Sometimes buying a used car, truck, or SUV is a better financial decision than buying a new one. According to Consumer Reports, buying a three-year-old vehicle is smart. It often has all the current comfort, convenience, and safety features as a new model but costs less.
Consumer Report‘s 10 Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Cars and SUVs list is out for 2020 and it offers some really great used vehicle options for you consider. But there’s only one SUV on the list. How did it make the list? What does it have to offer?
The 2017 Lexus NX
Consumer Report considers the 2017 Lexus NX to be a good SUV. It has an impressive list of standard features and a well-crafted interior, even if it isn’t particularly roomy. The visibility isn’t perfect with its small windows, and most industry reviews agree that its controls are a little tricky to navigate.
The compact SUV offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides swift acceleration for a comfortable, slightly stiff ride. While some of its peers may offer a more athletic driving performance, the handling is agile. The NX does well on fuel efficiency with 24 mpg overall and 29 mpg overall for the hybrid models.
The 2017 Lexus NX has strong safety and predicted reliability ratings. Its blend of quality and value not only earned it a spot on Consumer Report’s list, but it was named the 2017 Best Luxury Compact SUV for the Money by U.S. News.
The biggest thing working against it, according to Consumer Report, is a low owner satisfaction score. The ratings mostly center around the SUV’s snug cabin, visibility limitations, and tricky controls. They also point out that blind-spot warning, auto emergency braking, and forward-collision warning were optional for the model year.
Top reliability rating
When it comes to predicted reliability, Consumer Report gave the 2017 Lexus NX a rating of five out of five. The only thing that kept it from having a perfect score was a three out of five on in-car electronics.
The reliability rating speaks to how a given vehicle has performed in the past. Consumer Report uses the ratings it gets from its customer surveys to establish how well each vehicle will hold up in 17 different crucial areas. It’s one of the most comprehensive sources of information consumers have access to when shopping for their next SUV.
The predicted reliability rating is a forecast of how well the latest model of a given vehicle will hold up based on its history. All-new or redesigned models get predictions based on the automaker’s resume, the previous generation, and similar models with similar elements. While the predictions aren’t a guarantee, they can be used to shop for a less likely vehicle to develop significant problems.
Why a three-year-old vehicle?
Consumer Report explains that new vehicles tend to lose their value fast. When a consumer purchases a new car, truck, or SUV close to being an equivalent of a new model, they get a similar vehicle at a much better price. Once a car is three years old, it has depreciated as much as 30%. After the three-year mark, the vehicle’s depreciation slows.
Consumer Report also points out that three-year-old vehicles are appealing because many of them are lease program vehicles. Vehicles from lease programs often have lower mileage and are in excellent condition because of the lease agreements. Usually, these vehicles are taken care of with interiors like new.
According to Consumer Report, the 2017 Lexus NX is at the top of its class when it comes to predicted reliability, beating out both the Infiniti QX50 and the Porsche Macan.
It’s always wise to do your research on any used vehicle you consider for purchase. The Consumer Report team has done it for you here. Want a quality used SUV? Give the 2017 Lexus NX a closer look.