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Used Hatchbacks - Got any ideas?

2

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  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    so you may want to give it another day or two for more participant response. In the meantime, have you had a chance to compare these vehicles in Edmunds' Used Vehicle Guide and Advanced Vehicle Search? Just a little hint about using our Used Vehicle Guide:


    Once you look up one vehicle (i.e. 94 4-door LX Ford Escort, all you have to do click on the "Other Compact Hatchbacks" link near the top of the page, and it will take you to a page listing ALL the other similar models (hatchbacks) available in the same year. Btw, at a quick glance in Edmunds' Used Vehicle Guide, I noticed the Ford Escort had the highest reliability rating of the three. I was comparing 94's models. Crash test results on the 94 Escort were also "good"; however I should note, there was no information about driver/passenger air bags.

    One thing you may want to consider is that safety equipment, such as dual airbags and steel beams in the side doors, were not standard equipment on most make/models prior to 1995. Also, vehicle weight is going to be the biggest factor in terms of safety. For that reason, you may even want to consider keeping the Dodge Caravan, or at the very least buying a station wagon, as you mentioned you might do.

    Insurance costs will also be lower with a Van/Station Wagon, than a compact hatchback..., especially for a teenager. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

    Good luck with your decision, and please return to let us know what you decide. ;-)

    Pocahontas
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • godroxgodrox Posts: 2
    I admit, I don't exactly know all there is to know about cars, what's good and what's not. I'm probably going to purchase one of two cars, both used, and am not sure which one is good. I've read various pros and cons for each car, making them about even in my mind. What do you guys think? Here are the two cars I'm deciding between:

    1997 Toyota Paseo 2D Hatchback, 30k miles, $7,000, 5-speed manual, 6-disk CD changer, power sun-roof, spoiler, a/c, alloy wheels, 1.5L 4cyl. Wrecked once 3 years ago and needed new front clip, but there have been no problems since then. This is a private sale.

    OR

    1996 Ford Probe SE 2D Hatchback, 36k miles, $5,900, 5-speed manual, radio/cassette, 2L 4cyl. This is a dealership sale.

    So, what do you think? What advice and recommendations do you have concerning these two cars? I'd appreciate any feedback you can give. Thanks!
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    What you should get is whatever suits your needs better.

    Paseo: a bit newer, will certainly get better gas mileage, but also less room (tiny, tiny back seat), smaller in general and more expensive;

    Probe: a bit sportier, less money, good Mazda engine, a bit more room, but worse gas mileage and perhaps less reliable (though you never know).

    Check the insurance rates for both, this might help with the decision as well. Also, check the message boards about both cars here and see what owners have to say. Good luck.
  • godroxgodrox Posts: 2
    Thanks for your input, ghulet! I've pretty much decided to go with the Probe. Thanks!
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    I bought a 90 Mitsy Mirage 1.5L/Auto tranny, new. I drove it to work 10 years without a single problem for 120K miles. Never had an AC problem.
    Did routine maintenance on it and had the boots changed about every 3 years. It would cruise AZ I-8 at the speed limit in 115/125 degree heat with a cold ac and doing 40mpg, passing dead fords and chevys. (Ford/chevs cooling systems can't handle extreme heat for long periods????) The Mirage had a large radiator with two big fans. The temp gauge never varied even on hills. Used ones are very hard to find. I can see why. This is a perfect car for a college student. Amazing what you can put in it.
    I am retired and still have it. It is a great around town car(Phoenix). I would like a new car but can't bear to give it up. Yup, it still gets 40mpg and purrs like a fat cat.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Read the full story in this Edmunds' article: Why Buy New? By Christian Wardlaw. Let us know what you think. Happy Motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    for 'Autofocus' magazine? I live in Chicago and try to pick it up every week, then again I love to read anything car related. I guess the article is also trying to illustrate that most two year old used cars can be a great value, which is true, as the first two years are when cars take a big initial 'hit'.

    I would love (since I'm broke and have lousy credit) someone to write an article on good 'beaters', i.e. used cars for $500-5000. I live in the city of Chicago, our rents are high, lots of us don't drive to work, so many of us have 'beaters.' I do realize that previous owner care has a lot to do with the 'goodness' of a used car (especially one this old), but older cars can still be compared on their merits, can't they?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    That's a great idea. Can I suggest that you copy/paste your message onto the Edmunds' feedback form on this page? In the meantime, you may find this Edmunds' article interesting: Five Good Cheap Cars. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    If you're in the market for a used vehicle, here's some good information you don't want to miss: Vehicle Inspection Reports, Your Key to a Good Used Car, by Philip Reed. Hope this is helpful. Happy shopping.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    What would you chose? I need a reliable car above all. It will be 5 spd. Any of you have had experiences with these 2 cars?

    Thanx, Dinu
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    You can get a used Elantra GT for under 11K with very low miles on it.

    You will not find a better value.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    a magazine journalist is looking for:

    -people that have successfully haggled for a lower price when buying a certified used car
    -people that have met resistance when asking the cert. used car dealership if they can take the car to their own mechanic
    -and people that have been persuaded NOT to buy the car they wanted because of comments on a chat board like edmunds' town hall.

    If any of these apply to you, please call 212-830-9275 and/or send your email to rmalkin@hearst.com. It is helpful to include your name and phone number. Please respond by March 15.

    As always, you can also contact Jeannine Fallon, RR Director for Edmunds.com, if you have questions about this process. Thanks for your participation.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • maulinmaulin Posts: 2
    Hi Revka!

    I am new to this Car world. I don't know which car is good for me to buy. I want a used car which works fine and can drive me to the places safely. I don't want many fancy features except necessary. My budget is limited to 4000 USD including all expenses. I am a student.

    I don't know what to look for in used car before buying. I have not used cars much so I am totally ignorant you can say.

    Please help me.
    Regards,
    Maulin.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You said: "I want a used car which works fine and can drive me to the places safely."

    At 4k out the door, you're primarily looking at vehicles that are as least 6 to 8 years old. Both reliability and safety are going to be limited when you're going back that far. For one, as any vehicle gets older, it's more likely to have mechanical problems.

    Secondly, vehicles prior to 94/95 do not have the type of safety equipment (air bags/side impact steel beams) that are standard on newer models. Just curious, have you considered purchasing a newer vehicle and taking on a small monthly payment?

    That being said, here are a few ideas for hatches in the 3500-4000 range: 94 Honda Civic, 93 Acura Integra, 95 Ford Escort, or 94 Dodge Colt. Statistically, the Civic and Integra have the better reliability ratings of these four. (FTR, these are my own suggestions, not Edmunds' recommendations.)

    I also recommend that you have the vehicle thoroughly check out by a certified mechanic prior to purchase. Other's here may have more to add, so please return for more feedback. Good luck.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 268
    I just sold my 13-year-old Firebird Formula hatchback at my asking price. Of course, F-bods have bad reps reliability/ maintenence-wise. But if you can find one like mine, properly cared for & not abused, you can expect to enjoy its robust performance for a long time....and fix it cheaply yourself, if you are so inclined.
  • This car is fully loaded, looks goood and runs great. it has 130000 highway miles and just replaced the timing belt. All i was wondering is will the turbo hold up for much longer and is it worth 4000 U.S. dollars. and will it last for a few years. any other ideas would be great too
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In addition to the feedback here, you may also want to check out our Eagle Talon - Need Advice discussion.

    Also, from our Maintenance & Repair Board, here's an archived discussion I came across: My Adventures with My New/Used Eagle Talon. You may find some helpful information there. Good luck, and please keep us posted on what you decide.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • sarah25sarah25 Posts: 2
    '98 eagle talon esi--NOT a turbo engine--asking about $9500 for it...is this too much to pay?? Are these cars reliable? Please tell me your experiences?? It's an automatic if that makes a difference.
  • I'm looking for a first car. I want a compact hatchback, $5000 or under, that has some sporting ability but I just can't settle on one. Those that I'm interested in are the VW GTi 16v The VW Scirroco 16v and the Civic Si (early 90's hatch). Can someone help me find which one is best?
  • I can't speak out of experience or do I know anyone who owns one, but I have heard that the Eagle Talon (Mitsubishi Eclipse) is a rather unreliable car. Once again, though, this is just what I hear. If anyone one else with more 1st hand knowledge has anything different to say, take their word over mine.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    The price sounds high to me especially considering Edmunds' pricing for used cars. Check the "USED" section of this website to figure a typical price.

