Higher mileage vehicles. How high is too high when buying? Suggestions?

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I’m looking for a cheap winter vehicle, something auto, awd maybe Subaru or a Kia/Hyundai suv…

The “issue” is price vs miles…
maybe I should look at other brands?

A couple suvs I ran across a Hyundai Veracruz with over 250k miles are asking 4k, another one a 2012 Kia Sorento with almost 300k miles seller is asking $4100..

So I looked at Subaru and found a 06 Subaru Legacy with 308k miles for $1800

While browsing though a really odd one popped up it was 2012 Suzuki Kizashi - 165k miles awd and 1500 bucks.

I will only use this vehicle for the winter months. it won’t be a daily for the other three seasons of the year so I’m not looking to spend big money.

at 300k miles I would assume everything has been rebuilt and replaced? I’ve never had a 250-300,000 mile vehicle so I’m kind of clueless on what to expect in that regard. I’m sure issues like sensors, check engine lights, tire lights, and other lights will be the norm, along with a little rust but still should pass inspection 😂 or is that asking for too much?

At what miles should I just “pass on it”?

And what’s up with the awd Kizashi ? is that a problem on wheels? I’m seriously contemplating it but i would hate to pick up someone’s else’s issues on a vehicle that might be impossible to get parts for?

Suggestions on high mileage but still some what affordable awd vehicle? Maybe 2003 or newer, no trucks or body on frame vehicles. A wagon would be cool, or a small/medium size SUV. I’ll throw out a number $2K but flexible if it’s worth it.

Thanks!
 
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Don't assume anything. those high mileages might just be a "Wednesday-built" drivetrain, or luck of the draw. For price/mileage/your intended use, the Subaru sounds like the cheapest bet. But all of them, will be nickel and dimers to say the least. Biggest issues with the Subaru's of that generation were the head gasket failures. That might have been taken care of in a vehicle with that high of a mileage. A Carfax may help with these vehicles.
 
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I have an awd Kizashi. It is a superb vehicle. Have never had any issues with it and it handles better than a 3 series BMW. Parts are hard to source since the last one sold in the US was the 2013 model but I believe it will appreciate soon since there were so few sold here and they are relatively rare. Best car nobody ever heard of.

Get the Suzuki and find your own road.


Suzuki.jpg
 
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Yep. Suzuki. They built the three cylinder Sprint engines. Also another bullet proof econobucket.
Plus all those bike engines, also bullet-proof. The others? Well at 300k you get exhaust rust through, rusted through suspension coil seats, sagged coil springs, CV joints spent. Sounds expensive? It is expensive, if you do not do it yourself.
Grab the 165k Suzuki & run!
edit: I forgot the blown struts, (@300k) also some fun. ugh.
 
Joined
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I have an awd Kizashi. It is a superb vehicle. Have never had any issues with it and it handles better than a 3 series BMW. Parts are hard to source since the last one sold in the US was the 2013 model but I believe it will appreciate soon since there were so few sold here and they are relatively rare. Best car nobody ever heard of.

Get the Suzuki and find your own road.


View attachment 112947
Yeah jalopnik.com and CarandDriver said if they'd produced this earlier Suzuki would still be around in the USA market.
 

CKN

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I have an awd Kizashi. It is a superb vehicle. Have never had any issues with it and it handles better than a 3 series BMW. Parts are hard to source since the last one sold in the US was the 2013 model but I believe it will appreciate soon since there were so few sold here and they are relatively rare. Best car nobody ever heard of.

Get the Suzuki and find your own road.


View attachment 112947
Maybe where you are located the market is different. Maybe it will. I test drove one back when they were selling them and was very impressed. I went home and heard on the news that there were rumors of them pulling out of the U.S, market. I received the standard call a few days later from a sales manager at the Suzuki dealership asking what they could do to earn my business. I told them nothing because I believe they were pulling out of the U.S. market. The manger said there was "no way" that was going to happen. I said thanks but no thanks. About two weeks or so later the official statement came from Suzuki Corporate stating there were closing shop in the U.S. I thought they were a nice looking car and here in Utah they came with AWD.
 

1 SX

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Joined
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The Woods of NY
I’m surprised about the Suzuki tbh. So i sent a message and will take a look at it. The Last Suzuki I drove was 12 years ago it was the Chevy tracker/ grand Vitara and was far from impressed. Will update

Thanks.
 
Joined
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Suzuki products, cars, SUV, motorcycles, are hugely underrated vehicles. They were poorly marketed in the US but are still very popular in India, SE Asia and of course Japan.

Swift.jpg
 
Joined
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I’m looking for a cheap winter vehicle, something auto, awd maybe Subaru or a Kia/Hyundai suv…

at 300k miles I would assume everything has been rebuilt and replaced?
Not a safe assumption. I think the only thing that counts is condition. But realize that at big miles they will nickel and dime you.

