: Some of my friends have an awful taste in cars.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 07:51 AM
So my friend Jason had a daughter with his girlfriend in April, and now he's looking for a safe & reliable sedan to replace his POS '93 Maxima with. He's gonna take a loan out for $7,000 for the new car and his main priorities are fuel economy and reliability. So yesterday, he posts a question on my facebook wall asking what I'd recommend. Naturally, I recommend a Grand Prix, Regal or Impala with the 3.8L....gets great mileage, easy to work on when it needs to be worked on, which won't be very often because they're so reliable, but they offer a lot of room and safety features to keep his budding family safe and comfy.

Then of course, my two friends with Focuses (one is an '02 ZX3 hatchback and the other is an '07 ZX5 hatchback) say that the Ford Focus is clearly the best car of all time and that only cool people have Focuses. :lol: I'm sorry that they've got opinions that are so clouded and they've never experienced a car of truly magnificent quality and engineering....like a Cadillac or a Mercedes... :)

So the friend that's looking for a car than suggests to me a Civic or Accord, newer than 2000, for less than $7,000. I do some searching on autotrader, and there is definitely a large supply of Civics and Accords for less than $7,000, but they've all got atleast 150 rounds on them. Same with the Corolla or Camry, but atleast with the Focus, you can get one for $6500 with less than 90k on it.

So considering the criteria, I had to recommend the Focus, as it's probably the least of all evils.....I mean it's atleast built in America by an American company and they're somewhat fun to toss around. I think it's hilarious that my friend with the '02 Focus says that he's able to achieve "30+ MPG with it's impenetrable 2.0L" :lol: Any non-supercharged 3.8L will pull 32-33 mpg highway, and it's in a car a full two sizes bigger than a Focus. :) If only they knew...

CIWS
07-14-10, 07:55 AM
Well they may not understand, but at least you didn't have to end up recommending to them a 2000 Hyundai :D

Stingroo
07-14-10, 08:39 AM
It's true too, our Olds 88 with now 176k on it still gets 32mpg highway, and I would drive that thing anywhere.

Chad what kind of mileage does your Regal get with the s/c?

gary88
07-14-10, 09:35 AM
Civics are the best cars to recommend to non-car people.

ted tcb
07-14-10, 09:45 AM
I'd say the comfort of a GP, Regal, or Lesabre far outweigh any gas mileage fears.
My 98 Lesabre was like an economy car on long road trips, always acheiving well over 30mpg with 4 persons on board.
Around town, the fuel economy obviously doesn't compare to a lighter, 4 cyl car.
Coming from a Max, I fear your friend will want a more substantial car than a Focus, especially as his family grows.

Chad, how is your fuel economy in stop/n/go city traffic?
My mom had a 98 Regal GS, and it was really thirsty in city situations.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 09:57 AM
I agree with the poor SC mileage. Never really understood that. You were better off getting a car with a decent V8, which could be more repsonsive with a wider powerband and didn't sound like @$$ when you gave it some throttle.

Probably why cars like the Impala SS and the high end Bonneville (GXP?) went the V8 route after a while.

But I guess, while the 3.8 SC was enjoying it's reign in the '90's, 240 hp was pretty good; there weren't many other options and it served it's purpose well.

Stingroo
07-14-10, 10:15 AM
Yeah 240hp in the mid to late 90's was ridiculous for a V6. Lower displacement engines (well, actually, no, all engines, as far as modern standards go) have enjoyed a sort of power Renaissance as of late. I mean now we have 3.6 litre V6's that make as much power as (and in most cases, MORE) than V8's of 15 years ago.

'Tis a good time to be a car enthusiast... until they take that away from us too.

OffThaHorseCEO
07-14-10, 10:27 AM
the sad part is, he'll ask you ten more times, then ultimately go with something you didnt recommend. and worse, an import

Stingroo
07-14-10, 10:32 AM
BWAHAHAHA It's funny because it's true.

My friend asked me for like, 3 months what he should buy. He said he wanted something nice for under 5k. I showed him ad after ad of really nice cars, import and domestic alike (My favorite I saw was a really clean Honda Prelude that we even went to test drive, and he liked it).


Instead, 2 weeks later he shows up to school in the most base 2000 Civic hatch I've ever seen on earth. It doesn't even have power steering. I laugh, and sometimes shake my head whenever I think about him. His reasoning behind the purchase was that it was the only car "from this millennium"

Sigh.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 01:46 PM
Hey, there's nothing wrong with using a stripped, base econ car as a daily driver.

A few years ago I decided I didn't want to tool around getting 17-18mpg in the city, so I searched craigslist for a few weeks and ended up getting a 1992 Ford Escort in trade for a few computer parts. This thing was as base as it gets...5 speed manual, manual windows, locks...it had NOTHING except a ton of miles, 200k.

It was a great little car.When I got it I put brakes on it, a starter, 2 rear springs and a radiator. I drove the car for that two years with no problems at all. Best of all, it averaged about 35mpg. When I was done with it I sold it for $1000

I consider myself to be an auto enthusiast. However, at the same time I can appreciate simplicity, which is exactly what that car was. The car drove nice, I took care it and I actually enjoyed driving it for what it was, especially since it had a manual trans. Different from my streak of Caddy's.

The top car (VW Jetta TDI) on my list to shop for when I graduate is far from a stereotypical enthusiasts ride and isn't something most think about when talking "nice cars".

You don't have to drive a nice, well optioned car to prove to yourself or others that you enjoy cars or that you enjoy the finer things in life (though that's the way it is in America, "I am what I drive"). EVERYTHING has something to offer. It's just a matter of if you are open minded enough to be able to enjoy it and take advantage of it.

Stingroo
07-14-10, 01:50 PM
I really like the VW TDI's. I would never buy a used one though, because I've heard nightmares about VW parts prices. Still cool cars though.

And the thing is with my friend's Civic, he paid like 4k for it. :hmm:

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 01:52 PM
I wouldn't buy one used either, mainly because of pricing. You won't find a car under $50k that holds it's value better than a diesel VW. You can buy a 5 year old 80k mile TDI for 20k or buy a brand new one for 25k. Go figure.

OffThaHorseCEO
07-14-10, 02:02 PM
Hey, there's nothing wrong with using a stripped, base econ car as a daily driver.

A few years ago I decided I didn't want to tool around getting 17-18mpg in the city, so I searched craigslist for a few weeks and ended up getting a 1992 Ford Escort in trade for a few computer parts. This thing was as base as it gets...5 speed manual, manual windows, locks...it had NOTHING except a ton of miles, 200k.

It was a great little car.When I got it I put brakes on it, a starter, 2 rear springs and a radiator. I drove the car for that two years with no problems at all. Best of all, it averaged about 35mpg. When I was done with it I sold it for $1000

I consider myself to be an auto enthusiast. However, at the same time I can appreciate simplicity, which is exactly what that car was. The car drove nice, I took care it and I actually enjoyed driving it for what it was, especially since it had a manual trans. Different from my streak of Caddy's.

The top car (VW Jetta TDI) on my list to shop for when I graduate is far from a stereotypical enthusiasts ride and isn't something most think about when talking "nice cars".

You don't have to drive a nice, well optioned car to prove to yourself or others that you enjoy cars or that you enjoy the finer things in life (though that's the way it is in America, "I am what I drive"). EVERYTHING has something to offer. It's just a matter of if you are open minded enough to be able to enjoy it and take advantage of it.

Well said and i agree. Ive had a Roadmaster, Deville, DTS, ETC and have an SRX and i can still appreciate our little 96 Saturn SW2. It gets me to work, cheaply, and reasonably comfortably.

That said i still love driving the SRX much more than the Saturn. MUCH MUCH more

ben.gators
07-14-10, 03:34 PM
Hey, there's nothing wrong with using a stripped, base econ car as a daily driver.

A few years ago I decided I didn't want to tool around getting 17-18mpg in the city, so I searched craigslist for a few weeks and ended up getting a 1992 Ford Escort in trade for a few computer parts. This thing was as base as it gets...5 speed manual, manual windows, locks...it had NOTHING except a ton of miles, 200k.

It was a great little car.When I got it I put brakes on it, a starter, 2 rear springs and a radiator. I drove the car for that two years with no problems at all. Best of all, it averaged about 35mpg. When I was done with it I sold it for $1000

I consider myself to be an auto enthusiast. However, at the same time I can appreciate simplicity, which is exactly what that car was. The car drove nice, I took care it and I actually enjoyed driving it for what it was, especially since it had a manual trans. Different from my streak of Caddy's.

The top car (VW Jetta TDI) on my list to shop for when I graduate is far from a stereotypical enthusiasts ride and isn't something most think about when talking "nice cars".

You don't have to drive a nice, well optioned car to prove to yourself or others that you enjoy cars or that you enjoy the finer things in life (though that's the way it is in America, "I am what I drive"). EVERYTHING has something to offer. It's just a matter of if you are open minded enough to be able to enjoy it and take advantage of it.

I agree with you that an small, basic, cheap, dependable car can be a good a daily driver (I still prefer to have my 4.6L N* powered STS as DD). But the main point of discussions- as far as I understood- is there are some people that think a base Civic or a Ford Focus is the best car on the roads. That is the point makes the story funny, else nothing is wrong with having an small gas saver car in the drive way beside real good cars.

gdwriter
07-14-10, 04:09 PM
At least they're not singing the praises of a Jeep Wrangler :rofl:

You'll generally pay higher prices and get a car with higher mileage with a used Civic or Accord. The 3800 is going to be both good on gas and pretty much bulletproof, although I don't know about the rest of the car. Maybe less sporty than a high-end Focus, but comfortable and probably better at hauling around all the crap you've got with a baby. They should at least shop around and try different cars, including the Focus, Civic, Accord and Regal/GP/Impala.

I did a search on AutoTrader for a Regal, Grand Prix and Impala with <100,000 miles, <$7,000 and within 50 miles of St. Paul and found 30 listings (http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?lastStartYear=1981&num_records=75&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&search_type=used&distance=50&address=55123&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=BUICK&model=REG&make2=PONT&model2=GP&make3=CHEV&model3=CHEVIMP&start_year=1981&end_year=2011&min_price=&max_price=7000&seller_type=d&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=100000&color=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=y&highlightFirstMakeModel=&showZipError=n&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&systime=&sownerid=581567&rdm=1279138874708).

ben.gators
07-14-10, 04:29 PM
^^^
Yes, 3800CC series II and III powered cars are pretty decent and reliable cars, especially Regal, my previous car. You can find a regal with less than 90K miles on it and in good condition for just 5K and even less. The listings are mostly for buy here- pay here dealers, the price from private party or cash price of dealers will be much less than these numbers.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 04:34 PM
At least they're not singing the praises of a Jeep Wrangler :rofl:

You'll generally pay higher prices and get a car with higher mileage with a used Civic or Accord. The 3800 is going to be both good on gas and pretty much bulletproof, although I don't know about the rest of the car. Maybe less sporty than a high-end Focus, but comfortable and probably better at hauling around all the crap you've got with a baby. They should at least shop around and try different cars, including the Focus, Civic, Accord and Regal/GP/Impala.

I could sing and sing and sing the praises of the 3800 and how it gets great mileage and is so reliable, but he specifically told me he won't buy GM or Mopar, no real reason, just he doesn't like them. At that point, I let my ego aside and just decide that some things aren't worth fighting for.




Chad what kind of mileage does your Regal get with the s/c?

21 combined on average, and I apply liberal use of the supercharger. I've gotten 28 mpg on the highway before, but that was mainly at speeds in the 60-65 range, otherwise it's usually 26 mpg highway.


Civics are the best cars to recommend to non-car people.

Yeah, his girlfriend has a 96ish Civic Sedan and she really likes it.


I agree with the poor SC mileage. Never really understood that. You were better off getting a car with a decent V8, which could be more repsonsive with a wider powerband and didn't sound like @$$ when you gave it some throttle.

Probably why cars like the Impala SS and the high end Bonneville (GXP?) went the V8 route after a while.

