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Buying a used car

I’d like to buy a 2009-2011 used small suv (I currently drive a 98 rav 4 which I love :slight_smile:
I’m interested in saftey first and gas milage second. I live in Colo… any suggestions? ps, I’m a terrible driver so I need something small, safe and dependable…

Any recent vehicle will be safe.
Side note: A 2~3 year old vehicle might be cost ineffective enough to warrant purchasing a brand new one. i.e. a 2009 Rav4 might be only a couple thousand less than a 2012/13 model with the same options. And you’d be getting brand new tires, battery, etc.

Something small will likely have an anemic engine by normal standards, thow in the elevation changes in Colorado, and you’d be good to consider turbo charged vehicles; note they will usually require premium fuel.

Without a budget, we can’t really throw any suggestions out there

Good advice, Thank you!!!..…
I’d like to spend about $18000. Do you think I should look at an older car?

2009 should still save you quite a bit. If you love your Rav4, that’d be fine. If you’re getting awd, you might also check out a Subaru Forester, we bought a used one for its safety ratings and overall versatility.

I was wondering if there were any v-dub fans or techs out there today: I’m interested in a '97 Jetta GT. 1 problem: it’s a Canadian car, & the current owners say it won’t pass IL. emissions-is it the fact it’s Canadian, which means a different chip and/or connections, or something more, like r & r of the exhaust & sensors. I didn’t have the $29 to “ask an expert”, so here I am. I’d like to know what I’m getting into, should they come back to me & say “make me an offer.” Thanks!


If you post this in a new thread, you will get more responses. Look in the upper right of this page. There is a red box with the words “ask a Question” in it. Click on it and rewrite your question.

I’m never in favor of buying a late model Toyota or Honda. They are fine vehicles, but are priced high compared to the competition. Look at a Subaru, Ford Flex, and Chevy Equinox. You should find plent to choose from, and they are about as reliable as the Toyota or Honda.

@jtsanders; at my last used car shopping expedition, I checked out Ford and Chevy use CUV’s and their used market was pretty strong too. Even the discontinued Saturn Vue was overpriced for my taste. Always worth a try, but would not keep hopes very high.

which brings us back to my last post.
With the 2013 models arriving on dealer lots soon, there may be some discounted 2012 models that’ll fit their budget. The new Ford Escape(redesigned for 2013) starts at about $22k, so there might be some discounts available, on top of your trade in, that might get the price down to $18k for a '12 model.