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Please help me decide between...

wsuguywsuguy Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Hi everybody,

Im a student looking for a get around car. I need your help.

There is a 91' Toyaota Camry,153k,auto--$1550
Average Condition


93'Nissan Altima,111k,5spd-$2300
between clean and average

I don't know which one to buy. I need ur opinion i'll drive 6k a year at a maximum.

which one is good in terms of resale value after two years.

please reply

Thanks in advance


  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    So you have looked at and drove both?

    Without input- which do you prefer?

    Based on what you said I'd go with the Altima...little newer/lower miles/in better shape.

    Dont worry about resale value. 11 and 14 year old cars with that kind of mileage have pretty much the residual value left(IOW- there's not much depreciation left to be had).

    Good luck.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,308
    plus, the Altima has a 5 speed, so you eliminate the chance of the auto tranny going belly up, and on a car like that Camry, that is a fatal wound.

    I also prefer sticks, especially on 4 cyl cars, so I know which one I would go after (assuming they are roughly the same condition otherwise).

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Our son drives our 93 5-sp Altima with 130K miles, and it is still a wonderful car. One of the best we have ever owned.

    Too bad the new ones got so big in the butt.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,814
    Clutches and manual transmissions go bad too.

    It sounds like the poster is concerned about resale values.

    Camrys are MUCH more in demand and five speeds can be tough to unload. Few people share stickguy's opinion of them.

    Both good cars.
  • at 2300, there isn't much "depreciation" left there. even at two years, most cars hit a number and just hover there.

    Personally, I would be much more concerned with maintanence/repair costs. Take both in to a mechanic and have it checked out. If it is a private sale, ask for maintenance records... looking for engine tune-up, timing belt change, clutch change(for the manual), auto trans flush(for auto), etc. Any one of these could drive up your maintenance costs pretty heavily unless you do all the maintenance yourself(tune-up $100, Timing belt change 6-900, clutch change 3-500, auto trans service 100-200, etc)
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,584

    something to ponder.
    I'm with the guys who say have it checked out. 11 or 13 years old, it's all in the condition. no way to tell from here. and at that age, the stick is less likely to give trouble. if the clutch is good now, it'll be good two years from now, if you know what you're doing.
  • I am looking to get a used SUV, and have narrowed my list down to the following choices:

    1997 - 2000 Explorer (with SOHC V6).
    Approx price: $7,000 - $9,000.
    Not really my top choice, but the least expensive route. The positive thing is that they've lost so much of their re-sale value, it seems to make them relatively better values. The downside is that most of them seem to have around 80k - 120k miles on them. I'm worried that with a Ford, this is right about when I might start running into bigger repair expenses, making them not such a good value after all.

    1997 - 2000 4Runner (with 3.4L V6).
    Approx price: $11,000 - $15,000.
    Since I've decided on a used car about 3 - 7 years old, I thought I might be better off in the long run going with Toyota reliability. I've seen a wide range of miles on used 4Runners in this price range, from as low as 40k to over 150k.

    1998 - 2000 Land Cruiser (with V8).
    Approx price: $23,000 - $26,000.
    Somewhat surprisingly, I've seen alot of Land Cruisers in this range with relatively low miles (50k - 60k). In fact I saw just as many Land Cruisers with low miles as ones with high miles. I wonder why that is? Do alot of Land Cruiser owners not use their cars that much?

    A rather wide price range, as you can see. If I went with the Explorer, I would only keep it for a few years (after which I would probably look to buy a used 2003 4Runner). If I went with the 4Runner, I'd probably keep it for around 3 to 4 years. If I went with the Land Cruiser, I would want it to last at least the next 5 years.

    As a rough guide, I figured that with the Explorer I should look for one with under 80k miles, if possible. With either the 4Runner or Land Cruiser, I figured that anything under 100k miles was still safe, as I have read people saying that these have run as long as 200k miles or more. And I saw plenty of 4Runners and Land Cruisers with less than 70k miles or so, which I figured would be especially good buys. Also, I only put about 6,500 miles on my car each year, so especially with the more reliable Toyotas I figure I'd outgrow the car before it became an issue.

    So, all things being equal, any suggestions on what limits or how many miles would be ideal on those models I'm considering? I know there are other factors to consider such as whether the miles on the car were primarily highway or city miles, and how well the car was maintained. But those seem difficult to verify unless the owner kept all service records, and the claims of "mostly highway miles" seems impossible to verify at all. Also one last thing, again with all other things being equal, would you go with an older car with fewer miles or a newer one with more? Say between a 1998 with 70k miles and a 1999 with 90k miles, which one would you choose?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,814
    All over the board!

