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Best used car ideas

Hi there. I’m looking to purchase a used car for myself. I commute just about 200 miles a day for 5 days a week and I am planning a trip in two weeks that will have me driving about 2000 miles. I’m looking at maybe a 1999 Toyota Avalon with 76k on it. Are there any issues with that car that I should be aware of? My budget is about $8000. Also tossing around the idea of getting a 2001 Camaro or maybe another Toyota model or even a Honda of some sort. Ideas?

You’re All Over The Place. Figure Out Which Features Of A Car ($8000 Budget) Are Important. Prioritize A List And We Can Possibly Help.

Do you need four doors, FWD, RWD, 4WD, AWD, good /great mpg, creature comforts like soft ride, a quiet vehicle, good handling, large size, small size, safety as an important feature, low operational cost, etcetera, etcetera . . .

What one person likes, another does not. Figure out where your priorities fall.


Okay…it should probably be a Toyota, maybe a Honda. Definitely foreign. I want fairly good mpg. Something reliable. I really liked the Avalon, but I’m unsure if they are as reliable as other Toyotas. My husband likes the Camaro, but I think it has a higher chance of leaving me stranded somewhere. No preference on being a coupe or sedan. I want something nice that’s reliable. Also, if I could find something that has a zero interference engine, that would be icing on the cake

To commute 200 miles a day I would get a quiet car with a 4 cylinder engine, which would not cost an arm and a leg to keep running.

The best overall vehicle is a Toyota Camry, 4 cylinder with only A/C as the major option. If you don’t mind a little more noise, a Corolla would be perfect. Corollas are reliable and very durable, and cost about half the amount of an Avalon V6 to keep on the road. Other choices would be a Mazda 3, or a Honda Civi, but the Civic is rather noisy.

In all cases, stay away from cars with complex, expensive option as well as the sporty verions of any vehicle since they ride hard and have expensive and fast wearing tires.

Get Consumer Reports Used Car issue & read it. I’d get something that gets good MPG.

Not sure it’s a good idea to buy a used car and immediately take it on a 2000 mile trip. You may buy a used car and then find out it has an issue that needs to be fixed.

A 2001 Camaro is neering the end of its life, except for short weekend drives.

Are you sure 200 miles a day? That’s 4 hours of road time if there is not traffic tie ups. Get something with a very comfortable front seat. Driving 50K+ miles per year is going to eat up any used car fast. The Avalon seems like a decent idea to me.

2 words:
Crown Victoria

Police departments chose these vehicles for a reason. Quiet, comfortable and can get 25mpg highway even out of the V8. Most any mechanic shop can fix these, should something happen on your trip, and you should have to wait for parts like you might some other vehicle.

You ca buy a 2006/2007 Chevy Cobalt LT sedan for under $8000 in a private sale. The equivalent Corolla will cost about $1000 more, and the equivalent Camry $2000 more. The 2006 and 2007 Cobalt get excellent reliability ratings at MSN Autos. The 2006 Corolla does not get an excellent rating. We have a 2009 Cobalt LT and it has been good to us. Test drive one. It’s reliable, and gets good gas mileage.

Me2 “Definitely foreign.”

I disagree. I would throw that mind set out. If your budget is $8K, you can’t afford to let one car slip by because it’s not “foreign” enough to you. There are no foreign/ domestic distinctions IMO anymore. Prejudice has no place in cheap car shopping. Any brand well cared for will have an advantage over those that aren’t.

I favor new and low mileage vehicles from those I’ve had good luck with and those have been Toyotas. But for $8K, you can’t afford that luxury. Forget an over priced Avalon and look at a lower priced compact like Focus, Prism, Cobalt, Sentra etc. to get the best bang for the buck in reliability. If all you can afford is $8K, you can’t afford a vehicle that costs an arm or a leg to repair; like an Avalon. “jt” makes a really good case to that affect.

Thanks for the suggestions guys! Appreciate it