The most popular used cars
Buying a used car can be tricky. While there is tons of information available on the internet and other resources about new cars, used cars bring with them their own special considerations.
For starters, every used car is different. Although potential buyers can look up information regarding how particular models tend to perform, two cars from the same model year with the same mileage may actually drive completely differently, depending on the vehicle's history and maintenance.
Another consideration is reliability. Is the car considered to be a generally reliable model? Is it backed by a certified warranty? And if it breaks down, will parts be easy to obtain in order to fix it?
Finally, the most important factor for many consumers is price and resale value. These figures can fluctuate wildly depending on the make, model and overall market. A used BMW, for example, will most likely have better resale value than a used Toyota, simply because of the prestige that comes along with the brand name.
With that in mind, the most popular used vehicles differ quite a bit from the most popular new vehicles. According to data gathered during the second half of 2009 by Cars.com, there are significant differences between the two lists. The news source compiles the lists based on user inquiries and searches while shopping for a car on their site. And the results could influence car buyers in the market for a used vehicle.
Toyota and Honda dominate the new cars, for instance, with no other brand cracking the top 10. Toyota has six of the top 10 most popular new car models, including the first-place Camry. Other popular Toyota models include the Prius, Corolla, Rav4, Tacoma and Siena. Honda, meanwhile, has four of the top 10 spots, with the Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey models.
Yet the most popular used cars are considerably more varied. Honda and Toyota's most popular models, the Accord and Civic and Camry and Corolla respectively, all make the list, but in different positions. The Accord is the most popular used car model, followed closely by the Civic - a big shift from their third and fourth positions on the new car list.
The Ford Mustang is the most popular domestic used car model, followed by its fleetmate, the F-150 pickup truck. The fact that these cars place so highly on the used car list but not the new car one suggests that car buyers look for performance and utility when buying a used car. Other entries on the list, like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, also point to this conclusion.
Again, every used car will drive differently, and buyers should test out several models before deciding on a car that's right for them. But the most popular used car list is a good indicator of the types of models that many buyers are satisfied with.
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