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Automotive Consumer Reviews For Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma Washington
test drive used vehicles seattle washington areAfter careful research, budgeting, and consideration, you’ve decided on your ideal used car. Now, it’s time for the test drive. While you may be ready to hit the highway and see how quickly your potential steed can accelerate, there are more important things to look for first. Luckily, recently made a detailed list of things to bear in mind when test driving a pre-owned vehicle.

1. Engine Noise

After you start the car, what do you hear? If there are ticking or tapping noises, it could mean a problem with the hydraulic filter or valves. Test the power steering by moving the wheel to both sides and listen for a squealing belt. When the car is in reverse, grinding or clunks could mean broken transmission mounts or serious engine problems.

2. The Brakes 

Sometimes, you may experience a small pulsating action when you have to hit the brakes. If the car has ABS (antilock brakes), this is normal. But if the vehicle does not have ABS, this is a red flag. Also be sure that the car doesn’t veer to the left or right when the brakes are applied. If it pulls one way or the other, it could mean there’s a problem with the brake pads or calipers. 

3. Steering Vibration

Once you’re on the open road, how does the steering wheel do? If it’s shaking or vibrating, it could be a fixable problem like an unbalanced tire or something more serious like a loose steering rack. If the steering wheel shakes when you’re braking, it could also mean a sticking caliper or a twisted brake rotor.

Are you ready to put your dream car to the test? Visit us at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to take any of the pre-owned vehicles in our inventory for a test drive.
test drive used cars seattle washington areaYou’ve finally decided on which used car you want. Now, it’s time for the fun part: the test drive. While you may have visions of yourself pulling donuts, it’s imperative to do a thorough job checking the vehicle before you even leave the dealership parking lot. Luckily, recently made a comprehensive list of the things you should look for before putting the pedal to the metal.

Seat Comfort

Before the key is even in the ignition, get a feel for your captain’s chair. Remember, that you’ll be spending 100% of your time in the car right in this seat. Don’t be afraid to let your inner Goldilocks out. How’s the support? After driving for a while, do your legs or back start to cramp? Can you adjust it to meet your needs?

Cockpit Ergonomics

Now that you’ve found a driver’s seat that’s just right, check out your surroundings. Can you adjust the steering wheel? Is it easy to reach and use the dashboard buttons without taking your eyes off the road? Are there any major blind spots when you turn around? Do your friends and family a favor and spend a couple minutes testing the comfort in the backseat.

Dashboard Lights

Put the key in the ignition, but don’t turn the car on just yet. First, turn the key to the “Accessory” position. This is when all of the lights on your dashboard will illuminate. Make sure that the “Check Engine” and (if applicable) “ABS” lights both turn on. If they don’t, it could be due to a small issue like a burned-out bulb. However, it could also be masking a more serious problem. Either way, ask to have it fixed before moving forward.

Are you ready to check out the used car of your dreams? Visit us at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington and you’ll have the pick of the litter. You can also check out our complete pre-owned vehicle inventory online to help narrow your choices.
good deals on used lexus hybrid cars seattle washington areaThe 2013 Lexus CT 200h is, quite literally, in a class of its own. It’s the sole compact luxury hybrid hatchback on the market. A review by The Car Connection describes the CT as a “sporty hot-hatch”. If you’re a seasoned Prius owner looking for a bit more refinement or a speed-loving techie who wants great mileage, consider a used Lexus CT 200h for your next hybrid car.

The CT 200h runs through the combined efforts of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder 98-horsepower engine and the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Between the two of them, they deliver a phenomenal fuel economy of 42 mpg combined. But driving the CT grants you more than EPA approval. You’re also bound to have a healthy dose of fun, thanks to the 
Sport mode which provides partial throttle and full electric assist.

The interior is surprisingly spacious and front seat passengers will have no complaints in terms of comfort. The back row can be folded down completely to create a capacious cargo area, fit for epic supermarket runs or romantic weekend camping trips.

Features for music aficionados include SiriusXM satellite radio, integrated iPod control, and Bluetooth audio streaming. Other standard tech features include keyless ignition, Lexus Safety Connect, and hands-free voice commands. You can also opt for rain-sensing wipers, LED headlamps, and the highly lauded Lexus Enform real-time information and navigation system.

It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Come see the very real and very fantastic Lexus CT 200h for yourself at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. You can also check out our complete used Lexus inventory online right now.
great deal on used town and country seattle washington areaImagine it’s a busy Wednesday. You have to take the kids to school, do an epic supermarket run for your family of six, and then shuttle half of the 7th-grade hockey team (and all of their equipment) to and from practice. The 2014 Chrysler Town and Country can do all of that. A used model of this luxury minivan is guaranteed to surprise you.

Thanks to comfy leather seats, there will be no morning sibling bickering. The back two rows of Stow ’N Go seats can be stowed completely into the floor of the van in a matter of seconds, yielding a cavernous cargo hold to fit enough groceries to see you through the winter. The ample headroom in the back provides enough space for post growth-spurt team members and the trunk space can easily store everyone’s hockey sticks, skates, and padding.

