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Old 04-18-2011, 09:25 AM
 
6 posts, read 52,243 times
Reputation: 20

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Hello, y'all. I'm needing a car by the end of the month and I'm wondering which car will be the best for $4000 that's reliable.


I can get a good condition 2002 Hyundai Accent for $3500 that has 108k miles on it. I might be able to talk him down to $3000 or less.

I hear Civics, Accords, Corollas, and Camrys are good, but those are relatively expensive with high mileage. Are they worth it?


Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Lake Highlands
104 posts, read 143,240 times
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I don't know much about the Hyundai, but Honda and Toyota are very reliable cars generally, but not always. It really depends on the specifics of the particular car you are looking at. For a general rule you can check out consumerreports.org
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:02 AM
 
563 posts, read 719,531 times
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I've had a 2001 Accent and a 2005 Elantra. Both were good cars but both started getting transmission around 90K miles. I know 4 different people who have racked up 200K+ miles on a Corolla with minimal upkeep expenses. If it were me looking for a cheap car, that's probably the way I'd go.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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My family has owned lots of Toyotas, over 100k on most of them. Little upkeep cost.

Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:37 AM
 
14,625 posts, read 27,678,561 times
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I sent you a DM with info from Consumer Reports--I have on-line membership but can't post link that will work for you
the CR sites does NOT recommend that Hyundai you are thinking of buying--it is on the list of "bad" cars with worse reliability records--so I just sent you the makes that CR does recommend in the 6K and under price range--
maybe you can find something else on it to check out


also found this web site online that seems to offer good advice
5 Good Used Car Buys You Cannot Afford to Ignore! | Used Cars, Pets, Jobs, & Real Estate | Blog on Recycler.com

this is car within your price range from edmunds.com with good ratings
2002 Ford Focus
you can check the reliability and value for used cars there by year and model and see what they are selling for on used car market
you can also read "how to" tips for buying used car


Found this on Car Talk (the radio program) website where someone else was asking for $4K recommendations:
Model Year 1996-2000 Honda Civic HatchBack:
-Small
-Easy on Gas
-Reliable


this is another link to forum discussion on buying $4K used car

Car Talk - Looking out for a cheap, reliable and a friendly car

note halfway down they talk about how the secondary systems on used cars often cause the most trouble--that it is better to buy a "basic' car without items like sunroofs that might go bad and this about used Honda Accords:

With all the talk of the Accord and Civic here, it should be noted that a $4k budget puts a buyer squarely within the range of model years when those two (the Accord, in particular) had horrendous failure rates in their automatic transmissions.
So I would definitely Google any car you are interested in for "fairlure rates"

Found this post about 4-6K used cars--on another Car Talk forum thread--
CR Best Used Cars 2001-2010 $4000 - $6000

Ford Focus '05
Hyundai Elantra '06
Pontiac Vibe '03-04
Subaru Impreza '03
Toyota Corolla '03
Toyota Matrix '03


just make sure you get an inspection from a different place and check the history to make sure there was no problems with accidents or that it came from area with flooding--like New Orleans after Katrina

dealers filed for insurance but some people often found a way to put some of those damaged cars back on the road and they could be just the price point you are in
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:41 AM
 
2,187 posts, read 2,623,428 times
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Thanks for this thread, I'm selling my 2005 RCSB Sierra so that I won't have a car payment, and I'm starting to look for little econobox cars like these.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:49 AM
 
930 posts, read 1,713,994 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by atom View Post
Hello, y'all. I'm needing a car by the end of the month and I'm wondering which car will be the best for $4000 that's reliable.


I can get a good condition 2002 Hyundai Accent for $3500 that has 108k miles on it. I might be able to talk him down to $3000 or less.

I hear Civics, Accords, Corollas, and Camrys are good, but those are relatively expensive with high mileage. Are they worth it?


Thanks.
I just sold my Honda Accord 2004 sedan that has 136,000 miles on it for a few thousand more than what you are looking for. I will admit, I was a little surprised the buyer was willing to purchase the car with that many miles BUT the car is in very good condition and I kept up with all the maintenance and updates on it and went to a dealership, not some local garage. For whatever it is worth, for me, my car was the best vehicle I have ever owned. I never had a flat, engine problems, battery issues, breakdowns...nothing. I would have kept the car until the wheels had fallen off it I could but we needed a bigger vehicle. Ironically, almost every single one of my friends owns a Honda or a Toyota, especially Corollas, Camrys, Accords, Civics.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:01 AM
 
14,625 posts, read 27,678,561 times
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buying a used car puts you at the mercy of someone you usually don't know--the previous owner--
MOST owners do not maintain a car the way TXTOAL does--many of them don't maintain a car until it breaks down and then opt to fix it as cheaply as possible
our practice was always to take our cars and pass them along to our kids when we got a new one--at least then we knew what they were driving and they had safe, reliable cars

our daughter's first car SHE bought was a new VW Jetta--model built in Germany for "better" quality--it got good reviews for being sporty, reliable--but that was not her experience--her sun roof started to leak wihtin warrenty period and she got a trunk full of water--
the VW people tried to tell her she left the sun roof open--she was never more angry than dealing with that service dept--took three tries before they found the problem and supposedly fixed it--but she sold it and bought her dad's Trailblazer--and we all swore that we would NEVER buy a VW again--and even though newer VW models have great reviews we are sticking with that attitude
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:15 AM
 
930 posts, read 1,713,994 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
buying a used car puts you at the mercy of someone you usually don't know--the previous owner--
MOST owners do not maintain a car the way TXTOAL does--many of them don't maintain a car until it breaks down and then opt to fix it as cheaply as possible
our practice was always to take our cars and pass them along to our kids when we got a new one--at least then we knew what they were driving and they had safe, reliable cars

our daughter's first car SHE bought was a new VW Jetta--model built in Germany for "better" quality--it got good reviews for being sporty, reliable--but that was not her experience--her sun roof started to leak wihtin warrenty period and she got a trunk full of water--
the VW people tried to tell her she left the sun roof open--she was never more angry than dealing with that service dept--took three tries before they found the problem and supposedly fixed it--but she sold it and bought her dad's Trailblazer--and we all swore that we would NEVER buy a VW again--and even though newer VW models have great reviews we are sticking with that attitude

True, I will agree with you on this. My vehicle before my Honda, I did not take care it of like I should have but when it came time to sell it, ouch, that hurt. So by the time I got my Honda, I was determined to take care of it as well as I could.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:02 PM
 
2,024 posts, read 2,275,740 times
Reputation: 1078
Civics have great reputations...but that is usually reflected in their used prices. You'd be hard pressed to find something in that range and the individual car matters more than the brand.

What about a Taurus? In 2007, I found a 2000 loaded Taurus with 50k miles on it on Craigslist. It has been great. I talked the owner down from $5k to $4,500. I had to do a lot of looking, though.
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