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Old 10-22-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Not just another "Daily Driver Quest" thread (HAHA YES IT IS) [Volvo Experts Needed]

Okay, Joe Perez's words have finally sunk in (not really, situations just change) and I'm thinking of selling my DD truck (2000 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab V6 4WD) and purchasing a cheap DD car with better mileage and maybe, maybe, maybe also a Miata fun car.

About the cheap DD car with better mileage:

I'm not wanting to take up hypermiling as a hobby. My job pays $0.36/mile when I need to travel. The truck is listed at 15/19 mpg. I'm looking for...let's say 28 mpg highway. 30 mph would be great. 32+ mpg and I'm dancing a jig.

About the cheap DD car:

Back seat is a must. Good cargo room (think: wagon) is preferred. Manual transmission would be appreciated. Outright speed/handling is of no concern, but I'm a human person with feelings and if it doesn't put me to sleep when I drive, all the better.

About the cheap:

$2000 or less so that I can use the remainder from the truck sale to pay off some bills and maybe, maybe, maybe buy a Miata fun car.



So. Ideas I've had (with parenthetical downsides):

Mazda Protege 5 (under $2000 is a stretch)
Subaru Impreza wagon/Forester (scarcity in the South, head gasket issues?)
Civic/Integra/Accord/etc. (no wagons, interference timing belts)
Nissan Maxima (no wagons, mileage is borderline)
Infiniti G20 (no wagons, scarcity)
Honda CR-V (unfun, mileage)

And then there are the Volvos.

I'm very interested in the Volvo wagons, but I know little about them. And I can't seem to pin down a year/model/configuration that I really like.

200 series drive like tractors.
A/C is broken in every 700 series.
No 940/960 wagons seem to have manuals.
850s are FWD.

And other than knowing that the 200 series are completely unfun to drive, I don't know what the later models are like. Are they serious Swedish killjoys that will make me dread driving to work? Do they feel like modern cars? Is the turbo 5 better or worse than the N/A 6? Is the 850 okay even with FWD? Are the automatic transmissions durable and unirritating?

I need answers and advice.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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The autos are essentially the same as any similar gear count, similar era trans. A 4speed auto is generally a 4speed auto, regardless of who makes it. Parts can be found at reasonable prices, online mostly, but the real issue is same day parts. An alternator for a Honda Civic is normally in stock; not so much for a volvo.


They were generally well built, but with any 20 year old, $2000 car, prepare for money to be invested. Basic **** like belts, hoses, tires, fluids are likely in need of replacement. Not sure what the volvo market is like where you live, but up here, they're few and far between. Most of them are sitting outside the local volvo shop, in various states of disrepair.



I also laugh at the idea of a volvo brick being a "fuel-efficient" commuter. Of course, a DD truck is a pretty stupid idea (no offense, meant, just the facts). Buy a 2k civic, put another grand into it for safety/reliability, and profit. Get the manual hatch-back, for ****-hauling, and keep the truck for.... whatever the hell people think they need trucks for. Civics aren't baller, but they do the DD thing pretty damn well.

What the hell are you hauling to/from work DAILY to require a wagon/pickup?






OR




Buy a damn 1.8L miata, get 28-30mpg highway, and be a pimp like me.


Buy it as a daily, then once money is right, make it a race car and buy a different DD car.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Be less of misinformed dick about the truck issue and I'll be more interested in your advice.

Anyone with specific info about Volvos is still welcome to comment.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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Now I'm bored and irritated.

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Originally Posted by 2ndGearRubber View Post
The autos are essentially the same as any similar gear count, similar era trans. A 4speed auto is generally a 4speed auto, regardless of who makes it.
HAHAHA okay not true but whatever.

Quote:
Parts can be found at reasonable prices, online mostly, but the real issue is same day parts. An alternator for a Honda Civic is normally in stock; not so much for a volvo.
Not really something I asked about, and not really something I generally agree with, but okay.

Quote:
They were generally well built, but with any 20 year old, $2000 car, prepare for money to be invested. Basic **** like belts, hoses, tires, fluids are likely in need of replacement.
WHAT? Cheap 20 year old cars probably need the high-wear/consumable items replaced?

