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Need advice on what used car to buy

I am looking to buy a used car for less than about 10K – a reliable, boring sedan with decent mileage, enough room for a tall family, good shocks, and a quiet ride. My 1998 Ford Contour has failed me too many times and it’s time to do better. Anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance!

Try a camry, I would say accord but accord is a little short. The first 10k are the most expensive and letting someone else drive them for you is a very, very smart decision

The Camry is king of economical quiet comfort and reliability. The Camry is light years ahead of your Contour, in every way and the best in this class, in my professional opinion.

Is this the multiple water pump Contour? Camry is and has always been the standard answer but if you toughed it out with a Contour you have American pride. The Chevy Colbalt can be purchased still under factory warranty with less than 20k miles for under 10K and you quite possibly cannot get any more boring than it, just a good A to B sedan, and its American.

Camry fits the bill, esp the boring part-I drive one-rescue me…
Try Avalon too, might get a better deal on one, it is even boring’er!!
Now if you wanted to save money, you would try a Taurus/Malibu or even a Buick.
Don’t forget the Sonata from Hyundai.

Chevy Impala, Hyundai Sonata, Buick something all offer far less used up cars than Honda/Toyota in this price range. I would try them all, you have so many choices.

Make sure they have no power sunroofs as this will cut your head room by 1-2" in most vehicles.

Thank you everyone. This is extremely helpful. We have been thinking the Camry or Sonata, but frankly don’t really know what we’re doing, definitely no car experts in my house. These other ideas are promising too. And yes, it is the multiple water pump Contour. I’m about to tear my hair out. I try to buy American but I am so frustrated I may branch out.

The difference between American brands vs Japanese has narrowed. There is not a drastic difference like back in the vintage of your Contour.

I would buy what you like best and not worry about country of manufacture.

We liked our 05 Chev Malibu but the wife wanted to move on. While we owned it from 05 to 08 it had no failures and no recalls. We got less than $10k in trade. The mileage with the V6 was consistently over 30 mpg.

This is a car that is consistently ignored as conventional thinking goes for Camry and Accords. It’s a good way to sneak under the tent, so to speak.

You can get a 2006 Camry SE for a little over $11,000 or a Chevy Malibu LS for less than $9000. I’d opt to save the $2500 and get the less popular, but still very reliable, Malibu. Make sure you find one in excellent shape with all the repair records. Then have your mechanic give it a pre-purchase inspection to make sure it’s all you want it to be. If not, you could negotiate the price down to pay for the problems. The mechanic’s inspections can get expensive if you do several of them, so make sure you only take what you think is a great car to him.

Ford Fusion, Mazda 6(though it might not be as boring as you like :P), Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Malibu, Ford Taurus.