VWVortex.com - You have $7k to drop into a family hauler that gets good mileage and has low operating cost. What do you buy?
Username or Email Address
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up

    VWVortex


    The Car Lounge
    Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
    Results 1 to 25 of 140

    Thread: You have $7k to drop into a family hauler that gets good mileage and has low operating cost. What do you buy?

    1. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2001
      Location
      SW KS
      Posts
      10,156
      05-04-2012 09:54 AM #1
      I'm kind of thinking a Fusion with a 5 speed. Good mileage (from the 4 cylinder).

      Or I could go the traditional Camry route.

      Impalas get good highway mileage and have tons of room and are pretty reliable. What else?

      The car has to be comfortable, even if its small. I really liked my buddy's 08 Focus 5 speed and we put all 4 of us in the car for a 6 hour road trip, and that wasn't bad at all. Even had a rear facing car seat at the time.

      We're trying to cut down our monthly auto budget, and if I could get into a car that will be trouble free for a lot of miles and have no car payment, that would free us up to save up for something a bit more fun in a few years.

      Your input, TCL?



      | 2015 Chevy Sonic | 2009 Kia Borrego | 1999 Mustang GT | 2014 Prius | 1974 SuperBeetle | 1979 Camaro | The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

    2. Member Daskoupe's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 9th, 2006
      Location
      Sarasota, Fl
      Posts
      8,418
      Vehicles
      mk2 coupe,15 A3 Tdi
      05-04-2012 09:56 AM #2
      a well maintained jetta or golf with a 2.0 and a 5 speed is that price.Thats the most problem free vw

    3. Member AdrockMK2's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 11th, 2005
      Location
      NOTL, ON
      Posts
      3,659
      Vehicles
      Mazda 3 GT
      05-04-2012 09:57 AM #3
      The best Honda Accord $7k can buy.

    4. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 4th, 2006
      Posts
      38,027
      Vehicles
      A Rental Car, a Cadillac, and a Moto Guzzi
      05-04-2012 09:58 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by AdrockMK2 View Post
      The best Honda Accord $7k can buy.

    5. Member
      Join Date
      Dec 15th, 2010
      Location
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
      Posts
      883
      05-04-2012 10:04 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by AdrockMK2 View Post
      The best Honda Accord $7k can buy.
      Make sure it's a 4 cylinder though.

    6. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2001
      Location
      SW KS
      Posts
      10,156
      05-04-2012 10:04 AM #6
      You know, I would, but I've always been disappointed by real-world Accord fuel economy. And I don't know that they offer more than an equally priced Camry.
      | 2015 Chevy Sonic | 2009 Kia Borrego | 1999 Mustang GT | 2014 Prius | 1974 SuperBeetle | 1979 Camaro | The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

    7. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2001
      Location
      SW KS
      Posts
      10,156
      05-04-2012 10:06 AM #7
      Ooh, this looks promising.

      http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/2994119856.html

      Chris
      | 2015 Chevy Sonic | 2009 Kia Borrego | 1999 Mustang GT | 2014 Prius | 1974 SuperBeetle | 1979 Camaro | The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

    8. Member Dr. Woo's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 28th, 2003
      Location
      Hampton, VA
      Posts
      3,992
      Vehicles
      '03 S2K '12 Focus
      05-04-2012 10:10 AM #8
      So by "family hauler" you mean a sedan? Usually people mean minivans and the like.

      The Accords and Camrys will do it for sure, but definitely take a look at the Fusion if you can find one with a stir-it-yourself, like you mentioned. They're a great bargain.
      ├┼┤2003 S2000 | 2012 Focus SE Sport (2011-2014) | 2009 G8 GT (2011-2011) | 2008 R32 (2007-2011) | 2006 GTI (2006-2007) | 2001 A4 (2002-2006)
      SAVETHERING

    9. 05-04-2012 10:28 AM #9
      I am in the same spot and I am struggling to find a Fusion for that price. What about a Focus Wagon?

