Saturday, November 15, 2008

The short list:

I need something handier for schlepping long guns on road trips, so the 30mpg Zed Drei is slated to be traded here in the next few weeks while car sellers are still desperate and while 30mpg is still a big selling point.

Vehicles around which I am currently sniffing on used car lots:

1) A full-size domestic truck of some sort.
2) A recent RWD domestic sedan (Chrysler 300/Caddy CTS/Lincoln Zephyr).
3) One of Mopar's "Shooting Brake" crossovers (Dodge Magnum/Chrysler Pacifica).
4) An '01-'03 low-end FWD Eurosedan (Audi A4/Saab 9-3).

Comments? Owner experiences? Suggestions? (Unless someone out there in readerland has a sub-100,000mi Lexus SC400, SC300, or Infiniti Q45 with which they're dying to part.)

EDIT: While I appreciate all kinds of suggestions, this is going to need to be a used car in the $6k-$10k price range, so a new Mini Clubman or Bimmer X3/X5 is right out.


Anonymous said...

How about the new Mini Clubman, made by BMW, and still in the 30 mpg class?

Mike W. said...

Since you listed the Lexus SC would you also consider a used Lexis GS300/400?

Same engine/drivetrain as the SC's and both the 2JZ and and 1UZ are good, reliable motors with plenty of potential.

Mike W. said...

Lexus IS300 would be a good fit as well. Smaller than the GS of course but everything said in the above comment would still apply.

Tam said...

I've sniffed around the GS Lexii online, but I'm looking for something that will be a pretty much straight-up trade for the Bimmer, and most GS300s I've run across are newer and therefore a bit spendier.

OA said...

Whilst much maligned, trucks are engineered to last longer than cars, hence why there's a lot more older ones on the road. What you'd lose in mileage you'd more than make up for when it comes to not having to buy something else for a while.

Note: Doesn't apply to any car with some ground clearance masquerading as a SUV or crossover.

Carteach0 said...

My Nissan Titan IS a domestic truck, for all intents. More of it made in country than most of the big three's offerings.

I doubt you'll be happy with anything made by Chrysler or Ford... Not being mean.... just speaking from the reality of an auto-tech world. I train a LOT of techs each year, and we trade stories.

Let me know your short list and I'll pull up the TSB's and recalls on them at school.

thrill said...


pdb said...

In terms of floggability, price, driving dynamics and EBR capacity, I'd go with a Subaru Legacy wagon.

I would also give consideration to a P71 Crown Victoria, preferably one that had spent its service as an unmarked.

On your list, I spent a while driving a family member's Audi A4. It had a V6 and was FWD, but it was a decent driving car for a butt-dragger. It was hell to fix, however.

FWIW, my top 3 best to drive FWD cars would go: Alfa 164, Daewoo Leganza, and Dodge Neon. srsly.

Tam said...

I dream of finding a hotrod Neon that hasn't had its valves floated by a Clearasil-soaked stoplight warrior.

alan said...

Ford F-150 extended cab.

Mine's a 98 with 175K miles on it.

825K to go. It will do it too.

Truck Pluses:

Plenty of room (And leg room)

Last forever

Maintain value

Easy to repair


Mileage (15 city 20 highway)

avenger29 said...

Chevy Silverado. Damned fine vehicles.

I wouldn't touch anything made by Chrysler. Fords might be OK, but they ride ROUGH...Chevys have a smooooth ride. I also like extended cab for stuff in the back. And I like the simpler models...i.e., cloth seats, manual adjust seats, nothing fancy to screw up.

If you can find one, a Toyota Tundra...but those seem nearly impossible to find used.

Standard Mischief said...

ug, never a Subaru again.

The factory manual was split into 4 pieces, with parts of the engine in all 4 parts so you had to get them all.

There's about 30 million "special factory only" tools. Like it was designed to be hard to work on by a shade-tree

The little 3 transistor thingy that replaces points in the distributer cost $300 in 1990. And they go bad, frequently.

Two (as in twice as many) timing belts, Although you may get a non-interferences engine like a Toyota

Get a used 4-wheel drive toyota taco. They never die, they only rust out.

avenger29 said...

Ford's had some issues with transmissions in the past, too. Other than that, I think they are good to go mechanically...

But whichever one you go with, at least get an extended cab. Or a crew cab if you can find one for a decent price.

Brigid said...

I've owned, or operated as a company vehicle two Chrysler, products in the last 10 years.

