By on January 9, 2018

2017 Chevrolet Silverado - Image: Chevrolet

The word “disruptive” is thrown around quite a bit in the auto industry, usually to mean “some wacky idea that won’t succeed without a multi-billion-dollar investment, an outrageous set of coincidences, and an overnight change of heart affecting two-thirds of humanity.”

Allow me to offer an example of something that has truly disrupted the auto business without so much as a single fawning piece in Fast Company or WIRED: the massive and significant extension of reliable service life among cars and trucks built after, say, 2001 or thereabouts. In 1957, there was no reason to have a sixth digit on an odometer; in 1987, owning a car with 100,000 miles on it meant that you were either dirt poor or a seriously skilled shadetree mechanic.

In 2017, 100,000 miles is the new 30,000 miles. People are paying real money for cars with six-figure odometer readings. Hell, people are taking out five-year used-car loans on vehicles with six-figure odometer readings. More importantly, the social stigma associated with owning a used car has more or less disappeared in many circles.

As a consequence, today’s buyers operate in a sliding-scale market where mileage affects price but doesn’t always have much effect on utility. It can be a good idea to get “more car” or “more truck” even if it means accepting an older vehicle with a longer history. Which is where today’s episode of Ask Jack begins.


Hector asks:

I know you have a Silverado and was wondering if you like it enough to advise for the purchase of a used truck from that same bodystyle. I have a budget of between $25,000 and $30,000 and I could get a 2014 Silverado crew cab with 60,000 miles or so for that money. Or I could get an almost-new Colorado crew cab for that same money. There are dealers with 5,000 miles on a Colorado from 2017 and they will sell for $25,000. Do I get the bigger truck with more capability or do I get the new truck that will last longer? I don’t tow anything; I use my truck for my family and for hauling toys.

The first thing I did was to check out the market. Sure enough, 2014 Silverado CCSB (crew cab short bed) trucks with between 50,000 and 75,000 miles on them are selling for between $25,000 and $30,000. That won’t get you an LTZ or High Country but it will get you a 2LT. The interesting thing is that you can get that same truck brand-new for about $41k during one of the big-discount GM sales. If you can buy a new truck for $41k then sell it for $25k with 70,000 miles on it then I think you’ve gotten some really good value there. Go put 70,000 miles on a new BMW 750Li and see what it’s worth afterwards.

Hector’s numbers on the Colorado added up as well. There’s a surfeit of lightly-used Colorado LT crew cabs in the $25k range. Most of them have under 10,000 miles. If you’re willing to take a work truck with the V6 option, this one looks like a heck of a deal.

Obviously a Silverado has more capability than a Colorado, even if the biggest “toy” Hector hauls is an ATV or a pair of dirt bikes. The question is whether it’s worth taking an older truck that’s out of warranty in order to get that capability. In this case, I’d be inclined to advise against it. There’s nothing to say that a 2014 Silverado with the 5.3-liter won’t run a quarter-million miles without much trouble. Nor can you reasonably expect to see a significant fuel economy advantage with a Colorado.

What you do get with the smaller truck, however, is a factory warranty plus the pleasure of driving the most trouble-free miles any vehicle will have — by which I mean the first 50,000 miles. So unless Hector really needs the extra space, power, and utility of the Silverado, I think he should pick the Colorado. Today’s vehicles might have a remarkably long life, but it’s still worth starting closer to the beginning of that life.

[Image: General Motors]

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77 Comments on “Ask Jack: Does New Beat Big?...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    4 vehicles I will never buy used:
    1. Full size truck
    2. Midsize truck
    3. Jeep Wrangler
    4. Jeep Grand Cherokee

    Why? Because there isn’t enough of a discount to buy used and a brand new one after paying off the loan and putting 60,000-80,000 miles on it has so much residual value left I can trade it and pick up another new one with little financial pain.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Ok, but if you didn’t have the budget to buy new, then what?

      ‘d agree, though, you buy one of those new and drive it for 5 or 6 years, then your TCO is lower than buying one used and doing the same.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        He sounds like he can afford a new Colorado – I’d actually recommend buying the Colorado, paying it off and trading up to a Silverado. The residuals in the Colorado won’t be as high but they’ll be higher than if he had bought a Camry or something. The Colorado becomes part of the down payment on the Silverado.

