best car to buy for 5 grand

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3,894
Location
missouri usa
An older lady I know is looking for a new car . What kinda car would you recommend buying for around 5000 has to be midsize four door automatic reliable and it cannot be outrageous in cost or difficulty to work on. What would you guys recommend give me some ideas on what to look for. Thanks guys
 
Messages
8,576
Location
Ohio
You might be able to get an '05 chevy Malibu for 5 grand. It would be a decent choice. Maybe an '03 Impala or W-body derivative. Although it is bigger and the Malibu would be better choice overall. You can't get much car in a midsize for 5 grand anymore. Most of them would be over 7 years old and over 100k miles especially if it is an Accord or Camry.
 
Messages
418
Location
BC, Canada
Best daily driver car I have ever owned was my 2004 Grand Prix. Cheap to maintain ($12-$15 home oil changes for example), very reliable did not let me down once, I put 150k miles on it and the only extraordinary maintenance item was an alternator. The alternator did not fail but had developed an end bearing squeak, might never have failed but I didn't take a chance. Tires lasted forever, bulbs were excellent. Drove, handled and braked excellent and got decent gas mileage. Just an all around super car. They are about $5k now.
 

ls1mike

$50 Site Donor 2021
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6,822
Location
In the Garage...
I paid 4800 dollars for my Buick just over 2 years ago with 63,000 miles. Has been my 3rd 3800 powered car. All have been pretty good.
 
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17,949
Location
Silicon Valley
How big is she? and how often and far does she drive? for fuel efficient model I'd say mid to late 90s Accord or Camry, but for big and comfortable model I'd say mid 2000s Taurus or Malibu.
 
Messages
1,353
Location
michigan
Malibu and taurus are very trustworthy under 100000 miles. get the taurus with a 3.0 vulcan or a 3.8 malibu. Hyundai sonata is another very reliable car. hard to find used. stay away from all Chrysler's, kia, daewoo, and first model year cars .
 
Messages
1,344
Location
Clinton Twp. MI
I wil put a vote in for Taurus also, our 2001 was $4200 two years ago with 83,000 miles in great condition. They are very reliable. You should be able to get a mid 2000"s for 5k, Our 04 Malibu has been one of the worst cars I have owned. First year of new generation,numerous electrical issues it would take a page to list and they are still ongoing although it has never stranded us.
 
Messages
4,288
Location
Michigan
just so you know if you are looking at GM 3000 series engines, be prepared to change intake manifold gaskets if they have not been done yet. Also 3800 oil pan gaskets are common leakers as well. Not cheap when you need to drop the subframe to change 'em. Give it a good once over top to bottom before you commit to anything. I personally would be looking into Japanese cars.
 
Messages
36,537
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: austinlunsford
its not midsize, but a crown vic or a mercury GM.
This. Yes they're longer but the turning radius is tight and they aren't hard to maneuver around a parking lot. You'll get a better discount because they're "hard on gas" (no, not really.) An ecotec powered Cobalt or Ion would work well, or a "malibu classic" (mostly rental/fleets) with special, "underpowered", long lasting ecotec instead of the 3.1.
 
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40,851
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: evomike
"new" as in "new to her", and not "2012 model"?
That would be my guess. I don't know of any 2012 cars that can be had for 5 grand, unless they fell off a truck. smile
 
Messages
662
Location
PA
I think all of the GM intake gaskets problems were fixed after the 2003 model year. The engines affected in those ealier years were the 3.1, 3.4 and 3.8l. Be careful with those year engines. I recently bought a 2002 2.2 eco Grand Am for an older parent: clean, comfortable, easy to drive and park. Higher mileage but in better shape than similar models with half the miles. $2700.
 
Messages
8,576
Location
Ohio
The thing about the gaskets is it can be fixed for about what a timing belt job costs not to mention valve adjustments and water pump and tensioners. And if you are getting the car at a better price which is typical of used domestics, financially it can make more sense. Also you'd be surprised how long these may run with a leaky gasket before attending to it. Not the case with a timing belt on an interference engine. Japanese cars had their own problem areas too.
 
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