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Thread: Looking for a car.

  1. #1
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    Arrow Looking for a car.

    My current car has one, possibly two years left in its useful lifespan.
    Its time to start looking for a replacement!

    Now, I don't know what I want, but I do know what I like, and I'm looking for suggestions.

    Last time I asked around gas mileage was in my top 3 requirements. This time I'd like to try something a little different:

    Top requirements for a car to suit my needs-

    1) Reliable! (duh!) I don't want to have to take this sucker to the garage every few months for some crap. I have no problem fixing my own car- I've got the tools and resources to do it- but its alot of work and I'd rather avoid it!

    2) Durable! This is sort of like reliable, but not. Any of you who work from your cars know what I mean- it has to take the abuse of working from the car. In and out, all day every day. Bags, Boxes, equipment and tools constantly going into and out of this car.

    3) SMALL! I park in town alot. Up here in maine, downtown is cobblestone. It wasn't made for cars, it was made for horses. The parking spaces are small. If a car is longer than 180", I dont even want to waste my time thinking about it. Try closer to 160".

    4) I know this goes against #3, but, its important- roomy. I need room for me, possibly a passenger from time to time, and my carputer. I also need room for work- I move alot of computers around. I also move some larger things- Printers, servers, etc. A Hatchback would be nice for this- Large boxes could go in it easily. A 4-door is nice for this because towers can quickly and easily go into the back seat- But I'd imagine a hatchback wouldnt be too much different, get a remote popper and open it up while my hands are full, put the crap in the back. This ones up for interpretation.

    5) The kicker- affordable. I'm not spending more than 5 grand on this next car- not up front. It has to be 96 or newer, and under 100k miles would be really nice. Note that I'm looking for make/model type of stuff, not actual links to actual cars- the year/mileage is just for a reference on to price.

    Whatever I get- I plan on propping it up in the garage, nice and high, and cleaning it off- no surface rust whatsoever- then undercoating it. This car is going to have to last. Read section 1, reliable! I wont let the body fall to pieces on this car like I did my current one- but if the engine/tranny aren't reliable, its a complete waste of my time and effort to keep up the body like I plan to.

    A few examples of the cars I've been looking at:
    VW golf
    Toyota Celica (hatchback)
    I'd look at a honda If i could find a small one that I liked... Edit: Honda civic hatchback, 96-00

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate rijndael's Avatar
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    auto-trader is your best friend.

    you can find a great '93 Dodge Stealth R/T (non turbo) for around 5 grand...i loved both of mine that i used to own....never a problem with them...up until i wrecked them...well...Hurricane Ivan took the second one from me...

    Gas milage: 24 Highway, 19 City

    Easy to get under the hood

    Durable

    Not small....but hey...if you wanted small you would be looking at Daewoo Matiz, Geo Metro, or the S.M.A.R.T. Car
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  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Well for reliable scratch out any domestic US crap right away.

    I can think of many European cars that will do what you want, but they are way over $5K USD before import duties. Although you can now buy a US DOT S.M.A.R.T car for like $20k USD.

    As for a Honda, the 7th gen civics (2001-2005) are like 174" or something in a sedan form. I have the coupe style, and it is way roomy upfront. The back not so much, but I dont drive much from the back seats! I suggest sitting in one (they are everywhere) and seeing how much room you have. That is about as much as you will get for under 180". And it is great for gas. 40+ mpg if you drive well. Also the rear seats of most newer cars fold down so the storage shouldnt be a problem. I fit my RC Airplane with a 60" wingspan in this car, and the same would go for any car like this, and I dont think you will need much more than that!

    There is that toyota Yaris but they are pretty ugly and new.

    Most small cars are not so roomy.

    I think you are on the right track though. Toyota, Honda, Subaru (not so small though) are nice and of course their brands within like lexus and acura.
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  4. #4
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    Dodge stealth looks like a fun car, but its 180" (far too long), useless in terms of working (where would you put your tools? where would you put the equipment?), and doesn't even get great mileage to make up for it.
    Looks like alot of fun to own and drive- but not work from.

