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    Thread: Sell the HHR for a ________? Help fill in the blank.

    1. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 08:35 AM #1
      So...if everyone says stay away from B5/B5.5 cars...what others would TCL suggest in the $5,000 range for a daily driver that will rack up a LOT of miles (4 round trips to Williamsburg VA from Annapolis per month, plus daily work commute, plus normal errands...I figure roughly 20-30,000 miles a year.

      Needs:
      - RELIABLE and long lived (due to the miles I will be racking up)
      - Above 30mpg on the highway (more is better)
      - Relatively quiet at 75mph
      - Relatively smooth ride (I have the R1 for when I want my teeth rattled)
      - 4 doors
      - Good sized storage areas
      - SOME soul/fun factor
      - Room for 4 in COMFORT
      - Decent stock audio system

      Wants:
      - Manual trans
      - Station Wagon?
      - Rockin' stock sound system
      - Quick
      - Good handling

      All of the above are in comparison to my 2008 HHR LS (base model, no options), so things like quick and good handling don't take THAT much to meet expectations. haha! But more than anything...I guess I'm looking for an appliance that has maybe a touch of soul.

      I was seriously considering going back to VW/Audi, specifically a B5 or B5.5 1.8T but others are saying no way.

      So, what says TCL? What should I be looking at?

    2. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 08:42 AM #2
      A 2nd gen Prius with an aftermarket sound system meets all your requirements besides 'quick', 'manual', and 'good handling'.

      Mazda6 hatch or wagon? Don't think they'll 30mpg highway, but everything else fits.

    3. Member Roadkilled78's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 08:42 AM #3
      Damned if I know but I am looking for just about the same set of requirements for my wife's new daily driver/our road trip car. Replacing a '94 5spd Accord Wagon. She won't let me just get a '97 one with 150k less miles.

      Conclusion: It's hard as hell to find wagons with manuals around here.

      We've been shopping:
      -Outback
      -Saturn LW series wagons
      -Focus wagons
      -Saab 9-5 wagons
      -Imprezas/WRXs/Saabarus, but they're still beyond the $5k budget.
      Last edited by Roadkilled78; 04-24-2012 at 08:59 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Hogan View Post
      What kind of ass backwards world do you live in where your Miata is broken and your Alfa is your reliable source of transportation?

    4. Member compy222's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 08:49 AM #4
      focus wagon or hatch? i've see SVT's go for as low as 4k...

      there is also the subaru option, they tend to hold their value really well, meaning you'll end up with a lot more miles/age for a given car...still, a good one can be had for sub 5k. i wouldn't rule out an outback sport, 2.5ts, or something similar.
      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.

    5. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 08:58 AM #5
      Mazda Protege5?

      We loved our '02. Put 5 years and 100k trouble free miles on it. Never should have sold it.

      Readily available with a stick. Big enough cargo area, and I averaged 30mpg per tank no problem. Great handling car, I believe it was C&d who called it a FWD Miata with a backpack.

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    6. Member Internal Combustion's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:00 AM #6
      Hhr ss
      TCL pearl #452: You cannot name a car that would not be improved with a LSx engine.


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    7. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:08 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      A 2nd gen Prius with an aftermarket sound system meets all your requirements besides 'quick', 'manual', and 'good handling'.

      Mazda6 hatch or wagon? Don't think they'll 30mpg highway, but everything else fits.
      Wait, can you get a Gen 2 Prius for $5k?! If you can, YES, that would be perfect. The 'quick', 'manual', and 'good handling' are wants, not needs.

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      04-24-2012 09:13 AM #8
      In the $5k range is going to be tough, however that is pretty much exactly where the really good Volvo 850's/early V70's are right now. They won't quite hit 30 on the highway without some work, but they will do 28-29, and while they require some work to keep going, they are really designed to rack up a lot of miles. That, paired with the phenomenal community of owners means that most issues are easy to diagnose, and there are very few deal-breakers.

      Positives include extremely comfortable seats front and rear, excellent cargo room (overall I think this series of wagons is one of the best packaged vehicles ever produced for overall size and the amount of passenger and cargo room), good to excellent power, and available manual transmissions on some trim lines.
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    9. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:18 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      Volvo 850's/early V70's are right now.
      Years?

    10. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:22 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      Years?
      850 was '93-'97. I'd get as late a model as possible, but only '93 has any significant differences between the other years. Condition is more important than year or mileage.

      V70's I'd suggest '98-'00 which are pretty much facelifted 850's. Avoid the AWD models unless you really need or want it. It is problematic and will drag your mileage down.

      Edit: If this interests you, I'd suggest contacting user JRL at Matthews Volvo Site. He sells very good condition cars in the Philly area. He has a couple listed here now - both XC's unfortunately, but he might have something else by now. http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/for...wforum.php?f=6
      Last edited by zhenya00; 04-24-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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      04-24-2012 09:22 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Internal Combustion View Post
      Hhr ss
      great car, but you aren't going to find one for $5k unless it's been crashed or doesn't run!
      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.

