Hey folks, Cooley again, got another one a your emails about high tech cars and modern driving, from Ryan this time.
Who says, I'm looking to replace my 2004 Suzuki Grand Vitara, that's half his age, with a 2020 Kia Soul.
I've always been told that I should never buy a car in its first model year due to reliability concerns.
Is that still true?
This is interesting Ryan that old chestnut has been around forever.
Specifically, it refers to buying the first year of a model refresh.
You know, like a Mustang or an F 150s been around forever.
Its first model year was decades ago.
We're talking about each time they do a major refresh.
Each time the car looks different.
Basically, the guts underneath are different as well.
And people have always said Don't buy the first one.
It hasn't been debugged wait till the next model year.
I'm not so sure it's true anymore, to be honest.
That all rule is good for the 20th century.
In the last 20 years or so cars have become so high tech, so digitally designed, so comprised of components that are common and shared among many other cars.
So they've had a ton of tests.
Thing that I think we've gotten to the point now where I think JD Power and Consumer Reports was both tell you, there's not a huge variance between first year of a new generation and the years that come after in terms of there being a bunch of lemons because they're not ready for prime time.
What I do want you to think about though, is how cars evolved rapidly in their first few years after introduction.
I wish you could get off the hook.
By just watching one year.
First of all, in the first few years of a car being around the technology may change.
An owner of say at 2016 Highlander might wish they'd waited for the 2017 to get an eight speed transmission instead of six and direct injection engine again in the same style and Model Generation of vehicle but very different under the hood same basic price.
Much better technology though.
Then there are creature comforts.
These rapidly change, especially in the first couple of years of a car as they get a lot of feedback from consumers.
Ask any owner of an early boxter if they wished they'd waited few years to get a slightly newer one with a glass rear window instead of that crappy plastic cracking one.
Then there are safety recalls.
This has become a huge deal in the industry lately with some recalls at a scale we've never seen before.
And it can take a year or more just to get the parts in, to do the fix on your car.
Ask a lot of people who are sitting on cars it's still don't have their dangerous Takata airbags replaced Because the parts are still not available, so that's a pretty serious one.
Then there are designed defects that may not surface for a few years after a model Rep.
Look at 99 to 2002 Jaguar XJ8, they had a higher incidence than normal of engines that self destruct cuz of timing chain issues.
Or take a look at about seven years of, 986 and 996 Porsches, with that legendary IMS bearing failure problem lurking down there in the bowels, that wasn't corrected in one year.
So this is why I get back to my old soapbox once again, think about a late model used car.
Because that's gonna give you that kind of perspective, where you can look back a little bit and say, look at that.
It got better.
This one had some bugs, this one doesn't.
And now I've got some comparison as opposed to just blindly saying, I'll just get year two.
And hope that's gonna work out the best.
Then you've got this idea of checking technical service bulletins.
These are very important.
Take out a subscription on one of the sites that lets you see these.
These are things that dealers are told, by the manufacture, to correct.
They are not at the level of a recall for safety, but they are also a consumer reliability and customer satisfaction issue.
So you want to make sure a car doesn't have a tons of those or if it does that they have been addressed by the previous owner.
And then there's this idea of recalls as I mentioned.
You can check on the specific used car you're looking at to see what open recalls it may have.
It can be easily done online by entering the cars vin number, you can just google one of the sites that does that.
And finally, become familiar with the car you're interested in and it's version history, it's refresh history of these features and technologies that I've talked about.
Go search around often the buffs sites, the club sites, the fan sites that are really into that make and model.
Will have a thread somewhere about the Rebs and the changes in that vehicle, what year got what, and then you can find the sweet spot pretty easily.
So throw out the old first year is crummy rule.
Sometimes it's a great year or just as good as any other.
and look a little more deeply as you do your search.
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