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Advice for someone looking to buy used...

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Okay experts, I need some advice for a senior student who is about to get their driver's license and came to me for advice on purchasing a used car. They are looking at a local small-time (very small I should say, they have 10 cars in their inventory) used-car dealership's inventory of two used Saturn vehicles:

1998 SL2 Sedan:


Info: 4-cyl, auto, ps, pb, air, 120,435 miles, VIN WZ258740 - $2,699

1995 SL2 Sedan:


Info: 4-cyl, auto, ps, pb, air, 96,205 miles, VIN SZ354921 - $2,699

Which of the two cars would you advise them to seriously look into purchasing? The student wants a Saturn, as they have friends that own Saturn cars and they're very satisfied owners. The student came to me not only because they know I like cars, but they also know I own a Saturn and figure I must be knowledgable on all Saturns!!

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Our '92 went a quarter of a million miles in my family before it was wrecked. It had the radiator replaced at around 200k. I'd go with the older body style because I think it looks better, but the interior and ride of the newer one is better.

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Neither. Lots of little hassles throughout ownership that cost time and money. Nickel and dime, indeed.

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Any old car will do that to you-that's why you don't have a car payment...

My co worker's 97 Civic is a good example......

Either one will serve you well....

I like the 98....it just depends on which style they like better....

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Whichever one looks like it has been maintained the best IMO. Lack of keeping an eye on the oil level and not changing often is the quickest way to kill an S-series. A lot of used S-series often look neglected inside and/or underhood, so if one is really much cleaner all around go w/ it.

Otherwise, The '95 has the coolest styling IMO (and 25K fewer miles of course ), but the '98 will have less road noise, just a tad softer ride, and just a bit more solid feeling body-wise.

I don't think an S-series would be a bad buy for the money we're talking, they are not always bulletproof but do quite well when cared for decently and are very easy to work on as a do-it-yourselfer.

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