Articles

Used Car Marketplace | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #116


We talk about why used cars are
such a huge part of the market, and we give you our picks
in three different price categories, next
on Talking Cars. Hi, everybody, and welcome to
another episode of Talking Cars with Consumer Reports. I’m Jon Lincov. I’m Jake Fisher. And I’m Jennifer Stockburger. And you can see that we
have a whole new set up, that we’ve been listening
to the comments, because we have new
mic stands, we’re looking at different filters. We heard that everyone wants
to see our pretty faces. So here we are, we’re trying
some new things every week and shaking it up a
little bit, and there’s going to be changes over
the next couple of weeks. But, please, we’re
going to roll with it. Let us know in the comments, let
us know what you think of it. And as part of the
change-up, we’re not going to be talking about cars
that are in our fleet today, we’re going to be
talking about used cars. Because used cars– huge part
of the automotive universe. Example, in 2015 17.4
million new cars sold. You know how many used
cars were sold that year? You’re going tell us. Hazard a guess? Hazard a guess? Three times. Oh, you studied. 43 million used cars
were sold that year. 44 million used cars
were sold in 2016. So it’s a huge
part of the world. And I think, like Jen was saying
at one point, a lot of people obviously buy them because
it’s the only option for them. Right? Right. They can’t they can’t even
fathom 25 grand or 30 grand for a new car. They just can’t do it. So I mean, there’s just a weird
opposite thing going on, right? So people are buying
used cars, but everyone’s talking about new cars. And we talk about new
cars all the time, because it’s the shiny
new thing, right? You go to the auto show, there’s
no auto show for used cars. Maybe there should
be, because there’s a whole lot more choices
in the used car market. Exactly. Exactly. Well, it’s all the cars that
people have been leasing, you know? They traded it, they’re done
with the three-year lease, they bring them back, there
would be something new. Lot of cars people trade in. They’re good vehicles,
they’re solid, you know, they
took care of them, and they’re out there
for people to buy. And like Jen was saying, yeah,
the new car right now, $33,000, $35,000 is the average price. That’s a ton of money. Mhm. Mhm. And the choices you
have for used cars have never been greater. So there’s new ways
of getting used cars. I mean, you can
go to Craigslist, you could go on eBay,
Motors you could go– and to the point of leasing. Leasing has really exploded
in the last several years. And what that means
is there’s tons of these cars in the market. It’s not about getting
the used rental car, because you don’t know
how that really went, but you have these certified
pre-owned vehicles that are about 36,000 miles,
they’ve been taken care of, and they actually come with
a manufacturer warranty. Well, especially the certifieds. And they’re not old. They’re not even old. Three years, four years old. That’s right. Right, exactly. Yeah, yeah. And some of them are even
off of a two-year lease, because some people can only
get into a two-year lease to be able to lease something. And the certified ones are, in
particular, really interesting. I mean, for years
we talked about, don’t get any one with
a certified warranty, you know, don’t get
extended warranty, just buy the reliable car. And it’s true. You know, buy that Honda Accord
and don’t get the warranty on it. Because, you know,
9 times out of 10– and our reliability
data shows it– it’s going to be a solid car. And you take that $2,000
for certification and you put it in the bank. Right. You know what, if you’re
taking a risk on something, or if you just want that extra
backing of having the warranty, it– if you know about it upfront,
go ahead and do that. And those are the cars
that the dealers take and they certify, because
they know they’re already in good condition. Well, I mean, I think
it’s really important to separate the two
things about the, kind of, the
traditional used car warranty and the certified
pre-owned vehicle. So I mean, it used to be
you go to a used car lot. It was John’s, you know,
Special Used Cars– The wavy things going
around like that, right? The wavy guy, yeah. And I mean, these cars, you
have no idea what happened. And you’re paying extra
for this “used car warranty” that covers this
but doesn’t cover this, and who knows if that place
is going to be around? But when you’re buying a used
Mercedes Benz or a used Honda that has been leased, and now
