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Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: topside] #3008613
01/24/22 07:17 PM
01/24/22 07:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,538
Benton, IL.
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DaveRS23 Offline
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Benton, IL.
Originally Posted by topside
I have 303,000 on my '96 Breeze, and it's been as bulletproof as can be.
2.0L stick car, mid-30s MPG.
Been a nice commuter, even in big snowfall with winter tires.
More solid than the Japanese stuff of the same era.
I would think the later generation Stratus/Cirrus would be just as good.
That may be too old for the OP's buddy, though.


The 2.0L 5 speed Breeze was a major sleeper that didn't appear on most folk's radar. Great little car that rode good, had plenty of room, was dependable, and would consistently get mid 30s for mileage. We sold several of them and my son drove a high mileage one to work for a couple of years. Although recommended earlier in this thread, the new Darts have hit and miss for us. They would not make our recommended list. The 4 banger Fusion has been a good car for us, but to be honest, we haven't had any experience with higher mileage ones. Stay away from most anything with the GM 1.4 turbo in it. Lots and lots of problems. The NA engines seem to do better. Nissan has had more than it's share of tranny problems with the CV stuff. We won't buy them unless they are very low mileage. Honda is a good car, but they are expensive to buy and to repair. And has been mentioned before, nothing European.


KOS
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: larrymopar360] #3008618
01/24/22 07:25 PM
01/24/22 07:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 8,159
Crook County, ILL
Mastershake340 Offline
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Originally Posted by larrymopar360
I agree Civic maybe not a hybrid though. Older ones won't be anyway. Corolla too. And as Not a Charger mentioned Ford Focus were good but not pre-'03 (I believe) because they had a lot of issues.

It was something like 2012 until I’m not sure when the Focus had big problems with the automatic transmission.
I had a 2008 Focus I bought with 20K miles in 2010 and put a little over 50K on before trading it in. Most inexpensive car to operate I’ve ever owned. Consistent 35 mpg, oil changes, new front brakes, a leaky tire valve, maybe wiper blades, that’s it. I felt guilty trading it in on a new Dart in 2014 as it had treated me so well. But I wanted a few more frills, and a heater and defroster that didn’t take 15 minutes to warm up on bitter cold mornings. Still have the Dart and it’s treated me well too.

Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: Kidsixpack] #3008627
01/24/22 07:54 PM
01/24/22 07:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,584
WI
Dcuda69 Offline
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WI
Originally Posted by Kidsixpack
Ford Fusion is the most dependable bang for the buck and cheaper than most other econo boxes to insure!
KID


My wife drives a '14 Fusion Titanium..2.0 turbo. Not really sure I'd call that model an econo box, it's pretty well loaded. Very comfortable and fun car to drive....handles like a go kart and has enough power to not be afraid when merging onto the freeway. 50K on it...rear brakes,tires, a battery and oil changes. I'll have to pry wife's hands off of it when it's time....she absolutely LOVES the car!

Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: Dcuda69] #3008922
01/25/22 05:45 PM
01/25/22 05:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,529
The Historic Hudson Valley
MONC Offline
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Posts: 3,529
The Historic Hudson Valley
Geo Prizm , if you can find one. Had a Toyota engine, got over 300K miles on it, and I sold it ! Was still getting almost 40mpg .
Agree with Civic. then likely a toyota , depending on year.
Problem is , prices are crazy even for used econo boxes.


Mopar
Or
No
Car
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: 340SIX] #3008924
01/25/22 05:47 PM
01/25/22 05:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,529
The Historic Hudson Valley
MONC Offline
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MONC  Offline
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The Historic Hudson Valley
Originally Posted by 340SIX
Originally Posted by 2boltmain
I believe no one has asked thus far. What is the price range?

Come on.
He's Mopar guy and member of Moparts.com he is cheap.
So low price should be assumed.


Ha. Yeah Jimbo, tell us, I know what your definition of cheap is , but what about your coworkers... grin

Last edited by MONC; 01/25/22 05:47 PM.

Mopar
Or
No
Car
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: topside] #3008949
01/25/22 06:42 PM
01/25/22 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,997
Highland, MI.
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Posts: 7,997
Highland, MI.
Originally Posted by topside
I have 303,000 on my '96 Breeze, and it's been as bulletproof as can be.
2.0L stick car, mid-30s MPG.
Been a nice commuter, even in big snowfall with winter tires.
More solid than the Japanese stuff of the same era.
I would think the later generation Stratus/Cirrus would be just as good.
That may be too old for the OP's buddy, though.


I bought a new 95 Stratus for my wife back in the day - it had the 2.4L. Car was not good - we had it for maybe 6 years. Only a few months old, it needed a new steering rack. Other problems within 80,000 miles: needed a starter, the valve cover leaked oil into all the spark plug wells - I had to replace all the seals & that lasted only a short while before they started leaking again. Final straw was when the crank pulley & balancer started walking out & throwing the belt. The design of that part incorporated a rubber dampener that began to break down - CRAPPY design! In order to change that, you basically had to pull the motor. That was it - sold it. The front-end was garbage too. Light-duty tie-rod ends that went at about 60k. I'm amazed your Breeze has been a good car!


