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Best Used Cars To Buy With Your Tax Refund

Tax season is here again — and if you’re like many Canadians, you’ll be using this year’s refund to do something car-related, whether it’s fixing your current car, or looking to buy one of these used cars. In fact, more than a quarter of Canadians say this year’s tax refund will go to some sort of automotive-related expense.

Given that the average refund is around $3,500, we decided to offer a few used-car suggestions for drivers interested in using their refund to buy a vehicle. While you can’t buy any of the cars on our list for $3,500, your refund will represent an excellent down payment on all of the vehicles we’ve listed, as each one is easy to find for around $10,000 or less. That means you’ll only have to finance around $6,500, which will result in an affordable monthly payment — and at the same time, you’ll get a newer, nicer, more reliable car than you would if you financed the same amount with no refund to use as a down payment.

Of course, some shoppers might be concerned about buying the vehicles we’ve featured, as wehaven’t included any new models on our list. Aren’t used cars prone to breaking down? If you’re worried, there’s good news: All of the cars on our list are available with certified pre-owned warranty. You won’t just get a good deal — you’ll also get some excellent peace of mind.

2012 Mazda Mazda3 GX

Featuring Mazda’s new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is a eco-conscious choice that certainly doesn’t drive like one. The Mazda3 GX is one of the most fun to drive, attractive, compact vehicles on the market. It offers firm handling and a sportier feel than other small cars. This 2012 model debuted the newly designed eco-conscious engine which is still quite responsive but goes about 20 percent farther per litre. Brakes are strong four-wheel discs which are not often found in this class and the steering is among the best among affordable cars thanks to an electro-hydraulic setup rather than the electric units other comparable models have. Comfort is not sacrificed either – inside are generous supportive seats and rear seats that are split folding. The 2012 Mazda3 is the first affordable small car to offer blind-spot monitoring and its safety rating are good – again an IIHS Top Safety Pick. With good performance, fuel economy, safety and comfort – the 2012 Mazda3 GX is a good all-around choice for your next vehicle.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT has a good steering feel and balanced handling, both while providing a flexible feeling ride. The four-cylinder engine delivers adequate acceleration for such an affordable vehicle and the 17-inch wheels come with a smooth ride to absorb most bumps.  It offers a stylish interior that’s user friendly when it comes to audio and climate controls as well as the easy to read gauges. The 15.1 cubic feet trunk size is also pretty spacious for its class. The exterior is also attractive and coupled with all the usual amenities – Bluetooth, six speaker stereo, radio and more – the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT is a good pick for your next vehicle.

2013 Ford Fiesta SE

The 2013 Ford Fiesta SE sure proves that small cars don’t have to be boring. Its main selling point is that it’s smaller, zippier and more affordable than the Focus while still keeping driving fun and features intact. It’s quite stylish and is equipped with impressive steering and handling compared to other similarly sized vehicles. Its powertrain is quick enough to get you where you need to go without breaking any speed barriers. This hatchback model with a 12.8 cubic foot trunk adds some versatility to road trips while the reasonable interior provides enough comfort for your daily commute or taking the kids out. Safety wise the 2013 Ford Fiesta SE does better than competitors, receiving good results from IIHS. Far from a drab car, the 2013 Ford Fiesta SE should be a strong candidate for your next vehicle.

Apr 24th, 2018