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Inexpensive (cheap) car recommendations

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Michigander

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I would like to replace my existing car with something more affordable and would like to hear whether any of you all have experience with the following cars:

Huyandai Sonata
Ford Focus
VW Rabbit

#1 priority is manual transmission
#2 is adequate get up and go
#3 is heated seats/gas mileage

Would like to keep it under $18,000 and these are the ones that stood out but I am open to other recommendations. I would like front wheel drive due to the winter driving conditions in Michigan
 

Scott Kibler

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I drove a 2005 Focus for a couple years. Decent car mechanically with good gas mileage and it was great for city driving, parallel parking, etc. Uncomfortable seat, though.

I got rid of it as it was too small for everything I needed to do with it. I don't know if a manual tranny was even a choice. It wouldn't be for me as a manual would be a chore for work in the city.

Personally, I would not choose any European make. My experience with them has not been good.
 

Michigander

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I like the idea of buying a domestic car but the price on the Focus is pretty high compared with the foreign cars, plus it is a rather lackluster car. I could be swayed by a nice low price as that is very important right now (it is 18K +/- to get into the model where you have heated seats, which are important to me as the one luxury item I hate to cede). I tried the Civic but didn't like it and it felt like a tin can. Like the gas mileage on that puppy though! Want practical and cheap, but with enough power to pass the blue heads on our two lane highways....
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
You might want to consider a Mazda 3. They can be purchased for under 18K, not sure if they have heated seats, you spoiled little girl. I bought one 3 years ago with a leather interior upgrade. Great little car, have done nothing but change the oil.

Now if only Detroit could do that.

TC
 

Michigander

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I like Mazda but they don't have a location near me. Closest is very hard to get at, over an hour away. Heated seats are essential, but can be added later
 

Steve Metz

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Georgia
Stay away from VW they are junk. I have had 2 VW's a Passat Wagon and New Bug. Bothare complete junk.

Mazda 3 is good. Honda Element is the best deal going. I have 250,000 miles on mine and not one problem.
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Serena-I always try to get a nice car coming off a 2/3 year lease. Mileage is usually low (for an appraiser) and it allows me a nice ride. I am definitely with you on the heated seats. The bun warmer is a NECESSITY! Might look for a nicely used Toyota or Nissan. I have an Avalon (regular gas) and Infinity (premium gas) and both are great cars. The Avalon gets better gas mileage though.
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I would rather have COOLED seats. But that said, The Mazda 3 would be my choice if I was not firmly commited to mid size trucks (Dakota). I just can not see how I could every get by with a sedan or coupe.
 

Vegan702

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Nevada
Odd as I had 2 VW Jetta TDI's and never had any problems with them. I personally replaced my higher priced appraisal car with a new Kia Spectra. Warranty until 100,000 miles or 10 years and right around $10k new. I could use a little more power, but its not a huge deal as I am used to driving a car with 285hp vs this one, so its just that I had an abundance of power before and now I just have average power. After one year of driving this car it is making me money now with the IRS write-offs. If the Kia doesn't fit you then my next choice was a new Mini Cooper. They get great gas mileage, stylish, comes loaded with a mess options and they are a blast to drive as they have plenty of power and the best turning radius of smaller cars so they are perfect for city driving and appraisers in particular making uturns everywhere while taking comp photos, zipping in and out of traffic, etc.
 

wickedness1

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
If the Kia doesn't fit you then my next choice was a new Mini Cooper. They get great gas mileage, stylish, comes loaded with a mess options and they are a blast to drive as they have plenty of power and the best turning radius of smaller cars so they are perfect for city driving and appraisers in particular making uturns everywhere while taking comp photos, zipping in and out of traffic, etc.

The resale value on Mini Coopers is great to! Their resale prices are up there with Toyota & Honda.
 
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