But I guess, while the 3.8 SC was enjoying it's reign in the '90's, 240 hp was pretty good; there weren't many other options and it served it's purpose well.

Like I said before, the GS gets very good mileage for the amount of performance it gives and it's age, and the powerband is thick and torque rich. After they went to the V8, whether it be the Northstar or 5.3 DOD, they crammed the engine into there, and thereby eliminated almost any sort of easy access to the engine for repairs or simple maintenance and really made it a PIA to work on.


the sad part is, he'll ask you ten more times, then ultimately go with something you didnt recommend. and worse, an import

That's exactly what I think'll happen. His girlfriend suggested a Civic or Camry (she's had a '96 Civic Sedan for years, and her aunt has a new Camry) so he'll be a ***** and downgrade to that, even though we've all been yelling at him to buy a Focus. But I guess when you've had a kid with a girl that knows nothing about cars, you gotta buy what she wants and puss out. Of course, he'd do anything to please her, that's just the kinda situation that is. But though, when the high mileage, older Civic breaks down, I can just stand back and ask him what sorta trouble he'd be in if he bought a newer, lower mileage Ford Focus or perhaps a Chevy Impala. Really rub it in like the good friend I am. Because when you ask for my advice and promptly ignore it, that's whats going to happen. :D


But the main point of discussions- as far as I understood- is there are some people that think a base Civic or a Ford Focus is the best car on the roads. That is the point makes the story funny

Eeeeexactly!

orconn
07-14-10, 04:41 PM
Hey, nobody is mentioning mini-vans for new families with small kids. It seems to me, despite the "soccer mom" stigma associated (which should now be transfered to SUV's) the most practicale, comfortable for hauling around "the kid" and his accessories is a mini-van. The extra room in the mini-van gives an extra safety edge and mom can move around in case the baby needs attention, unlike a coupe or sedan configuration where a stop is neccessary to make any adjustments. There are plenty of minivans on the used car market and I am sure someone here is able to recommend the most reliable and cheapest to maintain.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 04:48 PM
I should sell him my Astro. 218k and still going, even at 18mpg average. :D

Here's a look into our shallow lives. This is from Facebook today.




Jason Maki: down to civic, accord, focus, camry, and corolla what do you think good list?


Sara Jane: Focus of course.


Chad Rawson: Accord. Everyone else has Focus.


Kevin Marx: Must mean the focus is a good car.


Jonathan Haupt: Focus. Only the cool people have one, why wouldn't you...?


Chad Rawson: ****, I don't care. Anything but the damn Corolla. You're better than that. I'd buy the Focus just because it's American, but the Accord has more room to keep your budding family safe.

Jason Maki: i think my bottom 2 on the list are the toyotas id get tehm only if it was a great deal.

Carly Dobrin: I say no to a focus... you need to get a civic or a camry

Scott Hanneken: The boss has spoken...

Chad Rawson: The writing is on the wall Jason. I wash my hands of this.


Do you see why I get so frustrated? :lol: :banghead:

hueterm
07-14-10, 04:52 PM
I think they all suck ass, except for maybe a loaded Accord or Camry V6.....but that's just me. Let the drones buy their rolling appliances and keep those resale values ridiculously high. Thereby keeping the resale lower on the big GM iron that I want!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 04:59 PM
It'd kill me to see him in a car that I like. He destroyed his Maxima. Once yearly oil changes, maybe TWO car washes a year, etc etc. I sold him on that car in February of '05, it was quite nice actually, it was really fun to drive and pretty peppy with that DOHC 24V 3.0L V6, and it has a sunroof and stuff, it was fun to drive and fun at 17, but over the years it's taken such a fall from grace due to his nonexistant car maintenance knowledge or care it's really sad to see.

So the LAST thing I'm recommending him is a Cadillac. :lol:

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 05:09 PM
I think they all suck ass, except for maybe a loaded Accord or Camry V6.....but that's just me. Let the drones buy their rolling appliances and keep those resale values ridiculously high. Thereby keeping the resale lower on the big GM iron that I want!

In what way do they "suck ass"? The Corolla S is a pretty sweet car if you ask me. In light of this thread, what makes a 3800 powered car a better choice than any of these? Most 3800 powered cars ARE those rolling appliances you speak of: poor build quality, 90's styling that carried over too far into the 2000's, and overall no character but they get the job done. Good engines, dull cars.

And everyone touts the excellent highway mileage that the 3800 got, which is very much true. But that's only half of the equation. In my experience and others I've witnessed, the 3800 gets subpar, if not downright poor for it's size, mileage in the city. My 4.5 V8 Eldorado can compete with it.

I'm sorry, I'd take a Corolla S over ANY 3800 powered car, including the Regal GS.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 05:14 PM
In what way do they "suck ass"? The Corolla S is a pretty sweet car if you ask me.

Now this deserves an explanation.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 05:53 PM
Now this deserves an explanation.

Yeah? Why's that?

Sevillian273
07-14-10, 06:03 PM
Suck ass? Nah... Sweet car? Nah... Explanation? Yeah.

OffThaHorseCEO
07-14-10, 06:09 PM
including the Regal GS.

thems fightin words

ga_etc
07-14-10, 06:23 PM
And everyone touts the excellent highway mileage that the 3800 got, which is very much true. But that's only half of the equation. In my experience and others I've witnessed, the 3800 gets subpar, if not downright poor for it's size, mileage in the city. My 4.5 V8 Eldorado can compete with it.

My 1998 Camaro with the 3800/auto averaged 19 city and 26+ interstate and that was normally driving it like I stole it. How is that sub-par? I wouldn't hesitate to buy another 3800 powered car. I drove it for a year and a half and put about 22k on it an never did anything more than routine maintenance.

ga_etc
07-14-10, 06:36 PM
Hey, nobody is mentioning mini-vans for new families with small kids. It seems to me, despite the "soccer mom" stigma associated (which should now be transfered to SUV's) the most practicale, comfortable for hauling around "the kid" and his accessories is a mini-van. The extra room in the mini-van gives an extra safety edge and mom can move around in case the baby needs attention, unlike a coupe or sedan configuration where a stop is neccessary to make any adjustments. There are plenty of minivans on the used car market and I am sure someone here is able to recommend the most reliable and cheapest to maintain.

How about an early to mid '90s Pontiac Trans Port? Not the most attractive vehicle to a lot of people, but I like them and have a lot of room in them. I think it was even the first van available with a power sliding side door. And they were available with the 3800. You can still find really nice ones with good mileage for $2500-$3500.

http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/565/421/images/2010/7/8/282/634/16618201614.282634834.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A.562x421.j pg

gdwriter
07-14-10, 06:42 PM
Haven't driven a current generation Corolla, but had a previous-generation one as a rental, and it was horrible. One of the most uncomfortable cars I've ever driven. No matter how I adjusted the seat, I couldn't get it to a point that wasn't awkward. I'm 6' and 210 lbs., so I'm not exactly out of the mainstream of adult men, so it wasn't me, it was the car. The driving experience itself was as bland as you'd expect from a cheap Toyota.

orconn
07-14-10, 06:53 PM
How about an early to mid '90s Pontiac Trans Port? Not the most attractive vehicle to a lot of people, but I like them and have a lot of room in them. I think it was even the first van available with a power sliding side door. And they were available with the 3800. You can still find really nice ones with good mileage for $2500-$3500.

http://images.autotrader.com/scaler/565/421/images/2010/7/8/282/634/16618201614.282634834.IM1.MAIN.565x421_A.562x421.j pg

There you go, and if you find there's another one on the way no need to panic the mini-van has got you covered. Mini-vans long on practicality short on ego inflation.

ga_etc
07-14-10, 06:54 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfJnqbudMzs

orconn
07-14-10, 06:58 PM
Cool ad! But too small a car if you gotta kid!

ga_etc
07-14-10, 07:01 PM
Wasn't really suggesting the Soul, merely the thought behind the ad.

Stingroo
07-14-10, 07:17 PM
I like the ad a lot :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 07:50 PM
In what way do they "suck ass"? The Corolla S is a pretty sweet car if you ask me. In light of this thread, what makes a 3800 powered car a better choice than any of these? Most 3800 powered cars ARE those rolling appliances you speak of: poor build quality, 90's styling that carried over too far into the 2000's, and overall no character but they get the job done. Good engines, dull cars.

And everyone touts the excellent highway mileage that the 3800 got, which is very much true. But that's only half of the equation. In my experience and others I've witnessed, the 3800 gets subpar, if not downright poor for it's size, mileage in the city. My 4.5 V8 Eldorado can compete with it.

I'm sorry, I'd take a Corolla S over ANY 3800 powered car, including the Regal GS.

Poor build quality? Nope, mine's put together tight and has no squeaks or rattles after 10 years, as are many others that I've seen, even older than mine. No character? You can't get much more charismatic than a GTP...it's mean, it's aggressive, it's a force to be reckoned with. Even a LeSabre/Eighty Eight has a different sort of character....it's more laid back, easy to please and comfortable. A Bonneville has a nice mixture of the sportiness of the Grand Prix with the comfort and size of the LeSabre. The only real dull car with the 3800 that I can think of off the top of my head is the Lumina LS. My dad had one of those and man was it a snooze fest.

There's simply no way that a 3800 in good tune will get mileage like your old 4.5 V8. Is that the throttle body injected version or the sequential port version? Most people say that when running in good tune, the base L36 3800 will get 21-22 mpg in the city, and I do mean from stoplight to stoplight, in heavy traffic. Now unless the 4.5 V8 is WAY more economical than the 4.9 in my deVille, you're probably not seeing more than 17 out of it in the city. Even my supercharged 3.8 gets 19-20 in town, if I drive it strictly in town, in heavy traffic & frequent stoplights. But it's never that way, for me it's a mixture of stop and go city driving and highway driving around the twin cities. So I average 22-23 overall.

OK, so you'd rather take your magical Corolla S. Why exactly? We'll have to race sometime, as I'm sure your little crapolla won't run 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. What are they up to nowadays for horsepower anyways? Oh lemme check...oh look! It's an almighty 158hp! Better watch out!

JimmyH
07-14-10, 08:37 PM
Haven't driven a current generation Corolla, but had a previous-generation one as a rental, and it was horrible. One of the most uncomfortable cars I've ever driven. No matter how I adjusted the seat, I couldn't get it to a point that wasn't awkward. I'm 6' and 210 lbs., so I'm not exactly out of the mainstream of adult men, so it wasn't me, it was the car. The driving experience itself was as bland as you'd expect from a cheap Toyota.

My buddy Bill at work recently had a 2009 Corolla as a rental. It really and truly made his 09 Elantra look like a crown jewel. Toyota really has slipped. I guess that is what happens when you get too big for your britches.

JimmyH
07-14-10, 08:38 PM
'Tis a good time to be a car enthusiast... until they take that away from us too.

35mpg. 2020.

JimmyH
07-14-10, 08:40 PM
It'd kill me to see him in a car that I like. He destroyed his Maxima. Once yearly oil changes, maybe TWO car washes a year, etc etc.

Sounds like me. I beat the piss out of my 2000 Maxima for 185000 miles. It just did not want to die. I got $3000 for it when I sold it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 10:08 PM
I always liked Maximas, come to think of it, I almost bought an '02-03 Maxima GLE over the GS. It had a nicer interior, and that 3.5L is a real sweetheart of an engine, but in the end, I was happier behind the wheel of a GM, and I'm much more familiar with Buick's cars.

Bro-Ham
07-14-10, 10:19 PM
Your friends should buy a crimson red with beige interior 96 Fleetwood Brougham, southern car, mint condition. Then we can hear about how wonderful it is. :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 10:21 PM
Your friends should buy a crimson red with beige interior 96 Fleetwood Brougham, southern car, mint condition. Then we can hear about how wonderful it is. :)

No no, we don't want that. He'll trash it than I'll have to kill him. This friend of mine is the perfect candidate for a Honda Civic, because he can trash the living snot out of it and nobody will care at all.

hueterm
07-14-10, 10:30 PM
In what way do they "suck ass"? The Corolla S is a pretty sweet car if you ask me. In light of this thread, what makes a 3800 powered car a better choice than any of these? Most 3800 powered cars ARE those rolling appliances you speak of: poor build quality, 90's styling that carried over too far into the 2000's, and overall no character but they get the job done. Good engines, dull cars.

