Saturday, November 24, 2012

New VS. Used: Which is Most Cost-Effective?

Today, I want to illustrate the pro's and con's of buying the least expensive, brand new car available to the American public. I will be using the $12,995 2012 Nissan Versa 1.6L to show how silly it is to buy new. This all new rendering of the five-year-old model now comes equipped with an itty-bitty 1.6L engine which is good for 104 horsepower and 30 mpg around town. These are fantastic numbers for those of us who are "Green-Minded", but what about the rest of the world? Does everyone really want a car that sprints from 0-60 in 15 seconds? I would actually consider this little car a road hazard because it's near impossible to merge onto a major freeway or expressway at any speed. Okay, maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I've never been one to pay much attention to mpg except to lift off the gas every now and then.

Obviously, there are plenty of reasons to buy this car; among them are fuel economy, available warranties, and the pleasure of knowing that you have something that is brand-spankin-new. I don't buy it. New car dealers don't generally make their money by selling just the car. They get you with financing interest, extra useless goodies that you don't need, and generally being weasels. So be wary as you walk into a new car dealer and know exactly what you want before stepping in those doors.
On the other hand, you can buy a 2007 Cadillac CTS with a 2.8L V6 instead. Even if you're driving a hundred miles a day, the 27mpg won't break your bank. Not only does it get decent gas mileage, but it is infinitely more comfortable and drivable than the Versa. You get the best of both worlds for $11,995.
If reliability is an absolute must because you don't know the difference between a tune-up and and oil change, this is the best pick for you. This is a 2001 Toyota Camry with 41k miles and it cost almost half the price of the Nissan. For $7500, you could be the proud owner of a very well taken care of Camry.
The last option I've so generously provided for you is a car with far more sporting intentions. This is a 2000 BMW 540i with 73k miles. Although it's an automatic, I can guarantee it will handle and accelerate a million times better than any other car on this list. Its 4.4L V8 produces almost 300 horses and gets about 25 mpg on the freeway. Neither figure is incredible by any means, but they are decent for what most people need. I can't imagine that many people actually make use of all the power available at their feet anyway, and ten years ago, 25 mpg was fantastic for an 8 cylinder. Even by today's standards, those are impressive numbers. So, there you have it. My take on the "New VS. Used" dilemma many Americans face every day. What do you think? Is it worth it to buy a new car? Or are you convinced that buying new is not only a waste of money, but you are cheating yourself out of an excellent ride for almost half the price? Let us know in the comments below, and please don't forget to "Like", and share on Facebook! Have a great day!

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