Author Topic: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?  (Read 1565 times)

joestash

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Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« on: April 05, 2018, 07:54:02 PM »
My biggest factor is reliability and low cost of ownership.  I have a $3,000 budget but would like to be closer to $2,000.

Option A:
2006 Pontiac Vibe, $2,500, 199k miles:  https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/cto/d/2006-pontiac-vibe/6544226082.html

Option B:
2004 Mazda 3 Hatchback, $2,500, 103k miles:  https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/cto/d/2004-mazda-3-hatchback-low/6546343126.html

Holyoak

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 06:19:35 AM »
How is the rust for both of them (photo looks good, how about underneath)?  How about what maintenance each has had?  Although the 1ZZ-FE engine in the Vibe was supposed to be of a newer design that did away with oil consumption, I'd still ask the owner.  This year also has throttle by wire, and to me a very weird (I have an 06 MT Matrix, as you know basically the same car) with hard to modulate shifting, and they also seem to experience low clutch life.  No timing belt to worry about on this car either.

As for the Mazda I'd also look for a lot of rust in the hatch, and bad struts.  The 2.3 engine is generally very reliable.

Now, on a what would I take...  I'd probably go with the Mazda, especially if it has had good maintenance/nothing too wrong with it.  The Vibe is about as numb and un-enjoyable a car that I have ever owned, despite insane reliability.  The Vibe will also offer better useful capacity, and lower insurance cost too I'd bet.  The Mazda will be a better driving experience IMO, more useful power, better transmission.

I bought a brand new Mazda 323, and loved the hell out of that car.  No A/C, no power steering, roll-down windows, 5 sp manual, 1.6L fuel-injected engine, and damn was it a nice car to own, and peppy as hell.  Could change the timing belt in about 25 minutes, and with way over 150k miles it still had its orig waterpump, starter, struts, wheel bearings, and steering rack.  Exhaust issues were its vices, and I put a clutch in myself, after 130k miles (Surprised it lasted as long as it did, how I drove it).  I'd love to have this car back,

Good luck, and hope you find the guidance you seek.

Holyoak

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 06:31:02 AM »
I just took a look at the Mazda ad again, and did not see a pass side shot of the rear wheel well/any part...  I might have to take back what I said about rust looking OK for the Mazda, as what it has is typical, not good as I misstated, and we we not seeing the other side.  The 'vibe' of the ad kinda gives me flashbacks, to cars I have considered, and went to look at over the years...  Just a gut thing, mixed with a lot of years buying cars from individuals.   

BlueMR2

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 08:05:16 AM »
Not a huge fan of either, but I'd go with the Vibe as the better overall vehicle

frugaliknowit

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 09:34:40 AM »
A.  Too many miles.
B.  Too much rust.

If this is representative of the price range you are in, I'd go with too much rust:)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 09:37:20 AM by frugaliknowit »

405programmer

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2018, 12:32:18 PM »
Hard to know from the posts alone. I would lean toward the Mazda due to the drastically lower miles but I would also spend several minutes crawling around under it to make sure the frame isn't rusty.

joestash

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 06:26:00 PM »
I think I'm in love.  Please feel free to talk me out of this :)

2006 Saab Turbo Wagon, $2,900, 180k miles:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/d/2006-saab-turbo-in-really/6523715248.html

BlueMR2

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 10:39:48 AM »
Not a fan of the higher maintenance requirements and additional failure modes of turbocharged engines...  Yes, I do own a turbo car, but it's relegated to my secondary vehicle as it does cost more per mile.

joestash

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Re: Help - Which Car Do You Like Better?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2018, 02:36:38 PM »
Can someone explain why these two vehicles have a similar KBB value?  How is it that the Lexus with almost 60k fewer miles is worth roughly the same as the RAV4?

2000 Toyota Rav4, 225k miles, KBB: $2,824
1999 Lexus RX300 AWD, 168k miles, KBB: $2,923