And everyone touts the excellent highway mileage that the 3800 got, which is very much true. But that's only half of the equation. In my experience and others I've witnessed, the 3800 gets subpar, if not downright poor for it's size, mileage in the city. My 4.5 V8 Eldorado can compete with it.

I'm sorry, I'd take a Corolla S over ANY 3800 powered car, including the Regal GS.

Then by all means, please do. Leave a hot 3800 S/C for someone who would enjoy and appreciate it.

As to the sucking of the ass by the Corolla:

Corolla = ugly
= too small
= boring
= overpriced
= Toyota (which except for Lexus and a few other exceptions is synonymous w/the above

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:09 PM
Poor build quality? Nope, mine's put together tight and has no squeaks or rattles after 10 years, as are many others that I've seen, even older than mine. No character? You can't get much more charismatic than a GTP...it's mean, it's aggressive, it's a force to be reckoned with. Even a LeSabre/Eighty Eight has a different sort of character....it's more laid back, easy to please and comfortable. A Bonneville has a nice mixture of the sportiness of the Grand Prix with the comfort and size of the LeSabre. The only real dull car with the 3800 that I can think of off the top of my head is the Lumina LS. My dad had one of those and man was it a snooze fest.

There's simply no way that a 3800 in good tune will get mileage like your old 4.5 V8. Is that the throttle body injected version or the sequential port version? Most people say that when running in good tune, the base L36 3800 will get 21-22 mpg in the city, and I do mean from stoplight to stoplight, in heavy traffic. Now unless the 4.5 V8 is WAY more economical than the 4.9 in my deVille, you're probably not seeing more than 17 out of it in the city. Even my supercharged 3.8 gets 19-20 in town, if I drive it strictly in town, in heavy traffic & frequent stoplights. But it's never that way, for me it's a mixture of stop and go city driving and highway driving around the twin cities. So I average 22-23 overall.

OK, so you'd rather take your magical Corolla S. Why exactly? We'll have to race sometime, as I'm sure your little crapolla won't run 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. What are they up to nowadays for horsepower anyways? Oh lemme check...oh look! It's an almighty 158hp! Better watch out!

18-19 out of the SFI 4.5, at least mine which I keep in perfect working order. According to one 3800 owner in this thread, 19 city was common. Go figure.

158hp in a 2800lb car witha 5 speed auto isn't as sluggish as you might think. And is 0-60 the limit of your vision for performance? Oh waity, OF COURSE, you praised the b-body platform for performance! But there's more than that. Corolla S comes with sway bars, front and rear, strut tower brace, decent sized tires and wheels. Given an actual course, I wouldn't be surprised to see that magical crapolla give any 3800 (SC or not) car a real hard time.

MrBoffo
07-14-10, 11:14 PM
LOL at all the guys equating a FWD family sedan with a v6 to being "hot" and some sort of performance machine. Any real sports car, heck, even the FWD sports coupes with real performance motors will walk all over a 3800, supercharged or not.

For the average driver, a corolla is big enough. If you have a family, guess what, then yes a *family* sedan is probably a better bet. However, there are much sportier and nicer cars than a sedated 3800 sedan, even GM seems to think so. If you want a car that does it all, you have to spend the money to do so, deluding yourselves into thinking a mid-90's design competes with other choices in every category is just that-delusional.

Either way, I can't fault people for looking at stripped out cars to get great gas milage at the expense of features and space they won't use. If everybody drove the same car, there'd be no pride in owning what you have. The trick is not being so dense to not understand the value in the other vehicles.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:16 PM
LOL at all the guys equating a FWD family sedan with a v6 to being "hot" and some sort of performance machine. Any real sports car, heck, even the FWD sports coupes with real performance motors will walk all over a 3800, supercharged or not.

The trick is not being so dense to not understand the value in the other vehicles.

:thumbsup:

Yeah, you can't put a guy down because he sees more in the Focus than you do. That's just stupid. You think he rants to others about you because he doesn't understand what your Regal GS is? He probably doesn't care, he loves what he drives and that's what counts. That's what a TRUE enthusiast is.

Chad is the perfect example of the "you are what you drive" theme going on today. He fits right in. Gets all defensive when someone disagrees with his personal preference.

Me? I really don't care what my friends or others drive. It never really crosses my mind. I don't need to go on the internet and put them (or others, say, perhaps one that says they like the Corolla, thanks, bud) down because of their preference in car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 11:25 PM
158hp in a 2800lb car witha 5 speed auto isn't as sluggish as you might think. And is 0-60 the limit of your vision for performance? Oh waity, OF COURSE, you praised the b-body platform for performance! But there's more than that. Corolla S comes with sway bars, front and rear, strut tower brace, decent sized tires and wheels. Given an actual course, I wouldn't be surprised to see that magical crapolla give any 3800 (SC or not) car a real hard time.

If your matchbox sized rice-a-roni cars give you boners, then good for you. Just don't expect us to follow in your footsteps.

BTW, the Regal GS has the strut tower brace, sway bars front and rear (hell, even Fleetwood Broughams have those :shh: ) a four wheel independent suspension with a macpherson strut front and a tri-link design in the back, variable effort magnasteer, and oh yeah....280 lb/ft of torque at 3600 rpm.

The Corolla XRS rides a 17 inch wheel on a P215/45R17 tire. The GS/GTP ride on 16 inch wheels on a P225/60R16 inch wheel, so while not as tall, which would help with the acceleration, not that it needs it, it's also fatter to keep that 240hp corralled in.

LOL at the idea of a Corolla on a road course. Hahahahahahaha. I'm just picturing this little black Corolla going around it full tilt and all these guys in legitimate sports cars giving it WTF looks.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:32 PM
If your matchbox sized rice-a-roni cars give you boners, then good for you. Just don't expect us to follow in your footsteps.

BTW, the Regal GS has the strut tower brace, sway bars front and rear (hell, even Fleetwood Broughams have those :shh: ) a four wheel independent suspension with a macpherson strut front and a tri-link design in the back, variable effort magnasteer, and oh yeah....280 lb/ft of torque at 3600 rpm.

The Corolla XRS rides a 17 inch wheel on a P215/45R17 tire. The GS/GTP ride on 16 inch wheels on a P225/60R16 inch wheel, so while not as tall, which would help with the acceleration, not that it needs it, it's also fatter to keep that 240hp corralled in.

LOL at the idea of a Corolla on a road course. Hahahahahahaha. I'm just picturing this little black Corolla going around it full tilt and all these guys in legitimate sports cars giving it WTF looks.

The FWB got them because they are heavy enough to REQUIRE them to handle safely.

Yeah, while a performance Corolla doesn't have a ring to the ear, a '90's based FWD V6 Buick sedan does everything BUT scream performance.

MrBoffo
07-14-10, 11:35 PM
If your matchbox sized rice-a-roni cars give you boners, then good for you. Just don't expect us to follow in your footsteps.

BTW, the Regal GS has the strut tower brace, sway bars front and rear (hell, even Fleetwood Broughams have those :shh: ) a four wheel independent suspension with a macpherson strut front and a tri-link design in the back, variable effort magnasteer, and oh yeah....280 lb/ft of torque at 3600 rpm.

The Corolla XRS rides a 17 inch wheel on a P215/45R17 tire. The GS/GTP ride on 16 inch wheels on a P225/60R16 inch wheel, so while not as tall, which would help with the acceleration, not that it needs it, it's also fatter to keep that 240hp corralled in.

LOL at the idea of a Corolla on a road course. Hahahahahahaha. I'm just picturing this little black Corolla going around it full tilt and all these guys in legitimate sports cars giving it WTF looks.

He had a Ford Escort. Which, you may not know, but was the Ford rally car. Not everybody's thing, but they are respectable machines for their size, and can handle pretty well. Not really "rice" to me either, being American, but okay, I understand most here won't appreciate a smaller car with a drivetrain and suspension tuned for a different purpose than road barging.

Ultimately I have to laugh because (as I bolded) the Regal GS is not a real sports car, nor was it designed to be. Camaro, Corvette, Trans Am, if you want 4-door, GTO. The G8's packed some good motor to the rear wheels, and if you can afford the V's Caddy has some performance as well. And this is just from GM, most companies have their own performance vehicles they put out. The Regal would also look ridiculous around corners, as the suspension, while not bad, was not designed for track cornering, but street cornering and comfort.

gdwriter
07-14-10, 11:37 PM
For lots of people, a Corolla is perfectly adequate, but few enthusiasts would be interested in a Corolla, even an S. And except for the strut tower brace, everything else is pretty common on anything above the Aveo/Accent/Versa class. So whoop de friggin' do.

Personally, I can't stand the drone of a 4-cylinder; even a good one has that moan when accelerating. So I'd prefer a V6 period.

And have you even driven a Regal GS to have a basis for your opinion? I've driven Chad's car, and it hauls ass, handles well and has a comfortable ride. It's a credible sport sedan.

Keep in mind, the $7,000 price limit. I just did a search on AutoTrader, and within 25 miles of St. Paul, there is not one listing for a Corolla with <100,000 miles for <$7,000. >100,000 miles, and the pickings (http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?lastStartYear=1981&num_records=75&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&search_type=used&distance=25&address=55123&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=TOYOTA&model=COROL&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=2011&min_price=&max_price=7000&seller_type=b&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=100001&color=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=y&highlightFirstMakeModel=&showZipError=y&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&systime=&rdm=1279164658223&filter_change=no_results_inc_mileage) aren't that appealing, either.

There's an unwritten rule that you can diss a man's woman, but not his dog or his car. You might want to consider picking this up:

http://kayannward.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dale-carnegie.jpg

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:40 PM
For lots of people, a Corolla is perfectly adequate, but few enthusiasts would be interested in a Corolla, even an S. And except for the strut tower brace, everything else is pretty common on anything above the Aveo/Accent/Versa class. So whoop de friggin' do.

Personally, I can't stand the drone of a 4-cylinder; even a good one has that moan when accelerating. So I'd prefer a V6 period.

And have you even driven a Regal GS and to have a basis for your opinion? I've driven Chad's car, and it hauls ass, handles well and has a comfortable ride. It's a credible sport sedan.

Keep in mind, the $7,000 price limit. I just did a search on AutoTrader, and within 25 miles of St. Paul, there is not one listing for a Corolla with <100,000 miles for <$7,000. >100,000 miles, and the pickings (http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?lastStartYear=1981&num_records=75&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&search_type=used&distance=25&address=55123&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=TOYOTA&model=COROL&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=2011&min_price=&max_price=7000&seller_type=b&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=100001&color=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=y&highlightFirstMakeModel=&showZipError=y&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&systime=&rdm=1279164658223&filter_change=no_results_inc_mileage) aren't that appealing, either.

There's an unwritten rule that you can diss a man's woman, but not his dog or his car. You might want to consider picking this up:

http://kayannward.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dale-carnegie.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/1439167346/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279164993&sr=8-1)

I've driven the Regal GS as many times as you and Chad have driven the Corolla S.

And Thanks for the recommendation, but making friends on the internet isn't a priority of mine.

MrBoffo
07-14-10, 11:42 PM
For lots of people, a Corolla is perfectly adequate, but few enthusiasts would be interested in a Corolla, even an S. And except for the strut tower brace, everything else is pretty common on anything above the Aveo/Accent/Versa class. So whoop de friggin' do.

Personally, I can't stand the drone of a 4-cylinder; even a good one has that moan when accelerating. So I'd prefer a V6 period.

And have you even driven a Regal GS and to have a basis for your opinion? I've driven Chad's car, and it hauls ass, handles well and has a comfortable ride. It's a credible sport sedan.

