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Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) #1063030 08/18/13 01:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 3,269
justice Offline OP
Roll Me Over
*****
Looking to buy an older late 90's early 00's commuter since I retired from the USMC got a new job with a 60 Mile commute from my house...I'll eventually be getting my own company van to drive to and from if the job works out, but have to pay dues first, but I don't want to rack up that many miles on the wife's 2012 TDI in the meantime, and the 98 Montero with the 33's...forget about it..

I'm looking for something comfortable and hopefully fun, since I'll be spending at least 2 hours a day in it. Commute is 98% highway miles ave speed on the 15 south in AM is 80MPH and in the eve possibly stuck in traffic adding 15-20 minutes to commute..Looking to get 28 MPG highway minimum.

Budget: $2500-3500 (low, yes but it is what it is)

When it comes to cars I'm partial to Euros for some reason, probably the tight handling..Maybe a jetta or passat with the 1.8 turbo, seen late 90's 3 and 5 series BMW's in my range not sure on these long term (maint?) I like the basic styling that seems to be somewhat timeless..Maybe I need to throw cool out the window and go with reliability and fuel economy?

What Say you wire?


99 Gen 2.5, fixing blown head gasket
89 SWB- 33's, ARB Front locker, SR rear locker/axle, SR F brakes, winch, WST Offroad Armor all Around, 2.85 Aussie T-case Gears (SOLD)
Sold: (2) 95 SR's, 86 SWB, 90LWB, 91 LWB
-Can Change a timing belt in my sleep..
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Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: justice] #1063031 08/18/13 05:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 235
DRX350 Offline
Wheeler
Japanese 4 cyl; reliable and efficient. Stay away from V6 Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, after 100k they fall apart.

Avoid the euro cars like the plague, MBZs from that era are just plain horrible, and BMWs are a royal pain to work on and are really expensive to maintain. VW, Volvo, and Jag; the electrics are a joke.

Fords and Chevys are decent, the engine run just fine, but everything else kind falls apart, but I've had several with 200k plus with no major issues.

Chryslers; the electrics kinda suck, and the transmissions really suck, but the ride's nice and the engines run well...


"Does this part need to be in there?"

1996 Dodge 1500 single cab / short bed, 5.9 4x4; 2" lift (springs not blocks), C.A.I and more mods to come.
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: DRX350] #1063032 08/18/13 08:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,649
fasteddy Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
ditto the above

Hard to get 28mpg in 80mph freeway OR stopngo since you are on and off the gas in the latter to avoid the cut inners.

I'd be tempted by bottom of the line Korean stuff in your situation.


Not responsible for advice not taken...
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: fasteddy] #1063033 08/19/13 12:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 8,557
LandRaider Offline
Forum Moderator
*****
MK4 TDI's are running around 4500-5500. I love mine. 45 mpg all day long.


87 Raider 4D56td v5MT1
31's..Basically Stock
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: justice] #1063034 08/19/13 01:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 15,887
kewlynx Offline
Toyota & Classifieds Moderator
*****
Bought the roomie's car as the beater with a heater. 97 Corolla, 367,811 miles on it (just filled it up). 1.8L engine (4 banger), still gets 34-39 mpg at 60 mph. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> Give 'er a romp and she passes well.

Congrats on your retirement Justice. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> Just make sure you're taking enough out of your retirement pay for taxes! Ask me how I know! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />


http://www.walkablecommunities.org/

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

**ubi apis- ibi salus**
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: kewlynx] #1063035 08/19/13 04:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 6,247
4x4Wire Offline
Trail Leader
***
I am with fasteddie. Some of the Korean stuff is good. I have had Kia's a few times as rental and have been pleased with erformance, comfort and mileage.

Other than that, Corolas are a solid value.


John Stewart
Editor - 4x4Wire.com
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Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: 4x4Wire] #1063036 08/19/13 02:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,854
G
Greg_Canada Offline
Roll Me Over
My GF's 04 civic has 146,000 miles on it and it runs great. suspension is still tight, etc.
I would look for the 1.7 vtec engine though. She has the non-vtec and it's quick around town but runs out of steam on the highway. My buddies 1.7 vtec does just fine on the highway.

Last tank was 33mpg... 50/50 city and highway... i've got high 30's on highway driving...

You should be able to pick one up in good shape for 3500-5000...


89 4Runner
3" BL, M/T locks, 33"bfg mt, bilstein, Kayline, tubebumper, toyotafiberglass panels
TBI: Elocker,3.4 w/ORS,b+b,S2Sstg2cams,arias pistons,P+P intake,TRDs/c,URDpullies+7th,downey headers,MAPECU2,WEGO WB, SupraMAF,walboro255,stg4clutch, EPaOo2 sim
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: kewlynx] #1063037 08/19/13 06:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 235
DRX350 Offline
Wheeler
Quote
Bought the roomie's car as the beater with a heater. 97 Corolla, 367,811 miles on it (just filled it up). 1.8L engine (4 banger), still gets 34-39 mpg at 60 mph. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" /> Give 'er a romp and she passes well.

Congrats on your retirement Justice. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> Just make sure you're taking enough out of your retirement pay for taxes! Ask me how I know! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/scared.gif" alt="" />


Those engines are stupid good, I have personally seen one with 480,000 miles. The late '90s Japanese cars are the epitome of reliability...

Last edited by DRX350; 08/20/13 01:08 AM.

"Does this part need to be in there?"

1996 Dodge 1500 single cab / short bed, 5.9 4x4; 2" lift (springs not blocks), C.A.I and more mods to come.
Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: DRX350] #1063038 08/19/13 07:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 133
RaiderMonteroFL Offline
Wheeler
See if you can hunt down a Pontiac Vibe 2004+. They are basically a Toyota Matrix with a Pontiac Sticker on it. Great car I had one for several years put 100K+ on it. 30+MPG all day long. Sold it 3 years ago and still see it around town. You can get them cheap since GM dropped the Pontiac line couple years ago.

Other than that the ole 4cyl Civic is tough to beat. That's what I bought to replace the Vibe.

Re: Reccomended used Commuter? (a bucket to drive to work) [Re: kewlynx] #1063039 08/20/13 09:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,748
Dandeman Offline
Toyota Moderator
Re: Old Toyota 4 bangers........

We finally gave away our 88 4 banger Camry Wagon at 300,000 miles to a friend kind of in need..

Still on the road at 330+ thousand miles. Engine has never been opened up, original clutch on the 5 speed still in the car, STILL not burning any oil..

The usual shaft seals have been replaced when timing belt replaced.. I think the water pump replaced one time. Some front end bushings, tie rod joints, alternator, brake pads, AC compressor replaced.. that's about it..

Gets 31-33MPG in daily driving..

The only car I've driven to higher altitude than a non-turbo'd Cessna 182 can do.. Drove up Pikes Peak 14,120' when it was new in 88. I think that trek turned out to be a good break-in on a new engine.. Rather than overheat the brakes on the way down, I used engine compression braking in lower gears to control the downhill speed, near the rev limit much of the way..

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