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Pros and cons of buying a 2010 vs 2011 car

October 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
You've probably seen lots of ads promoting big savings on end-of-the-model-year cars. So the question is, should you snap up a leftover 2010 or are you better off going for a 2011 model?With dealers pushing 2010 vehicles, Consumer Reports says some top-performing vehicles, like the Mazda 5 minivan, can be a great bargain.

"Right now you can save about 13 percent on a 2010 versus a 2011," said Consumer Reports' Bob Chien.

Consumer Reports says besides a lower price, there are other advantages to getting a "leftover" 2010 car.

"Consumer Reports' surveys show that models that have been on sale for a year or more tend to have fewer problems than brand new cars or vehicles that have just had a major redesign," said Consumer Reports' Jon Linkov.

In fact, you may need fewer repairs getting the last year of a model's design. Those vehicles are usually the most reliable. Consumer Reports says that's one reason why the 2010 Honda Odyssey is a good bet.

"It's in its sixth year of production, which means Honda's had a lot of time to get the kinks worked out. The Odyssey rates very good in reliability and it's one of our favorite minivans," said Linkov.

But there are advantages to buying a 2011 car. For one, it doesn't depreciate as fast.

"If you trade in your car every couple of years, you're better off getting the new 2011 model because it will likely be worth more money at resale," said Linkov.

Other advantages to getting a 2011 car are you tend to get better gas mileage and the latest safety features with newer models.

"The 2011 [Hyundai] Sonata is a huge improvement. It drives better, it's more fuel efficient, and it scored top marks for safety in crash tests," said Linkov.

So before you head to the dealership, do some research so you get the best deal.

Even though a dealer will give you a good price on a 2010 upfront, you still want to negotiate. Also, do your homework on the internet.


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