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Cheaper used cars

Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I am looking to buy a used car for under $10,000. I really don't know anything about cars besides that I want one, and some are better than others. I was thinking about getting a honda civic because I have heard they are very reliable. So what are some decently reliable used cars? I don't want a car that is super fast, but I was thinking about getting a car that is a little faster than average (from what I know, the faster the car the worse the gas mileage right?).

So I want a car that is decently fast, decent with gas mileage (around 28 mpg...if that sounds reasonable?), fairly reliable, and most of all affordable.

Fizban140 on

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    skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I recently picked up a 2006 Ford Focus for around $8000. I put some money down and my payments are ~$165 per month and insurance is <$100 a month. It gets around 28/33mpg and is a 4 cyl and a 2.0L

    There's my $0.02.

    skyybahamut on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Sentra SE-R
    Cheap, bullet proof, good suspension, good motor, limited slip, easy to mod. Did I mention cheap and bullet proof? I rallyX against a couple of guys in these damned things. They should be banned. They are quick and refuse to break.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    I was looking at SE-Rs, a little hard to find around here but they seem pretty good.

    Fizban140 on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keep looking. Make sure you get what you want and have a competent mechanic check out the car before you buy.

    You mentioned Civic. If you can find an Si around 89, 90, 91, 92 that would also be a good choice. Decent power, great handling, lots of mods.(No body mods, they just add weight)

    I find that if you get a great handling car with OK(But not great) power, you will have loads more fun with out getting in trouble with the law. MY fun car has maybe 130hp, but it has lots of $$ in the suspension(And some R rubber) It is way more fun than my bosses NSX or 335hp R Volvo wagon for around the town.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    fuelish wrote: »
    Keep looking. Make sure you get what you want and have a competent mechanic check out the car before you buy.

    You mentioned Civic. If you can find an Si around 89, 90, 91, 92 that would also be a good choice. Decent power, great handling, lots of mods.(No body mods, they just add weight)

    I find that if you get a great handling car with OK(But not great) power, you will have loads more fun with out getting in trouble with the law. MY fun car has maybe 130hp, but it has lots of $$ in the suspension(And some R rubber) It is way more fun than my bosses NSX or 335hp R Volvo wagon for around the town.

    I think you got the years wrong, 88-91 is one generation, 92-95 is another. Both are great models though. Every civic right up to the redesign in 2002 is a great car, inside and out, id highly recommend one, whether youre going for 2 door (92 and up), 4 door or hatchback.

    The 88-91 generation is definately my favorite though. Not a lot of horsepower, but as you say, they feel more powerful than they are because theyre so light. My CRX only has 91 horsepower compared to 109 in my honda Fit, but the CRX will beat it off the line and even out accelerate it right up to 80mph just because it weighs about 700 pounds less.

    Solid cars, and you can pick them up for cheap. Under 4000 dollars for a well taken care of car with around 100k miles on it.

    Sentra SE-R's are also decent cars you can pick up really, really cheap, if you know how to drive stick. Saw a dealer selling one for 7000 and it only had 70k on the odometer. Friend from work has one, he loves it.

    Zeon on
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    clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    You can find some nice 97-01 (I think) Subaru Impreza 2.5RS for about 9k.

    clsCorwin on
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Zeon wrote: »
    fuelish wrote: »
    Keep looking. Make sure you get what you want and have a competent mechanic check out the car before you buy.

    You mentioned Civic. If you can find an Si around 89, 90, 91, 92 that would also be a good choice. Decent power, great handling, lots of mods.(No body mods, they just add weight)

    I find that if you get a great handling car with OK(But not great) power, you will have loads more fun with out getting in trouble with the law. MY fun car has maybe 130hp, but it has lots of $$ in the suspension(And some R rubber) It is way more fun than my bosses NSX or 335hp R Volvo wagon for around the town.

    I think you got the years wrong, 88-91 is one generation, 92-95 is another. Both are great models though. Every civic right up to the redesign in 2002 is a great car, inside and out, id highly recommend one, whether youre going for 2 door (92 and up), 4 door or hatchback.

