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Need help deciding on a few car options

Long story short, current car: Saturn ion 2006 255k , blown gasket from stupid driving and skrts. To lazy, and to close to the grave to put more money into the car.

I’m looking for a new car, 2 requirements

  1. AWD or 4 wheel
  2. Something I can put decent amount of miles on without killing the price.

I was looking at a Chevy equinox 2007 SUV 20ish mpgh for winter, delivery car and kinda a daily drive. I saw one listed on cargurus for $1,900 asking price. As I do have a lot of money saved but I always feel like instead of 10-20k car with high insurance for being 19, I should be buying gold, silver, bonds or etfs rather then something that depreciates.

However this nice car, was in a accident few bumps and such, don’t care about physical aspect one bit, as long as it looks decent. But it has 205k miles on it, and having the Saturn easily surpass 255k , I’m in a gamblers fallacy that if one car can do it why can’t I do it to another car and only spend $500-800 killing the value.

I would also get a $100 head to toe inspection on the car before purchasing.

Otherwise I was looking at a Subaru Forester image

155k for $5,500 but also almost 3x the price for 45k less miles.

I appreciate your not wanting to “waste money” on a vehicle when you’d be wiser to invest for the future. I’m not 19 anymore, actually just north of 70, but I was 19 once, I seem to recall. I too, didn’t waste money on vehicles and to this day, although I could afford to buy new vehicles with all the money I’ve saved, I choose used cars and drive them for years and years. It certainly does help that I can do most maintenance and repairs myself.

That said, I believe you are bordering (trying to be polite here) on a case of “Champaign taste on a beer budget”. Are you sure you have to have AWD or 4 wheel drive? I’ve never had it, don’t want it, and lived for decades above the 45th parallel where winters can be brutal. Does it have to be a popular SUV type vehicle?

Also, starting out with 250,000 miles is not a good idea, in my opinion. That’s really rolling the old dice.
I like to shoot for around 100,000 miles and find a ride that’s been well taken care of and is rust free. You’ll probably have to double that $1,900 to start, but I believe you’ll save in the long run and won’t be shopping for another car in the very near future.


Around this site we have lots of people with problems with their Equinox at much lower mileage. I would be a little wary but… $1900 for a legal, running car is a risk I’d be willing to take.

Talk about champagne taste on a cheap beer budget! What you need is something which is reasonably safe, reasonably reliable, and with low enough miles that it still has a lot of life remaining. You can get that, but it won’t be AWD/4WD.

If you live in a region where rust is not a problem, you can buy something from the late 1990s to mid 2000s, and spend $2000 or so to buy it, but allow another $1000 or so for initial maintenance (timing belt, etc). I’d consider a used Geo Prizm/Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer, 4-door Chevrolet Metro, Kia Rio, Kia Spectra, 4-door Hyundai Accent, etc. I frequently see these for sale with less than 150,000 miles, in good running condition, and with proper maintenance you can certainly expect to drive another 50,000 miles or more.

Does that sentence mean you don’t want depreciation ? Sorry , but what ever you buy will lose value every day.
For 1900.00 just buy it , make sure it has fresh oil and fluids and drive it until it drops dead .

Does not have to be popular SUV, as long as I can get around quickly in the snow to make more money delivering, and not bottom out or slide off the road that’s fine.

The car is starting at 205,000 not 250k
My current car is at 255k but has some problems since I beat the heck out of it and race and high speeds. I’m not looking to do that with my winter car, but once spring rolls around I do want to get a old, cobalt SS and twin turbo charge that car, with open valve short shift system, short air in take, bigger fuel injectors and piston heads , and full tune.

But that’s another topic , just want a good winter car where I can put 30,000 miles on it with barley hurting the cars value.

And another unrealistic post .

And if you are actually 19 years old that Colbalt SS is going to cost you a fortune for insurance.

Not unrealistic, if I buy a $40,000 car and put 30k miles on it could drop $7,000 in value,

If I put 30,000 miles on a old Buick might drop $500-1000.

And I do have 3 jobs roughly 80 hours a week
Clean record

Other option was a Honda Civic and upgrade the piss out of that, but that’s another day

Just trying to get a winter car rn not so much worry about the spring car.

Quick question if you see a 2015 with 200,000 miles on it

And a 2004 with 150,000 miles on it.

Which one would be the safer investment to make.

