September 13, 2007

Consumer Reports says maintaining cars for 15 years can save thousands of dollars

Yonkers, New York – A new report by Consumer Reports says that many of today’s cars can last 200,000 miles (321,868 km) or more with proper care, and owners seeking to limit repair costs by trading their vehicles every three to five years may lose out on thousands of savings.

The magazine found that when comparing the costs of buying and keeping a car for 225,000 miles (362,102 km) over 15 years to buying an identical model every five years, the savings could be more than the original purchase price of the vehicle, and even greater if the savings were invested. As an example, the magazine says that the Honda Civic EX with automatic transmission could potentially save its owner as much as US$20,500 if properly maintained over 15 years, or US$1,500 more than its purchase price. Consumer Reports calculated the cost of purchase price, including destination fees, depreciation, maintenance and repairs, finance and interest, fees and taxes, and insurance for 15 years, against the same factors for purchasing a new model every five years.

The magazine also identifies Good and Bad Bets for vehicles to reach 200,000 miles. Among its “Good Bets” are the Honda Civic, Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Lexus ES, Lexus LS, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Prius and Toyota RAV4. Among the “Bad Bets” are the BMW 7 Series, Infiniti QX56, Jaguar S-Type, Jaguar X-Type, Mercedes-Benz M-Class (V8), Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Nissan Armada, Nissan Titan, Volkswagen Touareg and Volvo XC90 (six-cylinder).

The magazine also offers tips for long life, including following the vehicle’s maintenance schedule; making necessary repairs promptly; using parts and fluids that meet manufacturer specifications; looking for problems; keeping the vehicle clean; and buying a safe, reliable car with a good track record.

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