        If you can’t afford “new” in the truck segment… I feel sorry for you Son, I got 99 problems…

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          SOME people will say I’m bagging on General/Guangzhou Motors because I have an arbitrary axe to grind, but that’s simply not true.

          I grew up not only in GM Country, but in a neighborhood populated by General Motors Execs in the 80s and 90s (it was incredible to watch their incompetence then, when dealing with the Japanese juggernauts of Honda, Toyota, Nissan/Datsun, Mazda, as well as the Germans).

          The truth of the matter is that General/Guangzhou Motors vehicles are made of $hit components, that with notably few exceptions, their vehicles still suck and are lagging in reliability/durability, that they’ve now outsourced their supplier base to China to a degree unmatched by any other volume brand selling vehicles in the U.S., and that they’re detested…absolutely detested, by their suppliers in ways that are hard to communicate given the constraints of the English language.

          The Invasion of the U.S. Mainland with Chinese-built vehicles began in earnest with General/Guangzhou Motors vehicles, whether they are Buick Envisions or Cadillac CT6 PHVs assembled
          IN China of 88% Chinese-fabricated parts content, or Mexican assembled Chevy Silverados with 45% Chinese parts content.

          FCUK General/Guangzhou Motors?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            F*** GM. Should have been liquidated.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Absolutely.

            GM and Chrysler should have had to maintain assembly operations and a minimum of 80%+ domestically sourced parts content in their vehicles sold in the U.S. as an absolute precondition to getting bailed out (Toyota and Honda meet both those thresholds, with few exceptions, now, and have for a LONG TIME – even many “German” and Korean vehicles are really more ‘Murican than General/Guangzhou Motors vehicles, given their place of assembly and % of U.S.-fabricated parts content).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “GM and Chrysler should have had to maintain assembly operations and a minimum of 80%+ domestically sourced parts content in their vehicles sold in the U.S. as an absolute precondition to getting bailed out”

            My guess is no one thought of this given the scope of things in the period.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It would be a lot better if Jack “I Buy American Made” Baruth’s Hecho En Mexico Chevrolet (Heartbeat of America) Silverado (purchased for $58,000 USD) had…say 75% or 85% U.S.-sourced components, rather than barely above 50%.

            Jack just let that one pass, I guess, and will hopefully more closely practice what he loudly preaches, and at least implicitly reauests of others, in the future (one can hope, especially given such large ticket purchases).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The only brand I dislike more than GM is Ford. Ford has become notorious for low quality except for their trucks. I used to be a GM-only driver; never had luck with Fords and always did well with GM… until ’86 when a shredded nylon timing gear forced a complete engine swap in an otherwise nice Toronado. A ’96 Camaro went through three transmissions in 160,000 miles, almost exactly 50,000 miles apart. I’ve only had one good GM since and that was a Saturn. (Guess what no longer exists…)

            I’ve owned and driven all three US brands and despite their reputation, Chrysler/FCA has given me more reliable vehicles than either other brand in over 45 years of driving.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      This. I’ve been buying new trucks and rolling them every 6-12 months. Why? Because it’s been much cheaper than a lease payment. In one case, net positive.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      JGC ehhhhhhh. It will start puking before 80K and cost you too much. The rest, I agree.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @28-Cars-Later, But the residuals are still silly. I didn’t that was a list of “Good Reliable Vehicles” just ones that don’t depreciate enough to mater.

        :-)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Last I checked not as good as you may think. Maybe the top trims?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Maybe because I only price out Hemi 4×4 with tow package?

            (Honestly who the heck wants anything else? ;-P)

          • 0 avatar
            Pete Zaitcev

            Hemi only provides dead weight in front, getting you stuck easier. As for the tow hitch, I never had it on any vehicle. And why would I? I don’t fly a glider and towing anything else is insane.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I don’t quite see the JGC angle either, unless you make the argument that that they are so heavily discounted new that buying a lightly used one at 75% of MSRP or whatever isn’t as good of a deal as it seems (if the guy buying it new got a steal of a deal to begin with).

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @gtem I have compared new JGC to CPO to Used. I just don’t see the case for buying one CPO or used. That’s my argument.

