Fuel-efficient used cars to keep you going until your Tesla arrives
The Tesla factor in your smart buying decision process
Smart buying decisions can be difficult. While the basis of any smart vehicle purchase is always about money, there is no denying that other factors such as the desire to go green, stylish advertisements, new hype, ongoing reports of a another delay in availability, this neighbor next door, etc. are all influencing factors that guide our eventual purchase. Especially when it comes to a Tesla.
Follow one of the many Tesla groups and you can almost feel the not-so-calm desperate anticipation through your thumb on a touchscreen of those awaiting their own special Tesla Day. And that’s understandable.
However, pending the availability of the model; the latest update, patch or new feature; or, the month an EV rebate pops up and saves you a few thousand dollars, what should you do when you need a good set of wheels right now to hold you back until your Tesla day? come ?
The answer can be found in a recent Consumer reports ranking of the most fuel-efficient used compact SUVs (5 years) that can help you make a smart purchasing choice.
Consumer Reports Recommendations for the Most Fuel Efficient 5-Year-Old Compact SUVs
While fuel economy is a big plus when evaluating a vehicle choice, CR recommendations also took into account braking, acceleration and safety features such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW), l Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) in older vehicles they determined remained on par with newer models having the same characteristics.
Here’s a rundown of the top six used SUV picks you should be looking for as a smart, fuel-efficient purchase:
1. 2016 Toyota RAV4: A CR Green Choice vehicle tested at 25 mpg (31 mpg in hybrid version) that offers a quiet and smooth ride and comes with sets of safety features you should consider when debating a model used rather than another.
2. 2016 Lexus NX: Another CR Green Choice vehicle, the NX 300h Hybrid delivers 29 mpg total per CR test. It’s a sportier ride than the RAV4, but at the cost of less comfort and a narrower cabin. Side and rear visibility is somewhat compromised; therefore, a model with the blind spot warning (BSW) function is recommended.
3. 2016 Subaru Forester: A boxy build powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a handsome 26 mpg. Its large windows, large doors and spacious back seat provide sufficient comfort, but can be noisy inside. CR recommends looking for a Forester with the optional EyeSight system with its Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) safety features.
4. 2016 Mazda CX-5: A responsive 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 25 mpg described as fun and sporty driving was a popular choice. Although quite spacious, CR experts found that “… the ride was choppy, with lingering jerks that can become tiring.” In addition, the pronounced noise of the road makes the CX-5 a noisy SUV. For additional safety features, you’ll need to look to Touring models and higher trim level models.
5. 2016 Honda CRV: All-wheel drive models are tested at a respectable 24 mpg, but are known to have some level of road noise issues. The rear view camera is standard. For other safety features like FCW and AEB, however, you’ll have to shop around to find models with these options.
6. 2016 Nissan Red: Among the compact SUVs, the Red is bigger, better, quieter and offers a better ride than most other small SUVs. CR attains a total of 24 mpg thanks to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine developing 170 horsepower and the continuously variable transmission. While a rear-view camera was standard, CR recommends an SV trim level with the Premium package, which will get you BSW, a power tailgate, a panoramic camera system, and navigation.
For more on smart vehicle shopping, here’s an informative article on what a cheaper Tesla will cost you.
Timothy Boyer is a reporter for Torque News Tesla and EV based in Cincinnati. Experienced in early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for better performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily news from Tesla and electric vehicles.
Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash