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Crown Victoria is the only proper RWD affordable car?
I am in the market for an affordable , durable and easy to repair car that is not a pickup truck. Ideally the car has to have manual gearbox, RWD with live rear axle and an engine with timing chain.
There is only one car that satisfies it all. It is Jeep liberty 2wd v6 version.
There is also Cadillac CTS and bunch of BMWs that have RWD&Manual&Timing Chain combo, but I heard that they are very expensive to maintain.
However, I also know that Crown Vics (especially police interceptors) are phenomenally reliable despite having an automatic gearbox. Turns out the transmissions in Crown Vics are one of the finest that US has ever produced.
Both Jeep and Crown Vic can be had for under 5k$, which is exactly what I am looking at.
I like that Crown Vics are easy and cheap to repair. I have seen their used transmissions for 300$. I also heard that It is very easy to do DIY work on Crown Vics.
In town gas millage is not a big issue for me as I won't be driving more than once a week. However, I would like to get at least 27mpg on the highway. I heard that Crown Vics can do 30mpg when driven 55mph.
Are there any cars that are relatively modern, 2003+ that would satisfy my needs in being simple, cheap to repair and yet reliable?
I know that there are bunch of FWD cars such as 2006 Sonata and Jetta , that have chains and manual trans, but it is customary to think that constant velocity joint replacement and clutch replacement on FWD cars is very expensive.
Another factor to consider is the insurance costs. I am a 23 year old male (in grad school) and tend to think that everything except Panther cars is going to be expensive to pay insurance for. So technically Panther car would offset its low mpg by being cheaper to insure.
The cars I look at are the following: Panther platform cars, BMWs, CTS, 2006 Sonata, 2003 Altima, 2006 Jetta.
To sum up, my intuition is telling me that the only viable option is any panther based car. So ideally it would be 2006+ P71 Crown Vic.
Any suggestions ?
I really love the design of the Crown Vics, they are just astonishingly beautiful!