Top 20 Used Cars to Avoid: Consumer Reports » News #vintage #auto #parts


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Top 20 Used Cars to Avoid: Consumer Reports

20. BMW 7-Series

In the market and shopping for a used car? Consumer Reports has released a list of 20 used vehicles to stay away from as they have a reputation for causing trouble. Listed is a top 20 list of used cars from 2003 to 2012 model year to avoid in alphabetical order. These vehicles had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey.

The BMW 7-Series may be the German automaker s luxury flagship, but used models aren t without their issues. From 2001-2008, the 7-Series featured the good ol Bangle Butt and sported some highly controversial styling. Early production of that generation was overwhelmed with issues even causing BMW to purchase back some of the vehicles back in 2002-2003. BMW of North America even extended its warranty on all 2002-2003 model year 7-Series vehicles to six years/100,000 miles from the original four years/50,000 miles.

According to Consumer Reports. the BMW 7-Series ranked worse in the categories of Engine Major, Engine Minor, Transmission Major, Transmission Minor, Body Hardware, and Audio System.


Car Safety Comparison Ratings – Consumer Reports #merchants #auto


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Several different elements affect a vehicle’s overall safety capability

Crash tests. Frontal- and side- and rear impact crash tests are conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You’ll find crash-test ratings for all tested models on their Web sites.

You’ll also find crash-test results going back 10 years in the used car vehicle profiles. NHTSA revised its testing standards for the 2011 model year. This means that test results from prior years can’t be compared with results from 2011 forward. You can see the NHTSA and IIHS ratings on our vehicle profile pages .

Accident avoidance. A vehicle’s ability to help you avoid an accident is just as important as its ability to protect you in a crash. For every accident there are numerous near misses that statistics don’t reflect. Several factors contribute to a vehicle’s accident-avoidance capability, with the two most important being braking and emergency handling. Using our test data, Consumer Reports provides an accident-avoidance Rating on all tested vehicles.

Rollover resistance. Rollover accidents account for about 33 percent of all vehicle-occupant deaths and are of particular concern with SUVs and pickups. To help consumers compare vehicles, NHTSA provides a five-star rating system called the Rollover Resistance Rating (RRR). The RRR is based on two factors: a vehicle’s static stability factor (SSF) and a dynamic rollover test. The SSF, determined from static measurements of the vehicle, essentially indicates how top-heavy it is. The dynamic test simulates a driver having to make a series of sharp steering maneuvers, as can happen in an emergency. Vehicles that tip up fail the test, but it only downgrades the overall star rating slightly.

We think a vehicle that tips up in this type of situation has serious stability problems, and we will not recommend it. RRR ratings are available at www.safercar.gov . Click on the model’s name or star ratings to get more information, and scroll down to “Rollover.” Note that prior to 2004 models, NHTSA used only the SSF to determine rollover ratings, so there are no dynamic test results.

Rear-impact protection. Although rear enders have a low fatality rate they have a high injury rate, especially for whiplash neck injuries. The design of a car’s head restraints and seats are critical factors in how severe a whiplash injury will be. CR evaluates head restraints for all seating positions in every tested vehicle. Any problems are noted in our road-test reports.

Another good source for information on rear-impact protection is the IIHS website. The institute conducts evaluations of head restraints and performs dynamic rear-impact tests that measure how well the seat/head-restraint combinations in different models protect against whiplash.

Blind zones. Every year, children are injured and killed because drivers don’t see them while backing up. A contributing factor is that some larger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, have larger blind zones—the area behind a vehicle that the driver can’t see. See our report on the dangers of blind spots .

To check a vehicle’s blind spot yourself, sit in the driver’s seat of the parked vehicle while someone stands in back and holds out a hand at about waist level. Have the person walk back slowly until you can see the hand through the rear window. This will give you an idea of how big that vehicle’s blind spot is.

Power-window switches. Some vehicles have rocker- or toggle-type power-window switches that will raise the window when they are pressed down or forward. This is a very risky design because a child who is leaning out of an open window can accidentally kneel on the switch and close the window, possibly causing injury or death. A better design is a lever switch, which raises the window only when it’s pulled upward.

See our cars Safety section for more information.


Consumer Reports – Build – Buy Car Buying Service #auto #city #dallas


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Car Buying Service Customer Reviews

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Buying a Used Car – Consumer Reports #auto #insurance #online


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Learn how to drive a fair deal and get a great pre-owned vehicle

Buying a used car is fraught with risk. Unlike a new car that is factory fresh and backed by an extensive warranty, used cars have typically been driven for thousands of miles over several years. Their usage and service histories can be a mystery, and there is always the concern that the car was traded in due to an emerging problem. But, by following a few key steps, you can survive the harrowing used-car buying adventures, while getting a great deal.

Research

Where to shop for a used car

Who’s selling a used car can make as much of a difference to its quality as the make and model.

New-car dealers tend to sell late-model used cars (two- or three-years old) that often carry the remainder of the original factory warranty. Generally, dealer cars are higher quality due to age and their ability to readily make repairs.

Auto superstores have huge lots and scores of cars to sell. CarMax, auto malls, and rental-car sales lots sell numerous brands under the same roof and have their own large-scale reconditioning operations. They also put age, condition, and mileage limits on the cars they’ll sell.

Independent used-car dealerships are apt to handle any car make, and the vehicles can run the gamut from almost-new to junker-in-waiting. Favor the dealerships that have been around for a long time and have a good reputation locally.

Independent mechanics and body shops often have a sideline business selling a few used cars. They may not have a large selection, but it costs them little to fix cars up. That means their prices can be better than those you’ll find at a dealership.

Private owners may sell their cars for less, but there are limits. Businesses that sell cars required to offer some kind of warranty by law and have the expertise to spot problems. Private sellers can’t provide the same security. All the private transactions are assumed to be ‘as-is.’


Consumer Reports – Build – Buy Car Buying Service #auto #recyclers


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Car Buying Service Customer Reviews

Sue B. saved $5,126 off MSRP “Love this service! Love my new car! Truly a worry free experience.”

Robin G. saved $5,827 off MSRP “I’m bad at haggling, so it really helped to have a guaranteed price that I could know before going to the dealership, and it was a great price!”

Jack M. saved $1,757 off MSRP “The program saved me thousands of dollars on a new car and allowed me to avoid talking with numerous sales people to get the deal I wanted. Thank you.”

Craig M. saved $3,395 off MSRP “I found the Build and Buy program very helpful for providing me with information that gave me the power to negotiate prices. Several dealers responded and were willing to sell me the vehicle I wanted at or very close to the estimated price your program came up with.”

William D. saved $3,551 off MSRP “It has been 4 years since I bought a new car. I was amazed at how easily three dealers honored the Consumer Reports price. What a great way to start the negotiations. I felt completely comfortable purchasing the car at the Consumer Reports price but I even worked a slightly better deal, at which point I knew it was a great deal.”

William C. saved $2,452 off MSRP “At the time of purchase, I asked our sales person if I had come to the dealership without the Consumer Reports price statement, would I have been able to get – as good as or a better deal. She responded – absolutely not. You did your homework on the Internet and were rewarded!”