    The 88-91 generation is definately my favorite though. Not a lot of horsepower, but as you say, they feel more powerful than they are because theyre so light. My CRX only has 91 horsepower compared to 109 in my honda Fit, but the CRX will beat it off the line and even out accelerate it right up to 80mph just because it weighs about 700 pounds less.

    Solid cars, and you can pick them up for cheap. Under 4000 dollars for a well taken care of car with around 100k miles on it.

    Sentra SE-R's are also decent cars you can pick up really, really cheap, if you know how to drive stick. Saw a dealer selling one for 7000 and it only had 70k on the odometer. Friend from work has one, he loves it.
    What is wrong with the 2002-2005? generation civics?

    Fizban140 on
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    ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I dont like the interiors. Thats when they switched to the digital speedometer right? Those bother me because theyre constantly flashing new numbers unless youre using the cruise-control, and even then if you hit a hill itll flash. I dont like flashing lights on my dashboard unless theres actually a problem. I also didnt find the drivers seat very comfortable, especially with the angle i had to set the wheel on to actually be able to see the instrument panel.

    I drove one of the newest generation civics, and its a bit better, its more comfortable to drive atleast, but i still dont like the digital gauges.

    *edit*, its a personal choice, if you like the interiors, theyre fine cars as well. Theres no reliability issues with them at all. The newest Si also has the same series engine as the acura RSX (K20) which is a really, really solid engine. You can probably snag a 2006 offlease for about 10k if you dont mind stick and can do a little haggling at the dealership.

    Zeon on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I thought I might have screwed the years up a little(I am a VW guy) I know the newest version of the Civic has switched to strut front end. The older cars used a double A-arm setup. Better performance wise.

    Since I admitted my VW issue, if you want a really fun, easy to play with, and cheap car: 1984 Volkswagen GTi. They are tough, easy to wrok on, there are lots of cheap hotrod parts and tricks. They are loads of fun and very cheap.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I bought an 02 Taurus back in 03 for just over $10,000. I've had it since then, and so far, I've only had to replace tires and brakes. I'm just now needing to replace the serpentine belt (taking it in Friday), and otherwise, the car has been a freaking dream. That little bit of (actually normal) maintenance, and the normal preventative care (oil changes, transmission fluid flushes, and stuff) and I'm over 100,000 miles.

    Just throwing that out there for another idea...

    Shadowfire on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Where do you live? Is your environment more friendly to light vehicles or are you going to need some 4x4 just to get to work when the snow plow hasn't made it's rounds yet?

    Uncle Long on
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    I live in Louisiana, I don't think it ever snows here, but in about two years I will be moving to Minnesota but cars just be fine in the city.

    Fizban140 on
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    skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    I live in Louisiana, I don't think it ever snows here, but in about two years I will be moving to Minnesota but cars just be fine in the city.

    Lucky you, we have snow or snowing conditions here for nearly 1/2 the year and road repair for the other 1/2.

    Whatever you decide, try to get something E-85 compatable as Minnesota has a large # of pumps with them, and it's STILL less than $2 a gallon in places.

    skyybahamut on
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    I live in Louisiana, I don't think it ever snows here, but in about two years I will be moving to Minnesota but cars just be fine in the city.

    Lucky you, we have snow or snowing conditions here for nearly 1/2 the year and road repair for the other 1/2.

    Whatever you decide, try to get something E-85 compatable as Minnesota has a large # of pumps with them, and it's STILL less than $2 a gallon in places.
    That sounds like a pretty new car.

    Fizban140 on
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    skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    I live in Louisiana, I don't think it ever snows here, but in about two years I will be moving to Minnesota but cars just be fine in the city.

    Lucky you, we have snow or snowing conditions here for nearly 1/2 the year and road repair for the other 1/2.

