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What car would you recommend?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay...

I am trying to buy my first car. My parents are pretty much willing to pay for the rest, if I can put a portion of the money (which I have been able to gather, and I am still saving some extra).

Now, while I have been raking in the monies, I have been checking classified ads on cars. This is a country where like half the cars in the country are Toyotas. And unfortunately you can't get any Renaults, Citröen, and Fiats, around here. I have been looking at Toyotas... at Nissan and Mitsubishi... I have also considered the GM cars (Yep, when you consider GM, you are desperate indeed) of Chevrolet and Pontiac (which I can nice models at almost a thousand dollars from the 1990s).

Has anyone got any suggestions of cars that you have had good experience with? Price is of the essence, and I don't want anything big: I will be the first person in my close family not to get an SUV, a 7 passenger van or a Ford/Chevrolet pickup (Any interest in them dies out when I pass by a gas station).
post #2 of 27
Saturn! (GM product) great cars though.
post #3 of 27
I've always had good luck with Pontiac Grand Ams.
post #4 of 27
I'm a Toyota owner, have been for 3.5 years. I have a Celica (the new body style).

The Celica gets great gas mileage, is tiny yet roomy (lots of room in the hatch - fold down seats), is FUN to drive, handles great and gets lots of comments.

The insurance on the Celica runs a tad high, I was told that even for an old fart like me (I'm 33), since the Celica appeals to young people, they make the insurance higher...

I have never had any major problems with my car, and I dang near rip the shifter out when I drive. The only thing gone wrong lately is a bad oxygen sensor which is making it run rough, but it's been a great car!

Looks like you've got a good choice, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi are all wonderful!!! I'm biased though.

A co-worker has a Camry and he loves it. It's a family style type car. But VERY reliable, typical Toyota.
post #5 of 27
I drove a Honda Civic Coupe for 11 years -great, reliable, somewhat sporty and fun to drive car. Now I've got a Toyota Corolla - also reliable, handles well, good gas mileage.
post #6 of 27
i would say for the price of it i would get a dodge neon. it is fairly cheap and a great economy car. dont know if you are able to get them or not.

yea yea a lot of people have bad things to say about it but they always state problems from the 1st gen of neons. the head gasket issue is long and gone.

if you take good care of any car it will perform well.

it all depends on what you want. and also remember if you are buying new any car off the lot could have a multitude of little problems from any manufacturer. thats the downfall of the assembly line.

happy buying.
post #7 of 27
I drive a 94 Honda Civic. Bought it for $5000 6 years ago. It now has 126,000 miles on it and still runs great. The only thing I had to do with it was replace the clutch 3 years ago. It also gets great gas mileage.
post #8 of 27
I think you should look into an older VW, not like a bug, but maybe a jetta- they're reliable, have good mileage, and are easy to fix (and cheap!)
post #9 of 27
My grandmother bought e a car as a high school graduation gift - it was a powder blue honda civic and I loved it. I still love Honda Civics - I'd look into them.
post #10 of 27
I'm going to be purchasing my first car soon too! It will probably be a Toyota.
post #11 of 27
I have a 1990 Nissan that my husband uses for work, it has over 250,000 mile on it and still runs great.
Any Nissan and Toyota that we have ever owned, were the most reliable and gas friendly car. I now drive a 2001 Plymouth Neon and I love it. Great on gas and never any major problems with it. You have to do your research and make sure you have the vin run thru carfax, it is worth the fee they ask. Good Luck
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlecat
I think you should look into an older VW, not like a bug, but maybe a jetta- they're reliable, have good mileage, and are easy to fix (and cheap!)
Actually, I have been searching for Jettas at reasonable prices... its a tad hard to sift through the pricier ones in all the ads that come along... but you often find some jewel amidst all the garbage, so I do the oddball thing of checking out the BMW and VW ads at the same time that I look for a dirt cheap Chevy. If I can find some early 90s Jetta or Golf I am in heaven.
post #13 of 27
I Love my Toyota Camrey, I have had 2 new Toyotas, my Hubby also has a Toyota truck, there very dependable
post #14 of 27
I second looking at Saturn's. They're completely reliable, have literally the best customer service (if you get your used one from a used Saturn dealer), and are very affordable. My Saturn is 8 years old and has yet to have a real problem.
post #15 of 27
Toyota also makes the Zion the Ta model I beleive is kinda like a corolla and they are really nice looking, pretty low price also.
My son-in-law has worked for the same Toyota dealer for more then 10 yrs, he just bought himself a sion Xb, I am not to crazy about it, but I'll say one thing for it, its is very roomy, he Loves it
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoviher
Actually, I have been searching for Jettas at reasonable prices... its a tad hard to sift through the pricier ones in all the ads that come along... but you often find some jewel amidst all the garbage, so I do the oddball thing of checking out the BMW and VW ads at the same time that I look for a dirt cheap Chevy. If I can find some early 90s Jetta or Golf I am in heaven.

