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Reliable car for student in Florida

henrikc

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So, a friend of mine is going to study in Florida in a month or so, and she will need a car.
Since she's a student and tuition to Delta Flight Academy is quite high, and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (yeah, the state gives us a great loan (no interest while studying and low interest when paying back)) won't support this education, a cheap and reliable car is necessary.

What would you recommend? Honda Civics from early 2000? Trying to keep a price range around $6000, could probably go up a little if necessary, but all suggestions are welcome.
Doesn't have to be a MPV, but I'm sure it could be nice with at least some room for friends, so 4 seats minimum.
 

Rambo

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Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. I've had both in my time down here and they get the job done. Just remind her that she'll have to drive everywhere so whatever she buys should get very good gas mileage.
 

BP348

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Corolla

Depending on the girl and if MPG's are the most important then I'd say a 2002 - 2004 VW Jetta TDI. The only problem with the Jetta is they are a little more hands on. for most people I'd recommend the corolla or civic. I've heard good things about the new malibu but I don't know how much they cost.
 

henrikc

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All right, so looking at fairly new Japanese cars.
Those are quite popular here in Norway as well, so she could probably try some of them here to find out which one she likes the best before wasting time running around in Florida test driving them.

VW could be a decent choice as well. Passat could probably also be of interest, it's a fairly large car and might be found quite cheap.
How popular are Golfs in Florida? Hard to come by? VW Golf is the best selling car in Norway, and could probably be a good choice as well if they're easy to find in good shape.
 

Flambeur

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Yes, tell her to get a VW if she wants to waste money fixing it every week.
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
Yes, tell her to get a VW if she wants to waste money fixing it every week.

Sadly, I've heard this issue among many VW Jetta/Passat owners of 02-06 models (or thereabout).

Civic or Corolla would be VERY safe choices. Hyundai Elantra, the recent models, are supposed to be pretty decent as well. Mazda 3 is another option with more character but a bit higher in price.
 

Pilot

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If you were a true friend you wouldn't let her go to Delta Academy. Tell her to get a real degree and do her flying on the side. Not worth the high price that schools like that charge.
 

henrikc

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Originally Posted by Stylish Pilot
If you were a true friend you wouldn't let her go to Delta Academy. Tell her to get a real degree and do her flying on the side. Not worth the high price that schools like that charge.
Who am I (or you for that matter) to tell people what to do with their lives?
 

velobran

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Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
Sadly, I've heard this issue among many VW Jetta/Passat owners of 02-06 models (or thereabout).

Civic or Corolla would be VERY safe choices. Hyundai Elantra, the recent models, are supposed to be pretty decent as well. Mazda 3 is another option with more character but a bit higher in price.


I've heard that for the VW Jetta/Beetle. Passat, Golf, and GTIs have been solid from my understanding (and probably due to the country of origin/manufacturing).
 

whiteslashasian

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Originally Posted by velobran
I've heard that for the VW Jetta/Beetle. Passat, Golf, and GTIs have been solid from my understanding (and probably due to the country of origin/manufacturing).

I suppose we have heard differently, but all my friends save one who have owned them have complained about time in the shop or having to fix things themselves. My good friend's brother has a shop and says he gets a lot of VW's in general as well. This is all really anecdotal...
 

bigbris1

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I've only owned Euros (BMW, VW, SAAB, Land Rover, Audi) and they are definitely hands-on.

As much as I hate Honda I say go with a Civic.
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by henrikc
Who am I (or you for that matter) to tell people what to do with their lives?

funny comeback...
 

BP348

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Originally Posted by Flambeur
Yes, tell her to get a VW if she wants to waste money fixing it every week.

I have a 2004 Golf TDI & a 2006 Jetta TDI for more then 2 years now and haven't had a single problem with either. I've heard that the gas VW have problems but not the diesels. Plus I have a 70 mile commute to work so I'm really liking the 40+ MPG's.
 

Pilot

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Originally Posted by BP348
I have a 2004 Golf TDI & a 2006 Jetta TDI for more then 2 years now and haven't had a single problem with either. I've heard that the gas VW have problems but not the diesels. Plus I have a 70 mile commute to work so I'm really liking the 40+ MPG's.


VW really depends on which car you get. You could take 2 of the exact same year model, trim, engine, etc Jettas and one would have a bunch of little issues and frustrations and the other would only need to scheduled maintenance and run like a champ.

If you're a person who tends to have bad luck with cars in general, stay away from VW because you'll probably get the one that needs to be repaired a lot.

Saying that, I've had some issues with VWs that I have owned, but no repairs outside of normal car ownership.

If you find one that has been well maintained (documented maintenance) and in decent shape it should be a pretty reliable car.
 

otc

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Scheduled maintenance on a VW is the important part...if you fall behind, things can go wrong fast.

Of course if the only thing you are going for is a combination of low cost and high reliability...VW is probaly not the right bet. You'd be better off picking something with crappier plastic, larger gaps, and less refinement like a honda or a toyota and driving it into the ground.
 

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