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Can only spend $6,000 to $8,000

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


As I look at cars online, I'm seeing lots of options at $9000 under 50,000 miles. ( I'm looking at Yaris, Fit, Golf, Mini Cooper, Mazda2, Mazda3.) But if I drop down to $6000-7000, everything is well over 100,000 miles. Brings up lots of questions -

- what is the average life span of cars these days, in miles?
- when my Echo had about 125,000, I had already replaced all the standard parts, so mechanic said I virtually had a new car. It there a point where this would be typical?
- at what point am I shooting myself in the foot, price-wise? I'd love to be able to spend $8000-9000, but that just may not be possible.

id like to avoid Focus and Versa.
what about Fiat 500 or Scion xD?

Priorities: Fuel economy / Reliability & durability / Price or payments

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars

Maximum price: US $ 6000

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Response from colin42

12:39 pm June 15, 2017

The answer to the question how many miles will x car last is... It depends. Clearly some models have better reliability that others and every brand has good and bad models, but how it was used and maintianed by previous owners

Here are my tips

1. Use the reliability data available to you, to identify which model to consider. Don't just use the brand perceptions as many do to make decisions. I use this site andhttp://www.dashboard-light.com/

2. For the best value Hit them where they ain't - look for models that are not popular - i.e. smaller cars vs crossovers, Minivans vs 3 row SUV's etc, or models from dead brands (that still have protection i.e. Mercury, Saturn etc)

3. Think about your future needs - If you plan to keep a car for say 5 years - do you expect your requirements to change - Will you family grow? Will you likely change jobs and have a longer commute?

4. When you find a car learn as much about it's history and condition as possible. Carfax is a start, but and absolute must is an independant inspection - or at least a friend who knows what ot look for. I prefer to by from private indiviuals as they will know the history. Most dealers / auctions distroy any history records under "privay concerns". Find out where the vechile was previously owned and if possible try to figure out where it was serviced - contract the dealer / garage to see it they can provide you the records

In terms of your spec above consider...

Toytoa Prius - I brought a 2010 (gen 3) last year from my neighbor for just over $6K. THe milage was ~ 140K but drives like new - these are renound for going 250K miles without too much issue. It's a boring but easy drive. They are supprising spacious inside and easily get 45 - 50 mpg. Gas price is low ans so Hybrids are less popular right now.

Kia Fotre . A 2011 - 2012 is right around your price point. You could also look for a kia soul - Look for the 2nd generation

For an off the wall idea What about a Smart Fortwo - you can get a 2014 / 2015 with balance of the factory warranty for well under $6K

Another area is larger cars like Chevy Malibu or 2nd gen Mazda 6 a 2010 model is in your price range.

I hope this helps


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Toyota Prius
Kia Forte
smart fortwo

Response from LectroFuel

2:02 pm June 15, 2017

As an owner of two Prii, I've learned that they do not hold up that well after 250k miles. I have almost 250k miles and I replaced the hybrid battery last month for $2500. It's a great car that gets high MPG and it lasted for 250k miles without any problems, but high mileage ones will have expensive repairs in the near future (like the HV battery, hybrid inverter pump, etc.). I replaced my entire A/C system for $3k earlier this year, too. If they were not taken care of, they will be problematic. I love my 2005 so much I bought a 2016, but I suggest a 2010 Two or higher. You'll be fine if you buy one at around 150k miles. It'll last you maybe 50k-100k miles without major problems.

I find that if you want a newer car, but don't want to spend much, look at a Kia. The Kia Forte is a solid car, but take a test drive because owner satisfaction was very low from 2010 to 2013.

Don't buy the Smart ForTwo (bad reliability, it's a piece of junk made by MB), Mini Cooper is even worse at reliability, THE FIAT 500 IS THE LEAST RELIABLE NEW CAR ON THE MARKET according to Consumer Reports.

I like the VW Golf, but older ones may have spotty reliability. The Honda Fit is a safe choice. Same for the Yaris, but the Fit is a better choice involving fun. The Scion xD is reliable, but it's a pretty bad, unrefined driving experience. Mazda 2 is also good. Mazda 3 even better but more expensive (which means higher mileage in your budget). Good luck and don't forget to tell us your choice! :)


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Toyota Prius
Honda Fit
Mazda Mazda2

Response from jprski

7:06 pm June 15, 2017

The best advice this old guy can give and many will not like is DO NOT BUY A USED 4 Banger, get a V-6, plenty of nice ones in your price range with 50-60k miles on them. Parts are plentiful and cheap on them and a V6 will last longer too, you can easilly get another 100K on all the cars suggeted.

Goodluck on what ever you decide.


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Toyota Camry
Chevrolet Impala
Toyota Avalon

Response from jriker1

9:03 pm June 29, 2017

Wow, well for "Priorities: Fuel economy / Reliability & durability / Price or payments" Scion hands down. Even with some minor repairs, after market parts are available and work fine. My scion xB (2008) had 158k on it when sold still drove like BRAND NEW!, and if I did not need AWD, I would have driven it well over 200k easy. And that was with a RING issue that Toyota Recalled right after I traded it in. I had a few issues but nothing major, and all was covered under warranty. Sometimes a toyota/scion with 100k means the little issues were probably already seen and repaired. Just my $.02


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Scion xB
Scion xD

Response from NormT

5:05 pm July 5, 2017

This Chevrolet Volt is probably over 400,000 miles now.


They are showing 100,000 mile Volts around $10 000 on the for sale websites.


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Chevrolet Volt
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