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Recs for a fun, reliable daily driver under $14K

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by longskate88, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. longskate88

    longskate88 Senior member

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    Location:
    San Diego
    So, as much as I hate cars, it may soon be time to replace my Civic that has 220,000 miles on it.

    What should I be looking for is a used car, between 2003 and 2007, that is fun and reliable? By "Fun" I mean fun to LOOK at, visually appealing, etc moreso than something to be driven fast. Has to be reliable and cheap to maintain, since I drive a lot. Good gas mileage is a requirement as well

    These come to mind. If you know anything good or bad, or want to add a model, please do [​IMG]

    Lexus IS250
    Miata
    Mini
    Accord coupe
    VW diesel?
    Infiniti G35
    Nissan Maxima

    I'm mainly looking for something that looks like I CHOSE to buy it, not simply that I bought a generic econobox.
     
  2. Cavalier

    Cavalier Senior member

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    I believe you can get a G35 with 50,000 miles or less with your budget, which I would assume isn't a bad bet. I haven't looked in a while, but when I was in the market for my 2nd car Acura Integra Type R's could be had for $14k, I suspect the price has gone up by now though.... And another Civic is never a bad bet.. I ended up with an '99 SI as a second car, purchased it for $7400 in brand new condition with 40,000 miles on it. I've only put 10k on it, so it goes without saying the car appreciated a bit over the last two years I've owned it. Only upgrade I've done is brembo cross slotted brake rotors with ceramic pads... car has no ABS, so you can imagine how fun they are [​IMG]
     
  3. longskate88

    longskate88 Senior member

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    Thanks, part of me says get the 'boring beige Civic', and drive ir for the next 250,000 miles. But, I'm young, and something slightly sporty or less common sounds nice.
     
  4. Cavalier

    Cavalier Senior member

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    Aug 20, 2007
    Thanks, part of me says get the 'boring beige Civic', and drive ir for the next 250,000 miles. But, I'm young, and something slightly sporty or less common sounds nice.

    get an SI then.. might be difficult to find one at a fair price in California though

    Being able to drive maintenance free $$$ is a nice feeling!

    I haven't kept up on cars well enough to know how much costs on the G35 are... if it's anything like my 3 series, run away!
     
  5. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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  6. ms244

    ms244 Senior member

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    Mustang GT

    Should be able to find an 05 or 06 in that price range. Besides being fast, they are pretty decently built and have a nice looking interior. That V8 sounds real nice too and its not too bad on the gas milage, especially on the highway.
     
  7. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    Miata

    My pick, especially if you can find a 2000SE or 2001SE with the Nardi wood steering wheel.

    You might want to look at the Acura RSX, too.

    Or the MR2 Spyder, if you can live with the cargo carrying restrictions.
     
  8. eqpablon

    eqpablon Senior member

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    get an SI then.. might be difficult to find one at a fair price in California though

    Being able to drive maintenance free $$$ is a nice feeling!

    I haven't kept up on cars well enough to know how much costs on the G35 are... if it's anything like my 3 series, run away!


    I have a 3 series, a 2007 328i. I have had 0 maint costs to date. BMW takes care of everything for the first 50k miles, including oil changes. After 50k miles you simply use your local German specialty shop for maint/repair work as they typically charge 1/2 the price that the dealership will charge.

    My local german specialty shop charges less per book hour than the shop I use for my 91MR2, if the Autohaus worked on Japenese cars I would use them for my MR2 as well [​IMG]

    Back on topic... you can occasionally find 2005 Lotus Elise's in this price range. I am giving serious thought to selling my old MR2 and picking up an Elise. This would be a highly impractical choice if this is going to be your only car, however life is short [​IMG]
     
  9. Jekyll

    Jekyll Senior member

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    Honda Fit, if you can find one.
     
  10. BrianVarick

    BrianVarick Senior member

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    Get a new VW Diesel car.
     
  11. serj

    serj Member

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    I have a 3 series, a 2007 328i. I have had 0 maint costs to date. BMW takes care of everything for the first 50k miles, including oil changes. After 50k miles you simply use your local German specialty shop for maint/repair work as they typically charge 1/2 the price that the dealership will charge.

    My local german specialty shop charges less per book hour than the shop I use for my 91MR2, if the Autohaus worked on Japenese cars I would use them for my MR2 as well [​IMG]

    Back on topic... you can occasionally find 2005 Lotus Elise's in this price range. I am giving serious thought to selling my old MR2 and picking up an Elise. This would be a highly impractical choice if this is going to be your only car, however life is short [​IMG]


    Lotus Elise under $14k? Are you on drugs
     
  12. Ludeykrus

    Ludeykrus Senior member

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    No to the VW, BMW (god no...), and the Mustang GT (18 mpg on highway and around town for an 08 GT...). Reliability isn't great on these, unless they've changed in the last 5-7 years

    Miatas suit you a lot, but they are hugely impractical due to a lack of storage space. They can look nice with upgrades, and are cheap to work on and are reliable. The MR2 Spyder is the same, but is a bit bigger.

