Help me figure out the car,,,

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
14
So im getting close to being allowed to drive its a little over a month now. No way in hell my parents are going to buy me a car, or gas, or inssurance. But I want it to be small, cool, small, small, good gas mileage, stick shift, and fast or at least good acceleration... to uhh drive safely... yeah. So im thinking those old bmw's that are really small, I see them around alot, the have the classic bmw grill and the bottom slopes in. I think they were being made in the mid or late 80's (i dont care if its old)

Anybody know the model that im talking about, anyone have one? If anyone does have one I would like to know if the parts can be switched out for non bmw parts (those luxury car parts are a hell to pay for) Hows the mileage and pep.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
0
sitting on your shoulder
Flying Llama said:
Get a MINI Cooper. :)
Somehow, I think that's probably out of his/her budget. Also, I don't think BMW shares any parts with any other brand (well, perhaps MINI now, but I doubt it), but you should be able to find third-party parts. You're probably seeing a 3 Series coupe/sedan/etc. They're small, agile, plentiful as manual transmission, and probably not too expensive to buy. Just keep in mind, that as cars age and the miles pile on, more things will need to be fixed/replaced. I suggest looking for something made in the mid 1990's and newer.
 

djbahdow01

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
568
0
Northeast, CT
Better start looking for a mid 90's Honda civic or something of the like. Forget the BMW's as youll pay for the repairs prob in double of what you paid for the car. Also insurance is going to be through the roof. I was going to go out on my own for insurance, and it was going to be about $4,000 or so a year. $1,000 more than I paid for my car.
 

iSaint

macrumors 603
Get a Honda or Toyota...djbahdow01 said it all.

EDIT: although as a parent (whose child won't drive for several more years) I would be concerned about a small car. I have a '95 Nissan Pathfinder I bought for $5,000 over a year ago. It's at 155,000 miles and running great! That's not to say there hasn't been some maintenance costs. Plus, with a bigger car, you'll be popular as you can carry more people around and you can help the cheerleaders carry their pom-poms around. ;)
 

law guy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2003
997
0
Western Massachusetts
djbahdow01 said:
Better start looking for a mid 90's Honda civic or something of the like. Forget the BMW's as youll pay for the repairs prob in double of what you paid for the car. Also insurance is going to be through the roof. I was going to go out on my own for insurance, and it was going to be about $4,000 or so a year. $1,000 more than I paid for my car.
I've got to echo this - reliability is critical, esp if money is an issue. I've had an '88 used Toyota truck (my first car in '91) that was great for several years with regular up-keep and I sold it at 130,000 some miles. I had a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that was issue free for the three years I owned it, and the same with our Toyota Sienna. A terrible car was our 2002 VW Passat 4 clyd. sedan - the repairs were under warranty, but we spent MANY Saturdays in the service dept. - it was a real point of stress. When it came time to purchase a better all weather car to replace my Civic, I thought briefly about the Audi A4 quattro or a 3 series xi AWD, but the reliabilty lesson of the VW is strongly imprinted on me and I quickly moved back to prioritizing realibility and bought an '06 Subaru Outback. All this to note that reliablity should play an important part in your decision - esp. in selecting a car with some use on it. Consumer Reports.org is not a free site, but it is very helpful in helping to select a reliable new or used car. You can click on BMW 3 series for example and see the problems for various years in a matrix that breaks out different parts of the car and then rates the reliability, e.g., electrical, transmission, engine, etc. Good luck in your search.
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
I think it's f'in hilarious how every 'what car should I buy?' type questions are greeted with 'buy Honda Civic' answers :p the Civic is the car enthusiasts anti-christ. :p
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
14
Flying Llama said:
Get a MINI Cooper. :)
Heh heh my dream car is a mini cooper s series converibal... little out of my price range though. Hey can you still get original coopers?
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
14
law guy said:
I've got to echo this - reliability is critical, esp if money is an issue. I've had an '88 used Toyota truck (my first car in '91) that was great for several years with regular up-keep and I sold it at 130,000 some miles. I had a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that was issue free for the three years I owned it, and the same with our Toyota Sienna. A terrible car was our 2002 VW Passat 4 clyd. sedan - the repairs were under warranty, but we spent MANY Saturdays in the service dept. - it was a real point of stress. When it came time to purchase a better all weather car to replace my Civic, I thought briefly about the Audi A4 quattro or a 3 series xi AWD, but the reliabilty lesson of the VW is strongly imprinted on me and I quickly moved back to prioritizing realibility and bought an '06 Subaru Outback. All this to note that reliablity should play an important part in your decision - esp. in selecting a car with some use on it. Consumer Reports.org is not a free site, but it is very helpful in helping to select a reliable new or used car. You can click on BMW 3 series for example and see the problems for various years in a matrix that breaks out different parts of the car and then rates the reliability, e.g., electrical, transmission, engine, etc. Good luck in your search.
I completely understand what your saying, but I also know something about myself. I have a real issue taking care of things that I dont actually care about. You should have seen my room six months ago, then I baught and ibook and got a shuffle, and some speakers for xmas. And I was like woah my room looks like s*** its deffinitely screwing up how cool my ibook looks and stuff. So I cleaned EVERYTHING up man I found papers from third grade. But now my room looks awsome. atleast for a room thats small as hell and filled with furniture- bed, bookshelf, desk, dresser, one of those charis thats a half circle flipped over with a wood fraim, and an electrical keyboard. In a room thats about 8 foot by nine. Any way what Im saying is I really want to get a car that is niice because I know that if I dont I wont be inspired to take care of it keep it clean etc. If that means paying a bit extra, and having to shell out even more cash to fix it up I can live with that, ill just have to take care of more dogs.

