First Car for 10k or Less?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Vdubchaos

Lifer
Nov 11, 2009
10,411
10
0
And what Buicks would have the 3800 engine?

As well, what would you say is the average maintence costs for a Camry? On the cheaper side / average / can be expensive?

Buick Century is the most common with that engine.

Camry is a good car. You mostly have to do oil changes and Timing belt every 80-100k (check specific engine for details on length).

Can't really go wrong with that.

I would probably lean towards something smaller/more economical. But if interior space is an issue by all means go with Camry/Accord or Hyundai.

Remember more options = less reliable/more things to break. And your reliability will depend on how well the car was taken care of PRIOR to your purchase.

READ : MANY people neglect their cars, its YOUR responsibility to make sure they haven't. Service records are usually your best bet (and you will quickly find out that many dealers etc will NOT provide them/don't have them)......RUN FAST

When I bought my VW 5+ years ago dealer didnt have them, but I got the VIN and called bunch of dealers and was able to find one that serviced it. THey were a bit reluctant to give me the information but I told them I wanted to buy it and just needed to know if Oil was changes/what service was done. They confirmed all of the service have been done > sold. Also keep in mind the car I was buying I had 5+ years experience with and knew it inside out.

If I couldn't find out about the service, I would've NEVER bought it. DO NOT take over other people's neglect!! That can cost you a pretty penny.

Remember, car purchase is 2nd biggest expense you will have in your LIFE!!!. Take your time/research and LEARN!!!

I'm a bit surprised your father/brother are not willing to help you (that's kind of messed up).
 
Last edited:

arnoc

Member
Feb 16, 2012
54
1
0
As I said, my brother won't ever consider anything that isn't "American Made" aka Ford, Dodge, or Chevy. He calls everything else a P.O.S. not worth it that'll just break in so many years or so. In case you can't tell, my brother and I have a bit of a strained relationship. He once nearly came to blows with me over trying to teach me how to put a lug nut on a tire. He's the worst of the worst when it comes to teaching anything, or asking for knowledge on a subject. He gets a point into his head that he believes is right, and won't budge. He has argued on occasion with my father over how vehicles work, when my father grew up working at a race track.

My father, while he'd be more helpful, his ultimate advice would be: If you want it, get it. And then try to pay for it. He'd be more than helpful in general advice, and would help in looking over a car, and unless there was something extremely wrong with it, and I liked it, he would attempt to get it for me.

And honest to god, they have no clue I'm thinking about purchasing a vehicle. Trying to keep myself clear of their biased opinions towards vehicles. And my father attempting to purchase one for me.
 

Riverhound777

Diamond Member
Aug 13, 2003
3,363
61
91
I just sold my 2006 Mazda 3s with a little over 100k miles for $6500. I would look in that year and mileage range. They are great cars, reliable, and decent mileage.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,089
1,570
126
Scion TC, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Sentra, Mazda 6 you may find under 8K with under 80K and less than 8 years old. If well maintained, any of them could be good cars me thinks.
 

drbrock

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2008
1,333
8
81
I got a 2004 acura tl 63k mileage, and clean carfax two years ago for 10k. I love it and have never had an issue with it mechanically. Only thing I wish it had was a timing chain versus a belt. You just have to wait for a coupon to get the service every 100k. I got mine done for 400 in Miami at the honda dealership. However if you go without a coupon it can cost upwards of 1100 to 1200.
I get compliments on the car a lot for the luxury and look of it. The interior is very nice and I would put it against a current acura tl as I have driven both. If I had the cash I would have gotten the all wheel drive for safety aspect but they are much more expensive.

It has traction control and I have only lost traction once or twice in large puddles on I95.

edit***
I just read the post about getting something american made. I don't know anything about american cars. I had one during my college days and it was the worst car ever. My entire family has switched to the honda brands and have not looked back. That is not to say that american cars are horrible. I have no idea about the current market. A neighbor enjoys her Focus a lot. They have to be cheap I would think by now with the new aston martin grill looking focus out.

My friend has a mazda 3 which is made by ford and he kills that car and it still runs very well. The exterior is starting to get beat up but it starts and runs everyday. He is at the 150k mark currently.

Good luck
 
Last edited:

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
62,396
8,175
126
You can easily get into an '06+ Sonata for that price. They aren't terrible looking cars, get decent milage and by most accounts are fairly reliable. My local auto trader shows piles of them in the '06-'09 range with 50,000-75,000 miles on them for under $10,000.
 

