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Unexpected used cars may bring
pleasant surprises

Though potential car buyers have a tendency to be drawn to vehicles with smooth, sleek designs, bold colors and powerful engines, some of the best vehicle features often times come from unexpected brands and models.

According to used car retailer CarMax, Inc., many used vehicles currently on the market might draw consumers’ initial glances. However, these cars might just deserve a second look.

“People often overlook some of the best features that a vehicle has to offer merely because it looks different than the most popular cars on the road,” said Mark Simmons, purchasing manager for CarMax. “Common features that car shoppers look for include a navigation system, leather seats and a sunroof. All of these features can be found in certain minivans and compact cars, not just sports cars and luxury vehicles.”

Consumers looking to purchase a used vehicle may fall in love with the features and comforts of vehicles they had previously ignored because of their lack of style or horsepower. Here are some vehicle segments that may surprise you with their amenities and offerings.

Minivans — Not Just for Soccer Moms

  • Minivans offer family-friendly features including navigation systems, DVD players and rear heating and cooling
  • Many models also provide captain chair, or quad seating
  • The segment provides plenty of space for people entering and exiting the vehicles and sit lower than SUVs
  • The third-row seats, which can often be folded into the floor, are generally easy to access
  • Popular models on the market include the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town and Country and Nissan Quest

Compact Cars — Bigger is not always better

  • Shrinking parking spaces, smaller garages and higher gas prices make fuel efficient, compact cars a sensible, and cost-effective choice
  • Smaller vehicles can offer many unexpected luxury features such as a sunroof, leather seats, navigation systems and, even, convertible tops
  • Models including the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Cobalt and Mini Cooper offer trendy shapes and amenities
  • The newer Kia Spectra and Hyundai Elantra models offer an updated, modern body style

Boxy vehicles — Square, Yet Unique Features

  • Honda Element — available in two-wheel or all-wheel drive —offers foldable back seats, plenty of interior space and an easy-to-clean vinyl floor
  • Scion xB gives drivers plenty of accessories including navigation, satellite radio, headrest monitors and spoilers
  • Jeep Commander, available in four-wheel drive, can be purchased with third-row seating, leather seats, seat heaters and rear heating and cooling

“Every make and model offers unique perks to its owner and each person is looking for something different,” Simmons said.

Researching many types of vehicles before making a purchase can create a new perspective in car shopping, according to CarMax experts. Online website such as provide potential vehicle purchasers with information about vehicle make, models and prices.

For more information about used car shopping, visit CarMax.

Source: CarMax