Quote:
Not sure what the volvo market is like where you live, but up here, they're few and far between. Most of them are sitting outside the local volvo shop, in various states of disrepair.
I asked about them because they come up on CL here frequently. Not as frequently as full size pickups or Camaros, but still frequently.

Quote:
I also laugh at the idea of a volvo brick being a "fuel-efficient" commuter.
Laugh at it all you want. I already stated I'm not interested in hypermiling, 28 mpg highway would be sufficient. There's a few Volvos around this range.

Quote:
Of course, a DD truck is a pretty stupid idea (no offense, meant, just the facts).
Depends on what you're doing. Making broad generalizations without context is pretty stupid too (no offense, just the facts).

Quote:
Buy a 2k civic, put another grand into it for safety/reliability, and profit. Get the manual hatch-back, for ****-hauling, and keep the truck for.... whatever the hell people think they need trucks for. Civics aren't baller, but they do the DD thing pretty damn well.
Find me the Civic hatchback with a real backseat.

Quote:
What the hell are you hauling to/from work DAILY to require a wagon/pickup?
What do you care? (Books and mulch, for what it's worth.)

Quote:
Buy a damn 1.8L miata, get 28-30mpg highway, and be a pimp like me.
I already said I need a backseat and the Miata would be a 3rd car if at all. Can pimps like you read?
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:55 PM   #5
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I have to mention the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. It's really a hatchback version of a corolla so you know it a a solid and very reliable little car. 32mpg highway and can haul a bunch of stuff.

That being said old Volvo wagons are baller so I get why you're interested. Never owned one though so I can't help you there. I do think that once they started to get into the 850s and "v" series, things started to get a lot more complicated and expensive to fix.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RedCarmel View Post
I have to mention the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. It's really a hatchback version of a corolla so you know it a a solid and very reliable little car. 32mpg highway and can haul a bunch of stuff.
I've looked at these. $4000ish seems to be the very low end here for a high mileage Pontiac. Good idea, just too much money.

Quote:
That being said old Volvo wagons are baller so I get why you're interested. Never owned one though so I can't help you there. I do think that once they started to get into the 850s and "v" series, things started to get a lot more complicated and expensive to fix.
Yeah, somewhere in the late 90's they really seem to start having more issues. Lots of automatic transmissions dying.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Accord wagon

Lots of room, but best of all you get this 2.2L piece of bulletproof, easy to fix, awesomeness:
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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^ perfect suggestion. 93-97 were great and you can get them in a manual if you're lucky/patient.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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So, you're going to haul mulch, with a volvo wagon?



Accord wagon is very nice, but they're not always the easiest to find. I had a buddy whose 2.2L snapped the timing belt. 75psi of compression on #1, and it still ran. Not well, but it got nearly 20mpg. Its' 4 speed auto was quite similar to the 4 speed my old grand prix had. Unless you're referring to internal construction and rebuilding spec, in which case they are conceptually similar.



Honestly, you seem to be an "expert" in transportation, but with a 2k budget, you essentially have no budget. Does 2k include tags/tax? Does it included the budget to repair/fix the car?

Do old subarus meet your budget? Okay MPG, and I assume the resale isn't insanely high, being that the south doesn't see snow?
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Like the idea but ugh so rare. That 2.2l...interference timing belt?

Last edited by mgeoffriau; 10-22-2013 at 10:59 PM. Reason: NO PUNCTUATION
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Like the idea but ugh so rare. That 2.2l...interference timing belt
Pull plugs, set to TDC, change belt. It's a SOHC for gods sake.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 2ndGearRubber View Post
So, you're going to haul mulch, with a volvo wagon?
Occasionally. Why?

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Accord wagon is very nice, but they're not always the easiest to find.
No kidding.

Quote:
Honestly, you seem to be an "expert" in transportation, but with a 2k budget, you essentially have no budget. Does 2k include tags/tax? Does it included the budget to repair/fix the car?
I told you what my budget was to purchase a car. Why the attitude? You're not being funny or interesting. Be funny or interesting and I'll overlook the attitude.

Also, please explain the difference between "repairing" and "fixing." I'm just curious.

