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Buying a car relatively soon, need some ideas for a 5k budget. US/SC. by Polaris aka Stardude
Started on: 06-20-2017 04:46 PM
Replies: 11 (108 views)
Last post by: Blacktree on 07-18-2017 07:42 PM
Polaris aka Stardude
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Report this Post06-20-2017 04:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Polaris aka StardudeClick Here to Email Polaris aka StardudeSend a Private Message to Polaris aka StardudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Not really looking for any specific listings per se, I just would like some ideas on what I should be looking for.

I'll be ranking what I need/might need/want in descending order.

NEEDS: 1. Good on Gas. 2. Safe. 3. Reliable. 4. AC/Heat 5. Space since me and my dad like to vacation every now and then.
Might need: This is is a mix between need and might need, but I would LOVE to have a 4 door car, as I might carry family/friends around, and 2 seaters suck to get in/out of, in my experience.(back seats.) 2. Fun to drive, as this will serve as my main car/family backup car
3. Can be made into something nice if I decide to relegate this car to project car status (This is the least of the might needs, and is more of a want than anything else.)
Wants: 1. A decent looking car. 2. Not sure what else I could really want, to be perfectly honest, and since this is my first car I would do well to remember to stay grounded.

A bit of relevant info, I am a 20 year old male with no driving experience, but due to me attending college this fall/would like to start driving to work, I would like some good ideas for cars I should keep an eye out for that would suit my needs.

Cars I've looked out : 97-2000 Honda Civic EX/ 97-2000 Toyota Corolla (forgot the top trim tier's name). Would it also be a good idea for me to look at newer cars past the '00 mark, or would I get better bang for my buck from not going past the 2000 model year?

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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post06-20-2017 08:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Subaru WRX, Legacy or Outback? Could go as new as 2007 for $5000 depending what trim level/mileage you find. Legacy should be cheaper to insure than a WRX for a 20 year old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdiHAIM2k1w

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Polaris aka Stardude
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Report this Post06-21-2017 05:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Polaris aka StardudeClick Here to Email Polaris aka StardudeSend a Private Message to Polaris aka StardudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:

Subaru WRX, Legacy or Outback? Could go as new as 2007 for $5000 depending what trim level/mileage you find. Legacy should be cheaper to insure than a WRX for a 20 year old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdiHAIM2k1w


Doesn't the WRX have reliability issue if the car's been abused? But yeah, I've heard older Subaru's can be REALLY good for the price, if you find one in good condition.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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RayOtton
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Report this Post06-21-2017 06:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RayOttonClick Here to Email RayOttonSend a Private Message to RayOttonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Never thought I'd say this but after the new wife came with an '02 Honda Civic I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of them for your needs. The only big thing to watch for on the 7th gen ( up to '05 ) is that the timing belt has been changed on schedule )

Easy enough to find a low mileage one using many of the used car purchasing sites.

Most of them have alert options so you can set up exactly what you are looking for and then wait for an e-mail when they find one that matches your specs.

Autotrader.com is the best but there are others that are almost as good. Plus E-bay has a pretty good search function and they're not all auctions.

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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-21-2017 02:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

My go-to in this category is a Focus. As long as you avoid the SOHC/SPI motors, you're in good shape. The '99-'04 Zetec is a solid engine, if you can find a CA or MA (IIRC) car the '03-'04 2.3l Duratec is a powerhouse, and there is nothing wrong with the '05+ 2.0l Duratec. The hatchback Focus is a very rigid body, which offers good safety and good handling. Plenty of upgrades available for all years and good/cheap parts availability. Obviously the '02-'04 SVTs are desirable (great seats, suspension, brakes) but I'm personally a little leery of the engines - it was a small run of hi-po motors and most are pretty beat by now. I'd be more inclined to buy an '05+ hatch and start bolting on upgrades. The ZX5 body style gets you five seats, four doors, and a big hatch. Cheap to buy, cheap to own and lots of fun to be had.

As a backup plan, I am increasingly fond of the '98 Saab 900 and '99 Saab 9-3. The '94-'97 cars are fine, but missing suspension upgrades that became standard in '98, and the '00-'02 cars are fine but a little more expensive to maintain, a little more complex, and potentially suffer from sludge-in-the-oilpan problems you may just want to avoid. I like Saabs in general, but these cars are getting extremely cheap and offer a lot of bang for the buck. The engines are extremely reliable, the manual gearbox is extremely reliable, and the automatic is as good as anything else made back then. Very safe cars, reasonable fuel economy (not as good as a Focus, but they weigh more and make a lot more power), and can be made to handle reasonably well. Set aside $400 to buy a clone Tech 2 from China for diagnostics and programming and you're set. The true weak spots on these cars are pretty easy to deal with - you will need to replace the $300 ignition module every five to ten years, the information display will fail, and you have a choice between automatic climate control with a display that will fail or manual climate control that will physically break. Obviously, the former is preferable and it's not a budget-killing repair. Otherwise, they're pretty competent, pretty durable, and remarkably cheap to maintain.

A final recommendation which will no doubt receive groans is the HHR. It's mechanically solid, and nobody wants them so they tend to be cheap. But, reasonably efficient, very functional cars. Still might want to invest in that $400 Tech 2.

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Polaris aka Stardude
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Report this Post06-22-2017 05:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Polaris aka StardudeClick Here to Email Polaris aka StardudeSend a Private Message to Polaris aka StardudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just a bit of an update - I recently was given a suggestion to go and visit my boss's friend's used car place. (I know, but it couldn't hurt, right?) And I happened across a car that piqued my interest.