When my Volvo was getting up there in miles (kms actually), my Volvo guy said Volvos became more problem prone after 300,000 Km.

What you want is something that's in good repair right now and has no rust in critical areas. And that means an inspection (especially of the underside) for anything you're seriously considering.
 
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Highway miles are different than city miles for sure, buying privately you can have a better idea of where it was driven.
AWD and big miles has the potential to be more expensive, so I would look at the maintenance records, and if the owner has none, then I'd probably walk. Stuff like the original diff fluid goes a long way, but maybe not much past 200k miles?
For me anyways, I have to go to a forum for a car before I'll buy it, with older cars all the problems have been found out, and hopefully solved cheaply. All of them have weak spots and not knowing what to look for on an inspection can cost you a lot.
The Kizashi is an interesting one for sure, maybe call your local parts guys and see if they carry anything for it? I don't think you'll find one at the wreckers!
We had a 4cyl manual 03 Tracker/Vitara that was pretty reliable really, real rwd based 2 speed transfer case 4wd, and my wife left it in 4wd for weeks at a time in winter. You have any interest if mild off roading? Its pretty good just from the small footprint and low range. If someone still has one on the road most of the issues should be dealt with but the main one was rusty front sub frames, and wobbly front axles. They aren't all that rare so parts should be around.
 
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For a high Mileage vehicle like that I’d personally stick to Honda CRV’s, Toyota Corolla’s/Camry’s, Nissan Sentra/Altima...those types. I’d start there. Just my opinion.

Some things to expect from a high mileage vehicle. Rust. If it’s coming from the north it’ll have rust. Now, body frame is one thing, but fuel lines or brake lines is another. You don’t want someone else’s headache. Look underneath because it could be a can of worms so large you’d have to pay taxes on it.

The other things are just the stuff that’ll nickel and dime you before you ever even get into potential problems. Tires/brakes. Four tires could easily run you $600 bucks, and a set of brakes could set you back $700. So anyone that says...it only needs tire’s and brakes?? That’s $1,300 bucks before you even to fix something. Start it up, if you hear exhaust noise you’ll be putting an exhaust system into it. Cat back. Could be a $1,000 bucks. Keep these “simple” issues in mind when someone tells it only needs a few “little” things.
 
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FWIW - I have a 2008 Xterra with 300K+ miles and a 2011 Frontier with only 130K miles, they have identical drivetrains, and I bought them both new and maintained them the same way. The 300K miles has obviosly had more things replaced but I don't think the lower mile unit is in any particularly better shape. My point - maintenance and age way more than mileage.

Research the vehicle and common problems.

Newer is better in this case - it means it was likely driven highway miles a lot - which is very minimal wear.

One or two owners is awesome - if one owner drives it that long - they likely took care of it.

Good luck!
 
Joined
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Maybe the 2012 Kia Forte doesn't cut it in the Woods of NY when the snow flies.
Yeah, in the snow belts, or hilly areas, 4wd can become pretty useful. If we didn't have a hilly long driveway or go icefishing on lakes accessed by logging roads, I would skip awd vehicles. My local area rarely rarely gets more than 8" overnight and our municipal plows are always out before I leave my driveway. Good snow tires navigate public roads here for all but a few hours, once every couple years....
 
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The Suzuki Kizashi always intrigued me. I think it is still a good looking car and Suzuki has always been known for building quality machines. Though I've never owned one of their automobiles or motorcycles, I did own a Suzuki outboard motor that was excellent. As for parts, a quick check with Rock Auto shows a good selection in stock.
 
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Front wheel drive and snow tires can go pretty much anywhere. AWD or 4WD are likely better but if you need AWD or 4WD you probably shouldn't be on the road anyway.

About the only thing that stopped me were (1) snow so deep I was high centered and (2) slippery hills where I never seemed to remember to turn off the traction control and allow a bit of wheel spin. Wheel spin isn't normally very good in snow but if traction control shuts down your power to the extent you can hardly move, you're better off with a bit of wheel spin. [I know that but never seem to catch on in time.]
 
Joined
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Don't assume anything. those high mileages might just be a "Wednesday-built" drivetrain, or luck of the draw. For price/mileage/your intended use, the Subaru sounds like the cheapest bet. But all of them, will be nickel and dimers to say the least. Biggest issues with the Subaru's of that generation were the head gasket failures. That might have been taken care of in a vehicle with that high of a mileage. A Carfax may help with these vehicles.
Yup they had to have been well built to get to that mileage, if it has a solid service history and it's not rusted out I would not be afraid to buy one.
 
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