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JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
2/3/13 10:18 p.m.

I would avoid the Astra.
Was not around long enough to be fully supported by the aftermarket.
Was not popular enough to fill junkyards.

What about a Kia Spectra 5 ? '06-'09

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
2/3/13 10:25 p.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Spectra 5, I looked those over a few years ago. Didn't care for it then.

06HHR
06HHR Reader
2/3/13 10:47 p.m.

In reply to neon4891:

I was going to suggest an HHR, but was not sure of your level of GM hate. If you can get past the styling, the hot ticket would be an SS model with a 5 speed. Maybe hard to find in your price range though, and 5 speed LS or LT models are as rare as hens teeth. But as you stated, delta platform goodness, very reliable and upgrades only a wrecked Ion Red Line or Cobalt SS away. I loved mine, but it didn't have a 6 foot bed and couldn't tow 5000 lbs, I needed a truck so she had to go. If you could find a 2.4 with a manual, it would go for under 10K easy, worst feature (or best feature) was the heavily plasticized interior, but it was very easy to clean, and a lot of room, even though the interior is fairly narrow because of the retro styling.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
2/4/13 4:36 p.m.

I have yet to drive an HHR, but have spent some time in one belonging to a friend. I haven't crossed it off my list, it's just not very high.

Onetrillionrpm
Onetrillionrpm New Reader
2/5/13 9:15 a.m.

4 door svt focus is an amazing car.

I like the 2zz vibe as well. Look into cryo "lift bolts" if one is in your future.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim PowerDork
2/5/13 9:20 a.m.
neon4891 wrote: I have yet to drive an HHR, but have spent some time in one belonging to a friend. I haven't crossed it off my list, it's just not very high.

I had one as a rental a year or so ago. We liked the styling but the rest was somewhere between Meh and InstantlyForgettable.

tuna55
tuna55 UberDork
2/5/13 9:24 a.m.

I know it's ugly, but I am telling you, you are describing a Neon hatchback perfectly:

shelbyz
shelbyz New Reader
2/5/13 9:26 a.m.

I actually came close to buying an HHR SS. I liked it better than the 1G Mazdaspeed 3 and the Caliber SRT4, and yes I test drove all 3. The HHR was absolutely cavernous with the back seats down.

What stopped me was the price. Couldn't justify paying into the mid teens for a GM economy car. I learned my lesson with my ION Redline. Plus, I've been hearing all of this crap about how the LNF motor makes some sort of gunk that causes it to burn oil.

I also like the above idea. PT GT's are dirt cheap.

Klayfish
Klayfish Dork
2/5/13 9:32 a.m.

May not be a cool image car, but what about the Kia Rondo? Reliable, good on gas, plenty of cargo room. Can pick up a really nice low mileage one for $10k. My wife and I looked hard at them a few months back.

tuna55
tuna55 UberDork
2/5/13 9:36 a.m.
shelbyz wrote: I also like the above idea. PT GT's are dirt cheap.

And they're very reliable, have four adult seats which can be removed, have a decent cargo area behind them which turns into a van when removed (I slept in mine many times). Ugly, weird, sure, but functional and nice.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
2/5/13 6:13 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: I know it's ugly, but I am telling you, you are describing a Neon hatchback perfectly:

Local Roush dealer has this at $6900.

So tempting, as in buy it the day my tax return gets in, and would be great for a summer cruise out in coastal New England.

Vigo
Vigo UltraDork
2/5/13 10:46 p.m.

Wait, why is that tempting? Thats like 3000 more than it's worth (in my opinion as a chrysler-loving professional tech who buys and sells a lot of cars).. Im sure plenty of people would argue that but im completely serious.

Honestly, i'd way rather have a Rondo than a Pt Cruiser if it's staying anywhere close to stock.

tuna55
tuna55 UberDork
2/6/13 9:12 a.m.
Vigo wrote: Wait, why is that tempting? Thats like 3000 more than it's worth (in my opinion as a chrysler-loving professional tech who buys and sells a lot of cars).. Im sure plenty of people would argue that but im completely serious. Honestly, i'd way rather have a Rondo than a Pt Cruiser if it's staying anywhere close to stock.

You can get the Cruiser stock with a turbocharger and/or a manual transmission.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
2/28/13 9:02 p.m.

So far a PT has been my #1 pick if it had to happen now(taurus is 2). BUT, changes in priorities and needs have bumped up a last gen Accent hatch. Now to try to see how soon I can get one.

Vigo
Vigo UltraDork
2/28/13 10:15 p.m.
You can get the Cruiser stock with a turbocharger and/or a manual transmission.

True, but part of my reasoning is i dont like to own cars i hate to work on. I dont like the PT engine bay. I DO like the hyundai 2.7 fairly well and i imagine the Rondo engine bay is fairly easy.

The rondo with a hypothetical manual would actually be something i would REALLY want to test drive and see how much i liked it.

tuna55
tuna55 UberDork
2/28/13 10:47 p.m.
Vigo wrote:
You can get the Cruiser stock with a turbocharger and/or a manual transmission.
True, but part of my reasoning is i dont like to own cars i hate to work on. I dont like the PT engine bay. I DO like the hyundai 2.7 fairly well and i imagine the Rondo engine bay is fairly easy. The rondo with a hypothetical manual would actually be something i would REALLY want to test drive and see how much i liked it.

I gotcha, but I'll be honest and say that I did the motor mounts, control arm bushings, timing belt, spark plugs (which required removing the intake manifold) and the like and honestly it wasn't that bad.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
3/3/13 9:45 a.m.

As I said, an accent is current top of the list, but it looks like a 2010 sonata has become an option. I like the looks, but how good was that gen sonata, and the 7th gen accord is what I'll be comparing it to.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
3/3/13 9:54 a.m.

The sonata is a 2.4/5speed. And beige/ gold

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
3/5/13 9:41 a.m.

A budget buster option has arisen. Shiny new 2013 'zuki SX4 crossover/tech pack. AWD, fully loaded(even GPS) MSRP $20k+ listed at $15K.

I know new will be better financing terms than used. Should I expect it being an orphan car to be an issue in a few years? Should I run away screaming?

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
3/17/13 11:29 a.m.

The search has stepped up a notch. I blew out a brake line, one of the long front-rear lines. Odds are I this is it for the car.

In town I found an '01 A4 Golf 5 door, 2.0/5spd, 98k miles, rust free Florida car, $4k. Run away?

tuna55
tuna55 UberDork
3/17/13 11:51 a.m.
neon4891 wrote: The search has stepped up a notch. I blew out a brake line, one of the long front-rear lines. Odds are I this is it for the car. In town I found an '01 A4 Golf 5 door, 2.0/5spd, 98k miles, rust free Florida car, $4k. Run away?

Never owned one, but internet lore says to. I ran because of said lore. have you checked truedelta? Briefly checked it and it looks similar to my car, honestly.

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