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Daox 12-10-2015 01:01 PM

Thinking about a new car, looking for ideas
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I like the Metro. The mileage is really great. But, I'm getting a bit sick of working on it all the time... fixing stuff, not fun stuff like modding. So, I'm thinking about replacing it with something else. Not necessarily something newer, but likely newer. Something more reliable. Something more fun. It doesn't need to be fast, but better handling would be great (removing the rear sway bar on the Metro due to rust definitely didn't help this haha). I am looking to find something that will last me a while so I can do some more extensive mods without wondering if its going to die on me in the next 6 months. I'd like it to get at least 30 mpg, but I'm a bit flexible. I really don't drive my car that much, about 5k miles a year. I'm in no hurry at all and will search for a deal. Spending limit is around $5k, lower is always better. :)

What I don't want: truck, SUV, or large car (rented a 2015 Impala for work last week, not interested, but the auto stop feature was cool).

Some current ideas:

iMiEV - Still a bit pricier than I'd like to spend. I've had my eye out for one for a while now. Its range would suit me perfectly. The battery pack gives this car a low center of gravity and makes it handle pretty well from what I hear. It certainly doesn't look like it would haha.

Toyota Celica - Always loved the last gen body style. I even have a Corolla trans kicking around to lower cruising rpm which is horrible on this car.

I saw a 08 Cobalt SS for sale locally for about $5k with some rear end damage. That looked like it would be fun car. I may look into that. EPA says 30 mpg hwy. Thats only 1 mpg less than the Celica.

I know there are a ton of other options out there that meet my criteria, so I'm looking for ideas!

Gasoline Fumes 12-10-2015 01:43 PM

1988-2000 Civic!

darcane 12-10-2015 01:55 PM

Jalopnik says the Miata is the answer to everything. I may be here if you are not in need of a rear seat. You should be able to find an MR2 in that price range too.

If you need more seating...
5th or 6th gen Civic might be a good option. I'd avoid the 7th gen ('01-05).
Mazda3 is supposed to be fun to drive, but I've never had the chance. A first gen might be found in your price range.

You said reliable, so VW is out. :)

Daox 12-10-2015 01:58 PM

A Civic HX is on the list. Its hard to find them around here, and even harder to find unmolested ones with not crazy miles on them.

user removed 12-10-2015 02:00 PM

Get a Yaris 2dr stick stripper, or wait for the iMiEV price to drop some more.


edit something like this

user removed 12-10-2015 05:18 PM

Look closer, it's an auto. BLAHHHHH! Cheaper than an 01 Echo and 6 years younger.


spacemanspif 12-10-2015 06:12 PM

Saturn S-series. I'd stay away from 00-02 only becuase of the air injection system. I still love the 95 over all other years but I'm biased. Dual cam engines make a little more power and don't suffer the random cracked head issue that the single cam engines do. If you can find a sub 150k mile car it should last you a very long time. I've had convos on Focus Fanatics with other Saturn people that the S-series is way better handling and fun to drive than a Focus.

I did pick up my 07 wagon for $1,100 though so I can't complain too much about the car.

redpoint5 12-10-2015 07:17 PM

Electrons are fun. I vote for iMEV. If you can wait just a little longer, 2nd gen EVs should drive current model prices down much further. Low gas prices should also make 'em cheap.

Fat Charlie 12-10-2015 08:32 PM

The way CL does filtering these days is a dream.

I was looking at ~100k Civics for around $5k a couple of years ago. I never would have bought the Fit if this bad boy had been listed:

2003 Honda Civic - $1200


2003 Honda Civic
$1200 (or best reasonable offer) today only! 12-10-15. Grab while you can!
160k on motor
5 speed manual transmission, clutch was replaced 15k miles ago.
Car runs amazing. Has a 12 of 16 sticker. Perfect first car, family car, or commuter car.
Rust on one wheel well, some rust on front. Nothing bad at all.
Car is in great shape.
I have clean title
Sure, the 160k on motor is a big red flag, but it sure would be worth dropping everything and running over to check it out. If the body's only halfway decent, it's a steal,

Mustang Dave 12-10-2015 08:47 PM

at least 30 MPG

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 501699)
......... I'd like it to get at least 30 mpg, but I'm a bit flexible.....

If 30 MPG is enough, buy a 2005-2010 Ford Mustang with the 4.0 Liter V-6 and the 5-speed manual transmission and have some FUN while driving. :thumbup: :D According to "Car & Driver"'s tests: 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and 1/4 mile in 15.3 seconds @ 93 MPH. It's relatively easy for an ecomodder to get 30+ mpg from a 2007 Mustang V-6. You could probably do better than I have by using more advanced hypermiling techniques. My lifetime average is over 30.13 MPG. And this Mustang is a kick in the @$$ to drive! :thumbup:
Just sayin'. :)

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