Wouldn't have one. Wouldn't own one.

I love my Chevy Truck. We also have a Ford truck for work with four wheel drive (which we often need) which is really great to drive, but I heard better things on the maintenance end of things from my best friend (who knows cars like no one) on the Chevy so that's what I bought.

I'm sure your readers here, that know more about vehicles than I, can offer up some help.

og said...

Best bang for buck is the Honda Civic. Plenty legroom for me, so should be good for you too. And you can shoehorn a 6 into one, if you're so inclined, making it the equal of about anything on the road. used, they're cheap, and you can get buckets of accessories for them. My only trouble is, though they run well and i can drive one easily, getting in and out requires more flexibility than I usually have to spare. You, on the other hand, are young, and while you've been broke up some, you are still a lot more flexible than me.

Anonymous said...

Ford Ranger Extended cab (or Mazda - same thing) mileage 15/in town 20+/HWY....consumer reports best buy in used trucks for the last ten 98 Xtnd cab still strong @ 150K

doubletrouble said...

Thought at all about the Toyota Tacoma? I bought one new in ’99, & it got recalled (frame issue) this year. I have had to do nothing to that machine other than normal maintenance in 100k miles. They gave me almost $14k for a 10-year-old truck. I can work with a company like that.
I bought a new ’09, stuck a cap on it, & I can schlep around anything that needs schlepping, & keep it dry as well. I’ve been getting an honest 24mpg so far, ‘course I drive like an old man.
Wait, I AM an old man…. Annnyway, check ‘em out.

doubletrouble said...

BTW, those two Tacomas were made in California, (in what used to be) USA.

RHT447 said...

+1 on Chevy Silverado being very nice. However be aware of "piston slap/clatter at start up" issue with 1500 series.

+1 Run the other way from Mopar. We own a 2003 Town & Country. Oil is black every 3000 miles. Are on our 3rd power steering pump (under Warrenty).

+1 for anything Toyota. Bought my daughter a used 99 Camry. 130K miles on it now. Consumes no oil and oil looks clean every 3000 miles. This car is the equal of many that have half it's age and miles.

Word Verification: nestli--"Makes the very best chocolate.."

Dr. StrangeGun said...

"FWIW, my top 3 best to drive FWD cars would go: Alfa 164, Daewoo Leganza, and Dodge Neon. srsly."


Ok, enough of that. Leganzas aren't really even popping up on ebay in numbers anymore, I know, *I look*.

I'd love to have another one again some day, but I know they're all falling in droves to people who won't change the timing belt at 100K.

thesev said...

Second the Tundra suggestion.

There is a reason used ones are hard to find...

I bought mine with the intention of never having to buy another vehicle.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

You know, by now there should be some used Infiniti G35 series machines out there.

Also... tinytruck still chugs along everyday like it was new, at 90K miles, still making an honest 26mpg without trying hard.


Isuzu. They're withdrawing from the market, but the vehicles are bone-standard GM designs and parts and are repairable anywhere.

Anonymous said...

What you really need is a DKW 1000. Solid German engineering (Audi) coupled with an economical, reliable 975cc two-stroke engine. While you drive to your next gun show the engine will help you to relax while singing to you (rung-tung-tung...RUUNNNNGGG-tung-tung...)

Anonymous said...

Could try a used Volvo sedan. I got a 94 model 850 turbo for 5k and my other car is a 90 740 GLE. TONS of room and very under the radar looking.

Joseph said...

Have to put in a word for the Tundra here. Why?? Cause I help build them. We work hard at the quality, from the guys (and gals) in Press to the folks on the final trim line. Besides, lot of people at the plant drive them, and we aren't going to waste money on a truck if we think it isn't worth it.

pdb said...

I dream of finding a hotrod Neon that hasn't had its valves floated by a Clearasil-soaked stoplight warrior.

Smile when you talk about my cousin that way. :)

I also harbor dreams of putting something indecent like a LS1 or RB26DETT into a Volvo 240.

the pawnbroker said... might be teasin' again; whatever happened to that crossover bike/junker truck combo idea?

but if not, notwithstanding above comments, the fullsize ram v-8 p/u is equal to any...and if you can still get the 40% off sticker (maybe not since gas is temporarily way down), a sticker of 25k for a decently equipped ram 150 becomes a 15k buy price; if they give you 8 for the bimmer and you finance 8 the 60 mo pmt is $159 mo @7%...

bumper to bumper warranty for three yrs and lifetime unlimited on drivetrain...add low ins cost for new vehicles and great residual value down the line, and it's a hard package to beat...worth looking into.

word ver: on!
(or parry on...hmm)

the pawnbroker said...

