Which Car to Keep

I’m a 64 year old woman who drives a 99 Camry with 200,000 miles on it & the car runs great. My dad is offering me (for free) his mid-90’s Crown Vic with 30,000 miles. He bought the car new and has always taken great care of it. Will this car outlast my Toyota? That’s the bottom line for my decision, appreciate any comments you can offer, Thanks!

You need to jump all over that Crown Vic. They’re great cars and will last a long, long time if even halfway maintained…

Just some food for thought but since the CV is being offered for free is there a problem with keeping both cars? I always like to keep a backup around.

I’d stay with the Camry, but I admit to being highly Toyota-biased. And the Vic is older. Things with elastomers in them might be getting old… although I admit that the Camry is getting on in years too.

I liked the idea of keeping both if that’s feasible.

The ages are close, but the mileage is not at all close. The Camry is a famously reliable car, but with that kind of mileage and age, it could develop an expensive problem at any time. The Ford isn’t much to my tastes because it’s big and inefficient to operate unless you don’t drive a lot of miles. The Ford was made for decades with modest changes and parts are cheap, so the odds are sharply in its favor for average costs

Keep them both. Insurance and taxes will be minimal on the crown vic.

My vote would be to keep the Camry. Keeping both cars is not a bad idea either as long as you keep both cars maintained and drive them regularly.

a spare car is good to have…

Ford made the same basic Crown Victoria from 1992 until 2012, a twenty year run…The platform was called the “Panther”, the last of the body and frame cars…This platform is shared with the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car…They were the favorite vehicle for Police and Taxi applications…Millions of them were made and are still on the road. They are very durable and easy to maintain and repair…They have a huge trunk and there is nothing like them on a long road-trip…Their air conditioning is unequaled…Around town you can expect 17 MPG or so with careful driving, on the road 25-28 MPG is possible…Compared to your Camry, you will find it a little cumbersome in parking lots and such…

These vehicles are developing a cult following, and when “Cherry” examples come on the market they get snatched up quickly…Taxi companies still seek them out…I would drive the car for a week and see how it “fits” you…

If the Crown Victoria is in as good shape as you say, it still has a lot of life in it. While a reliable car, the Camry has so many miles that many of the repairs you may face are actually maintenance. Issues with the suspension and transmission are much more likely with a high mileage car. I’d keep the Ford.

Neither of these cars are likely to be super trouble free going forward. The Camry has 200 K, and even though it is a very reliable car, around 150K, even on the most reliable designs, things you used to could count on begin to stop working correctly. You’ve probably already noticed this.

The Crown Vic is a good car design too. If you were to keep either one or the other, I think this is the better of the two in terms of most-likely-to-be-reliable operation for the next two or three years, provided its routine maintenance has been (and will be) kept up to Ford’s recommended schedule. But that car is mid-90’s vintage, and so you have to expect rubber components – brake seals, engine seals, bushings, rubber boots, etc either are now, or will soon become a repair problem. Also, this car has been driven so little it’s very possible you may soon have a rusty exhaust system to deal with. Maybe ask your mechanic to inspect the CV’s exhaust system integrity before making a final decision.

If I were in this position myself, and wanted as my first priority a reliable, frugal ride, what I’d probably do is sell both of those cars, and use the money toward buying a newer (but used) model of the Camry or Corolla or Civic. Something like a 2009-2012 model year.

Police used these for the first 100,000 miles then taxi companies would pick them up to use for another 3-400,000 miles. And this is not easy service. Yeah, I’d say it would outlast the Toyota. If you are OK with the style and size, go for it. Otherwise I think its time you got a new car anyway. No car with 200,000 miles is dependable enough for a 64 year old. And I’ve been there for both counts.

Spare cars are good to have…but mainly for car buffs and those who don’t mind the added expense. I like Toyotas too but if there is but a couple years difference and you don’t mind the very big increase in gas usage, go with the CV because of the huge mileage difference. The body must be rust free before I would change too.

Thanks–agree on the spare car, don’t think worth the expense to me; also rust is good point, hadn’t considered it!

I would keep both. However, if that is not possible I would keep the ford and sell the other.