I need a car for the summer, so, after some research, I decided to start looking for Lexus IS300s (2001-2005). I have pretty good knowledge about cars, and I know they tend to be quite reliable. The ones I am looking for are around the $3-4k range with about 130k miles on them. My mom suggests that a newer car (2010 and up) will be far better, however, the used cars are usually $7k+ and already have 75-125k miles on them. Common ones I’ve seen are elantra, sentra, altimas, focus, dart, and basically every other compact other than corollas or civics. I obviously don’t want to spend the extra money if I don’t have to. Will one of the newer cars be so much better in terms of reliability vs cost as my mom believes, or am I better off with a decent example of the Lexus. Priorities are reliability, purchase cost, and repairability, and for my sake, driving experience.
Edit: I want to find out if the $3k price difference is really worth the upgrade in overall reliability in the case of two cars that are decent examples. I’d like to see some stories to back it up, not just statements.