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Official "Help Wolfn Pick Out a Car to Buy" thread

Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Messages
1,100
Location
menomonie
as others have said, in my experiences, you can't go wrong with toyota and honda. if you get a ford, gm or dodge, you better cross your fingers.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
747
Location
Michigan
OK, so I am going to go off the list here, and say you should get a Yugo. Now you are going to have to go to y Kragujevac, Serbia to pick them up so bring plenty of bribe money, a flak jacket and a passport. Now there are several benefits to this car. First you should be able to afford 3-12 with your price range so you can get a few spares or lots of parts cars depending on your outlook. Second, all the mechinically repairs you will have to do will make you a "car guy" heck you will probably be able to build one of these blindfolded in the dark from nothing but a scrap of raw steel. Third you will be getting a lot of exercise with all the walking/pushing you are going to have to do owning one of these high quality machines. and last but not least if you ever need to haul a load of goats you dont have to worry about your interior, its a yugo, it will be ok, plus you have about 6 more spare sets of seats. Other cars you should consider, the AMC gremlin, the Le car, or possible a donkey.

Seriously though, the most important thing is that you like the car. I have known people who had extremely reliable cars they didn't like and they made minor problems seem like major ordeals and I have known people who have had crappy cars (a chevet in one case) and they made major repairs seem like minor inconveniences. If low to no repairs is a major selling point to you consider the Japanese car companies first, with toyota and honda topping that list though I have heard suburus are good as well. American cars I would stay away from for the most part, GM and Ford are about equal, though you can find good and bad cars made by both. Which is better in this case usually depends on who is talking and which they like better in my opinion. Korean made cars, well, these are worse than American made cars and thats saying something. Of the cars on your original list I would go with the Focus as it is one of the better cars made by Ford and I believe they have worked out most of the issues in the later models. Again though I will agree with others who have said do your research and make sure you like the car before you buy it.

MP3 conectivity can be installed for cheap, dont consider that, heck you can buy the car kits for ipods etc. pretty cheap that play through the existing stereo even if you dont want to replace it.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
3,809
Location
almost Hartford
I recommend the Focus too.

I have a 2005 Ford Focus wagon, which we bought used in 2006 or 2007 after I researched a few cars we were considering. It didn't take long to discover that Ford's bean counters had done everything they could to destroy the Focus name when they first brought the model into the US. They went with cheap at every opportunity and the cars had a number of problems through the 2003 model year. Things improved in 2004 and became pretty darned good beginning with the 2005 models. I just checked Consumers' Report ratings and those dates still stand - 2003 and earlier Focuses (Foci?) suck and 2005 and later ones remain very good.

A Focus isn't as refined as some other makes, but I'm not as refined as the owners of those cars. We're made for each other. Plus I grew up in a Ford family. The car pisses me off now and then, but so does every car made since, say, 1971. We wanted a 5-speed, but very few wagons were delivered with them and we settled for an automatic. The ZX-5 is a very attractive car and, if my wife didn't cart dog crates, etc. to field trials, I'd prefer having a ZX-5. Actually, what I'd really prefer is an old English Ford Anglia, such as this:

pic-1308.jpeg


A guy less than a mile from here had an unrestored one for sale for $2,500 a couple years ago and I used to walk by to look at it all the time. I didn't dare test drive it because the last thing I really need is an old car to work on and I knew I'd be hooked if I ever drove it. I was both disappointed and relieved when it sold. I think it would fit some of your criteria, especially if you look past the fact that it's >50 yrs old and has only 10 hp.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
124
I have a 2000 VW Jetta GLX and I have been very happy with it; I only paid $5K. That said, I know you were looking for more of a hatch, so maybe you could look into a Golf if you like the body styles of a VW.
 

Wolfn

Agent of Chaos
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,407
Location
Florida
I have a 2000 VW Jetta GLX and I have been very happy with it; I only paid $5K. That said, I know you were looking for more of a hatch, so maybe you could look into a Golf if you like the body styles of a VW.


VWs are very expensive, and I hear that the reliability before 2004 isn't that good, and when you have to replace parts, it's expensive because you have to order the parts from Germany.


I'm really leaning towards the Ford Focus now.
 

Exo

Tastes like chicken!
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
2,895
Location
Albion, NY
I love my 2005 chevy cobalt....34MPG and lots of interior room for a car that size.
 

raccoon city

Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
173
Location
Palm Desert, CA USA
Good luck car shopping, Wolfn! I already gave you a little advice last year, but I thought of a little more that might help. Toyotas and Hondas usually get the best ratings in Consumer Reports. Mazdas, Nissans, and Suburus are also pretty good. If you have to have an American car, I'd go with a Ford. You probably already know this, but try to avoid cars with dangerous recalls. And if Nepenthes101 will sell you his Batmobile for $6000, that might be a good deal, too. :)

John
 

Wolfn

Agent of Chaos
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,407
Location
Florida
I just bought my first car a few hours ago. It's a 2005 Ford Focus ZX3. I bought it for $6000 and it only had 18,000 miles on it:

MyFordFocus1.jpg

MyFordFocus7.jpg

MyFordFocus9.jpg
 
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