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I'm thinking about buying a used car and want to know what is the best cheap car some one has owned or had.
My experience with Volvos is that they tend to last a long time because their owners tend to be meticulous about maintenance rather than the goodness of the car itself. Nearly any car will last a long time if you take care of it now days. I found that Volvos go downhill fast when you quit taking them in for their frequent visits for scheduled maintenance. Not sure I'd agree that parts are cheap. After someone broke my taillight lens I couldn't find a used one even after calling every junk yard in town and the Volvo dealership $300 for that piece of plastic. When the front pipe in my exhaust system blew out I asked what a new one would cost and the answer was "you don't want to know" and the mechanic welded a patch on it to keep it going a little longer. Older Hondas and Toyotas can generally take a lot of neglect and abuse before they die. On front wheel drive cars make sure the CV joints are fine (they don't make any noises when turning sharply) since a pair of CV joints can cost more than a beater car is worth. Other than that if the engine and transmission are smooth and it has passed inspection it should be good for a while.
Personally I like Chevy's/GMC for longevity and ease to work on. Parts are easy to find and compatible across many years and makes, so the chance parts being cheap and in stock at the auto parts store are good and you can find lots of parts in the junk yard. (I pulled a radiator out of a 2004ish Blazer and put it in my 1990 S10).
Subarus's seem to never die either. My buddy has ran several ~ $300 Subaru's with 300K+ miles on them and they just keep going.
I'm not overly found of Fords mostly because the parts seem to be different for every year. Makes finding them harder. Half the time even back to back years seem to have different parts, and they have been known to make "1/2" years where they switch up some of the parts 1/2 thru the year.
But when shopping for a used car I always bring my mechanic buddy with my. I'm fairly mechanically inclined, but he always thinks of things to check that I don't
Oh and stay away from that 2.5L Inline 4 - whoever thought it was a good idea to put the valve cover and they exhaust manifold that close together needs to be shot. Bakes your gasket to a crisp and needs a new one every 3-4yrs after you hit 100K+ miles.
And stay away from that 2.8L V6 - so many dead ones in the junk yards. Like 40+ in one junk yard I checked. Makes finding parts for the 4.3L V6 rather hard....
If you are interested in purchasing a new car, then below link provides a range of new car that is in your budget. The best choice that I could think of would be the Mahindra Xylo. If I were you, I would check out Mahindra Xylo at http://funadvice.com/r/15512tc9rva
Personally, pound for pound would be the Honda's..... They are reliable and good on gas- Parts are easy to find that majority of Honda parts are referred to as Lego's...
4 cyclinder Vtec..............vrooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmm
Volvo motors are good, solid cars that--properly treated-will, seemingly--go on forever. And they have been around for so long that parts are cheap and and the motors are not expensive to purchase.
If you are interested in purchasing a new car, the best choice that I could think of would be the Mahindra Xylo. If I were you, I would check out Mahindra Xylo at mahindraxylo.net.
yeah id have said volvo too