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Old 03-03-2010, 11:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 165,779 times
Reputation: 16

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Hello,

I am in need of any feedback anyone can give me!
I have been on the hunt for a used car. I want something i can count on as well as something that gives me good gas mileage.

-I love the honda civic which is my #1 choice. They have a wonderful rep & get great gas mileage, however they are harder to come by. That is a newer year (2001-2005) for under $5,000 (any thoughts on 2000,2001 or 2002 being better?)
-I love the looks of the Nissan Altima (2001? & up). They see to be more resonable. Nissans seem to have a good rep as well, but I have read many negitive things about trouble people are having with these cars. The cat. converter, exccessive oil loss... is this true? Also, do they get very good gas mileage? & are they like the honda going well over 100k miles?
-Another car we are looking at is a Volvo s40. I know my parents always loved volvos for their safety! From what I have read, the newer models (2001 & up) are not like the older faithful volvos. Having more problems. You can get more for your money buying this car, but is it worth it? Any feed back with what gas mileage they get? Do they endure high miles?

Thank you SO MUCH for any feed back anyone can give! With this economy, I need what money I have saved for this to be put in the best place!
*Any other cars you might recommend would be appreciated as well!
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:38 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,241,158 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC22 View Post
Hello,

I am in need of any feedback anyone can give me!
I have been on the hunt for a used car. I want something i can count on as well as something that gives me good gas mileage.

-I love the honda civic which is my #1 choice. They have a wonderful rep & get great gas mileage, however they are harder to come by. That is a newer year (2001-2005) for under $5,000 (any thoughts on 2000,2001 or 2002 being better?)
-I love the looks of the Nissan Altima (2001? & up). They see to be more resonable. Nissans seem to have a good rep as well, but I have read many negitive things about trouble people are having with these cars. The cat. converter, exccessive oil loss... is this true? Also, do they get very good gas mileage? & are they like the honda going well over 100k miles?
-Another car we are looking at is a Volvo s40. I know my parents always loved volvos for their safety! From what I have read, the newer models (2001 & up) are not like the older faithful volvos. Having more problems. You can get more for your money buying this car, but is it worth it? Any feed back with what gas mileage they get? Do they endure high miles?

Thank you SO MUCH for any feed back anyone can give! With this economy, I need what money I have saved for this to be put in the best place!
*Any other cars you might recommend would be appreciated as well!
I would look at 2000 Civics or whichever model year was the end of the 96-2000 body. Generally Hondas are really reliable, and for any car generally the end of any "generation" is usually better because they've ironed all the little kinks out.

The one major problem Hondas have had in the past few years have been with the AT (auto transmission) in some of the V6 models but you won't have that problem with the Civic.

Volvos are generally average reliability, so they may cost you a bit more to run and obviously you won't get the MPG of a civic.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:22 AM
 
Location: SWUS
5,414 posts, read 7,744,803 times
Reputation: 5782
Honda Civics and Jeep Wranglers, pre-2003 or so.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
55 posts, read 205,785 times
Reputation: 38
Don't go with Nissan. Most of them have very many problems. Mostly engine. They are not even close to Civics in reliability aspect.

Mercedes C220 is reliable and has a good MPG.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:25 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 20,647,947 times
Reputation: 2214
My wife had a 2003 Civic. it was a pretty good trouble free car. We traded it in at 63k for a bigger family car.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: United States
2,497 posts, read 6,310,762 times
Reputation: 2225
Civic would be my first choice. Followed by a mid 90's Corolla or Camry. Not a big domestic fan but the Focus is also a nice car.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:50 AM
 
11,106 posts, read 20,686,621 times
Reputation: 10458
The S40 is basically a more expensive less reliable Ford Focus. Stay away. Volvos pre 2000 are decent after that they went down hill.

IMO to get a truly reliable used car buy one well under budget and replace the electronic sensors in it, and get a stick shift.

Since engines don't just "fail" without cause provided you pick one with a good track record (no headgasket issues or design flaws) replacing the sensors that do will provide you with years of reliable service.

Stuff like:

-MAF
-Cam sensor
-Crank sensor
-Coolant temp sensor
-Thermostat
-Throttle body (if electronic)
-Plugs/wires/cap/ignition coil
-Fuel pump & relays
-Ignition switch


etc. etc.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:14 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,683 posts, read 20,764,566 times
Reputation: 9213
Honda or Toyota (pre 2005) are the most reliable that I've seen for used cars - obviously Toyota's recent quality has greatly fallen but the older ones are as good as it gets. I drive a 2000 Corolla w/ 130,000 miles that has never needed ANY repairs, not even an alternator.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,029,907 times
Reputation: 9196
A Jeep Wrangler is a terrible choice. Poor fuel economy and relatively poor safety ratings in older models. Unless you NEED offroad capability (which is very good of course) there is no reason put up with the harsh ride, noise, lack of refinement, and poor fit and finish of a Jeep.

The Nissan Altima is a good car but the older ones are not as good as newer ones. The current Altima is rated above the Accord by CR.

Note too that very few older Altimas have ABS if that is important to you.

A Civic is an excellent choice but they are still expensive used (for good reason). Other good "cheap" used cars are the Mazda Protege or Ford Focus. They don't have the refinement of the Civic, but they are solid economical cars with a lower price.

Early Volvo S40s had terrible reliability but are better now. A $5K s40 would be older and one to avoid.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,804 posts, read 25,925,328 times
Reputation: 6813
You never want a bargain-priced Volvo unless it's a car that is being offered to you by a relative and you know that they maintain their cars. They do not stand up well to abuse, so maintenance is important. I agree that you do not want to pay $5k or less for an S40, since it's either the older model or a newer one with high mileage.

I would look at a Honda Civic, and perhaps an Acura Integra if you don't mind looking for something a couple of years older than your start range.
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