What kind of car should I buy?

69 posts in this topic

Thanks, all! That's my experience with Hondas, too. I've had several Accords and Civics in the past, and they're great cars, as are Toyotas.

 

I'm toying with the idea of getting a little big car or big little car, if that makes any sense. The size and utility are what I find attractive about the Rav4, but I don't know what other cars are similar. Can anyone suggest some cars to check out that are similar to the Rav4 (i.e. function like big cars, so you can throw lots of stuff in them, but aren't a big, fat SUV)?

 

I like cute, little cars (I'd get a Mini if I could afford it), but hell, even Accords these days are fuckin' huge.

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The passat is a great motor. Is it petrol, diesel or turbo diesel? The low cc petrol tendnot to be as good...

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Passats are OK - won't set the world alight, but should be reliable, safe blah blah. Everything you're looking for from an A to B car. Nevertheless I'd favour a Japanese motor if possible. (and TC1 - do they do diesels in the U.S.? I was under the impression that it was pretty much gas only...).

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Thanks. The ad I was looking at was not a diesel. I'm not sure if they have them here, but that's even better if they do. I could convert it to biodiesel.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for old fixed-up classics I might want to look at? I prefer smaller cars, so no Ford Fairlanes or anything (besides, I'm not particularly fond of American cars). And obv with the increasing fuel prices, the more economical the better. I know, I know, that's unlikely for older cars, but what is the most reliable and economical old (i.e. 60s -70s) small car that has 4 doors or at least a back seat?

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@ Jimbo

 

You got me on that one. as one of the few irishmen not to have emigrated to the States i was not aware that they did not have diesel cars there. The passat is still a great a to b car and very reliable and safe... I thought that was all a woman would be looking for in a car...(if only they were looking for that in a man) :D

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as one of the few irishmen not to have emigrated to the States
i was not aware that they did not have diesel cars there.

We do have diesel cars here, just not many as elsewhere because of the stringent emissions laws.

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what is the most reliable and economical old (i.e. 60s -70s) small car that has 4 doors or at least a back seat?

Well a Beetle would fit, only 2 doors but it's got a back seat. Mind you they're bloody awful things!

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So I'm thinking that rather than buy the newest car I can get (which would probably end up being a 10 year old commuter car), perhaps it would be better to invest that money in a rebuilt classic instead (not that a car can be considered an investment or anything). Anyone have an opinion on that?

I've had several classic daily-drivers over the years: 74 VW Beetle, 56 Chevy Bel-Air and 68 Mustang Convertible.

 

If you must go the classic route you simply can't go wrong with a VW or an American pushrod engine; they'll go forever so long as you change the oil religiously (and they pass the compression test beforehand). That said, the engine may run like a top but you're going to be fixing other things perpetually. Classics are a pain in the ass if all you want to do is get in and drive; they're better suited to people who have a primary means of transportation and have classic they like to tinker with on the side - ask me how I know. If you do go that route a VW Ghia, Beetle or Ford Mustang (with an inline 6 to save on the fuel) would be my suggestion. You should be able to get all rust-free in California but expect to pay a premium as a result (hint: Arizona has lots of rust-free classics without the CA premium price).

 

EDIT: For a little more than what you want to spent I'd buy a late 90's Subaru.

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post-356-1146741561.jpg

This is my sister's 1966 Ghia. Her husband runs a VW Club in the UK and is currently filming two series for Discovery Channel about VW restoration (think one is called "Campervan Crisis" and the other appears to be "Bling my Beetle" - both due to show later this year).

Unless you are truly enthusiastic, don't get one (or have a suitable nutter in the family to fix it up for you).

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Thanks. The ad I was looking at was not a diesel. I'm not sure if they have them here, but that's even better if they do. I could convert it to biodiesel.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for old fixed-up classics I might want to look at? I prefer smaller cars, so no Ford Fairlanes or anything (besides, I'm not particularly fond of American cars). And obv with the increasing fuel prices, the more economical the better. I know, I know, that's unlikely for older cars, but what is the most reliable and economical old (i.e. 60s -70s) small car that has 4 doors or at least a back seat?

I know it's not a 4 door ... But Austin Healey Bug Eyed Sprites should be pretty easy to get hold of. I had a friend in the UK that used to import them from the US (bringing them back home !!). The kind Californian weather seemed to help keep them in pretty good condition

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Thanks very much everyone! That's exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to hear.

 

@DW - My hubby would easily vote for the Subaru!

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IPJ, you can have my 1993, dented, radio-torn-out Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it for FREE as soon as I get a job and buy myself another car. ;)

 

You can test drive it next week - it's in Oakland :P

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So when are we meeting up for a beer now that you're back in the land of sunshine?

Pah! We're winning so far Mrs Land of Sunshine :P

 

Munich:

post-2021-1146856818.jpg

 

San Fran:

post-2021-1146856826.jpg

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That's kinda how I feel about it Parnell, but my hubby's a bit more practical.

 

Does anyone know anything about Honda CRVs? I think that's the biggest I'd go size-wise. They're 4WDs but still small, like a Rav4, with the plus they're Hondas! Hubby wants something big enough to chuck camping and climbing gear in the back of and reliable enough to not get us stuck out in the woods. Anyone know if it's safe to assume that one would be just as reliable as any other Honda?

 

post-1036-1146957811_thumb.jpg

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