          Even though the GC doesn’t make the “KBB Top 10 Residuals” list on a yearly basis, it’s not far behind.

          Wrangler hasn’t been the most well built nameplate either historically but that hasn’t depressed resale values.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Wrangler does what JGC does without resale issues. If one wants capable but floaty I’m looking at the Lex 4runner or maybe an Infiniti truck like thing (possibly GMT900 or Navi). JGC doesn’t enter my mind. They have always been problematic, the least headaches being those with the AMC I6 back in the 90s.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Personally I wish I had the kind of money to go buy one of those late 80s early 90s Grand Wagoneers that has been rebuilt to better than factory.

            No worries on resale though, just drive it hundreds of thousands of miles and have it rebuilt again.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Grand Wagoneer would be sweet. Just one of those: because I can.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          No one pays sticker for a JGC unless they are truly uninformed. I have always received a stellar deal on Jeeps, including Wranglers, and have always been amazed by their ability to hold value (well, at least the Wrangler and JGC). Neither marques have ever “puked” at any time in their history. My current JGC is a Summit Hemi, and has had zero problems.

          And I agree PrincipalDan – I wouldnt ever buy any of those used because the deals new combined with the residual values make a used buy unnecessary. Even better if the OP can get 0% financing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @PrincipalDan – used versus new depends on your market area. In my part of the world, pickups are either beat to death in heavy industry or barely used street queens. The “industry” pickups usually have little serviceable life left. The “street queens” tend to sell for a premium which puts them close in price or the same as a full sized pickup with a seasonal deep discount. I routinely see 9-12k factory discounts especially end of summer and mid winter. A few dealers 2 1/2 hours drive south of me were selling F150’s with 15k off. I found a few dealers in the Greater Vancouver area with similar pricing.

      I had a similar dilemma to Hector when I bought a truck in the fall of 2010. I had been looking at used trucks (3-5 years old) for a friend. I also was looking at doublecab Tacoma’s. Ford was clearing out 2010 F150’s with 12k discounts plus 1k Costco discount. That put a 48k F150 squarely in range of a low mileage crewcab. It also was cheaper than a comparable Tacoma.

      In Hector’s case, assuming he has thoroughly researched the market, I’d go for the slightly used Colorado with factory warranty. One could haggle the dealer into adding some extended warranty. The fact that he is cross-shopping small trucks would indicate that he’d be happy with one.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Dan is the man!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Yea sure, buy the big damn truck and kill the planet spewing out tons of CO2 for 250,000 miles. If you really cared about the future of your children, you would buy 4 used Leafs for the same price, or better yet lifetime bus passes for the whole family. Get with the program – the whole world is going electric – Elon says so.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Do as Elon says and not as Elon does… since Elon can do whatever the hell he wants and you can’t citizen.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      You’re right, stingray65…but where does that electric power come from? Plenty of coal-fired powerplants still in operation. How and where are those batteries made?
      I’ll put my carbon footprint up against anybody…I’m just pointing these things out as a realist. Sadly, real isn’t very pretty.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I suggest a little study, EJ. A BEV gets its electricity from the grid, I’ll grant, but even in the worst coal-burning region of the US you have the BEV emitting only half as much pollutants (including CO2) as any other vehicle its size and on average in the US, less than a quarter as much. Coal fired plants are dropping fast in the US, some being razed while others are converted to natural gas. Wind and solar farms are growing as we speak and solar is currently the fastest-growing energy producer in the world. With time, the BEVs only get cleaner, with even the best ICEVs… the hybrids… growing proportionally worse even with all the new technology we’re reading about. An ICEV will never reach 88% efficiency, the point at which BEVs are just starting.

  • avatar
    blarfmarfle

    The Colorado will be easier to live with in city/suburban environs; easier to park and drive in traffic. If Hector could swing a lease payment, I’d steer him towards a Honda Ridgeline, which will be more comfortable for his family and probably offer much better fuel economy in real world use.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Hector, however, sounds like you know, a real guy with toys and such. I can’t see how on TTAC we would recommend something as emasculating as a Ridgeline.

