8 tempting but risky used cars you can buy!

Used cars are often advised by financial planners as better choices. Well-kept used cars provide almost anything that a new car does, and often the low prices help you pick a car even from a higher segment that would be too costly as new. But figuring out which ones to buy, and which ones to stay away from is a bit tough. Some are plain bad choices – but some are tempting and risky. How so? Because, if you know the potential issues that may arise and are prepared to deal with them, then they are actually practical. But can you deal with the problems? Some of us can, and some can’t.

For example, parts may not be available for days or months. Official service centres may not exist near you, and some of us can find friendly neighbourhood garages that can deal with all issues, and sometimes you don’t. With the right planning and preparation, these risky buys can become perfect, though.

Chevrolet Captiva: The company has shut shop!

After Chevrolet left the Indian market and shut down its new car business in India, the value of the vehicles in the used car market came crashing down. The average price of the Captiva in the used car market is around Rs 6 lakhs for a vehicle of decent condition. That’s why full-size SUVs like the Captiva are available for so cheap in the used car market.

What’s the risk?

However, it can be a risky choice as there are only a few authorised Chevrolet service centres across India. Finding spares can become a task. Since Chevrolet exports the Beat hatchback from India, the spares of that car is not a problem, yet. Captiva is known to have engine issues and turbocharger failure, which is a major cost.

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara: Capable but a little too old now

The Grand Vitara SUV was one of the most expensive vehicles launched by the brand in the Indian market. It was a full CBU import, which is why the vehicle had an expensive price tag on it but at the moment, you will be able to find one in the used car market for around Rs 3-5 lakh.

What’s the risk?

In the used car market, you will be able to find a Grand Vitara for a few lakhs. It is powered by a petrol engine and since it was never manufactured in India, the spare parts can be a problem. Some of the known issues include oil leak, timing chain tensioner failure and AC fan motor failure.

Nissan X-Trail: Spacious but servicing is a problem

Nissan launched the X-Trail to take on the likes of Hyundai Tucson in India, however, the SUV did not do good numbers in the market and there is only a handful of them in the market that are available for around Rs 5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh depending on the condition. Yet, you will be able to find an X-Trail in decent condition for below Rs 10 lakh.

What’s the risk?

If you’re planning to buy an X-Trail, keep in mind two things – the dealership network of Nissan India, which is currently building up to support future launches and the diminishing spare parts of the X-Trail in India. The vehicle is solidly built but the spare parts are too expensive and it is difficult to find a Nissan service centre easily.

SsangYong Rexton: Low sales, glitchy electronics

mahindra rexton

We see the next-generation Rexton as the Alturas on the Indian roads, however, the SUV under the SsangYong name did not do so well in the market. There are numerous Rexton SUVs that are available in the used car market for about Rs 10 lakhs, which is a fraction of cost compared to the new vehicle. However, the first-generation Rexton is quite different from the current-generation Alturas, most spare parts don’t match and trying to find them can be quite expensive.

What’s the risk?

There is sudden electronics failure and many have reported that the vehicle’s steering wheel is prone to issues like shaking at speeds above 100 km/h and steering pulling to the left-hand side. Replacing the steering column can be an expensive job.

Chevrolet Cruze: Company not operational in India

Chevrolet Cruze sold as a diesel rocket in the market. When the news of Chevrolet leaving India came out, in a bid to sell the stock, customers got some crazy deals. Well, Cruze still remains a car for the people looking for power and it is a great choice too. In the used car market, a decently maintained Cruze can be found for around Rs 6 to 10 lakh.

What’s the risk?

Due to the number of service centres and easy availability of the spare parts, it can be a risky buy. Chevrolet Cruze’s sensors tend to fail often in the dusty environments and need to be replaced. Apart from the expensive spare parts, this often puts the owner in a lot of trouble.

Maruti Suzuki Kizashi: Smooth, powerful but all models for sale are too old

Kizashi came powered by a gem of a petrol engine which was extremely smooth and quite powerful too. However, the Kizashi did not become as popular in India as other Maruti Suzuki cars and that’s why most roadside mechanics do not understand the car well. The Kizashi is a tempting buy with the price of around Rs 5-6 lakh.

What’s the risk?

Since most authorised service centre officials do not know much about the vehicle, it can be a task to find the real problem if something goes wrong with the engine. Spare parts are other things that you should worry about while choosing the Kizashi and also a lot of Kizashi owners have talked about the engine mount failure, which is a major repair job.

Nissan Teana: Cheap to buy, expensive to maintain

Another gem of a vehicle from Nissan India, the Teana offers acres of space and is very powerful. In the used car market, you will be able to find the Teana sedan for a much affordable price of around Rs 4 lakh.

What’s the risk?

The diminishing service network and availability of spare parts can be a problem. Also, the Teana has a radiator failure problem, which can be an expensive repair.

Chevrolet Trailblazer: Chevrolet has shut down, expensive spares

The Trailblazer was launched to take on the likes of Toyota Fortuner in the Indian market. However, it was not available in 4X4 layout and did not sell in big numbers. You can find a used Trailblazer for about Rs 10 lakhs but it faces the same problems as the Captiva and Cruze.

What’s the risk?

Apart from the diminishing spares and authorised service centres, the Trailblazer’s AC resistor may fail and even the fuel level sensor is prone to breaking down.