Keep in mind, the $7,000 price limit. I just did a search on AutoTrader, and within 25 miles of St. Paul, there is not one listing for a Corolla with <100,000 miles for <$7,000. >100,000 miles, and the pickings (http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?lastStartYear=1981&num_records=75&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&search_type=used&distance=25&address=55123&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=TOYOTA&model=COROL&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=2011&min_price=&max_price=7000&seller_type=b&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=100001&color=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=y&highlightFirstMakeModel=&showZipError=y&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&systime=&rdm=1279164658223&filter_change=no_results_inc_mileage) aren't that appealing, either.

There's an unwritten rule that you can diss a man's woman, but not his dog or his car. You might want to consider picking this up:

http://kayannward.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dale-carnegie.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/1439167346/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279164993&sr=8-1)

Yeah, whatever. If the company that makes it doesn't consider it a true sports car, I don't think I should have to argue that it isn't. I don't doubt its quicker than the average family sedan, and to that end I'm sure for that size and age, and to a lesser extent cost, it is perfectly acceptable. At the same time, any real 'sports car' will blow it out of the water. Yet you run into sacrificing space. Or you can pony up real money and get a car that is as big as a regal, but blows it out of the water for the interior and performance.

In the end, there is no perfect car, and I don't see the reason behind hating on things that are different.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-14-10, 11:47 PM
He had a Ford Escort. Which, you may not know, but was the Ford rally car. Not everybody's thing, but they are respectable machines for their size, and can handle pretty well. Not really "rice" to me either, being American, but okay, I understand most here won't appreciate a smaller car with a drivetrain and suspension tuned for a different purpose than road barging.

I was unaware of the American Escort's foray into the rally car world. Was that the American based Escort or the European based Escort? Those smaller rally cars are cool in their own sense, not my cup of tea, but I understand that some people are into that stuff.



Ultimately I have to laugh because (as I bolded) the Regal GS is not a real sports car, nor was it designed to be. Camaro, Corvette, Trans Am, if you want 4-door, GTO. The G8's packed some good motor to the rear wheels, and if you can afford the V's Caddy has some performance as well. And this is just from GM, most companies have their own performance vehicles they put out. The Regal would also look ridiculous around corners, as the suspension, while not bad, was not designed for track cornering, but street cornering and comfort.

Understood that the Regal GS is not a sports car, I apologize if I made it sound like it's a four door Corvette. It is not. What it is, however, is a sporty mid-sized family sedan with a powerful V6 under it's hood, with a gran-touring suspension that can hold it's own against cars in it's class. IN IT'S CLASS! The closest analogy I can think of is saying it's a poor man's STS. It goes good, handles well, and has comfort and space for 4 adults in a sleeper body. That's why I enjoy it so much.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:48 PM
I was unaware of the American Escort's foray into the rally car world. Was that the American based Escort or the European based Escort? Those smaller rally cars are cool in their own sense, not my cup of tea, but I understand that some people are into that stuff.



Understood that the Regal GS is not a sports car, I apologize if I made it sound like it's a four door Corvette. It is not. What it is, however, is a sporty mid-sized family sedan with a powerful V6 under it's hood, with a gran-touring suspension that can hold it's own against cars in it's class. IN IT'S CLASS! The closest analogy I can think of is saying it's a poor man's STS. It goes good, handles well, and has comfort and space for 4 adults in a sleeper body. That's why I enjoy it so much.

Just as the Corolla S and Ford Focus can hold their own in their class, as I stated earlier. This is why others can enjoy it even if you can't. You seem to have picked up a few things as this thread has moved along. Good job, son.

gdwriter
07-14-10, 11:49 PM
I've driven the Regal GS as many times as you and Chad have driven the Corolla S.If you were paying attention, I have driven a recent Corolla, a 2005 or 06 model (rented it in 2006). Wasn't an S, but I highly doubt a thicker sway bar or a strut tower brace is going to turn it into a car an enthusiast would enjoy on a daily basis.

hueterm
07-14-10, 11:53 PM
Just as the Corolla S and Ford Focus can hold their own in their class, as I stated earlier. This is why others can enjoy it even if you can't. You seem to have picked up a few things as this thread has moved along. Good job, son.


A class...which sucks ass...

-- Dr. Seuss

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:53 PM
If you were paying attention, I have driven a recent Corolla, a 2005 or 06 model (rented it in 2006). Wasn't an S, but I highly doubt a thicker sway bar or a strut tower brace is going to turn it into a car an enthusiast would enjoy on a daily basis.

Well, look at the amazing things a few suspension tweaks on the Century did for the Regal!

I ignored that comment because a base 2005 Corolla rental isn't what was being discussed.

drewsdeville
07-14-10, 11:54 PM
A class...which sucks ass...

-- Dr. Seuss

If that's your honest opinion, fair enough. At least this is support as to why you hated the vehicles stated.

Aron9000
07-14-10, 11:55 PM
Getting back on the original topic . . . .

If your friend is expecting a kid, he needs something bigger than a civic/focus IMO. If it were me I'd be looking at a large sedan or wagon. Suburu or Volvo for the wagon, or maybe one of those Dodge Magnums. As for large sedans:

Ford Crown Vic
Park Avenue
300 or Charger(might be hard to find a decent one for his budget)
Toyota Avalon(once again, really high resale)
Impala

I'd actually think long and hard about the Crown Vic if I had a family to cart around. Big trunk, heavy, safe, reliable, indestructible, quiet, comfortable, simple to fix, all that good stuff. Won't get harrassed by the police, people move out of your way, and there are a lot of good ones out there for less than $7,000 driven by a now dead grandpa. Guzzles the gas, but it would be a lot better than an SUV in that regard.

Or tell your friend to get another Maxima. The 2000-03 cars were really nice IMO.

gdwriter
07-14-10, 11:56 PM
In the end, there is no perfect car, and I don't see the reason behind hating on things that are different.That's true, but the original question was finding a reasonably decent car for <$7,000. It's not so much hating on the Corolla as it is pointing out there are cars that may be more comfortable and/or more enjoyable to drive and/or offering better performance. And as I pointed out, it's hard to find a Corolla in that price range that doesn't have a boatload of miles on it.

Even if I liked Corollas (and I do like most Civics and Accords), seeing the high miles on anything in my price range would be discouraging. Even if those cars have a reputation for durability, miles still add up and unless they've been pampered, those miles are going to show. So I'd be looking at some alternatives. The Focus might be a good choice, but it sounds like Chad's Focus driving friends are as obnoxious at their cars as Rick is with that friggin' Jeep.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-15-10, 12:00 AM
Just as the Corolla S and Ford Focus can hold their own in their class, as I stated earlier. This is why others can enjoy it even if you can't. You seem to have picked up a few things as this thread has moved along. Good job, son.

Hmm that's odd, I must have left my usual sense of logic and reason at the door when I checked in at this thread. Anyways, like I said earlier, I told my friend initially to go for the Focus, as they're fun to drive and domestically designed and made. But then I remembered that three other friends of ours have Focuses, and two of them have an annoying smug attitude towards their Focuses and they both have a disdain for the products made by GM. And if my friend is anything like me, he wouldn't want to have the same thing everyone else does. So that's why I recommended a Honda Civic or Accord. He then asked me about a Corolla and Camry, and considering my resentment for the Toyota motor corporation, I told him I wouldn't buy one, but they're a decent car. To which he replied, that he was just asking about them, and that his father has a resentment against Toyota as well, he also mentioned they're at the bottom of his list.

gdwriter
07-15-10, 12:06 AM
Well, look at the amazing things a few suspension tweaks on the Century did for the Regal!I will concede that point; the basic underpinnings are the same, but the Regal is definitely firmed up, especially in GS form. Without looking up the exact specs on stabilizer bar dimensions and spring rates between the Corolla and Corolla S, there's no way to know if it's as tweaked as much as the two Buicks.


I ignored that comment because a base 2005 Corolla rental isn't what was being discussed.I think is was an LE. Had some very tacky unconvincing fake wood. It was still extremely uncomfortable and not a car I enjoyed driving in the least.

The newest Corolla I found in my search was a 2004 with almost 200,000 miles on it. Not an S, either. I think one of those would be a lot harder to find, especially considering the price constraints.

drewsdeville
07-15-10, 12:06 AM
Hmm that's odd, I must have left my usual sense of logic and reason at the door when I checked in at this thread. Anyways, like I said earlier, I told my friend initially to go for the Focus, as they're fun to drive and domestically designed and made. But then I remembered that three other friends of ours have Focuses, and two of them have an annoying smug attitude towards their Focuses and they both have a disdain for the products made by GM. And if my friend is anything like me, he wouldn't want to have the same thing everyone else does. So that's why I recommended a Honda Civic or Accord. He then asked me about a Corolla and Camry, and considering my resentment for the Toyota motor corporation, I told him I wouldn't buy one, but they're a decent car. To which he replied, that he was just asking about them, and that his father has a resentment against Toyota as well, he also mentioned they're at the bottom of his list.

You resent a decent car? Does that make sense?

Brand loyalty is silly anyway. All that does is create false boundaries. Intentionally limit your vision and you'll end up missing more than you'd like (resent a decent car). Everyones just looking for the best product to suit their personal needs. Discriminating by the badge on the car while shopping isn't setting a good example for your friend.

The best advice would be to encourage him to shop thoroughly and tell him how your opinion really shouldn't be a concern of his, because it really isn't. It's a common mistake really. Lots of people put too much faith in the nearest "car guy" and pass up or don't even get to see some really great options out there. Sure, you could be a go-to guy for statistics and numbers, but in the end it's his car, he needs to find exactly what he wants.

drewsdeville
07-15-10, 12:11 AM
I will concede that point; the basic underpinnings are the same, but the Regal is definitely firmed up, especially in GS form. Without looking up the exact specs on stabilizer bar dimensions and spring rates between the Corolla and Corolla S, there's no way to know if it's as tweaked as much as the two Buicks.

I think is was an LE. Had some very tacky unconvincing fake wood. It was still extremely uncomfortable and not a car I enjoyed driving in the least.

The newest Corolla I found in my search was a 2004 with almost 200,000 miles on it. Not an S, either. I think one of those would be a lot harder to find, especially considering the price constraints.

Yeah man, that's cool. I don't need justification as to why everyone does and doesn't like the Corolla. I really don't care if anyone else likes the Corolla or not. My concern was where some here put down those that appreciate those vehicles that aren't respected here. See Stingaroos post on the first page.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-15-10, 12:13 AM
You resent a decent car? Does that make sense?

Brand loyalty is silly anyway. All that does is create false boundaries. Intentionally limit your vision and you'll end up missing more than you'd like (resent a decent car). Everyones just looking for the best product to suit their personal needs. Discriminating by the badge on the car while shopping isn't setting a good example for your friend.

I think that Toyota makes a fine car, as far as reliability and economy goes, but I don't like them because they're boring to look at, boring to drive and boring to live with. At one point in the very near past, both my parents had Toyotas, one was an '05 Highlander with the V6 and the other was an '07 Camry XLE-V6. I never had any desire whatsoever to drive them, and I tried both of them out on seperate occasions for long durations and found them to be really bland. Even with it's 268hp V6, the Camry was really boring to drive IMO. There was no feel in the power steering, it shifted too often and it had a lot of really annoying squeaks and rattles.

Now I'm the kinda guy that's gonna buy a car because it lights a fire in my soul. A Toyota, aside from the Supra and LS400/SC400 Lexus, no matter how economical or reliable, just plain won't do it. My friend knows that about me, that's why he went to me with the question, not any of my other friends.

Aron9000
07-15-10, 12:15 AM
You resent a decent car? Does that make sense?

Brand loyalty is silly anyway. All that does is create false boundaries. Intentionally limit your vision and you'll end up missing more than you'd like (resent a decent car). Everyones just looking for the best product to suit their personal needs. Discriminating by the badge on the car while shopping isn't setting a good example for your friend.

