Too many cars to choose from



im planning on buying a car in the next few months. my price range will most likely be from $4000-7000. i will be getting a loan. my question is what types of cars should i be looking at? i really like the saturn ion 2003. but i dont want to end up with a gas hog. i also like the 2002 dodge stratus but a friend said that it was a throw away car he also said that about a dodge neon. i want one in the years 2000 or newer. good gas mileage, little cost to repair. if you could give me any suggestions i would greatly appreciate it.


Look at consumer reports, but a nissan sentra, honda civic, toyota corolla, are all great cars that are reliable, and fuel efficient. Avoid the saturn or the dodge. The mazda protege, subaru impreza…there are lots of options…get online, and look at do your research.

Good luck


Lucky, lucky, lucky. The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue is due out in March as an April edition. Book stores and supermarkets will all have it. There are lists of good bets, bad bets and used cars to avoid. You should have lots of time to find each section as well as thr reliability ratings. No lemons this time if you have any luck at all. Subscribe and you will get the buying guide thrown in, as well as subscription renewal notices by the dozen. They’re really bad for that. Don’t buy a car make that starts with an S unless it’s a Scion or maybe a Suzuki.


yea i was thinking of a toyota corolla. maybe a 2002-2003.


You’ll have a hard time finding newer Japanese car in good condition in your price range. Because of the irrational perception of many people that these cars are infallible, they retain a fairly hefty resale value. Since this isn’t the case with most “American” cars, this is where bargains are often found.

The second generation Neons are pretty reliable cars, with most of the kinks from the early models worked out. Good on gas and fairly cheap to fix, too. Ditto for the second generation Stratus. (I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for saying this. Tough toenails!)

My fiancee has had good luck with her '99 Pontiac Grand Am with the 4 cylinder engine.

The maintenance and driving history of a particular vehicle will be the most important factors. Even the best new car will be junk in short order if driven too hard or improperly maintained. Get service records and have the car checked by a mechanic before buying.


Check out the Hyundai Elantra. You can probably get one a couple years newer than any Honda or Toyota for the same money, and they are pretty darn reliable. My daughter’s Elantra is now 6 years old. The only thing she’s had to have repaired was leaky clutch master and slave cylinders a couple months ago. Other than that it’s been reliable and she has no plans to replace it any time soon, and she could easily afford to.


You can save about $2300 by purchasing a 2002 Chevy Prizm LSi instead of a 2002 Corolla LE. Both cars were assembled from mostly identical parts at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA. Since they are the same car, you could even have a Toyota dealer maintain it if you really wanted to.


I drive a 1996 Neon and it’s been very reliable. It had the head gasket problem they were all prone too, but it was caught early and didn’t cause any noticeable damage. Two friends have the second generation Neons and they’re happy with them. They’re definitely worth looking at if you can find one that has been well cared for and not used for street racing! My Neon gets 35 mpg on the highway and about 27 mpg around town, so it’s definitely not a gas hog.

I second the Mazda Protege and Hyundai Elantra ideas too. You should be able to find car from 2003 or 2004 car in your price range if you choose one of these rather than a Honda or Toyota.