I have a golf and I love that little car. It's very reliable, is great on gas (about 30 mpg) and drives wonderfully.

I highly recommend VW!
post #17 of 27
I drove a Nissan for many years, and I never had any trouble with the 3 different models I had..
Congrats on your first major purchase..
post #18 of 27
My first car was a Toyota Corolla (in 1970, when the Corolla was the bottom of the Toyota line) Great little car. I drove it for 9 years, then got the sun in my eyes on a March afternoon and totalled it.

My second car was a Dodge Aspen which, thankfully, was totalled by a jackass coming charging out of a lane. Fortunately, it only took two years for that to happen.

My third car was a Honda Civic. I drove it for almost 18 years. Another great little car. I could have put it back on the road after its last illness, but by then we did not need to be a two car family anymore and it would have cost more than the value of the car to do so.

Rob has had (while I have been in a position to drive his cars) Datsun (Nissan) for something like 15 years and now Toyota Corolla. I've come full circle. This is a 1989, 270,000 km on the clock, still running on the original clutch.

From my experience, I would recommend anything Japanese, particularly Toyota or Honda. If I had to buy North American, I would look at GM, having driven a few occasionally (rental situations, friends' cars) and found them the least objectionable. But I have nothing but praise for Toyota and Honda. Reliable, decent on fuel, not always in the shop, good road handling, etc. I have no experience of any of the Europeans.

Good luck! That first car is pretty special. I hope you find yourself a good one.
post #19 of 27
Toyotas, Saturns and Hondas would be a good bet.
Hondas hold their resale value particularly well and tend to last a long time--we have an Acura which is 90% Honda parts and it has been a great car thus far.
I also had two Toyotas back to back and loved them. I had 2 4Runners.
My husband used to have a Hyundai that we drove into the ground as well.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
My first car was a Toyota Corolla (in 1970, when the Corolla was the bottom of the Toyota line) Great little car. I drove it for 9 years, then got the sun in my eyes on a March afternoon and totalled it.

My second car was a Dodge Aspen which, thankfully, was totalled by a jackass coming charging out of a lane. Fortunately, it only took two years for that to happen.

My third car was a Honda Civic. I drove it for almost 18 years. Another great little car. I could have put it back on the road after its last illness, but by then we did not need to be a two car family anymore and it would have cost more than the value of the car to do so.

Rob has had (while I have been in a position to drive his cars) Datsun (Nissan) for something like 15 years and now Toyota Corolla. I've come full circle. This is a 1989, 270,000 km on the clock, still running on the original clutch.

From my experience, I would recommend anything Japanese, particularly Toyota or Honda. If I had to buy North American, I would look at GM, having driven a few occasionally (rental situations, friends' cars) and found them the least objectionable. But I have nothing but praise for Toyota and Honda. Reliable, decent on fuel, not always in the shop, good road handling, etc. I have no experience of any of the Europeans.

Good luck! That first car is pretty special. I hope you find yourself a good one.
You have me looking right now at the Japanese models... anyone know anything about the Hyundai? Because so far, I am staring a lot at the lower end Japanese models (Like the Toyota Tercel, Hyundai Excel, and perhaps a decent prized Honda Civic), Chevy and Pontiac, And got a candle lit for some Volkswagen or BMW at a decent price to fall from the sky.