I personally resent Toyota for their coverup of safety problems. I think the company is dishonest and should be put in the ranks of robber barons and theives. Also their quality in the last 4 years or so has taken a massive dive. I could honestly forgive all that if their products weren't so painfully boring and devoid of character and soul. Every single last one of their products is like that.

billc83
07-15-10, 12:16 AM
Some men need steak, others are fine with bologna sandwiches.

drewsdeville
07-15-10, 12:18 AM
Now I'm the kinda guy that's gonna buy a car because it lights a fire in my soul. A Toyota, aside from the Supra and LS400/SC400 Lexus, no matter how economical or reliable, just plain won't do it. My friend knows that about me, that's why he went to me with the question, not any of my other friends.

But what if, for repetitions sake, the Corolla S would have lit a fire HIS soul but now he passes up on it do to a poor recommendation?

See my edited post above. Limiting his field of view is probably the worst advice you could give the poor guy.

Reliability and economy are hard facts and statistics. Feed him all you want. But what's boring to drive or look at is quite subjective and you'd think he'd be able to figure that out on his own.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-15-10, 12:24 AM
But what if, for repetitions sake, the Corolla S would have lit a fire HIS soul but now he passes up on it do to a poor recommendation?

No....look...listen. I told him the exact same thing I told you about Toyota. They make a good, reliable, economical car, but I find them to be boring. He took a look at the Corollas available in his price range, and he passed on it. He found them unappealing. His exact words were "well I'd rather have the Civic or Focus, but if it came down to it, I guess I could do a Corolla or Camry". If he really wanted to get into it, I'd be MORE than happy to take him out to look at one when we've got time. If he somehow really liked it, I'd happily recommend him one with a clear conscience wholly on the fact that it's probably going to be a reliable, economical car to own in the long run for him and his budding family.


Anyways, this thread has run it's ground so I'm closing it.

Stingroo
07-15-10, 12:25 AM
To defend my post: I call bad judgment on my friend's purchase because the car is a shitbox on wheels. Literally. There were many cars much nicer in the price range, and some that got better gas mileage too, but he went with the mediocre. So yes, I put that car down. If it were a Civic with features, sure I'd be okay.

But this car has manual locks, manual windows, manual trans (though that may actually be good in this case), no power steering, and I'm not sure whether or not it even has ABS. Is it safe? Honestly I wouldn't trust my life to it. Is it economical? Sure, but so are lots of better cars out there.

Therefore, I dislike his car.

gary88
07-15-10, 12:27 AM
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm111/rollo_tomassi7/ibtl.gif

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-21-10, 07:55 PM
Thought I'd reopen this wing-dinger of a thread to keep everyone informed as to what my friend is doing with his situation.

He was going to go look at an '01 Civic LX Sedan, an '02 Corolla LE Sedan and an '05 Focus SE Sedan yesterday.....except they ALL sold. The Civic had like 84k miles on it, and the dealer wanted $6599 for it, and the Corolla had like 92k on it, and they wanted the same. The Focus had 98k on it, but they wanted $5995 for it. My friend claims he has a "780 credit score, but I've never checked it". Knowing him and his super lazy/passive habits, his score is way lower than that. Can someone get a loan on a car that's that old, with that many miles? I have my doubts.

I went out with some friends a few nights ago and we talked this over while we were at Coldstone. We came to the conclusion that my friend is basically SOL. No credit history, or bad credit history, not much income, so it's hard to get a decent car on a loan, but he needs something good to commute 300 miles a week down and back to see his girlfriend and his daughter. See, he lives in Duluth, which is 120 miles northeast of the cities. They live with her aunt & uncle in their place in the cities. So he's gonna work at an internship job as a student teacher up in Duluth during the week, while she does her job during the day and take care of the kid at night. So anyways, he's gonna do a lot of driving to do every week and needs something reliable to get him down and back, yet something economical to save on gas.

See, if it was me, I'd just as soon buy something big, reliable and old so I'd know what I was dealing with. He seems to want everything and not be able to afford a good car in his area.

What do you guys think? Something small with lots of high miles, or something bigger with lower mileage that can be had for cheaper?

ben.gators
07-21-10, 08:19 PM
Thought I'd reopen this wing-dinger of a thread to keep everyone informed as to what my friend is doing with his situation.

He was going to go look at an '01 Civic LX Sedan, an '02 Corolla LE Sedan and an '05 Focus SE Sedan yesterday.....except they ALL sold. The Civic had like 84k miles on it, and the dealer wanted $6599 for it, and the Corolla had like 92k on it, and they wanted the same. The Focus had 98k on it, but they wanted $5995 for it. My friend claims he has a "780 credit score, but I've never checked it". Knowing him and his super lazy/passive habits, his score is way lower than that. Can someone get a loan on a car that's that old, with that many miles? I have my doubts.


As far as I know, banks and credit unions usually finance cars with at most 8-9 years age or less, and with less than 100K miles. However newer the car, easier for finance. But the real problem here is the amount of loan he is looking for! If he is looking for 6-7K$ cars, and as I assume he will put about 2K$ down payment, at the end the loan amount should be around 4-6K$. As far as I know banks and credit unions usually do not bother themselves for 4K$ auto loans! I believe if he has decent credit score it is better and easier for him to get a personal loan.


What do you guys think? Something small with lots of high miles, or something bigger with lower mileage that can be had for cheaper?



A reliable GM car is the way to go, it would be cheap, and newer than those Hondas and Toyotas. A car like yours. If he is not a big fan of big american cars, show him a sixth generation Malibu. They are in his price range and even cheaper.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-21-10, 08:30 PM
Considering my friend's total lack of knowledge of useful common smarts, I don't think he's taken into consideration the fact he's gonna need to front atleast a few thousand for a down payment on a car. Knowing how he's milking his welfare money and the money from his family, and considering his current fiscal situation, I know he doesn't have a spare $2,000 lying around for a good down payment. My best advice to him would be to have his dad loan him the money or get him a loan and then buy some big old thing with low miles and a good drivetrain. Something like an old F-150 maybe, or perhaps a Crown Victoria, something along those lines. Something that's proven, easy to live with, cheap to get by on and something that offers the space, comfort and safety a compact never will. He could probably get a pretty nice mid '90s Crown Vic or Grand Marquis for $4,000. And it would have way less miles and probably be better taken care of than a Civic/Corolla/Focus would for a comparable price. And, being as it's an older car, it'd be cheaper to insure and register.

ben.gators
07-21-10, 08:40 PM
ha ha ha, I like your friend, he seems to be a fun guy... :D
Lack of down payment will be another problem to get an auto loan! I guess your suggestion is the best, a loan from dad!

LS1Mike
07-21-10, 08:54 PM
18-19 out of the SFI 4.5, at least mine which I keep in perfect working order. According to one 3800 owner in this thread, 19 city was common. Go figure.

158hp in a 2800lb car witha 5 speed auto isn't as sluggish as you might think. And is 0-60 the limit of your vision for performance? Oh waity, OF COURSE, you praised the b-body platform for performance! But there's more than that. Corolla S comes with sway bars, front and rear, strut tower brace, decent sized tires and wheels. Given an actual course, I wouldn't be surprised to see that magical crapolla give any 3800 (SC or not) car a real hard time.

Oh sweet Lord. A 158 corolla will not, I repeat, will not out run a S/C 3800. I have had 200 HP intercooled Turbo dodges that were lighter than that that don't out run my current Regal GS. You are forgetting Torque, or maybe you just don't know about it. I have been having a few beers tonight so hold on...For the late 90's early 2000' the GS/GTP were a well put together car that did very well at everything compared to similar vehicles. They ran right with that generation SHO. No one is saying they are the end all or be all of the automotive world, but the Corrolla in comparison? Excuse me while I stomp a mud hole in the ass of that pile of shit. Let me go get and 86 Omni GLH and show you what a 4 cyl is capable of.
Sorry the 4.5 is not even a comparison to the bullet proof reliability of the Series II 3800 and gas mileage, not to mention aftermarket support.
Now there is one guy on here (ahem Gary aka gdwriter) who has driven my Trans Am and has an idea as to how much I had to know to get it to run well. So I know a bit about cars and HP vs Torque. I challenge anyone with a Corolla to swing by my place and we can have a show down.
No one is saying Toyota does not make a decent or good car, but the 3800 powered cars are just more comfortable, faster and just as reliable.

Oh and spare me the grammar and spelling check as well. I am in a hurry and that is for people just looking to put someone down when they have nothing better to say.

hueterm
07-21-10, 08:55 PM
He needs something like this:

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=272192598&dealer_id=1135811&car_year=2001&rdm=1279760006149&lastStartYear=1981&model=CROWNVIC&num_records=25&systime=&make3=&make2=MERC&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1999&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=300&marketZipError=false&model2=MERCGRAND&search_lang=en&sownerid=71574&showZipError=n&make=FORD&filter_change=no_results_inc_srch_area_up&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=&seller_type=b&max_mileage=30000&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=55402&advanced=y&end_year=2002&doors=&transmission=&max_price=&cardist=288&standard=false

20% of the mileage of the 4-banger parade.

Appx. 24 MPG on the highway -- which is where most of his mileage will be.

Cheap ass to insure.

Safe and roomy for his kid instead of some little clown car.

Stingroo
07-21-10, 09:01 PM
Perfect. I agree, Grand Marquis would work well.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-21-10, 09:46 PM
Yes, I like that idea. Even better considering that he's got an affinity towards FoMoCo. His sister has a '97ish Sable and she's always liked it, and when he was younger, his dad had an '89 F-150 that he used to always love to cruise around in. He would have taken that when he was 17, but it had like 204k miles on it at that time and he wanted something with less miles.

Now, just to convince him on it. I'll see him this weekend. It'll be nice to see another friend in a full size, RWD car, even more so that it's not a Cadillac, because he won't take (any) care of it.

Night Wolf
07-21-10, 11:20 PM
Getting back on the original topic . . . .

If your friend is expecting a kid, he needs something bigger than a civic/focus IMO. If it were me I'd be looking at a large sedan or wagon. Suburu or Volvo for the wagon, or maybe one of those Dodge Magnums. As for large sedans:

Ford Crown Vic
Park Avenue
300 or Charger(might be hard to find a decent one for his budget)
Toyota Avalon(once again, really high resale)
Impala

I'd actually think long and hard about the Crown Vic if I had a family to cart around. Big trunk, heavy, safe, reliable, indestructible, quiet, comfortable, simple to fix, all that good stuff. Won't get harrassed by the police, people move out of your way, and there are a lot of good ones out there for less than $7,000 driven by a now dead grandpa. Guzzles the gas, but it would be a lot better than an SUV in that regard.

Or tell your friend to get another Maxima. The 2000-03 cars were really nice IMO.

In another thread you said you wrote of the Town Car, but here you are pushing the Vic?

For better or worse, most all of the issues with older/higher mileage Town Cars are also shared with the Vic...

Night Wolf
07-21-10, 11:23 PM
BTW,what happened to this thread? A few days ago I made a long reply, went to submit and it said thread closed...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-21-10, 11:29 PM
I closed it for a while. It got too heated. I look forward to your response though Rick. You seem to know a good value in cars. I'd recommend him a nice 3800 powered FWD GM car. You waxed poetic ad nauseum about that '89 Eighty Eight of yours. A car like that'd be a great choice for my friend if he'd ever open his eyes past compact import things.

drewsdeville
07-21-10, 11:33 PM
The Grand Marquis does somewhat fit the requirements, but lately it seems they go for too much money for what they are. Against many newer cars that also fall in the price range, the Grand Marquis doesn't really shine in any specific area.

Even the one linked on AutoTrader here. Yes, it does have low miles, but I'm sure many here have experienced that age kills a car just as much as miles do, if not more in some special cases. That Grand Marquis linked is almost 10 years old. A 10 year old car for $7.5k? I don't know if that's such a smoking deal. It seems that after 10 years or so a few pesky problems begin to show up, regardless of mileage. If I paid $7,500 for a car in which I may need to sink money into, I'm not sure I'd be too happy.

