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Car Advice & Reviews

Purchasing a recently redesigned model

Posted on December 4, 2012

Manufacturers often tout that certain models are “all new” or “recently redesigned.” This appeals to consumers, as “newer” is often equated with “better.” However, that is not always the case, and you should carefully consider whether it’s best for you to purchase a very recently redesigned model. On the plus side, redesigned models will inevitably include the latest technology, whether its dirty, mechanical technology that the consumer doesn’t necessarily feel or see (such as turbocharged engines, or revised suspensions) or entertainment / infotainment technology, such as touch screen dashboards. New models often also offer improved crash protection / safety, as safety regulations are often changing, pushing the ball forward in terms of minimum requirements. Finally, newly designed models are quite simply “newer”, and hence may be more appealing to the eye and according, could offer better resale value. On the negative side, recently redesigned models often suffer from reliability woes compared to their well-tested predecessors. It takes some time and millions of customer miles for manufacturers to fully understand how their new designs wear and cope with the wear-and-tear of poor roads and cold starts. This is compounded by all of the new technology folded into redesigned cars, which are employing relatively untested technologies. Another potential negative of redesigned models is potential de-contenting in a push for costs savings. As with many industries, times have been hard for manufacturers and they’re looking to cut costs wherever possible. Several recently redesigned models from highly-regarded manufacturers (think high-quality Japanese makes and luxury German models) have taken a marked step backwards in terms of build quality, materials and “dirty” under-the-hood technology that most customers don’t see. Basically, some of these recently redesigned models are built more poorly and are less durable than their predecessors, but they come with a shiny wrapper of new bodywork and the “all-new” designation. In choosing whether you should buy a recently redesigned model, it’s important to take these factors into consideration. Car Match helps you understand the tradeoffs with respect to specific models and which of these pluses / minus apply to the models that best suit you. The important thing to remember is: “newer” is NOT always “better.”

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