Reliable Used European Commuter Car?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by red97gst, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. red97gst

    red97gst New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NoVA
    I am in the market for a new daily driver. My current car is a 97 Eclipse GS-T with larger turbo and a few other goodies. The coilover suspension is breaking my back over the crappy roads around D.C. , and my airbags were stolen (which I'm not in a rush to replace) so the car isn't exactly the safest.

    I will be keeping the eclipse as my weekend ride, and to tool around on since I wouldn't get much if I sold it as is, but I need something for a short daily commute and for those weekend drives to NYC, philly, atlantic city, etc...

    I WAS looking at the 20-25k price range, like 2004 3-series and A4s, but now I'd much rather spend about half that much since I can't live with biting the 3k/year depreciation of a european car in that price range...

    What can I get for 8-14k that will be reliable, comfortable, but reasonably fun to drive? It seems like the perfect fit is a used japanese sedan, like a maxima or subaru legacy GT or something, but I've gotten a bit tired of japanese cars over the years...

    Part of me wants to get like a used Volvo or Saab cuz the resale value is horrendous and I can get a loaded up, relatively new car on the cheap. Then get a 3rd party warranty since the car will certainly have some problems. Not sure if this is more trouble than it's worth...

    Any suggestions? I'd like something 4doors, preferably with leather, and preferably a manual tranny

    I feel like if i have a 3rd party warrany, why not just get something ridic unreliable cuz it will be cheap to get into? no?
     
  2. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    12,200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    VW Jetta TDI
     
  3. Zhenya

    Zhenya Guest

    98 volvo s90
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Coming from a Japanese car, you're not going to find a Euro that will fit your definition of "reliable". European engineers design systems that fail predictably, so the owners can maintain them without any surprises; however, this requires budgeting a certain amount of your income for car repairs, and taking your car to the shop about twice a year to have maintenance work done on it. (no, I don't mean oil changes, I mean stuff like suspension and transmission work.) Japanese cars and American cars are instead designed to lose performance at a rate that keeps them just on the safe side of breaking down as they get older, so they cost less money, but are less satisfying at the same time.

    If you do buy a Euro, be prepared to change your maintenance habits fairly dramatically. If you drive a VW or an Audi, or even a Volvo or BMW, the way that you drive a Honda or Toyota, you're going to have a blown engine in a couple of years.
     
  5. red97gst

    red97gst New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NoVA
    well my car right now is basically about as "unreliable" as it gets for a japanese car. Ask any ricer and they will be liek DURR CRANKWALK DURR MITSU IS TEH LOSE cuz they are used to their honda civic DX that they change the oil in ever 30000 miles

    Owning a turbocar, you have to be willing to check & change fluids, listen for irregularities, etc. pretty often.

    Right now I'm checking my power steering, oil, and coolant levels ever couple of days because all three fluids are leaking slowly in various places.

    I am not looking for a camry, corolla, or honda/acura cuz i know they are reliable but BORING as hell because of it...

    I'm not looking to be an asian mom and just turn the key and drive it without ever popping the hood .... but i also am not looking for problems that i can't remedy myself and will be annoying, such as the electrical gremlins that plague many VWs and whatnot. I have an OBDII code clearing device, so i can clear CELs at ease....

    I have a buddy who is a mechanic at a cadillac/infiniti dealership, and he works on the occaisonal Benz here n there, and I also tool around on my vehicles whenever I can, but basically I don't want to be limited to taking my car 4 times a year into shop into a BMW or Audi dealer and getting charged up the ass cuz no one else is qualified to do the work....

    That being said, if the car is a 98+, I plan on gettign a 3rd party warranty, so a few problems (if covered) wouldn't bother me. I am not buyin a new car, so i expect some problems here and there, and I'll be able to afford it, but I just dont want to be plagued by electrical issues that will take hours of $100/hr sessions to diagnose, nor do I want to buy parts like $700 alternators which is why I'm not going to buy my dream sedan, the e39 540i 6-speed :(

    Jetta TDI sounds appealing...

    Anythign AWD would be especially good. I rented a 2007 Jetta 2.5 from Zipcar over the weekend, with 800 miles on it....very nice quality interior. 2.5l engine is trash but I was impressed with the smoothness of the 6-speed auto (which I"d never get..but..)

    Of COURSE, the driver's side rear window was not responding to the one-touch down or one-touch up liek the rest of the windows, and only after 3 car re-starts later did it resume functioning. What the hell is the deal with germans and power windows? How many decades does is take to get it right? Hell, i know it takes 30 trained mechanics to take apart a BMW door cuz of the "quality" but Christ....


    Audi & Volvo sound good if can get AWD....if I get a warranty am i good to go ? Volvo, VW & soem other euro cars have horrendous resale, which is appealing to me as a buyer. I know it's cuz of reliability issues, but I can deal with a few issues here n there as long as i'm not stranded on the side of the road
     
  6. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    My Volvo 850 went 187,000 miles before I decided to trade her in. Quite reliable. No blown engine. But the Volvo Whiteblock is a great motor.
     
  7. art_VW_shark

    art_VW_shark OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    156,666
    Likes Received:
    173
    Location:
    Bosstown

Share This Page