QOTD: Can You Hit 'em Where They Ain't? (Middle of the Market Edition, Pt. 2)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd can you hit em where they ain t middle of the market edition pt 2

In last week’s Part 1 of this three-part QOTD series, we asked you to scan through the old brain box and offer up good examples of used cars for the budget-minded motorist, keeping your purchase within a stringent $8,000 budget. Today you’ll get a more generous sum of money, but you’ll also find yourself subject to heightened buyer expectations.

Let’s pick out some really tremendous used cars.

As before, it’s not the best time to shop for a used car. Used values are on the rise, as 2018 lease return inventory has not been as abundant as expected. New cars are also more expensive than ever, meaning an average expenditure of over $36,000 for the new car customer. We’re shopping in the middle of the used market today, so our budget is not quite half of what a new car would cost: $15,000.

For our middle-money buyer, some qualities to consider:

  • General availability
  • Likely miles
  • Equipment level
  • Reliability/longevity
  • Fun factor

Like before, we’re seeking to hit the corners of the market where there’s more bang for the buck. That means those two names which are so easy to utter — Camry and Accord — are off limits. As we’ve got more money to work with now and can aim higher, we cut off two more budget motors. That’d be the Corolla and Civic.

Our list of body styles to consider grows with the budget:

  • Sedan
  • Full-size truck
  • V8 SUV
  • Luxury brand car
  • Sports car/convertible
  • Hybrid

This week’s buyer is not as desperate for wheels as the $8,000 customer, and will expect a nicer car for their greater cash outlay. Your choices shouldn’t be too old or worn out. No 180,000-mile 4Runner recommendations, please. Off to you!

[Image: General Motors]

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2 of 34 comments
  • SixspeedSi SixspeedSi on Oct 03, 2018

    Sedan - cheating and putting Focus ST. Fun, decently comfortable, and are proving to hold up well. Truck - without digging, I'm going to say get the nicest Ram 1500 possible. V6/8-speed combo would be fine for many people. V8 SUV - don't think so chief Lux Sedan - 08-11 ES350, Acura TL (6-speeds are probably still over 15k!!), 300C Sport car - Will I get yelled at for S2000? Could find a decent one at 15k. If not, BRZ, Miata. Hybrid - Nissan Leaf for the full electric experience. Volt for regular plug-in Hybrid.

  • Deanst Deanst on Oct 03, 2018

    I’ll cheat and say a 2017 XTS for $23,000 CAD (18,000 US$). How does it lose 50% of its value so quickly ?

  • SCE to AUX It's worth considering the recall rate (recalled vehicles vs sales), rather than just recall notices or vehicles affected.The newest calculation for this that I could find was for 1985 - 2016, so not very relevant today.As for the Veloster, sealing printed circuit boards is not new tech, but it must be perfect to be truly effective. My son's 11 Sonata was recalled for a similar problem on the power steering circuit board.
  • MaintenanceCosts When is the actual new stuff coming out? I don't make shaky YouTube videos of myself running from the police, so yet another Hellcat is boring.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys hornet is an alfa with $15k on the hood from the factory in italy
  • Tassos This "Eldorado" is a sad caricature of the far more substantial Eldorado and esp "Biarritz"s of the late 50s and 60s.It belongs to the junkyard. I can see no reason why anybody would want to restore this loser.Instead, you can get a FLAGSHIP German Luxury Sedan from the Web auctions, such as this one that was just sold for a tiny fraction of its price new, and which is still eminently driveable with little or no improvements:https://carsandbids.com/auctions/3oeMDvJw/2011-audi-a8-42-quattro
  • Cprescott Yet Honduh can't even build a car with safe seatbelts.