you’ve got a factory-backed extended warranty– That’s key. That’s key. It’s kind of a different animal. And if your alternative
is buying a new car, you know, a lot of
people, they don’t want to get a used car
because of risk involved. Right? I mean, they don’t want to
have somebody else’s problems. They don’t want a car
that’s under warranty. They don’t want to have to
put in a new transmission, or whatever these issues are. But these cars, if
you do your homework, you get a car that’s
reliable and the car that’s actually backed– you’re almost getting the
same experience as a used car. As a new car. As a new car. Right, right. Well, and, you know,
just if there’s any other reason for why
we’re talking about it, just think of this. Some numbers for you. The wonky– you know,
little boring, but– All right. It makes a big point. I’m tuning– tune
out, everybody. What are you doing? The average price of
a new car? $35,000. OK? Value up to six months? $31,000. Oh, so it’s immediate, yeah. Value after one year? $28,000. Value after three
years, so that car that just came off
the lease. $17,900. It just lost– Wow. So it’s a huge jump. –50% of its value. In three years. Sounds like a great investment. The average car. Sounds like a great
investment, right. You know, sign me
up for another one. Whereas when you get
a used car, you’re not going through that at all. You’re getting a car
that has lost its value, and it’s a much slower decline. So you might get a nice
three-year-old vehicle that’s lost 50% of its value. After six years, you
know, it’s lost much less. You’re not cutting your
value in half again. And in particular, people
with kids getting into a car. You know, you would like them
to get the newest car possible, of course, right Jen? Yeah, we’ll talk about that
when I get to my picks. So yeah, I bring that in. Don’t give it away yet. Getting there. But it is, it’s the option that
most families have for a car. You know, and that’s where
a huge part of the market is going to be. You know, it’s a student
in high school or someone who’s graduate
college, a lot of debt, possibly, or just
starting out in the world. Right. First job, yeah. You know, that’s key. So that’s why, ideas like
that, reasons like that, are why we’ve kind of
taken a look at this. Because most people
buy by price. Some people buy by style. I want an SUV, and
then they go that way. But you know what? You know your budget,
and you fall into it. So we’ve put out
the question, so, what if your budget was
$10,000, $15,000, or $20,000? What would you buy? And we’re going to
start at $10,000. And we haven’t
shared this yet, so. We haven’t shared this, so it’s
all going to be the same car. We don’t know each
other’s picks yet. It’s all going to be an E30 M3– Don’t peek. –or an Audi RS4, right? Stop. Right? Stop. So anyway, I’m going to throw
it to Jen first, because I want to know, $10,000– so anywhere up to $10,000, your
budget, what would you choose? OK. So I picked– and again, we’re
choosing some from our used car data, cars that are
kind of our good bets, so I picked an ’08,
’09 Hyundai Sonata. OK. So the reason I
picked it is, when you start in that under $10,000
range, as you would expect, it skews way over to
subcompacts, compacts. Stuff that was inexpensive
in the first place. Sonata, get you a little
more room than some of those. I think the used car– I mean, it’s a great
value when it’s new, that keeps going into
the used car market. You touched on– and I’m
going to say it here. We are just starting
to see again– and I’ve said this before, as
a mother of a young driver, it’s the first
time we’re starting to see the standard ESC cars
come in under that $10,000 mark in volume. There was a few. But now you can get a car with
standard Electronic Stability Control for a young
driver under $10,000. And that’s a life-saving
safety feature. Right. I mean, it’s the
modern safety belt. Right. If there’s nothing
else, we’ve said, for a teen driver or a young
driver, you’ve got to get that. The one thing I noticed
on the Hyundai, too, is we publish a range for
those ’08, ’09 Sonatas, it’s getting close to the $5,000
mark at the base of the range. You compare it to an ’07
Accord, a year older, and that’s $7,500. So you’re already bouncing
against the more reliable names. I think you benefit
somewhat from Hyundai’s still reputation, that it still
battles with, in the value. So that was my pick,
Hyundai Sonata. Yeah, and they made a–
they made a good car, and they just– They made a great car. –that, the baggage of
people still thinking, when they came over back in
the late ’80s, early ’90s, and they were putting