...but i'd still like to see you get that huyabusa smart car...

El Capitan said...

I bought a used F150 Club Cab 4x4 with all the bells & whistles for $7500.

It'll haul everything up to a 155mm Long Tom over goat paths, but it has a serious drinking problem. The 5.4 liter V8 gets 12-14 mpg, provided you have glass-smooth freeways and a hefty tailwind. Otherwise, you're lucky to get 11 mpg.

If you're not hauling heavy loads or towing trailers, stick with a sedan. Even V6 trucks slurp the gas something fierce.

Joe in Memphis said...

Didn't read all of the comments, so this might be old news... I've had several Toyota Avalons now. Several model years can be had in that price range, and if properly cared for, they're 250k mile cars. HUGE backseat, and ample trunk space. Basically each model years' Toyota version of it's more-expensive Lexus brethren. Worth a look and test-drive, at the very least.

Ed Foster said...

Survived an 80 MPH meeting with Bambi's daddy a year and a half past, followed by a trip through the woods. No seat belt, my very bad.
If I'd been driving anything but a Saturn Vue I'd be toast. This model year they've stopped making the plastic body, presumably due to cost.
But up through 2007, you have a full ladder frame, a steel body, a roll cage welded to said steel body, and the F-18 Hornet material on the outside, which has the ability to absorbe a LOT of hit on the way in.
I also like the crisp, ballsy suspension and steering. A cushy, luxury ride it ain't, and Grandma ain't gonna be using it to tool down to the beauty parlor any time soon, but the Chevy truck engine and tranny get my vote for solid, and the ergonomics can't be beat.
I did my own oil changes, it never saw the dealer, and had 96K on it with not one problem when I took the antler ride.
After butchering the SOB and sticking him in the freezer, I went out and bought another, which runs just as well, and gives me 26 MPG on the highway.
My vote, a 2004-2007 Vue. The 4-wheel drive/V-6 is nice, but the 4 banger/5 speed I'm running now is just as practical, unless you're into back road barnstorming in Vermont during mud season.

jed said...

No personal experience with Audis, but I hear they have a propensity towards electrical problems.

As fond as I am of the Toyota 4Runner, (and I 2nd all favorable comments on Toyota -- mine were all rock solid) if you're thinking Eurosedan, look at some Volvos. IIRC, they have fold-down rear seats to extend the trunk space, so piling in the long guns shouldn't be a problem at all. Or, you could get a wagon. I currently have a pretty trashed '86 740 Wagon. But the engine and turbo are in decent condition, and it's great fun to step on the fast pedal. :) When I can afford to upgrade, I'll be looking seriously at another Volvo.

Anonymous said...

Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck.

I mean, you can practically get a brand new Ford truck for under 10 grand these days.

farmist said...

"sub-100,000mi Lexus SC400, SC300, or Infiniti Q45"

Don't get too hung up on the mileage, I'm currently driving a 1988 Camry with 389,000+ actual miles, uses 1qt oil every 1500 miles and still gets 32+mpg. Only "major" repair was a head gasket at 98k.

alath said...

Regarding the Saab 9-3: my brother has one. It is a nice car to drive, but there are some "issues." It is maintenance-intensive. Bro does all his own wrenching and enjoys it, so he's okay with that. I don't, I'm not, and don't care to get into the business of subsidizing hyperexpensive Swedish car mechanics again (Went that route with Volvo. Never again, despite the fact I loved that car.)

Og's suggestion of a Honda civic has worked well for me. Not very sexy, but it is trouble-free, predictable-cost, workable low-hassle transportion.

theirritablearchitect said...

"The little 3 transistor thingy that replaces points in the distributer cost $300 in 1990. And they go bad, frequently"

They haven't had distributors for a long time now. Everything I can think of on the market these days (new anyway) is direct fire, distributorless ignition. FWIW, there are tons of Subie wagons around of mid '90's vintage with huge mileage, doing good service to those who take good care of them, though, as Standard says, they can be a bit pricey for those who don't do their own maintenance.

Used Tacomas are good, as others have mentioned.

Audi builds an excellent vehicle, but watch the head gasket on the 1.8T units, as they have bit of a habit of lunching that, and the turbo.

