Convertibles...Solara vs Mustang

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I want to get a drop top and im thinking about a Solara or a Mustang. It will have to be used and probably $8k or less. That puts me in a 2000ish model year. I would want a V6 stang for sure, since I dont want to pay for GT gas. For a solara I'd lean towards the 4 cyl but cant remember which ones had sludge engines..or was that only V6's? I dont plan on putting tons of miles on this car and I would plan on keeping it for a LONG time. I mean 20+ years possibly. What do you guys suggest?
 
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Mustang. You can probably get newer than a 2000 V-6 convertible fairly easily for less than 8k. A Solara will cost a lot more, comparably.
 

FL-400S

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 Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
Does a Solara have the sludge prone engine ?
thats my question! lol Im thinking the mustang will be cheaper and easier to replace parts down the road too. Especially the top.
 
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My opinion is that while the Solara MAY be the more long-term reliable vehicle, the Mustang can be had for comparably less. I know of a fella at work that really loved his Mustang until somebody hit him and totalled it. He was fine though and said that the Mustang absorbed the rear end hit well. I've got the GT and find that if not driven hard the MPG is fine. I can only imagine that the V-6 is better and still retains some power. From a purely subjective point of view I really think the Solara is pretty ugly as a convertible and looks VERY femminine. For some folks that's ok, but for me....yuck. A much smaller car but with SUPER fun driving and outstanding reliabity and superb balance, a Mazda MX5 Miata would be my choice. No back seat though, but a fine trunk. I had an '07 and got great MPG and had the MOST fune EVER driving that car. It was more fun than my current Mustang GT convertible.
 
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01rangerxl

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Mustangs can be very reliable if you don't beat on them constantly. I know a number of people who own or have owned '94+ Mustangs and they seem to be good cars in general. On the other hand, a friend in high school had a 2001 2.2/automatic Solara. The original engine had some major failure (can't remember what) at about 70K miles, and the junkyard replacement engine started making a ton of noise soon after it was installed. Also, it threw a CEL for something related to the EGR valve. The car was driven hard, but it was not modified at all. And as Andrew said, there's nothing cool about a Solara. Since you plan to keep the car 20+ years, there's no question about it. Get the Mustang. Parts will always be available, and the Mustang will definitely be worth more than the Solara in 20 years.
 
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+1 on the Miata if you view corners has opportunities instead of interuptions. If you want to just ride around with the top down I imagine $8k gets you a fairly new sebring as well. I saw an ad for a 3 year solara with 170,000 miles on it, $23K they were asking, private sale. Around here I don't think you could get any solara for $8k unless its been in a major accident.
 

FL-400S

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 Originally Posted By: Zaedock
 Originally Posted By: FL-400S
What do you guys suggest?
Jeep \:\!
Sorry man, jeep aint an option. I cant get a chrysler (so sebring is out too) and im not paying for the gas on something that will never see dirt (like most jeeps I see ;\) Miata is out because of no back seat. Ideally I'd get a 1974 caddy eldorado 'vert (seating for 30) but again the gas would kill me. I have heard that mustangs are reasonably reliable. I wont be beating it up. I like toyotas but cheaper repairs would be nice.
 
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 Originally Posted By: FL-400S
 Originally Posted By: Zaedock
 Originally Posted By: FL-400S
What do you guys suggest?
Jeep \:\!
Sorry man, jeep aint an option. I cant get a chrysler (so sebring is out too) and im not paying for the gas on something that will never see dirt (like most jeeps I see ;\) Miata is out because of no back seat. Ideally I'd get a 1974 caddy eldorado 'vert (seating for 30) but again the gas would kill me. I have heard that mustangs are reasonably reliable. I wont be beating it up. I like toyotas but cheaper repairs would be nice.
Another vote for the Mustang. I've owned 8 of them over the years and they are one of the most reliable vehicles Ford makes. The GT's especially are way overbuilt to withstand the beating most of them get. Find a nice V6 vert and try to get a little history on it ownerwise. I would not buy one that was a rental...a lot of the V6 convertibles were. Get a nice one and you will be very happy with it! \:\!
 
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I'd say Mustang also. Most any convertible Solara you'll find will be a V-6 which are the sludge prone ones in those years. The auto trans. was not quite as reliable w/ the V-6 as a 4cyl. IIRC either. The 'Stang V-6 also should be reliable since the potential head gasket issues were fixed by those years. IMO the best engine in a 2000-ish convert. would be a 3800 Camaro/Firebird but they are a pain to work on-replacing the lower intake gasket actually seems like less hassle than changing the plugs or an oil pan gasket in one. The Wrangler and a 4.0L is a good setup though too. Not as nice a highway crusier though.
 

OVERKILL

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Get a Cobra It has IRS, so even better handling. 320HP 4.6L, and really, they aren't THAT bad on gas. My Mustang has been one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned; the most reliable if you consider how much I beat on it. Engine is still going strong (now in its second body) with 300,000Km on it.
 
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 Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
Mustangs can be very reliable if you don't beat on them constantly. I know a number of people who own or have owned '94+ Mustangs and they seem to be good cars in general.
X2
 

JHZR2

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mustang feels heavy and sluggish in v6 vert form. It also feels to me as if you fell into a bucket. Realize that a used vert will more likely than not need service/replacement on its top in order to stay in good working and looking condition. That can be $$$
 

FL-400S

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Yeah I realize the top will almost be a wear item. I would buy a new one because I really dont want to drop 25k on a car that might not see a lot of miles. I saw an 85 eldorado vert for $6k today...tempting. Not quite as impressive as a 74, but still cooler than a mustang. And about 10x more expensive to fix im sure.
 
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It might be a good idea to check on top availability for the Eldo before you buy. IIRC those were a conversion so convert. specific parts may could be $$$ and/or hard to find.
 
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