Car Under 5k with Good Mpg

Messages
199
Location
virginia
My '02 escape keeps having more and more problems so I think I'm going to trade it in for another used car. Any recommendations? Obviously toytoa camry/corolla are good. Anything else I should look at. Most important things are reliability and mpg.
 
Messages
8,307
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I'd strongly consider an '02-'04 Honda Civic if looking for reliability and MPG. You could find one under $5k if you look hard enough. The '01s had automatic transmission issues and the '05s had head gasket issues.
 
Messages
484
Location
IL
If you like camry and corolla, might as well stick with them. There are a lot of good ones out there for under 5k. I'm obviously biased, but when reliability and mpg are primary, they are hard to beat.
 
Messages
7,505
Location
FL, USA
For $5,000 I would be looking for a well cared for Camry or Corolla. If you are unsuccessful consider a Civic or manual Accord.
 
Messages
1,464
Location
Gulf Coast, MS
Honda and Toyota both make good cars but I feel their value is serouisly inflated. I can buy a GM car that's a '02 with less then 100k miles for less then a 95 Toyota ( or Honda) with 250k miles. Ultimaly my money would go towards the GM.
 
Messages
484
Location
IL
BTW, we've had good luck watching CL for sale by owner. For you, search something like "camry" and then add the price range of 4k to 6k, knowing that most will deal some. You'll learn pretty quickly which ones are worth contacting. "one-owner" or "all maintenance records" are good signs. However, bragging the most about "ice cold a/c" or "aftermarket wheels"....
 
Messages
484
Location
IL
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Honda and Toyota both make good cars but I feel their value is serouisly inflated. I can buy a GM car that's a '02 with less then 100k miles for less then a 95 Toyota ( or Honda) with 250k miles. Ultimaly my money would go towards the GM.
Honda and Toyota are definitely more money, but surely it's for a reason. It's certainly not like they are considered sexy/sporty/trendy/status symbol like a BMW or Benz. I believe it is due to long-term reliability. I'm talking over 150k. It's good that GM cars are easy to work on, but if you don't want to work on cars, it might be best to stick with Toyota. I've owned several GM cars and after 100k, none came close to the reliability of the Toyota's. Of course if you don't put on many miles, it might not matter. (by the way, I notice a lot of "RIP" next to your previous GM's)...just ribbing you a little, no offense
 
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Messages
9,808
Location
New Jersey
im with the GM toyota is a good car but they are too highly regarded now the older ones were built better. As for honda they still have automatic transmission issues.. Hyundai is a good car these days but they are no longer cheap. Get one with the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty from a dealer it can't be beat.
 
Messages
1,464
Location
Gulf Coast, MS
Originally Posted By: lukejo
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Honda and Toyota both make good cars but I feel their value is serouisly inflated. I can buy a GM car that's a '02 with less then 100k miles for less then a 95 Toyota ( or Honda) with 250k miles. Ultimaly my money would go towards the GM.
Honda and Toyota are definitely more money, but surely it's for a reason. It's certainly not like they are considered sexy/sporty/trendy/status symbol like a BMW or Benz. I believe it is due to long-term reliability. I'm talking over 150k. It's good that GM cars are easy to work on, but if you don't want to work on cars, it might be best to stick with Toyota. I've owned several GM cars and after 100k, none came close to the reliability of the Toyota's. Of course if you don't put on many miles, it might not matter. (by the way, I notice a lot of "RIP" next to your previous GM's)...just ribbing you a little, no offense
I understand where your coming from but I know many GM cars that can easily get 200k miles. one had an oil pump failure. The other had a rodent make it home. Heck I have an old Chevy that just had it's original tranny replaced at 330k miles beyond the ocassion distributor and a a radiator iv had to replace virtually nothing. And that's generally my experience with most GM's. Nothing gets replaced unless its effecting how the car runs. Now I'm not saying a Toyota or Honda can't do the same but when I see a GM with 100k miles for $2500 or a Toyota/Honda with 250k for $4500 I'm going to get the GM every time. That's generally how it is down here. Not only that but I can't tell you how many people I see who are teenagers driving 95-04 Hondas/Toyota's. Teens generally don't take care of a car. And that car will have the same value if a teenager floored it everywhere he went for 5 years or if a 70 year old lady drove it once a week to church. I generally consider more 95-04 Hondas/Toyotas as teen cars. Teens with drive a car to death then sell it once they actually have to spend money on it. Or repair it to the point where it starts and claim that the car is worth 3k above Nada/bluebook because they owned it. A few things I avoid when buying a car. #1 high mileage #2 previous teen owners I do like Hondas and Toyotas but for the price range he's looking at they will mostly be very high mileage and a passed down family car.
 