A review by The Car Connection calls this Chrysler one of the best minivans out there, going on to describe it as the perfect option for consumers who want the best features and flexibility. Indeed, this family vehicle is filled to the brim with luxury and top-notch technology. The 283 horsepower V6 engine has an EPA rating of 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, a competitive fuel economy in a segment of gas guzzlers.

Do you want to experience the luxury and functionality of a Town & Country for yourself? Visit us at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to take a used model for a test drive. You can also check out our full pre-owned Chrysler inventory online now.

used hybrid cars for sale in seattle washington areaPre-owned hybrid vehicles promise outstanding value in regards to technology and fuel economy. But these eco-friendly cars are also becoming known for their style and safety features. If you're considering a used hybrid or plug-in vehicle, take a look at Autobytel's picks for the top 10 used hybrid cars.

See cars 1-5 below and cars 6-10 in Part I.

5. 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid (43 City - 39 Hwy MPG) 

Sixteen-inch steel wheels support the Camry Hybrid, which comes with electronic stability, 2-speed CVT transmission with overdrive, and all the airbags you could ever want. It runs on a 2.5-liter 156 horsepower engine.

4. 2013 Ford C-Max Energi (95 City - 81 Hwy MPG)

The Ford C-Max Energi SEL takes things up a few notches with its AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control electronic stability system, as well as ABS and driveline traction control. The 2.0-liter I4 powertrain delivers 141 horsepower.

3. 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in (90 City - 102 Hwy MPG)

The base Prius Plug-in runs on a 1.8-liter I4 engine and electric motor, which wield 134 horsepower. Drivers will appreciate the integrated navigation system, standard cruise control, and overhead airbags.

2. 2013 Ford Fusion Energi (95 City - 81 Hwy MPG)

This feisty plug-in by Ford comes on four 17” aluminum wheels, with a long list of airbags, along with ABS and driveline traction control. Through the combined efforts of the battery and 2.0-liter engine, the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi cranks out 141 horsepower.

1. 2013 Chevrolet Volt (101 City - 93 Hwy MPG)

The Chevy Volt comes with StabilitTrak electronic stability, 17” aluminum wheels, and an airbag occupancy sensor. The 149 horsepower engine, provides more than enough pep to get you from Point A to Point B.

Visit us at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to take a hybrid model for a test drive. We have a wide selection of used hybrid and plug-in vehicles by Ford, Dodge, Lexus, and other automakers. Browse our complete used hybrid inventory online now.

See the first part of Top 10 Used Hybrid Cars here.

good deals on used hybrid cars seattle washingtonPre-owned hybrid vehicles deliver unbeatable value in terms of fuel economy, cutting-edge tech features, and unsurpassed style. More and more, these eco-friendly cars have also become known for comfort and safety features. If you want to invest in your first pre-owned hybrid or plug-in, but don’t know where to start, Autobytel has compiled a list of their top 10 used hybrid cars. See cars 6-10 below and cars 1-5 in Part II.

10. 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (28 City - 28 Hwy MPG)

The Highland Hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which delivers a peppy 231 horsepower. Special features for this Toyota include a slew of airbags, automatic air conditioning, ABS driveline traction control, and all-wheel drive.

9. 2007 Lexus RX 400h (28 City - 25 Hwy MPG)

The 2007 Lexus RX 400h comes with 17” alloy wheels, 2-speed CVT transmission with overdrive, and an airbag occupancy sensor. The 3.3L V6 engine cranks out 208 horsepower.

8. 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid Base (34 City - 39 Hwy MPG)

This Kia comes standard with a 2.4-liter IR engine, which yields a respectable 166 horsepower. You’ll also get cruise control, electronic stability, and 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

7. 2012 Toyota Prius v Five (44 City - 40 Hwy MPG)

The 2012 Prius v Five runs on a 1.8-liter I4 engine and electric motor, which put out 134 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque. You also get driveline traction control, 17” aluminum wheels, and an integrated navigation system.

6. 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (36 City - 40 Hwy MPG)

Consumers will be pleased with 
the integrated navigation system, overhead airbags, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes in the Hyundai Sonata. This hybrid is powered by a 2.4 I4 engine, which creates an acceptable 159 horsepower.

Are you ready to buy your first pre-owned hybrid vehicle? Come to Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington, where we have a comprehensive selection of used hybrid cars made by a variety of automakers. You can also browse our complete used hybrid inventory online now.

See the continuation of the Top Used Hybrid Cars here.
choosing budget for used car seattle washington areaBuying a used car can be frustrating. Okay, let’s be serious, investing a lot of your money in anything is undeniably stressful. You want to be sure that your new-to-you car has everything you need in a vehicle, but also fits into your budget. It’s a precarious balance that’s hard to find. Luckily, the folks at offer some great tips for you to get started.