Of course, he could get lucky and the car could be just fine. Who knows. But personally, I think at 10 years old, it's quite a gamble.


If he drives city often, tack on the 16-17mpg that he will get and the initial buy-in price + the cost of ownership isn't going to leave him with a smoking deal.

I say this as my Buddy was a pretty consistent panther fan. He's been driving panthers since he had a drivers license. He just traded his '00 Grand Marquis with a bad ball joint, leaking valve cover gaskets (one leaked enough that it routinely soaked an ignition coil in oil and caused a misfire), anti-lock brake light on and bubbling paint around one of the wheelwells. It only had about 80k on it as well.

Just wanted to throw that in there because a lot of unsuspecting buyers overlook age for low mileage and it can be a costly mistake.

77CDV
07-21-10, 11:45 PM
Detailing a bit of their living arrangement makes it more clear for me. She should get a newer minivan, and he should take her car.

(And before anything, they should get married, if they haven't already, and build a stable home for their child's sake.)

Aron9000
07-21-10, 11:45 PM
In another thread you said you wrote of the Town Car, but here you are pushing the Vic?

For better or worse, most all of the issues with older/higher mileage Town Cars are also shared with the Vic...

Ford fixed the suspension bugs with the 2003+ Crown Vic. Plus there are no blend doors or rear air suspensions to contend with on a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis.

Anyways, I mentioned the Crown Vic because its a lot of car for somebody on a tight budget.

Night Wolf
07-21-10, 11:47 PM
I closed it for a while. It got too heated. I look forward to your response though Rick. You seem to know a good value in cars. I'd recommend him a nice 3800 powered FWD GM car. You waxed poetic ad nauseum about that '89 Eighty Eight of yours. A car like that'd be a great choice for my friend if he'd ever open his eyes past compact import things.

That Oldsmobile was an excellent car. 32mpg with cruise set at 70 from a midsize car with a peppy V6 and A/C on..... paid $500 for it. I still miss that car as just a regular "car" daily driver. Severe underbody rust and rot did my particular car in tho as it had spent its entire life in NY.

I just read the last few pages that I missed when the thread was closed.

From hearing about the way your friend takes care of his vehicles, his situation and the amount of use he will be putting on the car, I think the main thing you need to tell this dude, beyond any particular car - is to maintain the darn thing! The most reliable and dependable car will turn to a pos with neglect and no maintenace, likewise a vehicle not particulary known for longjevity will last a whole long time with routine maintenace and care.

You are well aware of the normal things that should be checked/changed/inspected on older vehicles. Make sure he knows this.

Also, is he aware that buying an older car, regardless of miles, usually needs work of some sort before it can be driven the heck out of? Putting aside $1,000 would be a safe cushion for an unexpected bad battery, belt, alternator etc...

But, for best bang for the buck, reliable and safe.... as you said and was already mentioned - Crown Vic/Grand Marquis or a N/A GM 3800, but even these tanks will degrade quickly given the extreme use and neglect that seems to be coming its way.

Otherwise a 2wd Ranger 3.0 w/ 5spd, thats also a pretty solid no frills reliable and cheap vehicle.... if he wants a pickup, tho for a family it may not be best.

drewsdeville
07-21-10, 11:50 PM
Ford fixed the suspension bugs with the 2003+ Crown Vic. Plus there are no blend doors or rear air suspensions to contend with on a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis.

Anyways, I mentioned the Crown Vic because its a lot of car for somebody on a tight budget.

The Vic was available with air suspension on the LX and LX Sport models and quite a few Grand Marquis came with air suspension, including any Grand Marquis with the HPP (handling and performance package). Crown Vic LX and Grand Marquis LS also came with electronic climate control, which includes the problematic blend doors.

SOME of the suspension bugs were worked out in '03 when they finally switched to rack and pinion, but they still seem to develop ball joint and tie rod end problems earlier than normal.

Really the only way you can get away from a lot of the problematic issues is to get a stripped retired PI (which wouldn't be anywhere near the best daily driver choice).

This platform consists of parts bin cars. They really are all the same one way or another. Night Wolf has a good point.

Aron9000
07-21-10, 11:55 PM
Even the one linked on AutoTrader here. Yes, it does have low miles, but I'm sure many here have experienced that age kills a car just as much as miles do, if not more in some special cases. That Grand Marquis linked is almost 10 years old. A 10 year old car for $7.5k? I don't know if that's such a smoking deal. It seems that after 10 years or so a few pesky problems begin to show up, regardless of mileage. If I paid $7,500 for a car in which I may need to sink money into, I'm not sure I'd be too happy.

Of course, he could get lucky and the car could be just fine. Who knows. But personally, I think at 10 years old, it's quite a gamble.



If that car was garage kept and driven on the interstate every few months or so, then it should be good to go. I can see you having problems if all 18k of those miles were granny driving 3 miles to church and never letting the car warm up. The occasional Italian tuneup(running it at WOT until you top it out/run out of nerve or road) is actually really good for a car.

orconn
07-22-10, 12:02 AM
Sounds kind of high priced for Chad's friend. Especially since you should be able to find the same car with less than average mile accumulation for less than half that price.

Night Wolf
07-22-10, 12:06 AM
Ford fixed the suspension bugs with the 2003+ Crown Vic. Plus there are no blend doors or rear air suspensions to contend with on a Crown Vic/Grand Marquis.

Anyways, I mentioned the Crown Vic because its a lot of car for somebody on a tight budget.

the suspension issues would be shared between all Panther, pre 03 and after, so a 90's CV/GM would also have them.

CV and GM also has electric blend doors.... heck my Jeep has one. Unless the climate control has a manual linkage from the knob to the blend door, or uses a vaccum system, then it has an electric blend door actuator. The original kind on the Panthers had britle plastic on the gears and L-arm that would break. Heck, the problem may just be the TC's BDA is used more as the auto climate control maintains temp while the manual contorl is only moved when the knob is moved.

Here is someone with a '98 Vic and a broken BDA:

(as stated in a reply, BDA is electronic on all '93+ Panther even with manual controls)

http://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1722422&fpart=1

Yes, the CV and GM do not have the rear air-ride. This is an interesting topic with Town Cars, because the rear air suspension is what most people first mention when someone says Town Car, no doubt because they see all the beaters around town from people that buy $800 luxury cars with the rear end sitting on the frame.

For what it's worth, my Town Car that had every other common Panther problem, had no problem with the air suspension. My air springs were crack free too. They could have been replaced or original, I don't know. Everything else on the car was original and not replaced.

Even better tho, is how cheap and easy it is to replace them. For the absolute cheapest, you can get a pair of rear springs from a wrecked Vic for next to nothing, you could buy aftermarket rear springs, or for $370 you can replace the entire system, compressor/dryer and both rear air springs and maintain the factory ride/auto height, and it'll take even a novice only a few hours in the driveway.

http://www.arnottindustries.com/part_LINCOLN_Air_Suspension_Parts_yid2_pid8.html

The Vic/GM also share the same door hinges with bushings that like to wear out, that to replace by the book the dash needs to be removed (just like the BDA) and the same faulty heater core design that also requires dashboard removeal (and the BDA sits right next to it!) also the same junky nylon plugs between the window motors, which are solid and the gears for the windows. As mentioned, pre '03 CV/GM share the same exact front end that, really needs to just be totally rebuilt by 120k to keep from chasing which part will fail next.

Since I had to remove my dash (3) times within 2 weeks to replace 2 failed heater cores and a broken BDA, I can now do the job in a matter of a couple hours and if I was ever in there again, both the heater core and BDA would be getting replaced. Heater core would only be Ford Motorcraft as an aftermarket one failed within 3 days of swapping it and the new BDA are modified and made stronger.

Also the problem with the heater core was Ford running too much pressure thru them from the factory, there was a service bulleten out to install restrictors on the inlet side of the heater core back when the problems were new. Those restrictors are no longer made but a 5/16" (iirc) washer inside of the heater hose on the inlet side of the heater core works great :).

There is a common misconception that Town Cars have all these gizmos that are waiting to fail and are insanely expensive to fix while the CV and GM will just run and run and run and run neglected and not maintained.

That's why I said for better or worse, because most all (again, the cheap/easy to fix air ride would be the exception) issues that a Town Car has, are shared with the CV/GM. When all said and done, none are "major" or overly difficult to perform. It may sound like I'm bashing the Panther, but I'm just telling it like it is. If I was in the market for another car of the Town Cars class, I'd buy another, even knowning what problems they have. Sometimes I miss mine, I just remind myself that it wasn't doing "it" for me anymore.... I wanted "fun" vehicles, not to drive myself around in a personal limo.

drewsdeville
07-22-10, 12:14 AM
the suspension issues would be shared between all Panther, pre 03 and after, so a 90's CV/GM would also have them.

CV and GM also has electric blend doors.... heck my Jeep has one. Unless the climate control has a manual linkage from the knob to the blend door, or uses a vaccum system, then it has an electric blend door actuator. The original kind on the Panthers had britle plastic on the gears and L-arm that would break. Heck, the problem may just be the TC's BDA is used more as the auto climate control maintains temp while the manual contorl is only moved when the knob is moved.

Here is someone with a '98 Vic and a broken BDA:

(as stated in a reply, BDA is electronic on all '93+ Panther even with manual controls)

http://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1722422&fpart=1

Yes, the CV and GM do not have the rear air-ride. This is an interesting topic with Town Cars, because the rear air suspension is what most people first mention when someone says Town Car, no doubt because they see all the beaters around town from people that buy $800 luxury cars with the rear end sitting on the frame.

For what it's worth, my Town Car that had every other common Panther problem, had no problem with the air suspension. My air springs were crack free too. They could have been replaced or original, I don't know. Everything else on the car was original and not replaced.

Even better tho, is how cheap and easy it is to replace them. For the absolute cheapest, you can get a pair of rear springs from a wrecked Vic for next to nothing, you could buy aftermarket rear springs, or for $370 you can replace the entire system, compressor/dryer and both rear air springs and maintain the factory ride/auto height, and it'll take even a novice only a few hours in the driveway.

http://www.arnottindustries.com/part_LINCOLN_Air_Suspension_Parts_yid2_pid8.html

The Vic/GM also share the same door hinges with bushings that like to wear out, that to replace by the book the dash needs to be removed (just like the BDA) and the same faulty heater core design that also requires dashboard removeal (and the BDA sits right next to it!) also the same junky nylon plugs between the wiper motors, which are solid and the gears for the windows. As mentioned, pre '03 CV/GM share the same exact front end that, really needs to just be totally rebuilt by 120k to keep from chasing which part will fail next.

There is a common misconception that Town Cars have all these gizmos that are waiting to fail and are insanely expensive to fix while the CV and GM will just run and run and run and run neglected and not maintained.

That's why I said for better or worse, because most all (again, the cheap/easy to fix air ride would be the exception) issues that a Town Car has, are shared with the CV/GM. When all said and done, none are "major" or overly difficult to perform. It may sound like I'm bashing the Panther, but I'm just telling it like it is. If I was in the market for another car of the Town Cars class, I'd buy another, even knowning what problems they have. Sometimes I miss mine, I just remind myself that it wasn't doing "it" for me anymore.... I wanted "fun" vehicles, not to drive myself around in a personal limo.

I was almost certain that air suspension was available, thought not standard, on all panther models... See my post above. Am I incorrect? I was never a panther owner so I trust your word over mine. I just picked up little knowledge over the years from my said buddy.

But yes, all 3 variants of the panther platform are nearly identical under the skin. I agree 100%

MrBoffo
07-22-10, 12:30 AM
The Grand Marquis does somewhat fit the requirements, but lately it seems they go for too much money for what they are. Against many newer cars that also fall in the price range, the Grand Marquis doesn't really shine in any specific area.

