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      07-24-2020, 03:08 PM   #287
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“Beater” recommendations?

Hey guys,

Iím considering picking up a beater.

Iíd like to stay under $10k
Will use 5-7500 miles / yr
Awd (or snow capability) is a must
Possibly in 4 yrs I could pass down to my son when he gets his license but not a primary consideration
Must have heated seats and satellite


Iíve been looking at older 3 series sedans.

Any other suggestions?
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      07-24-2020, 03:15 PM   #288
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I personally went with a 2000 Buick century. Reason being the one I found was $1400 and it was a 2 owner with 74k miles clean title no accidents. Besides replacing the radiator, nothing else needed to be fixed. I put 11k miles in the last year and lowered my monthly insurance for both cars by $130 a month making it my primary car. It’s basically paying for itself and sparing the M4

There are many nicer dd’s to be had but I wanted value and reliability/ along with safety and good gas mileage.
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      07-24-2020, 03:42 PM   #289
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Previously I had an 08 Acura TSX and currently I have a 14 Mazda 3 sGT (hatchback) and both handle admirably in snow with dedicated shoes. On both vehicles, in order to improve handling, I switched out their rear sway bars with meatier aftermarket ones.

Both cars have heated seats and SiriusXM if you get ones that optioned them out.
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      07-24-2020, 03:53 PM   #290
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I bought an '02 325ix for my daughter. Maintenance was too high at about $1k per year for various things, mostly leaky gaskets. Probably not my most shining decision, but it was a blast to drive and she never got stuck in the snow.

I recently bought a 328i e91 for $6k. I spent about $4k on leaks, AC rebuild (evaporator) and hatch wiring loom. Working like a champ now.
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      07-24-2020, 03:57 PM   #291
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Subaru Crosstrek
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      07-24-2020, 04:09 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitekidM2C View Post
Subaru Crosstrek
+1
Any old subaru would be the first cars I look into.
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      07-24-2020, 04:24 PM   #293
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Legacy GT, Audi S4, A3 come to mind for now...
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      07-24-2020, 04:24 PM   #294
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Left field. 9-3 wagon. Can be had for a song but at least look different and the drivetrain is pretty dang reliable. Not corolla reliability but better than most people would expect for sure. Cheap as chips for the car you get back.
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      07-24-2020, 05:31 PM   #295
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When I think of beaters I think of reliable cars, and for that, I would say stay away from any old BMW or German car, especially performance versions like the 335, S4, etc. I bought my son an 05 X3 and even with one owner and constant dealer care and maintenance, she gave us all the receipts and it was expensive to keep that car running, and she didn't even drive that much, and its currently in the shop due to oil flooding out of it and will likely cost over $1k to fix for what will likely be a simple part but with a labor intensive repair.

I'd stick with a reliable brand like Toyota or Honda and their luxury divisions (later Honda models are better though, the old 5AT is s***). A 2nd Gen TSX/8th Gen Accord, Toyota Camry/Avalon/Rav, 4th Gen Infiniti G35, 3rd Gen Mazda 3/6 or CX-5 are my recommendations. Even without AWD, winter tires can do the job well.
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Last edited by stein_325i; 07-24-2020 at 05:36 PM..
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      07-24-2020, 05:37 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Left field. 9-3 wagon. Can be had for a song but at least look different and the drivetrain is pretty dang reliable. Not corolla reliability but better than most people would expect for sure. Cheap as chips for the car you get back.
Great car, only issue is may be hard to find in good condition and parts aren't cheap, but definitely fills all the criteria.
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      07-24-2020, 05:39 PM   #297
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If you're confident in your manliness, what about a Honda Ridgeline? They're stupidly cheap and who couldn't use a truck?
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      07-24-2020, 05:44 PM   #298
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My ford expedition would fit the bill perfectly extremely reliable too.
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      07-24-2020, 05:46 PM   #299
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have you driven a fwd with snows on it ? I'd vote something from Toyota/Honda. Avoid the germans. Subaru wouldn't be a bad choice either.

