Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

May 7, 2018
Northern KY
…is to tell me which car you would buy, and why.

I’m in the market for a used car and I’m curious what BITOGers would choose from the options available around me. I don’t really expect a lot of people to participate because it’s a lot like asking someone to do your homework for you, but I figured maybe some of you might be bored enough on this winter weekend you might need something to amuse yourself.

Here’s the question: what car would you buy, and why, given the following parameters:

$8000 max budget
Automatic transmission required
No pickup trucks. SUV is OK but my preference is a traditional car (sedan, coupe or hatchback)
I don’t see myself ever buying a Korean brand.
Within a 75(ish) mile radius of zip code 40359

Obviously this is limited to cars that are posted online somewhere and I know that a lot of decent cars aren‘t but there’s no way for us to find and discuss them.

Thanks in advance if anyone decides to participate.
with that budget I would be looking for an older Camry or accord. get a pre purchase inspection, and ask for maint. records.
Yep, Camry, Accord, Civic or Corolla. As Dnewton suggested a Grand Marquis would also be a good find since you might find a low mileage one with service records.

Any decent Grand Marquis (prefered latest generation; 2003+) will easily fit that budget and last a LONG time with minimal care.

We've owned two of those. A 2003, and a 2010. The '03 model went 300K+ and got hit parked. Totalled. The '10 was taken out by the third deer strike at 275K miles. Neither burned any appreciable amount of oil.

Big,comfortable car. LOTS of trunk space. Rear wheel drive [towing]
A co-workers wife has a 2 door 08' VW Rabbit for sale. 5 cylinder automatic. They are looong runners hardware wise.
EDIT: It's in Columbus, OH
With a manual I think I'm going Focus or Mazda3 hatchback. With an automatic the Mazda3 is good, and I read the last years automatic Foci weren't too terrible? Civics and Corolla's are too overpriced IMO if you can do simple stuff yourself.
If you have no real criteria and aren't worrying about mpg then just get whatever is comfortable and has been maintained, and do quick search if there's any big common issues for that particular year of that car.
Older Lexus LS is a nice, front engine, real drive platform with enough metal in them to go the distance. By the time they hit 8k, they will likely need some maintenance items and a few repairs.

drawback - they aren’t the simplest vehicles, less room under the hood than say a 4 cyl FWD.

I purchased all 3 of my Volvo s60s at less than 8k and had great use from the 2 I kept. (1 was fine, it was just the wrong car at the time and I didn’t keep it long). those were gen 1 cars, I’m not sure how the Gen 2 models hold up. Gen 1s had a small list of known problems - if you addressed them, they were pretty predictable, assuming it’s previous maintenance was good.

previous maintenance for an 8k car probably means more than make or model.
2008 Corolla S

Here’s a Gen. 9 Corolla, as long as it’s got not rust, you’ll get another 100-150k miles out of it with basic maintenance. Plus parts are direct cheap! And they have many many years to sort out all their issues with the 1ZZ-Fe and that 4 speed slush box