Older cars are going to have some problems and need repair no matter what type they are. I like getting older cars because they are cheap and I don't mind having to do an unexpected repair as long as the car is not a piece
2008 EPA adjusted:
Distance traveled by bicycle in 2007= 1,830ish miles
Average commute speed=25mph (yes, that's in a car)
One advantage of having an older car it that you can mod it however you want without any lingering worries about resale values. With a new car, you can get so concerned about not doing anything that might reduce its possible resale value that its like you are just a caretaker keeping the car for a few years until it goes on to its next owner, especially so if you financed the car and the bank is the car's true owner. My 92 civic with 415,000 miles is worth zilch as a trade-in, so I have no worries doing whatever I want to with it in pursuit of fuel economy.
I replaced the ICE at 245,000 with a used ICE from Japan ($1800 installed), the muffler at 390,000, the main relay at 280,000, the radiator last week, battery at 310,000, front brake pads about every 120,000, the rear pads after 330,000. Has original transmission, clutch, shocks.
when i got rid of it, my dads 89 civic sedan had 278,000 on it. only reason we got rid of it was it needed new clutch, burned oil like crazy (my fault, using redline as shiftpoint i was stupid back then ) and when our house burned to the ground, it was parked in the driveway. no damage but interiour had all kinds of ash in it and stained anyware i rubed it in. plus it smealed of smoke. but, except oil, it was running just as strong as it was brand new.
my dad also had 2 previous civics one beeing a cvcc with almost 300,000 and the second with 254,000