Messages
24,691
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Originally Posted By: BowNisPar
Any GM sedan with the 3800. Reliable, easy to work on, and cheap. I'm partial to the Buick models.
+1
+2
 
Messages
18,595
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Originally Posted By: lukejo
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Honda and Toyota both make good cars but I feel their value is serouisly inflated. I can buy a GM car that's a '02 with less then 100k miles for less then a 95 Toyota ( or Honda) with 250k miles. Ultimaly my money would go towards the GM.
Honda and Toyota are definitely more money, but surely it's for a reason. It's certainly not like they are considered sexy/sporty/trendy/status symbol like a BMW or Benz. I believe it is due to long-term reliability. I'm talking over 150k. It's good that GM cars are easy to work on, but if you don't want to work on cars, it might be best to stick with Toyota. I've owned several GM cars and after 100k, none came close to the reliability of the Toyota's. Of course if you don't put on many miles, it might not matter. (by the way, I notice a lot of "RIP" next to your previous GM's)...just ribbing you a little, no offense
I understand where your coming from but I know many GM cars that can easily get 200k miles. one had an oil pump failure. The other had a rodent make it home. Heck I have an old Chevy that just had it's original tranny replaced at 330k miles beyond the ocassion distributor and a a radiator iv had to replace virtually nothing. And that's generally my experience with most GM's. Nothing gets replaced unless its effecting how the car runs. Now I'm not saying a Toyota or Honda can't do the same but when I see a GM with 100k miles for $2500 or a Toyota/Honda with 250k for $4500 I'm going to get the GM every time. That's generally how it is down here. Not only that but I can't tell you how many people I see who are teenagers driving 95-04 Hondas/Toyota's. Teens generally don't take care of a car. And that car will have the same value if a teenager floored it everywhere he went for 5 years or if a 70 year old lady drove it once a week to church. I generally consider more 95-04 Hondas/Toyotas as teen cars. Teens with drive a car to death then sell it once they actually have to spend money on it. Or repair it to the point where it starts and claim that the car is worth 3k above Nada/bluebook because they owned it. A few things I avoid when buying a car. #1 high mileage #2 previous teen owners I do like Hondas and Toyotas but for the price range he's looking at they will mostly be very high mileage and a passed down family car.
Kinda agree with this as well. Yodas and Hondas in that price range here tend to get quite beat up. I had a neighbor choose a 05 Cavalier (2200, 99k) over a 02 Civic (5400, 165k) for that reason. They added about 800 bucks in updates/parts, it's nearly a new car for almost half the price. All he has to do is wash it like crazy in the winter....
 
Messages
76
Location
Greenville, SC, USA
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
Originally Posted By: 3800Series
Originally Posted By: BowNisPar
Any GM sedan with the 3800. Reliable, easy to work on, and cheap. I'm partial to the Buick models.
+1
+2
+3, as I used to have a '99 Grand Prix with the 3800 Series II engine that I finally got rid of at 242K because I wanted something newer. That said, be mindful of the coolant elbows (there are stainless aftermarket replacements out there IIRC that are much better than the plastic one), lower intake manifold gaskets (the front portion on mine closest to the W/P liked to leak), and I had an issue with the upper intake manifold developing a crack and allowing coolant to leak into the oil (plastic upper intake btw). Otherwise, even with the aforementioned issues, that engine is stout and is pretty good on gas, and can be had on the cheap. Good luck!
 
Messages
3,061
Location
usa
If you need room that the Escape provides, check out the Matrix/Vibe. Basically a wagon version of the Corolla. The Echo is also very roomy despite its small footprint (has the same interior space as the Camry of the same vintage). There's also the Scion XA and XB. The Civic is also worth checking out. You're probably not considering Ford again, but there is the Focus wagon which has the same amount of space as your Escape with a more efficient 4-cylinder engine. Mazda's Protege5 is a nice fun wagon that still gets good mpg, and there is the newer Mazda 3. There is also the Mazda 5 minivan. Also, don't forget about the Chevy Prizm (rebadged Corolla) Nissan's cars are good, too. Check out the Altima. I've always liked the 2001-2004 Volvo V40. Luxury, safety, reasonably sporty, roomy, and good gas mileage. Even Korean cars have gotten better. The 2001+ Elantra GT hatchback should also suit you well. You might be able to get an 06+ Accent in your budget as well. One car that's often overlooked is the Suzuki Aerio SX. About the size of a Matrix/Vibe, it is a typical reliable Japanese car with cool digital gauges. AWD is available too.
 
Messages
3,577
Location
no. indiana
Look at the Pontiac Vibe, same as the Toyota Matrix but less expensive. I'm getting an average of 35 MPG.
 
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