Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

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Postmon
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Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by Postmon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am

We want to buy either a used CR-V or RAV4 for our teen to commute to school (30 minutes each way on highway). We want something safe/reliable but want to send the message that it's no frills transportation (e.g. a few steps up from a "beater"). We'd prefer to spend under $10K which would get us something in the 2007 - 2010 range with 100,000+ miles. But, would go up to around $13K (2012/13 , 70-80K miles).

Given that, how old and how many miles on a well-maintained one-owner vehicle would you think is worth considering?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:44 am

Why a CRV? At $13k, you're squarely in brand new Ford Focus range when incentives are high and easily in 1-2 year old Focus range. Manual, of course. There are the really small cars....Mirage, Fiesta, etc that can be easily found new in your budget without even negotiating.

To directly answer your question, it depends how much of the upkeep you can do yourself. If you don't even do your own oil changes, buying an older car is going to be expensive. Personally, I'd have no problem buying a 25 year old Civic. But I'd be doing any repairs in my own garage for the cost of parts. A D15 engine is dirt cheap.
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lthenderson
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:45 am

Postmon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am
Given that, how old and how many miles on a well-maintained one-owner vehicle would you think is worth considering?
The question you need to answer is how often do you want to have to seek out, negotiate and find a vehicle? When I was younger I bought toyotas for less than a thousand dollars, drove them for three or four years and sold them. When I was older yet, we bought a couple in the $10k range you mentioned and drove them a lot longer before selling. These days I only buy new and still continue to drive them.

The cheapest cars per mile I ever owned were the ones bought for less than a thousand dollars but, they required a lot more time investment to seek out, negotiate, purchase, register, insure, etc. every three to four years. The market for such cars is much more plentiful than lower mileage cars and they have been almost entirely depreciated out by previous owners.

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vineviz
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by vineviz » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:02 am

Postmon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am
We want to buy either a used CR-V or RAV4 for our teen to commute to school (30 minutes each way on highway). We want something safe/reliable but want to send the message that it's no frills transportation (e.g. a few steps up from a "beater"). We'd prefer to spend under $10K which would get us something in the 2007 - 2010 range with 100,000+ miles. But, would go up to around $13K (2012/13 , 70-80K miles).

Given that, how old and how many miles on a well-maintained one-owner vehicle would you think is worth considering?
I have only the experience of the vehicles I've owned, which for the past 25 years have exclusively been Honda or Acura vehicles (including a CR-V). I still drive a 1994 Honda regularly for trips of 150 to 200 miles.

Personally, and even for my about-to-drive teen, I'd have no problem at all purchasing a used Honda that was up to 12 or 15 years old. Older than that (again, basically just my anecdotal observation) there are items like bushings, seals, mounts, etc. that begin to deteriorate due primarily to age and which are generally not an item that CAN be maintained OR easily inspected.

But a 10 year old CR-V with 120,000 miles? Assuming it was well-maintained (and you get a third-party inspection from a good shop before purchase), I see no problem with safety or reliability.

In a SUV, even a small one, I view stability control as an essential feature for inexperienced drivers. Honda added that as a standard feature in all trim models in 2005, so you should be fine there.
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carolinaman
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by carolinaman » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:03 am

When our kids were in high school in the 80s and early 90s, we bought each a Toyota Corolla with about 50k miles. Both cars held up very well with limited maintenance. I would opt for the lower mileage option and I think you will be satisfied. Another thing to consider is how hard teen drivers are on cars which is one reason I would not buy a new or newer car for them.

SimonJester
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by SimonJester » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:18 am

I prefer to stay under the 100K mark but research model years to find the sweet spot. Up until last years I had a 2002 corolla that was still going strong. if you can find a single owner well maintained vehicle I would not hesitate to purchase with higher millage older year. Its all about how well the vehicle was maintained and driven over the years...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Goal33
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:19 am

I got a 2006 Matrix in 2007 with 29k miles for 13k when I was 16. That was a decade ago but still drives today. That car was perfect for high school, college, first couple years of career... lots of space for moving.
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fishmonger
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:19 am

Our daily driver is a 2009 Highlander with 150k. Have no issues taking it on 200 mile drives. Bought it in 2014 with about 90k on it.

