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Car Shopping

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So it seems as though a few new members may join the fleet son. Since the T&C is totaled my mom is looking to replace it, and my brother is also looking for his first car. The have different requirements and spending limits.

Mom:

Her spending limit depends on what she gets when the claim is settled, but most likely $1,000-$1,200 is her limit. We do appreciate the utility of teh van (I want us to get another), so Chrysler vans are on list for sure. Other vans might be considered. However I think she wants to downsize some. She does like the practicality of the minivan, so a wagon would be the next natural choice. However, there's not very many wagons i can think of that are in the 90's range. Ford's Taurus/Sable wagons come to mind, and are pretty cheap, but how are they in terms of reliability?

Brother:

His spending limit is a little better at $1,600 for his first car. He wants something that will get around or better than 30mpg on the highway, since when he starts college he'll be doing a fair amount of commuting. He likes the first gen LH cars, he seemed to like the LHS, and possibly the Intrepids. He's not that picky though and could be swayed into anything that gets reasonable fuel economy and falls within his budget. I don't think it matters if it's coupe or 4-door/hatch.

Thoughts or suggestions?

One final note: he'd be willing to get a cheap fixer-upper providing the cost of the car and repairs don't exceed $1600...so if you can think of any suggestions for that please do.

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Buy the worlds cleanest first gen Neon for both and call it a day.

Our old Totaled van like your moms is still at the body shop about 3 years later, it was fixed and puyt back on the road and then the tranny blew. 60k orig miles, white, and I might be able to get it for you with a tranny for your mothers price limit.

PM me if your interested.

I',m also potentially just junking my old Mazda, would sell it for a song to your brother if he can drive manual...

Again PM me if your interested.

Also know of a clean Ford Contour automatic car that might fall in range...

Chris

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A 93-97 SW2 for your mom.

And a 95-98 Neon for your brother. Just watch out for the headgasket though....

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PM sent.

What about Saturn SL2's?

Hella-reliable. They're also pretty fun rides. A bit noisy, cheap interior, but they're really fun, lovable cars.

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Hella-reliable. They're also pretty fun rides. A bit noisy, cheap interior, but they're really fun, lovable cars.

Oh yeah? There's one for sale about an hour from here and an SL1 for sale about the same distance. What's the difference between SL1 and SL2?

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SL/SL1/SC1/SW1-base models, SOHC engines, black plastic bumpers, manual windows/locks

SL2/SC2/SW2-Painted bumpers, DOHC engines (about 20-25 more hp) more likely to have power accessories

I prefer the pre-96 cars, simply because of the styling (and the fact that we had a '92) but they're all fantastic as transportation. I would absolutely love an SW of any year, but they're tougher to find. I've looked at a couple SCs and SLs, but didn't pull the trigger.

Our '92 needed a new head gasket at about 200k miles, my brother-in-law did it himself, he said it wasn't too bad. Otherwise, it was absolutely reliable. The only time it ever left me stranded was when a radiator hose burst at about 190k. Hell, the car was on its original clutch when my sister traded it in around 230k. The manual transmission isn't the slickest piece, but if you can drive a stick, its fine. I know nothing of the automatics they use. Dont know what year they quit doing it, but I know early models had those stupid automatic seatbelts. They're dumb, but you get used to it.

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SL/SL1/SC1/SW1-base models, SOHC engines, black plastic bumpers, manual windows/locks

SL2/SC2/SW2-Painted bumpers, DOHC engines (about 20-25 more hp) more likely to have power accessories

I prefer the pre-96 cars, simply because of the styling (and the fact that we had a '92) but they're all fantastic as transportation. I would absolutely love an SW of any year, but they're tougher to find. I've looked at a couple SCs and SLs, but didn't pull the trigger.

Our '92 needed a new head gasket at about 200k miles, my brother-in-law did it himself, he said it wasn't too bad. Otherwise, it was absolutely reliable. The only time it ever left me stranded was when a radiator hose burst at about 190k. Hell, the car was on its original clutch when my sister traded it in around 230k. The manual transmission isn't the slickest piece, but if you can drive a stick, its fine. I know nothing of the automatics they use. Dont know what year they quit doing it, but I know early models had those stupid automatic seatbelts. They're dumb, but you get used to it.