No Man With A Good Car Needs To Be Justified
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3009248
01/26/22 03:03 PM
01/26/22 03:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,394
Michigan
MarkZ Offline
Worthy
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Posts: 3,394
Michigan
2nd gen Ford Escape. I've owned my 2010 since new and it has been one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned. 2wd, 4 cylinder model. 130k on the clock. Very easy to reach everything under the hood since it was sized to accommodate a v6 and it sits high enough to get under it without have to drag out the jack and stands. All it has needed was a blower resister and a throttle body ($50 on Amazon).


1987 Fifth Avenue - 512/518/D60
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: MarkZ] #3009254
01/26/22 03:07 PM
01/26/22 03:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,207
Puttin' on the foil in Charles...
not_a_charger Online mad
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not_a_charger  Online Mad
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Posts: 18,207
Puttin' on the foil in Charles...
Rear wheelhouses, especially on the right side, have a tendency to rot out. The shock absorber goes right through it. Other than that, very durable. We used them for company cars for years. I drove the hell out of mine, zero issues. Mine was V6 AWD.


Earning every penny of that moderator paycheck.

DBAP
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: not_a_charger] #3009352
01/26/22 07:10 PM
01/26/22 07:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,486
Michigan
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oldjonny Offline
Don't argue with me.
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Posts: 4,486
Michigan
Watch the front suspension/engine cradle on any of the Escapes. They are known major sources of rot and when they go, they are gone. Not cheap to replace since you have to tear pretty much the whole suspension off to trade them out. All of the early generations have the issue and Michigan destroys them.


Never, ever argue with an IDIOT. They will drag you to their level and then beat you with their years of experience
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: MarkZ] #3009357
01/26/22 07:25 PM
01/26/22 07:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,801
N.E. OHIO, USA
A12 Offline
I Live Here
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N.E. OHIO, USA
Originally Posted by MarkZ
2nd gen Ford Escape. I've owned my 2010 since new and it has been one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned. 2wd, 4 cylinder model. 130k on the clock. Very easy to reach everything under the hood since it was sized to accommodate a v6 and it sits high enough to get under it without have to drag out the jack and stands. All it has needed was a blower resister and a throttle body ($50 on Amazon).


That's a good choice around the Cleveland, Ohio area with several Ford plants and plenty of A and Z plan (as they used to be called?) employee pricing. Lots of them and not too many miles on a nice used one. Almost be worth doing a search in this area, take a bus trip and drive one home. The other is to do a search around other brand manufacturing plants for similar high turn in/over employee pricing vehicles and the bus trip wink I know that in the Toledo area if you're looking for a nice used Jeep product that's the place to look. Lot's of claims of "employee pricing for EVERYONE" at least on new models, so there's lots of traded in Jeeps there too.

(Syracuse used to have a Chrysler plant in the area, don't know if that's still the case?)

Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: A12] #3010085
01/28/22 07:49 PM
01/28/22 07:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,664
ILLINOIS
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volaredon Offline
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Posts: 1,664
ILLINOIS
I'll stick to my Dakotas for that duty, thanks. can still find decent 87-96s, I had a 99 for a while/ , it did the job but I never liked that truck as well as the earlier ones. have had my 96 4wd for 5 years now, at 238k shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. and you absolutely cannot beat a 318. 70 miles a day for work, every day.

Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: volaredon] #3010109
01/28/22 09:22 PM
01/28/22 09:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,505
Arlington, Texas
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bobby66 Offline
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Arlington, Texas
Originally Posted by volaredon
I'll stick to my Dakotas for that duty, thanks. can still find decent 87-96s, I had a 99 for a while/ , it did the job but I never liked that truck as well as the earlier ones. have had my 96 4wd for 5 years now, at 238k shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. and you absolutely cannot beat a 318. 70 miles a day for work, every day.


My 2002 Dakota Sport will hit 250,000 later this week. My daily driver since new. Best money I ever spent on a vehicle. up


B
Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: bobby66] #3010114
01/28/22 09:48 PM
01/28/22 09:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,416
S.E.Ohio
Magnumguy Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,416
S.E.Ohio
3 2nd gen Dak's, all over 200,000 miles and still kicking ( or rolling ).

Also, Grand Caravans are great commuters, and can haul almost as much as a truck. I drive an '07 quite a bit.


"Multiple Magnum owner since 1978!!"


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Re: Cheap dependable commuter car. [Re: Magnumguy] #3010247
01/29/22 01:30 PM
01/29/22 01:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 15,752
north of coder
moparx Offline
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Posts: 15,752
north of coder
i'll second that on the caravans ! up
i have had complete drivetrains in mine, plus loaded to the ceiling from the front seats back with swap meet "stuff" more than a couple of times.
got 311k+ out of my 95 until the body fell off, and 201k out of my 2000 until the same fate occurred.
still use those "buses" for parts.
my current 99 is a rust free arizona vehicle i oil up before winter, so it should last me far longer than the other two. it only has 170k on it at present.
i won't be without one. even if i look like a "sock-her" mom. devil
beer

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