Oh yea cars rust to death in my state near the boarder of Canada

And yes the budget taste, is wanting to start my own resturant, more I save now, the faster I can buy out the place with super strong backbone structure, (won’t go out of business due to hella funds supporting it), tons for the initial launch and advertising etc. rather risk something that can make me $250,000 a year then a car that can lose $5,000 in value a year.

whichever one the mechanic inspecting it gives the better bill of health for. As far as AWD goes, a FWD with Winter Tires will often do as well as AWD on all season tires do.

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in my DIY tenure, that $1,000 only for parts/materials (labor excluded!) easily gets surpassed when you get vehicle in “under $5K” category back to normal state

I can easily see how $1,900 car would require another $2K to get it on its feet, and it will still be a 200K+ miles old unreliable beater

2009 Subaru Forrester with 155K miles for $5,500?
That one might work out, if a knowledgeable mechanic makes a deep inspection and does not find issues.
2008+ supposedly had head gaskets issue worked out, it is before the new engine series was introduced and piston rings problems showed up.

Still, this is the best in your situation:

My own experience of “all-season tires in Subaru VS. winter tires on Nissan Altima” pretty much support that, and the cost was under $600 for the wheels with mounted tires delivered to my door; 3 years later I sold this set for $450 on CraigsList when I got rid of Altima.

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I see so as long as the engine health is good, hoses, breaks, tie rods, control arm, ball joints, bearings etc etc all check out, might not be that risky buying high mile car, local shop said 300 point inspection is around $75, pretty small town.

Obviously it’s cars so lol, can last for years or last for couple 100 miles. But how well can these head to toe inspections protect me, I’m also at the point where here’s $15,000 get me any SUV at a dealership and not have to deal with this.

And the other side of my head is like why not a $2,000 car with a full inspection then put $4,000 into gold bars, and $5,000 into bonds, then the last $6,000 saved for the business next year.

Any used car will require substantially more than $75 inspection fee.
The lower purchase price, the more it will require.
The chances to get a good reliable car for $2K are close to the chances of aliens lending in front of your house.
With used cars, you strive toward the equilibrium of purchase price vs. further repair/maintenance costs.
$2K is way past that.
Everybody seem to like learning from their own bruises on a forehead…

How much should I pay for a car to only last 4 months then ?

I don’t think , $7,000+ is really nesscerary for a 4 month car just to sell it back to the dealership for $3-4K after lol

Then maybe you do not need to buy that car in the first place?
Read about winter tires above.
Is it “want” or “need” what drives it?

It’s a need, got stuck in my current car the 255,000 + Saturn ion way to many times , will not be able to blast thru snow to deliver faster then everyone else when I’ll want 30-40 delivery’s a night I’ll only be able to do 15 as I would have to drive slow.

And the key control module got so cold last year my car wouldn’t start because the anti theft kicked on everytime until I heated up the key enough. And the head gasket is blown from racing and redlining it from dead stops or high way pulls , the crack will just get worse and worse once the cold takes a toll on it.

Simply just want a recommendation for a car to last not even 4 months, just to resell it and buy a cheap Honda Civic beater and engine swap or modify the heck out of it to “cut” the insurance price as they won’t charge me $700 for a sports car. And I don’t wanna drive a car with a $10,000 modified engine thru a nasty salty winter and destroy anything. I wanna take care of that one which is the need for a temporary car.

This is a family web site so I will not flag you for the slight profanity but someone might . And it is not really appreciated .

The more so response I was hoping to get is

“If you want a car to tread thru snow, and you’re just wanting it for 4 months , I recommend getting around this amount of miles, around this year, then you won’t destroy the value adding miles, and trying to resell it months later, then you will also still have money for the engine swapped civic in the spring time.”

Basically a what would you do in my shoes recommendation

still wanna dedicated winter car?
buy private party, sell private party, avoid dealer commissions

want to save money?
find Civic in $6-10K category to drive both seasons, buy dedicated winter tires

do not forget, all-wheel-drive does not mean all-wheel-stop :slight_smile:
as long as winter tires get you rolling, stopping performance will be the same in FWD and AWD, but at that point winter tires are in great advantage over all-seasons

unless you do offroading, you have no real use for AWD/4WD


Upon reading about Your driving, I fear that I know what You’ll need way to early and You’ll get it in a funeral business.
I hope nobody ells will be involved.