      Hey Hector, go buy a back-halved Pilot and enjoy does not sound nearly as good as get a Silverado. Full Stop. In any configuration you please with a 5.3 and you are golden, for almost forever depending on mileage driven.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Ridge is as wide as F-150. Suggesting it defeats the “easier to drive and park” logic, because it’s neither of those.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        The new Ridgeline is 50 shades of terrible. Its just a sawed off new Pilot with a terribly cramped cabin, a cheap interior, and a lacking tow capacity. The Colorado would be the minimum truck that I would recommend, and even the Colorado interior would be cramped for a family.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “terribly cramped cabin”

          That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone claim that. It’s roomier than the Colorado, in any case.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            @gtem – I actually found them to be about the same. I drove the new Ridgeline and then went right to the GMC dealer to drive the GMC Canyon crew cab. In both cases, by the time I adjusted the seat to be somewhat comfortable, the back of the front seat was pushing against my daughters knees in the back seat. Both interiors also pressed my legs inward at the knee so there wasnt much room to stretch out. Neither would be good for long distance family hauling unless everyone in the vehicle was shorter than average.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I haven’t been in a Ridgeline and only took a brief test drive in a Diesel Colorado Crewcab, but the overwhelming consensus by the car mags and reviewers is that the Ridgeline has a noticeably roomier interior (4+ inches wider, for one). But I’ll reserve judgement until I spend time in a Ridgeline, which is frankly highly unlikely lol. I appreciate the “left side of brain” rationality of that thing, but I’d much rather buy a thirstier, truckier Frontier with the 4.0L and a 6spd out of all the midsizers.

  • avatar
    Michael S.

    Depends on how much driving you do in a year, and how large you and your kids are. If you’re like me and put 32k+ a year on a vehicle, newer is better. You’re going to depreciate the car quicker than the note with either, but the warranty and trouble free new miles will stretch a lot further.

    Also, you can get new full size CCSB for that money after the cash on the hood. It won’t be the most well appointed vehicle, but it’s an appliance, not an investment.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    I wonder if we’ve already hit peak “service life” and are about to see a gradual decline (or at least a leveling out) over the coming years.

    While I have no doubt the oily bits on vehicles will continue to improve and get more reliable, all of the electronics packed into even basic cars gives me pause. It’s often that final big failure/repair that will send a car to the junkyard … in the past that might have been a $1000 transmission on a car worth about the same, but nowadays I can see it being a $1000 dead centre screen that renders all the HVAC and radio MIA, even though the car otherwise runs fine.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Economies of scale can be very powerful; if mass-produced cars are going to be sidelined by dead screens on a large scale, my bet is that an industry supplying those screens at affordable prices is going to develop to feed that market. The market already found a way to make these components economically viable for relatively low-end cars. Making them affordable for old cars isn’t that far of a leap from there.

      After all, the industry panicked when fuel injection – with its then-outlandish computers, sensors, electric fuel pumps, and solenoid-based injectors – became mainstream, too, and how did that work out in regards to taking older cars off the road?

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I disagree. With so many different manufacturers and versions among them making almost each car unique, I don’t see a cost-effective way to create replacements. It’s not like 90s-era GM/Ford radios that you can swap around. What fits in one Mazda is not guaranteed to fit in another; add in dashboard mounted controls and model-specific features (since now they control locks/hvac/traction control) and it’s a dizzying number of possible form factor and feature combinations. When the CCC (in BMW parlance, radio/nav/carputer) in my E60 went kaput, I searched high and low for a suitable replacement. If no market showed up in the fourteen years since the car was built, nothing was going to. My only option was to send it to some guy who repaired BMW electronics out of his shop in Canoga Park. He tried, but was not able to repair it so I got to buy a 14 year old “new” radio for $800 that did not include installing the thing.
        If anything, maybe there will be a resurgence of electronics repair since they’re all so unique in application. What’d be great is if you could overwrite the local storage on the things and load in custom firmware. However, I”m sure the manufacturers would stomp that out pretty quickly and have the rest of the car computers ignore anything that’s not standard.
        I still think they should give up on an in-dash radio/nav and just provide a nice touchscreen display that can mirror your phone. Just download the make/model specific app and you’re all set. No more hardware headache for manufacturers and features can be updated as soon as they’re released.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “nowadays I can see it being a $1000 dead centre screen that renders all the HVAC and radio MIA, even though the car otherwise runs fine.”

