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Discussion Starter #1
My mom's car--an 02 Ford Focus--was totaled on the 23rd. My brother has a broken ankle and 12 stitches in his head, but he's OK other than that.

Before she got the Focus, mom had a '92 Geo Storm, and she loved that car. (she never really liked the Focus) I'd like her to look for another Geo Storm, but she can only drive an auto, and those are really hard to find in good shape. She also doesn't want to get a car that old.

With that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions for a reliable, small (and cheap) car?

Thanks in advance.
 

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tfeverfred said:
Good choice. Mini Lexus. In fact, I was told they use a Lexus chassis.
Lexus uses a Camry chassis on it's lower level car. I wouldn't buy a Camry but I think they are the best car for the average person.
 

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You got a leaky spark tube...
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I'd vote for a Camry, my sister had 262,000 miles on hers before she got rid of it. It burned very little oil and still got respectable fuel economy. In terms of power the V6 was only so-so but it ran well and was an excellent first car for a 16 year old. She sold it and bought a little newer Accord, another good choice.
 

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I have to agree with the above.......Toyota, Honda, Mazda etc...........

Pretty sad that an American doesn't get mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies so far.

I've tried searching on AutoTrader. I limited the search to: newer than 2000, price to less than $7500, mileage to less than 75,000, and the only cars for sale locally are 2000-2002 Ford Escorts, 2000-2002 Chevy Cavaliers, and maybe a 2000-2002 Mercury Cougar. (or another Focus... but I doubt she will want another one of those) I think I'd have a hard time talking mom into looking at anything older than 2000, and/or with more than 75-85k miles.

I should have made that clear in the original post, but I didn't really think about the specifics until after I posted.
 

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Lost in the 60's
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poncho62 said:
I have to agree with the above.......Toyota, Honda, Mazda etc...........

Pretty sad that an American doesn't get mentioned.
Actually today...the Toyota is more American than the big three....And thats what is sad.
 

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Old_97 said:
Thanks for the replies so far.

I've tried searching on AutoTrader. I limited the search to: newer than 2000, price to less than $7500, mileage to less than 75,000, and the only cars for sale locally are 2000-2002 Ford Escorts, 2000-2002 Chevy Cavaliers, and maybe a 2000-2002 Mercury Cougar. (or another Focus... but I doubt she will want another one of those) I think I'd have a hard time talking mom into looking at anything older than 2000, and/or with more than 75-85k miles.

I should have made that clear in the original post, but I didn't really think about the specifics until after I posted.
So your criteria pretty much dictates that you buy another dangerous little pos tin can. Too bad.
 

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Just a firefighter
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Hey I also gotta go with the Family Camry. Good, relieable and great on gas. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
willowbilly3 said:
So your criteria pretty much dictates that you buy another dangerous little pos tin can. Too bad.
I guess that's true, unfortunately.
AFAIK, the only criteria that are negotiable are year, and possibly mileage. The more I think about it, I'm actually being very optimistic about the price.
 

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pasadenahotrod said:
Look at Saturn. Our 1996 now has 222K miles with very little trouble since purchase in August 1995.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! because I think you are one of the few......unless they decided to send all the bad ones to the New England area?
 

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Why not take the money and buy an older car? I know a dealer here who gets good ones all the time. Last week he had a super clean 84 LTD 2 with 70,000 actual one owner miles for $1750. These cars are everywhere, lots of old people cars around with low miles for cheap. I had a 88 Grand Marquis with 33,000 one owner miles for $3500 and it was a great car, got about 20 mpg in town and 25 on the highway. Plus if you get in a wreck, you have a better chance of winning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
willowbilly3 said:
Why not take the money and buy an older car? I know a dealer here who gets good ones all the time. Last week he had a super clean 84 LTD 2 with 70,000 actual one owner miles for $1750. These cars are everywhere, lots of old people cars around with low miles for cheap. I had a 88 Grand Marquis with 33,000 one owner miles for $3500 and it was a great car, got about 20 mpg in town and 25 on the highway. Plus if you get in a wreck, you have a better chance of winning.
That's probably the best answer--I'll have to convince mom that there's nothing wrong with getting an older car.
 

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Another crazy plowboy!
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Dollar for dollar I think it is damn hard to beat a Saturn. They are easy to work on. I used to get some of the older trade ins at the dealership I worked for. I cleaned them up and resold them. I couldn't get enough of them. I never had to sit on one very long either.
 

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I say try the new Malibu. My 2004 3.5 v-6 gets 25-29 city and 38-42 highway.

When you buy foreign (even American made foreign) although they have a reputation for not breaking down as much (from the reputations of American cars made in the 80's and 90's), when they do break, it is often expensive to fix.

Look at brake rotors for a basic common Chevy car is 20.00 / rotor where a Toyota or Mazda the rotor is often double. (pay now or pay later, basically)

GM has recently upped the warranty on their cars to help show people that the quality is getting better and they are willing to stand behind their product. I say give American car manufacturers a chance.

J
 

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Flamethrower
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I personally refuse to drive anything much newer than 1987. I look at moslty G-bodies and have noticed that the Buick and Caddy's have a better chance of being in the nicer overall shape of that vintage. People paid more to get a luxo boat new and were more likely to keep them up because they did pay to get the luxo boat.

In the event you do want something a little sportier I would look at some of the Z24 Cavaliers and the Z26 Berettas. They do have a bit of a following and I know the consumable items like brakes are fairly inexpensive.
 
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