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BeauJangles
08-02-2008, 02:53 PM
Hey guys,

Living in Montreal for 1.5 yrs meant I didn't need or want a car -- gas is really expensive there, driving sucks in the city, parking permits are expensive, and the public transportation is great. Anyway, I've since returned to my hometown (Boston) and I need a form of transportation to get me around.

I've been looking at used Ford Focuses, though the prices on them are a bit higher than they were eight to ten months ago. Are there any other models I should consider?

Oh, and my budget is basically as cheap as possible, but let's say 6,000.

Arkaign
08-02-2008, 03:34 PM
Focus is excellent, but make you sure you get one with the Duratec 2.0 motor, as opposed to : SPI 2.0, Zetec 2.0, or Duratec 2.3.

The Duratecs are Mazda motors that do not use timing belts, and are very reliable, and also offer the best fuel economy of the four Focus motors that have been used in US/Canada. Well, 5 if you count the SVT-tuned Zetec 2.0, but meh.

Other contenders : Civic, Corolla, Spectra, Sentra, etc. All are decently reliable, and will return 30+mpg when driven/maintained responsibly.

AstroManLuca
08-02-2008, 03:53 PM
Another thing is don't resign yourself to getting a crappy old car. For $6,000 you should be able to at least get something with under 100k miles.

xanis
08-02-2008, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by: AstroManLuca
Another thing is don't resign yourself to getting a crappy old car. For $6,000 you should be able to at least get something with under 100k miles.

Most definitely. I bought my 2000 Cavalier back in '06 for $5K and it only had about 70K miles on it.

BeauJangles
08-02-2008, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by: AstroManLuca
Another thing is don't resign yourself to getting a crappy old car. For $6,000 you should be able to at least get something with under 100k miles.

Yeah, I've been looking around and it seems like 6 grand can go a good way in the used car world, especially when you just want an econobox to go from A to B :)

In terms of other models, the Civic and Corolla both have really high resale value, which means that I'd be dipping further into the past to find a car in my price range. Is it worth it?

The reason I had initially looked Ford's way was because the Focus had little resale value and, from what I'd heard, was a cheap, easy-to-maintain car, that even offered a little fun while driving it.

AstroManLuca
08-02-2008, 05:12 PM
Hard to say on cheap newer domestics vs. equally priced older imports. For $6k you can get a 2002-2004 Focus, Cavalier, or Neon, but only a 1999-2002 Civic or Corolla. The imports tend to be better made but they're also older so it's kind of a wash.

One option is to look for a Nissan Sentra. Those tend to be cheaper than Civics and Corollas but almost as good. Also, look at Mazda Proteges.

In terms of what I would personally want to own (personal opinion only, not based on any particular statistic nor price):

Civic > Corolla = Protege > Sentra > Focus > Cavalier = Neon

hans030390
08-02-2008, 11:38 PM
Save yourself the trouble and get a more reliable car (Civic, Corolla, etc). You'll definitely have to get one that's a little bit older, but it's definitely worth it.

Actually, the older models generally get better gas mileage. My '95 Civic averages 33 MPG in the city...and that's without me watching my driving habits (to an extent. I shift pretty early on, but I could still watch some other habits).

That, and my family has had the car for 12 years. We've only had to do regular maintenance on it (brakes, tires, etc)...and the AC had stopped working. Other than that, it's probably one of the most reliable cars you can get.

I'm not a fan of most American made cars, especially older ones...even more so if it's Ford. Get a car that you likely will never have to worry about.

Pollock
08-03-2008, 06:23 PM
Is something like an E36 just asking for trouble?

AstroManLuca
08-03-2008, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by: Pollock
Is something like an E36 just asking for trouble?

Yes.