Author Topic: Help me choose a used car  (Read 4680 times)

WanttoFIRE

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Help me choose a used car
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:31:15 PM »
Cars is a spending category I would like to minimize as much possible!

Requirements
1) Automatic transmission
2) <75k miles. Hoping itíll last to 200k with only brakes, tires, and oil changes. At that point, wonít really care if itís worthless :)
3) Sedan or a coupe. No SUV, Minivans, or convertibles.
4) 2008 or newer- see #2

Price range: unsure, but as low as possible. Can I get something for less than 5k? Research on CarGurus is proving that to be difficult.

Any recommendations? Thank you!

I was thinking civic, Sentra, corolla, Scion tC? 

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 08:55:23 PM »
I see 184 cars on Autotrader that match your criteria. Of course that's the whole country, may be more difficult locally. A lot of these aren't the best either (lots of crash damaged ones).

You seem to be on the right track though. Take a look at Dashboard Light for reliability data and then maybe loosen some of your criteria to find a good car. It's worth the extra money to get a known reliable model compared to a lower mileage/newer/cheaper money pit.

evme

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 05:23:56 PM »
I highly recommend the Chevy Volt, first gen from 2012-2016.

It will be quite a bit more than $5k (probably more like 10-$13k), but it is an exceptionally awesome car. If you drive a lot, you can save hundreds or even $1000+ a year in fuel costs because it runs on batteries for the first ~40 miles after each charge. It combines the benefits of an electric car without the sacrifice in range most EVs have (it can go 300+ miles because it has a backup gasoline engine that takes over when the batteries run low).

The other great thing about this car is it is extremely low maintenance. Oil change is much less frequent than a regular ICE, changing brakes are less because you use regen braking.

WanttoFIRE

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 05:47:10 PM »
Thanks! Both very helpful. My fear with the volt (have no clue if this actually makes sense) is that the tech is too new to safely say I can keep it for 10 years without any major battery issues. I wish the second gen volt was cheaper too-itís a great looking car!

evme

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 06:21:43 PM »
Thanks! Both very helpful. My fear with the volt (have no clue if this actually makes sense) is that the tech is too new to safely say I can keep it for 10 years without any major battery issues. I wish the second gen volt was cheaper too-itís a great looking car!

There are reports of 1st gen Volt's with 400K miles with no significant battery degradation. Also, the battery system has a very good warranty:

"The standard warranty for most of North America is 8-year/100,000 mile. Many lucky Volt owners in California actually have a better warranty of 10-year/150,000 mile." (source: https://www.fleetcarma.com/chevrolet-volt-low-resale-value/)

So if you bought a 2016 Volt the battery warranty would be good until at least 2024.

Unlike with the Nisasn Leaf, the Volt has active cooling of the batteries which is really important (especially in a hot climate!) to prevent range loss due to deterioration of the battery cells. Lots of folks willing to answer any questions on the Chevy Volt facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chevyvoltowners/

katsiki

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 06:36:26 PM »
I know the previous poster mentioned a con for the Nissan Leaf already.  However, you can get a used Leaf for under $10K.  Not sure where you are but I usually see a lot in Georgia.  (I think they had a lucrative tax incentive).

Awesomeness

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 07:34:26 PM »
08/09 Scion xB.  Much bigger than the tc and itís a four door. Not the prettiest thing but itís an awesome little car. Between mine and my sisters family we own 5. An 08, two 12ís a 10 and 14.  Sad to see them go.


I believe they started in 04 with 08 being the redesign which included side airbags. 

City mpg isnít the greatest at 26 but I get at least 30 on the hwy.

You will see plenty of these with high miles.  Itís a solid proven engine that was used in the camrys for years.

MMMarbleheader

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 08:07:05 PM »
Hyundai Accent or Nissan Versa should do it.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 09:41:47 PM »
Honda Fit. Look for an 09 as that year was a substantial upgrade over the 07/08s. You won't get it for 5k unless there's things wrong with it or you score a huge deal.