out just garbage. Yep. And I still hear it. I don’t know if you
guys still hear it, like, ugh, Hyundai, ugh, Kia. You know? You’ll get get that comment. They do have that
reputation, yeah. They do! They do. And I’m like, no, no,
it’s not the same anymore. So, anyway. That’s right. Jake. What have you got? Yes. Well first of all,
yes, I did cheat. I used Consumer
Reports information. And you know– I mean
look, I mean, our– So our– you know, so we have
a lot of products on that. We have a whole robust roll out,
basically, of used car data. Yeah. I mean, if you’re paying
attention on Consumer Reports Online, even if you’re
not a subscriber, you could go on there and
you could see basically every single year
of the used car. You could see what goes
wrong with the cars, we put a lot of free
information out there too, which is kind of– [INTERPOSING VOICES] –this information. Well, and a lot of what
people think about those cars. What, actually, experiences
they had with reliability. So it’s all there. But, let me preface this,
that this is not my car. This is my advice to a friend. And I say that because
I would probably get something wacky
like, you know, an early ’90s RX7 or something. A classic of some sort. Yeah, exactly. So I mean, nobody really wants
to know what I’m getting, but I mean, if someone came to
me and said, I’ve got $10,000, I want to buy a car. 2010 Mazda 6. I mean, again, it is the car
that’s got stability control, it’s got unbelievable
reliability. You can get them with
a six-speed manual, they’re actually available, and
that’s a great transmission. Really makes the car really fun. But, you know, roomy. It’s a good choice. Yeah. Solid vehicle, solid. I put a couple of
options in each one. Oh, so you’re cheating, too. Overachiever, overachiever! I set up the questions,
you know, I’m hosting. It’s my shiny bald
head that gets to be seen most of the time. So, a. Couple of categories
2010 to ’12 Mazda 3. I chose the ’10 to ’12,
even though there’s other ones that are reliable,
because of crash tests. The side impact crash
test on pre-2010s Mazda 3s was not good. Was not good, yep. So good fuel economy, good
crash test on that one. And then you kind of toss it
up between an ’07 Honda Accord and an ’07, ’09 Ford Fusion. You know, same
class, family sedan. You know, reliable. The Accord is the
final year of the run. And I chose it
specifically for that one, because we often see that
the final year of a car when it’s built– Oh, yeah. It’s one of the best. –is when they worked
out all the problems. You know, and it tends to
have the most equipment. They’re, OK, fine. We’ll throw that in, as well. It used to be an
option on the base one, and it was [? standard ?]
unlimited, now they all get it. So those are three there. Looking at it from a
family perspective, I mean, I’ve got two little
kids, you know. What would I get– what would I recommend to me if
I was standing outside my body? Right. And also, you’re just
recommending all the cars. Yeah, well. Any other ones you want to add? I did have a couple others if
I, you know, undid my edits. I think we’ll roll through. But I have a couple more
in the next group, so. So, Jen, what if you were
able to bump the budget up? OK, so now you’re looking
at $15,000 as your ceiling. OK. So my take here is that used
cars also get you the car that you really always wanted
new, but could never afford. That reach car. So I put in there an
Infiniti M. ’07, ’08 M. So you think of a brand
new Q 70, $50,000. Right? That’s not happening. But as the M– which we
liked from even early, we loved that car, the
balance, you know– that it gives you the
chance to get that car you always wanted,
couldn’t afford. And in my case I need
the all-wheel drive, so that was a cool thing
for that one as well. Right, that was available. So rear-wheel drive
or all-wheel drive. So OK. Jake, what about– I like Jen’s pick. Oh, you did! No, and just a second, because– Oh, you guys didn’t collaborate. No, no, that wasn’t my pick. No, I’m just saying I think
hers was better than mine. And for anybody who’s
familiar with that car, that is the old Infiniti. I mean, that
Infiniti was awesome. I mean, they were
just head-to-head with BMW, Mercedes Benz. The interior quality just
blows away current Infinities. I mean, it’s just a
really, really nice car. I think the [INAUDIBLE]
system, in today’s Infinitis is the same as back then, though. I think it was better back then. I think it was better
back then, yeah. It worked more. It wasn’t overly complicated. It was more reliable. Right. Yeah, it was good. Anyway, all right. No, my choice wasn’t the M.
