What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000? in General Discussion; Just wondering, what would you recommend for a young guy or gal, with a small income, for their first car. ...
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    orconn's Avatar
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    What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Just wondering, what would you recommend for a young guy or gal, with a small income, for their first car. They have $10,000. dollars, at most, to spend.

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Oh oh! Sub hates polls. Buy newest, lowest miles car for 10k. (sneak edit)

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Single person, lives in an apartment ok neighborhood, no dog or other pet, mechanical knowledge limited to filling tires with air. Can only spare about $1000. per year for maintenance and repairs. Needs to go to work 20 miles each way/day. has a girl friend who is an anti-snob snob who hates Cadillacs but would bend fro a BMW. (she is 5'8" , 130 lbs and mostly wears Levis and t-shirts. He likes Chinese food but can only afford Taco Bell.

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Nothing wrong with polls - if they actually serve some long-term informational purpose.

    Find a decent used Hyundai: He ain't gonna eat filet mignon on a hamburger diet. Tell the floozie to take off her Beemer shirt and get a job.

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by orconn View Post
    Just wondering, what would you recommend for a young guy or gal, with a small income, for their first car. They have $10,000. dollars, at most, to spend.
    -------------------------
    $10K would get a REAL NICE low-mile Nissan Altima -

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Best bet is to buy something off an older retired person who took care of it and didn't drive it much. This usually means small fuel sippers like a Jetta TDI, Civic, Mazda 3, etc are out. Good retired people cars are usually garaged, low miles, and at $10,000 max, are going to be 5-15 years old. Age isn't that big of a deal IMO as long as it was maintained and hasn't sat parked for more than a year. Look for stuff the retirment set drives, Buicks with the 3.8 V6, Toyota Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES, Grand Marquis/Town Cars(they suck the gas but you can't kill'em), Ford 500/Taurus.

    I'd say a Cadillac, Benz, BMW, Audi, VW, or Jag are cars to stay FAR away from if she's only got a budget of maybe $1000 a year for repairs and has no knowelge on how to work on her own cars. I'd also avoid anything Nissan that has a CVT transmission(basically any FWD Nissan made since about 2001) and any V6 powered Honda product(once again the transmission likes to catastrophically fail before 100k miles). Avoid Chrysler/Dodge, quality sucked on them under Benz ownership.

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    i agree a Buick with 3.6L. A 2000+ will be very reliable, hell I put 256K on my Buick and only paid 13k for it. Doubt I spent 500 a year on maintenance to include tires, brakes and batteries.

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    carpenter is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by rodnok01 View Post
    i agree a Buick with 3.6L. A 2000+ will be very reliable, hell I put 256K on my Buick and only paid 13k for it. Doubt I spent 500 a year on maintenance to include tires, brakes and batteries.
    yup I was thinking the same, but with a Pontiac Grand Prix with the 3.8. 2006-2008 model year.
    Can get a lower mileage -2009-2010 Hyundai Elantra or Toyota Corolla in that range as well.

    Reliable, cheap to fix and something that will run forever.

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Turn of the century GM with a 3800 and ideally low miles. My younger sister has an 02 Grand Prix with 64000 miles, I believe she got it for right around 6.

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    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Generally speaking, 10k will get you a decent 5-10 year old car. That said, of cars between '04 and '09 (roughly), my opinion is that the best bet for all around practicality and durability will be a well equipped Subaru from the era.

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by drewsdeville View Post
    Generally speaking, 10k will get you a decent 5-10 year old car. That said, of cars between '04 and '09 (roughly), my opinion is that the best bet for all around practicality and durability will be a well equipped Subaru from the era.
    Yeah if she's okay with the baggage/image of owning one of those ugly cars comes with(ie being a vegan tree hugging whiner). Plus you want to avoid any 2.5L 4 cylinder non-turbo powered Subie(like 80% of them came with this motor), as they tend to pop headgaskets(and like the N* its a take the whole front end off the car to remove the motor type of deal).

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    So much good stuff.

    A manual transmission and a 4-cylinder engine in a small Japanese passenger car will go a long way.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
    Yeah if she's okay with the baggage/image of owning one of those ugly cars comes with(ie being a vegan tree hugging whiner). Plus you want to avoid any 2.5L 4 cylinder non-turbo powered Subie(like 80% of them came with this motor), as they tend to pop headgaskets(and like the N* its a take the whole front end off the car to remove the motor type of deal).
    I just went through a head gasket/cooling system nightmare on a Subaru. Thankfully due to a title issue I was able to get my money back for the car.

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    I like (and always have) Honda. You can get 4-6 cylinder accords in that range...a 2005 ex-l (leather, moonroof, heated seats, etc.) is around 10k. Go back to 1999-2002 and I think you can get what I believe to be the best design accords from 2-5k. I say that cus my daughter has a 2002dx and my son has a 1999 lx (5-speed) both with 150ish thousand miles and indifferent maintenance...they have never has a single issue. Those accord manuals can achieve 33mpg on the highway.

    Civics can certainly fall under the above recommendation...just a smaller platform, but very reasonable milage, just not much cheaper from what I have seen.

    Part of me would not recommend the high end Acura, Lexus, Infinity due to some early issues with the various luxury components...add all of that complexity can increase the maintenance costs.

    KBB has an excellent site which will allow you to price a used car...complete with customer feedback on models. I have used this tool at dealers to state what I want on my trade as well as what I expect to pay on a used car (did this recently on a CRV EXL 4WD and saved several thousand dollars...well partially cus 4WD is not needed in Texas)

    Good luck though!

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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    How 'bout a black on black '97 ETC with 65K on it for under $5K?

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    Jailtime is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: What would you recommend for a first car under $10,000?

    Some GM 3800 car. I'd go with one of the supercharged Pontiacs. The L67/L32 doesn't seem to have the intake manifold leaks as bad as the NA Series II. Going for the supercharged models gets the marginally stronger 4T65HD too.

    They all get good fuel economy, have good/cheap parts availability, and are cheap to insure.
    delerium75 likes this.

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