It's all too easy to sit back, twist the key to yet another spanking-new car, and think everyone and their mother is doing the exact same thing. What? You mean you didn't drop 36 grand on the Explorer we just reviewed? Or $22,000 for a cute little Fiat convertible?
While our writers are pushing new metal all the time, we know these cars are always poor values when compared to lightly-used, one-owner vehicles off leases. But the great thing about this job is that I know exactly what I want to own in three to five years, when some of the hot models drop to more Walmart-level prices.
So WheelsTV in Acton decided to start honoring used cars. And after a non-debate over how incredibly boring the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedans are, the overall winner was the first-generation Ford Fusion.The Fusion from 2006 to 2009 isn't too exciting, either, but jurors from the New England Motor Press Association agreed it offered a higher fun factor, especially with the V-6 engine. Reliability is just as good, if not better, than the Japanese competition, and Ford's lower resale values are hard to ignore.
My favorite used car — a BMW 328 coupe from 2007 onward — won the "sporty car" category. When I finally become an adult and own a car, I'll click on the used section of Boston.com and buy one of those (with all-wheel-drive and a stick). Here's the full list:
Green Car: 04-09 Toyota Prius -- Fuel-efficient, safe, sensible
Family Sedan: 06-09 Ford Fusion -- Practical, good value, handsome
SUV: 07-10 Toyota Highlander -- Versatile, capable, spacious
Small Car: 06-09 Honda Civic -- Reliable, attractive, frugal
Sporty Car: 05-09 BMW 3 Series -- Nimble, potent, iconic
Luxury Car: 09-10 Jaguar XF -- Stylish, unique, lavish
Light Truck: 07-10 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 -- Rugged, dependable, powerful
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee