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Old 08-17-2015, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Kentucky
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Used car search.

I'm new at all of this so please bear with me. I've been researching vehicle choices for a few months and reading as much as I can. I realize that asking vehicle opinions is a bit like asking about the best beer but here we go...

My commute recently went from 8 miles one way to 35-70 one way depending on where I am working that day. Needless to say my full size Chevy V8 is killing my wallet. I have driven full sized trucks for the past 25 years and haven't owned a car since I was 17 so this will be quite a change for me. I'll be keeping my gas guzzler as I have a farm so it's needed. I'm looking for a pure DD. Standard transmission is a plus.
Budget: $7,000.00
My drive is 70/30 country roads/highway. Average speed on country roads is 50-60. Average highway is 70-75. On the country roads think rolling hills and curves not straight and flat. Some days could go 30/70 country/highway but they are more rare.
My wants (in order of importance): fuel economy,dependability (along with low maintenance, handling (fun to drive wouldn't hurt) insurance economy, comfort (decent seats and radio are fine, rarely use AC anyway), and way down the list would be looks.
Finally, I feel comfortable doing maintenance items (oil, plugs, etc) but I am no mechanic. I would find a hobby mechanic that specializes in the car I get.

Vehicles I'm considering:
Honda CRX, specifically looking at a completely restored 1989 SI model with a b18b1 engine with 4,000 miles. The good: I've wanted one since they came out, fun to drive, essentially a new-used car, modifiable for gas mileage. Bad: engine may or may not give me the fuel economy I'm looking for, but truthfully, anything over 20 is gravy since I'm used to 18 highway...

Another CRX, decent body and miles and pay for an engine swap when the time comes.

Early 90's to late model Honda Civic (prefer hatch or coupe). Good: easy maintenance, dependable, tunable, decently fun to drive, lots of aftermarket parts. The bad: hard to find an unmolested car without a ton of miles.

VW TDI. I've almost eliminated the TDI. I don't have the confidence in myself to have time or ability to perform the maintenance on a used TDI plus with diesel being higher the savings are a wash between 35 mpg gas and 40 mpg diesel.

Smaller Toyota (Corolla etc), dependable but very hard to find without tons of miles and questionable upkeep.

At this point I'm not willing to rule out anything. If there's a great car I'm overlooking feel free to chime in. Thanks in advance.

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