I know the SL2 I'm looking at is a manual...I'd like to go with that...my brother is interested in learning anyway. Thanks for the info, if you've got anything else I'd be glad to hear it.

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The seats aren't the most comfortable, but they held up decently over the life of the car. I'd be sure to take a long drive, to make sure everything feels ok, because these are compact cars. At 6'3, I fit up front ok with the seat all the way back. The back seat is pretty much useless with the front seat all the way back. From what I've seen on used cars, the sunroof tracks are pretty shoddy, many that I've looked at have either had the tracks replaced or the sunroof is stuck closed. Parts can be a pain to track down (I had to go to 3 places to get the radiator hose) but if you need something you can track it down.

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The seats aren't the most comfortable, but they held up decently over the life of the car. I'd be sure to take a long drive, to make sure everything feels ok, because these are compact cars. At 6'3, I fit up front ok with the seat all the way back. The back seat is pretty much useless with the front seat all the way back. From what I've seen on used cars, the sunroof tracks are pretty shoddy, many that I've looked at have either had the tracks replaced or the sunroof is stuck closed. Parts can be a pain to track down (I had to go to 3 places to get the radiator hose) but if you need something you can track it down.

I know there's a decent supply of parts in a couple of the nearby yards. The car certainly sounds promising. Size/space isn't too much of an issue since we have my car for that.

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1. stay the hell away from the Taurus/Sable wagons,

ESP. with the Ford 3.8 V6 which is a great example

of a car that sells well but gives American cars a BAD

NAME. (meaning the '95-07)

2. Your mom should go with a SWB Mopar van.

the devil you know.....

:blink:

Ditto.

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I would be very wary of the first-generation Neon. My friend got one not too long ago for one-thousand dollars in nearby Laurel County. The little car runs only on three-cylinders at speeds around 60 to 70 mph, has a nasty transmission shutter at low speeds, and gauges that randomly go dead and then come back on board. Some of these cars might look very clean, like my friend's, but can hide a lot of problems.

Some cars to look at, consider:

http://worcester.craigslist.org/car/716888090.html

http://worcester.craigslist.org/car/716665286.html

http://worcester.craigslist.org/car/716282144.html (<-- '95 Concord.)

http://worcester.craigslist.org/car/716255471.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/car/716841916.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/car/716773970.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/car/716758526.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/car/716752764.html (<-- Taurus Wagon)

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/car/716704164.html

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/car/716618792.html (<-- Chrysler LHS)

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/car/716577227.html (<-- Audi 90, 5-speed, nice.)

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/car/716409860.html (<-- Dodge Caravan, seller seems motivated, price could be negotiable.)

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/car/716404239.html (<-- A Subaru Forester could be a nice wagon substitute.)

http://westernmass.craigslist.org/car/716678808.html (<-- Ford Probe, 5-speed.)

http://westernmass.craigslist.org/car/716434681.html (<-- Decent Intrepid.)

http://westernmass.craigslist.org/car/715796490.html (<-- Cheap Saab, needs some work.)

http://westernmass.craigslist.org/car/715775551.html

http://westernmass.craigslist.org/car/715119462.html

Edited by YellowJacket894
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I know the SL2 I'm looking at is a manual...I'd like to go with that...my brother is interested in learning anyway.

Ah, the showings of a true man! :AH-HA_wink:

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didn't they make a Saturn LS wagon?

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S0 he plans have changed a bit. The Breeze and Sl2 are on the list, but mainly for my mom. There's also the possibility f firing up the Caravan, but it's been sitting there for a long time, so assuming it even starts I'm sure things will go wrong.

My brother is actually interested in getting the Shadow back on the road. Saturday we're gonna put the waterpump in.

Edited by Dodgefan
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didn't they make a Saturn LS wagon?

Yep, but I don't think you'll findthem that cheap yet...

I think I saw an 00 for 2500 once...

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didn't they make a Saturn LS wagon?

Yeah, but they're pricier and more difficult to find.

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