Anyone had experience with the Sunfire, Sunbird and Grand Prix (Pontiac) and the Lumina and Cavalier? (Chevrolet)
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoviher
Anyone had experience with the Sunfire, Sunbird and Grand Prix (Pontiac) and the Lumina and Cavalier? (Chevrolet)
Cavalier is one of the Chevy models I've driven in recent years, and is the first thing I'd look at if I needed to go North American. Not huge experience, as I said, but the most encouraging.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoviher
Anyone had experience with the Sunfire, Sunbird and Grand Prix (Pontiac) and the Lumina and Cavalier? (Chevrolet)
I have an 01' pontiac sunfire! I LOVE it. My parents bought it for me a couple years ago. It is not to big(it weaves in and out of traffic beautifully!) It gets good gas mileage. And it was not expensive. I have done regular maintenance on it and NEVER had ANY(even a little) problem with it and it is pushing 90,000miles.
I told my parents if I could I would put it up on cement blocks in my backyard when it quits running. That car has been nothing but good to me!
I am however in the market, because I need something bigger(and lower insurance), and I think I am leaning towards a Pontiac Grand Prix or a Toyota Corolla XRS.

Good Luck to you finding a vehicle!

I also had a SunBird before that... it was not good, It was 6 years old and i ended up spending more money fixing it than what was paid for it

Cavalier and Sunfire are almost the exact same aside from body style.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoviher
Okay...

I am trying to buy my first car. My parents are pretty much willing to pay for the rest, if I can put a portion of the money (which I have been able to gather, and I am still saving some extra).

Now, while I have been raking in the monies, I have been checking classified ads on cars. This is a country where like half the cars in the country are Toyotas. And unfortunately you can't get any Renaults, Citröen, and Fiats, around here. I have been looking at Toyotas... at Nissan and Mitsubishi... I have also considered the GM cars (Yep, when you consider GM, you are desperate indeed) of Chevrolet and Pontiac (which I can nice models at almost a thousand dollars from the 1990s).

Has anyone got any suggestions of cars that you have had good experience with? Price is of the essence, and I don't want anything big: I will be the first person in my close family not to get an SUV, a 7 passenger van or a Ford/Chevrolet pickup (Any interest in them dies out when I pass by a gas station).
I have toyota corrolla. It's cheap, and not very big.
post #24 of 27
For the 3 years ive lived here in germany i have only seen ONE honda civic
everyone here has mercedes, fords, Opels and volkswagen
post #25 of 27
I can highly recommend both Toyota and Mitsubishi.

My folks have an 81 Mitsubishi, still running strong and cheap.
I had (until my move) a 73 Toyota Celica, still running strong, still cheap at the gas pumps and still relatively rust free.

If you can find one in your price range, I also recommend Mazda.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
For the 3 years ive lived here in germany i have only seen ONE honda civic
everyone here has mercedes, fords, Opels and volkswagen
As I work for Ford I'm kind of partial to them. How about a volvo??
The older model Hyundai's have quality issues-so skip them.
To check if you are getting a car at a fair price at work we use kbb.com (kelly blue book) you can select manufacturer, model, enter the mileage and features if known.
post #27 of 27
We just bought a 2006 Hyundai Sonata... beautiful, comfy, lots of stuff (on the LX), but it might be a bit pricier than what you're looking for ($25-26k American). They compare it to the Honda Accord... and even Car & Driver Magazine says the big boys had better be paying attention (their review of this car was astonishingly positive... very few negative points which is very rare apparently).

Hyundais have a bad reputation because of their earlier cars (late 80's, early 90's), but my sister owned a 1991 that never gave her trouble until she ran it's wheels off at well over 100,000 miles. Many sources in the car biz tell me that they've really stepped up their game over the years and they're becoming major competition for Honda and Toyota because the quality has gone way up but the price is still lower than theirs.

I love our Hyundai So I give it a big but we also owned a 1989 Honda Civic that is pushing 200,000 miles and still has lots of life in it. As long as you take good care of most any car, you're going to get good life out of it.
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