      Given all the settings in these infotainment systems its very possible that a dead screen will in fact render the rest of the car useless.

      Also what happens when these auto-driving systems (lane keeping, auto braking, radar cruise, etc) fail due to a sensor issue? I assume the fall back position is just a warning light and the car itself is still driveable. Hopefully the car doesn’t pull over and stop just because a sensor died.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        “You got a warning light on there. That’s an inspection failure.”

        – This will be a great way to get those low income folks back on the debt carousel. Can’t afford $1500 to replace a touchscreen system, but low monthly payments stretched out to 84 months can get them in a new car.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’ve noticed its always the people’s utopias who have the most ridiculous inspection or emissions schemes. Don’t they realize these hurt the working poor? /s.

    • 0 avatar

      Japan hit peak service life around 1995. Today, most Toyondas and “domestics” are pretty interchangeable in that regard. US brands slack off at their own peril.

  • avatar
    tinbad

    It seems like the “durability” is already priced in the used market. Why would 3-4 yr old truck with 70k miles still be worth $30k? Maybe because it’s still barely broken in with that milage?

    Anecdotally, I bought a 2007 Avalanche in 2012 with 80k miles for $19k from a dealer and by the time I sold it 3 years later it had 150k miles and no repairs other than replacing brake pads/tires. Still regret selling it, but had to downsize because of a long commute.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Its not, you’re seeing the confluence of banking financing ability, demand, supply, and greed.

      Banksters/BHPH/Title loan people like the trucks because they are easy sells when repo’d. Therefore, less risk from their end to finance. Rinse and repeat.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        In my part of the world, I would not touch a repo’d pickup. There is a repo lot I drive past rather frequently and even the newer stuff there looks like it was rode hard and put away wet.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Some things on “new” lots are three year old repos alongside lease returns and early trades. Tough to know without the title and perhaps a title history (even then I don’t think they brand repos on the title, nor on a title report).

          @gtem

          I agree, resale and remarketing are determined by a number of factors.

          BHPH chains sell bad loans to banksters who roll them into MBS like bonds. 2008 redux but now they learned to do it with vehicles as opposed to real estate.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        The subprime market and financing and making lots of money on financing heavily used vehicles has massively distorted used car prices at the wholesale level IMO. Now, the increased vehicle reliability certainly enables said BHPH lots to really wring the life out of cars more than ever before,that much can’t be denied. So I think its a number of factors coming together.

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          Completely agree, the ultimate financilization of used vehicle is under way. Unless you are a direct beneficiary, best to say clear of this pile of financial dung

  • avatar
    ajla

    “100,000 miles is the new 30,000 miles.”

    So, good idea below?

    nashvillespeedshop.com/2005-Jaguar-XJSeries/Used-Car/Nashville-TN/10100800/Details.aspx

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    The question for me is this: how does the durability of a mid-sizer like the Colorado stack up to that of a full-sizer like a Silverado?

    I know that full-size trucks are built to stand up to years of commercial-grade abuse, because that’s what people buy them for. Is the same true in the mid-size segment? I honestly don’t know, and the answer would be an important factor in determining which I consider to be a better value.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @JuniperBug – there shouldn’t be much of a difference in durability. You have to consider the fact that the Colorado is based on the global truck which is the only truck available outside of North America.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I would go with the Colorado for the reasons that Jack pointed out.

    Personally I wouldn’t pay that much for a domestic with that many miles….from my experiences they don’t feel as tight and they develop noises as the miles accumulate.

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    I was faced with a similar choice last year. I needed to replace my very tired K3500 diesel for towing and work around the “ranch.” With my budget at $30K, I could get a very lightly used, newer 3/4 truck with gas engine or an older diesel with 70-100K miles. My trailer is well under 10,000lbs, I knew I didn’t *need* the diesel, but I sure did want one. In the end, I purchased a 2016 Ram 2500 with 5.7 Hemi and only 16K miles for the same reasons Jack cites here.

    And yes, I realize I could’ve gotten by with an 1/2 ton truck–maybe next time.

  • avatar
    Onus

    If there is anything you can keep running for a longtime it is a pickup truck.