    Whatever you decide, try to get something E-85 compatable as Minnesota has a large # of pumps with them, and it's STILL less than $2 a gallon in places.
    That sounds like a pretty new car.

    Not really, I'm at work right now but just do a goolgle search for E-85 compatable cars and see what comes up. You might be surprised.

    Edit: As a consequence your mileage may go down as E-85 is a much higher octane than the standard 87 unleaded at the pump. It's like 102-105 octane.

    skyybahamut on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    I live in Louisiana, I don't think it ever snows here, but in about two years I will be moving to Minnesota but cars just be fine in the city.

    Lucky you, we have snow or snowing conditions here for nearly 1/2 the year and road repair for the other 1/2.

    Whatever you decide, try to get something E-85 compatable as Minnesota has a large # of pumps with them, and it's STILL less than $2 a gallon in places.
    That sounds like a pretty new car.

    Not really, I'm at work right now but just do a goolgle search for E-85 compatable cars and see what comes up. You might be surprised.

    Edit: As a consequence your mileage may go down as E-85 is a much higher octane than the standard 87 unleaded at the pump. It's like 102-105 octane.


    The lower mileage is not because of the higher octane, it is because there is less potential energy in alcohol so you need more of it to produce the same amount of power. The octane number tells how resistant a fuel is to predetonation. It has come to be associated with performance because when you have a high compression/high performance engine the fuel is more prone to combusting simply from the heat created by compressing air(Which is more/less how a deisel fires) or hot spots in the cylinder/head'piston top. You could make a higher performing engine running alcohol but you would still have greater consumption
    The E-85 industry is pushing the stuff as high performance to enhance its saleability. Even tho the stuff is cheaper, you use about a third more to cover the same distance.

    Presently deisel is the economy/power king. If you budget is 10K look for a turbo deisel like a Jetta or Passat wagon. They have somewhere around 200ft pounds of torque and get economy in the 50mpg range.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Just wanted to pipe in about two things coming from the VW guy:

    1984 Rabbit is a great hobby car, but definitely not a daily driver. Last I knew these puppies are 4-speeds and if you do highway driving, get used to listening to your car. And let's not even talk about what happens in a fender bender with those bunnies ..

    As for the passat / jetta wagon, you're still looking at 14 grand for a TDi. Last I looked, which was yesterday, you'll still pay a 12k premium for a Jetta TDi w/ ~90,000 miles. If you can find one for less, you've got a hell of a deal on your hands. Those babies will run forever, and yes, the torque is incredible.

    My advice? The Civic and Sentra SE-R suggestions are spot on. I'm a VW / Audi guy but I also have a soft spot for Saabs - there are some great deals out there for these, and while they aren't incredibly reliable, they're unique and fairly cheap to fix given the GM parts connection.

    wallabeeX on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    GTi are all five speed(020 trans) with fifth being overdrive. They also have a 20% slip that can be cheaply upped to about 80% with a Peloquin kit.

    Fizban is probably not looking for a car this cheap, but they are great cars to learn on. Very easy to work on, parts are cheap, tough. They handle well and are faster than their non turbo modern counterpart(TopGear ran the '84 against the modern GTi, non turbo. The old car whooped ass)

    Mine:
    Scirocco
    Motor swap with ported/shaved head, 020 trans with limited slip kit, beefed half shafts, susp. points braced, Bilstein sports with H&R springs, stainless brake lines, Eibach anti roll bars, Header with 2 1/4" exhaust, all rubber swapped for urethane, Panasports with Yokohama A032Rs. Total investment: $1800
    05-24-07sciroccoturtle005.jpg
    I had not looked at the pricing for a used deisel VW, they are higher than I thought they would be .

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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    Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    I am set on getting a civic now, I want to get it on ebay though. Is that a bad idea? Is there some service that will check out a car for me? I have actually never bought anything over ebay.

    Fizban140 on
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    fuelishfuelish Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Noooooo. Buy local. This is your first car? You want to be able to test drive it and have a knowledgable person look at it before you fork over your hard earned money.

    fuelish on
    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
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