It's no surprise that buyers often compare both new and used cars. For a given price point, the market for potential cars explodes once you start looking away from new cars alone. Yes, you might give up the warranty, but if you're looking for something unique, used cars provide a good value … provided you pick the right one. Bang for Your Buck takes a look at a handful of awesome used cars you could get with the money you'd spend on the new car we've tested recently.
This week, our new-car control is the 2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo. It features an upgraded engine over the base Optima – a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot that puts out 274 horsepower while still achieving 20 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. It's a proper four-door family car, meant to go head-to-head with the Accord and Camry, except the Kia has much better standard equipment. But can it stand up to the five used cars below?
5. 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L
The Odyssey's benefits are clear. It's huge, it seats the whole family (and then some), and it will live for 500 years with proper maintenance. However, gas mileage is worse than the Kia, and the Kia's equipment is far superior. The Kia's UVO infotainment system walks all over Honda's offering – whatever it's called – and the Kia is much more attractive, as well. It's the closest thing to a wash on this list; it all really depends on the number of people you haul around on a regular basis.
4. 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Handyman
Perhaps the Odyssey, while a fine choice of used car, is a little too much of a sell-out for you. Maybe you want something that's a little more badass. In that case, consider this '55 Bel Air station wagon. Despite only having two doors, it will fit a family comfortably, thanks to a kick-ass rear bench seat. That said, compared to today's safety-minded vehicles, the Bel Air is a death trap; it's all metal, it lacks headrests, and most importantly, there are no seatbelts or airbags. But hey, you wanted a badass car, right? Live life on the edge – but only after taking out substantial life-insurance policies on all your future passengers.
3. 2001 Chrysler Prowler
Ah, the Prowler: Plymouth's (and later, Chrysler's) attempt to make a throwback roadster that met late-20th-century safety standards. Its V-6 engine is described as "high output," despite producing 22 fewer horsepower than the Kia. Only 3,142 of these 2001-model Prowlers were sold (we wonder why), so you can tell all your friends you bought a "rare" car. Telling the parent of your children that you bought a two-seat roadster, however, will likely elicit a different response – one closer to rage or disappointment. But who cares?! It's still one of the funkiest-looking road cars produced by a major manufacturer.
2. 2002 Porsche 911 Carrera (996)
For every single new car we've posted on Bang For Your Buck, we've found a 911 at the same price point. Keep that in mind.
1. 2007 Lexus GS 350
Imported straight from the Stance Nation, we've got ourselves one hell of a custom luxury sedan. It's rocking a set of $6,000 custom wheels (Fifteen52 Tarmac Classics), and it's on the ground thanks to an adjustable Ksport air suspension system – yes, it will drive around at a proper ride height, traversing speed bumps and running over stray children without damaging the fascia. It's just as loaded as the Kia is (it's an eight-year-old luxury car, after all), probably gets a little worse gas mileage (although the engine is modified), and will seat five in comfort. You'll also get the benefit of 15-year-olds chasing you around, cell phones out, trying to get a picture for Instagram. #hellaflush #VIP #whyamiwritinglikethis
(Pictures and cars courtesy eBay.)
Republished (and slightly tweaked) with permission from Web2Carz.com. Or maybe it wasn't with permission. I don't know; I just do shit until they yell at me.