    These cars are not known for reliability. My wife bought a '90 model, but it now has only 61,000 miles. (Our daughter now has it). But the manual transmission failed at 50,000 miles, and the rebuild cost was $2800. The crankshaft pulley failed about a year later, and whole top end (valves, etc) of the engine was damaged to the tune of $3000. Clearly, repair costs are very high. Otherwise the car has aged gracefully.

    I would certainly have the car inspected by an independent mechanic whom you trust. And, I would make the dealer show you the ownership records. A lot of young persons purchase these cars and abuse them.

    In summary, I would be very cautious about this car. As an alternative, I would suggest Certified Pre-owned or a one-owner Acura Integra. My wife has a '97 model, and it has been totally trouble free in the five years she has had it. Overall, the Integra has a reputation for rock solid reliabiity. Still, check the ownership and maintenance history before purchasing.
  • learnedlearned Posts: 1
    Anybody have experience with this car - 1993 Saab 900S, 5sp, hatchback, 16 valve? I'm thinking of purchasing one with 75,000 miles.

    Learned
  • I own a 1990 Honda Civic SI. I bought it new in 1990. I still love it dearly. This model had a 16 valve 1.6L with 108 hp. That doesn't sound like too much nowadays but I still think my car is pretty fast.

    It handles well too.

    If you frequent the MINI discussions you probably know that I'm going to trade up soon but I would still recommend a 1989 - 1993 civic si to anyone shopping the older hatches.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    If you are going with that vintage, go with the CRX Si instead - same hp but about 400 pounds less in weight. Plus it is a shorter car, better handling. Just prepare to spend some time looking - a lot of the CRX owners modded them up and messed them up for good - it is hard to find a stock one that has not been abused...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • psywexpsywex Posts: 2
    Hi..
    Can somebody tell me if it is a good buy? Planning to buy it from private buyer. Engines sounds ok, little crack on mirror.Little bit dings on body. nothing major. However, mileage kind of high it got 150789 miles on it. The seller asking $1600. I'm not sure whether it is a good bargain. Is there any major stuff that i should be concern with this 93 probe?. Can i someone guide me on this. Appreciate all the response. Thanks
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I responded to your same question in your new Ford Probe discussion. Good luck.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • Wondering the opinions of those other hatch-lovers just like myself.

    Here is the deal. I'm 24, been driving my dad's cars on and off since graduating college a year and 1/2 ago. My take home per month is about $1900 after taxes, and I have fixed expenses around $800-900 a month. I need to buy a car as I have been relying on my father for far too long.

    The amount I can afford to spend is pretty flexible. I'd like to stay in the $4000-6000 area, however, I am having a tough time finding any hatch backs that are in that price range and don't already have a ton of miles. I am completly open to spending more money on a newer hatchback, however, I have many reservations about spending $8-10,000 on something w/ 60,000 miles on it already, with no warranty and when I might be able to hold out for something a little older w/ similar mileage.

    The hatches I have considered so far are the Honda Civic, VW Golf, Ford Escort (except I don't really like the look of these), Toyata Celica.

    Are there any other hatches I should check out? For ex., today I am going to look at a Honda Civic, a '95 w/ 85,000 miles, and the seller is looking for $4500. Many older ones w/ around 100,000 go for the same amount of money, and the car is nearly 8 years old which means it has only been driven about 10,000 miles a year.

    Why have we abandoned this great design here in the U.S.? Your opinions are appreciated.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Weekends are usually a little slow around here, but things may pick up in this discussion in the next day or so. In the meantime, for more ideas, you may want to check out Edmunds' Advanced Vehicle search.


    Once you're narrowed down your choices, you should also try asking your questions in our individual vehicle discussions.... where there's usually more activity. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your decision.


    Revka

    Host

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    HAVE we abandoned these things? They are in vogue everywhere else...

    If you can deal with older, do it. There are plenty of low mileage hatches from the late 80's around for these prices - the 90s were just bad for hatches.

    Two examples that come to mind that are fabulous to drive are the MkII Toyota Supra (86-92) and the late-80's RX-7, which was also around until about 1992. If you can find some 92's, there are bound to be a few with around 100-120K miles or less, and they are two of the most fun cars to drive, in very different ways.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    what about the Nissan 240SX? Did they ever make that in a hatch, or was it a coupe? I forget now - but that is another very fun car to drive, and they made that until the mid-90s.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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