fromeast2west Reader
9/16/15 6:37 p.m.

I've got a friend who just got out of the USMC (and into a divorce, but that's another story). He's just getting his feet on the ground and taking classes toward an IT degree - and he needs a car.

Cheap is the key here, probably almost cheaper than grassroots cheap if you can imagine that. Reliability is good, and gas milage shouldn't be terrible. It shouldn't be too tiny, since the guy is about 6'3", and he's got two kids he has to haul around once in a while.

I was thinking a 2WD Cherokee with the 4.0, since they used to be dirt common, dirt cheap, and dirt easy to work on ... but all I seem to be able to see on CL are lifted and abused, or AWD with the 8 Cly and all the luxury gizmos that tend to break.

So what's the new cheap ute? Have the Ridgelines been forgotten yet, or the little cubes by Scion and Nissan been around long enough?

For folks bored enough to want to practice their CL-foo he's in the WA state Tri-City area.


madmallard Dork
9/16/15 8:32 p.m.

I know the cubes to be surprisingly good for leg room...

nepa03focus HalfDork
9/16/15 8:43 p.m.

I remember reading about people getting 2wd 4 cyl saturn vues for cheap. Also maybe an escape? No experience with either but should get good gas mileage, enough room,...

Appleseed MegaDork
9/16/15 11:43 p.m.


Kia_Racer Dork
9/17/15 3:55 a.m.

What about a Spectra5. I am 6'2" and I had plenty of room. Sporty,fun, plenty of room for kids and stuff.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/17/15 5:54 a.m.

Here is my in depth primer on Saturn Vue.

I have owned this $2400 Ute for two years and nearly 100k miles (now at 230k)
I truly expect it will go to 300k.

Search for '04-'07 with 4cyl and manual trans.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
9/17/15 6:01 a.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Here is my in depth primer on Saturn Vue. I have owned this $2400 Ute for two years and nearly 100k miles (now at 230k) I truly expect it will go to 300k. Search for '04-'07 with 4cyl and manual trans.

That one had the Honda V6 in it didn't it?

Klayfish UltraDork
9/17/15 6:21 a.m.

Is he looking for an SUV/big wagon thing? If so, several choices out there. Vue wouldn't be bad and can be had cheap. My current DD is a Chevy HHR. I'm very pleased with it, I carry my kids around all the time in it.

If he's not, I'd go with Corolla/Civic/Accord. If you need cheap reliable transportation, they're hard to beat.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/17/15 7:15 a.m.

In reply to Flight Service:

Yes The Vue of '04-'07 offered a Honda 3.5L shared with the Odyssey but it also shared the auto trans troubles of the early Odyssey.

EvanR Dork
9/17/15 1:52 p.m.
fromeast2west wrote: the little cubes by Scion and Nissan been around long enough?

I have a 1g Scion xB. I'm 5'10", and there's a solid 8" of free air over my head. Unfortunately, they have a bit of a cult status and prices remain well north of Grassroots figures.

That's good for me as a seller, but not so good for your friend. 140k examples list on CL for $6500. I'd be more than happy to get that for my sub-100k mile car. But that means I have to actually get off my butt and sell it.

92dxman Dork
9/17/15 3:59 p.m.

What about a Jeep Patriot?

Grizz UltraDork
9/17/15 4:04 p.m.

In reply to 92dxman:

He said cheap.

The0retical Dork
9/17/15 9:59 p.m.

The 4 cylinder 2.2L Vue can be had with a manual transmission cheap. Mine returned 26 to 28 mpg in mixed driving. The thing was nearly bulletproof and even at around 180k miles when I got rid of it. Parts are cheap and its actually very easy to work on.

First gen Mazda 3s have depreciated pretty far. You might be able to get a hatch with a 2.3L for around 3k depending where you're at. Just watch for rust on the first gens.

The0retical Dork
9/17/15 10:22 p.m.

2700 dollar Rav4 no mention of milage.

3500 dollar Vue 175k miles.

2300 dollar Volvo 960 that oddly appears to have all its clearcoat

2500 dollar clean looking Volvo V70. 210000 on the odometer

Also nice looking $1995 Volvo 760 turbo brick.

Great now I'm hunting for Volvo wagons too.

fromeast2west Reader
9/18/15 12:27 a.m.

Thanks for all the help folks. I've got him looking at a coulpe of Vue's in his area, and with a bit of work we'll get him an option other than his Triumph before the winter weather hits.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/18/15 5:50 a.m.

If he is looking at the Vue, let's be very clear that any Vue with a 4cyl and automatic transmission from years '02-'05 should be completely avoided!!!
These years have a CVT trans that WILL FAIL.' 06 & '07 got a traditional 4 speed auto which is good.

When it comes to Vues and good deals I only recommend' 04-'07 4 cyl and manual trans.

gearheadmb Reader
9/18/15 7:42 a.m.

Chevy blazers are cheap as you can get. Also any car gm built with a 3800 series 2 if he is considering cars. Find one that an old person has had since new.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/18/15 10:51 a.m.

Here's a lead to a good Vue in the PNW.

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