    Explorers can be troublesome as they age. Look for condition over miles. A car can have 100K and be in better shape than a mistreated one with 60K.

    A Land Cruiser is a huge land yacht. Unless you REALLY need a clumsy gas hog, I would lean toward the 4 Runner.
  • Yeah, I am sort of all over the map. Actually, my ideal car would be a 2003 4Runner Limited. If I could get an SR5 with leather, I would do that. However it appears that Toyota intentionally only offers leather on the Limited to make more people buy it, and I am not ready to spend ~$35k on a Limited.

    So my choices are sort of geared towards that goal. Buy either a less expensive Explorer or 4Runner now, and then in a couple years buy the 2003 4Runner I want used after it has depreciated about 40% or so. I considered the Land Cruiser because I thought it a good alternative to the new 4Runner Limited, at a decent price. Do you really consider it that big? Checking it's dimensions, the Land Cruiser isn't that much bigger than the new 4Runner. The new 4Runner is 189 inches long, 73.8 inches wide, and 71.6 inches tall. The Land Cruiser is 192.5 inches long, 76.4 inches wide, and 73.2 inches tall. I still consider the Land Crusier "midsize". It's definately not in the Sequoia, Expedition, etc size. Gas mileage is much worse than the 4Runner, but I only drive about 6,500 miles a year, so I am not as concerned with the mileage it gets.

    About the miles, I would look for good condition first and have the car checked by a mechanic. But say I find several cars that all check out well, then the one with lower miles would be better right?
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Have you considered purchasing an SR5 and then having custom aftermarket leather surfaces added?

    The Landcruiser that you mentioned is a great SUV and has a nice bit of cachet. Yes,it is big and ponderous, but not much more so than the current 03-04 4Runner. Considering body styles haven't changed in a good while, an older model LandCruiser would be a nice buy.
  • Landcruiser clumsy?!?! Don't think so. Compared to a Porsche of course, but not compared to other SUVs of comparable size. Gas hog, it's no Prius, but I get close to 20 on the hwy and 15+ around town in my '02 and my '94 wasn't that much worse mileage wise.
  • About the LandCruiser, that's what I was thinking. On the outside, the '98 through '04 models all look practically identical to me. So I could get a '98 or '99 and it doesn't look dated at all. Not much else changed modelwise either. The biggest change appears to be the 2000 model getting traction control and VSC, along with leather and sunroof becoming standard. But almost all the '98 and '99s I've seen have leather, sunroof, and 3rd row seats anyways. Plus I've seen several 1998, 1999, and 2000s for sale in the $23k to $25k price range, with 50k-70k miles only and described as very well maintained, mint condition, etc. Seeing as these go for $50k+ new, picking up a good condition 1999 with 60k miles for $24k seems like a nice deal. I wonder if alot of these Land Cruisers served as second family cars, used part of the time, which is why there seem to be a higher percentage of them with lower miles than same year 4Runners or Explorers, which seem to average higher miles - maybe because they are the only car and used all the time.

    I could go for the aftermarket leather on an SR5, but after thinking about it, it is probably still more than I'd be willing to spend now.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,814
    I like Landcruisers but after having driven a couple, yeah, they just feel clumsy to me.

    Unless a person REALLY **needs** one I can see little use for one.

    But...that's just my opinion!
  • steenh1steenh1 Posts: 28
    My theory is that anyone that can afford a new Landcruiser probably doesn't like the idea of driving a 4-5 year old car and buys another new one... I bought a 99 with 80k miles and far from clumsy, it has an unbelievable ride for a truck. The other thing to consider is that your $24k LC won't depreciate all that much over the years where an Explorer would hit the end of it's days during that time. I've seen 200k+ LC's selling for over $10k.
  • alfster1alfster1 Posts: 273
    Out of the three vehicles mentioned, I would go with the Landcruiser. It is spacious, relatively well priced, likely to be in great shape, and will last a long time. Previous model 4Runners are good overall, but they have cramped interiors and more interior noise. With the Landcruiser, you'll have lots of luxury, space, and true offroad-ability.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... LC's, great vehicles .! should run til 150/200k+ properly serviced, failures are few, can't tell the difference between a 30ker and a 90ker and has the resale value of a Rolex ... a great buy with a great history.