Quote:
Do old subarus meet your budget? Okay MPG, and I assume the resale isn't insanely high, being that the south doesn't see snow?
Yup. Not many Subarus down here, but they come up somewhat often and are usually cheap and rust-free unless they are transplants. MPG is within the acceptable range. Slightly concerned about the rate of failed head gaskets I see, but don't know if it's really that bad or not.

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Originally Posted by 2ndGearRubber View Post
Pull plugs, set to TDC, change belt. It's a SOHC for gods sake.
Original post was intended to conclude with a question mark. Interference timing belt isn't a deal-breaker, just a negative.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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I'm sorry, but i have to be another ******* in your thread.


You're asking this site advice for a $2000 vehicle that will be you're "livelihood", or a tool you need for your job....


Ummmm Take out a loan and get a decent car?

I'm sorry, but these all seem like shitboxes and i must say i daily drive a pretty big shitpile.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #14
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After this thread has run its course I am also looking for a car. ALL these criteria have to be met:

-300whp
-2200lb
-4seat/4door
-3g on the skidpad
-gets all the ladies
-only appreciates in value
-must be $1000 or less

Thanks guyths

*edit: also must be gold plated
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Erat View Post
I'm sorry, but i have to be another ******* in your thread.


You're asking this site advice for a $2000 vehicle that will be you're "livelihood", or a tool you need for your job....


Ummmm Take out a loan and get a decent car?

I'm sorry, but these all seem like shitboxes and i must say i daily drive a pretty big shitpile.
Because no one ever drove to work in a $2000 car.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Yup. Not many Subarus down here, but they come up somewhat often and are usually cheap and rust-free unless they are transplants. MPG is within the acceptable range. Slightly concerned about the rate of failed head gaskets I see, but don't know if it's really that bad or not.
To this day, subaru still has head gaskets issues. As a Scooby dealer tech told me......


The coolant sits on the gasket all the time, due to the flat piston plane, obviously. Subarus gasket design/composition was not robust enough to deal with the corrosion factor. Extra engine grounds were added to help the issue, but even when forced to offer extended warranties, subaru basically just did a drain-and-fill on the rad, and poured in some "genuine subaru head-gasket conditioner". Otherwise known as "stop-leak".

Frequent coolant flushes are recommended, but most old/cheap subarus are in some stage of the head-gasket failure roulette game. When they do go, it's best to pull the engine to fix it. Or buy an already blown long block, repair it ahead of time, and R&R when necessary. There's lots of $1000 subarus up here, due to bad head gaskets.


They can soldier on for quite a while, so don't rule them out.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
After this thread has run its course I am also looking for a car. ALL these criteria have to be met:

-300whp
-2200lb
-4seat/4door
-3g on the skidpad
-gets all the ladies
-only appreciates in value
-must be $1000 or less

Thanks guyths
Oh, go troll some other thread, you're worthless.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:29 PM   #18
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This is the troll thread. And I'm actually not the troll.

You are sweetie pie.

Now refresh that tampon and how about not being a complete and utter dick to everyone huh? And being realistic. People might, you know, help you..
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
This is the troll thread. And I'm actually not the troll.

You are sweetie pie.

Now refresh that tampon and how about not being a complete and utter dick to everyone huh? And being realistic. People might, you know, help you..


I'm not being a dick to the people that are being helpful. I'm not even being a dick to people that were being unhelpful before and then later decided to provide helpful information.

I know I'm talking about a $2000 daily beater. That's why my requirements are fairly loose, as I clearly spelled out in the first post. And the more cars that I can include in my search, the more likely that I'll hit on a good deal without waiting for months and months. I just want to exclude the cars that I shouldn't bother looking at so I don't waste time on them.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #20
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I've been scrounging after a 93-98 impreza for the past few weeks. You can opt for FWD for MPGs and go for the wagon too if you like. Fits the price point if you have the patience and craigslist search skill/time.

From what I've read you can find a non interference 2.2 from 95 to 96, but they're tough to find since 1.8 was standard. From 97 and on the 2.2 was standard, but they're all interference at that point. Also, the major head gasket issues were in the 2.5L from 98+ and the 1.8/2.2 are quite bulletproof unless I've missed something. Plenty of high milers for those engines without prevalent HG trouble. Locating the combo of price, condition, options, drivetrain, and trans type is time consuming as hell.

I'm not subie pro but that's what I've gathered.
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