Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Bargains of Christmas - Compact SUVs (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
Now you want a compact SUV for yourself or for your family member. Then you have landed at the right place especially if you plan to do some car shopping this weekend. There are tons of compact SUVs out in the market which falls on the year range requirement. but which one? Let us pick the compact SUV for you out of the sea of them. Catch them fresh, while you can.

After numerous rivals sprouting like mushrooms, no one can beat the CR-V in all aspects (including the Compact SUV Best Bargain award). The year range covers the second (2002-2006), third (2007-2012), and fourth (2012-current) generation models which means there's a CR-V for each budget and purpose. Picking the second generation model gives you an option of seating for five or ten, while the third and fourth are better overall.
Recommended trims: 2.0 2WD (2003-2006), 2.0 S 2WD (2007-2012), 2.0 V/LX 2WD (2012)

Other bets:

2003-2012 Ford Escape 
If you desire a Ford Escape, best head to a 2005 and later model since they benefit a 2.3 gasoline engine that moves the vehicle well. Steer clear of the 2.0 4WD as it struggles to carry the heft and the 3.0 V6 is a pain on the wallet, both in maintenance and fuel costs. Virtues of the Escape includes a roomy interior and a durable under chassis.
Recommended trim: 2.3 XLS 2WD (2005-2012)

2005-2012 Hyundai Tucson 
With low residuals plus the standard diesel engine, the Tucson is one good candidate for a compact SUV. Both the first (2005-2009) and second (2010-current) Tucsons have a reasonable amount of interior space (the second one has a somewhat limited rear headroom) and equipment. We vouch the diesels for their efficiency while the gasoline engine isn't a poor performer.
Recommended trims: 2.0 CRDi (2005-2009), 2.0 R VGT (2010-2012)

2006-2012 Kia Sportage 
It has everything the Tucson possess but they are packaged differently. Both the second generation (2006-2010) and third generation (2011-current) models have low residuals which means they are good bargains. As always, the diesels are the top picks when choosing a second gen Sportage, while gasolines comprise the majority of the third generation models.
Recommended trims: 2.0 LX CRDi (2007-2010), 2.0 EX diesel (2011-2012)

2003-2012 Nissan X-Trail 
Tough as nails, the X-Trail can perform light off-road duties and with low prices, the appeal of buying one becomes stronger. Going with a first (2003-2012) or second (2010-current) would reward you with the following: great amount of space for both people and cargo and an ability to attack light mud and rough paths.
Recommended trims: 250X (2003-2009), 2.5 2WD (2010-2012)

2003-2012 Subaru Forester 
Adventurous types are welcome to apply to the Subaru Forester. Thanks to the Impreza genes and an optional turbo engine, you get the driving excitement of the sedan brethren while having the capability of wading floods and dirt roads. Regardless of generation (second generation is the 2002-2008 and the third is the 2008-2012), you get the same DNA that Subaru's are known for.
Recommended trims: 2.0 X (2003-2008), 2.0 X (2008-2012)

2003-2012 Toyota RAV4
For the year range criteria, two generations of the RAV4 tailors to two different markets. The second generation (2000-2005) model targets buyers with active lifestyles while the third generation (2006-2012)  model caters to families while retaining the core values of the original. With low depreciation, buying a second hand RAV4 becomes appealing.
Recommended trims: 2.0 (2003-2005), 2.4 2WD (2006-2012)

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