Be aware if you're restricting your search to used Toyotas, I find them to be a very efficient market. You are unlikely to find a great deal like lthenderson noted below. Not saying it can't be done, but if the price on a used Toyota looks too good to be true it probably is.

bob60014
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by bob60014 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:55 am

My 2009 Matrix with 175000 miles....indestructible!

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mmmodem
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by mmmodem » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:29 am

I view electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes as mandatory safety equipment. I believe they were standard in 2005 for both CRV and RAV4. So no older than 2005.

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N1CKV
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by N1CKV » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:07 am

Japanese brand vehicles are overvalued.
Snatch up a nice GM or Ford with less miles and newer and you'll likely get better safety features and reliability.

DavidW
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by DavidW » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:08 am

For my teen driver, I gave him my 05 Camry with 150K miles. I told him if he takes care of it, it will last easy 7 years. I did add a camera in the event of a car accident.... You may want to check on the condition of the tires and replace as necessary....

I just bought an 05 Lexus RX330 for $8K with 121K miles. This is within your price range (consistent with KBB values). I checked with other RX330 owners and most are doing well into the high 100s and 200sK miles...

It has something like 7 or 8 airbags so the safety features are all there.... It is a small SUV so if your kids are big, then it might be a bit uncomfortable....

Leesbro63
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:33 am

Rust belt or sun belt?

abonder
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by abonder » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:39 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:44 am
Why a CRV? At $13k, you're squarely in brand new Ford Focus range when incentives are high and easily in 1-2 year old Focus range. Manual, of course. There are the really small cars....Mirage, Fiesta, etc that can be easily found new in your budget without even negotiating.

To directly answer your question, it depends how much of the upkeep you can do yourself. If you don't even do your own oil changes, buying an older car is going to be expensive. Personally, I'd have no problem buying a 25 year old Civic. But I'd be doing any repairs in my own garage for the cost of parts. A D15 engine is dirt cheap.
I agree with jack that you could potentially get a much newer vehicle if you go the domestic/Hyundai/Kia route. I think you’d be shocked to see what you can pay for a 3-year-old Hyundai Sonata (or even less for a smaller Elantra). There are reliable used vehicles that aren’t in vogue that make particularly good used values. I think that jack frequently cites the Ford Focus as a good example, but only as a manual transmission, as the automatic gearbox was plagued with issues. SUVs are popular so the used deals are harder to find. If you don’t need the ground clearance and/or AWD, then you might do well to look at sedans, which are not popular despite being highly pragmatic for most owners. I think both CRV and rav4 are generally reliable so a well-maintained older mode should still proved good service. I’d personally rather shoot for a less, popular but still reliable newer non-SUV option.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:56 am

if you are mechanic handy, nothing is too old for Toyota. Honda I don't know. But their resale value is higher than other brand. I would just buy new.

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StormShadow
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by StormShadow » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:46 am

Postmon wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:31 am
We want to buy either a used CR-V or RAV4 for our teen to commute to school (30 minutes each way on highway). We want something safe/reliable but want to send the message that it's no frills transportation (e.g. a few steps up from a "beater"). We'd prefer to spend under $10K which would get us something in the 2007 - 2010 range with 100,000+ miles. But, would go up to around $13K (2012/13 , 70-80K miles).

Given that, how old and how many miles on a well-maintained one-owner vehicle would you think is worth considering?
I have a 2012 Rav4. It is bullet proof. We got the last V6 model, which is a lot of fun to drive but burns through gas quicker.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend it.

wrongfunds
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Re: Buying Used Honda/Toyota -- How old is too old?

Post by wrongfunds » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:01 pm

It if is is not at least 8-10 year old with 100K+ miles , there is no financial reason in buying an old Honda/Toyota. The numbers will never work out for year or two old Honda/Toyota.

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