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    Thread: What is a cheap, easy to fix, and good gas mileage car?

    1. Member Wings88's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 04:36 PM #1
      What is a really easy to fix car to keep on the road that is cheap and gets great gas mileage?

      Looking to grab something to I am not trekking so many miles on my current car.

    2. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 04:38 PM #2
      You didn't mention fun to drive- so I say early 2000s Corolla/Prism.
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    3. Member MagicBus's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 04:39 PM #3
      Those are VERY subjective requirements. My vote is a first or second generation Subaru Legacy with EJ22 engine and 5-speed manual transmission. Pre-OBD II if you can find it.

    4. Member koston.'s Avatar
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      08-03-2011 04:44 PM #4
      MKIII VW (95-99, preferably >97) Parts are stupid cheap on German Autoparts
      Shutup and drive yo cah'!

    5. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 05:21 PM #5
      Geo/Chevy Metro.
      Suzuki Swift.
      Honda Civic.
      Toyota Corolla.
      Mazda Protege/3.
      Ford Focus.

      and on. and on. and on.
      epitome
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    6. Member Wings88's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 05:57 PM #6
      Lol I don't expect to have much fun in something cheap. I would think anyway.

      I thought the older VW had mad serious bearing and wiring harness issues?

    7. Member Mortal_Wombat's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 06:14 PM #7
      N I N E - F O O T E R S

    8. Banned HideYoKids's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 06:15 PM #8
      first gen toyota Paseo

      32mpg combined and rather fun


    9. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 06:38 PM #9
      93-96 Camry.. supposedly the best made Camries evAr.
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    10. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 06:47 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Wings88 View Post
      Lol I don't expect to have much fun in something cheap. I would think anyway.

      I thought the older VW had mad serious bearing and wiring harness issues?
      it can be very fun to drive a cheap car.

      i own a 93 S4 and a 08 GTI... but i still have fun driving my Suzuki Swift.
      epitome
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      2.0 TDI "BHW" engine partout - @tdiclub @vwvortex

    11. Member Burnitwithfire's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 06:59 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Wings88 View Post
      Lol I don't expect to have much fun in something cheap. I would think anyway.
      Small cheap cars are a lot more fun than bigger cars. With older cars the mechanicals are really simple, cheap to fix and DIY friendly.

      My vote goes to the Civic.
      Quote Originally Posted by SAV912 View Post
      Going to church is bland. Eating vanilla ice cream is bland. Dating somebody from your local Ayn Rand book club is bland. This car makes all of those things seem as exciting as doing 12 lines of cocaine. With Katie Perry. While she's on fire...in Times Square. And you're naked.

    12. Member MightyDSM's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 07:21 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Wings88 View Post
      What is a really easy to fix car to keep on the road that is cheap and gets great gas mileage?

      Looking to grab something to I am not trekking so many miles on my current car.
      Pretty much anything with this

      Look at your signature, now back to mine, now back to yours, now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn’t mine.

    13. Member Sir UNBANNED_GERBIL M.B.'s Avatar
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      08-03-2011 07:22 PM #13

    14. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 07:31 PM #14
      Basically any import from 1980 to 1996.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '86 Scirocco PL, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.

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      08-03-2011 07:55 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by MightyDSM View Post
      Pretty much anything with this

      If you can find one that hasn't been molested that is. Older, little lady owned Hondas that are still factory stock and not beat on are getting hard to find. On the flip side, since so many people are modifying them used OEM parts are plentiful and cheap.

      I've been looking for something similar as what the OP describes and lately I've been turning my attention towards the later 2000+ Mazda Protege. There's tons of them (around here anyways), you can get them ridiculously cheap now and the engines/transmissions are shared with a few other Mazdas and Fords so replacement parts should be easily available. Just gotta watch out for rust.

    16. Member Wings88's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 08:00 PM #16
      What about a 1980's VW Rabbit diesel? 57mpg Highway 5 speed

      Didn't even know those came in diesels until 5 mins ago.

    17. Member compy222's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 08:06 PM #17


      big pic for most obvious answer!
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    18. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 08:07 PM #18
      Wait.. duh.

      Dodge/Plymouth Neon.
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      08-03-2011 08:07 PM #19
      Toyota Corolla. Pretty much every generation of them are bulletproof and cheap. The challenge is finding one that doesn't have a million miles on it and isn't beat up.

    20. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 08:07 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      big pic for most obvious answer!
      Big pic to show how inflated used prices are.
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    21. Member Ark6's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 09:25 PM #21
      Crx. Maybe a civic hf.

