Looking for a cheap, reliable Euro..

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by LB4Life, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. LB4Life

    LB4Life I like bicycles

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2000
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Is there such a thing? I'm looking to spend between $4-5K. Need something reliable, and that gets around 25mpg. So far the only thing coming to mind is an MKIII Jetta or possibly a GTI. How reliable are the VR6 engines? Is there an older BMW or Volvo or other brand I should consider?
     
  2. CalSpeedRacer

    CalSpeedRacer i lurk

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,852
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    sf
    bmw e30 3-series
     
  3. Antrieb

    Antrieb New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    e30 definately. I've had 5 and they have all been great. Get a 1989 325is with no rust and over all very clean and a 5 speed. That is the most desireable year and version.
     
  4. LB4Life

    LB4Life I like bicycles

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2000
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I like E30's, but I'm looking for something that gets a little better mileage. Those are in the 18-22 range. I'm probably going to need to settle for a 4 cylinder to get the mileage I'm looking for.
     
  5. saabguy

    saabguy Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Messages:
    16,960
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Loserville. Population: 1
    plenty of good, reliable saab 900's or even some 9-3's in that range that would get you good gas mileage, and be a good car for the minnesota winters.

    plus, believe it or not there's a lot of little DIY mods you can do to really boost the hp. fun little turbo engines to tinker with.
     
  6. Antrieb

    Antrieb New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Then get an e30 318is from 1991. They get up in the 30mpg range.
     
  7. yo vanilla

    yo vanilla New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    appleton, wi
    alot of people are going to tell you tath vr6's are really maintenance extensive, blah, blah. they are not any different than any other engine i've owned (i am a stickler for maintenance too, btw, so please don't get the impression that i am saying "whatever it is doesn't really need to be done).

    they, like all engines, have their common problems. coilpacks tend to get hairline cracks in them, older ones might develop leaky thermostat housings (they are plastic), and you will hear some debate on wether or not you should replace the timing chains.

    the timing chains are said to need replacing around 100K miles. the chain guides, not the chains themselves, are the culprits. if the car has been properly oiled (meaning high quality oil and regular changes) the car probably won't have any timing chain problems for life. if the guide wears, it could break and let the chain slip off which would result in a crunched valvetrain.

    listen to the top of the engine at idle for a "marbles rattling in a can" sound. this is the sound that suggests you need to replace the chains. its a huge job btw.

    otherwise, it's a strong engine.
     
  8. Bassheadjazz03

    Bassheadjazz03 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    20,355
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    ATL
    I get 29mpgs on the freeway in my VR6 with 146k on the clock :hs:
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    A general guideline for Volkswagen engines:

    1.8t = for people who want to tune their car and make it more powerful.
    VR6 = for people who are tired of tuning and want a car that is already powerful.
    2.0 = for people who don't care about tuning or power.
    TDI = for people who want good mileage and don't mind scrubbing burned wax off their back bumper every week.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I get 32mpg on the freeway in my 1.8t, and that's in a 4200lb. Passat.

    Not competing, just adding more information.
     
  11. BeachBoy

    BeachBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    not many cheap and reliable euros... usually cheap = old and old = maintenance.
     
  12. Bassheadjazz03

    Bassheadjazz03 OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    20,355
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    ATL
    Since when did Passats weight 4200lb? The B5 (or B5.5) cant weight that much when my B4 only weighs 3050 :ugh:

    EDIT: B5 Passat weighs 3152
     
  13. saxman

    saxman Burninating the peasants

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    15,360
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Palmdale, Ca
    just picked up a 97 saab 900 for about half what you're talking... in great shape, fully loaded, i4 so decent gas milage, very reliable if it's been maintained.


    something worth looking in to
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd post a photo of my GVW sticker, if I had a digital camera. Since I don't, here's what it says:

    09/98 GVWR 4230 GAWR LBS FRONT 2320/REAR 2140

    Translated...

    Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (everything except humans and luggage): 4230lbs.
    Gross Axle Weight Rating FRONT (weight measured at the front axle): 2320lbs.
    Gross Axle Weight Rating REAR (weight measured at the rear axle): 2140lbs.

    The front and rear axle weights, added together, equal more than the overall vehicle weight because, as I understand it, weighing each axle separately ends up including a portion of the weight in the middle of the car twice.
     
  15. Diesel Fumes

    Diesel Fumes Guest

    It's just carbon. I never wash mine off but if I happen to have windex in hand, I will clean it. Always comes off with ease.

    Have you considered diesel cars? The only real practical ones are the older vw's. They generally allow for easy repairs, easy and cheap rebuilds, and so on. For 5k you would own a VW diesel that would promise you 500,000 miles out of it.

    If I could buy another Euro car right now I would consider an Audi Quattro from the early 90's. Preferably a coupe. Sure, like most old German cars, they are going to cause problems, but they will be fun to drive when they work. WHich should be always if you care for it.
     
  16. LB4Life

    LB4Life I like bicycles

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2000
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I've actually considered those, but Saab and reliability don't seem to mesh. Maybe I'm wrong though because I've seen many on Ebay with 200k+ on them. Are the 900's generally pretty dependable?
     
  17. thedguy

    thedguy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pissing in the gene pool
    My bro's 91 318is gets 28-30 but he runs premium (factory recomended but not required), and he drives the car like he stole it. You gotta rev it to do anything, but the car is still plenty capable of cruising at 85. Even though you gotta rev it, it's not lacking in torque, just compared to bigger engines it seems like a dog. It'll climb a hill in 4th from 1200rpm without a problem.
     
  18. VashTheStampede

    VashTheStampede New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Buy a Jetta. Mine is a 92 1.8l with a couple minor mods, and I get 30+ MPG on the freeway. That's cruising at around 75-80mph.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like I said, TDI = for people who want good mileage and who don't mind scrubbing their bumper every week. I'm not saying it's a bad trade, I'm just pointing out that the paint above the exhaust will take a little more maintenance if he wants it to last longer than a couple of years. It's not just carbon, it's red-hot carbon. Red-hot anything tends to cause damage if left alone.
     
  20. saxman

    saxman Burninating the peasants

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Messages:
    15,360
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Palmdale, Ca
    with proper maintenance(mainly regular oil changes, that sort of stuff), they are pretty much bullet proof. Tons of 'em out there with 3, 4, 500k miles... just need to make sure that they've had their regular maintenance.
     
  21. Volkl

    Volkl New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoish, IL
    Mercedes 300D
     
  22. GoGophers

    GoGophers New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lots-o-Lakes, USA
    A front wheel drive Passat is nowhere near 4200 lbs. A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the estimated total weight of a road vehicle that is loaded to capacity, including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and other miscellaneous items.
     
  23. boostdemon

    boostdemon New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    volvo S70 Turbo
     
  24. DjShiznit

    DjShiznit Representing Deutschland, yah.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,963
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    PNW
    If you don't mind having an older car (early 90's), any I5 powered Audi would be a great choice. That motor is bulletproof. The 20V (especially the turbo version) makes really decent HP, and the AWD is definitely nice.
     
  25. thedguy

    thedguy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pissing in the gene pool
    My bro's e30 will be up for sale soon, once the timing case is replaced (see my thread on German engineering).
     

Share This Page