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Buying New Vehicle in January 2019

Looking to buy a brand new, older model Ford Escape AWD from a dealership. Lots of 2018s available, but found several new 2017s. Should I consider buying a new 2017 from a dealer?
Any reason (besides price) I should buy newer 2018 rather than 2017? I plan to negotiate the price accordingly.

If your money calculations are realistic, it could come down to which options package, color, etc. you prefer among what is available. Both years are in the same generation of Escape that came out in 2013. That makes it a simpler choice than between the last year of one generation and the first year of the new.

My opinion, I just would not embrace the idea of purchasing a vehicle that has been sitting on a lot for 18 months or more. Would go with a 2018 rather than 2017.

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I did this once on a Ford product. In 1987 I bought a new Taurus that had been on the lot for almost 12 months. I got a good deal, but I also got a malfunctioning AC compressor with dry seals. The dealer replaced the seals, but contaminated the clutch. Every time the dealer got the car, they messed up something else in the AC compressor. After six visits, I wrote Ford a letter initiating a lemon law exchange. During the seventh visit, the service advisor’s eyes got as big as saucers when he looked at his computer history on the car. They replaced the compressor and I no longer had problems. It did take seven visits to get it straight though.

To me, something is wrong if a dealer has leftover 2017 models. This is a 2 year old vehicle by the model year. The battery, tires, and even the wiper blades are two years old. I would look up the price of a 2017 in the Kelly Blue Book and calculate a price from that.
I encountered a similar situation back in the fall of 1988. We went to the Pontiac dealer and they had a 1987 Pontiac 6000 that hadn’t been sold. At this time, 1989.models were being delivered. I told the saleswoman that I was going to buy a car that day and I already had a couple of prices which I did. I told her to give me her best price. She said she had to talk to her sales manager. She disappeared. I had warned Mrs. Triedaq not to say a word while the saleswoman was gone because the cubicle was probably bugged. The saleswoman returned and said she could take $100 off the sticker price. I told her that I had a much better price on a 1988 Ford Taurus down the street at the Ford dealer. I thanked her for her time. She replied, “That isn’t our best price. Maybe we can do better”. I then told her my time was valuable and I didn’t have time to waste. We left the Pontiac agency and went right back to the Ford dealer and bought the Taurus.
In May of 2010 the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivans had arrived. The dealer took $5000 off the sticker price. In my opinion, the Ford dealer who has leftover 2017 Escapes is not worth wasting your time to get a deal, because you probably won’t get one.

Good ideas about using KBB values, and I have done that and lots of other research on options and value. I’m interested in getting a very good deal, looking for a dealership that REALLY wants to sell the older model. Have only been considering Titaniums that are marked down at least $6,000 to $8,000.

Back in 2006 I used this to buy an F150 Lariat with a list of $39,000+ for $26,500. Did lots of homework for that deal. Have used the same strategy on 3 new cars since, with very good results, but the F150 was the best deal.

Options are pretty close to the same for each; th color (and price) are the only differences.

Thank you. Any specific reasons for not buying the 2017?

My experience with Ford ended up around 5th… or maybe 6th visit to address transmission issue, at which point I sold that damn thing and never returned back…
If only I knew I needed to get up to 7 to be golden :slight_smile:

Good to know. Thank you.

@jmunger_147335. Specific reason for not buying the 2017?
It’s a two year old, and by summer may be a three year old vehicle by the model year. If you buy the 2017 and the vehicle is totaled in an accident, you will only get book value for a 2017 used vehicle.
The battery is two years old and since the vehicle has been sitting around two years may need to be replaced soon. The tires have two years of age. To me, I want a new vehicle if I am going to pay for a new vehicle. You are buying a used vehicle even if there is less than 10 miles on the odometer.

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Rubber parts such as wiper blades dry out. Battery is two years old as noted above AC seals. Granted all this will be covered under the 36/36000
You may get lucky and experience the normal trouble free experience of owning a Ford. But sitting unused for 18+ months is not beneficial for any vehicle.


Great points. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate. I appreciate it.

Thank you. I hadn’t considered the battery life, so that, along with other reasons mentioned gives me more certainty going with the 2018.

Someone made the point earlier that it can be difficult to negotiate a reasonable price for the 2017, which I have encountered in the past. Unless I deal with the general manager I don’t think it is possible to get the price down to its KBB personal sale value. That is where I thought of starting with the 2017.

It’s not valued at the “personal sale value”–this is a dealer selling it, not a private owner. It’s valued at whatever the dealer retail for an “excellent condition” 2017 with 10 miles (or whatever is on the odometer) would be.

Also, I would have no problem buying the new car that has been sitting on the dealer’s lot for 2 years, but it must be priced accordingly. If the dealer is still expecting to get close to MSRP for it, good luck. Then I’d just as easily get a newer model for a similar price.

Another thought is how long do you plan to keep the car, 10 or 12 years, go for the old, 3 years go for the new.

You will have to consider the build date of the vehicle, if the 2017 was manufactured in August, 2017 and the 2018 was manufactured in September, 2017 there isn’t much difference in the age of the parts. The build date is listed on the manufactures label in the driver’s door jam.


The fact that you will face a big loss if the older car is totaled is a much bigger factor than battery life, batteries are cheap. Another factor, if the car has been sitting outside in the rust belt is… well, rust.

Here in the Bay Area it seems like car dealers get leftovers from other places to sell in the busy and prospering local economy. I also still see references to new 2017 vehicles from local CDJR dealerships and maybe Kia. If it was a decision I was going to make, I’d go look at the vehicle to decide if I really wanted it, don’t drive it yet, be very closed mouthed about your plans. Then go home and figure out what you think you’d be happy paying, but be reasonable. Contact the dealership by internet - probably email from their website, and do all your dealing electronically. I did that with a Honda CR-V a while ago and it was the best - very little BS. Just leave yourself the right to test drive it.

If you make a deal and test it and you sit down with the online sales person to finalize the deal, watch for all sorts of add-ons. Tell them NO, a deal is a deal. Be ready to walk out, and do it if you have to. Just walk. They need to sell the car more than you need to buy it.

We have a fleet of Escapes at work. I’d only acquire one for myself if it was free. In less than 20,000 miles we’ve had transmissions go out, HVAC blowers go out ($700), bad ECU resulting in a stall on the highway, and that’s just the big ticket items. When it’s cold you can’t get the hatch all the way open because the pistons are just barely adequate to lift it on a standard day. You also often can’t get the windows to roll back up when it’s cold because the mechanism gets too stiff. And when it’s cold the outside door handles stick open, and you have to bang on them to get them to retract again so that you can close the door. They’ve been truly terrible vehicles.

My recommendation is to consider a different SUV.