LOUISVILLE (WAVE/CONSUMER REPORTS) - 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?
This time of year, dealers are pushing 2010 vehicles. And that means bargains if you can find the car you want still in stock.
"The incentives are a lot larger on the 2010's than the elevens, the problem is availability", says David Grubbs, General Manager of Downtown Ford.
Consumer Reports says besides a lower price, there are other advantages to getting a "leftover" 2010 car.
"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 John Linkov with Consumer Reports.
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 get.
"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."
But there are advantages to buying a 2011 car. For one, it doesn't depreciate as fast according to Linkov.
"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."
Other advantages to getting a 2011 car - you tend to get better gas mileage and the latest safety features with newer models. Take the Hyundai Sonata. Linkov says that research shows it drives better, it's more fuel efficient and it scored high in crash tests.
So before you head to the dealership, do some research so you get the best deal. If you do decide to go with a 2010 model the good news is all the factory warranties are still intact, just as they would if you bought a 2011 model.
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