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Old 01-27-2020, 08:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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used car recommendations

looking for a used car to commute with but cant seem to find what im looking for; and i know im missing something.

Im particular about what i like and dont like so ill give you guys the rundown and let me know if anything comes to mind.

has to be FWD or 4WD/AWD. i commute over high point mountain and live in PA. Snow is something i have to deal with every year.

has to be a manual. Not a manual mode, paddle shift, tiptronic or anything without 3 peddles...

has to be 4 door. i have a wife and 2 kids under two, so car seats and such are a life style im still getting used to. lol

I hate electric assisted power steering and DBW (Drive By Wire) throttle.

looking around $10,000.

its a commuter, so mileage will quickly rise so id like to get something with no more than 100,000 miles on the clock. with that kind of miles i have to consider the timing and weather i want to replace a belt and look for something with a chain.

while im not looking for speed or anything fast, i would like it to be "sporty".

i picked up a 2000 altima with the KA24DE and loved it but its rough; as something thats 2 decades old will probably be... so im thinking 2005 - 2015 would be a good range.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love my 2006 Honda Civic. 4dr, manual, FWD, ~35mpg. I bought it with 90K miles 12 years ago, over 200K miles now and it's been excellent, pretty much just oil changes and tires for over a decade. It can easily fit 2 carseats in the back, and I've been able to fit 3 in there. The 8th generation civic goes from 2006 to 2011, and they are everywhere. I was not entirely excited about it at first, because like you I enjoy a "sporty" car. But the reliability it has provided over the years has far outweighed my desire for a sporty car. Just my 2cents
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Obviously a Subaru Legacy, Forester, or Impreza come to mind immediately.

Other than that I'd recommend a Toyota Tacoma 4 door so you have a bed but that may not be a luxury you need.

You never listed a fuel economy or engine size you're looking for. That might help.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Toyota Matrix - available in AWD, stick, etc. Good drivetrain, good car.

Anything made by Honda, basically.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well within your budget you could find:

Toyota Corolla XRS or Matrix XRS - This trim level has the 180hp 2ZZ motor with Toyota's version of VTEC(Lift). I have personally seen them reach 400,000 kms and still run reliably.
Toyota Matrix with AWD - AWD Matrix' are quite good in the snow. They have the 1ZZ motor which is probably the most reliable engine ever built. I have one in my Celica with 250,000 kms on it and it's only ever needed standard oil changes.
Honda Fit Sport - Actually an amazingly fun car, and you would have no problem finding one in manual. They're such a good platform that Spoon makes tons of parts for them.
Lexus IS AWD - Toyota motor, luxury stuff inside which I think is underappreciated by the average car buyer. AWD, Manual, fun, and still a 4 door. Also incredibly safe.

Unfortunately I can't imagine you will find a car newer than 2005 that doesn't have some kind of drive-by-wire system.

I'd avoid Subaru simply based on the cost of repair. On average they don't break down anymore than the average vehicle, but the parts are expensive, and the boxer engine complicates a lot of normally simple repairs.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the repairs are not a huge issue. i used to work as a mechanic and know enough to get most things done.

Since it would be used as a commuter 1st and foremost im going to say 4cyl.

i never really was a fan of subaru (mainly the boxxer engine). the newer models have had an engine redesign with the addition of a timing chain but that is too new (too much $) for me.

i thought about a truck but would prefer a car.

i was convinced about getting a civic si. had it in my head that i was going to start looking for one this year and then started reading about the main complaints of rev hang and throttle lag. that killed it for me.

ive owned an 09 matrix but the manual does not come in AWD. and the Matrix encompassed everything i hate about new cars. mainly throttle, steering, and clutch.
i would love a 1st gen matrix with the 2zzge but they are hard to find.
does the lexus AWD come in manual?

the rav4 im currently in has the 2azfe 2.4 with 330,000 miles on it and is still going. Only ever changed the oil. Used the cheapest oil i could find even.

was thinking sentra sr turbo but the lag is supposedly horrible and the combo of direct injection and turbo makes me nervous.

im heart broken that the civic si has this issue.

when i was younger i remember there being all these great pocket rockets and now that im older and have $, everything disappoints me.

growing up i remember drooling over the prelude with the H22 and reading how the K20 was going to be the next best thing.
the B series civics, Neon STR4, Ion Redline, and colbalt SS. Infinity G20 with the SR engine. the sentra ser and spec v with the qr25de, celica-corolla-matrix XRS with the 2zz... what the hell happened to cars? I finally got an altima with the KA and love it but it dosent have a latch system for the car seats and its really not in great shape. ive replaced almost every wear-able part aside from shocks and struts...

with the $, i should be able to find a clean example of something in the above list, right?

i miss the cable throttle and unassisted rack and pinion steering. Hell, id settle for a cable throttle at this point or even something that dosent have rev hang (audi/VW?) and im certainly not above the versas and fits either.

Maybe ill hunt for a 2zz corolla.
or pay for a good swap'd B series honda.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Any toyota is the best. Anything else just get the newest one you can afford.

Here is an XRS for you. Hope you're in cali! https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...051212896.html
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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not in cali' but i'm close. i'm just across the river in jersey...
lol

i like the look of the new camaros and would love a turbo 4 actually.
i have a 68 camaro that i take out when the weather is nice but couldn't imagine daily'ing that thing. lol

ill have to keep looking into this for now
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would assume the Civic SI throttle lag can be remedied with a cheap tuner. I had to do that with my manual trans JKU, was so irritating beforehand.
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