I would get a 2014 Mazda 3. Again, mind meld. I mean, the ’14 Mazda 3, this
is basically the same car that you’d buy a new car. I mean, it’s pretty
much the same vehicle. It’s got the Skyactiv engine,
which is super fuel-efficient. The car’s been really reliable. You could get a hatchback
version with a stick shift, that again it is just– That stick shift, again. –such a blast to drive. And reliable, fuel-efficient. And again, nobody even knows
that you have a used car. Yeah. The current body style– It is. Yep, like you said. Good choice. Not as good as yours. As your four. It’s actually five,
if you want to– No, he ran out of room on this. I didn’t want to
have to tab over. So 2007 to ’10 Acura
TSX, because that was one of the last cars
that Acura had its mojo. It’s a little small. You can get a wagon, so
that’s the journalists’ love, you know, you get a wagon, OK. There you go. It was the European
Honda Accord. That’s right. So you have this sporty car,
it has luxury-ish features, you know, you can get
some luxury with it. Reliable, again, super
reliable, but fun to drive. If you wanted some
luxury at a bargain base, kind of like your Infiniti
M, Hyundai Genesis from 2009. You know, again, even the
new ones fly under the radar. No one would really– I mean, the grills are
a little different, but you wouldn’t really
know the difference. A lot of features for the money. And then also the family thing,
an ’09 Odyssey or a Sienna. And it’s a toss-up. Well, that’s a lot of vehicle
for the money right there. It’s a lof of vehicle
for the money, and you get 19 miles per gallon,
and you can get all-wheel drive with this Toyota Sienna. Right. And we’re talking about
Nissan Versa prices. Oh, yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, $15,000, you’d
be happy to get a Honda Fit. Right. That would be tough. That would be tough
right there, yeah. –to get that. So you’re getting a vehicle for
seven, possibly eight people, depending on how it’s set up. You’re getting a reliable car. And for the Northeast–
like you said, people who need it for snow,
you can get all-wheel drive. So top of the budget. $20,000. We’re still not at new
car prices anywhere, you know, for average. But $20,000 is a lot of
money to spend on a new car– on a used car, excuse me. What would you like? OK, you touched on
this a little bit, because the other thing
that used lets you get is the bigger car. So I always love, and you’ll
laugh and you’ll laugh, but I like that Ford Flex. We talked about wagons. You and the Flex again. I love the Flex! And I do. And again, big
kids, so much room. Big appetites. And I am a wagon– I just like wagons. It’s kind of this
retro love that I have, and so you can
fit seven adults– I mean, we still say when
there’s minivans and three-row stuff here, we’re
fighting over in. So if you could get that
for that under $20,000, the reliability is good. And again, I looked at
Sienna, too, that same idea. It’s a year later when
you get up to the 20. One thing I did notice, though. So in our used car
content now, you can actually look and see if
there’s inventory in your area. One of the cool things is,
can I find one near me? Right. It’s all good to have this list,
but if there’s nothing around, you have no idea where to start. Right, so you click
this link, and guess what I found on the Ford Flex? None available, because
they’re so popular. None available because
they’re so popular. Because it’s just
you that likes them. Because you have
them all in your– So there is that risk
there, so I would have to expand my search area. But yeah. But that’s where it’s
worth it with a used car. Right, you can do that. You get– it doesn’t
matter the dealer where you buy it at that point. I’ve had two friends
who have literally flown across the country,
picked up a used car– in climates that might
be even a little better than the Northeast, with
no salt and all that– and driven the car back. Two. So you know, that’s
the other thing, is it’s not limited
to the Northeast. I have to delete my choice. Uh-oh, did you have
the Ford Flex in there? I did. You did. Oh, I knew it. I’m not the only one. Flex buddies. I’m not the only one. Exactly. Jake? I did not have the Ford Flex. Well, that’s good,
because the conversation would get pretty boring. Yes. So I, my choice– So $20,000. $20,000 is your ceiling. It’s kind of like where
you’d buy, like, a Corolla. About $20,000 these days. Yeah, you’re not
even getting a– A Dodge Dart is like,
probably $21,000. You know– It was $28,000, and then
they put a lot of money in. Was, was. OK. Now they’re giving them away. So it’s not a lot of
money for a new car. But my car would– let’s see. Standard stability
control, goes 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds, 328
horsepower, roomy, comfortable, lots of room for four people. 2011, an Infiniti G 37. You were just talking about
this, outside of this table. Yeah. It’s just– it’s
an incredible car. I mean, it’s back
when– you know, again, going back to
Infiniti back when– make the Infiniti
great again, right? But I mean, Infiniti, just– I mean, it was right up there,
3 Series, A4, just head-to-head. But extremely reliable. The reliability we have on those
vehicles, 2011, just stellar reliability. But you get the performance
and the driving fun and all that good stuff. Based on our tests, I
recommended that to my uncle. He has it, he bought a G37X. Loves it, drives it to
Florida, drives it back. Drives it around the country,
because they don’t fly. So they spend a
ton of hours in it. He had a problem with one,
rolled into a random dealer in Georgia. They took care of him, gave
him a loaner car for a while. Oh, that’s the other thing. Got to take it– loves it. He keeps talking
about it, every time. Has Tesla lust, but loves his G.
