What Is ‘Quality’ When It Comes To A Used Car?

By on January 11, 2017

 

Twenty-five years ago, a book called, The Machine That Changed The World, offered a roundhouse dope slap to those automakers who were just preaching the quality gospel.

Today I am honored to offer a new long-term quality study, over two years in the making and over 1,200,000 data samples strong, that is answering this very same question for those of you shopping for a used car.

This information will be available for free, forever.

The Long-Term Quality Index is designed to do two unique things that no other study has attempted to do in the history of our business.

The first is to completely remove all forms of ownership bias.

These vehicles are all individually inspected and appraised by professional mechanics who are trained to detect mechanical and structural issues. By relying on experts who spend their lives examining used cars, we eliminate the overlooked and unreported issues that owners often fail to report in other industry studies.

We also take a close look at whether certain models began to show severe mechanical issues after the usual period when new cars are under the microscope.

Most quality studies offered to the general public either focus on initial quality (90 days) or what industry analysts have called long-term quality (3 years to 5 years) which is well out of whack with the average age of today’s cars and trucks (11.5 years).

Due to this lack of long-term analysis, an awful lot of vehicles end up receiving recommendations earlier in their life, and then become rolling money pits as they get older. Our goal is to show whether each specific brand and model is indeed living up to their public billing, or simply using clever marketing strategies at the beginning and shafting their customers in the long run.

Our findings show that you can still hit em’ where they ain’t by buying an unpopular car or truck that is surprisingly reliable.

Also, we have found that some popular vehicles are truly abysmal when it comes to long-term quality.

To make this information powerful and concise, we provide simple graphs that show which used cars remain reliable as they age, which are money pits, and which are borderline cases that may give you pause. In this coming year we will also provide overall long-term quality ratings for the engine, transmission, and powertrain of the specific model that interests you.

So sit back. Click away. And don’t be afraid to ask us questions directly by emailing me directly at steven.lang@alumni.duke.edu. Our team looks forward to doing our own part in helping all of you change the economics of long-term car ownership.

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