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Friend needs gently used car, any suggestion?

Hi,

my friend used to own (paid off) a Toyota Corolla. She recently had a bad accident and needs to buy another car. She is getting about $ 9K for them insurance company and would like to buy a gently used car (less than 10K miles). She was looking into small SUVs, but I suggested her a Subaru Outback that in my opinion is safer. I think she feels it could be too long for her. She normally drives 25 miles to work each way. Occasionally her 2 tall kids (I guess above 6’) ride in the car with her. She also has a German Shepherd that sometimes rides in the car. She will soon have 2 kids in college, so she would like a not too expensive car. But definitively a SAFE car, since she got really scared by this accident. We live in St. Louis, MO, where the weather is mostly mild and rarely streets would get icy.

Any suggestion better than mine?

Thanks

ilaria

I’m very partial towards subarus but they do not have the greatest of leg room in the back seats. The newer ones may be better but would also cost a lot more she’s willing to pay.
If your friend lives in a climate where she doesn’t need AWD, why bother with it? It will take more gas to run and there are more parts that can wear out.
A Carolla is a very good car, I think. Perhaps have her reconsider that vehicle. After all, it got her through the accident safely.

9k could get a nice Ford Escape

“I’m very partial towards subarus but they do not have the greatest of leg room in the back seats. The newer ones may be better but would also cost a lot more she’s willing to pay.”

With the 2010 clean-sheet redesign, the newer Outbacks have an incredible amount of legroom both front and back, as well as more hiproom and more headroom than previously. However, if her price ceiling is $9k, one of these newer Outbacks would indeed be beyond her means.

Any car with less than 10,000 miles will be more than $9000. She could buy a car or truck with less than 100,000 miles with the $9000 settlement.

If you really must have about 10K miles you are really looking at the cheapest new cars on the market that are now 3-4 years old. The smallest Kia, Ford, Chevy, or Toyota etc. The smallest Toyota is a Yaris I believe. Smallest Chevy is a Cruze? Smallest Ford is the Escort? Point is to get a car with 10K miles for $9,000 means a very small econo car.

As a long time awd4wd owner, I can say you do not need, nor should you consider awd for traction where you live. With the limited winter driving experience of people in that area, any encounter with ice while driving awd puts you in more, not less jepardy and greater chance of an accident. An inexperienced driver will just drive too fast for conditions which is much easier to do with awd. I guarantee your friend will not take the time or effort to put winter tires with good ice traction on the awd car. Any decent all season tire with decent ice traction on a newer car with traction and stability control is the best you can do for an inexperienced winter driver.