The car's a 98 nissan 200sx se, and it was being sold for about 1.5k USD, with minor body damage. The man told me it ran great - he wasn't lying as far as I could tell, the engine sounded great, it looked fine, besides a few cosmetic issues - but then again, that's to be expected, IMO.

What I wanted to ask is - is this car a good buy for me? It seems to fit all of my checklist needs, but can any of you guys offer some insight onto whether or not this is a good deal? The man asked if I would like to test drive it tomorrow, and I obviously said yes. I also plan on getting a mechanic to inspect it - as I've heard that is common procedure.

So yeah, that's it for now. Thoughts?

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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post06-22-2017 05:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Pass. Relatively unsafe, unreliable, more expensive harder to find parts, etc. Mechanic inspection will probably tell you that you don't want it by itself, if the dealer will even let you take it to your own mechanic (good sign to RUN from that lot).

Similar, much better cars would be the Toyota Paseo or Corolla, or Honda Civic or Prelude. I was also always impressed with the similar vintage Mazda Protege, it's in the same compact to sub-compact families. Gas mileage for these is great, but crash protection is crap.

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Polaris aka Stardude
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Report this Post06-22-2017 06:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Polaris aka StardudeClick Here to Email Polaris aka StardudeSend a Private Message to Polaris aka StardudeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:

Pass. Relatively unsafe, unreliable, more expensive harder to find parts, etc. Mechanic inspection will probably tell you that you don't want it by itself, if the dealer will even let you take it to your own mechanic (good sign to RUN from that lot).

Similar, much better cars would be the Toyota Paseo or Corolla, or Honda Civic or Prelude. I was also always impressed with the similar vintage Mazda Protege, it's in the same compact to sub-compact families. Gas mileage for these is great, but crash protection is crap.


Afaik, the guy had no issue with me getting inspected with my own mechanic, and the guy had a few other cars that I might like to take a look at,

Btw, what is this thing? I googled it, and it is seemingly related to the Sylvia brand, but wikipedia had no info on it, and it seems relatively unknown.

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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post06-22-2017 10:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Silvia were the real wheel drive RWD Nissans, this is in no way related. The older generations of the 200SX were decent cars, but this particular one you're looking at, just uses the 200SX name on what was then Nissan's entry-level budget car. Modern equivalent would be Nissan Versa or Chevy Spark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Lucino

Here are a few in your area in your price range

2006 Mazda6 Sedan, 111,000 miles, $3495

https://www.autotrader.com/...ll%26firstRecord%3D0 %26endYear%3D2018%26searchRadius%3D25&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&maxPrice=4000&firstRecord=0&endYear=2018&searchRadius=25&makeCode1=MAZDA&modelCode1=MAZDA6

2008 Honda Civic EX, 204,128 miles, $3990

https://www.autotrader.com/...ll%26firstRecord%3D2 5%26endYear%3D2018%26searchRadius%3D50&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&maxPrice=4000&firstRecord=25&endYear=2018&searchRadius=50&makeCode1=HONDA&modelCode1=CIVIC

2000 Honda CR-V LX, 119,569 miles, $3690

https://www.autotrader.com/...ll%26firstRecord%3D2 5%26endYear%3D2018%26searchRadius%3D50&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&maxPrice=4000&firstRecord=25&endYear=2018&searchRadius=50&makeCode1=HONDA&modelCode1=CRV

[This message has been edited by RWDPLZ (edited 06-22-2017).]

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thesameguy
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Report this Post06-23-2017 12:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The '90s (B14) 200SX was the sporty, 2-door version of the Sentra. The GA16DE isn't a powerhouse, but it's reliable as are both transmissions they are connected to. There is nothing wrong with these cars - I wouldn't say they're great by any stretch, but they're fine. I had a lot of friends with these cars - one of my coworkers just sold his with 283,000 miles on it. Nissan sold mountains of these cars - parts availability is no problem at all. I put brakes and a full cooling system refresh on my friend's before he sold it.

RWDPLZ, I seriously cannot believe you'd recommend a Paseo over a 200SX. I can't see how a 2-door Tercel is better than a 2-door Sentra... The Tercel was pretty much the worst car sold in America that wasn't a Hyundai back then. The Corolla and Sentra were direct competitors, the Tercel/Paseo slotted *below* that - Nissan didn't even offer that class of car back then. The Paseo was a knee-jerk reaction to the wonderful B13 Sentra SE-R, which outclassed the Paseo in every measurable way. The 5E-FE was garbage - a 100hp 1.5l motor. The Paseo's safety was abysmal. It was a one-generation car - they couldn't even justify selling it for a full cycle... it only lasted four years. I would stay far, far away from a Paseo.

Protégé is a great suggestion - Mazda made an entirely different class of car than the other entry level Japanese cars. Great motors and solid chassis. Even the first generation cars ('92+?) are real slow and real tiny by modern standards. but still fun to drive. They got better and better.

I'd still take a Focus though.

[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 06-23-2017).]

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Report this Post07-15-2017 07:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hnthompsClick Here to Email hnthompsSend a Private Message to hnthompsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Email sent.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post07-18-2017 07:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

What's your opinion on "hot hatch" cars? That seems to match your criteria pretty well. Cars like the Honda Civic hatchback, Ford Focus hatchback, and VW Golf would be good choices.

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