    12. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:29 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      850 was '93-'97. I'd get as late a model as possible, but only '93 has any significant differences between the other years. Condition is more important than year or mileage.

      V70's I'd suggest '98-'00 which are pretty much facelifted 850's. Avoid the AWD models unless you really need or want it. It is problematic and will drag your mileage down.
      On ebay I'm seeing 2000-2003s in my price range. Any issues with them? I'm really thinking something less "Euro"...more appliance...just due to cost of ownership and the fact that they all seem to have 150,000 miles on them already.

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      04-24-2012 09:31 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      So...if everyone says stay away from B5/B5.5 cars...what others would TCL suggest in the $5,000 range for a daily driver that will rack up a LOT of miles (4 round trips to Williamsburg VA from Annapolis per month, plus daily work commute, plus normal errands...I figure roughly 20-30,000 miles a year.

      Needs:
      - RELIABLE and long lived (due to the miles I will be racking up)
      - Above 30mpg on the highway (more is better)
      - Relatively quiet at 75mph
      - Relatively smooth ride (I have the R1 for when I want my teeth rattled)
      - 4 doors
      - Good sized storage areas
      - SOME soul/fun factor
      - Room for 4 in COMFORT
      - Decent stock audio system

      Wants:
      - Manual trans
      - Station Wagon?
      - Rockin' stock sound system
      - Quick
      - Good handling

      All of the above are in comparison to my 2008 HHR LS (base model, no options), so things like quick and good handling don't take THAT much to meet expectations. haha! But more than anything...I guess I'm looking for an appliance that has maybe a touch of soul.

      I was seriously considering going back to VW/Audi, specifically a B5 or B5.5 1.8T but others are saying no way.

      So, what says TCL? What should I be looking at?
      My Dodge Neon SRT-4 has all that...except for what is in bold.
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    14. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:32 AM #14
      Can you get a base-ish mkV Golf for ~$5000? That's probably what I'd consider if I could find one in that price range.

    15. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:32 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      On ebay I'm seeing 2000-2003s in my price range. Any issues with them? I'm really thinking something less "Euro"...more appliance...just due to cost of ownership and the fact that they all seem to have 150,000 miles on them already.
      Those model years were a bit more problematic than the earlier models, but my detailed knowledge ends with the '00 model years. I imagine like any other car it's knowing what this issues are and how to deal with them. Hopefully someone else here can pipe up, or Matthew's separate forum for those cars can probably get you started. I believe Swedespeed is a bit more active for those generation cars too.

      I would not be afraid of one of these Volvos at 150k IF it has had all of its maintenance looked after. Matthew's site exists pretty much to keep those cars running, and there are LOTS of owners with 250k +. Any $5k car is going to have some issues - best to find one that is meant to last a long time and has a good community behind it.
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    16. 04-24-2012 09:33 AM #16
      High-ish mileage Civic Si from the early 2000s era (the EP3. Or the hatchback one in non-Honda geek speak).

      30mpg highway, good handling, fun, reliable, comes in stick only so no hunting around for one, and the hatch adds the cargo space you want. Consumables are dirt cheap, and its a Honda so racking up miles isn't an issue.

      They are the red headed step child of the Si world, so deals can be had. $5000 might be tough, but I've seen them in that range (albeit with 150K miles). Maybe stretch the budget a grand or two more and get a lower mileage example?

      edit: It only has two doors. If just looking for a pure appliance with a nice shifter, a Civic EX from the same era? Won't use premium, will get 35mpg highway, and comes in 4 door form (no hatch unfortunately).
      Last edited by pwm; 04-24-2012 at 09:38 AM.

    17. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:37 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      Can you get a base-ish mkV Golf for ~$5000? That's probably what I'd consider if I could find one in that price range.
      Is the Jetta considered cheaper or more expensive with the mkV? Hatch area on the Golf is pretty small, no? I need to be able to put a weekends woeth of stuff for 3 people, one of which is a 6 year old girl with toys in there...

    18. Member Dr. Woo's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 09:37 AM #18
      1st-gen FWD CR-V?
      http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/2931234335.html



      Pre-2000 Acuras? There are tons of these TLs in my local area for ~$5k. Don't know how gas mileage is, but I imagine these Acuras will do 75mph highway trips without breaking a sweat. And you'll have your four-person comfort, easily.
      http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/2971669666.html

      Last edited by Dr. Woo; 04-24-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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      04-24-2012 10:04 AM #19
      I'll sell you a 2005 Focus ZX5 SES for $5k. 130k miles.
      Looking for a ratty Miata? My runner and parts car are for sale. PM for details.
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      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      4+ pages and at least 1 death threat in a compact-car comparison test thread - oh wait, this is TCL.

    20. Member Grey Mouser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 10:12 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      Mazda Protege5?

      We loved our '02. Put 5 years and 100k trouble free miles on it. Never should have sold it.

      Readily available with a stick. Big enough cargo area, and I averaged 30mpg per tank no problem. Great handling car, I believe it was C&d who called it a FWD Miata with a backpack.