Even the one linked on AutoTrader here. Yes, it does have low miles, but I'm sure many here have experienced that age kills a car just as much as miles do, if not more in some special cases. That Grand Marquis linked is almost 10 years old. A 10 year old car for $7.5k? I don't know if that's such a smoking deal. It seems that after 10 years or so a few pesky problems begin to show up, regardless of mileage. If I paid $7,500 for a car in which I may need to sink money into, I'm not sure I'd be too happy.

Of course, he could get lucky and the car could be just fine. Who knows. But personally, I think at 10 years old, it's quite a gamble.


If he drives city often, tack on the 16-17mpg that he will get and the initial buy-in price + the cost of ownership isn't going to leave him with a smoking deal.

I say this as my Buddy was a pretty consistent panther fan. He's been driving panthers since he had a drivers license. He just traded his '00 Grand Marquis with a bad ball joint, leaking valve cover gaskets (one leaked enough that it routinely soaked an ignition coil in oil and caused a misfire), anti-lock brake light on and bubbling paint around one of the wheelwells. It only had about 80k on it as well.

Just wanted to throw that in there because a lot of unsuspecting buyers overlook age for low mileage and it can be a costly mistake.

Panthers used to be a top pick for cheap cars, especially topping lists of cheapest to drive per mile factoring cost, milage, average repairs, etc. Lately that has changed, as competing cars that are just as reliable, offer better milage, and more features have fallen into the same price range.

Another big surprise is that while the panthers are massive on the outside, they do not offer competing interior space. Modern designs do better to carve interior space out of a smaller vehicle. The trunk, while cavernous, is awkwardly shaped, limiting what actually fits, the vehicle lacks fold down seats, and to take items in and out you must lift up a ways and then out. For heavy items, this is a pain.

Jesda
07-22-10, 12:42 AM
When I get off a plane after a long flight in coach, all I want to do is relax in the back of a Town Car or Crown Vic. Any cabbies trying to pick me up in a minivan can look elsewhere.

Intrepids also have pretty incredible back seats, but for transmission reasons they don't last long in livery use.

Night Wolf
07-22-10, 01:10 AM
I was almost certain that air suspension was available, thought not standard, on all panther models... See my post above. Am I incorrect? I was never a panther owner so I trust your word over mine. I just picked up little knowledge over the years from my said buddy.

But yes, all 3 variants of the panther platform are nearly identical under the skin. I agree 100%

They may have, I don't know for sure. Most all my Panther knowladge came from my '96 Town Car Signature Series w/ Ride Control Package (stiffer shocks/springs/sway bar, shorter gears, nicer 16" wheels w/ lower profile tires and aux p/s cooler)

Also I forgot to mention the plastic intake manifold problem that is also common to CV/GM. My car already had that replaced with the updated version, tho a year later the under intake manifold hose went bad, which required removeal of the intake manifold anyway.

gdwriter
07-22-10, 01:16 AM
Now there is one guy on here (ahem Gary aka gdwriter) who has driven my Trans Am and has an idea as to how much I had to know to get it to run well.I've been pretty swamped this week, but I will post my review of your T/A by this weekend at the latest. And yes, Mike knows his stuff.


A few days ago I made a long reply, went to submit and it said thread closed...Do you make any other kind? :suspect: See post #89.

Night Wolf
07-22-10, 01:28 AM
Do you make any other kind? :suspect: See post #89.

Well, there is the long posts, the posts with the friggin' Jeep and then the long friggin' Jeep posts :yup:

drewsdeville
07-22-10, 01:31 AM
Also I forgot to mention the plastic intake manifold problem that is also common to CV/GM. My car already had that replaced with the updated version, tho a year later the under intake manifold hose went bad, which required removeal of the intake manifold anyway.

Yeah, that and the timing chain tensioners.

gdwriter
07-22-10, 01:39 AM
Well, there is the long posts, the posts with the friggin' Jeep and then the long friggin' Jeep posts :yup:If I see anything pertaining to that friggin' Jeep*, I immediately head elsewhere. Anything else beyond a few lines and :yawn:

Too bad you're not paid by the word. You wouldn't have to worry about debt of any kind. :rofl:






*I usually use a more colorful metaphor, but it gets ****ed out.

Jesda
07-22-10, 01:49 AM
http://www.q45.org/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG00082.jpg


HAY U GUYSSSSSSSS:D

gdwriter
07-22-10, 02:10 AM
Don't make me bitch slap (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bitch+slap) you. :smack:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-22-10, 07:39 AM
Well I showed my friend that super low mileage, nicely priced, roomy & luxurious '01 Grand Marquis and he said "i'm not getting that chad". I guess he REALLY wants that Corolla/Civic. Convincing him otherwise would be an exercise in futility. Hope he enjoys it. :helpless:

Stingroo
07-22-10, 07:48 AM
I would think the Civic is less roomy and cramped.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-22-10, 08:12 AM
A different friend of ours has an '01 Civic EX Coupe, and it's not bad for what it is. Not my cup of tea, but it's been a good car for him and it's enjoyable enough for him as well. Again, he's not what I'd call a "car person" so he doesn't have the passion or desire for car "x" like we do. I liked his previous car more, a '93 Buick Century Custom Sedan, as that felt like a mini-Cadillac, but much like my other friend, he wanted to get out of that one and into something newer because the older car was having some issues and he wanted a new start.

Although, if it were me buying that Civic, I'd make DAMN sure it was coupe, as that makes it a little sportier. But with a newborn, a coupe isn't practical.

And his girlfriend has a late '90s Civic sedan, so they're already very familiar with them. Why you'd want the same thing as your girlfriend is beyond me....?

When we were at the bar last night, I was talking to my friend Evan about this, and we both agreed that we wouldn't buy a Focus if it was us, because there are already 8-9 different people in this group that have Focuses. That's reason enough for me not to buy anything, I like to stand out and have something a little different and rarer. Evan's daily driver is an '01 Jeep Cherokee Sport, with the 4.0L I-6 and five speed manual. We were talking, and it came to us that if my buddy bought an '01 Cherokee and spent $7,000 on it, he could have basically the most fully loaded model, with low miles, in the nicest condition possible. When Evan bought his in the fall of '06, he paid about $7,000 for it, but it only had like 83k miles, and it was in real nice condition, and he bought it from a big Ford/Mercury/Lincoln dealer in an upper class suburb so he paid additional over there too.

I dunno, this whole deal has got me pretty irritated and it's nice to come onto here and talk with people who for the most part have the same tastes in cars and to hear your advice.

77CDV
07-22-10, 02:17 PM
Why isn't a coupe practical with a baby? My familiy only ever had coupes when we were growing up, and that was on purpose. Mom didn't want us opening the back doors of a sedan while the car was moving. Child seats are no problem. My friend and his wife only had one car, his '96 Acura Integra coupe, and they managed with a child seat just fine.

drewsdeville
07-22-10, 02:43 PM
I don't think anyone is saying that it can't be practical, but it's naturally LESS practical than a sedan.

hueterm
07-22-10, 03:34 PM
Well I showed my friend that super low mileage, nicely priced, roomy & luxurious '01 Grand Marquis and he said "i'm not getting that chad". I guess he REALLY wants that Corolla/Civic. Convincing him otherwise would be an exercise in futility. Hope he enjoys it. :helpless:


What a fool.

orconn
07-22-10, 04:05 PM
Coupes are OK when the kid can get into the back seat himself, not so hot when you have to lift a baby into a car seat. A Civic coupe is just too small for a young family when good cheap alternatives are available. Also remember with a toddler you are not just talking about a car seat, but also a stroller, a playpen and travelling case containing diapers, bottles, toys, etc., etc. This is why a minivan makes sense. Everyone in favor of the Crown Vic is also on the money if these folks can't afford a minivan.

Obviously it is their lack of experince speaking in favor of the small import over the larger alternatives. But then the opinions of youth are hard to change .... until after the money is spent. I know from experience!

hueterm
07-22-10, 04:09 PM
Also if they're part of the eco-youth-cult that likes all things small/Toyota/Honda and if they have to, Focus...

Jesda
07-22-10, 04:19 PM
The Civic coupe is dramatically more fun than any Corolla, but not quite as fun as a Protege.

Aron9000
07-22-10, 05:33 PM
Here's something nobody has mentioned . . . .

How much does a used Rav4, CR-V, or maybe Ford Escape run??? Those get decent gas mileage with a 4 cylinder.

ben.gators
07-22-10, 05:35 PM
Well I showed my friend that super low mileage, nicely priced, roomy & luxurious '01 Grand Marquis and he said "i'm not getting that chad". I guess he REALLY wants that Corolla/Civic. Convincing him otherwise would be an exercise in futility. Hope he enjoys it. :helpless:

Find him a Civic or Corolla and let him be happy in his own imaginations :alchi:. I guess there is no more you can do for him! At this point if you motivate him to buy some thing beyond his desire, you will be blamed for any real or imaginary problem in the car during next years, even for the problems that are the results of his own inappropriate maintenance, e.g. changing oil each 15000 miles!!!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-22-10, 05:38 PM
I forgot about those too. I could steer him into a Protege (or atleast try to) on good conscience. I've always liked Mazdas. When I was a kid, we had a '91 626 and it was probably the most reliable car we've had.

But yeah, like Orconn said, both of them aren't car people, and her family has three different late model Toyotas, and she's got her Civic, and I think they want something they're familiar with and trust more than anything else, which is why they want all these Japanese compact sedans. If I could show them the added value and reliability in a full size american car, I'm sure they'd be more open to it. Plus, my friend is pushing 275 lbs, and his girlfriend isn't exactly twiggy either, so I'm sure once they sat in something big & comfy, they'd grow to like it a lot more (no pun intended).

LS1Mike
07-22-10, 08:25 PM
How about a Vue with a 4 Cyl? They do pretty good. The Grand Marquis was a also a good choice.

That is a big guy, I could stand to lose some weight myself, but at that weight, I would think a Civic or Corolla
would be uncomfortable.

I guess you drive what you know.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-22-10, 08:48 PM
I recommended him his 93 Maxima way back when. It was a great car until he trashed it with a lack of maintenance.

LS1Mike
07-22-10, 09:15 PM
I recommended him his 93 Maxima way back when. It was a great car until he trashed it with a lack of maintenance.

He sounds like the type of guy that drives stuff until it breaks, then worries about it.

Night Wolf
07-23-10, 01:17 AM
If I see anything pertaining to that friggin' Jeep*, I immediately head elsewhere. Anything else beyond a few lines and :yawn:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k272/aznnbutterfly/tear.jpg

Jesda
07-23-10, 02:44 AM
:histeric:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-23-10, 07:18 AM
He sounds like the type of guy that drives stuff until it breaks, then worries about it.

No, he's the kinda guy that drives stuff til it breaks, then keeps driving it. :lol:

gdwriter
07-23-10, 06:49 PM
I made Rick cry? My work here is done. :rolleyes:

Night Wolf
07-23-10, 11:02 PM
I made Rick cry? My work here is done. :rolleyes:

http://biobreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/a_winner_is_you_1024.jpg?w=236&h=177

Jesda
07-23-10, 11:46 PM
You guys crack me up

hueterm
07-24-10, 03:27 AM
You guys crack me up


Before long, Rick is going to move out to Oregon so they can be closer!

HAHAHAHAHA

:canttalk:

Night Wolf
07-24-10, 03:58 AM
Before long, Rick is going to move out to Oregon so they can be closer!

HAHAHAHAHA

:canttalk:

It would be charming! Then we could car-talk on the weekends and go out for cruises together, an open Jeep and an old Impala!

http://image.automotive.com/f/events/0912_lrmp_2009_lowrider_denver_colorado_tour_hop/25493093+pheader/lrmp_0912_02+2009_lowrider_denver_colorado_tour_ho p+1964_impala.jpg

http://photos.allthingsjeep.com/Other/Jeeps-Off-Roading-Wheeling/Moab-Stand-Tall/626507297_yVqKr-S.jpg

77CDV
07-24-10, 09:52 PM
You may have put yourself in grave danger of imminent injury, Rick. :hide:

gdwriter
07-24-10, 10:19 PM
You may have put yourself in grave danger of imminent injury, Rick. :hide::yeah: Craig is very perceptive. Rick = :dummy:

I always cringe to see one of those beautiful old Impalas so horribly bastardized. It would happen to Betty around the 12th of Never.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-30-10, 12:43 PM
My buddy finally bought his car; '99 Saturn SL2, 132k miles for $2575.

