Great Car Ideas for Every Life Stage
You've been driving that old minivan or big SUV a bit longer than planned while saving for college and retirement. With the kids gone, it's time for some new wheels that suit just the two of you.
In the years since you've gone car shopping, advanced technology has brought more comfort and convenience, as well as added safety to new cars. Some models you have never considered may be a good fit for empty nesters like yourselves.
If you like a sport utility vehicle (SUV) but don't want to spend too much, you might consider a small SUV like the new Jeep Renegade coming out in 2015. Expected to start at a list price under $20,000, the Renegade looks like a strong seller.
The Renegade has some signature design features of Jeeps: a squared-off shape and round headlights. But the smaller engine should be rated for at least 30 miles per gallon (mpg) in highway driving, according to Jeep executives. If you don't want to trade down that much in size, consider the next-larger class of SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4, and the Ford Escape.
If you were perfectly happy with a sedan before you needed to haul more, the comfortable selection of midsize sedans with good gas mileage may look attractive again. The 2014 Camry, starting at a list price of $22,235 for the base model, is rated for 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Toyota is promising significant updates in the 2015 version.
A model that has gained popularity since you probably last shopped for sedans is the Hyundai Sonata. Reviewers think the 2015 Sonata, already on sale, has one of the quietest rides and most luxurious interiors in the class. The Sonata, rated for 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, starts at $21,150.
Of course, if you care most about gas mileage, the mileage champ Toyota Prius is rated for 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway and starts at $24,200.
Small luxury sedans
Maybe you've always been a little envious of those neighbors driving a luxury car. If you've been successful in your savings and investments, this might be the chance to indulge. "Stepping down in size is a nice opportunity to step up in luxury," says Jason Allen of kbb.com.
In recent years, luxury brands have priced their so-called entry-level models near $35,000. Audi has made strong sales gains in the U.S. in recent years. The Audi A4 is praised for a good mix of luxurious interior, comfortable ride, and crisp acceleration and handling. The least-expensive version is rated for reasonable gas mileage of 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway. The A4 starts at $33,800 for the base model but can go much higher as you add options. Leather seats and a power sunroof are standard equipment.
Mercedes-Benz has long been a top luxury brand. The base C250 model starts at $35,800 and comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 22 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway.
When you've researched your empty-nester ride, talk to a NuVision loan officer about a great-rate loan to help you drive it off the lot. With a preapproved credit union loan, you can go to the dealership and bargain for your best price with, effectively, a cash offer.
Thinking about buying a new car and curious what the auto insurance will be? As a NuVision member, you'll receive special pricing from Liberty Mutual on your home and auto insurance.
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