I have an 05 Toyota Highlander, 124k miles, runs great. Similar to the Rav. Parents have an 08 Rav4 and they like it a lot, I've driven it a few times. Kind of jerky to drive though, I like the V6 Highlander better, drives smoother. But you're right it eats a bit more gas. Can't go wrong with a Toyota.
Is the highland like in between a Rav and 4Runner? What exactly is the difference, I've just been looking at the two above, did one phase another out? I know a lot of companies like Acrura and the ILX are phasing other models out.
I'd buy a 1 year old car with 50k over a 5 year old car with 5k.
And don't limit yourself to just Toyota/Honda. Modern drivetrains are all very reliable and if well-maintained will outlive the body of the vehicle.
Toyota has a reputation as a superior engine that outlasts others but it's not true with modern vehicles. It's because the old 3.4 v6 Toyota made in the 80/90s was damn near bullet proof. Short of filling the engine with sand there's not much you could do to destroy those things. They just keep running & running. But what Toyota folks fail to mention is that Toyota used junk metal & after 10-12 years the body & frame on those vehicles is a rusted out pile of crap. Kinda like the old Jeep 4.0 I6. Yeah, it's a great engine & will run forever but everything else around it fell apart.
Modern engines are all so sophisticated & computer controlled that the reliability factor is a wash. Old Toyota's simply lasted longer because you could abuse them (harsh driving, poor oil change intervals, run low on oil, overheat, old spark plugs, etc) & it didn't matter. They just kept running. While other engines (Chevy, Ford, Nissan, etc) would fail if abused in the same manner. Maintained engines from that era will run just as long, though.
Take a brand new Toyota & abuse the hell out of it & it will fail just as quick as any other make.
50-60k miles will be fine. Just look for a vehicle that has receipts & documentation for all service work so you know it was properly maintained.
Age & abuse is what kills vehicles. Mileage is nothing. A 10 year old car with 10k miles might have a motor that's practically brand new, but everything else (frame, body, drive accessories, suspension, etc) is still a decade old & wore out.
$20k will buy a nice vehicle. Oth that much coin you can get a very nice 2-4 year old 50-60k mile Grand Cherokee, 4Runner, Trailblazer, etc. And if properly driven & serviced, any of them will easily last you another 10 years & 150k+ miles.
This is good advice. I suppose I'd rather settle for more miles than more money. Some of this advice seems geared toward private sellers but I would rather go to the dealership. A lot of dealerships don't have maintenance documentation.
The reason I want so low miles isn't the fact it has low miles, it's the fact the car hasn't been in someone else's hands long enough to be neglected to ruin the value.
Year plays a part in that I guess I've just had really good luck with low mile vehicles vs. newer models.
Then you're not looking very hard. Link below is for one in KC and CarMax is usually a little pricier, but the point stands. You're going to be looking for a long while if you're absolutely stuck on the mileage, which really isn't that important anyway if it's been maintained (as you mention in your OP).