Jesda
07-30-10, 12:48 PM
My buddy finally bought his car; '99 Saturn SL2, 132k miles for $2575.

http://jalopnik.com/5578590/my-crappy-saturn-ruined-my-life

orconn
07-30-10, 01:31 PM
Sorry to say it, since a young child is involved, but I think they deserve it other!

hueterm
07-30-10, 01:50 PM
My buddy finally bought his car; '99 Saturn SL2, 132k miles for $2575.


There are no words...

And if that article were true, that's not even the fault of the Saturn -- that's just being SOL in general.........

OffThaHorseCEO
07-30-10, 03:19 PM
:yeah: Craig is very perceptive. Rick = :dummy:

I always cringe to see one of those beautiful old Impalas so horribly bastardized. It would happen to Betty around the 12th of Never.

thats because its a 4 door. 4 door impalas are the equivalent of fat chicks when it comes to lowriders.

Stingroo
07-30-10, 03:23 PM
Lowriders in general are the fat chicks of the automotive customization world. They're horrible. :ack:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-30-10, 04:28 PM
Agreed. But, I must admit, some of the owners of these cars go and provide workmanship of the highest level when they're creating their cars. Sometimes they even do interesting things with the interiors. Like the guy who made a D'Elegance interior for his 1993-96 Fleetwood. That was interesting.

orconn
07-30-10, 04:39 PM
I have to admire the ability of lowrider designer and builders, even if I don't share there enthusiasm for cars modifide in this way. I certainly rank their abilities ahead to the high decibal trunk loaders who merely assemble premade components them proceed to make themselves and others deaf while showing off their creations!

gdwriter
07-30-10, 05:52 PM
thats because its a 4 door. 4 door impalas are the equivalent of fat chicks when it comes to lowriders.Excuse me, but I've seen 4-door Impala lowriders. And even though she's stock — and will stay that way — Betty is in no way a fat chick. Sedans are finally getting some respect in classic car circles because ordinary people can still afford them. I love the proportions of the 4-door hardtop on a '64 Impala. On these cars at least, the two-door offers no performance advantage over the four-door when equipped with the same engines.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-30-10, 06:52 PM
I find that most of the full size Impalas & Caprices look better in four door versions. Just better proportioned IMO. The only years that I like the two doors more are 1961-62.

I'm kinda curious to see my friend's newly purchased Saturn. I know very little of Saturns, so I couldn't give a yay or nay when he called me this morning, but when we were 16-17, he inherited his mom's '02 or so L-200 sedan (midsized) and he drove that around a lot before he bought his Maxima, so that was sort of his first car. When he got that Maxima, he sister inherited the Saturn, and she rear ended a Toyota Tacoma a few months later, sending it to the junkyard. So now, ironically, all my high school friends have cars from the same brand we had as our first cars. Instead of that Roadmaster, I've now got a Regal, and instead of that L-200, Jason has an SL2, and instead of his Ranger, my buddy Kevin has a Focus, and lastly my buddy Evan has a Cherokee Sport instead of his Wrangler Sport.

orconn
07-30-10, 07:34 PM
^^^ this must have some cosmic meaning, but so help me I can't figure what it might be. For the last eight years I have owned tha same makes as my first three cars ... I wonder what the significance of that fact is?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-30-10, 07:46 PM
Just irony.

ben.gators
07-30-10, 08:39 PM
http://jalopnik.com/5578590/my-crappy-saturn-ruined-my-life

This is hilarious! What a poor guy and what a monster car:horse:

Stingroo
07-30-10, 08:46 PM
Dude I read that story and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy. That's a crazy amount of bullshit to go through...

There are a lot of fly-by-night dealers here. It really sucks. One just got busted in my city a few months ago for rolling back odometers and sold a car that was known to be a rollback to a cop. I think he's got like 30+ years in prison for all of the charges.

77CDV
07-30-10, 11:41 PM
So now, ironically, all my high school friends have cars from the same brand we had as our first cars. Instead of that Roadmaster, I've now got a Regal, and instead of that L-200, Jason has an SL2, and instead of his Ranger, my buddy Kevin has a Focus, and lastly my buddy Evan has a Cherokee Sport instead of his Wrangler Sport.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ZnCT14nRc&feature=related

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-10, 08:20 PM
My buddy finally bought his car; '99 Saturn SL2, 132k miles for $2575.

Thought I'd keep you informed as to the current "state" of his Saturn.

I got a call last weekend from my friend, Jason, the one who owns the Saturn. While en route to his girlfriend's house last weekend, his engine blew a rod. He was going around 70mph on a freeway, so it wasn't as if he was overworking the engine. He needs to put a new motor in it, and it's looking like it's gonna be around a $2,000 repair. This really sucks for him, and the timing is piss poor because he was in the process of moving in with his girlfriend and daughter into his dad's house and giving it some much needed renovation. I don't know if these old Saturn 1.9L's have any history of doing such odd things, but I didn't recommend this car so it doesn't reflect poorly on me or my recommendation. If it was something I told him to go and seek out, I'd feel especially bad about it. However, I feel if he'd heeded my advice and bought something with a 3800, he wouldn't be in this current predicament.

Oddly enough, in the time since I last updated this thread at the end of July and now, his girlfriend's Civic has gotten totaled, and she got a brand new '11 Camry LE on lease. Of course, they think it's the best car EVAR! :bigroll:

Stingroo
11-28-10, 08:27 PM
I've read a lot of bad things about that 1.9L motor. No first hand experience though.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-10, 08:43 PM
I saw a similar thing happened to a 1.9L Saturn at an account of mine this last summer. I forget exactly what happened, but like my friend's car, the motor died while on the highway, but I thought it was something on the top end of the engine that caused the problem. I remember the tech had the valve cover off, and half of the camshaft was a nice gold color, and the other half of it was a black, oily burned color.

Stingroo
11-28-10, 08:52 PM
http://jalopnik.com/5578590/my-crappy-saturn-ruined-my-life

drewsdeville
11-28-10, 09:17 PM
I don't know anything about the 1.9L either, but generally I find that sudden no-warning engine failures like this many times end up being the result of some previous history.

Case in point, I dissected a blown Ford 5.0 once, which has a pretty stellar rep for durability, and came to find that a piece of wire from a wire-wheel seized the oil pump...something even a 3800 wouldn't survive. Thanks to the work of a sloppy mechanic, the whole engine failed.

At this point, it's really not fair to say that the car was a poor choice due to the equipped engine...you never know what actually led to it's failure. It's very rare for well cared for engines to just blow up randomly, 3800, Ford 4.6, or even a Geo 1.3L. Usually there's an unexpected influence.

Who knows, even if you recommended a 3800 powered car, you could have gotten one that had previous intake gasket leaks, driven on a coolant/oil milkshake for thousands of miles before the problem was taken care of, then was fixed and sold off, having had catastrophic failure within 5k after purchase.

^^^ you know how I crafted this story? Happened to ME on a 1986 98 Regency I purchased from my neighbor. I had that car for a whopping 2 weeks after I got it running (bad timing chain tensioner on purchase) and I ended up donating it with a rod bearing knock. 3800's are just as vulnerable as anything else. They are made of cast iron, aluminum and plastic, and suffer the same consequences to poor quality maintenance as anything else.

There is no bulletproof drivetrain...it just doesn't exist. Anything mechanical is subject to failure. Most major automotive reliability is determined by quantity of care and quality of care throughout ownership.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-10, 10:19 PM
blah blah blah Drew, nobody cares. The 3800 isn't invincible, but it's a damn good engine. Yes, they're well known for intake gasket leaks, but what GM engine from the '90s doesn't leak something?

drewsdeville
11-28-10, 10:30 PM
blah blah blah Drew, nobody cares. The 3800 isn't invincible, but it's a damn good engine. Yes, they're well known for intake gasket leaks, but what GM engine from the '90s doesn't leak something?

Er...I think you mistook that as an insult? You OK there, bud? You clearly care enough to respond. It's ok, we are all a little bummed that the holiday weekend is over, you aren't alone :p

I agree, the 3800 is a good engine, as are most engines produced in the last 2 decades or so. 200k out of a well maintained engine of any manufacturer, Saturn and Buick included, is a breeze given the correct maintenance. Just wondering if you are fooling yourself thinking that 3800 or any different engine choice wouldn't have garaunteed your buddy freedom from a similar situation.

I'd put my money on a typical Ford 4.6 2V outlasting and costing less over time than any 3800 or Saturn I4, but at the same time, I know that there are plenty of knocking, seized and troublesome 4.6's out there.

It happens, he got unlucky, just as I and many others have in the past. It could have happened to anyone with any type car.

Destroyer
11-29-10, 09:34 PM
Shit happens. It could happen to any car at any time. I never owned a Saturn and never plan to. From inception I thought they were the absolute gayest things ever but I have heard that aside from the fact they are buzzy (and gay), they are also fairly reliable. Still, shit happens.

RippyPartsDept
11-29-10, 09:59 PM
we haven't seen a lot of problems with that motor, but have done some used engine swap-ins for various reasons
the best thing about that engine is that it is very easy to work on the few times that you'll have to work on it
it is a very simple design

most of the problems we've seen were due to neglect... i bet that the oil wasn't changed regularly by the previous owner

edit: oh, and a few of our techs drive them too (if that means anything)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-10, 10:14 PM
Probably was neglect, sorry Drew. Still though, if he kept his '93 Maxima, which was a much nicer car than a SL1 Saturn, he would have spent maybe $500 on it (new exhaust, was leaking at y-pipe, and a trunk latch) and had it running better than this Saturn. The Saturn now cost him $4500, $2500 for the car, and $2000 for the motor. He paid $3500 for that Maxima, in '05.

We've seen his old Maxima running around, still going strong.

Point of story I guess is that it's best to keep what you've got, repair as necessary, because you atleast know that car's issues, as opposed to buying another beater car and taking a risk there.

77CDV
11-29-10, 10:23 PM
Point of story I guess is that it's best to keep what you've got, repair as necessary

Do I hear the voice of experience speaking? :duck:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-10, 10:39 PM
Yeah, probably. Played out for me well with the Cadillac, and the Nissan for him.

77CDV
11-29-10, 10:45 PM
Isn't this the friend who neglects his cars on priciple? Might go a long way toward explaining his series of unfortunate events.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-10, 10:48 PM
Yes, takes very poor care of his cars. We're talking once yearly oil changes, stuff like that. We all tell him how much damage he's doing to his stuff, but he never listens.

gdwriter
11-30-10, 01:39 AM
Point of story I guess is that it's best to keep what you've got, repair as necessary, because you atleast know that car's issues, as opposed to buying another beater car and taking a risk there.That's why I went ahead and had Cruella's transmission rebuilt. I had taken care of all the other issues, so it had become a very reliable car. Still is.


Yes, takes very poor care of his cars. We're talking once yearly oil changes, stuff like that. We all tell him how much damage he's doing to his stuff, but he never listens.Well, then he's just stupid and getting what he deserves. As much as a car costs — even a $2,500 beater — you might as well flush $100 bills down your toilet if you're going to neglect it.

Since funds are limited for my niece, I've offered to pay for oil changes on Cruella. She's only needed one since I delivered the car in May, but I made sure to impress on my niece (and my sister, who pays attention to such things) that regular oil changes are the simplest and cheapest way to extend the life of an engine. It's not foolproof — shit happens — but it's more the rule than the exception.

Playdrv4me
11-30-10, 08:24 AM
Do I hear the voice of experience speaking? :duck:

Good point with the glaring exception of his S-Class!

77CDV
12-01-10, 03:06 AM
Let's not rub salt in the wound, Ian. :)