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Used Car Suggestions


neohic
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Tomorrow, I hopefully get to find out if my 2000 VW Jetta is totaled or not. In a sense, I'm hoping that it is because it hasn't been the best of vehicles and I just want it all to be over. On the other hand, after a new ignition module, it was running great and the body was still in good shape.

 

Let's take a step back... while going up to get my new winter driver of a '91 MJ, the wife and I hit a deer whle clipping along at 65 mph. Overall, the car doesn't look that bad, but it's what on the inside that counts. I like how the insurance adjuster put it: "The problem with VW and Audi is that half of these cars are made of plastic and the other half is pop cans". Even though the outside looks repairable with replacement parts, it's all the little plastic pieces on the inside that are all cracked and screwed up. Besides that, if I were it fix it, the parts along would be over $800 using salvage yard parts.

 

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So, with the possibility in my head that the car may be totaled, are there any small to midsize cars that anyone would recommend as a replacement? Since the car would be for my wife, and since we'd like to have a car that gets decent mileage, it still needs to be a car. I’d love to put her in a Cherokee, but she’s a little lady coming in at under 5’ tall. Again, the car would be mostly for her getting’ around car and we’d use it for whenever we’d need to go road trippin’. We’re looking for a 4 cylinder backed by an automatic trans. She likes the size of the Jetta but would be willing to go smaller while I like the size of the Jetta and would feel cramped in anything smaller.

 

Any suggestions?

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I know Brent, ($500MJ) and his wife have a Nissan Sentra, and love it.

 

Angela drives an '07 Toyota Corolla, and she loves it. Its a bomb-proof car. She puts about 80 miles on it a day, and it does it without question. She gets about 35 miles to the gallon. Since she's had it, she's put about 100K miles on it (It's now at about 120K, on an '07!). The only huge repair and the only time it's left us stranded was when the PCM went out about 50K. It was covered under warranty, and was fixed once they slapped a new one in. Other than that, brakes, tires, oil, and a front wheel bearing is about the maintenance run on it.

 

That, and it makes quite the MJ parts hauler in a pinch.

Rob

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My wife and I have had good luck with her 02 4cyl Camry. At 150k miles the only issue we have is that it will burn a 1/2 quart of oil over 5k miles. While I don't particularly like the car, it is the model of mid sized efficiency. It gets 28.5-30mpg regularly with her mixed driving. Coming into CO from Yellowstone, it pulled 39 mpg on 85 octane. These cars can be found for $6k for a low mileage loaded version.

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Yep,

 

Ours is an '02 Sentra SE-R. Good little car for what we need it for. The 2.5L has got plenty of pick-up when you need it and I love having the SE-R suspension. The 1.8L models are the gas savers, but don't be looking to go to the races with them - my brother has an '05.

 

There are lots of cars out there for sale, but not all of them are gems. We went out looking for a Sentra and we were lucky to find this one. It was well taken care of and previously loved. Finding a car that had a good previous owner is a big deal if you ask me. This guy had all of the stone nicks filled with touch up paint and even included the 2002 Sentra sales brochure with the car.

 

Only thing is that I wish it were a manual vs. the automatic.

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Awesome and thank you. Corolla, Sentra, or another VW is what I've been kicking around in my head. The problem comes in when I ask what she thinks about what type of car and her answer is always, "Whatever doesn't look too old". Hu?! Too old?! So my response question typically is, "Was my '98 Jetta an old car?". "Well, yeah. It's all boxy and old looking and the dash has all kinda of square lines". I can't imagine what she's been thinking of driving my Eliminator all week! Back to her car, no new information on her car yet though. The inspection was supposed to happen today but the inspector lady has strep throat... that's fine, I guess... she'll be driving the '91 after tonight but the idea of getting that was so I didn't have to drive my Eliminator when the snow comes. Going to have to figure something out sooner than later anyhow.