And is kind of at the point of, like, he’s got
200,000 miles on it and he doesn’t know what to do. Right. Where do you? Where do you go? What do you think of
the new ones, and such. OK, I’ll take off my list. Oh, my goodness. Oh, see? More mind meld. So now I have a smaller list. Now I’m with you guys. 2011 Cadillac CTS. Little out there, edgy
styling, but get that luxury, reliability. It’s above average
reliability, performance. You know, it’s– it’s
a little bit out there, and it gives you the luxury,
but it’s something that you don’t see every day now. It stands out, it’s
a little distinct. It was one of the last
of that generation of really good Cadillac. The new CTS is a great car. This gives you some fun, gives
you a little bit of room. It’s got a little bit of
cheesiness in the interior, I will say that, but
overall that’s a solid one. And family car, I have to
give a little bit of love to the Acura MDX
that’s in my garage. My wife has an ’11, the
2010 was a good car. Sporty ride, good handling. Tons of buttons. So if you like
buttons in your car, I think there’s, like, 47
buttons all over the dash. And it has a knob, as well. You know, central controller. So you get both of those. Strong engines. So that’s my choice. I have a friend who has one, her
teenagers are now driving it. It just keeps going
and going and going. Yeah, it does. I mean, we don’t drive it a
lot, so we have low miles on it, but it’s paid off. And it’s one of
those where, like, what will we get for this? And my wife sits in all
the cars that I bring home. She’s like, there’s
really nothing I’m seeing that’s
going on with that. Well, I mean, look. We have older cars. I mean, again, it’s
a what would you get? It’s like, look at
what we do have. And again, you know, my wife’s
driving a 2006 Toyota Prius. 125,000 miles, it’s
got stability control, it’s got Bluetooth, it’s
got a back-up camera, it’s had no problems. Nothing. Right. And we had the Prius we brought
in with 200,000 miles on it, and the performance
drop was insignificant. Right, still getting
40 miles per gallon. Exactly. Exactly. So with that, we do have
a couple of questions that people sent in
to us, and one of them is right for you, Jen. In fact, I think you
might even know who– Uh-oh. About a Fusion? I love the 2015 GMC Camry– Canyon, excuse me, but
that mid-size pickup truck, and you guys seem to
hate pickup because they don’t drive like cars. They’re not supposed to
either, they’re trucks, and I– you guys don’t understand
why people like them. And I think someone’s
a little confused– Is that my husband? I think that’s my husband. It sounds like Jack. Except it’s the Canyon
and not what he drives. No. So that is my husband. For you guys–
that is my husband. He drives a 2012
Nissan Frontier, and he loves his truck. Now, I will tell you, he
loads the bed maybe 10 days a year, really. So the other 355
days, he’s using it to drive back
and forth to work. We’re pretty rural,
we have horses, we need the bed sometimes. And he’s an outdoorsman,
he really likes it. But that’s, I think, why
we rate them the way we do. We don’t expect anybody to think
they’re going to be like cars, but we certainly want
to make that comparison. Because for most people,
they’re using them more as just transportation
than they are as trucks. If that makes any sense. Yeah, and well, first
of all, it’s relative– Him included. –ride, relative handling. No one thinks that
your husband’s truck is going to ride and handle
like this Mazda CX5 over here, you know, or a Tesla, or
even a Toyota Corolla. I mean, they’re all
different categories. But, you know– And the
question came, really, from talking about
the Ridgeline. When we do tests, all the
pickup trucks in the category, something is going to
stand out in some place, and ride is one of the big ones. Right, Jake? Well, absolutely. And I think what’s really
important here is– I always kind of
crack up when people are like, you guys don’t like
this car, you guys don’t like– It’s not that we don’t
