Author Topic: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?  (Read 1614 times)

Ladychips

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Let me start with I'm not a car person.  I'd like to buy a used Acura.  I know that car people know that (for example) the 08 was great but the 09 was a dud or the TL is a good one but the TSX is junk.  How do I find this information?  I've googled a bit but get overwhelmed quickly.  I would appreciate it if you all could steer me in a direction.

Clean Shaven

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 07:51:10 AM »
There's an enthusiast forum for every car model. Find the one for the car(s) you're interested in, and start reading. Often they have a FAQ on used models, year to year changes, known issues, things like that.

Dave1442397

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 08:00:08 AM »
You can look at Consumer Reports. They have an annual issue with ratings for all cars and trucks, and usually a short blurb as to why the car is or isn't a good buy.

For specific cars, sometimes your best bet is to go to a car forum and see what people are saying about that particular model.

https://acurazine.com/forums/
http://www.acuraworld.com/forums/

The Acura TSX is actually a great car. Its replacement, the TLX, gets so-so reviews. Acura/Honda have had issues with their newer transmissions, so do some research. Some older TL and MDX models also had transmission problems.

We had a TSX for a while, no problems at all. We've had a 2011 RDX since 2012, and with 78k miles it hasn't had any issues.

Another good stat to check is cost of ownership. You could still have isolated issues, of course, but this at least gives you an idea of how a brand is doing. There are many sites that give you these detail. KBB is one of them - https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/total-cost-of-ownership/?r=636226962939432600


ketchup

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 08:33:33 AM »
If you search online you can usually find fake graphs showing which years of a given model had the most/fewest issues.  Take them with a grain of salt though unless you look at a bunch of them (and look at what it actually says, if the problem was something fixed under a recall or whatever, it's essentially a non-issue for you).

The best way though is to find an enthusiast community for whatever model of car, and do your research there.

Often though, a good rule of thumb is that the models most prone to issues are often the first few years of a major revision.  For example, my car is a 2001, and that major revision / body style was made from 2001-2007.  There are a couple known issues that my car is prone to that were fixed by the 2003 model.

Hindsight is easiest with cars at least 5-10 years old though, so if you're trying to see if (for example) a 2012 model or a 2013 model is better, that will be much less clear.

Broadway2019

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 09:25:29 AM »
I too have been considering a used Acura - maybe 2008-2011 RDX w/ AWD. It is very difficult to find with low miles below $15k.

Bosco4789

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 09:36:07 AM »
I have a 1999 TL, with 365,000 miles on it.  That year was prone to transmission problems, and I did have to replace the transmission about 10 years ago.  Other than that, only normal maintenance issues.

neo von retorch

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 09:45:26 AM »
The 2004-2008 TSX has a 2.4L engine with plenty of power (200HP) and reasonable gas mileage. (Think mid-20s.)

The 2009+ TSX still offers that engine, but a larger V6 was available, and all models are heavier than the previous generation, which results in lower gas mileage.

Based on looks, weight and efficiency, I'd stick to the first generation if you can. Great cars!

(If you're willing to drive stick, the 6MT is one of the finest manual transmissions of all time.)

ysette9

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 10:19:16 AM »
I'm seconding the recommendation to go with a Consumer Reports. Unlike everyone else they are non-profit, don't accept advertising, and are therefore about as unbiased a source of info as you are likely to get. I like them for reliability and safety ratings and then I go with my own taste for things like comfort and how a car handles since I have my own particular wants in that department.

Clean Shaven

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 10:58:13 AM »
Go with the enthusiast forums over Consumer Reports. You'll get much better information from people who have spent way too much time messing around with that precise vehicle.

CR is a bunch of generalists. They may rate a vehicle poorly based on small luggage space, and higher than average fuel consumption. But if that vehicle is a Corvette, you can see that they missed the point. Likewise they may rate another vehicle poorly based on rough ride, difficulty parking, and excessive road noise. But if that vehicle is a 1-ton truck, you can see that they missed the point again.
 

WSUCoug1994

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 11:42:33 AM »


CR is a bunch of generalists. They may rate a vehicle poorly based on small luggage space, and higher than average fuel consumption. But if that vehicle is a Corvette, you can see that they missed the point. Likewise they may rate another vehicle poorly based on rough ride, difficulty parking, and excessive road noise. But if that vehicle is a 1-ton truck, you can see that they missed the point again.

This is not entirely accurate.  For those of us that subscribe to CR - they send out an annual automotive survey that you fill out for your particular vehicle(s).  It is a long running, cumulative review of all vehicles.  Now they do have people who review each model but the maintenance history and reliability comes from real world data - a rather large data set.

aroberson77

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2017, 02:32:45 PM »
CR is good for normal people, but most car people see they miss the mark with some things.

Acuras/Hondas are generally good, interiors are not as durable as some german brands but drivetrain and other mechanical parts are great except for the automatic transmissions.  Also Acura owners tend to be pretty meticulous with maintenance.

I had an 07 TL type S, it was a great car.

Ladychips

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Re: How do I find the best or at least good model/year of a used car?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2017, 06:12:25 PM »
You folks are the BEST!!!