I've sat in most (but not all, one car place was verboten so a few brands got skipped there) of the small mustachian cars and the fit was hands down the best. Good legroom in back, amazing cargo especially with the fold-up magic seat, actually comfortable to drive for long trips (telescoping steering wheel).

My nits tend to be minor. It'd be nice if they'd flipped the 60/40 rear seat split to be us-like not japan-like for even more cargo capacity with an adult and kid in the car, but that won't matter in a few months when DS can (legally) ride in front. The GPS is kinda crappy (and you had to get it to get the traction control... which is not crappy!) and map updates are a stupid money grub by the vendor.

ETwagon

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 09:51:31 PM »
'07-'11 Ford Crown Victoria P71 Police Interceptor. You can find some with 120,000-ish miles on them but they will go 350,000+ with ease. Buy 'em all day for $2k or less. 

carolina822

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 09:58:33 PM »
I'm a Toyota fangirl. I have a 2008 Matrix, the SO has a newer Yaris - they're basically the same car but his is a little smaller. I drove my last Camry until the wheels literally fell off, put them back on, and got another 50k miles out of it.

accolay

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 12:17:34 AM »
Honda Fit. Look for an 09 as that year was a substantial upgrade over the 07/08s. You won't get it for 5k unless there's things wrong with it or you score a huge deal.

+1.

I think you're going to have a hard time finding any car with your criteria for $5k, especially the milage consideration. A Honda Fit at that price in my area will have 100k-150k miles and salvage title.

PDXTabs

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 12:42:10 AM »
I'm actually a huge fan of the 2012+ Ford Focus, but you might not get one for $5k.

lbmustache

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 10:41:11 AM »
$5k with only basic maintenance needed for another 100k+ miles is going to be a needle in a haystack to find. At that price point, you are likely looking at a car that will have a few major things coming up.


facepalm

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2018, 04:12:31 PM »
Camry, Camry, Camry.

The maintenance on the Camry is non-existent. Mine takes $50 a year for an oil change, look over, and tire rotation. They cost nothing to operate and seem to hold up better than compact cars. My experience, anyway. Spend 6 grand or so and you can drive a 2007 with 100K miles for another 150K miles. It is the most reliable car out there, tho the Civic is pretty close.

5K with only basic maintenance needed is unrealistic. No matter what, whatever you buy will need a water pump at some point and possibly a timing belt. Brakes and tires are maintenance items.

In this price range I would not touch domestic.

Just Joe

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2018, 12:04:05 PM »
I'm actually a huge fan of the 2012+ Ford Focus, but you might not get one for $5k.

Study up on the Focus automatic transmission issues. I don't know what years are affected but I know my friend has one that has some odd behaviors that they complain about. The manual transmission version is fine though.

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2018, 12:21:49 PM »
I'm actually a huge fan of the 2012+ Ford Focus, but you might not get one for $5k.

Study up on the Focus automatic transmission issues. I don't know what years are affected but I know my friend has one that has some odd behaviors that they complain about. The manual transmission version is fine though.

"Vehicles impacted are the Ford Fiesta (model years 2011-2016) and the Ford Focus (model years 2012-2016) equipped with a PowerShift transmission."

bocopro

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2018, 12:54:50 PM »
I can vouch for the 2006-2011 year Honda Civics - they aren't a MMM-hatchback , but I've put two adult bikes, and a load full of car camping gear in there just fine.

It's been in one bad crash, and had a set of new brakes at 70k miles - and still runs better than the day I got it (Pre-MMM - I bought it for a large sum of $13,000 with 25,000 miles, off of Craigslist.)

This car gets 35+ mph, is a nice looking sedan (in my own very subjective opinion), and if it acts like my last Honda, will run 220,000+ miles (I don't know how much further, since my family sold a 1999 Honda Accord at 226k and though we still see it trolling around town, it'd be awkward to flag them down and ask how many more miles it's gone....)

I've also seen them with two car seats in the back - I get a bit of a proud moment every time I see one of these loaded up with 3 kids, 2+ bikes, or a whole collection of skis - go civic!



Just Joe

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2018, 01:10:37 PM »
We have an old Honda (1999) with 300K. Treat it right, use quality fluids and replacement parts.

smormad

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2021, 04:53:53 PM »
Japanese car will last you for long! Nissan Skyline is a dream car for me...

