It’s odd. No sooner had I finished writing about the benefits of buying a new Chevy in a particular city, I was asked to gather my thoughts on used car drivers within that city might be interested in. Aside from the timing, the oddity comes in the context of that piece.
Built around the city’s relatively high crime rate, the piece made some reference to the vehicles most commonly stolen, as reported by Insurance providers. What were they? Led by the Honda Accord and Civic, the list was fleshed out by F-Series trucks, the Toyota Camry and Corolla, RAM Trucks and the Nissan Altima. And while Chevy made a brief appearance on the list, the takeaway was that (regardless of vehicle make) earlier model years are more susceptible to theft than new models.
All things being equal, the angle used might be even more pertinent to this piece. In researching the most popular used vehicles in that area, the list almost mirrors the list of those most commonly stolen. With that in mind, let’s take a look at those vehicles – most likely to be bought by (and potentially stolen from).
Most Popular (For Better or Worse)
With 25 model years and five generations behind it, the Nissan Altima kicks off our list of these indisputable favorites. Despite some mid-year adjustments, the 2017 Nissan Altima of recent years was known to come in five basic trims and two engine configurations. With 2017 sliding into previous model year status, this distinction is worth noting since Nissan is trimming down the Altima’s options for 2018. That said, a new Altima could run you $23,000-$33,000 or more, but you could score as recent as a 2015 model for $15,000 or less.
RAM is one of three truck brands common to theft. And since we’re betting you can guess the other two, why not lump them in together. Riddle me this: a RAM, F-Series and a Silverado walk into a bar, but only get driven home by their owner. Which one doesn’t? Answer: the one that was stolen. My point is this…the demand for truck parts is no different than that of car parts. With all due respect to other brands out there, each of the ‘Big Three’ have more history behind them than the others combined. And with that wealth of offerings comes many chances to score an earlier model year, well-equipped, for a fraction of the price you would spend on a new model.
Over 50 years and eleven generations equates to over 43 million Toyota Corollas sold to-date. Let’s be honest, the Corolla is the ‘sleeper hit’ often overshadowed by the Camry, but likable and reliable enough to keep models moving continually off of dealer lots worldwide. Buying new, you’ll be scraping bottom trims at the $19,000 mark but shave off a few grand by considering a used Corolla, and you’re only limited by your pickiness in terms of amenities.
Of any non-truck offerings on this list, none may be more iconic than the Toyota Camry. As applies to the Accord (later on the list) the Camry is currently undergoing a bit of a stylized makeover, but there’s nothing wrong with the earlier, ‘girl next door’ models whose simplicity speaks to contentment. If you want ‘sporty’, you got it. If you want ‘luxury’, you can have that too. Pick a handful of trim levels and the Camry will give you whatever platform you need.
With both coupe and hatchback variants to choose from, the Honda Civic is yet another enduring favorite now enjoying its tenth generation. Depending on which model year, and which of the (up to) six trim levels you choose, the Civic is guaranteed to deliver a wealth of technology appropriate to the year it first hit the road. This means that even if you score that with a few years on, it may still offer up more than some new model year offerings. Those shopping new Civics might score a barebones one for around $19,000, but for only slightly less you could score a fresh, recent model year offering. Certainly worth a look.
Like the Altima that kicked off our list, a new Honda Accord is priced to start around $23,000. Previous model years won’t benefit from the major redesign that’s currently pending, but the Accord has never relied on gimmicks to maintain its popularity. With both sedan and coupe styling, the Accord is served up in numerous trims (up to 8, based on the model year). Competitively powered, it can be equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 channeling up to 278 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque.
Driving around, you’d undoubtedly see many of these cars mentioned on the road. In fact, you are likely to see them just about anywhere, and everywhere. Listed above are some of the most enduring offerings to hit the marketplace in the last 40+ years. And just as they are popular to buy everywhere, there is always some risk of theft wherever it is that you call home.
That said, don’t let it deter you from investing in a vehicle that suits you. There are countless used vehicles out there, that are in great shape and priced to sell. Nearly all of the models listed are renowned for their longevity, and strength of performance. Why wouldn’t you want to put one of them to work for you?
Get a Deal. Stop the Steal.
Just be smart, regardless of the car that you drive. Lock your doors, roll up your windows and keep your keys on your person. You might even consider installation of an immobilization or tracking device (if you want to take vehicle security to the next level).
Buy the car that you want. Drive it well. Take care of it. With any luck, the only thing that will separate you from it, will be your next vehicle.