First things first, establish your budget. If you make a commitment to yourself that you can’t spend more than $10,000, it’ll keep you from beelining to the $25K sports coupe at the used car lot.

If money is tight for you at the moment but a new car is an urgent necessity, consider establishing a loan deal with the dealership. You can easily reach an agreement on monthly payments that works for you.  If you opt for the loan, it’s imperative that you also establish a reasonable monthly budget with yourself before moving forward.

When putting your budget together, remember to consider other expenses like registration, title, tax, and insurance. Ownership costs are not something to be pushed to the back of your mind, as they can add up to around 10 percent of what you paid for your car.

Don’t be afraid to shop around for different insurance plans. These days, it’s incredibly simple to get an online quote and compare various companies. Also, keep in mind that certain insurance plans will be more expensive for convertibles and sports cars.

While establishing your budget, think about getting an extended warranty plan with the dealership. This will cover a range of services and repairs, which will save you an incredible amount of stress and money.

Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? At Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington we have used vehicles to suit every budget and palate. Check out our extensive online inventory of pre-owned vehicles, which includes automakers like BMW, Toyota, FordDodge, Jeep, and more.

good deals on used toyota venza seattle washington areaIt’s hard to put a label on the 2015 Toyota Venza. It’s not quite an SUV and far from being branded a station wagon. A review by The Car Connection describes the Venza as a highly functional grown-up hatchback. One thing that everyone can agree on is that this Toyota is practical, comfortable, and a whole lot of fun. Consider a used Venza for your next vehicle.

This crossover gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is good for its class. The V6 engine cranks out a ferocious 268 horsepower, which adds more than a little 
zip to your morning carpool. Need to move some heavy stuff? No problem. The V6 engine comes with a standard Towing Prep Package, which can haul up to 3.5 tons.

The Venza got a standing ovation for its crash test performance, receiving a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was also pleased with this Toyota, awarding it a top “Good” rating in every test.

The Venza comes with a comprehensive infotainment system, which includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, HD traffic and weather information, HD radio, 
satellite radio, and a cash radio function. Basically, if you depend on the radio, this is the car for you. Other features include a reversing camera, USB 2.0 port, and iTunes tagging capability. Tech gurus should opt for the XLE trim, which adds Entune App Suite technology, navigation, and Doppler weather map overlap functionality.

Take a used Venza for a test drive at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. Don’t forget to check out our complete pre-owned Toyota inventory online.
good deals on used toyota camry seattle washington areaIn recent years, the Toyota Camry has been one of the best-selling cars in America. A review by The Car Connection claims that this compact car is a practical choice for consumers who prioritize comfort, value, and frugality above everything else. If you match this description, consider a used 2014 Camry for your next vehicle.

Under the hood, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers 178 horsepower and
170 pound-feet of torque. You'll get a respectable fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which is convenient if you divide your driving between the two.

Toyota always makes safety a priority and it’s very apparent in the 2014 Camry. This sedan comes standard with no fewer than ten airbags. It earned a coveted Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, along with a “Good” rating (the top possible score). The Camry also performed well in government crash tests, receiving a five-star overall rating as well as five stars for side impact.

The base model for the 2014 Camry is far from bare-bones, with its standard Bluetooth, USB, and iPod connectivity. Upgrade to Toyota’s Entune system and you’ll be given access to Pandora streaming audio and other connected services. Seating inside the Camry is comfortable for both front and backseat passengers, thanks to a recent redesign. But you don't have to take our word for it.

Take a pre-owned Toyota Camry for a spin at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. You can also peruse our complete used Toyota inventory online now.
good deals on used cars seattle washington areaLet’s say you want a vehicle that can safely move a whole lot of stuff, but you wouldn’t be caught dead in a pickup. You also want high-quality audio, but can’t shell out the money for a luxury sedan. And of course you want something fashionable, but nothing as showy as a sports car. Fear not. Your atypical list of priorities can all be found in one compact car. If you want space, style, and unbeatable sound, consider a used 2011 Scion xB.

While the Scion xB is labeled as a compact car, the interior is anything but. Even extra tall drivers will fit comfortably in the front and feel supported on long drives. Back seat passengers have not been forgotten and are also treated to expansive head and leg room. In fact, passenger seating is so roomy that some Chicago cab companies have started using the xB to shuttle happy customers around the city.

Music enthusiasts will fall in love with this car, which comes with an iPod interface, an RCA output for additional speakers, and a six-speaker Pioneer sound system to pump your perfectly curated playlist. If you want to simulate opera house quality acoustics, you can upgrade to a system which drastically improves digital-music quality and adds a touchscreen interface.

An Edmunds review explains that this Scion is a whole lot more than just a trendy looking car, especially if you intend to use your vehicle to move cargo as well as people. The 2011 xB comes with a generous 21 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to a whopping 70 cubic feet when the back seats are folded down.

Take a 2011 Scion xB for a spin at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. You can also browse our complete used vehicle inventory, which includes SUVs, sedans, trucks, crossovers, and more.