    10. 05-04-2012 10:35 AM #10
      I've only seen/drive one 5 speed manual Ford Fusion...so I can imagine them being hard to find. If I was in this situation, i'd be looking at the best example of a 9-3, 4-cyl Accord, 4-cyl Camry, early/mid 2000's Maxima I could find.
      Sega|Saturn

    11. Member compy222's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 7th, 2005
      Location
      Pothole, MI
      Posts
      15,633
      Vehicles
      2007 Acura MDX, 2003 Honda S2000, 2004 Acura TSX
      05-04-2012 10:40 AM #11
      impala is a great hauler. big, decent mileage, comfy, reliable, etc.

      i would also consider a forester or outback if you want/need AWD. just get one that has had the headgaskets done!

      accord and fusion are nice, but a bit smaller.
      Quote Originally Posted by capsaicin View Post
      AP1 S2000? I can not in good conscience talk you out of that. May your slip angle be great and your bed not be the couch!

    12. 05-04-2012 10:41 AM #12
      Honda Accord. The V6 with the auto tranny suck though.

    13. Member Dan92SLC's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 27th, 1999
      Location
      SK RI
      Posts
      6,474
      Vehicles
      15 GTI, 71 911T, 94 Ranger XLT
      05-04-2012 10:41 AM #13
      There is a 2003 SVT Focus silver 5 dr near me for $7. It has only 20,000 miles on it!

    14. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2nd, 2003
      Location
      Jax, FL
      Posts
      2,552
      Vehicles
      93 SLC, another 93 SLC, 88 Jetta Coupe, 20th, 04 Accord Coupe V6 6MT, 81 K5 Blazer, 08 GTI
      05-04-2012 10:47 AM #14
      7th gen Accord 6spd

    15. Member zaYG's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 28th, 2009
      Location
      Boston
      Posts
      3,512
      Vehicles
      2010 VW GTI
      05-04-2012 10:49 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by corrago View Post
      Make sure it's a 4 cylinder though.
      Why?

      7th gen Accords with the V6s are awesome cars. I'd dare say...fun. As long as you get the six speed.
      flickr | Follow me on instagram: @ginger_reporter

    16. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 21st, 2001
      Location
      SW KS
      Posts
      10,156
      05-04-2012 10:50 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by zaYG View Post
      Why?

      7th gen Accords with the V6s are awesome cars. I'd dare say...fun. As long as you get the six speed.
      And can't be had for my price range. Might as well through STi's in there.

      Chris
      | 2015 Chevy Sonic | 2009 Kia Borrego | 1999 Mustang GT | 2014 Prius | 1974 SuperBeetle | 1979 Camaro | The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

    17. Member AlBeezy36's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 25th, 2008
      Location
      PNW
      Posts
      2,304
      Vehicles
      Rabbits, Miata, 2002, and a Galaxie
      05-04-2012 10:52 AM #17
      What about something like this:

      99 Lexus ES300.

      http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/cto/2971599541.html

      Senor's thread about the previous gen ES's got me pondering.
      - Alex

    18. Junior Member Enderwaves's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 15th, 2011
      Location
      Milton, WV
      Posts
      73
      Vehicles
      96 GTI 2.0, 2003.5 Protege5
      05-04-2012 10:56 AM #18
      I'm gonna chime in for the Fusion. We had one for about a year (company car). The fleet version was well appointed, and the interior was simply amazing for the price point. I really like what Ford is doing these days. We took a lot of road trips in it, and it always got just over 35 mpg, with the automatic. The 4 cyl was healthy and it was a fun car to drive. I would definitely look at buying one if that's what I was in the market for. I was definitely sad to turn it back in. For what I thought was going to be an incredibly boring car, it was really nice.

      The one down side was the sync system, which was sort of nice, but often led to my significant other yelling at the "the b- who lives in my car".
      Don't get nervous.

    19. Member zaYG's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 28th, 2009
      Location
      Boston
      Posts
      3,512
      Vehicles
      2010 VW GTI
      05-04-2012 10:59 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      And can't be had for my price range. Might as well through STi's in there.

