Buy a ’17 or wait for an ’18? Good question

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With summer winding down, 2018 model year vehicles are going to be arriving on the Budds’ lot soon.

That in itself is not news. 2018s start to make their way to consumers at this time every year.

But just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it’s easy. Fall always presents an interesting dilemma for consumers in the market for a new car—the decision to buy a 2017 or wait for the ’18s to go on sale.

Reasons to buy a 2017 Chevy, Buick, Cadillac or GMC

There’s really no bad way to go about it. But if you’re on the fence and thinking of buying, here are some factors to consider.

Better prices

The 2018s are on their way, yes. And—for sure—there are some choice models among that group. But while we at Budds’ are excited about offering them to you, we still have some 2017s available for sale.

This, of course, is the same at every dealership—a fact which certainly doesn’t escape GM. That means factory incentives and other promotions are also just around the corner.

If you don’t need all the flashy new bells and whistles that a 2018 model may likely bring, you could end up saving a lot of money.

Few differences (usually) between 2017 and 2018 models

There’s often little difference between model years, aside from a few smallish updates, and perhaps some optional features offered on higher trims.

Yes, sometimes a vehicle—such as the 2018 Chevy Traverse—undergoes the kind of complete redesign that heralds a new generation. More frequently, a car or truck gets a facelift while remaining materially the same.

Which you choose is up to you, but if you’re looking to save money it can help to pay attention to vehicle cycles.

More reports and analysis

While reviews are often available for new model year vehicles, they’re typically done by automotive journalists that have only driven the specific vehicle for a day or two.

Buying a 2017 model year will allow you to do more extensive research and gain insight on how a particular vehicle drives over an extended period. It’s worth noting, too, that the longer a car or truck is available for sale, the more “real people” reviews you’ll be able to read—so you can get your info not from journalists, but from actual drivers.

Awards are typically given later in a model cycle, as well, so if you’re curious about accolades from, say, Car and Driver, there’s a lot to be said for picking up a 2017 while they’re still available.

Reasons to wait for the 2018 cars

2018 buick equinoxNow it’s time to look at why you might want to hold on for the newest of the new cars.

New models mean new features

A new model year typically brings the debut of this goodie or that one to make the driving experience more enjoyable.

There’s a reason why people line up for new iPhones, new movies and, yes, new cars—being able to experience the latest and greatest is an enticing draw.

Better resale value

Go ahead—buy a brand new 2017 and a 2018 at the same time. The reality is that the ‘18 model year will hold its value better than the ‘17. This holds especially true if there’s a redesign between model years.

Pros and cons

If you do decide to go with a 2017, there’s one big thing to keep in mind: you can’t dawdle if you’d like to buy, because—naturally—inventory is limited. “Hum and hah” for too long and you may have to settle for the less popular colors and trims that the buyers before you passed up. (That is if there are any vehicles left at all.)

On the other hand, if a 2018 model is trendy, it can create a kind of “supply and demand” vacuum, where the vehicle can become hard to acquire, and prices go up.

There’s also the issue of your vehicle of choice being brand new. While manufacturers complete rigorous testing on all aspects of every vehicle they sell, let’s be realistic—sometimes things get overlooked, and recalls do happen. You’ll more likely see that on a new 2018 than you will on a ‘17.

Ultimately, the decision to go for that 2017 model year vehicle now—versus waiting for 2018 models to hit our lot—is up to you.

But whichever way you decide to go, we’re here to help. We’d happily seat you in a brand new ’18, or a just-as-cool ’17. It’s your choice… All you have to do is ask.