    I've never seen or heard of a 'Daewoo Matiz', but I just looked it up- Not a single one for sale in the tri-state area... which means even if it was affordable, it wouldnt be to get it here.

    Geo Metros are not reliable or durable from what I hear. I could be wrong. Not sure if they have room to work from, never been inside one.

    SMART cars are sweet- but upwards of 40 grand to get here, and still wouldn't have room to work from.

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    You can get a S.M.A.R.T. direct from Mercedes now for mid $20k USD so you dont have to buy in the EU, ship it down, and upgrade it to DOT specs.

    And Daewoo's werent so great from what I remember. I am not sure they even sell them in the USDM anymore...

    I had a friend with a Geo Metro. My god was that thing funny. It was reliable though. It had 300,000 miles on it and still ran strong.... Well strong for a Geo. After you went over 60mph, the entire thing started to shake with 2 people in it.

    EDIT: Oh and so far the 2 opinions both come from 7th gen civic owners. I got mine for under $8k 2 years ago. Never looked back.
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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate KB5WID's Avatar
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    Scion XB almost fits what you want. http://www.edmunds.com/scion/xb/2008/index.html
    http://www.edmunds.com/scion/xb/2008...merreview.html

    Scion is a division of Toyota.

    OF course you could get a Jeep and pull out the back benchseat.
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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate rijndael's Avatar
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    well the Daewoo Matiz is what i drove while i was in Bahrain for 2 years...i called it my litttle road zit...it was like a boil on the roads a.s.s...never had a problem with it, except some drunk arabs decided it would be funny to tip it over when i went into megamart to get some damn milk....in the states, i think they named it a Chevrolet Matiz...i think...i had on '02 and it only cost me $500 to buy...

    the Geo Metro is not really a great car...i only mentioned it for the sheer size of that behemoth....lol

    What about the Scion xA? those look nice, they are small, and cheep...i know a few people that own them and they like them....the only complaint is the expensive accessories (which i dont think you will need anyway), and its high-rev engine on the highways...

    Have you thought of a Honda CRX? those hold up nicely from what i have heard...i've never owned one....but tis Honda, and Honda's are easy to maintain and cheap.

    EDIT: looks like i was late with the Scion idea...lol
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  8. #8
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    edit: active threads! This is in response to the XB

    Unfortunately I came to that same conclusion a while back- and I have to tell you the same thing I told myself...

    I wont own one, its too ugly. Yes, I'm driving a 93 olds with half done body work and exposed surface rust and ****-colored paint and interior, wires hangin out of the dash and questionable stains on the seats.... and I will drive it over a car that modeled after a shipping crate any day. Sorry.
    Looks too much like a baby SUV.

    I hate to be the guy that doesn't care about the way his car looks, but I just cant see myself driving one of those. I'd be embarrassed to be seen in it...
    :-\

    As for the XA, its a LITTLE better. Kind of looks like the VW golf. Still looks silly, But I'd drive it.
    Arent they new, though? read:expensive

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate rijndael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netman86 View Post
    edit: active threads! This is in response to the XB

    Unfortunately I came to that same conclusion a while back- and I have to tell you the same thing I told myself...

    I wont own one, its too ugly. Yes, I'm driving a 93 olds with half done body work and exposed surface rust and ****-colored paint and interior, wires hangin out of the dash and questionable stains on the seats.... and I will drive it over a car that modeled after a shipping crate any day. Sorry.
    Looks too much like a baby SUV.

    I hate to be the guy that doesn't care about the way his car looks, but I just cant see myself driving one of those. I'd be embarrassed to be seen in it...
    :-\
    ^^^^^

    the xB's look like crap...same for the Honda Element....
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  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate KB5WID's Avatar
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    I agree about the looks also, but the functionality fit
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