Consumer Reports Identifies Top Cash for Clunkers Candidates

94cadillac-deville It’s obvious that if you want to take advantage of the new Cash for Clunkers law working its way through Congress, your junker vehicle’s trade-in value needs to be less than the minimum $3,500 voucher ($4,500 if the new car you’re eyeing gets 10 mpg better than the trade-in) for it to be worth your while.

Consumer Reports has identified some prime candidates to pile onto the scrap heap. Cars that make the most sense to junk include vehicles like Cadillac’s DeVille, Eldorado and Seville. Lincoln also has several scrap-worthy cars in the Continental, LS V8 and Town Car. Trucks make up most of the list, however — especially those from the 1990s.

It’s important to keep in mind that buying a new car has more benefits than just better fuel economy. If you’re still tooling around in a 1999 Nissan Quest, for instance, you’re missing out on a decade of major safety improvements. Today’s vehicles are built to cushion occupants during crashes far more effectively, while things like side-impact and side curtain airbags and electronic stability control make for a much safer driving experience.

Also, with a new car you’ll get a warranty that will cover major repairs, as well as a few years (hopefully) of no-repair driving. If you’re still hanging onto that 1994 Dodge Ram, you have to factor in those repair costs.

The Cash for Clunkers bill passed in the House of Representatives yesterday and will move to the Senate for a vote. Then the bill heads to the President before becoming law.

Cash for Clunkers: The Best Gas Guzzlers to Junk (Consumer Reports)

Comments 

Jim

I have an '04 Lexus with 110,000 miles and gets a combined 18 mpg? Should I junk it? The highest trade in value I got was $2500. Also, stop picking on the American cars. There's plenty of thirsty late model Asian cars/trucks out there.

broq

I am sure there are more 90's LS400's and Q45's on the road than LS-V8's or Aurora's, or even German luxury cars, based purely on the sales figures. Neither of those cars were large volume sellers, so why are they on the list and not the others? Is consumer Reports insinuating that an early 90's LS is worth more than 3500, because it is not, and any one that thinks it is dillusional. I know the first year of the LS was unreliable, maybe thats why it is on there, but wait, so were most years of the 1st gen Q, and some of these cars are really reliable, so that's not it. They list the '92 4-runner, but what about the previa or landcruiser? Cash for clunkers is good I think- this list is bad. Don't pick and choose the offenders that you are going to call out- call them all out.


Broq

J

But why should people drive old guzzlers get money? Those of us who bought efficient vehicles were penalized!

There are definite benefits in driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle. But sometimes even a reward program for making the switch may have different pros and cons for people. Safety benefits and a new car warranty are definite advantages. Getting bogged down by an additional installment account, not as enticing.

There were mentions of these rebates only being applied to consumers of the bailout recipients. Do you folks have any information on this?

cody

yeah, this list seems poorly researched and seems to attempt to call negative attention to certain automakers/vehicles while letting others off. they should be using the new epa calculation for fuel economy and not the numbers used in the 80s/90s/early 2000.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov

secondly, they should list every vehicle that meets the criteria. that would actually be helpful to readers.

YOING

Good luck getting the old folks to part ways with their beloved Cadillacs. Or the gangsta rappers in their 1999 Escalades.

Bloke

I don't see how the list seems poorly researched. Look up the trade in values on the cars listed. They provide some of the best deals.

Clara

My registration expired in September of 2008 and I paid the late fees in November. I have owned the car for over 4 years and have been driving it. Do I still qualify for the program?

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