When it comes to the difference between used and new cars, many would-be vehicle owners may have some misconceptions, particularly as it relates to available features. They may believe that since automakers come out with new models and trim lines every year, these new automobiles must be somehow superior to their previous generations. In some cases, this idea may have some merit, but in many cases, it is just not the case. Even now, many classic car enthusiasts swear by the designs and performance of vehicles from many generations ago.

The same principles apply to used cars of the modern generation. Many of these vehicles have benefits and features that drivers and passengers have come to love. At the same time, these features and benefits give these cars more charm, capability, and options than offerings from the newest generation.


Sport utility vehicles are all the rage, and there are certainly good reasons for their popularity. Modern SUVs, including crossovers, combine many of the best features of both trucks and cars. Many SUVs offer interiors that are comparable to modern living rooms while at the same time providing under-the-hood power and size galore. As such, these vehicles do a good job of transporting large volumes of passengers and their luggage to faraway places. That said, many of the newest generation of SUVs do not necessarily hold up to their older cousins in the features department.

For example, some SUV manufacturers may reduce the size of their offerings, turning three-row SUVs into shorter versions. The result is a loss of both luggage and passenger space, making things more cramped for all involved. Similarly, some SUV manufacturers seem to think that it is a good idea to reduce the number of available engines and power plants. Many consumers have found this to be a problem and have opted for purchasing older generations that offer more freedom and choice in terms of engines. These are just a couple of examples, but there is no doubt that many older generations of SUVs pack far more punch than their newer family members.

Older gen vehicles can supply more attractive featuresTrucks

Pickup trucks are eminently useful vehicles that are used on city streets and at construction sites. Because of their versatility and usefulness, pickup trucks get plenty of attention in the sales departments of dealerships every year. Car manufacturers tend to put out new models of pickup trucks with their trim lines every year. That said, newer generations are often less capable than previous ones.

For example, in the interest of looks, some truck makers sacrifice bed space and even ground clearance. These misguided efforts have resulted in trucks that have little prowess in the towing department and can barely get over average speed bumps. Other truck makers may tend to restrict the available passenger space in some of their newer models. Some of these newer generations may transition from full cab to single cab. This loss of interior space has been a major reason why many truck buyers have opted for older generations and models.

Power plant choice is another area of concern. Fuel efficiency is a good thing, but some truck makers take things too far in the wrong direction, putting out trucks that can barely move their own weight down the road. Often, older generations offer more robust motors that at the same time offer reasonable levels of mileage, range, and fuel efficiency.

Electric Cars

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more mainstream by the day. Large manufacturers like Tesla and others have put these cars on the map, and these vehicles are certainly here to stay for the long haul. Electric vehicle technology is still in its development phase, which means there are few older generations of vehicles to choose from. That said, savvy shoppers can still discover many hard-to-find benefits in older generations of electric vehicles.

An example of this is charging capacity. Very old electric vehicles tended to have smaller batteries that took relatively long periods of time to charge. Unlike these, newer models have larger batteries that offer greater range while at the same time offering higher power outputs. They also allow for larger charging units and can thus achieve full charges in much shorter time periods.

Unfortunately, some newer electric cars seem to be bucking this trend by installing batteries that are either too weak or offer too little charging power for the size of the vehicle. Would-be electric car buyers who notice these kinds of things would be far better off choosing older generations with more capable features.

Another popular feature of electric vehicles is autonomous or semiautonomous driving capability. New vehicles with this capability supposedly can go long distances with almost no driver intervention. While automakers have had some success in this venture, there are still many bugs to work out with this transportation mode. As such, drivers who are more cautious and like to have more personal input into driving will be better off going with older generations of electric cars with less autonomous circuitry.

Older gen vehicles can supply more attractive featuresMinivans

Minivans are popular among many segments of the population. New and growing families find this vehicle useful for transporting large numbers of passengers in secure comfort. Minivans also tend to have extra space for luggage and other gear. Some even have towing capacity and roof rails for extra measure. Other minivans also include features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and proprietary device connection software.

These features make minivans almost the ideal family and vacation vehicles, but newer generations are not necessarily any better than older ones. An example is the doors on some minivans. Some newer generations feature single slide doors that allow exit from only one end. In contrast, some older models offer sliding doors on both sides that allow for easy exit and entry of passengers and cargo.

Other new models also fail in the ground clearance area. Some of these have clearances that are comparable to sports cars, which is not a realistic proposition for a would-be passenger and freight vehicle. Unlike such examples, some older generations offer healthy levels of road clearance that allow these automobiles to operate as designed.

Interior space and configurations are other potential problems. Many older generations of minivans have three- or four-row capabilities, along with folding seats for cargo storage. Even though some newer models may follow this trend, others have restricted the number of available seats as well as configuration patterns. The moral of the story is do not be fooled by the shiny new models and always take a closer look at older generations.

Sports Cars

Sports cars are ever-popular and have been around since the advent of the gas-powered engine. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but have one important thing in common: They all offer exceptional power and handling. Even though this is the case, different generations of the same sports car family vary widely in capability. Many newer sports cars have intricate electronics involved that can control things like shifting, throttle application, brake application, and even cornering. Even though these technologies can be beneficial for individuals who are new to high-performance driving, they can often get in the way of more experienced drivers.

Drivers who are seasoned race car operators often rely on skills acquired over many years, and such drivers can benefit from older race car generations that let drivers do the driving. New sports cars sometimes lag in the safety department as well. Most older generations of sports cars had a solid, well-designed chassis that could stand up to both road forces and protect occupants in the case of accidents. In the name of lightness, some new sports cars use composite materials that are far less hardy and durable during accidents. As such, drivers who want both the exhilaration of sports car power and the insurance that comes along with a solid build can do well with older chassis designs.

Trim Levels

In the interest of variability, most car manufacturers put out several trim levels of the same models. Such trim levels usually start with a base model, offer one or more intermediate models, and also include a flagship version. There can be a wide variation between the base models and the flagship versions, and these potential differences allow drivers to fill various personal needs.

Even though the idea of trim levels is a sound one, newer generations of cars do not necessarily offer better ones. As a matter of fact, some carmakers may actually drop the number of available trims from generation to generation. While this may simplify things, it also deprives potential drivers of choice and variety. Such situations can cause drivers to choose past generations and trim levels over newer ones.

Lots of vehicles operate on today’s roadways, and new automobiles make up a good portion of these cars. While these new vehicles certainly have their places in the scheme of things, the multitude of used cars and their associated generations offer untold benefits. Wise car shoppers who are in the market for replacement vehicles would do well to keep in mind the many advantages that used cars offer over newer ones.