I'm partial to Ford for the full sized truck thing, but I'd get it in 3/4 ton rating if buying, even used. Easier to get it with a stick.

Those Chrysler LX platform cars are a Benz chassis, so they're pretty solid, but with the obvious domestic engines. Electrics have always been rather dodgy (pardon the pun) in both MB and Chrysler stuff. All caveats apply, besides, the best they can do with their 6.1 Hemi is that gawd-awful autostick? Sissies.

How about a well maintained, early aughts Nissan Maxima? Damn fine V6 engines, and they were sold in pretty good numbers with a real transmission. Probably as quick as your convertible too.

CGHill said...

I do love the G35, but the oldest ones you'll find are '03s and they still command five-figure prices. On the other hand, it's the closest thing extant to a budget Bimmer.

If you'll endure FWD, go back a couple of years and snag an I30/35. Interior space to die for and 28.7 mpg on my 2007 road trip. An '02 I35 should run under ten large; an '00 I30 like mine will be eightish.

Anonymous said...

Chevy S-10 or GMC equivalent Extended cab recomend buckets instead of split bench for more space. most durable engine Vortec 4.3 V6. stay away from 4 cylenders = low life expectancy.
4.3 in a full size I am not sure the big plus of the 4.3 is the torque of the engine is the same as a small block V8.

Anonymous said...

A subaru, if you can find one that is, They don't come up on the used market that often.

From past experience I can say I am extemly impressed with them, they seem to have been engineered for mechanics, not for the factory. The engines are incredibly bulletproof too.

E said...

my now-gone Saab 900SE (4-cyl 2.0L Turby) got ~28mpg, was a semi-luxury car, and I paid $6k for it used. Got a lot of miles out of it, and she could step! Hoo-yeah.
Pretty big trunk too, but the full-size long-gun cases had to go in diagonally.

These days I want a Honda Element for that job, but the used ones are really holding their value....

Turk Turon said...

Yer gonna want a big trunk to keep rifle cases out of sight. And for Indy winters rear-wheel-drive seems attractive because your can use chains. AWD is SO much better with chains on the rear! So I would skip the extra drivetrain complexity and just use chains as needed. I vote with the commenter who recommended a Crown Vic ex-unmarked cop car.

taylor said...


I drive a `03 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro. Damn is it a fun ride! The AWD makes it feel like your riding on rails. Also, a full length gun case fits in the trunk (barely). If your taking 10+ long guns to the range it might not be the best...but for 2-3 it works just fine. About my only complaint is that the 4-banger engine has to work harder than I like on the interstate. If Id had a choice I would have gone with the 3L V6

Farmer Frank said...

Because of the farm I'm into pu's and because I have a really good Ford dealer close by, I'm into Fords. The pick-up before this one was 2000 model yr. 5.4. It was okay, but last year I got a '07 with the 4.6. I actually like the 4.6 far better than the 5.4. Better mileage (18 to 20 on interstate) and until you hit 80+ you can't tell the difference on accleration. As for maintenance I haven't had ANY trouble with either for years now. As always they are 4x4's as anything less just doesn't work in the winter and early spring here in Hoosier land.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Weer'd Beard said...

I've had fantastic luck with my 2001 Ranger (and my 91 ranger before that) Mine has the 4.0L V6 that provides gobs of torque, and the millage using real gas an outside of Boston Traffic is usually just under 20. The 3.0L might be a good choice.

But they're light, quick enough, plenty of room (I recommend the Super Cab) decent on gas, and you probably can get a direct trade for the right model.

Heath said...

Any interest in SUV type of trucks??

My wife has a late 90's exploder, and that little truck is great fun.

20+ mpg, lots of room, 4WD, quick and nimble.

You hunt a little and they even make a stick version.

Blackwing1 said...

I'll chime in with #4 for a Subaru...if you can find one used for a reasonable price. They tend to hang on to their value pretty solidly. My friend in northern Minnesnowta has had two...she gave the "old" one (with 200,000+ miles on it) to her brother, and bought a "new" one (with just under 100,000).

Dog-reliable, AWD for nasty weather, great road-holding, and upwards of 30 MPG.

The only downside is that around here they're called "lesbian-limo's". But when they see you haul a vintage Mauser out of the back, you'll dispell any image of a left-wing loony pretty quickly.

Don Meaker said...

In Texas they were known as 'Lesbarus'.