    22. Member SAV912's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 09:34 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by koston. View Post
      MKIII VW (95-99, preferably >97) Parts are stupid cheap on German Autoparts
      Good thing too, because you'll be going there early and often.
      GeorgiaBulldawgs!
      Quote Originally Posted by GolfTango
      Nah. 10 mins later he was yelling in the cat's direction that he was going to call the police and have him arrested, then asking for cake.

    23. Member NoGrip61's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 09:36 PM #23
      Among the other great suggestions:

      Any Toyota with the 1NZ engine:

      Echo
      xA
      xB

      Tercel's and paseos as well.

      The nice thing here is that the timing chain does not really have to be changed, they're all around 2k pounds, use 13-15" tires, are toyota's, have the same chassis set up as a mk1-3 GTI so they're fun to drive, and get over 35mpg.
      Last edited by NoGrip61; 08-04-2011 at 09:02 AM.

    24. Member Ben.Reilly's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 09:51 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by HideYoKids View Post
      first gen toyota Paseo

      32mpg combined and rather fun

      I don't think the OP is a girl, so a Paseo is out, much like a Cavalier.
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    25. Member compy222's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 10:01 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Big pic to show how inflated used prices are.
      true. worth it though, unless its really beat.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    26. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 11:06 PM #26
      Another angle... buy a used geezer mobile that's in excellent (mechanical) shape.
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    27. Member compy222's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 11:08 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Another angle... buy a used geezer mobile that's in excellent (mechanical) shape.
      3800 GM...for the win. regal, century, grand prix, you just can't break them mechanically.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    28. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 11:20 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Wings88 View Post
      I thought the older VW had mad serious bearing and wiring harness issues?
      No, (manual transmission) MkIIIs were generally very reliable. I owned one from new and sold it at 170,000 miles, during which I needed a new windshield wiper motor and had the AC and a tail light connector fixed - that was pretty much it (apart from wear items).

    29. Member lojasmo's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 11:51 PM #29
      EJ22 all day.

      I have. 1995 legacy wagon. Dead simple, reliable, cheap, and easy to fix.

    30. Member adrew's Avatar
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      08-03-2011 11:57 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by .:Ryan View Post
      Among the other great suggestions:

      Any Toyota with the 1NZ engine:

      Echo
      xA
      xB

      The nice thing here is that the timing belt does not really have to be changed, they're all around 2k pounds, use 13-15" tires, are toyota's, have the same chassis set up as a mk1-3 GTI so they're fun to drive, and get over 35mpg.
      1NZ has a chain!
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio • Come make some hard cider

    31. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      08-04-2011 12:10 AM #31
      Try finding an Xb for cheap money... trust me I have been searching at even with well over 100,000 miles they are bringing almost $10,000...

      The 80 year old woman across the hall has a 2 door Echo with 280,000 miles... just got out of the shop from it's first break down. Fuel pump failed.

      edited to add a DUH.

      My sister has an Xa that has made several cross continental trips. It hasn't been as flawless as that echo but aside from a cracked exhaust manifold and needing brakes at 60,000 miles it has been terrific. Even returning an average of 34mpg driving cross country with 4 adults and a loaded roof rack.
      Last edited by eunos94; 08-04-2011 at 12:17 AM.
      ■■■■■■■■■■■■

    32. Member turkey_club's Avatar
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      08-04-2011 12:56 AM #32




      Cheap entry - Check
      Timing Chain - Check
      Shares parts between 2 gens and Infiniti G20 and a million imported SR motors - mostly check
      30+ MPG - Check
      Last edited by turkey_club; 08-04-2011 at 12:59 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by motoo344 View Post
      This thread title is misleading, the ls1 one belongs in everything.


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    33. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      08-04-2011 01:20 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      3800 GM...for the win. regal, century, grand prix, you just can't break them mechanically.
      I've broken a couple. Oil pump always fails in them.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '86 Scirocco PL, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.

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      08-04-2011 09:08 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      1NZ has a chain!
      Edited, you are correct! I keep forgetting because I don't have to worry about it anymore.

      Quote Originally Posted by eunos94 View Post
      Try finding an Xb for cheap money... trust me I have been searching at even with well over 100,000 miles they are bringing almost $10,000...
      You won't find many used cars for cheap right now. The used car market is at an all time high until the Japanese factories pick up again. xB's in particular have seen a tremendous inflation to their KBB values since then.

    35. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      08-04-2011 12:12 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Another angle... buy a used geezer mobile that's in excellent (mechanical) shape.
      Aw yeah!
      | 2012 Nissan Leaf | 2005 Chrysler T&C |

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