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David ASKED THE GUIDE

What second-hand car should I buy?

My partner is looking to buy a used car and we're a little unsure of what to go for. We were considering the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and VW Tiguan. We've got just under $15,000 to play with and were hoping for something from maybe 2013 or newer. We're leaning towards the Forester but were curious to hear your opinions.

The Forester is a good choice provided it has a full service history. True, you probably shouldn’t buy any relatively new vehicle without this document, but the Subaru engine is renowned for being reliable and durable provided it has never had any skipped oil changes. Skipped servicing allows sludge to build up in the oil, and the Subaru’s intricate oilways won’t tolerate it. Eventually, they gunk up and block the flow of oil to various vital engine components.

The Tiguan is a lovely car to drive, but concerns over its DSG transmission remain to haunt it and its stablemates. Meantime, conventional used-car wisdom says Toyota every time. Just make sure nobody has confused the RAV4 for an off-road machine and abused it accordingly.

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