Best cheap car?

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Under $14k I'm not shure what the prices after discount is on these cars, maybe others know off-hand. Yaris? Fit? Caliber? Cobalt? Versa $9999 Focus? Any other ideas? I have a niece and a friend who have clunker trades and minimal budgets. Versa is very much on the table now, mostly because of the upfront pricing
 
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Where I live, you can get a Pontiac Vibe for under $13,000 and now the thing is almost 100% Toyota. It isn't made in NUMMI anymore, it comes from Japan instead. The Toyota Matrix costs more even though there is almost no difference. That is what I would buy.
 
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Add to that list Aveo/G3/Swift+....cheap little runabouts. Accents and Elantra's can also be had in that range.
 
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 Originally Posted By: artificialist
Where I live, you can get a Pontiac Vibe for under $13,000 and now the thing is almost 100% Toyota. It isn't made in NUMMI anymore, it comes from Japan instead.
Uhhh...what? It was made at NUMMI and now it's not made anymore, period.
 
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The Hyundai sounds might be a good idea... But not the Aveo/G3 I have worked on several, and more often than other cars, interior bits come apart. The cheap factory tires are a 185/55/15, which few other companies make, and they sell for a high price, and there is a long wait to get them. They don't last long either. Many Hyundai cars are built with some pretty good Michellins. The engine uses a timing belt, so keep that in mind. The current Vibe does not. Hyundai? I don't know.
 
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I have owned or driven most of those except the Versa. of course, people frequently get passionate about a brand or about styling. I also dont know what criteria is most important (gas mileage, reliability) here are my opinions - listed in order of favorites: Honda Fit: very cool styling, handling, reliability, MPG. great resale. Toyota Yaris: styling not as cool, but it has the best MPG you can get without going hybrid. (I've put 30k miles on mine in one year) stellar reliability. handling not as good as Fit. great resale. Versa I am intrigued by this car but have not driven it. it is substantially larger than the previous choices, but the MPG is not as good. styling is nothing special. I am concerned about its MFR in Mexico - other Nisans made in mex have more probs than competitors (sentra, altima) Focus decent MPG, more substantial of a car than toyota or honda; not as reliable as toy or honda. Cobalt decent enough car, worse MPG, worse reliability if you really like the cobalt, get a Pontiac G5, as their are a ton leftover and the price should be lower. Caliber I love the styling, worse MPG, much worse reliability. I have owned 10+ Mopars over the years, and they just keep getting worse on reliability Suzuki I dont recall the model name without searching - decent value -
 
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 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
 Originally Posted By: artificialist
Where I live, you can get a Pontiac Vibe for under $13,000 and now the thing is almost 100% Toyota. It isn't made in NUMMI anymore, it comes from Japan instead.
Uhhh...what? It was made at NUMMI and now it's not made anymore, period.
The 2009 Vibe is real, because NUMMI closed, the Vibe is built in another factory IN JAPAN.
 
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oops! I did not realize you could get a vibe that cheap! if you can - yes! I know that Kia/Hyundia have improved lately, but.... no. not reliable and horrible resale
 
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I love these questions!!! If you just want the best cheap, small car, the Fit wins hands down. Not only is it roomy, eficient, and well built, it is actually fun to drive (in terms of handling, not acceleration). If you want to help out an American company (a not unreasonable concern) I would also look at the Mazda 3. Also very fun to drive, and based on the Euro-spec ford focus. Why anyone would by the Focus they foist on us here, when for the same price you could get the vastly better Euro version with a Mazda badge I don't know. Also, the $20k plus Volvo v40 and c30 are based on this chasis. You get a lot for your money with the 3. Also, if you want to come in way under your budget and can wait, the new Ford Fiesta will be out in a few months. It is, again, a Euro spec small car, not the tin can Fiesta's America was last offered. Finally, honorable mention to the Hyundai Elantra Touring, but it is at the high end of your spending limit.
 
