Most Reliable Older Car - Which One


Old 06-22-04, 05:49 PM
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Most Reliable Older Car - Which One

I'm in the market for a used car and want to spend under $4,000 for it. My primary concern is reliability, then gas mileage. The ones on my "short list" are a Chevy (Geo) Prizm, Dodge Spirit, Saturn LS, Buick Century, or ???? I'd like to buy American, if possible.

Does anyone out there have any other suggestions ...or good or bad about any of the above cars???

All opinions welcome. Thanks.
Old 06-24-04, 04:29 AM
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you may want to get any car you are thinking about buying checked out by a mechanic to see if it has any current problems and what work needs to be done to it as reliability has alot to do with current mileage and how well the car was taken care of.
considering gas mileage is fairly important you will likely be looking at 4 cylinder vehicles in which case the dodge spirit would be a poor choice in my opinion or about any older chrysler product as there 4 cylinders do have some issues.
as per as other possible models you should consider toyota and honda as they make some very reliable cars although they are not considered an american car they may be more american than what you may think as many was assembled in the united states wich may not be the case with some chevy and chrysler products.
Old 06-24-04, 05:07 PM
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Bejay: thanks for the note back. After more research, I'm still looking at the Chevy Prizm. It's basically a clone of the Toyota Corolla and seems to have an excellent reliability record. Other than some minor problems with the emissions and headlight ground - I can't find much negative out on the WWW.

Very good point about having it checked out by a mechanic. Will do.

Anybody have any comments about a Prizm - probably 1999-2000 range ??
Old 06-26-04, 06:16 PM
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Stick with Toyota/Honda or their clones, but have the car checked out regardless. My second choice would be the Saturn.
Old 06-29-04, 09:46 PM
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Hi TK..

I think you would be best off going with the Chevy Prism. It was produced in conjunction with Toyota and has a Toyota engine.. It IS the same thing as a Corolla. Definitiely reliable, and a good bargain.

I have been selling cars for 3 years, and this is what I advise my customers who are looking for a car for under $5000 to do:

Look in your local paper for a vehicle. When you go to see the car, meet the seller at their home. Why? That way you can gather a lot of clues about the person. For instance, if their lawn is unkempt and the shutters are falling off their house, you can bet they didn't take good care of their vehicle either. If their yard seems well maintained and they seem meticulous and have maintenance records, you are more likely to get a better vehicle.

Avoid going to those little corner car lots where anyone can get financed. They shop auctions and don't know anything about the history on the cars they sell.

After doing the above - take the vehicle to a qualified technician.

Let us know what you end up doing!
Old 08-02-04, 07:35 PM
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I'd recommend the Prizm too. For all of the reasons mentioned by everyone. Plus, it meets your goal of buying American. When they first came out they were assembled in Fremont, Calif. Maybe the one you're looking at was, too.

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