Anyone have a favorite older car they would recommend?

Corn Woman

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I have to chime in for the Pontiacs. I drove a 95 Bonneville for years. Excellent on gas, great engine and transmission, frontwheel drive and if you get the bench seat then you can seat 6 . I loved that car and sold it 6 years ago and the family that bought it from me have trashed the exterior but the car keeps on going. Just keep the oil changed and tramsmission flushed and you are good to go. My DD has a 03 Grand Am and we love that car as well, excellent in bad weather we drove from Oklahoma to Utah in December across I-40 when the whole interstate shut down and the little car handled so well (very scary trip). They are easy to repair if needed and parts are available almost anywhere. I also vote for Toyotas. Almost every family member myself included drove either a Celica, Corolla or Camry and they just keep on keepin on. Good cars.
 

Athene

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I drove a Bonneville for years that I never, ever should have sold! Lesson learned.

I'd get a 90s Taurus all over again. It seats six (at least in theory), parts are very easy to find, and it gets decent (~22 mpg) mileage. Much easier to work on than a Toyota, too. (At least for my shade tree mechanic.)
 

Ed Nigma

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I would also go with the '90's Taurus, we drive a 99 with 165K that gets 23 mpg. There are several very good forums on-line for repair help.
I have been able to do quite a lot of the work on it my self. Not that Taurus's are prone to break down allot, but, my wife is very rough on the car.
Regardless what you get invest in a CAR FACTS, ours turned out to be reported as flooded.
 

so lucky

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I vote for Toyota. Mine was made in Kentucky, so that's pretty USA in my book.
 

heatherlynnky

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I am still searching. I am torn on what to look for . I have considered the smaller car which will only carry me and the kids. My husband commutes in his little old Honda right now. If we had to go somewhere together though that means taking 2 cars but we spend the majority of our driving time apart. I have 3 more payments and our clunker van with everything going wrong is paid off. Our mechanic said to give it up and get something older and dependable. Everything in our current is power. Doors, everything and the electrical system has problems. We replace headlights on a monthly basis. In order to change the back spark plugs we have to pull out the engine. The computer already was replaced along with 300 more in wires and sensors. We have more sensors that have shown up bad and potentially more wiring and the catalytic converter too which was just replaced a little over a year ago. We are looking at more to fix it than replace it at this point. A bit scary. The only person who could afford it is a mechanic. Nuts

Anywho I am pouring over the craigslist ads and hoping the right one for us will pop up. Mechanic will check it out for us if its close enough. Its great to have a good old fashioned mechanic behind you when you need one. My husband can do alot but sometimes you get in over your head and you need a pro.
 

donrae

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Just another vote for the Toyotas. I have an 00 corolla, 168 000 miles on it, it's never let me down. I did get stuck once trying to see a patient who lives on top of a mountain where there's no power, but that was kinda my own stupid fault. Baby's never died on me, my honey can do a lot of the work it needs, plus it gets 33 miles to the gallon! I'm one of the only folks at my agency that actually still makes money on the milage reimbursement.

Granted, it's not horribly roomy, depending on how old/big your kids are.

I have hauled hay in the trunk lol.
 

so lucky

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My dad had an older Buick that was roomy, ran great and got about 30 MPH, even tho it was not intended for gas saving. My DH felt it was a great car.
 

Beekissed

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heatherlynnky said:
I am still searching. I am torn on what to look for . I have considered the smaller car which will only carry me and the kids. My husband commutes in his little old Honda right now. If we had to go somewhere together though that means taking 2 cars but we spend the majority of our driving time apart. I have 3 more payments and our clunker van with everything going wrong is paid off. Our mechanic said to give it up and get something older and dependable. Everything in our current is power. Doors, everything and the electrical system has problems. We replace headlights on a monthly basis. In order to change the back spark plugs we have to pull out the engine. The computer already was replaced along with 300 more in wires and sensors. We have more sensors that have shown up bad and potentially more wiring and the catalytic converter too which was just replaced a little over a year ago. We are looking at more to fix it than replace it at this point. A bit scary. The only person who could afford it is a mechanic. Nuts

Anywho I am pouring over the craigslist ads and hoping the right one for us will pop up. Mechanic will check it out for us if its close enough. Its great to have a good old fashioned mechanic behind you when you need one. My husband can do alot but sometimes you get in over your head and you need a pro.
Was wondering about the make and model of your current van? There are places online where you can look up a potential vehicle and find the customer ratings for that particular vehicle, make, year, etc. I find these more helpful than the manufacturer ratings. Could be that particular year of that particular van was a problematic style/manufacture and others have experienced the same thing.

That way you can get the opinions of many different people, pros and cons, on any older vehicle you may want to purchase.

http://www.edmunds.com

http://www.cars.com
 

heatherlynnky

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Current van is a chevy venture. Horrible horrible van. Everytime we go see the mechanic with it, which is pretty often, he asks when we are getting rid of it. Try explaining you owe 3 grand on a piece of junk. We spent a grand total of 3500 on the honda and we have had 2 more years on it than the venture and the honda is still running.

Right now the van needs wheel bearins, potentially a new axle, major electrical work, 0xygen sensor code came up, van doors won't stay shut, wind shield wipers sometimes just come on by themselves, headlights keep burning out, and looks like brake work. A few of these just gone done last year and already we are back to its not dependable.

Right now the van gets around 15mpg.

Still looking for the right car though. The cash is sitting in the bank, just need to wait for the right one to come along. I don't want to finance.
 

Beekissed

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Ouch! You owe money on that thing? I've been there, years ago...and never did it again. I feel your pain!

My sis has a 2001 Honda CRV that is virtually indestructible...this I know because she never, ever does maintenance on it and it has survived her and her kids. She bought it new, so it's 11 years old and still runs like a top...even though she has let it run completely out of oil and other fluids before, hardly ever changes the oil, etc.

I wouldn't have one of the newer ones but those made back in the early 2000s seem to be great vehicles.

My folks swear by the Toyota and won't drive any other kind of truck. My son drives a Toyota Corolla and seems very pleased.
 

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