      I'll second this. Our P5 has 142k on it and is relatively trouble free. One door no longer locks with the key fob (you can hear something mad in the door.. shrug)..

      About 30mpg, not so sure about that. I average 20-22 with 99% city driving.

    21. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 10:25 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      Mazda Protege5?

      We loved our '02. Put 5 years and 100k trouble free miles on it. Never should have sold it.

      Readily available with a stick. Big enough cargo area, and I averaged 30mpg per tank no problem. Great handling car, I believe it was C&d who called it a FWD Miata with a backpack.

      Ohh...I kinda like this! Thanks, it wasn't on my radar but is now.

      As far as "unmodding" the HHR and driving it into the ground...if I keep it, I might as well keep the mods for now. Maybe when the white walls wear out, I'll respray the rims black and put on regular tires and remove the chrome trim...but the idea behind this was to get rid of the car that was picked out with my ex.

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      04-24-2012 10:37 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      Sell the HHR for a ________? Help fill in the blank.
      A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Anything will be better than that POS-looking abomination.

    23. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 10:42 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Grey Mouser View Post
      I'll second this. Our P5 has 142k on it and is relatively trouble free. One door no longer locks with the key fob (you can hear something mad in the door.. shrug)..

      About 30mpg, not so sure about that. I average 20-22 with 99% city driving.
      Yeah, my driving up here is mostly rural 2 lane and highway, almost zero stop and go. 30 average or close to it is what I recall but then again, my memory isn't as good as it used to be.
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      04-24-2012 10:48 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by izzo View Post
      A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Anything will be better than that POS-looking abomination.
      Fired


      I'll vote for Focus
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    25. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 02:51 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by izzo View Post
      A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Anything will be better than that POS-looking abomination.
      So says the guy with the '89 Golf.

    26. Member Grey Mouser's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 03:00 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      So says the guy with the '89 Golf.

      ......... 89 Golf still looks better than an HHR, stock or not.

    27. Member Avus's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 03:04 PM #27
      HHR SS!! It is always my closet favorite... such a sleeper...

      HHR Panel SS even cooler..


      But yea, know of expensive for you budget...
      http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Chevrolet...0402094349968/
      Last edited by Avus; 04-25-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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      04-25-2012 03:09 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by StormChaser View Post
      ...but the idea behind this was to get rid of the car that was picked out with my ex.
      Why let an ex-punch dictate what car you drive? Don't let her get in your head like that.
      You think I ain't worth a dollar, but I feel like a millionaire.

    29. 04-25-2012 03:28 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Woo View Post

      I was facing similar criteria and went with a '99 LX 4WD 5-speed. Ticks most of your boxes:


      Needs:
      - RELIABLE and long lived (due to the miles I will be racking up) - Double check.
      - Above 30mpg on the highway (more is better)- not quite but close. I get 25mpg combined, with AWD
      - Relatively quiet at 75mph - Again, mostly.
      - Relatively smooth ride (I have the R1 for when I want my teeth rattled) - Definitely.
      - 4 doors
      - Good sized storage areas
      - SOME soul/fun factor - Debateable; although it is fun in its own right, it's no corner carver.
      - Room for 4 in COMFORT- For sure.
      - Decent stock audio system- Meh. You can add this in.

      Wants:
      - Manual trans - Can be had with AWD, like mine is. Not hard to find.
      - Station Wagon? - Duh.
      - Rockin' stock sound system - No.
      - Quick
      - Good handling
      Speed:Sport:Life press car of the week: none
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    30. Member two.twoliter's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 03:39 PM #30
      Previous: 87 325e, 90 Accord Coupe, 99 Neon ACR, 91 CRX Si, 93 S-10, 00 Protege ES

    31. Member Sentinelist's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 04:57 PM #31
      Yup. Hey how about a SAAB 9-5?

      Related tangent for you perhaps. I'm still on the fents.

    32. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 05:01 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Grey Mouser View Post
      ......... 89 Golf still looks better than an HHR, stock or not.
      The Golf is just a car that would never get a second look from anyone other than a VW fanboi. The HHR gets tons of compliments from people of all walks of life, more compliments than any car I've owned. But thanks for you opinion, it has been noted and discarded.

    33. Geriatric Member SSLByron's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 05:03 PM #33
      You weren't driving the R1 today, were you? I saw a yellow one on Muddy Creek. Yum.
      Looking for a ratty Miata? My runner and parts car are for sale. PM for details.
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      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      4+ pages and at least 1 death threat in a compact-car comparison test thread - oh wait, this is TCL.

    34. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 05:03 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by rice is burning View Post
      Why let an ex-punch dictate what car you drive? Don't let her get in your head like that.
      I think it's really an excuse. I hardly ever keep cars longer than 4-5 years, then get bored. But starting fresh is always nice.

    35. Banned StormChaser's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 05:06 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by PassSedanGLX View Post
      You weren't driving the R1 today, were you? I saw a yellow one on Muddy Creek. Yum.
      No, but I know the guy who owns that one. He lives at the same marina and his car is parked at the end of my dock. It's absolutely PERFECT, other than it is not a red R1 like mine.

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