I recommend a nice thumping Hummer, but the Honda pickup truck thing has a trunk under the bed.

shooter said...

+1 on a Tacoma

+1 on a late 90's 4Runner

+1 on a Honda Ridgeline.

suo said...

If you're interested in Audi A4's, it may be worth while checking out Vw Passat Wagon. Same power train, suspension, engines etc as Audi, but different chassis. Plenty of space in the back. Available in FWD and 4WD; VW's 4WD is basically a FWD until front wheels loose traction -->4WD only when needed --->good fuel economy.

How pricey is diesel fuel around there, compared to gas? You can make 40-50 mpg with modern TDI-engine (turbo-charged direct injection diesel), with plenty of power and torque.

Anonymous said...

If any type of truck looms as realistic, I'd respectfully suggest a Suburban or Yukon type. Same basic vehicle/chassis as a truck, but, unless you haul refrigerators regularly, and NEED the open back of a truck, the SUV gives you have a fully enclosed space, secure, and usable in any weather (open trucks seem to me a bit like paying rent on a place twice the size you can actually use). Able to comfortably haul good numbers of people if desired, and tons of guns and gear. Rear heat and AC for dogsitting Barkley. I'd also suggest the "barn doors" in back, less parts, less trouble. Simple and reliable. DARK tint rear windows all around makes it quite private in back. The 4wd is very nice on snowy icy roads. Chain up in front when you need them. Remarkable where you can go chained up. I have a 93 with 268K on it. Still goes, but I just upgraded to a little newer one. With the recent vehicle sales climate, they can be had pretty reasonably. Talk them down. A lot. Throw the book out. Cash talks.

I've owned several Ford 4x4 F-250s. I second the suggestion to avoid them. A friend worked in a Chrysler transmission plant. After listening to his work experience regarding their ethic about production/quotas, I wouldn't own a Chrysler product either. Perhaps the same could be said for Chevy, but I've had good experiences with them. Toyota and Nissan also.

Wy Dog guy

avenger29 said...

Trucks are pretty cheap, Suburbans and Yukons are even cheaper due to the "It's a Gas Guzzler!" mentality (nevermind that our Suburban gets 19MPG on fuel that does not contain ethanol)

A 2WD Suburban rides like nothing else, too.

Dad's got 160K without problems on his Suburban (he commutes about 120 miles round trip each day).

I've got 130K on my Silverado. Both vehicles are '99 year models. His has the 5.7L, mine's got the 4.8L that was introduced that year. Mine's 4x4, his 2WD.

Anonymous said...

Were I to buy a new car right now, I don't think I'd buy from any of Detroit's Big Three. My family has long favored Chrysler products due to horrible experiences with the few Ford and GM products we've owned.

However, given the horrible experiences I've had with Chrysler dealers since moving to Kansas City - from repairs done incorrectly to being gouged for repairs my car didn't need - I'm on the verge of giving up on Mopars as well. Being ripped off by a dealer is reason enough to shift brands in itself...and, judging from the new PT Cruiser I was given to drive these past couple of weeks while my increasingly elderly Intrepid was having collision damage repaired, Chrysler's current build quality is also going downhill. (What an underpowered, annoying piece of crap that PT was...!)

The other reason, of course, is that one or more of the Big Three might not be around by this time next year, government bailouts or not. GM and Ford are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Chrysler is shambling around like a George Romero zombie, moaning and waving its arms piteously, leaving decayed bits of itself in its wake as horrified Mopar owners scream "Aim for the head! You have to shoot it in the head!" Who wants to take a chance on buying a car from a soon-to-be-defunct company?

No, if I had the money to buy a new car right now I'd go with something by Toyota, Honda or Mitsubishi. Better build quality than the Big Three...and they're still likely to be around if you need warranty work or spare parts.

Unfornately, I really don't have that much money right now. And despite having 90,600 miles on it, my '02 Intrepid is still in good shape. It runs like a champ, it's paid for and I've taken care of it.

At each 3,000 oil change, my oil is still clear. And it has lots of room in the trunk for guns and such.

--Wes S.

farmist said...

weer'd beard said:
"The 3.0L might be a good choice."

absolutely NOT. I have a 2000 Ranger with the 3.0 and it is majorly underpowered, and doesn't get better than 20mpg.

Gay_Cynic said...

If you can find one, the mpg will be off...but I've heard very nice things about Unimogs and Pinzgauers....

And they should be able to haul most of a blogmeet complete with long guns out for a day at the range...

