As much as I love a new set of wheels, I decided it was high time to try the road already well-traveled and check out the used car lot inventory. I was determined to find a few gems, and I did. All of these used and certified pre-owned Chevys have what I need, and a few of the extra bells and whistles that I want.
If you’re considering a used car, check out what I found and see about uncovering these used beauties yourself.
Used is the New “New”
If you haven’t considered a used car for your “new” car purchase, you should. Given the technology and innovation that has been driving the automotive industry (ha – get it?), cars last longer and are more reliable than ever before.
So, because I was in the mood to “Find New Roads,” I decided to check out the used Chevy lineup, hunting the best models and model years for my possible purchase. I didn’t have to look far. Consumers Digest had already done most of the heavy lifting for me, pinpointing the 2012 model year as the year that Chevy dominated in six segments.
Consumer’s Digest publisher, Randy Weber, quite rightly said, “Few purchases are more important, or require more research than buying a new vehicle. Our analyses underscore our commitment to ensure that consumers are as satisfied with their auto purchase years after making it as they were on the day they drove off the lot.”
Works for me, Randy!
I do love variety, so I decided to take a closer look at those six, each one unique with performance, efficiency, and affordability options.
Allow me to introduce you to the 2012 Chevy Six: the Corvette, Camaro, Equinox, Traverse, Malibu, and Cruze. Each one of these models has featured on the Consumer’s Digest “best” list more than once, with the exception fo the 2012 Chevy Cruze, a newcomer to the lineup.
Let’s check some details distinguishing each one of these Chevy champs from the other.
Seven Times Over: The 2012 Chevy Corvette
For the seventh straight year, the classic American muscle car, the Corvette, made it on the Consumers Digest list of best car purchases possible. Available as either a coupe or convertible (I’m going with the convertible, obvi), the Corvette comes in a base and Grand Sport model, across four sub-trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, and 4LT.
Two engine options feature in the 2012 Corvette. Standard equipment comes from a 6.2-liter V8, which generates 430 horsepower and 424 lb.-ft. of torque, with six-speed manual transmission supported by launch control. According to an industry expert, Edmunds, so equipped the coupe is able to zip from zero to sixty mph in 4.5 seconds. Surprisingly, fuel economy is pretty solid with ratings of 16/26/19 mpg combined.
An under-the-hood option comes from the 7.0-liter V8 engine, which is able to produce 505 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. With this powerhouse, the zero to sixty mph dash is crushed in 3.9 seconds with fuel economy still holding its ground at 15/24/18 mpg combined.
Keeping Pace: The 2012 Chevy Camaro
Owing in part to its upgrades, the 2012 Chevy Camaro keeps pace with its Corvette sibling, securing its position on the Consumers Digest list for the seventh time, as well.
Also available as a coupe or convertible, the 2012 model year delivered an updated 3.6-liter V6 engine to the LS and LT trims, which is able to get 323 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by either a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. Fuel efficiency comes in at 19/30/22 mpg combined from the automatic, and 17/28/20 mpg if you go with the manual option.
Even more muscle comes from the Camaro SS, outfitted with the 6.2-liter V8, generating 426 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque from the standard six-speed manual transmission, or 400 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque from the six-speed automatic. Choose the manual and you’ll fly from zero to sixty mph in 5 seconds with fuel efficiency measured at 16/24/19 mpg combined.
But the top of the Camaro line is represented by the ZL1, which features a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, backed by 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft. of torque, which takes approximately 4 seconds to burn rubber from zero to sixty mph.
Three Time’s a Charm: The 2012 Chevy Equinox
To quote Monty Python, “And now for something completely different!” Stepping away from the performance vehicles for a minute, let’s take a look at the compact SUV, the 2012 Chevy Equinox.
Celebrated for segment leading legroom and spacious interior, the 2012 Equinox boasts serious ride quality, too. Your choice of available engines comes down to the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which gets 182 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque or the 3.0-liter V6 engine, rated at 264 horsepower and 222 lb.-ft. of torque.
If you’re looking for outstanding fuel efficiency from a used car, look no further because the Equinox offers estimates of 22/32/26 mpg combined from the front-wheel drive setup and 20/29/23 mpg combined when configured for all-wheel drive.
But Four is Fabulous: The 2012 Chevy Traverse
Although the Chevy Equinox is a great choice from the SUV segment, it is on the smaller side. If you need the extra space, check out the 2012 Chevy Traverse, unchanged for 2012, but an all-time favorite from the bow-tied bevvy.
This crossover SUV comes in three trim levels: the LS, LT, and LTZ, and features a single powertrain. The 3.6-liter V6 engine, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission makes 281 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque with available front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
A top safety rated SUV, the 2012 Chevy Traverse gets 17/24/19 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive and 16/23/19 mpg combined from the all-wheel-drive option.
Quadruple Threat: The 2012 Chevy Malibu
A former North American Car of the Year award winner, the 2012 model year Malibu still offers plenty of impressive features across its trio of trim levels: the LS, LT, and LTZ.
Powered by either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 169 horsepower and 160 lb.-ft. of torque or the 3.6-liter V6 engine, generating 252 horsepower and 251 lb.-ft. of torque with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and manual shift control, the 2012 Chevy Malibu is among the sedan segment speedsters. Edmunds’ performance testing saw the Malibu with V6 make the zero to sixty mph test in a quick 6.7 seconds.
Cleverly placed acoustic insulation gives the Malibu a noticeably quiet ride with plenty of cargo space measuring 15.1 cubic feet.
And Introducing…The 2012 Chevy Cruze
New to the Consumers Digest celebration, the 2012 Chevy Cruze has lots to brag about. Starting with a refreshed and luxurious interior, along with an Eco high-fuel efficiency engine option, not to mention an available turbocharged engine, perfect safety scores, and a sizable trunk space, the 2012 Chevy Cruze is a people pleaser.
The entry-level Cruze LS gets its muscle from a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that gets 136 horsepower and 123 lb.-ft. of torque. For the fuel-efficient Eco option, you’ll be driving the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder operation, able to produce 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, with fuel ratings measured at a whopping 28/42/33 mpg combined. Standard power is matched by fuel efficiency of 25/36/29 mpg combined from the manual and 22/35/27 mpg afforded by the automatic transmission.
Granted, there is an abundance of used cars on the market today, and certainly plenty of options from other automakers, this seemed like a nice starting point. Chevy has been manufacturing reliable and iconic cars for generations and the sharp scrutiny of Consumers Digest with respect to smart buys is a trusted source to get your shopping started.
Go ahead, follow my lead and get used. You just might like it.