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Cory Wolfe

Under $3k?

45 posts in this topic

Since I can't come up with $2k... I'm stranded with only $2600 to buy a vehicle. I'm suspecting my parents would atleast be able to help me out a little bit, so I'd say my limit is $3k. What can I get for a lousy $3k? Give me suggestions. However, I'm still going to continue to be picky. I will only consider cars with 4cyls, manual trannies, and two doors. I might consider a sedan depending on what it is. That means... no floaty Buicks and such. As far as reliability... f@#k it. As long as the car itself runs good, I'll deal with it regardless of it's reputation.

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As far as reliability... f@#k it. As long as the car itself runs good, I'll deal with it regardless of it's reputation.

Dude, you've got one of those already.

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Cavalier

Sunfire

Another Grand Am

Alero

Escort ZX2

Neon

Saturn SC

Civic

Focus hatch

Mirage coupe

Most everything else out there within your criteria will either be too expensive (Celica), have way too many miles for the price (Acura), or be complete crap (anything Korean).

If you're seriously asking for advice, here's mine.

I helped a friend/coworker of mine this past week find a car and he ended up with an automatic '01 Focus sedan with 55k miles for like $5500. But on the same lot, there was a 1997 Cavalier sedan, automatic, with 65k miles, p/l, p/w, p/m, CD for $3995 list. For $3000 cash, you would've definitely left with it. And that, my friend, may not be exactly what you want but its alot better than spending the same amount on a burned-up car the same age with twice the mileage that will eat up even more of your money in repairs.

Just some food for thought. Keep your options a little more open in case a great deal comes by. You may not have as much fun with some geriatric's Achieva, but watching a 150k miles Prelude rust away in your front lawn because something else broke on it is not what I'd call a good time.

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Fly... I said $3k, not $5k. Aleros, Focuses, Civics, etc are all out. And believe me, I've looked already. There isn't $h! for under $3k... not localled, not on Ebay, not on any other car sales website. That's why I lowered my expectations of reliability. Sunfires and Grand Ams and other cars with crap reliability are now being considered...

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Question: Are you willing to get a crappy car with the features you desire over a dependable car thay may in fact be a Buick?

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Let me ask this: in the GA's current semi-running state, how much do you think you can get for it? Without seeing the car, I'd say 500-1000. Add that to your pile of money, and go from there.

You can't go wrong with any of Fly's suggestions. If you do go with a J-body, stick with a 95 or newer one that has either the 2.2L OHV or the 2.4L Twin Cam. The 02-up Ecotec models are probably out of your price range. Both the 2.2 and 2.4 will run a long time with just routine maintenance. They're not as unreliable as you'd think.

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Question: Are you willing to get a crappy car with the features you desire over a dependable car thay may in fact be a Buick?

Absolutely. :D 4cyl, 5spd coupes only.

Edited by blackviper8891

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Let me ask this: in the GA's current semi-running state, how much do you think you can get for it? Without seeing the car, I'd say 500-1000. Add that to your pile of money, and go from there.

Have you read my latest post about it? The engine is toast, as of today. I couldn't get $500 out of it when it did run. Now it doesn't...

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I think the point Fly is trying to make is: right now, you NEED a dependable car more than anything right now. What do you think will happen if you buy a car with 150K miles, get a job, then have something major go wrong shortly after you get the job? Do you think your boss will care that you can't come to work because your car is dead? Not in the least, they'll just hire another guy to do your work. The time will come for you to have a car that you WANT, but right now it's better to get something that satisfies your NEEDs. We're not just :bs:-ing you, we're speaking from experience.

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Have you read my latest post about it? The engine is toast, as of today. I couldn't get $500 out of it when it did run. Now it doesn't...

No, I didn't. I'm sorry.

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I think the point Fly is trying to make is: right now, you NEED a dependable car more than anything right now. What do you think will happen if you buy a car with  150K miles, get a job, then have something major go wrong shortly after you get the job? Do you think your boss will care that you can't come to work because your car is dead? Not in the least, they'll just hire another guy to do your work. The time will come for you to have a car that you WANT, but right now it's better to get something that satisfies your NEEDs. We're not just :bs:-ing you, we're speaking from experience.

I never said I'd consider a car with 150k miles.

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Another question - why do you need a car so badly? For kicks or for something like a job?

I ask because, like I said before, if its just that you want a car and don't really need a car, then I'd hold out for awhile. Get something worth a damn. But if you really do need a car, I would honestly not be so picky. You literally cannot afford to be. I was fortunate enough where I could be a bit more discerning with my choice because I had a good amount of down payment dough and the option to finance. Even then, my limit was $10,000 total and, man, there wasn't a whole lot I liked. My point is, the less you have, the less you can get.

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Oh... one more thing... what's so wrong about wanting a compact with a 4cyl and 5spd? Most guys my age would rather have something sportier. I've been thinking realistically for some time, now... I'm just saying big, cushy, non fuel efficient Buicks are out regardless of how reliable they may be. 4cyl, 5spd coupes only. My number one need is fuel efficientcy...

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I both NEED and WANT a car. And again, I NEED and WANT fuel efficientcy OVER reliability. Period. I'm just being picky in that I want a coupe over a sedan. Wow... I'm a picky SOB, huh?

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I never said I'd consider a car with 150k miles.

Whatever...100K, 125K, does it really matter. The majority of cars you posted had six-digit mileage on them. I was hoping you'd understand my example instead of nitpicking one detail to disprove my point.

Forget it, I'm outta here.

*walks hurriedly, shuts door*

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Oh... one more thing... what's so wrong about wanting a compact with a 4cyl and 5spd? Most guys my age would rather have something sportier. I've been thinking realistically for some time, now... I'm just saying big, cushy, non fuel efficient Buicks are out regardless of how reliable they may be. 4cyl, 5spd coupes only. My number one need is fuel efficientcy...

Read my post above this one. With $3000 and no financing option, its not about what you desire, its about what's there. Again, what's more 'expensive,' a Buick that gets 22mpg or a Honda that gets 30mpg but blew another alternator and needs new plugs?

I'm not trying to sell you on a specific car. I'd just hate to see you turn down something that would serve your needs and fit your budget because it doesn't have all those desireable qualites. My opinion comes from the fact that I can get a crapload of cheap, barely-used senior-owned cars that may not be the hottest rods on the block, but are damn sure not going to break down alot or be that expensive to maintain.

Long-term idea - buy something decent but not totally appealing, get a nice job, save money, trade in your unappealing-but-running rig on a car you really desire.

And frankly speaking, if I were in your situation and were in dire need of a car, I'd take the first Cutlass Ciera and call it a day. I saw four for sale here today. Its nuts.

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Those were just examples... and then I was only considering vehicles with less that 100k. Read, just don't click on links not knowing the half of it. I'd still prefer a car with under 100k. It's finding one for under $3k thats nearly impossible.

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And speaking a what I desire... I desire a BMW 325iS. I desire a Pontiac Fiero GT. I desire a Nissan 300ZX. I want those, but I need something with a 4cyl. That is the number one need. Reliability comes second. Again, it's not like I going to get a piece of $h! car with 150k miles. This isn't a game of extremes. I'm not going to go for one thing, but completely ignore the other like you're trying to suggest.

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When it comes to the car market, bottom-feeding is an art form. An unpopular car with low-mileage and in good condition is what I hunt when I just need wheels. I usually end up with an Olds owned by someone over 65. Clean, reliable and anonymous (which has its own advantages). You will learn, young grasshopper, you will learn. Having a car you don't give a crap about can be sooo liberating.

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