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Discussion Starter #1
OK class - your assignment today is to come up with your idea of a best for the buck economy car (prob. 5 to 10 years old ) going for fair market value of 2 - 3 K.

Consider first and formost gas mileage then
repair cost, parts, ease of repair
comfort
driveability
reliability
Is it fun or sporty

Whatever other criteria you think fits.

Justify your choices please with known facts or personal experience
but always remember the judges can be bribed.

Ed and Jeanne's Zelda
1981 280 ZXT

P.S. been seeing interesting refferences to 240 SX but I know nothing about them.
 

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2-3K?

Fun or sporty?

and the rest on your list?

Answer: 1984-1989 300ZX. It might not be an "econobox" but fulfills the rest of that list pretty well.



Post Edited (Dec 17, 12:57pm)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK - the most important part is ECONOMY

BEST GAS MILAGE

then go from there - PLEASE! and THANK YOU for your participation.

Really just a mind excercise and wishful future thinking on my part. I've got fun cars but I'm using 2 gallons + a day commuting.

Also just started a 16 hour shift in boring part of the Hospital. This makes me look busy and awake.

Ed and Jeanne's Zelda
1981 280ZXT
 

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I guess a well used Honda Civic with a 5 speed and some aftermarket "comfy" seats. That should cover it.
 

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Cant go wrong with a corolla/prism or a civic. Sentras are good too, but they arent quite up there with Toyota and Honda.

If you REALLY want gas mileage there always Aspires, Festivas, and the dreaded 3 cyl metro. $2-$3k would probably buy a REALLY nice one:)
 

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There's a friend of mine selling his 93 Nissan Sentra SE-R. I get about 30mpg on the freeway, 24-26 around town in my SE-R and it has Headers, chip, intake. You can get a 91-93 SE-R for less than 3k and you will not have a funner car. 140hp stock Viscous LSD and real nice comfy supportive seats.

I also found this real nice red one on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4512023509&category=6401

I highly recommend this car, it was on the C&D bet ten list all four years they made it. You don't want the 94 as they changed some stuff for emmissions.
 

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<http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4512023509&category=6401>
 

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Nissan S13 (1989-1994) 240SX:

The KA24(D)E is usually very reliable, always easy to work on, and replacement parts are VERY abundant (EVERYBODY seems to be swapping theirs for an SR20DET). Even if your engine totally goes bad, KA's (with transmissions!) sell for $400 all day long. You can expect about 30mpg's out of as well.

Comfort is quite fair. Not too much road noise, supple seats, lots of visibility. Heads up display on most of them. Lots and lots of trunk space. Plus, backseats for your friends.

RWD + large (and inexpensive) aftermarket base = fun. I think they're pretty sporty, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I spent a LOT of time researching the same question. The S13 was the only car that fit all my criteria.



Post Edited (Dec 17, 8:46pm)
 

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a early or mid 90s civic any trim level, in a standart transmission, even with over 150K miles on the clock they usually get 35+ mpg and are extremely easy and cheap to maintain, as long as you do not attempt to modify with aftermarket parts. aside from the faulity ignitor units there are no other known issues with those cars, honda definately lost the magic with the later year models.
stan
 

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Just one more thing about the B13 SE-R. It will spank every car mentioned here in the 1/4 by at least a second. They are mid to high 15sec cars stock.
 

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pre OBD2 Sentra would be about perfect. the 1.6 L car gets good mileage, is very managble, easy to replair most anything, and sort of sporty. Either the Limited edition or the SE-R are my personal favorites. Of course the SE-R has the infamous 2L SR20... It can get descent mileage as well.
 

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What's infamous about the sr20DE? I love those engines... 140HP for $300, anytime you need one, call Soken Imports and get one sent over. My brother did so three times. Granted, the first one was a missed shift (11000+ rpm messed up the head!) and the second two were nitrous oxide (265whp before it died on the dyno rollers!)

The second SE-R he bought was a '97, it has a set of hot JWT cams, CAI, and power pulleys... trouble free for three years thus far. Like I said, great car, great engine...
 

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I am going to stretch for a bit of an older car here only because what's currently being made (within the last 10 years) is boring.

In no particular order:

1986-1987 Honda CRX-Si: good luck in finding an original unmolested stock example.

1985-1986 Toyota MR2: Fun cars to toss around a corner and the same advice for this car as with the one above.

1982-1983 Datsun 280ZX: Good luck in finding one wihtout rust and previous owner f*** ups.

and my latest wintertime beater:

1987 Toyota Supra N/A 5 speed 146k original miles and bought from the original owner for $1500. The paint is beat but, the interior is still nice

 

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easy 91-93 240sx the 94's were only convertibles and the 95-98 are out of the price range. the 89-90 were the crapped out ka24e(sohc) the 91-93 had the ka24de(dohc) great cars get right at 27mpg depending how you drive and have a 16 gallon gas tank. what can i say im partial though i own one.
 
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