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Some Good SUVs for your money                     

2005 by Kyle Busch, author of:  
"Drive the Best for the Price ..."

It is nearing the time when many people look to buy sport-utility vehicles. Who can blame them? Today's  SUVs are not only reliable and refined enough to  provide a slow paced fall drive but they also have  the ability to tackle winter weather at its worst. 

The cost of new SUVs are expensive. However,  there are several used SUVs that you might want  to consider. The following vehicles all have good  ratings and they are available at substantial  savings.

Four SUVs worth your consideration:

1. The Subaru Forester is a small SUV with  one of the best all-wheel drive systems in the  industry. New Forester Ls cost $20,000-$24,000. 

You can buy (if you shop carefully) a used  2000 Forester L with 25,000-30,000 miles for  about $14,500-$15,500. I consider this SUV  to be an good value for this price. The vehicle  should still have at least 6 months remaining  on the manufacturer's 3 year/36,000 mile  bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years  remaining on the 5 year/60,000 mile power  train (engine and transmission) warranty. This  SUV can be driven for hundreds of thousands  of miles.

2. The Toyota 4Runner been around for a long time and for good reason. It is one of America's most  popular SUVs. For 2002, the four cylinder engine  on the base model has been replaced with the six  cylinder engine. New 4Runners cost $25-000-$34,000. 

You can buy (if you shop carefully) a 2000  4Runner with 25,000-30,000 miles for about  $19,000-$21,500. This vehicle should also have  at least 6 months remaining on the manufacturer's  3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty  and 2.5 years remaining on the 5 year/60,000  mile power train warranty. The 4Runner can be  driven for hundreds of thousands of miles.

3. The Nissan Pathfinder has also been a reliable  SUV. New Pathfinders cost $24,000-$32,000. 

Nissan does not quite have the name of the  Toyota. Therefore, you can buy (if you shop  carefully) a 2000 Pathfinder with 25,000-30,000  miles for about $17,000-$19,500. This vehicle  should also have at least 6 months remaining  on the manufacturer's 3 year/36,000 mile  bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years  remaining on the 5 year/60,000 mile power  train warranty. This vehicle will also provide  many years of dependable transportation.

4. The Honda CRV  also represents a good  value in a small SUV. New CRVs cost  $21,000-25,000. 

If you are on a transportation budget, you  can buy (if you shop carefully) a 1998 CRV with  50,000-60,000 miles for about $11,000-$12,000.  At this age and mileage, the vehicle will likely not  include any remaining manufacturer's warranty. None the less, the CRV is quite reliable and  economical to drive. This small SUV can provide  years of good transportation service.

If you are in the market for a SUV, do your  homework. Consult Consumer Report's vehicle  issue (April). Also, be sure to read a couple of  archived new SUV road tests (review road tests  that were conducted at the time the vehicle was  new) on the used vehicle of interest in auto  magazines (many are archived at your local library)  or Internet sources such as Car and Driver, Motor  Trend, Road & Track, or MotorWeek. Information  from the road tests will allow you to zero in on  which of the SUVs discussed above will be the  best for you. 

For example, if you prefer a SUV that can really  tackle off road conditions; consider the 4Runner  or the Pathfinder. However, if price is the major  consideration and you do not plan to go off road,  consider the Forester or the CRV. Last, but not  least, if you are going to buy a 2 to 3 year-old  SUV, try to get the 2000 model rather than the  199... model. Years down the road when you  sell the vehicle, the 2000 model will be worth  more than the "past century" vehicle.

How to Evaluate a Used Vehicle: Kyle Busch is the author of Drive the Best for the  Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility  Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money. 1 800 839-8640  or www.drivethebestbook.com. The web site accepts  all transportation questions.

Cars - It is the Season to Save Money

2005 by Kyle Busch, author of:  "Drive the Best for the Price ..."

Buying a Used Vehicle: Kyle Busch is the author of Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money. 

 

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