Murdoc

Member
Jan 22, 2011
135
0
0
Accord/Camry/Focus/Civic/Corolla/Altima

What ballmode said.

This is the best and simplest list of cars for you. These are cars for people that don't know or care about cars. They are appliances, basically, and it would be hard to go wrong with any one of those. Just look at one in good condition with lower miles and have a mechanic check it out before you buy it.

Definitely scratch the MX5 / Miata off your list if you want a car to drive in the winter. They are rear wheel drive cars that sit very low to the ground. You will not want to drive it in the snow or ice.
 

Vdubchaos

Lifer
Nov 11, 2009
10,411
10
0
You can easily get into an '06+ Sonata for that price. They aren't terrible looking cars, get decent milage and by most accounts are fairly reliable. My local auto trader shows piles of them in the '06-'09 range with 50,000-75,000 miles on them for under $10,000.

I don't think they are terrbile looking.

I like that generation better than current. New one looks like melted plastic....

Still great car though.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
Buy a manual. If you get an automatic for your first car, it will be the first step in a lifetime of mediocrity.


Why pass up extra fun?
 
Last edited:

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,397
393
126
Buy a manual. If you get an automatic for your first car, it will be the first step in a lifetime of mediocrity.


Why pass up extra fun?

My first two cars where autos and the next 4 out of 5 where manuals. Nothing wrong with starting out with an auto.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
My first two cars where autos and the next 4 out of 5 where manuals. Nothing wrong with starting out with an auto.


But for the current generation it's much different. He's probably not going to have any friends who are into cars or know how to drive manual. He won't bother to learn stick in the future if he doesn't now.
 

arnoc

Member
Feb 16, 2012
54
1
0
Oh no I know some people who drive manual. My ex half hearted tried to teach me when we first began dating. She just wanted an excuse to hold my hand :p But a lot of people around here drive manual. And when I was young I used to drive manual mowers, but it's been a hell of a long time since those few occasions.

I've zeroed in on a few Camry's that have caught my interest. Found an 05 with 127,679miles, Engine: Gas I4 2.4L/14; Trans: Automatic for 8.9k. Pretty sure I could end up talking dealer down to 7.5k (hopefully). I may go check it out this weekend.
 

arnoc

Member
Feb 16, 2012
54
1
0
I just spotted a 1998 BMW Z3 1.9 Roadster on Autotrader. Boy is she a purdy little thing. Definintely wouldn't fit my needs for what I do, but be fun to take it on a test drive. :whiste:

What do you guys think about the Ford Fusion? There seems to be a lot easier amount of them in the area to find, and similar price ranges (Seem to hover between 7,500-8,500) as Camrys, but with fewer miles on them. I know my grandpa has a newer one, and he loves the thing.
 
Last edited:

camoxiong

Member
Feb 22, 2013
58
0
0
Get a Lexus or Honda, I have owned a Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus before and it runs good if you do the maintenance
 

desy

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2000
5,436
211
106
The first gen fusion was good the second gen had lots of niggly problems, third is out of your range :)
 

arnoc

Member
Feb 16, 2012
54
1
0
Ones I've been finding are 08's. According to Wikipedia, that falls within first Generation, right? One I found on about par with the Camry I've been eyeing is lower in price by a couple hundred, less miles, and is a manual. And I like the color better (But I like the looks of the interior of the Camry better)
 

desy

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2000
5,436
211
106
That was the knock on the first gens, plain jane interior, my buddy has one w awd.
Happy w it so far
 
Last edited:

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
Oh no I know some people who drive manual. My ex half hearted tried to teach me when we first began dating. She just wanted an excuse to hold my hand :p But a lot of people around here drive manual. And when I was young I used to drive manual mowers, but it's been a hell of a long time since those few occasions.

I've zeroed in on a few Camry's that have caught my interest. Found an 05 with 127,679miles, Engine: Gas I4 2.4L/14; Trans: Automatic for 8.9k. Pretty sure I could end up talking dealer down to 7.5k (hopefully). I may go check it out this weekend.

So why don't you get a manual?
 

arnoc

Member
Feb 16, 2012
54
1
0
Mostly cause I'm a lazy driver who likes to cruise around at low speeds around town :p

I'm open to one though.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
Mostly cause I'm a lazy driver who likes to cruise around at low speeds around town :p

I'm open to one though.

That's what a manual is good for. It makes driving around in the city much more fun. You get to pretend you're in a heist movie

Jason-Statham-Car2-480x415.jpg