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Reliable cheap commuter car

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


Looking for a cheap car that will be reliable and easy to maintain. Don't need anything special, just something that can get me from point A to point B without many problems. Thanks

Priorities: Reliability & durability

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe / Sedan / Hatch

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 150000
Maximum age: 20 years

Maximum price: US $ 3000

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Response from mkaresh

12:36 am April 1, 2014

I'd check into how new of a Ford Focus you can get for that amount of money. 2005 onwards (after the interior was redone) should be pretty reliable, and they drive well.

A small Honda or Toyota would probably be more reliable, but you'd have to get a much older car to get one for $3,000. So this would likely even out.

Best of the bunch--if you can drive a manual--is the performance-oriented ST. Just a few of those around the country with asking prices under $4,000, but where there are a few maybe there's one for you.


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Response from davidnorbert

9:17 am April 1, 2014

A lot of people swear by the older Saturns, either the SL's or the L200. They can be bought uber cheap.

A Prizm (Geo or chevy) is a corolla for chevy money, always a good choice.

Personnaly, i have had great luck with Jeep Cherokees with the 4.0 and AW4 automatic. The drivetrain is bulletproof, just watch out for door and rocker rust.


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Saturn S-Series
Chevrolet Prizm
Jeep Cherokee

Response from slo_gin007

4:49 pm April 1, 2014

Response from ahm1127

10:33 am April 2, 2014

I have an 11' Fiesta now that was $12k, I replaced my Suzuki Aerio. Never should have! My Aerio had more room & more reliable than Fiesta & I turned it in with about 250k on it. I only had to replace 1 wheel bearing & Suzuki parts were very affordable. I had the front wheel drive but they also have a 4x4 version.

I was getting about 30 mpg with it & that was with winter tires. Car was great in the snow & on dirt roads.


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Suzuki Aerio
Subaru Outback
Ford Fiesta

Response from acetech09

1:52 pm April 7, 2014

Reliable? Cheap? DavidNorbert I think covered it the best here.Saturns & Prizms are dead cheap and will get you places. Suzukis are also great (I have an SX4) but you have to either be handy with a wrench or make sure there's a local shop around that will fix them - no Suzuki dealers anymore.


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Saturn L-Series
Suzuki Aerio
Chevrolet Prizm

Response from nasowas

8:54 pm April 21, 2014

If you are willing to go back 20 years and you live south of the road salt line you may consider a '95 to '98 Mazda Protege. Their weakest point is the air conditioning and a CEL for catalytic converter warm up efficiency. A manual transmission would be more reliable than one with the automatic.

Consider a Mazda 262 but only with manual transmission.

Of course with any car this old have it checked by a mechanic of your choice before handing over the money.


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Mazda Protege
Mazda 626
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