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Cheap, old, high mileage used car considerations


MichaelChang's Avatar
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01-07-10, 07:13 AM   #1  
Cheap, old, high mileage used car considerations

Separating* and the old lady says I should get my own ride instead of using hers

Problem is I've been out of work since June and am running low on cash

Looking to grab a cheepee that I can get a couple trouble-free years out of

Feature-wise my only criteria is that it has a back seating area (kids) and somewhat safe (taking the Accents, Focuses, etc. out of the equation).

Having a manual >=6 would be gravy but with cost being the first consideration, I'm not expecting a whole lot.

With the plethora of available vehicles, all in my price range are either >= 15 years old or have >= 150,000 miles I need to "trim the herd" and would appreciate any in put on the following:

1. Do pickups "last" longer than regular sedans?

2. What is the search term for the extra seat in the back of a pickup? "Extended cab" I've found can just refer to a storage area behind the front but not always enough room for seating.

3. Are there any brands that "last" longer than others?

Here are a few that I am considering:
Price Year Make Model Mileage Cylinders Drive
$1,354 1995 Ford Taurus SHO 158K 6 2WD
$1,994 1994 Chevy Camaro Coupe 158K 6 2WD
$2,788 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 287K 8 4WD
$2,950 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 208K 8 2WD
$3,490 1992 Chevy Camaro RS 145K 6 2WD
$3,614 1999 Ford Mustang GT 196K 8 2WD
$3,775 1990 Infiniti M30 93K 6 2WD
$3,789 1999 Cadillac Cetera 96K 6 2WD
$3,854 2000 Ford F150 SuperCab XLT 196K 8 2WD
$4,432 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 183K 8 2WD
$4,444 1990 Ford Mustang LX 56K 8 2WD
$4,800 1998 Ford Ranger 4x4 SuperCab XLT 183K 6 4WD
$4,950 1996 Chevy Camaro Z28 Couple 183K 8 2WD
$4,998 1992 Dodge Stealth RT 100K 6 2WD
$5,494 1997 Toyota Camry 80K 4 2WD
$5,790 1999 Toyota Camry 93K 6 2WD
$5,876 1999 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro 122K 6 AWD
$5,949 2000 Volvo S40 110K 4T 2WD
$5,950 1991 Nissan 300ZX 113K 6 2WD
$6,299 1996 Infiniti I30 98K 6 2WD
$6,788 2000 Dodge Ram Van B1500 65K 8 2WD
$6,995 2003 Hyundai Elantra GLS 64K 4 2WD
$8,599 1999 Nissan Frontier 80K 4 2WD
$9,899 2004 Saab 93 78K 4T 2WD


Thoughts?

Tks,

* No need for condolences as congratulations are more appropriate in this instance Beer 4U2

 
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the_tow_guy's Avatar
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01-07-10, 03:49 PM   #2  
Scratch the Taurus, Stealth, & Saab right off the bat. The '97 Camry would be my choice; the 4 cyl engine is pretty bullet-proof. With 80k on the ticker you could easily get another 100,000 miles on it. On the down side $5495 is a little steep for that. My wife's '01 has about 100k miles on it and I wouldn't value it at $5500 I don't think. The '99 Camry would be my second choice and not only because I've been a Camry owner for about 12 years. Solid vehicles.

FWIW here's Consumer Reports opinions:

Best Family vehicles:

Toyota Prius
Ford Fusion
Mercury Milan
Toyota Camry (except '08 V6)
Subaru Outback (6-cyl.)
Nissan Altima

And these are the ones (all categories) they call the worst of the worst:

Audi A6 Allroad
Audi A8
BMW X5 (V8)
Buick Rendezvous (AWD)
Cadillac SRX
Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Colorado (4WD)
Chevrolet S-10 (4WD)
Chevrolet Uplander
Chevrolet Venture
Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Sebring convertible
Chrysler Town & Country (AWD)
Dodge Grand Caravan (AWD)
GMC Canyon (4WD)
GMC Jimmy
GMC S-15 Sonoma (4WD) Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sedona
Land Rover Discovery, LR3
Mazda RX-8
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Pontiac Aztek
Pontiac G6 (V6)
Pontiac Montana, Montana SV6
Porsche Cayenne
Saturn Relay
Volkswagen Cabrio
Volkswagen Jetta (V6)
Volkswagen New Beetle (turbo)
Volkswagen Passat (V6, FWD)
Volkswagen Touareg
Volvo XC90 (6-cyl.)


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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01-07-10, 05:18 PM   #3  
The Toyota Prius ?!! One of the best family vehicles?!?

Not knocking you Michael but your list seams more of a "guy wish list" than a practical family vehicle. SHOs Camaros and Mustangs I would not put under the practical family car list.
Look for a slightly older Camery that you have listed or some other 4 door sedan.


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MichaelChang's Avatar
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01-07-10, 08:17 PM   #4  
Great info guys

These cars came up in the 10 mile zip code radius search and were the ones that were on the lower end of the price spectrum. I filtered out the ones over 200K miles and which didn't have seating for > 2.

I'm leaning towards a Camry since I've heard other good reviews on it as well

A guy wish list ... come on, not without at least one GTO listed

 
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01-08-10, 05:55 AM   #5  
Prius; you caught that, too, huh Tolyn? I thought that was more than a little strange. On the other hand I've only ever towed one and it was crash-damaged. Have to agree on the sports cars as family cars.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
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01-08-10, 10:20 AM   #6  
I guess I have a problem implying that Accents and Focuses are unsafe vehicles. These are all equipped with airbags as well as all the other same safety features as on any other car. I'm very familiar with the Focus, having one in the family and likely another soon, I feel they are far safer than some of the sports cars you've listed. There are too many people that believe small cars are inheritly unsafe.