 

Any other suggestions? :dunno:

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ive had 2 Hyundai's and they have been very good to me. my 98 elantra was only retired because the body was shot. still ran and drove awsome even with 368xxx klms on the odo.

my 2001 elantra has been an awsome car. only trouble i had was the tranny going out from PO abuse. my 01 is fun to drive roomy and very reliable and has 238xxx klms.

 

my 98:59792_475664276162_575111162_7266903_7374494_n.jpg

 

my 01:293656_10150381561671163_575111162_10481582_163366364_n.jpg

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hyndais, in my experience as a mechanic, are harder to find parts for than our MJ's and not friendly to work on. of the cars mentioned, VW's are good only if you find a good one at a steal of a price, they tend to be over priced as a trendy car, and parts tend to not be cheap (as you see looking at salvage parts). the nissan sentra and altima are both good cars without too many issues, knock sensors are one of the most common as well as some cam/crank sensor issues. the corrolla, of course, is a pretty reliable car and parts aren't too bad in cost.

 

as a mechanic though, i haven't seen any ford fusions having problems, just regular maintenance, and i liked the one i drove awhile back as a company car.

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Plastic and pop cans? Jetta's are heavy for their size. Show me another small car with a 99.6" wheelbase that will tip the scales at ~3100 lbs!! Insurance companies don't like them because they are expensive to fix when they get damaged. Volkswagen's have a unique feel, I would describe it as heavy, solid and nimble. Most jetta reviews read something like this "Handling still is sharper than anything in this class, with near-perfect ride quality that still eludes the Asian competition. The Jetta--even in base form--steers and brakes with a more intimate feel." I'm biased I will admit. My 2003 Wolfsburg has about 146K and the only problem I have had is the dual mass flywheel. I have never got less than 30mpg and have topped out at 38mpg on a long trip. I have owned 31 cars in my life and this Jetta is the fastest car I have ever owned. I like it!!

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Maybe she'll take a liking to the 91 :cheers:

 

Then YOU need another ride! :yes:

 

 

My only advice, NO GM cars... My folks have a 97 Honda Accord with 215k on it. Couple timing belts is all its asked for since they bought it. Great little cars. I hate cars but I think I would probably drive one if I had a long commute. They will not sell it either...Dad likes it too much.

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I have had 3 Accords and all they've required [as stated above] is timing belts when the mileage is due...

 

If the move to an SUV is in order, we love driving our Ford Escape since it is very car-like and not truck-like on the road. My other half is only 5' 2" and she has no problems with ingress/egress and its not a huge vehicle either. Its peppy with the 24v v6 and does great in snow with automatic AWD and all-season tires... something to consider since you're in MN.

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Anyone have any opinions on a Ford Focus with the DOHC? :dunno: Been finding a few that somewhat interest me. Thanks again, everyone!

 

 

NOOOO!!!! i have drivin a few focuses. they look cheap and feel cheap on the road. and my friend has a focus and is constantly having charging problems

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Anyone have any opinions on a Ford Focus with the DOHC? :dunno: Been finding a few that somewhat interest me. Thanks again, everyone!

 

I used to work for Ford as you know, and I never really had any big problems with these... Zippy little cars. People put a ton of miles on them.

 

Rob

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i've seen a range of problems with the focuses out there, but i've also seen some with pretty high mileage... 200k, 300k...with only minor issues. overall i'm not really impressed with them, but they're decent economy cars. coming from the car you have though, i would see nothing but disappointment.

 

i've seen a few v6 escapes with bad cats on them, which are part of the manifold. the rear one is a PITA to get, you have to pull the driver axle shaft and the alternator to get it out, and they aren't cheap. i want to say the list for 800$ + each. tune ups on the v6 require pulling the intake, too. also watch out for control arm bushings and front wheel bearings, as well as ball joints.

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Anyone have any opinions on a Ford Focus with the DOHC? :dunno: Been finding a few that somewhat interest me. Thanks again, everyone!

 

 

NOOOO!!!! i have drivin a few focuses. they look cheap and feel cheap on the road. and my friend has a focus and is constantly having charging problems

 

 

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..... a guy driving an El-Cheap-antra talking about how cheap something else feels... Every time I turn a Hyundai back into Hertz, I ask if they would like me to just wad it up and toss it in the trash.

