QOTD: Can You Hit 'em Where They Ain't? (Feeling Flush Edition, Pt. 3)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

This week is the third and final installment of our QOTD series about cornering the used car market and finding the most bang for the buck.

We’re going all out for this finale, and giving you plenty of money to shop.

And when we say plenty of money, we’re talking more than triple the lowest budget of two weeks ago, and ten grand more than last week. Those of you who are astute at math will know this means a grandiose budget of $49,765.23 $25,000.

This sort of cash should open up the used car field considerably. Still, we won’t be getting as much for our money as we would have in a market where both new and used cars are experiencing upward pressure with regard to price.

Here are some characteristics of our top budget $25,000 buyer:

  • General availability
  • Low miles
  • Good maintenance history
  • Luxury equipment
  • Prestige
  • Style
  • Fun factor

We’re going to assume for our big budget customer that practicality, reliability, and probable longevity take a back seat to things like equipment, a prestigious badge on the front, and having a car that’s fun to drive. To the previously forbidden Camry, Accord, Corolla, and Civic are added the Fusion and Impala. Those last two are too easy as used picks (perhaps secondhand from a rental company), and too easy to find at this price point.

We’re working with a different set of more upscale vehicle types this time around.

  • Large sedan
  • Luxury sedan
  • Full-size truck
  • Full-size V8 SUV
  • Large CUV
  • Sports car
  • Imported coupe

This week’s customer is the least desperate for a vehicle, compared to the other two. They can take their time shopping, and probably have another car already. At $25,000, suggestions really should be pretty good looking, or maybe even CPO at the lower end. Remember, reliability matters a bit less this time. Let’s hear those big money selections.

[Image: Mazda]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

More by Corey Lewis

Join the conversation
2 of 47 comments
  • MoparRocker74 MoparRocker74 on Oct 10, 2018

    Sedan--300S Hemi Pickup--single cab Hemi Ram 1500. Preferably 4x4 but an R/T will do great. SUV--Durango or GC with Hemi 4x4--2 door Wrangler. Sporty Car--Challenger R/T. Actually this exact scenario is how I scored my '09. I could have afforded new, but there just wasn't anything in stock that was set up how I wanted it. Mine was $10K cheaper, immaculate and with 16K miles. Electric blue, no sunroof, leather and manual. Exactly what I wanted.

  • Glwillia Glwillia on Oct 10, 2018

    Used W205 C-class. The W205 is a great entry-level luxury car (disclaimer: I work for Mercedes but I felt that way before I ever started working there). Stay far, far away from the CLA, and the F30 3-series is outclassed in basically every regard by its competitors. If you want to buy new, VW GTI or Accord/Camry/Mazda6.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.