I have looked into one newer car that I really liked the saab 9tx (actually it wasnt me it was my dad) back when GMC was doing their employee discount saab was also offering a discount so these 30 thousand dollars cars could be found for around 20,000 but not really because they all were already purchased. Any way the saab 9tx is an unusual car its holds the saab name tag some looks and style points, but the insides are actually those of a Subaru, because GMC owns some of fuji heavy industries, or they did own some of fhi. But just recently ford has sold the company, this makes it likely that the saabaru brand will sonn disapear, become and unusual, meaning when they begin to go on sale used it is a distinct possibility that they will be at a low price point.
:)
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
0
sitting on your shoulder
iSaint said:
EDIT: although as a parent (whose child won't drive for several more years) I would be concerned about a small car. I have a '95 Nissan Pathfinder I bought for $5,000 over a year ago. It's at 155,000 miles and running great! That's not to say there hasn't been some maintenance costs. Plus, with a bigger car, you'll be popular as you can carry more people around and you can help the cheerleaders carry their pom-poms around. ;)
An SUV is a bad choice for a newbie driver. Higher center of gravity, higher weight, squishy handling and lack of visibility make them less than ideal. A small car (like a Civic) will let them learn what driving a car feels like, and get a feel for things without being as much of a danger to the rest of the road-going public.
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
iGav said:
I think it's f'in hilarious how every 'what car should I buy?' type questions are greeted with 'buy Honda Civic' answers :p the Civic is the car enthusiasts anti-christ. :p

That's not true. Of course we're not talking about breakneck acceleration here, but the Civics in the 90s had double wishbone front suspension and great handling.
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
You should really try to stay away from BMW and the higher priced cars for your first one. My dad works at an AutoZone store and i know for a fact that parts are expensive and hard to get. Most often you end up going to a dealer and they charge up the a$$ for parts and labor.

Why do you want a stick for your first car?? In general they cause more problems then they are worth, not to mention if you are not use to driving them you can really tear up the transmission.

In our family we have 4 people driving now. All but one of the cars if an automatic. The automatics take far less work and are much easier to drive. Example: My sister knows how to drive our one stick shift car (a 1980 Triumph Spitfire) but she will not drive it on the road. She is worried something wil go wrong with it. My point is, if you get an automatic then anyone in the family can drivve the car, if they have to, or need to in an emergency.

My mom drives a 1999 GMC sierra extended cab short bed pickup. My dad use to drive a 1993 Crown Victoria, but when i moved away to college we kinda swapt vehicles. I use to drive a 1990 GMC blazer, until my sis started driving. And the 1980 Triumph was driven around mostly by me. When i left for college i got the Crown Vic and my dad took the blazer from my sis. She now has to ride the bus to school unless she finds someone to pick her up. (There is more of a reason behind this then just that my dad took the car away. Lets just say that my sis has been kinda carless with the truck and my dad is teaching her a lesson.)

My suggestion is to look for US made cars. Not foreign ones that usually cost a lot of money (i.e. BMW). The Crown vic i am driving around is pretty good on gas (about 23 MPG) and it accelerates better then all the other cars we have. It is set up almost exactly like a cop car though, so it has a v8 engin in it and is rear wheel drive.

And if anyone is wondering what the triumph spitfire looks like here it is
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
Counterfit said:
An SUV is a bad choice for a newbie driver. Higher center of gravity, higher weight, squishy handling and lack of visibility make them less than ideal. A small car (like a Civic) will let them learn what driving a car feels like, and get a feel for things without being as much of a danger to the rest of the road-going public.
To some extent i agree with this. It really depends on the person the car is for. I, for example, do not attempt to drive really fast and therefor the whole high ceneter of gravity thing does not matter. I always felt safer in my Blazer(my first car) then i did in my moms full sized truck, but that has more to do with size.
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
AP_piano295 said:
Any way what Im saying is I really want to get a car that is niice because I know that if I dont I wont be inspired to take care of it keep it clean etc. If that means paying a bit extra, and having to shell out even more cash to fix it up I can live with that, ill just have to take care of more dogs.
Um... you will be inspired to take car of it when it breaks down for the first time!!;) Believe me, You should really stay away from cars that are going to take a lot of upkeep until you have the money to upkeep them.

