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Toronto Used-Car Shoppers’ 4 Best Buys For The Fewest Bucks

Buying a used – or where the specific title may apply, “certified pre-owned” – car or truck is a Toronto automotive shopper’s surest way to secure a reliable vehicle without breaking the bank or sinking into years of debt. Though nearly always less costly than going whole-hog on a brand-new ride, not all used-car deals are created equally.

Some makes and models just offer more for the money. A select few deserve to be considered practically “steals” for their return on often less than $10,000 investment. Take these four exceptional finds among low-priced used vehicles, for example. Across three classes of cars and trucks – two of the very best values for their money happen to be standard sedans – these automobiles deliver inexpensive options at a variety of tastes that can meet varied needs from commuting at peak fuel efficiency to keeping driving off the beaten path gentle on the budget.

  • THE LITTLE GUY: 2009 PONTIAC VIBE

Ah, Pontiac. Let us all offer one of General Motors’ several dearly departed makes a belatedly respectful moment of silence.

Pontiac fell as a 2011 casualty of American automotive industry struggles, and it surprisingly works in this compact wagon’s favor. Actually, the Vibe might rank as one of Pontiac’s last great successes. The 2009 model year ushered in an overhaul with standard ESC and engines that sported more power at an improved fuel efficiency. Like similarly boxy and light competitors such as the Toyota Matrix (virtually its twin) or the Ford Focus, the Vibe is supported by a flat load floor.

Lightweight, small models such as these are often regarded as expendable, even “disposable” cars but remain great, inexpensive “starter” cars for young drivers – especially since the death of Pontiac makes them attainable for very little while parts and service still come easily enough.

  • THE TWO SEDANS: 2004 ACURA TSX & 2008 HYUNDAI SONATA (4 CYL.)

Count on certain consistent hallmarks almost universally among leading Japanese manufacturers – namely, impressive durability, equally impressive performance, slick handling and admirable fuel efficiency. The 2008 Sonata boasts plenty of the above on the back of a gas-sipping four-cylinder that metes out 23 mpg.

Anything the Sonata can do, the Acura TSX can match. The 2004 represented a highlight in quality before latter generations started to fall off, but this is a model worth tracking down. It provides front-wheel drive performance, ample acceleration and 30 highway/25 city gas mileage that’s every inch as respectable as the Sonata packed into a sportier body. With regular maintenance, models often can last anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles and even beyond.

  • THE SUV: 2004 TOYOTA RAV4 (4 CYL.)

The Toyota RAV4 in any year is on the smaller side for an SUV. However, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of 21 mpg mileage.

In particular, the 2004 stands out for being the first model year to include standard ESC and antilock brakes following the model’s 2001 redesign. For a four-cylinder in an SUV, it’s also a deceptively strong engine. For a smaller SUV, it’s admirably spacious. The all-wheel-drive and ideally balanced brakes make it an agile, safe SUV that can hang in there in the rough stuff and ride equally comfortably in the city.

We’d love to hear from you. Have you had any experiences for better, worse or otherwise with any of these four intriguing finds among used cars? Do they live up to their reputations for value offered at price points under $10,000? Let us know if you’d recommend any of these four vehicles yourself.

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