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5 Used Cars You Should Avoid Buying

Updated December 5, 2014

Are you in the market for a used car? There are a number of used cars consumers should avoid. Some are widow-makers, while others are too expensive to insure — when compared to similar models. So which are the five used cars you should not buy?

2011 Nissan Titan:

Worst Resale Value With a starting manufacturer suggested retail price between $27,410 and $40,210, this two-cab truck with the 37-gallon tank looks like a work horse. While this may be true, Cars.com lists it first among its vehicles with the “worst overall car resale values.” With a residual value of only 32 percent after three years of ownership, you will have to drive the Nissan Titan into the ground to get your money’s worth. Potential short-term owners should look elsewhere.

2006 Dodge Durango SUV:

Six Recalls The Dodge Durango is a beefy SUV that combines a tough exterior with a roomy cargo area. Forbes looked past the exterior and listed it among its most-recalled cars. Six recalls covered everything from faulty software controlling the anti-lock brakes to a transmission that could not be shifted into “park.” Unless you do not mind frequent trips to the dealership, you might want to look for another vehicle.

2006 to 2008 Ford Explorer:

Poor Rear Crash Protection There was a time when I had my eye on a 2006 Ford Explorer. The more than 84 cubic feet of cargo room were a big selling point. Unfortunately this Ford did not pass muster with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Its rear crash protection testing yielded compelling result; the 2006 to 2008 Explorer models garnered an overall rating of “poor,” while only the seat/head restraint geometry rated as “acceptable.” 2002 Honda S2000: Expensive to Insure The KBB gives the Honda S2000 a 4.9 out of 5 rating. It is a fun convertible to drive. If a new Mazda Miata is out of your price range, this fun little Honda is a great option — or is it? Bankrate places it seventh out of its 10 cars that are most expensive to insure. So even though the initial expense of buying the car is relatively low, the continued insurance cost might just eat up the savings.

1997 Dodge Neon:

Poor Frontal Offset Crash Rating Read the glowing KBB reviews of the 1997 Dodge Neon, couple them with the 25 city miles per gallon, and this sporty little automobile looks like a good deal. The IIHS begs to differ. It tested a 1997 four-door model and showed that this vehicle only merits a poor overall frontal offset rating. The institute then assigned this rating to all 1995 to 1999 Dodge Neon models. Ouch!

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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