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  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 01:35 AM
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What would you buy? Small car for 10k

I'm finally in a position to buy a car that's more then a beater, and wont put me in a bad spot financially.

I want a smallerish car for around 10k. I want good MPG, good reliability, ease of maintenance, low operating costs, and comfort. I also have a strong desire for a manual transmission, and keyless would be nice. Large trunk space, big doors, and some power would be nice.

I'm leaning HEAVILY onto a 08-11 ford focus, but they are HARD to find with a 5 speed. I rented one out west, and I "really" liked it, except it was an automatic.
I would not like a Cobalt because my GF has a caviler, and 2 of her roommates have Cobalts. I like them, but......
Never bought anything not a traditional domestic, nobody in my family has bought anything but a traditional domestic for a daily driver, and keeping it that way would be a good thing.


I understand the car would be subject to collage door dings, and some scratches. I want something useful.

Any suggestions or input would be appreciated. Got time to look around, few months possibly.
Thanks
~Nate

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  #2  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:29 AM
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Who's flying this thing ?
 
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Los Angeles is the car culture capitol of the world

they are out there

Fly out, drive home.

Here is a 2009 5 speed Ford Focus, $11749 in the San Fernando Valley

2009 Ford Focus Coupe 5 speed


Or if your Spanish is good here and you are feeling lucky, how about is a 4 door 5 speed salvage title 2011 Ford Focus, 5 speed sedan for only $8,000.

2011 ford focus 5 speed super limpio
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:53 AM
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Honda Fit/Toyota Yaris/Nissan Sentra.



All very solid cars with great fuel mileage. Not to mention stupid awesome reliability.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:38 AM
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Mazda3 hatchback. Otherwise Ford Focus hatchback like you say. You def. want a hatchback in this segment.
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
Mazda3 hatchback. Otherwise Ford Focus hatchback like you say. You def. want a hatchback in this segment.
I agree except on the hatchback. I myself have a sedan and I like it. I think it has a MUCH nicer interior than the focus and mine has been super reliable for the first 54k miles. The only thing is that they are not quite as good as the focus in terms of fuel economy. I have a 2.0L with a five speed and driving easy I get about 28mpg mixed and driving spirited I get about 25 mpg. This is all down since ethanol became wide spread. I used to get about 31 mpg mixed driving. I have been able to eek 37 mpg out of it when I was headed down towards mexico once.
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwrock View Post
Honda Fit/Toyota Yaris/Nissan Sentra.


BORING!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:01 AM
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VW Golf TDI or Jetta TDI - my sister has the Jetta with over 220K and it runs like new, still near 50mpg!
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:48 AM
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X2 on the Mazda 3. They are really nice cars, you'll be surprised by the quality and style of such an inexpensive car--the only other car I can say that to is the new vws. A tdi would be great as well but their resale value is quite high at the moment so 10k might not get you as much.
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:55 AM
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id put half in the bank and use the other half to buy an older tdi turbo 5 spd VW bug.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:57 AM
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Maybe a ford focus lasts better in your location. I will never buy another one for resale. At accumulated milages that better cars usually will have had no issues. You will have a list of them. I have my last purchased one now for resale waiting for my attention.

At 75 thousand miles it needs a day or twos work. A garage would charge thousands of dollars. Starting with a complete brake job that will need attention by someone else again before too long. The braking system was made problamatic on purpose to cheapen the production costs of the car. Then there are suspension issues, non working hardware issues, The infamous ignition key lock issue to attend to as well.

The keyswitches alone go bad a few times over the lifespan of the car. Not always cheap to deal with either. There is gasket leakages on the engine of enough magnitude I will have to address them as well. At 75k an average honda or toyota should need nothing. Not even a timing belt change as they use chains that last the life of the car if the oil is changed on schedule.

People will buy a used decent japanese car with 150k on it. Will there be much left to resell of a focus at 150k average miles? Well if you spend enough money on it maybe. But you will spend considerable money in comparison to get there. Plus get a much lower resale price out of it. Generally a lose/lose situation.

Ford as with the other domestic big three labels also has tended to carry long standing issues forward. If this has really changed in the recent past I do not know. You cannot trust the commercials or those companies as they always use the same pitches. Quality is job one by ford was a spectacular example during the period they were making marginal cars. Now it is we are building better cars. how is the consumer to really know?

On the other hand some people out there have to contribute more than others to the economy. A good example is the amount of times you will repair the brake system in comparison to say a honda. You can actually reduce this to an equation. My guess overall is that a focus compared to a honda will have overall cost you twice as much if not more over an eight year period. By this I mean including the purchase cost and the retained resale value.

Unless they have really changed focus resale is going to be low. This factors very heavily into your cost of ownership.

Why not break with tradition in your family and get something better? Initially it should cost no more with a little effort. Cars like toyota and honda have earnt their position over the years.It is just not advertising. No they are not perfect either but in comparison to the big three costwise they are.

This is just not my opinion either. Again a used older toyota or honda still in decent shape will attract a new owner both easily and at a higher price by far than an old line domestic brand. So the car is absolutly far cheaper to own over it's usage period.

Now a given is maybe the newer focuses are better. They are just not old enough to absolutly tell yet. It is your money you are laying on the line to find out. Are you into gambling this much?

