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Old 04-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #1
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Question on alternate vehicle

Long story short. My job is moving to our horrible downtown area. Roughly 1 hour from my house in stop and go traffic, and about 30 miles each way.

I am looking for a beater car (Ability to add miles/Not worry about where I park/Dings in tight parking/Keep crap commuter miles off my JK.)

I am looking at the years roughly 2000-2005, would you get a Civic or a Jetta, or maybe even a Corolla? I guess, all the ones I am finding are 100K-120K miles, just wondering what I would be better off buying in that mileage and age group.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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Civic for sure; Jetta definitely. Corolla would be ok too.

I've seen the most reliability out of the former two, and I used to own a Civic. Great gas mileage, cheap to maintain, etc

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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Civic for sure; Jetta definitely. Corolla would be ok too.

I've seen the most reliability out of the former two, and I used to own a Civic. Great gas mileage, cheap to maintain, etc
Hey Chris, thanks for the backup, I kinda had my mind in that order then. I know there would be no short supply for Civic parts, was just curious on the Jetta, I do hear they have their issues, but a tad more luxury
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
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IMO (hate to admit it) I would probably get a civic.....another option would be a well cared for grand am, or early focus? I know they both get decent gas milage and lots of "parts" since they made so many.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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don't do a jetta unless it's a 2.0T. the n/a from those years are pretty crap. and even then, the turbo's in VW burn oil like they burn gas almost. those FSI engines are not the greatest, but the TFSI's in the 08 + models were greatly improved. long commutes will destroy that. you would be way better off getting a civic or corolla. those are made to commute and get better gas mileage.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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VW is garbage! I can honestly say that after owning a 1999 Beetle and a 1999 Jetta. Take a look at their reliability numbers... there's a reason the vehicles are so cheap!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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Awesome, civic it is!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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Whenever I buy a beater it's always a Civic. My most recent was a 1993 with over 200K miles on it. I drove it for for 13,000 miles (almost 2 Winters) and never spent a dime on it, other than one oil change. I just sold it because the Wrangler is now my Winter beater.

Not sure if it applies to the later models but with the up to 95 generation it was quite common for the timing belt to go around 100K miles.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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I just want something that will not kill my warranty sooner than it should be, get good mpg, have the mentality of not worried about where park, if something breaks, I could most of time have it fixed that day, etc... I was also looking for 4 door to cure the limited room the JK provides. Funny thing is, people with Jettas think electrical problems are normal for cars...eek
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #10
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I just want something that will not kill my warranty sooner than it should be, get good mpg, have the mentality of not worried about where park, if something breaks, I could most of time have it fixed that day, etc... I was also looking for 4 door to cure the limited room the JK provides. Funny thing is, people with Jettas think electrical problems are normal for cars...eek
Average 33 MPG city lol.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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Funny thing is people with Jettas think electrical problems are normal for cars...eek
Hahaa! I wanted to say the only car with a worse electrical system was the Lucas system in my Austin Healey.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:08 PM   #12
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Hey Chris, thanks for the backup, I kinda had my mind in that order then. I know there would be no short supply for Civic parts, was just curious on the Jetta, I do hear they have their issues, but a tad more luxury
Jettas are pretty expensive to maintain. A few friends have them and when they work, they work great. But when they break.... Good luck.

If you could find a diesel Jetta though....
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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My alternate is a 2003 Civic. 230K miles and still going strong.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
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Can't go wrong with a Civic. I have an '06 with 106K I just picked up in in FEB for my commuter ride. You will love the 12 gallon tank and 34mpg. Those engines the Civic's have must be kindred spirits to the old in line 6s from yesteryear ... you can do anything short of putting a bullet in it and it will still hit 200K. I hope my Penistar proves to be made from the same fiber.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #15
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Can't go wrong with a Civic. I have an '06 with 106K I just picked up in in FEB for my commuter ride. You will love the 12 gallon tank and 34mpg. Those engines the Civic's have must be kindred spirits to the old in line 6s from yesteryear ... you can do anything short of putting a bullet in it and it will still hit 200K. I hope my Penistar proves to be made from the same fiber.
Yup mine was a 4 banger with only 120HP but it worked. Though I hated it because people would always hit it....
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #16
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good choice for your commuter. I think you'll be very happy to buy asian instead of german in this case when you're looking for very cheap and reliable.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:14 PM   #17
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My sisters 2000 passat is pushing 160k. All we have done is 1 clutch a timing belt and oil changes. I know the passat is a little different but still the same engine and transmission

