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Which is the best luxury SUV to buy — a nearly new or older used model?

23 June 2022 - 12:45 By Motoring Staff
According to Autotrader data a whopping R1.2m-odd could be saved by purchasing a higher mileage 2017 example over a nearly new, fairly low mileage 2022 model.
According to Autotrader data a whopping R1.2m-odd could be saved by purchasing a higher mileage 2017 example over a nearly new, fairly low mileage 2022 model.
Image: Supplied

Typically, the value of a car depreciates by a third within the first 18 months. So, finding a model that is around three to five years old can result in significant savings, in some cases nearly half of what you would cough up if you purchased an SUV that was two years old or newer.

Take the large, luxury Land Rover Range Rover Sport. A whopping R1.2m-odd could be saved by purchasing a higher mileage 2017 SUV rather than a nearly new, fairly low mileage 2022 model. 

And savings on a less pricey mid-size SUV like the Toyota Fortuner would be in the region of R355,000 if the choice was a 2017 model over a 2021 edition, according to AutoTrader data that provides unparalleled insight into local car shopping trends.

 The savings incentive for a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 100,000km on the clock might be less attractive given that a 2021 model with mileage around 18,000km will, on average, only cost around R125,000 more and could still have about four years of its warranty and maintenance plan still in place.

Yet, warranties can be extended. And, three- to five-year-old SUVs generally have many of the bells and whistles that a younger car offers. The 2018 iteration of the premium, locally produced BMW X3 is a case in point.

“In today's world there are hardly any bad cars. Most cars have good build quality. The quality and reliability of a used car however is often more important than mileage as quality deteriorates with how the car is used, cared for, or abused,” says George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader.

Toyota models have a long history of reliability aside from affordable parts, while the longevity, quality, and safety of German-engineered brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are well-documented. 

But, if the aim is to take the savings that are to be had on the purchase price of an older, higher-mileage SUV, then budgeting for the additional maintenance expenses that comes with that is crucial.

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