best first car.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Fearless Leader, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    iam going to be driving soonish (13months) and want to start saving for a car. Does any one have any suggestions on which one to buy. under 5,000 usd would be best and i want it to last. any one own a good car that has last a while and want to share their experince. also has anyone fixed up a junker and how did that go?

  2. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    I wouldn't buy a junker to fix up, most likely it will constantly be in the shop and end up costing much more then you think in the end.

    I'd recommend a used Honda. Civic or Accord, whichever you'd prefer. Great cars.
  3. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Oh, I wouldn't say that. I had a 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic. Definitely not sopisticated. But if there were any problems, I'd take a hammer out and bang on the engine, or stick a pen in the Carburetor.

    Ok, quit laughing - I do have a point. As a result of that easy-as-heck-to-fix machine, I have an understanding of cars now that it is easy to diagnose an issue for the mechanic and protects myself from very expensive fraud.

    Oh, and makes car-buying easier too.
  4. CompUser Guest

    I would say Civic, Accord, Corolla, or Camry (and acura & lexus versions). If you want an SUV I would stick with Jeeps.
  5. Fearless Leader thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    my cousin has givin me tons of books on cars, trucks, yata yata. and i have good concept of cars and reparing them. i wouldnt care if the car looks like crap as long as it runs and is easy to fix well built car. also diesel v.s. gas.
  6. jer2eydevil88 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2004
    I'd look at the 1990's Honda Accord's, they were smaller and had more features in the base models than civics did. Also you can get a sporty 5spd manual in those for cheap.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    But image is everything for high school students, even if it keeps breaking and requiring you to bum a ride all the time.

    A cool sports car always trumps a rusty station wagon.
  8. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    N'Albany, Indiana
    Most cars are made pretty well. It's the owner that screws it up. When you start forgetting to change your oil, run your gas tank real low and never have tune-ups, that can cause some real damage to your car.

    When you go out looking for a car, if you are not skilled in automotive repair bring someone with you who does. Let them check the engine and shocks and exhaust and such and give you a thumbs up or thumbs down.
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'd also suggest a toyota or honda. Definitely going to keep running longer than your average american car. I should know - my first and (to date) only car was a 1998 Mercury Sable, and while it was fine most of the time, it did have several substantial repairs in the 4 years I owned it, including a full transmission rebuild at only 75,000 miles. :mad:
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    When it is summer, test drive the vehicle to bring it up to full temp and let it run with the a/c on max while you look the vehicle over opening everything and looking at it.

    If it is Arizona hot, and the vehicle cannot run for 10-30 minutes idling in the heat with the a/c on max -- run.
  11. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I'm planning on buying a new Peugeot 207 as my first car. but I'll be 22-ish and earning enough.

    sorta planning on buying a Triumph Spitfire instead. Vintage British sports car. nice price (around £1500 for a done up one) plus it will be very cheap to run but I'm worried about it breaking down too often :eek:
  12. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003

    props for the spitfire want.

    when i get one i'll PM you and tell you how it went, the are cheap to insure ect and look amazing but maintenence is the trouble though they are simple so are a good learning car, all depends how technically minded you are, personally i'll take anything apart as soon as i get it, half an hour after i got my macbook it was in bits.
  13. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

    Jun 27, 2006
    Boca Raton, FL
    i'd vote toyota. good, safe cars. not horrible on gas, and somethiing that you wont feel terrible about messing up, because you will get in an accident.
  14. Fearless Leader thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    anyone want to comment on gas v.s. diesel v.s. hybrid. are the hybrids worth the extra cost. i'll be driving about 40miles total every weekday.
  15. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    ditto....they run forever, and maintenance isn't as costly as say, a Volvo!
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Buy a Honda Civic, gets about 40 mpg and will give you less trouble than a diesel or hybrid over 200k miles -- without the TDI/hybrid premium.

    A TDI will give you some headaches, and a hybrid is still an unknown (and really shines in city use) for 10 year ownership -- both great lease vehicles or short term vehicles.

    The problem free driving is worth a few extra dollars a week, which beats getting stuck in the TDI.

    TDIs are great vehicles, but they are VWs ... the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla get great mileage for the price and without headaches -- even though we don't get the good mpg engines in the US, aka the smaller engines.

    If they delivered the 1.1-1.4L vehicles in the US, the hybrids would look like a sad purchase -- same with the diesel Ford Ka and VW Polo making the hybrids look like slouches.


    Might find and old Honda CRX or a decent old use Civic that will get the same or better economy than a hybrid if you want to stick with the $5000 limit.
  17. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
  18. Sathos macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2005
    Alberta, Canada
    Currently driving my dad's old '94 Corolla.. it's a nice car. Learned to drive in it.
  19. adroit macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC
    I don't think 5000 would be enough to get a hybrid...
    If you're going to be driving 40 miles every day I would just get a TDI. Also, it might be worth going for a bit newer car since they are usually more efficient on gas. I would just get something small and reliable.

    Get a smart car if you have the cash. ;)

    Just curious, but why would a highschool student goes from not having a car to driving 40miles/day anyway? :confused:
  20. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    If you'll be driving 40 miles a day get a 3 cylinder geo metro :D
  21. CompUser Guest

    Unless your parents are going to pay for all your maintenance and repairs, do not get a VW. They are expensive to start with, cost a lot to fix, and are unreliable.
  22. rockandrule macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have to disagree. I paid $3000 for my '98 Jetta with about 124,000 miles on it two years ago. Since then I have only had to repair a few small problems, costing roughly $800, which is quite good for a used car. As others have said, it depends on how you maintain it and how it was before you buy it. I would make sure to run a Carfax report on the car before purchasing and taking it to a shop to have looked at, of course. As for my recommendation, a Civic, early to mid-90s BMW 3-series, or a Jetta/Golf in good condition.
  23. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    Boy, I just realized how lucky my older brother is.

    My parents gave him a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am.

    As for me, I'm already 16 but I live in China, and I'm already a senior and probably going to the U.S. for uni so I guess I'll be biking most places and won't learn how to drive until I'm 30 :p I'm already a taxi/public transporation whore here in Shanghai.
  24. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Old diesel Volkswagen Golfs usually run great, cost nothing and have good gas mileage.

    The gas versions are good too.
  25. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    I like diesels because they are more efficient in general than gas models. A hybrid is beyond my financial means at the moment, so that's why I went diesel.

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