Why did I overall turn so sour on the old big three domestic cars? They cost me a fortune looking back on what could have been different. If the big threes fundemental drive would change from just wanting to separate you from your money. Compared to attempting to give you a good experience with no arguments about warranty.

Honda and toyotas view of the car market is more long term oriented and you can benifit from that. Your repeat business is wanted and they do many things to make it happen.

I hope you are also aware of the fact that honda and toyota use a lot of lifetime parts. These are just parts that you would have to change out normally at specified intervals as maintenace items on most other brands.Many of these are no longer cheap either.

I am not sure why they do not advertise this fact other than people do not use logic when purchasing cars. For the majority logic is displaced by emotional choices.

Now do not get me totally wrong. If the old big three produce cars that are equal or better than the others proven over at least a ten year period. That would mean that they have really dropped their old culture and ways I will buy them. At the current time this is just not the situation..
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate View Post
...Never bought anything not a traditional domestic, nobody in my family has bought anything but a traditional domestic for a daily driver, and keeping it that way would be a good thing...
Then I say get a Focus. Jim B's flying out and driving back idea sounds good to me. It will broaden your choices and maybe be a fun road trip.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutzTD View Post
id put half in the bank and use the other half to buy an older tdi turbo 5 spd VW bug.
Or save even more money and get a 2.0 gas. Not very fast, only high 20s in the MPGs, but very reliable.

-J
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:06 AM
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I bought a 12 ford fiesta recently. Well equipped, out the door price was about 19k. I have heated seats, hatchback, and that sync system. I can easily haul smaller pieces of furniture, and my lawn mower. The ride quality is actually good. Although I still find myself driving my 300e, its comforting to know that I have a reliable piece of transportation sittng in my driveway.

Real life fuel economy is about 32mpg city, and about 38mpg highway. It will probably do better on the highway, but I had my wife, and the back full of stuff. I was also going about 75mph the whole way.

I would recommend a car like this to anyone. It looks like it is very easy to work on. There is plenty of space under the hood. You wont really have to bother with it as it comes with a 36k bumper to bumper, and a 50k powertrain warranty.

Every new ford that I have bought (mostly f150's) have gone 100k before needing any kind of repair. In fact, I gave my father my 04 f150 3 years ago, at 120k. It now has 175k, and has only needed an alternator, and a transmission rebuild. About $1500.
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:20 AM
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I forgot to mention also that you are buying a car at the time of a major change. Some 2012 cars have gone to direct fuel injection. This substantually increases fuel milage.

Also the importance of it is obvious. It will be a watershed area in the resale market. People will seek out the direct injection models five years down the road and pay a premium for them . Or not want the non direct fuel injection models at all. Depends on where the price of gas goes I suppose.

If you are prepared to go 11k I would do the stretch to one of the 2012s.. Your fuel savings alone if you are the average younger guy that drives a lot will cover the difference in cost. The manufactures are presently aware of how much change this is but are soft pedalling things to clear out the 2011 inventory at this time.

Cars are cheaper new in the United States than up here in Canada I believe. I can get into a 2012 honda civic manual transmission model for less than 14 thousand here. Epa highway milage estimate is 58 miles per imperial gallon. You would not get it in reality of course to start with mind your gallon being about 3/4 of a quart smaller. But what you will get will be a lot better fuel milage than any 2011 gas car or older can deliver.

Toyota is actually using deceptive advertising by comparing their 2012 models fuel milage against the competitions 2011 offerings. They dare not compare them to the others 2012 offerings with direct injection. Toyota has delayed going direct injection for 2012. A major error in my opinion.

Even huyundia has moved to direct fuel injection for 2012. Focus may have as well but many have not. Anyway you look at direct into the cylinder fuel injection it is a signifigant improvement. It all boils down to making choices I suppose.

Actually it does not really matter to me what you decide to buy. I just put the issue of a good reliable lowest cost overall car purchase. Adding my own perspectives right or wrong. If you want to be financially ahead of the pack someday. I found out years ago you have to really think things through and displace emotion from a lot of decisions.

This is harder the younger you are I freely admit and remember. I would not want to list all the misteaks from my perspective I made when younger. It is considered part of the learning experience in life. You want to quicken that curve as early in life as possible for your own benifit.

As another costly benifit I found that women want to grab on to guys that make good decisions on average. Life to me financially is like a game of pool. Scatch a few times and and you cannot recover. Buying a poor choice is scratching when you are young as income and resources are more limited.

At my age we can take the occassional financial hit in stride. When we were younger there was not the room to do so. I only wished my father had clarified this whole are to me when I was very young. Unfortunatly he probably never really knew much about it to pass along. So I had to learn the proverbial hard way.

Sorry to be so long winded but things like this in reality are important to an individual again just in my opinion. If they make you think they are worth adding to the thread.

Last edited by barry123400; 11-02-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry123400 View Post
I forgot to mention also that you are buying a car at the time of a major change. Some 2012 cars have gone to direct fuel injection. This substantually increases fuel milage.

Also the importance of it is obvious. It will be a watershed area in the resale market. People will seek out the direct injection models five years down the road and pay a premium for them . Or not want the non direct fuel injection models at all...
That's a great point. What do you think of the conventional wisdom I was given back in the '70s that you should always avoid buying a car the first year it comes out? Does that argue in favor of staying away from the 2012 cars?

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