2000 Dodge Intrepid or 96 Corolla

#1

Hi,

I have been slowly shopping around for a used car and been focusing on 94-97 corollas and camrys because they are in my price range (up to $3000).

Now here comes this 2000 Dodge Intrepid for $2000. I’m getting kinda tired of looking at cars and seeing ones with a tons of squeks, or dents or the dome light doesn’t work, or worse.

Should I get get the Dodge Intrepid instead, or will it end up costing me lots more money in repairs down the line ?

#2

How many miles on each? Is there an indication of maintenance being accomplished better on one vs the other? You’re not really telling us enough to help you make a decision or to place a valid value on either car. either car could be coming up for an expensive maintenance service (like timing belt) and that may be a major influence in your decision. At the age of both of these cars, overall condition can be more important that the reliability Corolla brings to the table.

Your best bet is to get a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic, and use that information as a decision point and possible leverage to lower the price of your choice.

#3

If you were looking for a Corolla or Camry, how did you become interested in a Dodge Intrepid?

Personally, I’d continue looking at Corollas and Camrys. I’d also add the Geo (Chevrolet) Prizm to my list, since they are Corollas sold by Chevy dealers, and just as reliable as the Corolla.

Keep looking and don’t be discouraged. There are decent used cars out there. You just have to find them.

#4

Sorry, lets say 140k on the Toyotas I have been looking at and 120k on the Dodge Intrepid that caught my eye.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/987467684.html

#5

The Intrepid was one of the best of the Chrysler lineup at the time. I don’t know much about the 2002 model year, but I have a friend that’s had literally zero problems with her 2003 and she’s approaching 100K miles. They have decent power and handle nice. I’ve had very good luck with the Chrysler I own. However, if the Intrepid has the 2.7L engine, I’d avoid it. These are prone to oil sludging. The 3.5L engines are pretty much bulletproof, but make sure the timing belt has been changed or change it when you buy it. Toyotas are of course renowned for being reliable cars, but a 94’ is pretty old and probably getting ready to rust as well. Also, some of the Toyota engines were prone to oil sludging too. I’d drive them both and see which you like best, then have it checked out by a mechanic. Keep in mind that any car with over 100K miles is likely going to have a few things that need fixing, either now or soon, regardless of how well they’ve been cared for.

#6

I checked with nadaguides.com and the Intrepid is valued fairly at the current price shown. Consumer Reports rates it as average in reliability, and the major issues are AC, body hardware/integrity. Engine/trans issues rated average or above average (substantiating what oblivion says).

I would look at it and get it inspected by a mechanic. I would also pay close attention to determining if any major suspension work is needed. If proper maintenance has been performed (and can be proven with either record or receipts) on this car, it would work well at the price indicated. Keep in mind your gas mileage is substantially less with an Intrepid vs a Corolla. See if the in-person view is as good as the picture.

#7

Very true about the 2.7 engine, so if this is the case make sure you see records of regular oil change or maybe a new engine. Now why not look for a GM (Malibu, Buick) or Ford Taurus/Sable in that price range. They probably have better reliability record, granted what was said about maintenance is very true and if you are buying from a used car dealer then you probably won’t know much about the history of the car and in this case I will just throw a carfax report in the trash can. In any case with a used car in that price range budget some money for repairs.