Optimiser

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2021, 05:36:01 PM »
I would suggest a Prius. For 5k you'd be looking at 100-120k miles probably, assuming they are priced similar to my area.

PDXTabs

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2021, 05:54:39 PM »
I'm actually a huge fan of the 2012+ Ford Focus, but you might not get one for $5k.

Study up on the Focus automatic transmission issues. I don't know what years are affected but I know my friend has one that has some odd behaviors that they complain about. The manual transmission version is fine though.

"Vehicles impacted are the Ford Fiesta (model years 2011-2016) and the Ford Focus (model years 2012-2016) equipped with a PowerShift transmission."

Oh, yea, kind of a necro-bump, but I forgot to mention: get a base model with a manual transmission. There are two class action lawsuits for the Mk3 Focus. One for the automatic transmission, one for the Microsoft Sync on the fancy models. I have neither on my 2014 and I've gone 115K miles with one evap repair (~$800). Everything else has been oil, tires, and filters. The oil and filters are easy to change and I do it myself.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 05:56:41 PM by PDXTabs »

jehovasfitness23

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2021, 08:16:23 AM »
Cars is a spending category I would like to minimize as much possible!

Requirements
1) Automatic transmission
2) <75k miles. Hoping itíll last to 200k with only brakes, tires, and oil changes. At that point, wonít really care if itís worthless :)
3) Sedan or a coupe. No SUV, Minivans, or convertibles.
4) 2008 or newer- see #2

Price range: unsure, but as low as possible. Can I get something for less than 5k? Research on CarGurus is proving that to be difficult.

Any recommendations? Thank you!

I was thinking civic, Sentra, corolla, Scion tC?

dunno, but we have a 2012 honda fit w/110k miles (way above your 75k) and while it's among the cheapest cars, I wouldn't sell it for less than $5k

Dave1442397

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2021, 01:51:52 PM »
Apart from the usual Honda/Toyota suggestions, look at the Pontiac Vibe, too. The Vibe is Pontiac's version of the Toyota Matrix, and it's mostly the same car. I find that the Vibe runs cheaper than the Matrix, at least around here.

norajean

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2021, 08:40:29 PM »
I would look for a Lexus ES300 with just over 100k. Should be fine for another 200k miles. Go as far back in age as you need to get a price you like. Probably 2005.

https://www.carfax.com/Used-Lexus-ES_w414
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 09:05:08 AM by norajean »

Dave1442397

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2021, 07:36:43 AM »
I would look for a Lexus ES300 with just over 100k. Should be fine for another 200k miles. Go as far back in age as you need to get a price you like. Probably 2005.

Yes, those are great cars to buy used.

Check local car dealers too, just in case. Many of them have an 'under $10k' section where you can spot some nice cars.

https://www.haldemanlexusofprinceton.com/used-vehicles/priced-under-10k/?_dFR%5Btype%5D%5B0%5D=Pre-Owned&_dFR%5Btype%5D%5B1%5D=Certified%2520Pre-Owned&_nR%5Bour_price%5D%5B%3C=%5D%5B0%5D=10000&_paymentType=our_price

clarkfan1979

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2021, 08:54:35 AM »
In January 2019 I bought a 2007 Pontiac Vibe with 152,000 miles for $2750. It's the same car as the Toyota Matrix, but the Matrix costs 50% to 75% more. The Kelly Bluebook was $3000 for good condition, but it has a dent on the passenger door.

You can definitely get a 2008 Pontiac Vibe for $5,000 or less. However, 75,000 miles would be a challenge for a 2008. They stopped making the Pontiac Vibe in 2010.  You might be able to get a 2010 Pontiac Vibe with 75,000 miles for about $7,000.

RWD

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Re: Help me choose a used car
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2021, 04:20:20 PM »
Eight months after they started this thread the OP made a case study where they stated that they had a $14k car loan so I guess they never bought the cheap car they were asking about here. They haven't been on the forum in about a year and a half so I doubt we'll ever get more of a follow-up.