    I've always liked the IS300's, I think you could get a really good condition one within your budget.
     
  13. Cavalier

    Cavalier Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 20, 2007
    I have a 3 series, a 2007 328i. I have had 0 maint costs to date. BMW takes care of everything for the first 50k miles, including oil changes. After 50k miles you simply use your local German specialty shop for maint/repair work as they typically charge 1/2 the price that the dealership will charge. My local german specialty shop charges less per book hour than the shop I use for my 91MR2, if the Autohaus worked on Japenese cars I would use them for my MR2 as well [​IMG] Back on topic... you can occasionally find 2005 Lotus Elise's in this price range. I am giving serious thought to selling my old MR2 and picking up an Elise. This would be a highly impractical choice if this is going to be your only car, however life is short [​IMG]
    Obviously a new BMW comes with a warranty, but when it comes out of warranty you can expect each trip to the dealership to cost $2-3g's. I have an 03 330Xi btw. I will have to find a german 3rd party shop to start saving money. Wrecked Elises go for $15-20g's..... I would sell my SI and buy one in a heart beat for 14k!
     
  14. justinpba

    justinpba Well-Known Member

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    A couple year old wrx would be right around that range.
     
  15. the_k

    the_k Well-Known Member

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    you should be able to score at least an 05 g35 in that price range.....have it checked out at the infiniti dealership before buying....if everything checks out, they're quite reliable....of all the cars you listed, the g35 is the best overall package.

    i sold my 05 g35 sedan with premium package for 13.5k a few months ago....it had around 48k miles and was in flawless condition apart from a few dings here and there....

    edit: if you decide to get a g35 make sure it does not have any oil consumption issues....i know some model years had that problem...an 05 sedan does not...i THINK the coupe does...
     
  16. longskate88

    longskate88 Senior member

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    you should be able to score at least an 05 g35 in that price range.....have it checked out at the infiniti dealership before buying....if everything checks out, they're quite reliable....of all the cars you listed, the g35 is the best overall package.

    i sold my 05 g35 sedan with premium package for 13.5k a few months ago....it had around 48k miles and was in flawless condition apart from a few dings here and there....

    edit: if you decide to get a g35 make sure it does not have any oil consumption issues....i know some model years had that problem...an 05 sedan does not...i THINK the coupe does...


    Thanks. Of the cars listed, I've narrowed them down to the G35 (Coupe or sedan, probably Coupe) or the Lexus IS250. My only hangups at this point are 1) Premium fuel I'm assuming, and 2) Expensive tires (odd, but I want the upgrade alloy rims, so the tires probably aren't cheap, and I drive a LOT of miles). Also, insurance is a factor since I'm 22.
     
  17. Chiaroscuro

    Chiaroscuro Senior member

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    Where the blood flows freely
    '02' BMW M Coupe, between 15 and 17 g's.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    Lotus Elise under $14k? Are you on drugs


    Wrecked Elises go for $15-20g's..... I would sell my SI and buy one in a heart beat for 14k!



    A decent (clean carfax) 2005 Elise is going to be 25k. I've never seen one for less. Maybe if you snoop around you can get one for 20-25k with higher mileage or a few niggles wrong with it. Less than that and it's probably been wrecked. Due to the extensive use of aluminium, even relatively minor accidents are usually ruled a total loss (ditto for most aluminium-intensive vehicles).
     
  19. eqpablon

    eqpablon Senior member

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    Obviously a new BMW comes with a warranty, but when it comes out of warranty you can expect each trip to the dealership to cost $2-3g's. I have an 03 330Xi btw. I will have to find a german 3rd party shop to start saving money.

    Wrecked Elises go for $15-20g's..... I would sell my SI and buy one in a heart beat for 14k!


    This man wins! Yes you can own an Elise for $15k, it will come with a salvage title tho.
     
  20. eqpablon

    eqpablon Senior member

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    Jun 3, 2007
    A decent (clean carfax) 2005 Elise is going to be 25k. I've never seen one for less. Maybe if you snoop around you can get one for 20-25k with higher mileage or a few niggles wrong with it. Less than that and it's probably been wrecked. Due to the extensive use of aluminium, even relatively minor accidents are usually ruled a total loss (ditto for most aluminium-intensive vehicles).

    They are actually fiberglass, so it is true that minor bumps can cause $7k worth of damage. However they are sex in 3D form [​IMG]
     

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