Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Bargains of Christmas - Premium and Luxury Sedans (2013 Picks)

Our yearly feature during the season that everyone loves is on its second year. Finding a car for yourself (assuming if you are a good guy) or for your loved ones in each category is daunting, let The Ultimate Used Car Guide help you.

So, how are these bargain picks are chosen? Here are some criteria that were followed:
  • A vehicle must be available between 2003-2012
  • Reported problems from owners are minimal, 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
Expensive when new, affordable when used. At low prices, premium and luxury sedans are steals since you get something posh for less cash. Imagine this, be the envy at your office especially if the car plan dictates a brand new sub-compact, well you get the picture. If you're doing your shopping this Bonifacio day, have this list handy.

PREMIUM BEST BARGAIN: 2003-2012 Toyota Camry
Whether its the second generation (2002-2006), third generation (2006-2012) or fourth generation (2012-current) model, it still does have image and appearance. Get the 2.4 for your daily driving since it is balanced, while the 3.0 (2004-2006) or 3.5 (2006-current) V6 is reserved for the long weekend drives. This bested the Nissan Cefiro for the best bargain award for this year.
Recommended trims: 2.4 V (2003-2006), 2.4 V (2006-2012), 2.4 V (2012)

Other Bets:

2003-2012 BMW 3 Series
We have two Europeans on this list and the first one hails from Germany. If the second European is passenger biased, the BMW treats the driver with the qualities of the Ultimate Driving Machine. Take either  the second generation (1999-2005), third (2005-2012) or fourth (2012-current) models and prepare yourself to be pushed back to your seat. As a general rule, a certified unit is the way to go.
Recommended trims: 2.0 or 2.5 Sport (2003-2005), 2.0 diesel (2007-2012), 2.0 diesel (2012)

2003-2012 Honda Accord 
Has the sporty punch than the Toyota; an Accord is one great used car pick especially that one can get a good unit for less than a million bucks. Both the third generation (2003-2007) and fourth generation (2008-2013) models possess a fun to drive demeanor, zesty engines, roomy interior, and the famed Honda reliability. Of course, pick the 2.4 for everyday driving and the 3.0 (2004-2007) or 3.5 (2008-2013) V6 for the speed junkie in you.
Recommended trims: 2.4 (2003-2007), 2.4 (2008-2012)

2004-2012 Mazda 6 
Executives who are active behind the wheel (read: not chauffeur driven) is welcome to apply. A great buy since all Mazda 6s, regardless if its the first (2004-2007) or second (2008-2012) generation, is a premium sedan that has sports car genes. Piece of advice: start your search with the late 2005 onward units since the 2.3 engine fit the athletic demeanor of the 6.
Recommended trims: 2.3 (2005-2007), 2.5 (2008-2012)

2003-2007 Nissan Cefiro
Despite losing the best bargain title, what's important the Cefiro lands a spot in this list. Silky engines, luxurious cabin, spacious interior, stately appearance, and low residuals what makes the Cefiro a good buy. Just remember to have extra funds for maintenance since this car has a V6 engine standard.
Recommended trim: 2.0 Elite

2003-2012 Volvo S60
The second European is from Sweden in the name of the Volvo S60. The S40 didn't make the cut since it may be too small for some but the S60 is on the list due to the roomy cabin. Both the first (2000-2010) and second (2010-current) generation models are great used car purchases, despite being not that sporty in terms of driving ability. Want one? Head to the nearest Volvo dealer for a certified pre-owned unit.
Recommended trims: 2.0T (2003-2010), 2.0 diesel (2010-2012)

LUXURY BEST BARGAIN: 2003-2012 BMW 5 Series
Now down to two generation of models covered by the criteria (as opposed to three last year), the BMW 5 Series is the best bargain for the luxury class second year in a row. The Benz didn't appear on this list since reliability is spotty, so we give the props for the Beamer. Spacious cabin, driving dynamics is tops, monstrous engines, and the assistance of BMW's certified pre-owned is what makes a used car purchase appealing.
Recommended trims: 2.0 diesel (2003-2009), 2.0 diesel (2010-2012)

Other bet:

2003-2012 Volvo S80
Something sleek yet something low profile, the Volvo S80 is one great luxury sedan candidate. With a cavernous cabin, the back seat rider would love it more. Just don't expect sports car handling, but with low resale prices, it is now a steal. For quality first generation (1999-2006) or second generation (2007-current) models, head to Volvo's certified pre-owned section.
Recommended trims: 2.0 T (2003-2006), 2.5 T (2007-2012)

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