  • Having owned a 4-Runner and now own a LC I would like to enter my thoughts. Alfster1 summed it up pretty well. The LC is one of the most capable off road vehicles on the road today. Of the three choices you are looking at the other two are not in the same league. My 4-Runner was a terrific vehicle, but it is limiting. With the LC there are very few limits. Cost is a factor, but as one wrote the resale is high. Most will not part with one unless they buy another LC. It is a solid vehicle on and off the road. I'm not big on the running/step boards but they come off easy. With a house full of ladies I really hear it but, when I done with my 4 wheeling trips it is civilized again for them. I also own a newer Jeep Sahara Wrangler, which I also would rate higher then the 4-Runner or the Ford, but that is just my long love affair with Jeeps. The LC is heavier then the other two selections, and it will require high grade gas, not regular. When off roading you never have to second guess will I make it back with the LC. Bottom line buy the LC and you will not have to trade up later. Good luck
    2000 LC
    2000 Wrangler
  • 151ranch151ranch Posts: 109
    Okay, welcome all opinions on the following. My husband and I need a commuter car with the following parameters:

    New or low-mileage used
    Manual Transmission
    fairly speedy
    good handling
    4 seater
    low maintanence
    less than $20k

    To give you an idea of what I mean - my husband's favorite car was a Rabbit GTI, mine was a CRXsi - alas, they are both at the great junk yard in the sky.

    I imagine we will keep this for at least 150k miles, so no Korean cars need apply.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Or a used Protege5. Meets everything you just mentioned.

    Toyota Matrix would work to, but its not as fun to drive, which from your post sounds like an important consideration.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    there's also the Civic Si. I like it just for the dash mounted shifter, if nothing else. They're going for cheap, I understand.

  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Mazda 3, without question. It'll remind you a lot of the GTi. What a blast to drive.
  • 18fan18fan Posts: 147
    Look at the Toyota Matrix, or its twin the Pontiac Vibe... same car but rebadged as a Pontiac... and for less money.
  • The Mazdaspeed protege is a gas in the corners.
    The Sentra SER Spec V has a great suspension, if you like uncivilized raw cornering ability, and gutsy torqe.
    The Neon SRT 4 was the most fun of all to drive, quickest, but I'd give the nod to the Mazdaspeed in the cornering department.

    If you want to step down a bit, I'd go for the Mazda 3, Sentra SER, and that'd be about it.
  • racer63racer63 Posts: 123
    I'll throw out an 00+ Celica GT as another alternative. Basically drives like a CRX Si, except with power steering and having some kid sized rear seats, makes it a little more useful. There are still a few leftover P5's around me being advertised for stupid cheap, like 13.5k...if that is a real price, that's a deal.
  • jinx13jinx13 Posts: 2
    After several weeks of obsessive research I've finally decided to replace my '95 Saturn SL1 with a new Ford Focus zx5. I'm partial to yellow cars, and the first dealer I went to offered a yellow zx5, premium pkg (incl. leather seats, moonroof, 6-cd), sticker price ~19,000; offer price 13,100. HOWEVER, the car doesn't have ABS. I found a red zx5 without the above amenities, with ABS, sticker price ~17,500; offer price 13,500.

    Clearly the yellow zx5 is the better deal, I just can't make up my mind if ABS is important enough to turn down the car because of it. And it does have side air bags, which the red car doesn't. (surviving an accident vs. avoiding one, I suppose!)

    anyone have thoughts on this?

  • rampedramped Posts: 358
    Normally, I'd say ALWAYS buy with ABS, but your first choice does have side airbags along with everything else you want, including color. Under the circumstances, and since you probably are getting a better deal on the yellow car, I'd say go for it...but take it easy on wet roads! :)
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    From our experience with a Ford, the car will spend almost all of its life in the repair shop, so there is very little chance of you being hurt in an accident.

    The biggest danger is being run down as you walk to work or the grocery store.
  • vikdvikd Posts: 187
    That was pretty rough bobst...!

    Regards... Vikd
  • rampedramped Posts: 358
    Hey, before you buy that Chrysler bus, try and get the wife to the Saturn store and try a VUE Redline. What a hoot! AWD, V6, and in black absolutely wicked looking. Of course, there isn't any third row seat, but, hey, you're the man of the house, right.... :^)
  • vikdvikd Posts: 187 never stop rubbing it in do you ;-/

    Saturn VUE Redline? I guess i've never heard of it. Does it have the Honda V6 mated to the CVT tranny?

    Might be interesting but, as you said, we're in more need of a bus...

    Regards... Vikd
This discussion has been closed.