I've had nothing but all seasons (Michelin AS3 and Michelin Crossclimates) for my beaters for the last 5 years here in Missouri. Scion FRS, 335i, Honda civic all made the 35 mile trek to work without any issues. I was passing SUVs and trucks easily
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      07-24-2020, 10:39 PM   #300
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Ridgeline cheap? Really? Gee up here they hold value like crazy but canadians love Honda.
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      07-25-2020, 10:34 AM   #301
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Ridgeline cheap? Really? Gee up here they hold value like crazy but canadians love Honda.
Yeah, Texans aren't touching a Honda pickup. Plenty of cheap ones down here.
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      07-25-2020, 10:43 AM   #302
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Besides a Subaru I wouldn't touch a used awd car in that price range.. (yes, an old Audi would be a horrible choice)
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      07-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #303
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Just get a E90 328xi. Or a 328i with a set of winter tires.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission. "Yeah, but NO ONE puts an automatic trans shift knob on a manual transmission."
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      07-25-2020, 10:59 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Just get a E90 328xi. Or a 328i with a set of winter tires.
He's gonna exceed 10k in repairs alone.
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      07-25-2020, 11:03 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstein55 View Post
He's gonna exceed 10k in repairs alone.
I doubt it.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission. "Yeah, but NO ONE puts an automatic trans shift knob on a manual transmission."
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      07-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstein55 View Post
He's gonna exceed 10k in repairs alone.
I doubt it.
Okay I was exaggerating (although not by much), but for a beater car reliability is definitely something of importance and any old BMW doesn't have great reliability. I say this as 10-year + owner of an E46, E36, E90 and an E83 X3 currently in the shop. They're just too expensive to maintain to be a "beater", previous owner of my son's E83 put $15k into maintenance for 5-years and even still right now its getting a $1k repair for what is a simple $100 part.
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      07-25-2020, 11:15 AM   #307
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I'm looking for something similar, but with light off road capability. My budget is even lower than 10K. Why not a used 03-09 Toyota 4runner V6 or V8, they are reliable, hold value well and looks half decent. Also, you can look at Acura MDX might even find 08+ model in your range, perhaps Honda Pilot or Ridgeline.

As for older Subaru's I would avoid them as they all pretty much had head gasket issues till like 2011 or so, and to fix requires taking out an engine, so a pretty expensive repair. And anyone suggesting Crosstrek, have you driven it? I did drive one recently and it is completely gutless (no power) and pretty small inside.

Last, older 3 series might be ok if you diy, and avoid turbo models if you want more reliable. One of my most reliable cars was 2000 BMW 323Ci manual E46
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      07-25-2020, 02:16 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstein55 View Post
Okay I was exaggerating (although not by much), but for a beater car reliability is definitely something of importance and any old BMW doesn't have great reliability. I say this as 10-year + owner of an E46, E36, E90 and an E83 X3 currently in the shop. They're just too expensive to maintain to be a "beater", previous owner of my son's E83 put $15k into maintenance for 5-years and even still right now its getting a $1k repair for what is a simple $100 part.
I disagree with you, a lightly optioned, manual trans, non-turbo BMW 3-series is a very reliable car based on my experience. I have four BMWs right now, and a fifth was a 1989 E30 325i bought new kept for 18 years and 257,000 miles. All in all I've driven 930,000 or so miles on the five. Now I do DIY everything except alignments, tires, and AC, granted, but old 3-series BMWs are very reliable. At 250,000+ I was still daily driving my E90 a minimum of 800 miles a week (165 a day); I still drive it 2 days a week. I rotate basically between 3 cars during the week. My Experience spans across the E30, E36, E46, and E90 platforms.

OP, if you don't need a 4-seater, and like to drive, get an E86 Z4 3.0si Coupe. You can find them for $12K. Best build quality I've seen from BMW.

Life is too short to sit your ass in a POS Japanese econobox and think you'll have great reliability.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission. "Yeah, but NO ONE puts an automatic trans shift knob on a manual transmission."

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 07-25-2020 at 02:32 PM..
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