Advice on which used car to get

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Queen of Spades, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    May 9, 2008
    The Iron Throne
    I have about $4,000 to spend on a used car. I am hoping to keep the car for a couple of years. I always do routine maintenance, and definitely don't mind fixing a few things here or there, but I am looking to avoid a money pit type of crapmobile.

    I'm a baby screenwriter (read: poor), so for now, I want to buy a used car outright and avoid car payments + inflated insurance while I'm trying to work my way into Hollywood.

    Unfortunately, I know jack about cars and my family's advice ranges from buy a Volvo (ugh) to buy anything Japanese.

    My preferences right now, within my budget, lean toward a 2000ish Volkswagen Jetta, or a 2000ish Jeep Grand Cherokee. This is primarily based on looks, I fully admit. Gas is obviously a concern with the JGC, but I don't want to pick my car based solely on that. Does anyone have any experience or opinions on which of these cars would be more reliable? I've done some internet research, but all I'm finding are the places where people complain, so it's not very objective. I'm not a particularly hard driver, and I've never driven more than 8k/year, but it will be in LA, so driving daily is a must.

    I'd also be willing to hear other suggestions. Thanks in advance if anyone has any insight.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd pass on both, honestly. I have heard of many issues with both vehicles. However, if it is between those, definitely the VW. It's likely to be the more reliable of the two and will likely consume half as much fuel.
  3. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    For 4k, you probably aren't going to get both a car you like and is stylish and a car which is reasonably reliable.

    Your best bet would be to look at some reports on reliability of vehicles in the used car market and go from there.
  4. Queen of Spades, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011

    Queen of Spades thread starter macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    May 9, 2008
    The Iron Throne
    Okay, thanks. Do you have any suggestions for a car in that price range, then? Everyone says Honda, but the resale value is apparently so high, that price gets me a late 90s model car or a 2000's car that was apparently commuted to the moon and back daily. That seems a little ridiculous.

    But I'm willing to hear some suggestions.

    Hmm, that seems particularly bleak.

    I realize $4,000 isn't a ton of money, but it will definitely get me better than I'm used to. My first car was a $500 Pontiac, and for the time, it was both decent looking and reliable. My sister and I drove 2000 Dodge Neons in college, which were pretty reliable. We never had to put much money into repairs outside of routine maintenance. If I weren't looking for something different this time around, I'd look at one again.

    To provide some context, I bought a 2001 Dodge Neon for $1200. I kept it for a year and a half and spent nothing on it. I moved, so I sold it. I was fine with the car, it was reliable, but I'm hoping to do a little better this time around, since I'm spending more money. And obviously since I've driven Neons for the last few years, "better" will be most anything that's not a total piece.

    I will pick up the consumer guide tomorrow if I can. Maybe a Honda Accord would fit the bill. I'm happy with the way those look, and everyone raves about Honda's reliability.


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