    I wouldn’t scoff at buying one with 60k on the clock.

    But, I am a bit biased. All my vehicles have at least 230,000 on them.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Does the Colorado have an actual functioning defrost system for the windows? My 2016 Silverado can’t keep the windows deiced in a snow storm even at 85 degrees full blast. Wipers either.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @dwford – city driving can be worse especially if you let snow/ice build up on the intake vents.

      If you are driving “steady” speeds then one usually can play with the heater settings and even crack a side window open enough to keep the window from fogging but keep it cool enough so that snow doesn’t stick to the windshield. You can’t use this technique with wet heavy snow or if you expect to drive wearing a light shirt.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    If resale is the reason for buying a truck, anything other than a Tacoma is a fool’s exercise.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    From my own personal experience I would 100% recommend the used Silverado and here is why.

    1. I drive an 08′ Suburban with 112k. Despite what is said about odd rattles and what not, I have none of that. It looks and drives like it did the day I bought it 8 years ago tomorrow, used with 32k on the odo’.

    2. As the Silverado ages, the parts are fundamentally ubiquitous across the full size GM 1/2 ton line. I really don’ think their is a more affordable car to keep on the road than an old (er) high mileage GM full size product. The parts are ridiculously cheap and plentiful; new or used. I have found my the repairs that I have completed on my Suburban to easy to complete as well, a quick youtube video and voila off you go.

    3. Resale on a full size pick up is silly, regardless of how many miles are on it. If Hector is one of those folks who likes to keep his vehicles looking clean, waxed and taken care of the resale is all the better. In rural America a clean looking/smelling full size half ton Chevy with 240k on the odo is the perfect high school truck for $7k. Large and safe for the miles of two-lane highway.

    With that in mind how does Hector go wrong? I think he can find a nice 2LT ex-rental for 25k – 30kwith 50k miles on it. Drive that for 150k and sell for 7k and he is net 18k-22k for 6 or 7 years of ownership. Bargain.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    In 2004 I was so annoyed at the various problems that I had experienced with Chevy, Ford, and Dodge trucks that I took a chance and ordered a new Nissan Titan 4×2, King cab with off road, towing, and utility bed packages. Almost 14 years and 150000 miles later the only repair has been the exhaust manifolds that were replaced under warranty. I did upgrade a few things… the brakes to 14″, the shocks to Bilsteins, installed Firestone airbags, a Yukon gear posi unit, HID Xenon headlights, and 20″ Momo wheels with 305/50/20 tires. I have other vehicles for daily drivers so almost all of the miles have been accumulated when Im towing or hauling. The truck doesnt use any oil, the AC is still perfect, and there are no squeeks or rattles. So far it has been the best built, most reliable truck Ive owned.

  • avatar
    gtem

    If you’re in the salt belt (usually accompanied by bad roads), no matter how much technology and engineering have progressed, trucks still rust out and suspension, bearings, brake lines and such still wear out and rust out. 3 years and 50k miles just put you that much closer to rust on the body and other aforementioned issues. Watching my brother’s friend’s channel (shameless plug: South Main Auto on youtube), seeing newer trucks come in and seeing just how much work they can need after just 7 years or so, makes a good argument in favor of buying as new as possible (or atleast from a softer climate). Granted, rural Western NY might just be a worst case scenario short of Siberia in terms of wear and tear on a vehicle, but I’d apply the same thoughts to any Northern/Midwestern locale that sees a decent amount of road salt.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I usually buy used but I wanted a 4Runner this time. It made 0 sense to purchase a 4Runner used. I paid 35k for my 16 Trail, a used one with 100k miles on it is 25k. Used ones with low miles cost more than new ones, I dont get it. Plus it came with 2 years 25k miles of free maintenance. It is actually cheaper to purchase the new one than the used one. Was more than I am used to paying for a car but I can always sell it at any time as not upside down. Dealer just offered me 31.5 for it as a trade with 17k miles on it.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Depending on how hyperrational you want to get, this can be broken down to simple numbers. This is hardly meant to be definitive numbers, but as an example, if we assume that both a Silverado and Colorado have an effective life (or would be worth roughly the same at that point) of 250k miles, in these specific circumstances, the Colorado would cost about $0.10/mile for its remaining 245k miles, while the 60k Silverado would cost about $0.13 for its remaining 190k. Flipped around, an extra $0.03/mile for 190k miles means you could argue that Silverado costs an extra $5700 for the hit of its “reduced” life.