My dad is a great example of this (we do have the money but...) He went out and bought the 1980 Triumph spit fire and it has been a pain since. I love driving the car around, but it is an older car and no matter how many miles are on it it will more then likely have something go wrong with it before a newer car would. The spitfire is in the shop right now get the rear axel worked on (the car only has 42,000 miles on it, but it did sit for about 4 years in a heated wearhouse). The car also needs the engin worked on and a new carb, which are all very hard to find and very expensive. Parts have to be ordered from as specialty car catalog and then you have to find a place to work on it. My family is pretty well to do, but ti would have been smart for my dad to get a newer car and not mess with the whole fixing it up thing.
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
igucl said:
That's not true.
It is true... Civic's are dull, reliable... yes, but dull. In a thesaurus Civic synonyms include... Anemic, arid, banal, beige, blah, bland, characterless, colorless, commonplace, dead, drab, driveling, dry, dullsville, feeble, flat, ho hum, inane, innocuous, jejune, lifeless, limp, loser, mild, milk-and-water, mundane, namby-pamby, nebbish, nothing, nowhere, ordinary, plain, pointless, prosaic, prosy, slight, soft, spiritless, stale, stupid, subdued, tame, tedious, tenuous, thin, tired, trite, unimaginative, vapid, watery, weak, weariful, wearisome, wiped out, wishy-washy, yawn. Yep that sums up a Civic :p

But really... someone could post a 'I have 200k to spend on a car what should I buy?' thread and the first thing that would crop up would be... blah blah blah... Civic blah blah blah. :p :p :p

Reminds me of the thread on here a while ago where some guy wanted some prompts on a car to buy, but stipulated that he wasn't interested in anything Japanese... I was laughing my arse off because I just knew that one sentence all but killed off the chances of the thread hitting double figures. :p :p :p
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,380
1,303
Chevy Cobalt/SS/SS non-supercharged. I would go for the regular Cobalt, as with the SS's( and BMW) insurance would be sky high as you will be under 25 and in a performance vehicle. I would also advise getting a Chevy Equinox/Pontiac Torrent. I have a Chevy Equinox and couldn't be happier with it. I get the estimated fuel economy( 18/23). I even get more sometimes. It is a unibody frame, not the truck body on frame design, so it rides much better. It has very good leg room( especially in the passenger seat and back seat). It has very good cargo capacity. The rear and passenger seats can fold down. My experience with GM couldn't be better. GM's are the most reliable vehicles in our family. My sister and my brother have Jeeps, and they are unreliable. The Grand Cherokee blew a tranny within 6 months of purchase, and The Cherokee has engine/radiator problems. My mom had a Chrysler Sebring, and it was the worst vehicle my family has ever owned. Horrible suspension, crappy acceleration, when accelerating from a stop, it would think it was a Corvette and would jump at the lightest touch to the accelerator. At 60,000 miles, it needed extensive repairs, so we got rid of it. My dad has a 2002 BMW 330xi. It blew a water pump, but other then that it has been fine so far. My parents have a 2002 Chevy Suburban. It has had zero problems with it. We also had a 1996 Surburban. Same story. Now I have a 2006 Chevy Equinox and it has no problems as well *knocks on wood. Sorry for the long post. :eek:
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,417
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
iGav said:
I think it's f'in hilarious how every 'what car should I buy?' type questions are greeted with 'buy Honda Civic' answers :p the Civic is the car enthusiasts anti-christ.
Ah, but if he were a car enthusiast he wouldn't need to ask what kind of car to buy.

And on that note, I'll suggest a Saturn.

Saturn: the car for people who don't want to drive.
 

cubist

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2002
2,075
0
Muncie, Indiana
I'm fond of the Saturn SC2, but the acceleration is not going to be breathtaking. Any Saturn with a manual is going to feel fairly fun to drive, and be pretty reliable (look at saturnfans.com). Milage will be good too.

In the Toyota line, an older Toyota pickup (2 wheel drive) is about the most reliable vehicle on earth. Watch for rust in the bed area.
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
14
pseudobrit said:
Ah, but if he were a car enthusiast he wouldn't need to ask what kind of car to buy.

And on that note, I'll suggest a Saturn.

Saturn: the car for people who don't want to drive.

Lets go with budding car enthusiast then :)
As to why I want a stick, because I hate manuals... Im sorry if you think my first car should be the most practical thing ive ever owned but thats not how its gunna be ive been saving for years for a first car and im not grabbing a civic. Though I will say the next civic looks amazing. I would buy that but hey new car not gunna happen.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.