Lately, your trusty family car has become a bit of a money pit. It feels like your car has been in the shop more frequently than in your garage at home, and each repair bill is getting steeper.
In other words, as much as you love your current car and are not eager to buy a new vehicle, it is definitely time to trade in your ride for a safe and reliable car.
Because you know that new cars depreciate incredibly quickly and are very expensive to purchase, you are wisely considering a pre-owned car. Since you have a family, you have to take more than price into account—you also want safety features, a lot of storage and plenty of seating.
With all of this in mind, the following three pre-owned cars—one SUV, a minivan and a sedan—are outstanding choices for families like yours:
SUV: Ford Escape
If you are in the market for a small SUV, the 2017 Ford Escape is a great option. The car varies between just under $16K and $23K in price, and it boasts lots of cargo room for those huge trips to the warehouse store and/or to hold everyone’s sports paraphernalia. The car also features front storage space, which is nice to keep smaller items nearby. The Ford Escape seats five, so you can easily put a couple of bulky car seats or booster seats in the rear bench if you need to, or seat three kids who no longer need a car seat. In addition, the 2017 Ford Escape has received high praise for its quick handling and fuel-efficient turbo engine options. As for safety features, this year’s model came with optional blind spot detection, lane departure warning and lane departure prevention, so as you shop the pre-owned models be sure to ask if these features are included.
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
For larger families who need a lot of space, it is tough to beat a minivan. A pre-owned Toyota Sienna is a great option. If you need something extra affordable, the 2004 to 2010 models are extra gentle on the wallet, but if you have room in the budget for something newer, the third generation Siennas, which were made from 2012 on, have a more modern body style. No matter which Sienna you choose, you will find seating for either 7 or 8 people, which means there is plenty of room for car seats in the middle and/or back rows. The side opening door makes it a breeze to get everyone strapped in and there is a ton of storage in the back and throughout the car—plus plenty of cup holders for water bottles and sippy cups. For more storage, the seats fold flush to the floor, and the second generation Siennas boast a 3.5 liter V6 engine that puts out 266 horsepower, which makes it amazingly zippy to drive. The minivan also boasts a number of safety features including front and side airbags and anti-lock brake systems; be sure to inquire about any other features your potential new vehicle has.
Sedan: Honda Accord
If you have a smaller family and/or prefer gas-friendly sedans over the larger SUVs and minivans, Consumer Reports has great things to say about the 2013 and beyond Honda Accord. Averaging about 30 miles per gallon, you won’t feel like you are stopping for gas all of the time, and some models feature LaneWatch, which will show you what is on the right side of your car when you put your right blinker on. You should be able to easily fit two car seats in the back seat, and the trunk offers ample room for a week’s worth of groceries and/or hockey or soccer gear.
Save on Needed Service
When you purchase a pre-owned car, you will quickly find that the warranties vary wildly. While some dealerships offer you what is left on the original warranty, if the vehicle is old enough, it might not offer any protection. To help safeguard your wallet and ensure that your new-to-you car can be maintained without breaking the bank, you might want to look into a used car service contract from a company such as Protect My Car. The company’s Ambassador Maintenance Plans cover most vehicles, regardless of the year or miles, and they feature nice savings and perks like 25-50 percent off most repairs, free oil changes and tire rotations and roadside assistance.
Congratulations on the New Wheels!
It can be hard to say goodbye to a loyal vehicle that has safely transported your precious family for years. At the same time, you definitely deserve a safe and reliable car. Whether you want an SUV, minivan or sedan, there are plenty of great pre-owned options out there; once you add in a used car service contract, you can rest assured that your new-to-you vehicle will be the reliable car you definitely need.