    Like I say, these aren’t perfect numbers, but if you can make a few assumptions you’re comfortable with, you can at least quantify it in a way to figure out how much the extra size is worth to you.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The first thing he should ask himself is how much truck he really needs. By his description, the Colorado is the much better pick due to low mileage, smaller size and marginally better economy. The larger truck could prove too large and too clumsy for his needs but may not make that felt until after he’s driven it a while.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Buy the new one.
    This new/used dilemma has been going on for a few years. Its not just the residuals, its the interest rates involved too. Buying or leasing a new vehicle will save you a lot of money on interest over 3 to 5 years.
    This is true for the local Honda Accord, Toyota Camry that I am more familiar with. About $23.5K with about $2K cash (Costco, AAA, USAA) on the hood. Or buy a used one: 3 years old, no warranty, needs tires or has the cheapest Chinese rubber on the wheels for between $16k and $19K depending on how stupid you look when you show up.
    I prefer to get the choice bites out of my vehicles, and leave some meat on the bone for the next owner.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I don’t understand. Every time TTAC discusses full size and mid size trucks, everyone says the cost difference is inconsequential, and buy the bigger toy. Now there seems to be an additional 3 years of depreciation needed to get the 2 at the same price. Someone please explain.

  • avatar
    cartime

    2014 Sierra SLT 5.3

    So far I have had the following replaced with only 50k miles in three and a half years (this wasn’t the first run of trucks in ’13 but a mid ’14 build):

    -Front bumper was misaligned by 2 inches, had the dealer level it.
    -Cracked radiator (service bulletin)
    -Hitch (recall)
    -Repainted the front bumper due to peeling paint. I recommend chrome over body color. (also if you look under the painted plastic piece between the bumper and the grille you’ll notice three contact points where the plastic vibrated through the bumper paint and rust was beginning to form)
    -Rear end (slack beyond speck) <— I think its a driveshaft or transmission issue since it seems to be back and never changed much anyway
    -The park brake cable tubing is chafing against the bracket and would eventually wear through if ignored
    -A few other minor recalls and service bulletins.

    -And 2 injectors! For only $350 each. I was outside the basic warranty and no, your injectors are not included in the powertrain warranty. Pray you don't need 8. Might as well buy a new engine.

    Looking at the local used market, I could easily get 70% of my purchase price after 3.5 years!

    Buy the newest truck with the lowest mileage. Colorado looks like a better deal and is every bit capable as its big brother.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You generally can’t buy trucks used. Imagine if you walked up to your local non-GM dealer and just bought your MY14 K2XX for 70% of msrp which they just took on trade and don’t want. Now you’ve got no warranty, no goodwill from new dealer, and a truck which had needed a whole bunch of stuff it should not have already.

      When buying anything used these days you either need the extended warranty or knowledge the platform/model is well built and known to be reliable as-is. Toyota seems to be the only game in town which checks those pre-reqs (Dodge trucks develop holes among other Chrysler kwality issues, Ford likes to discontinue key parts in like five MYs plus do you trust turbo used, GM – see above).

  • avatar
    ajla

    2014 was the first year of the K2 Silverado and I would not buy a first year GM vehicle.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Quite accurate I’d say, and I am squarely in this market. I will NEVER buy a new car, I can’t afford it and don’t want to take the depreciation hit anyway. Honestly, it’s a golden age of extremely reliable cars with 80-100,000 miles. I think the best deals are cars known for reliability, but also ones that are known to be popular with older folks who get them serviced religiously. This means of course older, high-end Lexus are screaming deals – doubly so as they don’t have the cache of German cars. I drive a 2000 Lexus GS right now, my next car will be a 2006 Lexus LS430, which I hope to buy in the next year or two. I’ll likely pay CAD$10-14,000 for it and it will likely have 150,000KM. And being what it is it will likely be as reliable as the day is long and provide amazing luxury. All for the price of a newer, used Accord. Now, don’t me started on used 4Runners that are going up in price no matter the age, rust, mileage or condition.

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