Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Bargains of Christmas - Compact SUVs

Christmas is just around the corner, and you're asking what car would you want to gift to yourself (if you are good this year) or to your loved ones. Your Ultimate Used Car Guide is here to solve the problem by giving you some recommendations.

So, how are these bargain picks are chosen? Here are some criteria that were followed:
  • A vehicle must be available between 2002-2011
  • Reported problems from owners are minimal, they are based from local forums and several of my reviews
  • Vehicle value must be excellent, since they are good bargains. 
  • Must offer a competitive advantage over its rivals and must fit the buyers needs in a category
  • Availability in the second hand market must be widespread
Compact SUVs are great alternatives to sedans since you can reach some places without scraping the under chassis, can wade in floods, and reach your stuff at the back without going outside of the car. With a great number of models being introduced now and then, chances are, you can get one that simply fits your needs. Finding one for the holidays is never a difficult task since the Ultimate Used Car Guide will give out the cream of the crop of compacts.

The pioneer and the trendsetter is a great bargain, since it will fulfill your needs for everyday living. You will come across three generations of this SUV in the year range. There exists some first generation models sold in the first part of 2002, but let's focus with the second and third ones. The second generation was sold from 2002 to early 2007 and you will find both 5 and 7 seater models. And thanks to its best seller status, there are plenty of units to choose from but remember, fuel economy is mediocre and so is the same with the interior quality. 2007 saw the third generation which is heaps better than the predecessor and it is a great all around vehicle, and the best part is that, you can get one below a million bucks for a decently maintained unit.

Other bets:
2003-2011 Nissan X-Trail - Another impressive choice in this segment, the X-Trail can tackle some rough and muddy roads and cargo storing is a cinch, thanks to a large loading bay. Prices are a bit lower than the CR-V, so whether going for the first or second generation models, it is no mistake since it has the capability of accomplishing the modern family's daily tasks. Just remember the first batch of models (2003-2004) had to be recalled due to some problems in the fuel tank, so better focus on 2005 to later units.

2005-2011 Hyundai Tucson - Need a diesel hauler in a compact package? The Tucson is for you. Lower prices translates to greater bargains, with lower residuals for the first generation ones. 2010 saw the launch of the second iteration which saw a vast improvement and a great purchase too. Just make sure to pick the diesels since the gasoline power plants offer a somewhat lukewarm driving experience.

2002-2011 Ford Escape - One of the great products that came out of the blue oval company. You get a durable platform, tons of space for both people and cargo, and it is easy to maintain. The pick is the 2.3 models offered from 2005 to 2012; simply because you get a number of examples to choose and fuel efficiency and performance are superior than the earlier models, which carries the otherwise anemic 2.0 engine.

2002-2011 Subaru Forester - People with active lifestyles must place this SUV on their shopping lists. This SUV wont give you a dull time behind the wheel plus the added security of a standard all wheel drive. Just make sure to pick the local units since Japanese ones can be a future source of headache.

2007-2011 Kia Sportage - The twin of the Tucson, but you can procure this SUV at lower prices. For all intents and reasons, get the diesel ones since there are tons of them in the used car market. It may not be the most exciting vehicle in the planet, but it is one good value especially in second hand prices.

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