I need a really cheap car! Which car should I buy?
Samuel lives in New Jersey and works from home. However, he needs something inexpensive, durable, roomy, and weatherproof when driving. It should also be the right size to fit in your garage. These are a lot of requirements for just a budget of $ 5,000. Which car should he buy?
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Here is the scenario:
My wife uses our main car to get to work. I work from home, but I need a car to get around periodically during the week. It doesn’t have to be much more than a drummer, but I have some requirements. First, we recently bought a house, so I want something that can haul things from the hardware or furniture store better than our current Lexus IS350 F-Sport. Second, the roads we live in are both hilly and terrible, and I’ve scratched or touched the Lexus a few times, so good ground clearance would be great. Third, winter conditions can also be harsh, which is why all-wheel drive / 4-wheel drive is highly desired. Fourth, our driveway has a door that is quite narrow, so the vehicle cannot be wider than 73 inches. Otherwise, I can’t take it to the garage. Finally, since it’s going to be better, I would like it to be on the more reliable side of older cars with higher mileage.
Budget: up to $ 5,000
Daily driver: Kind of
Site: Bergen County, New Jersey
Wants: Inexpensive, durable, spacious, AWD / 4WD
Will not : Something larger than 73 inches
Expert 1: Tom McParland – Stay in your element
Samuel, that’s certainly a difficult combination of demands, especially given the $ 5,000 budget. Threshing cars are delicate and my colleague David says that you need to reassess your notion of “reliability”. Although I wouldn’t necessarily agree that your beater should be rolling pile rust.
Fortunately, there are a few decent options available. The one that stood out the most is this Honda Element 2005. This big box ticks all your boxes. It has the higher ride height of an SUV, is super spacious with flexible seats, and is equipped with all-wheel drive. This car has 190,000 miles going up there, but if these Hondas are well maintained you should be able to get a few more years out of it. Better yet, the boxy Honda is 71.5 inches wide, so while it can be tight, it should fit in your garage.
Expert 2: Collin Woodard – Stay in my lane
I wanted to offer you a different answer, Samuel. I really did. Maybe something like a GMC Envoy XUV, you know, for those times when you buy such big furniture or tools, a regular SUV just won’t do. But besides being too wide for your portal, I don’t think I could ever recommend someone to buy a GMC Envoy. Even an XUV.
Instead, I’m going to recommend something that I’ve actually had the experience of owning: a Subaru Forester. They’re cheap, relatively durable, under 73 inches wide, and ridiculously practical. Plus, you get all-wheel drive and decent ground clearance. There are several in your area that may be worth considering, but this one seems like a good place to start for $ 4,500.
Expert 3: Erik Shilling – Stay in my lane
Hello Samuel, I’m afraid you might put yourself in a box the size of a late 10’s or early 10’s Japanese SUV. And for $ 5,000 you won’t find much of it. interesting. If you want it to be reliable, that is. So I say bend over to be boring like with this Nissan Rogue 2010, which is offered for $ 4,800 and is located in eastern Brunswick.
These Rogues are 70.9 inches wide not counting mirrors, according to the internet. The mileage – over 175,000 – is high, but this era of Nissan is pretty reliable. I’m a little curious what part of Bergen County you live in that the roads are hilly and terrible and take you to rock bottom, but that’s a question for another day. (Guess it’s Mahwah.) Good luck!
Expert 4: Raphael Orlove – But you already knew that
Samuel, I’m sorry for my other coworkers who on this god-given site told you to buy a bunch of 2000s Japanese crossovers. Like you don’t know! I’m sure you sent your email while standing in a used parking lot full of items, foresters and thieves.
You need something to stretch your mind. You need Jalopnik! Well i am here for you. Normally I would say you should just buy a jeep, nothing very good came up when I checked the local Craigslist. If only there was something that had all the desirable qualities of a Jeep – a durable inline-six, durable four-wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance – without the brand attachment or the price tag. that goes with.
Ah, OK ! There is the AMC Eagle!
For reasons beyond anyone’s comprehension, AMC has incorporated all of Jeep’s trusted 1980s tech into its midsize family car called the Hornet. Sold as a sedan or station wagon, it became the original crossover, the Eagle. This one is right next to you in rather trendy Saugerties. Show up with cash and it shouldn’t be hard to cut Craigslist’s typical 60% of requests.