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Looking to replace your rusted out Zastava? Buying brand new is a hard pill to swallow when you start to run the numbers. Given the durability of modern powertrains, pretty much any car will make it to 150,000 miles without so much as a whimper, provided you maintain it. Taking that longevity into account, buying used, *ahem* pre-owned, is a great way to stretch what you can get for your budget. We're all aware of the cracks about used car salesmen being shifty-eyed greaseballs upholstered in horrid plaid sportcoats. We've met a few of those, but the current fashion for pre-loved cars is factory-backed programs that pluck the plums from the rotten apples, gives them a thorough once-over and placing them just across the lot from the brand new ones.

Among all of the certified used vehicle initiatives, Volkswagen and Volvo come out on top, according to Intellichoice.com. This is the fourth year in a row that Volkswagen has been ranked the best in the non-luxury category. Volvo beat out last year's winner, Cadillac, on the strength of its compliance program. Intellichoice ranks the programs based on the warranty length, rigor of the inspections, roadside assistance, and return and exchange policies, as well as how well the standards of the programs are actually enforced. Among the top finishers are previous toppers Cadillac and Jaguar, along with MINI and Hyundai. Hyundai went from the bottom of the list last year to a third place finish by changing financing deals and applying it's crushingly good 10 year warranty to used vehicles, as well. Among those aforementioned brands, we think you'll be able to find something you'll like almost as much as that Zastava.

[Source: Auto News - sub req]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL please do keep going on. I want to see what happens when you get to Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
        • 7 Years Ago
        bwahahaha man i'm with you... cuz those Lincoln models are so diverse when compared to ford products :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just bought a new car this weekend. I researched for weeks, and ended up with a Honda, trading my Jetta in after years of trouble with everything but the drive train, and even that was starting to go (rear end trouble). VW would have been one of the last brands I would have purchased based only on the research, but the personal experience put the exclamation point on my strict avoidance of anything with the (VW) emblem.

      Consumer Reports rated several VW models on their most UN-reliable list, just published this last month. I think I trust them quite a bit more than Intellichoice.

      I did not used to be a VW hater. For the first 6 months we owned our Jetta it was awesome. But it will take significant quality improvements from them to ever lure me back again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Part of it has to do with how obsessive many VW owners are with their cars. I can tell you the GTI I just traded in will be a great buy for the next owner. I included all of my service records and my own personal logbook of everything ever done to the car, right down to the number of gallons per fill-up.

      If the R32 gets traded in, it'll be the same situation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW is teh suxor and is only for people who wish they could drive Audis. There how was that?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah but that's like saying Toyota is the suxor and only for people who wish they could drive Lexus. Or Nissan is the suxor and only for people who wish they could drive Infiniti. Or Honda is the suxor and only for people who wish they could drive Acura. Shall I go on? LoL!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thanks for the link to Zastava. In the midst of all the Tokyo and SEMA hype of the past few days, it's a jolt back to reality to know that the Yugo still lives on (as the Zastava Koral). The retro dance beat at the site's intro was just icing on this (very old) cake.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Driving a diesel Mk. I here. Not a single problem with it. Changed clutch, brakes etc. But those are usual. Starting to rust, but only because its 1983. I think it depends which car you get. My luck with VW has been good. I have 5 of them in my family and none of them are near going bad. Three of them are high mileage (above 100K miles), while two are mid 20s.