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Old 05-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #11
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I think I might be able to end the lease early and not owe money, or even get some money back. Value is pretty high on the Rabbit right now.

Great idea on the Prizm. It probably doesn't suffer as much from high resale value due to the Chevy badge and insurance is decent. Neons might be good indeed, though the posted one is automatic. Cavaliers should be fine.

Focus might be too new.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #12
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cems70, your craigslist post is expired. Can you repost it or post more info? I'm not really interested in a Honda or Toyota, because of their great resale value (which means high price for me) and high insurance costs, but after running some quotes, the 1998 Civic isn't too awful. Just a couple years newer and they get really expensive to insure. Other cars don't change insurance cost so much between 1996 and 2002 models.

As for price range, that $4500 is probably in the right area. I'm just dabbling in the idea, not really sure where I'd go with the whole thing, so I'm not 100% sure where my price range is.
THC,

That craigslist post wasn't my car...I was referring to my post in that thread where I described the car. Anyway, here's the info:

- 127,000 mostly highway miles (original Florida car from 1998 - February 2005), no rust!
- 5 speed manual, power windows, power door locks w/ factory remote, A/C, factory stereo & cd player
- New Nokian i3 LRR tires & 4 wheel alignment at 113k miles
- New front brakes and rotors @ 97k miles
- New timing belt and water pump at 105k miles
- New O2 sensor in the last 1k miles
- synthetic oil changes
- Lifetime warranty muffler
- 42 mpg winter to 49 mpg summer (at 70 mph!...have gaslog in car)
- Current on all service
- Runs absolutely perfectly
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:09 PM   #13
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I didn't realize you were planning on replacing a relatively new car with an older model. Certainlythe Focus has been on the market for almost 10 years now, you can get an older one with a 5 speed. Personally I like the current body style much better than the first one. Somehow it looks more like a "real" car to me. Then again, I guess that's why I like K cars too, because they look like "real" cars. A neighbor a few houses down has a Dodge 600 Turbo convertible. Sweet....

Anyway, I'm kinda suprised as I thought you needed a newer vehicle as a DD so you have the reliability of a newer vehicle. I guess a revised recommendation would be either an older Focus, or a Saturn.

-Jay
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #14
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I did think I needed a new vehicle for reliability, but I was stressed about keeping my new job and such. Now I'm comfortable and I know they would be fine with me occasionally missing a day due to a breakdown.

When I was shopping for the current car I sat in a Focus and found that I would be quite miserable in it, the layout is all wrong for me. Perhaps an older Focus is different.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:38 AM   #15
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be careful if looking at some of the older ford focus's, they're known to have some major reliability problems. the brakes don't wear well either. newer ones are supposed to be quite nice.

if you can find it for the price, a 5spd toyota echo is a very reliable car and you'll like the gas mileage. its not a lot of fun, but can't have everything.

give the newer hyundai's a look too. although the accent may not be top notch for hypermiling (although i've nearly busted 40mpg hwy, and i drive fast) they've become very very reliable cars and the price is excellent. newer ones only get better but anything after 2000 for the elantra or 2001 for the accent isn't bad. before that time they had some pretty major tranny issues. anything before '95 was just terrible garbage.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:40 AM   #16
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I'm shocked HC, because we usually have similar tastes in cars. Like I said my dad has an 08 Focus sedan with a 5 speed, & everything but leather seats and I love driving it. The Bluetooth integration with the cell phone and Microsoft SYNC are great! You don't need to touch the phone, radio, or CD player. My sister has the previous model Focus. I think hers is like 5 years old. Hers is a sedan with mid level trim and an automatic. I hate driving my sister's car.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:35 AM   #17
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Yeah, the Focus should be good but the problem is my elbows and knees. I'm a big guy but my torso fits any car fine; my elbows and knees need plenty of room and armrests in the right places. When I had my Pontiac, I used to think I hated it because the ride was too stiff or the car was entirely too small, but eventually I realized that my entire problem was elbows and knees pushing against armrests and consoles making me hurt after more than a few minutes.

When I chose the VW, I sat in it and my elbows went directly to the same angles and distances as in my truck and my knees weren't obstructed or banging on anything. When I sat in the 2008 Focus, the door armrest was too low to be used, the window sill was too high and too close, and the center armrest was neither forward enough nor high enough. My knee may have been pushing against the center console like it did in the Pontiac, too.

Since I can't yet measure that need to figure it out from known interior dimensions and photos (some day I'll spend some time to figure it out), I just have to sit in cars to find out if I'll fit or not.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:50 AM   #18
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Any mods you'd consider if you had a used car versus a lease?
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #19
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Definitely. I'd almost surely try to mess with gearing if I could afford the investment, unless the car came with tall gears. I might try some aero mods, and there's a good chance I'd try a WAI.

I think I'm not going to do it, though. I'm even thinking that I might buy the VW after the lease (and I'd definitely do something about the gears).
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:00 AM   #20
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I think I'm not going to do it, though. I'm even thinking that I might buy the VW after the lease (and I'd definitely do something about the gears).
Buying the VW might be a real good alternative from the aspect of you had it since new and know the car and what was done (or not done) to it. So if you like it and plan to keep it a long time it could be worth it.

Sometimes buying an older used car is a crapshoot.

Just a thought.
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