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Best second vehicle!!

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:58 AM   #1
boshak [OP] boshak is offline
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Best second vehicle!!

I'm looking for a second vehicle as a daily driver. I'd like to keep mileage down on my truck and also have a backup vehicle when either of them is down.

- Budget: $2000 to $3000
- Good MPG (26+)
- Manual
- Easy and cheap to work on if needed
- Parts easily accessible
Note: I'm somewhat handy but not a mechanic... Only work I've done is through mod/maintenance tutorials provided by this and other forums

So far I've been looking at these but have no idea what kind of money pit I'd be getting myself into:

- Pre 96 Toyota Pickup
- Pre 96 4runner
- VW Golf/GTI
- Civic Hatchbacks (scared of these because of the import scene... Lots of modded overdriven cars and a big theft potential)
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:19 AM   #2
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I know for sure 90s model Honda's start having transmission issues. Had a prelude and accord and both trans. went bad.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:19 AM   #3
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Older Camry/Civic/Accord? 4 cylinder 5 speed will get that MPG all day.

Do you think an older pickup or 4Runner will actually get 26 MPG consistently?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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I had a 93 pickup you will not get that mpg consistently. You could find a chevy/gro prizm. IT is a corolla with some sheet metal differences.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
boshak [OP] boshak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB65stang View Post
Older Camry/Civic/Accord? 4 cylinder 5 speed will get that MPG all day.

Do you think an older pickup or 4Runner will actually get 26 MPG consistently?
True... I guess I'm finding myself to be fond of the old gen Toyotas. I need to stick to my guns and drop them off the list before I get myself into building a project car.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdowell View Post
I know for sure 90s model Honda's start having transmission issues. Had a prelude and accord and both trans. went bad.
Are these both manual trans?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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I did the same as you a few months ago. I bought a 2000 Celica GT. I enjoy 26-30mpg ratings and also enjoy the handling and sportiness of the car. I know it looks and sounds like a ricer car but having to silver streak mica Toyotas in the driveway looks real nice!!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB65stang View Post
Older Camry/Civic/Accord? 4 cylinder 5 speed will get that MPG all day.

Do you think an older pickup or 4Runner will actually get 26 MPG consistently?

i agree

look for a 4 cyl camry, corolla, civic, jetta, golf, altima....

but i will say that if you spend $2-4 k, plus title, tax, yearly fees, insurance, and so on... you will not save any money by gaining 10mpg over your Taco. I can see wanting to keep the miles down but you paid good money for your truck, unless its a toy for you, then drive it!
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boshak View Post
Are these both manual trans?
My exp. ( badluck) has just been with auto.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:18 AM   #10
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Older Toyota --any model--just be sure it has had regular maintenance and NO major defects,oil leaks,ck eng,ect. Stay away from VW--had a friend w/one-had major problems all the time. Nisson-hear they are good--never owned one.
Cannot go wrong w/TOYOTA.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:41 AM   #12
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Gen 2 MR2 non turbo (your budget will nto allow a turbo), or 2000 + Celica.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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GTI's are a really fun drive. My Dad has one that I borrow on occasion for long drives. He hasn't had any problems with it since he bought it 10 years ago. I would not hesitate to get one of these
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boshak View Post
Are these both manual trans?
FWIW, my mom had an '88 Accord 4 cyl / 5 spd with 200k+ on it back when I was a kid without a lick of transmission work. My sister's '01 Civic with an auto didn't have any transmission problems either in 100k miles.

I also had a '93 Nissan hardbody pickup with a 4 cyl / 5 spd that was a tank as far as reliability, and my former roommate had a 93 (I think) 240SX with the same combo with 250k with no tranny problems at all.

Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the 90's Honda/Toyota/Nissan cars, but that's just me.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdowell View Post
I know for sure 90s model Honda's start having transmission issues. Had a prelude and accord and both trans. went bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boshak View Post
Are these both manual trans?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdowell View Post
My exp. ( badluck) has just been with auto.
The autos are fairly crappy but the manual tranny's are rock solid. Engines are even more solid. Try and find a 4th gen prelude with the H22 engine and a manual. Those are fun!
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #16
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this one is easy.. for that price range
95-99 Nissan Maxima (97-99 look the best)

hands down very reliable, roomy, 200hp, great mpg. (average 26-27 combined) dual timing chain (never need to replace) and always had cold ac.

i've had several with the 2 highest mileage maximas having 235k miles and 295k miles. Never had a problem. (maybe change out waterpump)

only issues i had were oil leaks.. but those are minor and expected.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #17
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My money's on the early toyota pickup.
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