Used Vehicle Pricing Question


Hi John,

I do listen regularly to you with Tim Webster and have also called. You do push Redbook for car prices, so I did. I was rather astonished at the value quoted for a 1998 Corolla hatch, $6770. No one in their right mind would pay that. I was thinking of starting at $4000. What say you?

The only thing wrong with the Corolla is it is low to get in and out of now that I am 68 years old, so we have bought a 2013 top of the range Forester (non turbo) CVT.

I spent 30 years doing automatics, so I was hesitant about the CVT, but after driving the Subaru, I was impressed. For peace of mind I put an extra 3 years warranty on it.

Sorry, I found your recommendation (Sportage) a bit claustrophobic and less vision around the vehicle than the Subaru. I also did 12 years of driving school, we all know vision is very important.

Bye for now,



Hi Geoff,

Thanks for listening.

Did you check the right model variant on Redbook? According to my recent Redbook look-up, 1998 Corolla hatches start at about $2600 (click HERE). They only go as high as $6000 (click HERE). That's completely in line with what I'd expect.

I think you clicked the wrong buttons when searching. Redbook is not the most intuitive interface, mainly because of the staggering volume of data. It's important to get the year and exact model right.

Subaru builds good cars. Forester's a bit on the old side now, but otherwise OK. I hope that extra warranty is a factory warranty, otherwise you just ripped yourself off. (Dealer added warranties are great for the dealer; bad for you...)

Sportage is slightly more compact than the Forester, and the rear glass is pretty small. But like you I've done a lot of advanced driver training, and I can see all around just fine, if the mirrors are correctly adjusted. (And the value/features proposition is unbeatable.)

I've owned four Subarus - they were all great cars. (Two WRXs, a Forester and an Outback.)

Best regards,