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P3PPY Dork
9/15/21 10:46 p.m.

And any particular version? Heading to TN this weekend, sure would like to get something without cancer.


Audi B6 A4 1.8T

Volvo XC70

Jaguar X Type 2.5/3.0 manual only

Tk8398 HalfDork
9/15/21 10:53 p.m.

Those all sound like a disaster at $3k.  I couldn't find a decent XC70 for twice that.  I would say an EJ22/5 speed Subaru would be my choice for that cheap.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/15/21 10:56 p.m.

2nd gen Explorers, if you want full time AWD it's a 5.0 only option as I remember.


Last one I bought was $600 with 123k on it

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 11:32 p.m.

Suzuki SX4 

P3PPY Dork
9/15/21 11:41 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

Suzuki SX4 

Yes those too. Only one I’ve found -only the hatchbacks had AWD and not even all of them

P3PPY Dork
9/16/21 6:20 a.m.

I looked into those Subarus and didn't find anything that wasn't sketchy. So let's say that of my list, it was between these and the Suzuki above (can't find a Jag, can't bring myself to trust any of the Audis I see, 2nd gen Explorers are too told)

2005 xc70 auto 166k engine, 266k all else, guy has had 10 volvos and loves them

2007 Outback 2.5 192k manual - okay pretty much not this one since upcoming maintenance and ticking time bomb head gasket but still I'm kinda interested

2009 Outback wagon 2.5 stick, 170k timing and head gaskets done at 140k


guy with the SX4 says:

" A spot on the exhaust needs hooked back up where a weld separated, needs a ac line to have ac, and the driver side axle seal has a leak so trans fluid need checked from time to time. but with how it's made the pan always has enough fluid to keep it good."


AND if all of these are too bad off, I can wait. I have up to a month to wait. 

KyAllroad UltimaDork
9/16/21 6:38 a.m.

The Jag.  It's basically a tarted up Ford Contour.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/16/21 7:08 a.m.

It's hot in TN. No AC makes any car a cheap car. The $3k is too expensive in a TN market. 

I'm not saying to avoid the Suzuki, just drive the price down. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/16/21 7:12 a.m.

What part of TN are you headed to? 

XC90 w/ V8


Acura RL awd

dculberson (Forum Supporter)
dculberson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/21 8:43 a.m.

Ford Taurus X. There are FWD models but the AWD models are common and they're just about worthless. I sold a near perfect one without a ton of miles on it for $2500 a couple years ago. Reliable enough, quick enough, comfortable, and safe. No they're not sexy like an A4 but I bet it'll last twice as long and cost you 1/4 as much to keep it on the road. It shares a platform with a Volvo (S80 I think?) and it feels like it. Solid, smooth, handles decently for a big wagon/SUV like object.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
9/16/21 8:54 a.m.

This is a crazy time to buy any car. Might want to wait until things settle down a bit.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/16/21 1:54 p.m.

I'd look for a Subaru RS or outback (GD chassis).  If you are super patient, 3k is probably doable.

ProDarwin MegaDork
9/16/21 2:10 p.m.
Tim Suddard said:

This is a crazy time to buy any car. Might want to wait until things settle down a bit.

At the same time, its been a crazy time to buy a car for a year and a half.  Who knows how long it will keep going.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/16/21 2:17 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Yeah, I think about that too.  Sure, some guy recently paid $8k for a car that was worth $5k pre-covid.  It's not like that guy who bought it for $8k is gonna want to let it go in 2 years for a pre-covid price.  Hes still gonna hold out for a sale price that is a reasonable delta from his purchase price.  He might let that now older car go for $5k (bought for $8k...sell for $5k.)  

So, then in that sale that happens 2 years from now the price is $5k for what pre-covid should have been $3k.  

I think the high prices have been around too long to be easyly corrected.  



Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/16/21 2:20 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I like that Acura...

1988RedT2 MegaDork
9/16/21 3:34 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
Tim Suddard said:

This is a crazy time to buy any car. Might want to wait until things settle down a bit.

