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Old 05-20-2008, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I need a car, what should I get to start out with?

I have a pretty low budget--$2000, which is barely enough for a car that will pass state inspection. However I am mechanically inclined so I can fix the little things.

Since my Camry V6 blew up, I get to start fresh. Also, since I'm not going to pursue too many mods, I figure I'll start with a good, reliable gas sipper and just do driving habits.

I do prefer ABS and cruise control on the car, but I know beggars can't be choosers.

I live in 20850 area code.

Any suggestions?

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Old 05-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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for gas sipping... best best for that price range (though they're going up in price daily) is an old geo metro.

best ones would be a 1989 or a 1990-1994 XFI model.

50+ mpg's on the highway out of the box (epa ratings)

no cruise or abs though...
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a friend looking in the same budget. I've been seeing on craigslist that mid 90s Saturns are going for a great price, are pretty reliable and get great mileage.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Saturns and Civics are good, Metros are better, Scooters and motorcycles are best.

If it were me, and I absolutely needed a car, I would probably get a civic hatch simply because they are probably the safest and most FE cars for your price range, something in the EF chassis series which would be around 1993 or so. If you don't necessarily need a "car" and just need transportation, look into a moped or otherwise. I'm looking into getting a decent 150cc moped for around town since I already have a sedan for long trips and I found some that are just around $1000-$1500. With your budget, you could probably even get a 250cc which run between $1500 and $2000
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Saturn, hands down, unless you get lucky. Everything seen as FE these days, like Honda hatches, diesel VWs, Metros, etc... Is going for stupid high amounts. The same money in alternatives will get you twice the car with 90% of the economy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Cool, keep the suggestions coming!

I am very much going to go with the good deals, bubba, (what happened to your post?) but it's good to have a few focus models.

I must admit I'd love something tiny and light for which a few suspension mods are available. Maybe a Toyota MR2 type of car or Fiero (but those are WAAAY in demand due to the kit cars). But I'll settle for a corolla or civic hatch or saturn or whatever.

I have owned a Nissan Sentra before. I thought that was a pretty solid car. Thoughts?
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wait isn't the Festiva the little 3 cylinder 1.0L engine? I remember working on one as a mechanic and deriding it heavily.

Now I actually want one! I've heard there are some nice mods out there for such a light car.

I've been driving this Mitsu rental and I really like how light it is. I am going to go for the lightest car possible (within the parameters of good deals, etc).

Does anyone know of a database of cars where curb weights are listed in a way where it's sortable by weight? I'd love to see the weights of the cars I am thinking of buying.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I like my civic for mileage and reliability. I got a good deal on mine, but I found it on autotrader so it wasn't a "know somebody" situation. $800 got me the car and I spent about $600 in parts so far, at this point it needs nothing else and my last fill was almost 43MPG, mostly city.

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