 
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01-16-10, 01:13 PM   #7  
Any of you see that new (I believe GMC) commercial, that asks why you would want a Mini-Cooper when you can own their bigger honkin machine instead?, when their larger machine gets better? gas mileage? I wonder how that is even possible.

 
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01-16-10, 04:57 PM   #8  
I think for the next used car I buy, I will find one where the alternator and starter are easy to replace. I think some Toyotas might be this way?

Then also, if I can find out, I will want a car which sold quite well. Then parts should be more easy to come by. And perhaps there would be more of them in the wrecking yards and more used parts available!

Also because I know electronics, I find a car with electrical problems. And minor interior problems. Dash messed up, mirror broken, stereo torn out or not working, etc.

These vehicles will have reduced prices because no one wants them. Then just go to the wrecking yard and get replacement parts (for quite cheap) and it is good as new!

 
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01-16-10, 08:07 PM   #9  
Posted By: ecman51` Any of you see that new (I believe GMC) commercial, that asks why you would want a Mini-Cooper when you can own their bigger honkin machine instead?, when their larger machine gets better? gas mileage? I wonder how that is even possible.
You don't buy a truck for the gas mileage.


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01-16-10, 08:19 PM   #10  
probably one of the Toy's would be first choice.

everything else is last choice.


and I hate recommending a furrin' vee-hicle

if you want a pu, that is an entirely different thing and I really like my 98 f-150 w/6cyl and 5 sp manny tranny.

 
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01-17-10, 09:42 AM   #11  
That GMC commercial is based on government accepted highway mileage figures.I believe some time soon they are supposed to move to a combined figure only.(highway/city).

But for the gray commerical it's ok to play semantics games.I'd bet anything a MINI would beat a SUV hands down on combined mileage.

Technology is better so larger vehicles are getting better mileage plus that GMC in the commercial I believe has a 4 not a 6 (could be wrong but don't think so) which means it is underpowered.And a MINI S would blow the doors off almost any SUV except performance oriented models (I have a Subaru Forester XT with a turbo 4 that would give a MINI a run for it's money but would be outhandled by it.)

Never take the word of a commercial at face value,there is ALWAYS more to it than what you see.

 
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01-17-10, 10:22 AM   #12  
Michael -

Forget about SUVs and pick-up for where you live. A big honker will not be an asset. I lived in Virginia and drove in the D.C. area frequently and recognize the traffic and parking problems inside the belt line.

If you get outside of that area frequently, you could possibly tolerate a bigger car if you feel you need the weight, bulk and size for some reason. It all depends on your needs. My wife and I have a pair of 4WD SUV "cousins", a 1999 Jimmy (140,000 miles) and a 2000 Blazer (95,000 miles) that serve us well for your needs although some people put then on a "worst" list. The mileage is not great, but many of the miles are out and out freeway where we can get 23 mpg if we keep under 65 mph. I put them into 4WD one a twice a year to makes sure everything is functional. I would not part with my Jimmy unless I could get into an Audi R8 Quattro Twin Turbo (big $$s).

For a more common new lower cost car, the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan are good new options.

For used, I would look seriously at the Toyotas, especially if can get a relative low mileage one since the mechanics are "bulletproof". Some of the older ones did have some rust problems, but a periodic underbody car wash does wonders. The new ones are much better and Toyota Camrys are the top selling American made car now for good reason.

It all boils down to what you need and condition of the individual car.

Dick

 
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01-25-10, 06:52 AM   #13  
The reason I implied that smaller cars are less safe is not from a feature standpoint but from a physics standpoint. In other words, in an SUV vs small car collision, I'd rather be in the SUV

Nowadays car buying is almost like an arms race where the vehicles keep getting bigger. We've got modified Hum-V's on the road, why stop at that, why not just get a tank and modify it for the consumer

After a long and arduous search, a friend of mine who is a mechanic sold me a 93 Lexus ES300 with almost 200K miles on it for $3K. He said it's been well taken care of in his shop, no foreseeable problems, and I should get the 2 years/50K miles worth of driving that I'm after.

I wasn't expecting sports car performance but that thing is slow as an old lady (no offense to any female retirees), the Jetta V6 that I had blows it away. It's also got a bad smell when idling at a stop light.

Thanks for all the feedback,

-M

 
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01-25-10, 08:36 AM   #14  
Probably a good choice for your criteria.

Might need some basic tune-up work; my wife's '01 Camry with a four-banger in it has plenty of get-up-&-go. I can't imagine the Lexus V-6 would be that bad.


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01-25-10, 09:01 AM   #15  
Well '93 V6 was only 185 hp I think..(dunno about torque)....not a whole lot for a car that size. Esp when comparing to a newer Jetta V6. Actually..that's about the same as what my car has...and is a similar size. While mine isn't a dog...its not what I would call great in the acceleration dept.


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01-25-10, 11:29 AM   #16  
Posted By: MichaelChang It's also got a bad smell when idling at a stop light.



-M
like what kind of bad smell? Exhaust odor can be indicative of problems and since it is doggy, it would support that same thought.

 
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01-26-10, 06:32 AM   #17  
Could be exhaust odor. But unlike the "fresh" exhaust odor that you don't mind smelling from afar, this is more of a concentrated, stale, exhaust odor.

Serious problem I should look into (read kids being exposed to CO) or not a big deal?

 
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