yet another car thread (YACT)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by vniow, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

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    #1
    Thanks to my new job, I'm no longer financially struggling and am looking to replace my wagon in the near future (2-3 months or so). Its been suprisingly trustworthy but its one of those cars that you know is going to die on you at the wrong moment. Plus its hideous.

    My dilemma is what do I get to replace it. I like having the space of the wagon but this thing's simply too large to be useful in my place of residence (San Francisco), if I got another one I was thinking about a Subaru wagon but I'm not sure if I actually need that much space. Since moving here I've started to drive it less and less to where the most it travels in the course of the week is to the other side of the street for street cleaning. Its currently used mostly for trips out of the city, like to Santa Cruz and such.

    I've been thinking about gas milage a lot and I'm not sure if getting an ultra efficient car would save me that much money in the long run. There's no doubt it will save some but I'm not sure if its enough to offset other luxuries that could get in say a slightly larger car, like a used midsize upscaleish sedan. Since most of my driving consists of hour + long trips, I would like it to be in a car I'm comfortable in.

    I've calculated my wagon's milage to be around 20MPG on average. A trip down to SC or so and back is about 150 miles which sucks up 7.5 gallons which in turn at current gas prices ($3.11) costs me about $24. A car that would get 30MPG for example would suck about 5 gallons which costs me about $16. $8 in savings. If I do this twice a month it saves $16 and over the course of a year it saves me $192. I don't exactly make a whole lot of money, but $192 doesn't seem lke that much in the grand scheme of things.

    My parents are paying the insurance on the wagon now so if I get one of my own it'll all be on me and I've shopped around a bunch and it doesn't make a significant difference what kind of car I get. The only thing I really have to think about is do I get something smaller, more efficient and good for city driving or something maybe a bit larger, more comfortable for longer trips but less efficient? My budget is $4000 max so nothing new for me but I could get at least something that's less than 10 years old and less than 100k miles (as opposed to almost 200k with my current vehicle) for that.

    Thanx,

    -Ani
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #2
    I've no idea how far 4000 bucks would go on a U.S. car I'm afraid... :eek: and I don't really know all that much about U.S. cars either. :eek:

    How much do 00-02 Mitsubishi Galants go for??? in Sport guise, they're still a mean looking car, and you could certainly find one for £2-3k here.

    Or how about something like a 99-00 Mercury Cougar??? I saw a Cougar the other day, and I still think they're a sharp looking car for their age... the 2 litre version (if you guys get that) is reasonably economical too, a quick tommy gander on that seems to suggest that prices start at $3k for one of those, I presume $4k would get you a mid-mileage example.

    Don't buy a Civic though... because remember you're not ready to retire just yet. ;) :p
     
  3. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #3
    Both of those are out of my price range unfortunately after a quick search. :eek: The Cougars are pretty sweet looking but I've read a few reviews that the front seats are hell, not something I'm looking forward to for a long trip.

    I'm kind of leaning towards something a bit more on the luxury side though. I'm a sucker for those kinds of cars and I've been looking at the Seville STS, Lincoln Mark VIII, Audi A6 (or newer A4 if I'm lucky) or something similar. All of those are within my price range (if I look hard enough) and get the same or better milage than my wagon, plus they're quite a bit nicer to own and drive than that thing. I don't want to get anything like a BMW or a Mercedes or something, too common. The newer Subaru's and Jettas are appealing but I'm unsure of the reliability record of the latter (and its Audi counterpart)

    I certainly don't want anything like a Civic, too common for my tastes. It may be reliable and great on gas but I only really drive on the weekends, I want to indulge myself. :D
     
  4. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

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    NYC
    #4
    I would say a MINI Cooper (one of my favorite cars), but their resale value is a bit high. New is about 16,000 USD, and since they only came out in 2002, and have high demand, their resale value may be a bit high. I would also recommend a mid-late 90's BMW 5 series sedan. Although you said you wouldn't like one, my family had an early 90's BMW, which is still running today somewhere. Very comfortable as well. But it's up to you for which car you want to get, and those are my recommendations.

    By the way, I don't work for BMW Group. I just love those cars.
     
  5. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    Mar 4, 2004
    #5
    I seem to recall the Impala SS from 1996-2000 was particularly stunning. Aggressive and powerful in an understated way. And it's 4 doors. Not sure how easy it would be to park in San Francisco, however.
     
  6. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #6
    Lowest price I could find for a MINI was $15k. Plus a friend of mine has one and she's not impressed with the milage of such a small car. So scratch that one...

    BMWs are nice and all, they just don't appeal much to me. The 5-series are harder to find within my price range and even those are from 1992 and before. I'd like to get at least something just as old or newer than my current car. A 5-series wagon on the other hand, then you've got my attention. ;) But those are even harder to find, much less than $4k.

    Gaa, an Impala! :eek: Those are almost as big as my wagon, plus their mileage is horrible! If I'm going to get something with a V8, it'll have 4 cams and 32 valves. That pushrod engine may work well in a truck, but in a car (even a large one) I expect something a bit more efficient.

    I'm also not much into cars which are popular for "pimping out" either, Seville's kind of have that reputation but they can look classy if they're left relatively stock.
     
  7. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    Mar 4, 2004
    #7
    How about a used Jeep? While not as roomy as a wagon, they have the advantage of all wheel drive, great if you can get off the highways.

    Or try a Mustang. The 88-93 models are very affordable. Lots of fun, easily customizable (not pimped), and able to hold its own against the Mercedes and BMW's.
     

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  8. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    You might look into payments. As my dad says, once you've paid off a car, you might as well put half the old car payment into the bank each month so that you can deal with maintanance issues.