      Chris
      My friend bought a mint 03 Coupe for less than your price range. I'm sure you could definitely find one if you looked around. The 4 cylinder is still a great option either way.
      flickr | Follow me on instagram: @ginger_reporter

    20. Member SpecialFX's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 19th, 2006
      Location
      Mauldin, SC
      Posts
      3,648
      Vehicles
      06 Stage 2 GTI, '93 Subaru SVX, '06 Honda Civic Coupe
      05-04-2012 11:00 AM #20
      I'd probably try to get the lowest mileage protégé 5 I could find. Reliable, economical, cheap to fix, good handling, and I like hatchbacks

    21. 05-04-2012 11:01 AM #21


      A handsome devil for sure. And to sweeten the deal, you'd be the ONLY ONE driving it basically - there are probably 10x more 1999 Tauri still out there than 2009 Tauri. The 500 and the Zephyr are also great looking. I do a double take with the 500, it looks so much like a Lexus LS. These are all supposedly reliable according to consumer reports.

      The impala is so in your face with the huge gold-colored badges and the chrome prancing deer, other than that it's solid. Drive (2011) sold that car for me.
      These days, in the time it takes to find a good honda/toyota for a good price, you could've made 200 message board posts. Not worth it.

    22. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 21st, 2005
      Location
      Colorado Springs, CO
      Posts
      42,600
      Vehicles
      '13 Subaru Outback
      05-04-2012 11:03 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Daskoupe View Post
      a well maintained jetta or golf with a 2.0 and a 5 speed is that price.Thats the most problem free vw
      But then you end up with a compact, not a midsize, with less power, more years, and more miles than a domestic, with more long-term reliability question marks.

      It'd fit his requirement for comfort, but I'm not sure he's best served with that, especially with a rear facing car seat.
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    23. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 20th, 2001
      Location
      Unreal VA
      Posts
      41,687
      Vehicles
      '12 Mazda2, '97 Accord Golden Era Edition, '09 Forester
      05-04-2012 11:03 AM #23
      I'd get a Mazda6. Only real drawback compared to anything mentioned thus far is shorter rear legroom. Depends how tall your family is. Check carefully around the door frames for rust if you get an early model, otherwise they're my default pick for a midsize sedan.

      With the QR25 powered Altima I'd be suspect of the engine's long-term durability. I've heard a few horror stories of the cats breaking up and cat substrate getting sucked into the engine. Symptoms start with an intermittent OBD code for the cat, and before you know it you're burning a quart of oil every 500 miles. A VQ35 should be okay, but then you've given up some fuel economy.

      Accords and Camrys are overpriced. $7k in my area gets you a '98-'02 era Accord or a '97-'01 era Camry, which was pretty much the nadir of those two cars' history. I'd much rather have an '03-'07 Accord than an '02-'06 Camry; there's nothing wrong with the Camry, but there's nothing about it that outclasses the Accord, either, and the Accord is just a better driver.

      The Fusion's just a bigger, softer 6, with the same 4cyl powertrain, built on the same production line, so if the 6 is too small for you, I can't disrecommend the Fusion.
      Splinter - Team Post-Killing Ninja
      I don't practice llanteria

    24. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 21st, 2005
      Location
      Colorado Springs, CO
      Posts
      42,600
      Vehicles
      '13 Subaru Outback
      05-04-2012 11:06 AM #24
      Just to throw out an idea....first-gen Pontiac Vibe. It's not amazingly efficient (~32-33mpg with manual) and nor is it a great drive (no worse than an Impala, though), but it's supernaturally reliable, spacious for four and luggage, capable of carrying a carseat with room to spare.

      I keep trying to justify buying something else for my daily driving, but my '03 has 77,500 miles on it and has required absolutely nothing but standard wear items, gas, and 5000 miles oil changes for its entire operational life. For around town, it's great.
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    25. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 20th, 2001
      Location
      Unreal VA
      Posts
      41,687
      Vehicles
      '12 Mazda2, '97 Accord Golden Era Edition, '09 Forester
      05-04-2012 11:09 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Just to throw out an idea....first-gen Pontiac Vibe. It's not amazingly efficient (~32-33mpg with manual) and nor is it a great drive (no worse than an Impala, though), but it's supernaturally reliable, spacious for four and luggage, capable of carrying a carseat with room to spare.
      That's a good one. It's a throwback to the old '80s Japanese tall wagons.. they were great family cars if economy was a priority.

      My 2001 Corolla with that engine and 4-speed auto once got 38mpg on a highway trip. It would've been over 40 but climbing hills forced it to drop to third gear.
      Splinter - Team Post-Killing Ninja
      I don't practice llanteria

    For advertising information click HERE

    Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •