Friday, December 7, 2012

The Bargains of Christmas - Premium and Luxury Sedans

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
This Friday, we'll have premium and luxury sedans on the spotlight since the power of depreciation hit them which translates as great bargains. What used to be the playthings of the rich can be your daily driver and intimidate the brand new car which your office mate has been driving. So, what these executive picks can your money buy?

PREMIUM BEST BARGAIN: 2002-2007 Nissan Cefiro
Thanks to its long list of luxury amenities, a silky smooth V6 engine, and lower resale prices - the Nissan Cefiro is our best bargain pick for the premium sedan category. In fact, this one can outplace and outluxury (if there is a term to start with) European marques, which when it was brand new, can give them a run for their money. The Brougham version has some cheesy wood panels but for everyday usage an Elite variant will do. 

Other Bets:
2002-2011 Toyota Camry - The current epitome of the premium sedan market locally, is a great used car bargain. Even the second and third generations can turn heads in the executive powerhouse during meetings, just make sure you wax and wash the car. Choose the 2.4 V (from 2002 onwards) and you're good to go. 

2002-2011 Honda Accord - Another excellent choice in the segment where people whose disposable income are comparable to executives. The good thing is that, this can give the driver the need for speed fantasies thanks to the great driving dynamics but still retaining the same level of features. Just make sure to get the spotlight, we recommend opting for the 2004 to present models since the 2.0 engine in the early models does not have the grunt.

2004-2011 Mazda 6 - Plan to be behind the drivers seat most of the time? This pick is for you. With driving characteristics similar to an athlete, and lower prices; this is a winner. Just make sure you focus your search on late 2005 to later models since they carry the punchy 2.3 engine. Passengers may complain for lack of head room in the rear in 2008 to 2012 models.

2002-2011 Volvo S60 - Our oddball Swedish pick among the Japanese dominated category. It may not be a great driver focused machine but for those wanting the backseat comfort, this is the one.  The good thing is that, first or second generation model, the presence of Volvo's certified pre-owned program to avoid the worries and low purchase price.

LUXURY BEST BARGAIN: 2002-2011 BMW 5 Series
Nothing beats luxury without the ultimate driving machine. And with the numerous units in the used car market, the 5 Series (be it the last units of the E39, E60, or F10) is a great proposition. What is not to love this car? Excellent driving dynamics, powerful engines (especially if you pick the diesel), and cuddles of room. If you can, pick-up a unit that has been certified to avoid future headaches and please, do not take the 2.0 base models since it does not match the personality.

Other bet:
2002-2011 Volvo S80 - Prefer to be at the back? This is the one. With excellent features (especially in the safety aspect), great purr from the engines, and also low purchase price. This is a great pick if you do not want the stares.

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