Should I Buy Now Or Wait For The Upgraded Version Of The Same Car?

Illustration for article titled Should I Buy Now Or Wait For The Upgraded Version Of The Same Car?
Image: Subaru

As Jalopnik’s resident car buying expert and professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve decided to pick a few questions and try to help out. This week we are discussing buying the current Crosstreck or waiting on the more powerful version, and whether or not to take advantage of the high trade-in market.


First up, is it worth waiting for the more powerful Subaru Crosstrek?

“I was hoping you would be able to help me out with my car buying dilemma. I am a dad with an 11 month old baby, we (my wife and I not the baby and me) are looking to replace our current 2010 (4 door 2.5L) VW Golf. The Crosstrek ticks off all the boxes for what we want as a replacement.

However, I am trying to decide whether we should go with a current 2020 Crosstrek or if we wait a few more weeks to get a 2021 Crosstrek in the Sport trim with the more powerful engine. We have not test ridden the 2020, and I am aware of all the reviews that say it is underpowered. We want the replacement to have as much pep or more than our current VW. Which does just fine in the pep department for our current needs.

We are moving to California (hills) next year from Chicago, and may or may not grow our family. So the idea of the bigger engine in the 2021 is very appealing. Looking at the numbers on paper(torque, horsepower) I don’t feel confident in making the decision to choose the 2020 over the 2021. We would be happy with the car that is just as good or better than what we are currently driving.”

The Subaru Crosstrek is a great car, but the key criticism has always been a lack of passing power. However, the power issue aside, the Crosstrek is not going to give you substantially more space than the Golf. It’s just a lifted hatchback; it’s not really a “crossover.” With a rear-facing car seat, stroller, and whatever other baby gear you have that Subaru is going to feel cramped. I would strongly suggest a step up into something like a Forester, RAV4, CX5 etc...

With the used car market hot and trade values up is it worth taking advantage of that?

“I currently own and drive a 2017 Chevy Colorado wt extended truck. My wife and I currently have a 1 year old, and it turns out we will be expecting another one in 8 months. The truck is mildly baby friendly as is, but definitely not usable for two small ones. While I have had a truck for the past 15 years, my wife and I think crew cab trucks look dumb. So it turns out we are in the market for a midsize suv. Personally I am from a gm family and prefer to stay domestic. Surprisingly the Colorado looks like it has a very strong trade in value around 20k. We are currently looking at the blazer with the 2.0 turbo engine, 

With Chevy offering 15% off now and the truck still bringing in a hefty trade in value, would it be a good idea to go ahead and pull the trigger now or wait closer till end of year sales. With the whole COVID, lack of future inventory, and complete uncertainty with anything I am at a lost. I personally think spending over 30k for a new vehicle is excessive, even though we could afford it. We are open to other makes as well. Should we just go ahead and buy now or wait till the end of year sales. We prefer the least amount of technology/driver assistance as possible.”


If you can get a good trade offer now combined with a solid sale price might as well take advantage of that while you can. However, sometimes those fifteen percent off offers aren’t all they are cracked up to be and include rebates and discounts that you don’t qualify for. Get the quotes and look at the numbers carefully, if the deal seems solid on both fronts jump on it. If not, you should be able to find a deal at the end of the year.

Got a car buying conundrum that you need some assistance with? Email me at!

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (



Here is my dilemna. We are expecting out first kind in December. We have a 19 GTI and WRX, an E30 coupe, and a Z4. I have the Z4 listed for sale right now, and we are thinking about getting rid of the WRX. I have been renovating our house and I have been borrowing my father in law’s 19 Honda Ridgeline every weekend for the past month. I need to get my own truck/SUV. Just 2 years ago we had an A4 wagon, a Touareg, and a CRV so space was never an issue. Friends have also warned us that the baby itself is obviously small, but all the gear that comes with a baby requires a lot of space

I am thinking about getting an overpriced Tacoma or 4runner just because I know that in the next couple of years when I want to get rid of it, I’m not going to lose a whole lot of money. OR I could get a first gen Honda Ridgeline or Tundra/Sequoia which are priced better on the used market but with the way I am, who knows how long I will actually keep these things.