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Old 10-22-2013, 11:49 PM   #21
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The problem with finding a deal on a sub 2k car like that is its ultra hard, because everyone and their mother is looking for the same thing as you, and they're "overpriced" for what they are due to most sellers knowing all this.

I'd include 98-02 corolla's in your list. ultra reliable, good on gas, super easy to maintain, and hold value
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:51 PM   #22
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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.
Good to know -- thanks. My in-laws have a Forester with the 2.5 that had HG issues with less than 100k miles. I like those first gen Impreza Sport wagons.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:57 PM   #23
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The problem with finding a deal on a sub 2k car like that is its ultra hard, because everyone and their mother is looking for the same thing as you, and they're "overpriced" for what they are due to most sellers knowing all this.
...which is why I'm trying to widen my list to as many cars as possible, to make the possibility of a "hit" more likely.

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I'd include 98-02 corolla's in your list. ultra reliable, good on gas, super easy to maintain, and hold value
Good idea, but prices are high on Corolla's here. $2500 and under won't get you anything newer than 1995-1996ish.

BUT...that did remind me to add the Geo/Chevy Prizm to my list. Seems to run $1000-1200 cheaper than a comparable Corolla. I have my vanity, I would immediately swap the badges.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:58 PM   #24
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The problem with finding a deal on a sub 2k car like that is its ultra hard, because everyone and their mother is looking for the same thing as you, and they're "overpriced" for what they are due to most sellers knowing all this.

I'd include 98-02 corolla's in your list. ultra reliable, good on gas, super easy to maintain, and hold value

Hold it right there, he may occasionally need to move mulch. A V8 pickup is obviously a requirement. Probably need 4wd too; the walmart garden center is quite a trek.






On a serious note, I forgot older subarus even offered FWD.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 AM   #25
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Hold it right there, he may occasionally need to move mulch. A V8 pickup is obviously a requirement. Probably need 4wd too; the walmart garden center is quite a trek.
I honestly don't get it. Why is wanting some cargo room a bad thing?
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:02 AM   #26
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also keep in mind anything being sold for 2k will likely require another 1k minimum of maint and little misc things to make it not a giant tub of crap

older/cheaper cars tend to really nickle and dime you
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:04 AM   #27
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Thanks guys for the advice. I'm excited about buying my first car ever.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:09 AM   #28
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Get a mx6 GT like Concealer. Buy some bandaids from him, have fun with your 300whp DD with a back seat. He said he got 40mpg highway going down to the GRM challenge.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:11 AM   #29
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Get a mx6 GT like Concealer. Buy some bandaids from him, have fun with your 300whp DD with a back seat. He said he got 40mpg highway going down to the GRM challenge.
Would love a 626 GT in good condition. Find me one under my budget within a day's drive and I'll give you a $100 finder's fee.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:11 AM   #30
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Before you jump down my **** for this next part I'd like to add that you should get a taurus / sable wagon. The older ones can be found for $1000-$2000, and the more modern (not this recent model generation(i don't even think they make a wagon)) you can buy from $3000-$4000 for a nice old-grandma-owned-only-driven-to-church-on-sunday one. Plus they are pretty much the most reliable vehicle around and parts are more than easy to find and afford.


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Because no one ever drove to work in a $2000 car.
Wait a minute... "drive to work" and "make a living with" are two different things. Lets just make that clear. Because i drive to work in a $2000 car, and it's a 2002 model with a full back seat, and gets around 30mpg, probably more if i didn't get the v6 model.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #31
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I've been looking for the same thing. I decided on a 96-97 Lexus es300. Quite a few around 2k here. They have 190hp so they can get out of their own way, they have all the creature comforts, and once I put some lower control arms and struts on I'm golden
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:49 AM   #32
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Before you jump down my **** for this next part I'd like to add that you should get a taurus / sable wagon. The older ones can be found for $1000-$2000, and the more modern (not this recent model generation(i don't even think they make a wagon)) you can buy from $3000-$4000 for a nice old-grandma-owned-only-driven-to-church-on-sunday one. Plus they are pretty much the most reliable vehicle around and parts are more than easy to find and afford. .


All the coil springs break. Every ******* time. Ford taurus = 4 quick struts. Oh, and the water pumps. They are cheap as hell though, mainly because no-one wants them.




mgeoffriau: I (and most people) give truck owners a hard time because we see it as a logical fallacy. You purchase the truck to be more convenient. You can move ****, you can tow, etc. Yet for the added "convenience", you receive crappy mileage, crappy park-ability, and expensive consumables. The truck is the ultimate compromise, and 9 times out of 10, the owner compromises more than they benefit. All the while thinking they got the system beat.

tl;dr - A civic can move mulch, don't over-think it.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:25 AM   #33
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Subaru Justy, son.

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:36 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Wait a minute... "drive to work" and "make a living with" are two different things. Lets just make that clear. Because i drive to work in a $2000 car, and it's a 2002 model with a full back seat, and gets around 30mpg, probably more if i didn't get the v6 model.
Not sure where the "make a living with" consideration came from, other than your own comments. Was it because I mentioned what my job pays for travel mileage? That was just for reference -- I don't travel for my job very much, and when I do we're talking within a 100 mile radius of my office. I don't need a nice new car for long cross-country trips.

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I've been looking for the same thing. I decided on a 96-97 Lexus es300. Quite a few around 2k here. They have 190hp so they can get out of their own way, they have all the creature comforts, and once I put some lower control arms and struts on I'm golden
Good one. I'm prejudiced against Camry's after a bad experience with one, but I'd be willing to give it another look in the ES300. Apparently the 1991-1996 generation was offered with a manual transmission but it's pretty rare.

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Originally Posted by 2ndGearRubber View Post
mgeoffriau: I (and most people) give truck owners a hard time because we see it as a logical fallacy. You purchase the truck to be more convenient. You can move ****, you can tow, etc. Yet for the added "convenience", you receive crappy mileage, crappy park-ability, and expensive consumables. The truck is the ultimate compromise, and 9 times out of 10, the owner compromises more than they benefit. All the while thinking they got the system beat.

tl;dr - A civic can move mulch, don't over-think it.
I understand that. It's why I no longer want the truck.

However, when I needed to move a thousand pounds worth of books around town on a weekly basis for my job, having a truck wasn't really a "logical fallacy."
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:13 AM   #35
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I enjoyed my geo storm DD to the point of actively searching for an Impulse RS. Wagon style available:



There's also Saturn wagons out there.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #36
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Handling by Lotus!
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #37
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SL2 wagon.... That's it.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #38
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Wife had a Geo Storm wagon. Nice car until the dealership screwed up the transmission.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:39 PM   #39
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There's also Saturn wagons out there.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:51 PM   #40
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Prizm, Storm, and Chevy/Geo Spectrum hatch are all reliable choices. I bought my nephew a 60k mi Prizm for $1200 last year that belonged to the estate of a little old lady. She died and they were selling it. Every body panel had been hit at some point and fixed but no major accidents. Old lady was likely nearly blind and probably dangerous. All maintenance including timing belt had been done and the receipts showed she had been overcharged relentlessly. I hate people who prey on widows and orphans.
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