like it, we’re just telling people what it does. And I think it’s an
important distinction. So it doesn’t ride well, OK? It doesn’t steer well. And therefore in the ratings,
it’s not going to do well. It doesn’t mean
we don’t like it. It’s not easy to get into
a Corvette or 9/11, OK? It doesn’t mean we
don’t like them. We went on road bikes
the other day, right? They don’t ride very well. They don’t. They’re not very comfortable. They’re not. We love them! They don’t protect you
from the rain, either. We love them. So it’s a different thing. Yeah. Within the category, if you’re
going to drive it every day and you ask, like
the person did, oh, you know, I need
a truck for my dad and he drives it every
day, and once in a while he goes to the dump. Well, a Ridgeline’s going
to be a heck of a lot better, for a new
car, than a Takoma. Well, you touched on, too–
you’ve got within the category, but you also have within the
universe of all the cars. And that’s where the trucks
appear and we don’t like them. Is in the universe. But within trucks, we
recognize what they do well and what they don’t do well. Exactly, exactly. Other question. We have, so you say that
all-wheel drive doesn’t help you when it comes to cornering. Is that still true in
all-wheel drive vehicles that include some form of
asymmetric torque vectoring system, such as Acura’s
Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive System, for example,
or is that something the CR has specifically
tested for? I’m going to throw the
handling question– We’ll let the
handling guy do that. –to Mr. Drift Car. Yeah. Yeah, it’s a bit of a gimmick. It really is. I mean, look, we take all
the cars around the track. We take them and we push
them at their limits. Now, first of all,
with that system, basically you have to disable
stability control and all these things. And there’s certain situations
where you hit the gas and it’ll do some fancy
stuff, but it really doesn’t make a huge amount
of difference at the limit. And it’s certainly
not anything you’re going to see in normal driving
if you’re not on a racetrack. And even if you
are, there are cars that are normal all-wheel
drive that are still going to be handling better. I mean, you know what? All-wheel drive, like, give
me an Audi A4 on the track before one of those. The fancy– Versus MDX the SH
all-wheel drive? Yes, yes. A4 versus MDX, yeah. And that’s the thing. Everyday driving, 70
miles out on the highway, it’s not torque vectoring
and loading the outside wheel slightly to make you hit that
huge bend eight hundredths of a tenth of a second later. Yeah, you’re quicker. It’s the tires that it’s
going to make the difference around that corner. It’s going to be about the grip,
it’s going to be about the– It may activate the
wheel a little quicker, and that may in some
sort of testing, say, OK well, for this group– But you’re not
going to notice it. You’re not going to feel that. An in fact, one
of the big things that I want to come
to with Mazda, they have a system where it
changes the throttle when you turn in to
make the car have less– and they then said, you’re
never going to feel it. You are never, ever
going to feel it. You might see a little less head
bob in a video, but that’s it. Right. There’s these incremental
things that they do and, you know, and that’s fine. But no, it’s not making a big
difference in the driving. But Jake touched on the
tires as, just, the key. Well, it’s the influence. So you have these
little nuanced things that you’re saying
you’re not going to feel, then you have tire grip. That’s the big nut, if you
have it or you don’t have it. Right. And the only place
the nuanced thing is– maybe a tweak in
an emergency situation, but we should capture that. But not in your everyday
driving, to your point. Right, right. But with that, we’re going
to wrap up this episode. As always, check
out the show notes below for more
information on the cars that we talked about
in this episode. Thanks for watching, and
we’ll see you next time.

Comment here