Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Cheap Reliable Used Car not a Toyota/Honda

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by lemmywinks, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. amnesiac

    amnesiac Senior member

    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    nyc
    VW Golf/Jetta TDI.

    I would second a golf or jetta but with the 1.8t. I wouldn't suggest a vr6 unless its a manual as I have a hunch (from at least 3 that I know of) that the auto isnt't a strong enough transmission for the vr6. Also, VWs seem to be hit or miss on whether or not they're reliable. If you do get one, make sure to find an enthusiast who hasn't flogged it too much and who has put in all the regular maintenance and has a full service record otherwise it can get really expensive really fast.
     


  2. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    1.8T's can have a crankcase ventilation problem that is inherent to the design. I had a 1.8T A4 that failed early, about 80K miles in, and they were pretty much set on putting a new crate motor in, at my expense. The company knows about it, so they comp the repairs if you prove you change your oil regularly (which I did) but the design is inherently flawed.
     


  3. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    +1 90s nissan/infiniti

    the sentra, 180sx, g20 are all reliable and there are tons of parts available for good prices as well as several very large forums with enough information to diagnose anything that could possibly go wrong with them.

    I'm partial to the 4th generation 95-99 nissan maxima. it was the first generation of the now legendary (if only because of ward's and ubiquity backed by marketing) VQ engine and the thing is bulletproof. I have a 98 that's been in my family since 98 and it still runs well at 200k, the interior is clean and all we've had to do was regular maintenance - oil, plugs, filters, just redid the shocks and got lowering springs, clutch, fluids, etc. Also, as long as you have a good shop or can do the work yourself, nothing short of totaling it is out of reach for fixing. This is the case with all of the above mentioned cars. Also, they're pretty quick and handle well even still.


    I agree with this too, and had a 97 Maxima for awhile. Great car, considering its competition, and they were well priced when new as well. Anything with a VQ V6 will run forever, anything with the SR20 series will run forever. The big 3 Japanese makers were all making great stuff in the 1990's, but I feel Nissan was the underdog because they were putting out really great motors, had some RWD platforms that deserved more (which they came to understand finally with the renewed Infinitis) and their only weakness was bad paint, which wasn't crucial, as none of the Japanese cars had very good sheetmetal or paintwork back then.
     


  4. dcg

    dcg Senior member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    501
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    Any thoughts on something super cheap (think sub-$2k) that would be reliable, preferably a wagon, and available in manual transmission? Good gas mileage would be nice but is not a requirement...reliability and cheap/easy to fix is of much greater concern.

    I see a late 90s Escort wagon in CL for <$1500 with fewer than 90k miles. Worth looking at?

    Subaru? Early 90s BMW? Anything by Volvo?

    Would mainly be used for shuttling the dog around, going to get groceries, etc. Anything an S2000 is not practical for.
     


  5. why

    why Senior member

    Messages:
    9,735
    Likes Received:
    405
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    2007 Subaru Impreza. There are probably a lot of leases on the lots, and it was a very good year for the model.

    VWs are cheap until repair fees are included. Supposedly they have a lot of mechanical issues and proprietary parts.
     


  6. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    2007 is pretty new for finding one at $2000, but a few years ago I was visiting my parents and a kid locally was selling a bug-eye GD Impreza wagon for $5000, and it would've been a 2001 (?) to 2004ish (?) model in late 2007, so while not $2000, I bet you can find an '07 cheap.
     


  7. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    old Volvo V70 GLT would be my choice for a cheap wagon for dog hauling, though. Makes no excuses for being a clunker and people in certain areas still respect you for it.
     


  8. dcg

    dcg Senior member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    501
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    old Volvo V70 GLT would be my choice for a cheap wagon for dog hauling, though. Makes no excuses for being a clunker and people in certain areas still respect you for it.

    We're talking '98-2000 vintage here? Thought I had heard there were some expensive repair items/reliability issues, but maybe that was just in reference to the AWD version.
     


  9. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    there are, I had a Volvo of that vintage once as well, haha. You gotta get mega miles on them before they start acting up though, like 200K+... I see old-lady owned ones once in awhile with like 75K on them still, those are good cars.
     


  10. dcg

    dcg Senior member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    501
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    Thanks, will keep an eye out.

    To the OP, I'll +1 the late 90s Maxima...mom had one, never had problems with it (that is, until my cousin got her hands on it and totalled it).
     


  11. chas

    chas Senior member

    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    Any thoughts on something super cheap (think sub-$2k) that would be reliable, preferably a wagon, and available in manual transmission? Good gas mileage would be nice but is not a requirement...reliability and cheap/easy to fix is of much greater concern.

    I see a late 90s Escort wagon in CL for <$1500 with fewer than 90k miles. Worth looking at?

    Subaru? Early 90s BMW? Anything by Volvo?

    Would mainly be used for shuttling the dog around, going to get groceries, etc. Anything an S2000 is not practical for.


    1999 Escort Station Wagon. They make it in a manual. It will run forever.
     


  12. dcg

    dcg Senior member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    501
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    1999 Escort Station Wagon. They make it in a manual. It will run forever.

    I believe the one I found was a '98...any major differences?
     


  13. Pilot

    Pilot Senior member

    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    349
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    I would second a golf or jetta but with the 1.8t. I wouldn't suggest a vr6 unless its a manual as I have a hunch (from at least 3 that I know of) that the auto isnt't a strong enough transmission for the vr6. Also, VWs seem to be hit or miss on whether or not they're reliable. If you do get one, make sure to find an enthusiast who hasn't flogged it too much and who has put in all the regular maintenance and has a full service record otherwise it can get really expensive really fast.
    I would disagree about the 1.8t comment. From a reliability standpoint, the 1.8T is probably one of the least reliable VW engines made. It constantly going through coil packs, and you will always have some sort of electrical issue causing your check engine light to be on (but this is the case with a lot of VW's). as far as reliability and cost effectiveness, the VR6 is the way to go. Gas mileage is still solid for a peppy V6 (i average 27mpg in mine). The timing chains have to be changed every 100k miles (or never depending on what school of thought you subscribe too) the 1.8T and 2.0 have to be changed every 60k miles. I agree with looking into what maintenance the owner has done. Make sure you get the receipts or assume that it hasn't been done. Make sure the shop they've been taking it to is good too. A lot of places have no clue what they're doing when it comes to VW. After owning the 2 engines, my VR6 has cause me far less headaches. only left me stranded once when the stock water pump blew at 125k miles. For the record I still wouldn't recommend VW for a "cheap, reliable" car to anyone. You will always have some little issue with just about every VW you own. Certain parts can be very hard to find and the labor hours required to work on most keep maintenance prices high, no matter how cheap you find parts.
     


  14. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    1999 Escort Station Wagon. They make it in a manual. It will run forever.

    Being that the Protege and the Escort of that era are platform twins, I'd rather have the Protege5 wagon. Just a much better looking car.
     


  15. chas

    chas Senior member

    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    I believe the one I found was a '98...any major differences?

    Not much I believe. Not the prettiest car in the world but cheap and practical. Just make sure you get a manual. The automatic is a dog.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by