    If I was in SF, I'd probably be strongly considering a Honda Fit. I know you're not wanting to spend that much, but with a new car you're gonna be relatively maintance free for several years, more if you don't drive much.

    The Fit is cheap for a new car, gets great mileage, and has a nice amount of storage room, and different configurations for the interior. All in all it seems like a pretty sweet little ride.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #10
    Nada on both of those, sorry. Jeeps are 4WD, not AWD like a Subaru or a Quattro so its only useful if one gets off the highways like you mentioned. The vast majority of my driving is highway so getting decent mileage and providing a comfortable ride are the most important parts. My wagon's comfortable but its too large and gets poor mileage for its size and engine type. 3.0l V6 with less than 175hp getting around 20MPG on the highway? Not impressive at all. I can get a Mark VIII or an STS that get better highway while having a 4.6l V8 with 280hp+ and be far more comfortable and fun to drive to boot.

    I don't find Mustangs very appealing either, the 99 and up models are the only ones I think look decent. :eek:

    As for Civics and Fits, ehh...I don't know. The 99 and ups are too expensive and the ones below aren't very attractive.


    My budget is pretty stagnant, unless I get a much higher paying job in the next few months its going to stay at $4000. Maybe as high as $4500 if I can sell my current car for enough but the lesser the better. I've calculated the payments to be around $100 for a $4k 36 month loan which is about as much as I'm willing to pay since I have a lot of other things I need to take care of as well, it also gives me the opportunity to double up or more on the payments depending on what else I have going on. I definately don't want to get something new, I have about $40k of reconstructive surgery to be done in the next year or so and I'd really much rather be saving for that instead of a new car or anything else. While it would be nice to own something newer, I simply cannot afford anything more than $4k right now. Anything more than that I would much rather go towards medical.
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    alfa romeo spider:

    [​IMG]

    triumph spitfire:

    [​IMG]

    MGB:

    [​IMG]

    as you can tell i have specific tastes in cars.


    (the spitfire does 50mpg so is pretty economical too)
     
  12. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #12
    Any of those would be awesome if she wanted something that doesn't run. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #13
    they run, my friend has a spitfire and it needs about 80 quids worth of maintenance a year, you can get an alfa of that style up to the early 90's.
     
  14. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #14
    I had an Alfa, a Midget and a Fiat, which were all the biggest POS's ever built. Fun...but junk.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Well with that price restriction, I'd suggest finding some used car dealers that you find semi-trustworthy (this will take a lot of work, although if you want to come down to SLO I can recommend a good one) and just pick over the lots as often as you can.

    At that price range, you just don't get a lot of choice. You want something reliable, and efficient, it's just going to take a lot of searching.

    Another option is to check with rental car companies that do sales, but they usually sell early enough that the prices tend to be above $4k.
     
  16. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a

    Tanglewood

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    San Diego, CA
    #16
    Why not a truck?

    A Ford Ranger from 1998-2000 would fall into your price range and the 2000 model actually got decent reviews from Consumer Reports.
     
  17. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    Mar 4, 2004
    #17
    I tend to agree. You're also at odds between power, mpg, and price. You won't get all these in the same package, and the older a car is, the less efficient everything becomes. I think you need to find a decent car, not a looker, and be happy with that until you're able to buy more. And I wouldn't get anything over five years old, the maintenance costs will begin to add up, and it sounds as if you're going to be on a tight budget.

    Also, have you researched banks that will loan you 4000 over four years? There are usually fixed durations for small amounts, you may be looking at a 2-3 year loan for that amount.
     
  18. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #18
    Nice choice but it should be in Alfa red!
     
  19. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #19
    I'm in about the same price range and I'm looking at mid 90's VW Golfs myself.
     
  20. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #20
    For under 4k???

    Old lincoln, maybe, but then you get no mileage.

    A honda accord would handle those curves much better, still be comfortable, get better mileage, etc. Sure its not as unique, but for $4k, you are limited.

    A 92-96 Jeep Wrangler 4 cyl would get 20-25 mpg, be lots of fun in the sun, and be fun down at the Hollister 4x4 park or in some of the logging roads near santa cruz.
    ***Missed the comment about jeeps earlier, so ignore that part***

    Or learn how to fix cars and get an older mercedes, like 70's. Have some fun and drive a classic.
     
  21. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #21
    I'm very meticulous in my search. :D

    They pop up occasionally, just gotta watch out for them.
     
  22. jsw123 macrumors member

    jsw123

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    Mar 19, 2006
    #22
    how bout a mid 90s volvo s40
    volvos are made to run forever so you could get a high mileage one and it would still have plenty left in it
     
  23. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #23
    I would also look at a mid 90's Jetta or 4cyl Passat. I have a 2002 passat wagon and its great. It made the trip over 17 many times from San Jose to Santa Cruz (my wife worked in Milpitas), and up the coast as well.
    Still averages 25-30 on the highway, and its a full size car.
    The Jetta diesel would get great mileage and good torque, but very different than a Caddy.

    If you want plush, a Chrysler LHS might fit the bill. I think it bears a resemblance to the cougar and has some decent power.
     
  24. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #24
    This would be my advice as well- you just can't beat a Honda in terms of reliability. :)
     
  25. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #25

    the thing with cars of that type is you need to do your research, if she's been maintained well and loved she'll run like a dream, if you buy some run down worn out piece of crap with that alluring new shiny paint job your going to have a large mechanics bill and spend half your time on the side of the road.


    if new cars looked half as good i wouldn't mind but seriously, the new spider looks like complete ass, the only half decent looking current convertible is the MX5 (miater) or the VX220 (uk only) and they are either not that amazing or just a bit too expensive and impossible to insure.
     

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