 

Want to talk about a vehicle that feels and drives like its gonna fall to pieces hitting grooved pavement.. its Hyundai Sonata and Elantra...

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..... a guy driving an El-Cheap-antra talking about how cheap something else feels... Every time I turn a Hyundai back into Hertz, I ask if they would like me to just wad it up and toss it in the trash.

 

How enlightening. Then why do you continue to rent them if they are trash?

 

OP, get a 6th generation (2004–2008) Chevy Malibu w. the base 2.2 L I4. No maintenance required until it reaches 200K miles. Then it needs an oil change. No class, no power, just runs and runs. Car of the year a couple of times during this span and runner-up also.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..... a guy driving an El-Cheap-antra talking about how cheap something else feels... Every time I turn a Hyundai back into Hertz, I ask if they would like me to just wad it up and toss it in the trash.

 

How enlightening. Then why do you continue to rent them if they are trash?

 

OP, get a 6th generation (2004–2008) Chevy Malibu w. the base 2.2 L I4. No maintenance required until it reaches 200K miles. Then it needs an oil change. No class, no power, just runs and runs. Car of the year a couple of times during this span and runner-up also.

 

 

Corporate policy... We have to rent cars in a certain class, you get whatever Hertz has in that class at that office. It used to be Taurus all over the country, but since Ford sold off Hertz its been either Hyundai or Toyota Corolla with the occasional Malibu thrown in. The Corolla and the Malibu are far and away better riding,handling and feeling cars than the Hyundai.

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Corporate policy... We have to rent cars in a certain class, you get whatever Hertz has in that class at that office. It used to be Taurus all over the country, but since Ford sold off Hertz its been either Hyundai or Toyota Corolla with the occasional Malibu thrown in. The Corolla and the Malibu are far and away better riding,handling and feeling cars than the Hyundai.

 

Understand. Sounds like the federal government TDY policy.

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What are you wanting to spend?

That is the biggest question...

 

I have a 2010 focus. Great little car with the sync system, etc.

I've got 31000 on it already. No issues.

 

I've had a great many North American cars that have went well over 150K before I got rid of them with very few issues.

 

If you are a car person, you will realize that there are good and bad in most brands.

 

North American cars now days are just as good as their Asian counterparts for the most part.

 

The biggest thing is, just like our trucks is how was it maintained?

 

Most cars now days will go 200K+ if they were maintained properly and not abused.

 

I would recommend buying from an individual instead of a lot if you're buying used...

Good Luck!

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We have an 04 escape that we bought new. It has the V6 and I like the power. It gets just under 20 mpg. My parents have an 06 escape with the 4 cyl. Gets almost 30 mpg but the power difference is huge. My wife's car I would highly recommend but not sure how it would do that far north. She has an 04 mini cooper automatic. I'm 6 2 and the seats give me plenty of room, just no room for anyone behind me. It is a blast to drive and it gets almost 30 mpg. It is a solid car.

Good luck.

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i've seen a few v6 escapes with bad cats on them, which are part of the manifold. the rear one is a PITA to get, you have to pull the driver axle shaft and the alternator to get it out, and they aren't cheap. i want to say the list for 800$ + each. tune ups on the v6 require pulling the intake, too. also watch out for control arm bushings and front wheel bearings, as well as ball joints.

 

Issues we have had with our 02 Escape since we picked it up in 2006:

 

Transfer case failure [repaired under warranty at 70k... fortunately]

Squeaky passenger rear brake caliper [both Tributes and Escapes have this common issue]

Hard start when colder than 20F outside [both Tributes and Escapes have this common issue]

Stock 6-disc CD player does not load/eject CDs properly sometimes [dry and dusty environment in central oregon]

 

Yes, the intake has to be removed for plugs, but a lot of transverse mounted engines these days have the same requirement for basic services. None of the other issues listed have been noticed, and it currently has 112K on it.

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