Dr. StrangeGun said...


You know, I still think you'd enjoy a third-generation Hyundai Tiburon. The handling is supposed to be incredible...

Scott said...

Get a cheap mid nineties Volvo wagon
and a Ducati 900SS or Monster for summer. Then you have practical and throw caution to the winds italian sex appeal.

Anonymous said...

Are any of these helpful to you?

Tam said...


For instance, I hadn't considered an older Volvo or a SUV.

And whoever said "Good luck finding a used Subie" wasn't kidding...

Anonymous said...

Looks like you have a lot of opinions to wade through. Hate to say it, but here's one more.

I've owned two vehicles that impressed me - an 85 S-10 Blazer 4X4 with the 2.8 l. V-6 and my current ride, a 97 Subaru Legacy Outback. I literally drove the wheels off the Blazer with 254K mi. when I traded it for the Subie. The S-10 line was a good, robust design as long as you opted for the auto trans. In the 2.8, I had to replace the fuel pump about every 65-70K mi. (of course, it was carbed, not F.I.). I've owned the Subie since 2000 and it has 235K on the clock with a rebuild at 200K from a blown head gasket. Other than the rebuild and routine maintenance, I've changed brakes when needed and replaced one half-axle (bad CV joint). The Outback's been a real performer. If you're worried about space, the car has room for four adult-sized adults (I'm 6'3" and can comfortably sit in the back with front seat full rearwards). The cargo area is large enough for most long arms and the split rear bench can fold down for your Barrett .50. My Outback gets 27-28 mpg in full-time AWD with a 2.5 l. four. That AWD might come in handy where you're living now, too.

Capcha="ganspall" - Wasn't that a musical?


bumper sticker philosopher said...

Here's something about Neons from a guy who hasn't used clearasil in at least 25 years.


srsly. They suck.

My wife has a 2000 Neon and I have had to replace the head gasket twice due to major oil leaks/blowouts.

It also has a bad habit of shooting spark plugs out of the head, (typically at highway speed 70 MPH) shredding the threads in process. Mine currently has helicoils on 3 of the cylinders.

If the head gasket isn't leaking the oil pan is. If the oil pan isn't leaking the transmission is.

Google "neon head gasket failure" if you don't believe me. Mopar was supposed to have fixed the problem with second generation Neons but they didn't.

The tires on the higher end versions with 15 inch aluminum rims are only made by two manufacturers. Goodyear and Cooper. The "cheap" 15 inch Cooper tires are only $90. the OE Goodyears are $120.

I will note that Chrysler no longer uses that particular 2.0l engine in it's Caliber models.

GreatBlueWhale said...

For what it's worth, I have a 2007 Pacifica, and I love it. One problem with a torgue convertor, the dealer was great. 22 local and 27+ hwy, on good gas, not the reformulated junk they sell in Louisville. Very roomy front and back. Before I bought, I asked about 20 Pacifica owners if they would recommend one. Every one of them did, without reservation. And I gave $18K for six month old vehicle with 14K miles.

theirritablearchitect said...

"whoever said "Good luck finding a used Subie" wasn't kidding..."

Subaru has enviable owner loyalty rates.

So long as my newer wagon holds together (I have few doubts that it will), I'll probably be buying another one after this one gives up the ghost (assuming there is such a thing as a real automobile come next decade).

Scott said...

One thing nice about newer cars and trucks if you follow the maintenance schedule the things will last damn near forever. I am a mechanic and see 250 to 350 thousand mile Honda's, Subaru's, Toyota's, Volvo's and BMW's almost daily, I've seen a couple Honda's and Volvo's pushing a 1/2 million miles. I see a lot of 150K domestic cars but not so many in the 200K and up they seem to get on the wrong side of the bell curve repair cost wise. As a car ages the maintenance/repair costs can rise but that gets balanced by the lack of a car payment.
P.S. avoid Chrysler products unless it is a minivan even then be aware the transmission will probably give you problems at some point.

the pawnbroker said...

way more advice than you were looking for, i guess...but re my earlier comments about the 40% off sticker on dodge ram pu's and whether that is ongoing with the decrease in gas price; todays tampa paper has a full page ad screaming 50% off sticker for all remaining 'o8 ram 150's.

so that $25k truck is now 12.5! it's hard to justify used when new is damn near the same price, and forget repair cost...there ain't none with 3yr bumpertobumper and lifetime unlimited mi mechanical warranty.