughter came home with husband and kids in tow ” just for three months ” and didn’t slow down the out of control spending that had cost them their wildly over priced house….

    I stopped asking if they were ever leaving after three years .

    My Son is 36 and he’s doing fine , has never looked back since he left @ age 18 .

    Career , house , long engagement them marriage, then kids… it’s not difficult .

    Don’t parents love their Children sufficiently to teach them how to survive ? .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I think our economic contraction makes deadbeats return to the flock, Nate. But it doesn’t change their character.

      Kids like your son are never going to move back in with you (though they’re the ones you’d want to have back) because they were raised right and will do well no matter what is thrown at them.

      But the kids who through nature or nurture habitually make bad decisions (or no decisions at all) are the ones who show up on Grandma’s or widowed Uncle Bill’s doorstep destitute w/dependents and what are their elders gonna do but let them in?

      It’s just another kind of diversity and diversity always leads downhill when it attaches to conservative values.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    So true. My wife and i arrived in Virginia beach over the weekend and walking on Atlantic ave we came across two Aztek’s parked at the curb in mint condition. Back at the hotel we came across another Aztek in the same condition. Makes me feel good because i like to restore VW Cabriolets. My current one is 25 years old and i love driving it on the weekends with the top down. Keeps me busy and the aftermarket has a good supply of parts including many oem parts.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    News flash! Poor millennials who lived off parents money their whole lives and have crap credit need old cheap cars with bad reputations.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Never even had a utility bill in their name…

      No joke. My wife has friends, in their late 20s, who’s fathers pay for everything. Car, utility bills, apartment, etc in daddy’s name.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Those people annoy me, because they don’t “get” life or responsibility. And starting these credit lines when you’re young is important. I’m glad I went against my parents advice and got a credit card ASAP.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          And they will be really hosed when they run out of OPM. My neighbor’s kid is like this – for the past 20 years since he was 16, he has driven nice, NEW cars that daddy has cosigned for (most of them end up getting repossessed after a few years).

          I’ve never had a car as nice as this deadbeat has driven in my entire life. But then, my house is almost paid for, and his daddy used his house as an ATM during Housing Bubble 1.0 and now owes 5x what his original purchase price was (he bought it over 30 years ago).

  • avatar
    Chan

    As has been said here, the Aztek isn’t really that ugly anymore. 2015 has a lot of ugly in its new cars, and 2016 won’t be any better with the new Prius.

    Clever millennial shoppers want things that were unloved in resale and had thus depreciated more than others in the segment. Reliable powertrains are another plus.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Oh the sacrifices we make for a cheap car payment…and low insurance, with any luck.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Saw a yellow one today. Even with the gray cladding, they look OK. And this one was in nice condition, at least outside.

    And yes, it’s always a shame to read about these Millennial leeches! @redmondjp, surprising that the neighbor even allowed ONE repo, as that would fvck HIS credit as well as his dumba$$ kid’s!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    News flash:

    Poor young people buy cheap used cars.

    More at 11.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I’m a “Millenial”. I do indeed seek an SUV. Why would I consider the TrailBlazer? Well, my alternatives in the price range I’m stuck with because inflation is insane and in no way kept up with by what people in the dwindling middle class are being paid doesn’t offer much better. A small car doesn’t fit my needs or even my desires. You know the sort of car I found in my price range that was newer and had lower miles? Aveos and Focuses and Cobalts.

    Other options from this range are Explorers with awful transmissions, Saturn Vue (no thanks), Aztek (my eyes bleed, but at least that shouldn’t hurt all that plastic), Jeep Grand Cherokee (not bad), and a few other ledtovers not worth looking at, let alone mentioning.

    The TrailBlazer, while not perfect, offers a pretty solid drivetrain with some gremlins in the electronics. I’m no stranger to fixing electronic stuff in cars myself, and would much rather deal with that than have drivetrain issues. It also has what I’m looking for in a vehicle (4×4 for the crappy winters, room for me, friends, tools, and other stuff, not to mention light towing when needed). So, for eight grand, I can get a vehicle that reminds me of a Skittle on wheels and offers nothing I want or need, or I can get an SUV that was well cared for and has about 90k miles that offers what I want, and can probably make it to 200k with a bit of love. Yeah, that Skittle sounds less appealing, doesn’t it?

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