At the same time, its been a crazy time to buy a car for a year and a half.  Who knows how long it will keep going.

No joke.  At least a year ago, dealerships had new cars coming in to sell.  That is no longer the case as the chip shortage has shuttered production.  Gonna get worse before it gets better, guys.



Edit:  Around here $3k will buy you a non-running 15-year old vehicle with a dead engine.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
9/16/21 3:44 p.m.

That sounds like a $2k SX4 at best.  I have a good (not great) condition SX4 Sportback FWD car with about 150k miles on it and I would be happy to get $3k for it if I were in a selling mood.

They're not bad cars but they're not exactly perfect either.

Tk8398 HalfDork
9/16/21 4:18 p.m.

I wouldn't buy a Subaru with the 2.5, the build quality is awful compared to the older ones.  A cheap XC70 is likely to have self converted to fwd and require $$$ to fix too.

P3PPY Dork
9/16/21 4:28 p.m.

I am a lot more comfortable with a 15 year old Acura than any of the other brands. I am going to see what I can come up with. I had no idea that they made an all wheel drive. What other kind of exciting news are you guys hiding from me??

buzzboy Dork
9/16/21 4:41 p.m.

Jeep XJ with SelecTrac

Jeep ZJ/WJ with QuadraDrive or QuadraTrac

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/16/21 4:48 p.m.

Infiniti in the late 2000's offered many of their cars in awd.  Might not be down to your price point but Infiniti depreciation is pretty strong.  Also be sure to search the keyword Infinity since many sellers do the typo.

Sedan samples are G35x, M45x, M35x.  The Infiniti suvs are all awd.  


Search "Isuzu"  The Rodeo can be good and is highly overlooked.  Caution, not all Rodeo suv are 4wd.  Many are rwd, especially down south.  


The Ford Five Hundred and later named Taurus offered awd but caution to bad cvt in those awds.  The '05-'07s were cvt mated to awd.  In '08 and newer it became a good 6 speed auto to the awd.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/16/21 4:55 p.m.

I would not buy any car that cheap from the south unless it was expressly understood that you were buying a starting point, not a finished product.


Every time I get to do a PPI on a car brought up from points south, it needs like $2-3k in work to pass emissions again, lots of weird hacky things in the maintenance regions.  I know the cars aren't all like that, but the list is impressive.



ProDarwin MegaDork
9/16/21 5:55 p.m.

As mentioned in other threads, you should be able to find an Escape/Tribute in that price range in decent mechanical condition.

P3PPY Dork
9/16/21 6:19 p.m.

Yeah I'm looking more car after all, and as far as emissions, MI doesn't have it so that's good. What is PPI though?

MrRobogoat (Forum Supporter)
MrRobogoat (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/17/21 1:46 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

PPI is usually Pre-Purchase Inspection as far as I know.

My vote is Subaru or Audi if you want real AWD in a car package, especially if you want a manual too. The Subaru's aren't too bad, a set of MLS headgaskets goes a long way with the NA EJ25s. The Outbacks are the same car from '05-'09, but they got a facelift and bonus side impact airbags in '08-'09. While they are a car, they definitely feel taller than the '00-'04 years, and are going to drive very differently than an Audi. An Impreza 2.5RS or '06-'07 2.5i is worth keeping an eye out for as well (The '06-'07 Impreza 2.5i is the preferred car for O'Neil's rally school, need I say more?).

For the B6 A4, oil specifications and change interval are important, as is the timing belt. Get an '04-'05 if you can, they have the 6 speed (nothing wrong with the 5 speed, the extra gear just makes highway driving nicer). I also wouldn't rule out the V6, the timing belt changes are more annoying, but with no turbo it has less going on than the 1.8T (on the other hand, the 1.8T won a bunch of engine design awards; the V6 did not). Do make sure it's actually the AWD version -- B6s could be had in a FWD trim (rare, but more likely down south than up here in the northeast).

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