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 Originally Posted By: artificialist
 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
 Originally Posted By: artificialist
Where I live, you can get a Pontiac Vibe for under $13,000 and now the thing is almost 100% Toyota. It isn't made in NUMMI anymore, it comes from Japan instead.
Uhhh...what? It was made at NUMMI and now it's not made anymore, period.
The 2009 Vibe is real, because NUMMI closed, the Vibe is built in another factory IN JAPAN.
Prove it to me-because you have no clue what you are talking about. (yes, I'm calling out out) When they are done at NUMMI, they are done-period! GM has cut all ties with toyota and NUMMI, though they might do something in the future (ie, hybird stuff)
 
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If you want cheap and GM, go G3/G5 (good rebates) or Cobalt. Also some good discounts on remaining 2009 Kia Spectras...... And because Ford is pushing the 2010 Fusion, there also should be some good deals on those 2009s. Versas are okay, but to get anything decent on one, that will be at least a few grand more.... Should be some good lease deals on the Focus.
 
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 Originally Posted By: tomcat27
I have owned or driven most of those except the Versa. of course, people frequently get passionate about a brand or about styling. I also dont know what criteria is most important (gas mileage, reliability) here are my opinions - listed in order of favorites: Honda Fit: very cool styling, handling, reliability, MPG. great resale. Toyota Yaris: styling not as cool, but it has the best MPG you can get without going hybrid. (I've put 30k miles on mine in one year) stellar reliability. handling not as good as Fit. great resale. Versa I am intrigued by this car but have not driven it. it is substantially larger than the previous choices, but the MPG is not as good. styling is nothing special. I am concerned about its MFR in Mexico - other Nisans made in mex have more probs than competitors (sentra, altima) Focus decent MPG, more substantial of a car than toyota or honda; not as reliable as toy or honda. Cobalt decent enough car, worse MPG, worse reliability if you really like the cobalt, get a Pontiac G5, as their are a ton leftover and the price should be lower. Caliber I love the styling, worse MPG, much worse reliability. I have owned 10+ Mopars over the years, and they just keep getting worse on reliability Suzuki I dont recall the model name without searching - decent value -
Caliber- if you can get past the cheapo inside, they seem to be fine. My brother has an 07, a co worker an 08. Both beat them good (my brother's has 46k, co worker 56k), and neither has had an issue so far. Cobalt- My beater Balt has been pretty sound, with just a few annoying issues. If they do quite a bit of freeway driving, they get pretty good MPGs. Heck, my Balt does 80% city, and still pulls off 27.4 MPGs. Not too bad....
 
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The Fit is awesome. But good luck finding one at $14k. Maybe cash for clunkers will loosen the dealers fists a bit. But... To get an auto Fit with cruise, if that's what you want, your going to pay around $17k. Of course, you're getting a wuality car. But I wouldn't call it cheap. If $14k were my limit, I'd be looking at the Versa, Cobalt, or Focus. And yeah, if you can find a Vibe, go for it! But the Cobalt is a really underrated car. It may not be pretty, but I really enjoyed my time in a Cobalt rental.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
The Fit is awesome. But good luck finding one at $14k. Maybe cash for clunkers will loosen the dealers fists a bit. But... To get an auto Fit with cruise, if that's what you want, your going to pay around $17k. Of course, you're getting a wuality car. But I wouldn't call it cheap. If $14k were my limit, I'd be looking at the Versa, Cobalt, or Focus. And yeah, if you can find a Vibe, go for it! But the Cobalt is a really underrated car. It may not be pretty, but I really enjoyed my time in a Cobalt rental.
 
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I own a 2007 Caliber STX. Bought it new in May of '07-somewhere around 17K out the door. It's been back to the dealer once for a computer update. While it was there they did a drivers side mirror TSB (slight wind whistle). I have just over 30K on it. I've changed the oil 4 times. A while ago I ditched the horrid OEM Firestone tires for a set of General Altimax HP's (a huge difference). I've hauled mulch, rock, doors, 10' gutter sections, dogs (including a St. Bernard), office furniture and a custom rocking chair/end table combo. I like the interior. Simple, easy to wipe clean. It fits my 6'4" frame with room to spare. I get 28 (winter) to 34 (best summer) fuel mileage. I couldn't care less what the "auto enthusiasts" think. It has served me well so far and I would buy another in a heartbeat.
 
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