going to look at a couple of cars the next day or 2 or 3. anyway, what do you guys think about the choices following...
1995 suzuki swift 3cyl AT w/ 160k miles or
1996 suzuki swift 4cyl MT w/ 130k miles
both are 2 door hatch
my thoughts: of course the five speed will yield the best FE, but the 3cyl could get a MT transplant down the road for super FE. all else being equal(condition of the vehicles), what are your thoughts?
The automatic may not have had proper maintenance in a long time (if ever) and may need service, repair, or replacement rather soon. I personally would buy the 4 cyl with the manual, but if you don't mind a project, get the 3 cyl auto.
the bad...it has 300k+ miles, a ripped(but no "popping") cv boot, and is missing a side mirror and timing cover(i can see a fairly new belt)
the good...it runs very well(no smoking), has ice cold a/c, and good interior
the guy is a mechanic so the air, clutch, and timing are good to go; also, he's been driving all over town as a mobile mechanic both auto and marine so the car is likely dependable. he's motivated...he says he'll get the side mirror for me...
i need to think it over...both what i want to pay and how many mpgs i might get. if i can only get mid 40ish, i'd rather have a civic or corolla, be it more expensive to buy.
With that many miles, I'd want to hear a cold start and inspect the dipstick when the engine is cold (just to be sure he hasn't put super thick oil in it to mask oil burning and knocking).
I'm not afraid of high miles (my wife's nissan has 303K and my accord has 273K- both run great and do not smoke), but things do wear out if not maintained properly and I'd hate to pay $2k for something that has been doctored up just to sell.
One more thing- be sure the check engine light comes on for a few seconds when the ignition is on but before the car is started. The light could be disabled and you'd never know there was an issue (until the first fill up).