long-winded "what car?"question...

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earlyre

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looking @ pics around the web, the ford is a 3rd gen Escort. one of these (Image courtesy Wikipedia) with a salvage title. her mom's brother used to be the autobody instructor @ the local vocational school. it's one of his old projects. and the other is a Plymouth Acclaim (Image courtesy Wikipedia) with a thirsty trans. now i did run across a couple "gems" on the local CL, but i doubt they'd wanna go older...(sorry, i'm a bit mopar biased) http://limaohio.craigslist.org/cto/4038066065.html http://limaohio.craigslist.org/cto/4096661407.html
 
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you mean <$4000 right? Early 2000-ish domestics would fit that. Plenty of Tauruses, Stratuses/Sebrings, Focuses, Malibus, etc are around that price. edit: Probably bad idea to look at cars that already have 1.5 foot in the grave, like the two old ones you found.
 
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earlyre

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Originally Posted By: asiancivicmaniac
you mean <$4000 right?
duh yes. yes i do. and now it's too late to go back and edit that post. LESS THAN 4 grand. I always do that. reciting what 2nd grade teacher taught us: <, and > look like an alligator, and the gator is always trying to eat the larger figure.
 
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I'd look at an older Hyundai Elantra or 2004.5 Kia Spectra. Aside from the automatics if the wrong fluid is used and some emissions glitches (purge solenoids in the engine bay like to let go), they are darn near bombproof cars. Simple to work on, and have pretty good interiors for what they are. Another option could be a Cavalier with the Ecotec, or an older Cobalt. The Ecotec is indestructible and the seats are reasonably comfy for long trips. Even the Tupperware interior puts up with abuse pretty well. If you want to stay Mopar, an older Neon or cloud car could fit the bill. It all depends what is in good shape within their budget.
 
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You can purchase a really nice Jaguar X-Type around here for $5,000. I drive one, with a 2.5L and manual transmission, and it's been a thrifty car. Yes, it's had it's faults. But no single repair exceeded $150. I currently have 133K on it, and will probably get $2500 for it. AND, it's a great looking car for the money. There are many that have made it to well over 200,000 miles. Before you dismiss this, consider that it's really just a Ford Mondeo/Contour. Yes, this is my car, and it's not worth more than $3000. Even with a perfect interior and so on. The market for these is very depressed. You get a lot for your money.
 
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earlyre

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Originally Posted By: yesthatsteve
Reliable and thrifty sounds a lot like a Buick with the 3800
i've thought this myself... my uncle drove his Pontiac Bonneville (basically the same thing) to 300k miles... there's one used lot near me that has an early 7th gen Lesabre($$ unknown), and a jag like pictured above($$ unknown), a red '05 Vibe GT(~$6,000) and ... a 2005 Honda Odyssey, with 205,000 mi, but immacculate, for the New Lower price of $5695. I Know used car prices are up, but better part of $6 grand for a 7-ish year old minivan w/ 205k mi?...
 
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They should try to find a clean Buick or Saturn. Japanese cars at least around here are insanely priced, your going to have trouble finding one without spaceship mileage for $4k or less. Buick's tend to be cheap to run, and more importantly for those on a limited budget very cheap to fix. Because they are not very good looking, and have an old people reputation they are cheap, which again is good for those on a budget.
 
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I can't help but think about the Blazer :) For less than 4K, they should be able to get one of their own car in to serviceable and highway worthy vehicle. Or if thay really want another vehicle, they would end up buying one which would have quite high mileage if they are looking for reliability. For example, somebody is selling immaculate Acura CL V6 6mt in this forum for under $6K.
 
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Originally Posted By: earlyre
Originally Posted By: yesthatsteve
Reliable and thrifty sounds a lot like a Buick with the 3800
i've thought this myself... my uncle drove his Pontiac Bonneville (basically the same thing) to 300k miles... there's one used lot near me that has an early 7th gen Lesabre($$ unknown), and a jag like pictured above($$ unknown), a red '05 Vibe GT(~$6,000) and ... a 2005 Honda Odyssey, with 205,000 mi, but immacculate, for the New Lower price of $5695. I Know used car prices are up, but better part of $6 grand for a 7-ish year old minivan w/ 205k mi?...
That Odyssey probably needs a timing belt, tensioner, water pump, spark plugs, and valve adjustment - they're due at 210k miles. For those who don't DIY, it's about $1000 at a good indy shop. My parents bought an '05 LeSabre in '06 and have put over 150k miles on it. They've spent less than $1500 in repairs in that time. They like it more than the low-mileage Grand Marquis they bought to replace it, so they're getting rid of the GM.
 
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Originally Posted By: earlyre
now i did run across a couple "gems" on the local CL, but i doubt they'd wanna go older...(sorry, i'm a bit mopar biased)
If you're Mopar biased you can get an early 2000's Neon, Intrepid, Stratus, Concorde, or even 300 for under $4k no problem.
 
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IIRC 02-05 Odysseys had AT Recalled & even the replacement unit had issues. I would make sure AT was properly replaced under warranty & it shifts properly before you even consider it. Take it out on a extensive test drive on FWY, sometimes slippage won't appear until scenarios such as high speed passing, climbing hills etc.
Originally Posted By: earlyre
Originally Posted By: yesthatsteve
Reliable and thrifty sounds a lot like a Buick with the 3800
i've thought this myself... my uncle drove his Pontiac Bonneville (basically the same thing) to 300k miles... there's one used lot near me that has an early 7th gen Lesabre($$ unknown), and a jag like pictured above($$ unknown), a red '05 Vibe GT(~$6,000) and ... a 2005 Honda Odyssey, with 205,000 mi, but immacculate, for the New Lower price of $5695. I Know used car prices are up, but better part of $6 grand for a 7-ish year old minivan w/ 205k mi?...
 
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I'm not sure on the exchange rate but 5k over here would get you a very tidy, reliable used car. Heck, if you're willing to search through ebay and autotrader for a day you can find something useable and reliable for £500. IMO mechanical fixes aren't a problem, its bodywork that takes time and money...so buy on body condition and obvious signs of regular maintenance first, age and mileage are largely irrelevant.
 
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