If that's VW unreliability well then I'm ok with that

VW are very finicky with the gas you put into them. I know 2 of our close friends had the same turbo passat we did and because they used regular gas when it called for super, both had blown heads and cracked blocks by 80k. These are old ladies too so there was no racing done. Flip side is that my friends parents also have the same passat and both are over 200k. As long as you can find one well cared for I think the jetta passat or golf is a better option. I just like the VW riding, speed, handling, and comfort. VW/Audi has been winning awards for the best seats for years
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:45 PM   #18
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I would go with a Jetta out of those 3. You couldn't pay me enough money to drive a civic.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #19
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older focus is good too. I ran mine to 190000 before trading it. The engine (2.0 ztech) and trans (5 sp getrag) were fine. It needed struts and brakes. No oil burning.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #20
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I would go with a Jetta out of those 3. You couldn't pay me enough money to drive a civic.
lol....beater wars
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:01 AM   #21
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I just feel the vw will require the same treatment, maintenance, babying (i know will have issues) as the jeep will I'm the future. Trying to avoid that.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:03 AM   #22
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Just buy a TJ! LOL You can bang on it and not worry about it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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I just feel the vw will require the same treatment, maintenance, babying (i know will have issues) as the jeep will I'm the future. Trying to avoid that.
There's a video somewhere of a Civic in a junkyard. They get it running and put a brick on the accelerator. It runs all out for like 20-30 minutes before it dies.

A guy I work with has an old VW Golf and does nothing but spend money on it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:41 AM   #24
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Civic, Corolla, Jetta in that order of preference. Just make sure you get crappy steel wheels. If you get alloys, you'll find your car on it's belly. I see dozens of reports each day of stolen wheels.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:49 AM   #25
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Yeah civic or corolla. Accord or camry if you need fourths doors. That said my "beater" car is an '06 G35x since its tough to get by without awd where I live. Though this winter (or lack thereof) has me rethinking that.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:54 AM   #26
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Yeah civic or corolla. Accord or camry if you need fourths doors. That said my "beater" car is an '06 G35x since its tough to get by without awd where I live. Though this winter (or lack thereof) has me rethinking that.
And oh yeah. Vw/audi is absolute GARBAGE.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:48 AM   #27
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look for an old vw tdi. my buddy picked up one cheap, its a peice of junk, but it still does 45 mpg and runs, so who cares! any old car will have a chance of crapping out on you, just make sure you get it checked out first by a mechanic!
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:05 AM   #28
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May want to look at a few year old Hyundai too.. or a 2001-2003 Ford Focus. Should be able to get either of those for under $4000 and get 30+ MPG.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:50 AM   #29
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I have a 99 Civic 2-door stick shift as my commuter car and it is terrific. I get 39 mpg in the summer. It has 210,000 miles with virtually no problems. I can not speak highly enough about older Hondas, they are really THAT good!
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #30
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I have a 99 Civic 2-door stick shift as my commuter car and it is terrific. I get 39 mpg in the summer. It has 210,000 miles with virtually no problems. I can not speak highly enough about older Hondas, they are really THAT good!
That's what we bought my son for his first car, except its an auto. Unfortunately, looks like I'm gonna have to sell it and get him something different before he even turns 16. The sun roof really cuts into the head room and he just won't stop growing. 6'1" now and he just can't get comfortable in it.

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