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Need recommendations on purchase of used vehicle. Model years: 2006 or later. I will be identifying what I want to a broker who will bid at auction for a fixed fee.

Currently drive 1992 Roadmaster with 195,000+ miles, purchased in 1994 with about 50,000 miles. Brakes squeal just about all the time (except when I pull up at the repair shop, always when I pull into the drive after neighbors are/were asleep). Mechanic replaces pads under warranty (almost with every oil change). Condensate line really stopped up - sloshing. Don’t want to pay $$ to pull dash. Rubber moldings off again (have been glued on at shop multiple times). Finishes wearing. Otherwise ok since routinely maintained by same shop since 1994. Time for a change. Feeling guilty about driving a gas guzzler.

Vehicle Uses: In and around town mostly. Occasional road trip. Retired. Purchase & transport food and supplies(canned goods,cases of food and paper products) for a church food pantry. (Able to really get a lot of stuff in back seat & trunk space of the ROadmaster, even with the spare down where I could get it out without crawling into the trunk) Frequently transport 2 to 3 people over 80 years of age, including Mom.

Vehiles Wants: better gas mileage, smooth ride, good acceleration, roomy interior, separately adjustable front seats, prefer sitting fairly upright (over steering wheel). Need driver and passenger ease in getting in & out of vehicle. Bad right knee my self - so no running board. Would consider 5 door vehicle, but don’t really think I want a minivan. Mechanic does not think that crossover vehilces have had enough testing to consider for purchase.

Price Range for used vehicle: $15,000 - $25,000

You should sell the Roadmaster privately; someone with kids and a camper (small to medium)will find this an attractive vehicle. Used car dealers don’t really want this as a trade and will wholesale it.

A 4 cylinder Toyota Camry has enough room, will have almost twice the gas mileage. It will also need fewe repairs than the Roadmaster.

Thanks for recommendation.

Check out small SUVs, like a Honda CR-V. All manufacturer’s make them, and you can buy a new one for less than $25,000.

Go to your Chevy dealer and get your self a brand new Impala. This will save you the headache of possibly purchasing someone else’s piece of crap that they are unloading at a aution

A Toyota Camry or Avalon would work well, and either will get much better mileage than your Roadmaster. There are plenty of used Camrys and Avalons from which to choose in your price range.

In your price range you might be better off buying new with a full warranty, even if the new car has to be a little more modest.

If you want to sit “fairly upright”, and if you are transporting elderly people, the vehicles that best fit these requirements are the smaller SUVs, such as the Subaru Forester, the Toyota RAV-4, and the Honda CR-V.
The seats in the Forester are exactly butt-height, and the CR-V is similar, with the RAV-4 sitting just a bit higher. In other words, no need to climb up to be seated, or to lower yourself when exiting with the Forester or the CR-V.

These vehicles typically get about 23-24 mpg in mixed (city/highway) driving, with about 28-29 mpg in straight highway driving. While those figures may not be spectacular, they are certainly a lot better than the old rear wheel drive Roadmaster!

The major caution is that since auction vehicles are…I will try to be kind…typically not the cream of the crop, it is very important to try to verify maintenance records on any used car that you purchase. With vehicles of the type that I mentioned, it is especially important to verify that the timing belt has been replaced once the vehicle is past ~90,000 miles or 6 years–whichever comes first.

Unfortunately, since auctions typically have a “look but don’t touch” policy, I am not sure that it is really possible to verify much about vehicle condition or maintenance records with an auction vehicle, and as a result, you have a pretty significant chance of getting a vehicle in poor condition.

I would recommend trying to purchase from a private seller, no matter what type of vehicle you decide to buy.

Good luck!

As a mini-van lover, I get a kick out of those who describe in great detail that they need a mini-van then say they don’t want one. Um, okay.

You can get a used Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis for a fraction of that money. Look for one with rear air suspension, preferably an HPP (handling and performance package) model. They are very reliable, but depreciate fast so you get a good deal on slightly used ones. You might get 20 mpg around town. What kind of mileage do you need? What do you put on in a year? For 5000 miles the difference between 20 and 40 mpg is only $500.

You have to step up to get into a minivan. It is probably not a good fit here. I know one person with a bad back (really bad) and another with arthritic knees. They both have CR-Vs and find them easy to get into and out of.