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jokes
Dec 20, 2012
jokes




Whatever the car, I simply must have a CarPlay head unit these days which will run like $250 to install so I guess itís $5250 now.

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IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I haven't had to do any cheap car shopping since COVID, but years ago I'd have said the line between "beater you can expect to pitch when it has a major failure" and "something that will probably last at least a couple years without a major component rebuild" was in the range of $2-3k. It's certainly closer to $5k now.

It also depends on how far you're willing to compromise on other aspects of the car. If you just need a vehicle that works, you can still get something way under $5k that will probably just need regular maintenance for years on end if you buy something like a 300k Prius.

AveMachina
Aug 30, 2008

God knows what COVIDs you people have





Car buying thread, tell me if I'm crazy. I'm in a bit of a love it or list it situation.

I'm currently rocking a 2007 BMW e91 wagon, which I do love driving, no problems, that I maintained myself. Roughly 159k mi on the odometer; I'm the sixth owner, I've had him since 2014. His name is Beautiful Hans, he's taken me halfway across the country without breaking a sweat.

However. Last year I injured my knee to the point where getting in and out is a bit painful, I live in an area prone to flooding/bad drainage/wildly fluctuating weather. Hiking is a major hobby of mine and it's a big part of my recovering from that injury to get out more, and the roads here in Texas can get dicey. I'm pretty much always terrified that my car will get washed out/lose the oil pan.

So I'm playing with the idea of a lateral move to something of similar mileage with more ground clearance and perhaps AWD/4WD for lovely weather.

Candidates (all 2002-2008) : my reservations
- Ford Escape : a bit common/boring
- Mercury Mariner : discontinued/brand is dead
- Nissan Pathfinder : kind of on the big side
- Toyota 4runner : kind of on the big side, Toyota Tax
- Toyota RAV4 : every Toyota I've ever driven feels like a washing machine, Toyota Tax
- Jeep Liberty/Patriot : questionable reliability
- Suzuki Grand Vitara : hard to find around here
- BMW X3 : might be too delicate
- Kia Sportage : questionable reliability

If anyone's got other suggestions, I'm happy to hear them, or disabuse me of my reservations. My must-haves are 7+ inches of ground clearance, replaceable stereo, 5-person seating. Nice to haves are AWD/4WD, heated seats, 20+ MPG city. Absolutely Nots are steering-column shifters, Chevrolets, mom-crossovers (Lexus RX330s, Nissan Muranos, those big round SUVs).

$4000 is roughly the budget. Should I keep my 3 wagon or is a high-mile, compact SUV a doable thing?

mariooncrack
Dec 27, 2008


What do you have against column shifters and "mom-crossovers?"

Are you selling the e91?

AveMachina
Aug 30, 2008

God knows what COVIDs you people have





mariooncrack posted:

What do you have against column shifters and "mom-crossovers?"

Are you selling the e91?

Column shifters are uncomfortable, mom-crossovers feel "floaty" to drive (reference: Nissan Murano) without the sort of thing I want (perhaps leaning toward BOF construction, maybe adding a tow hitch eventually). I just don't like the styling of really round cars I guess? and yeah, I'd be selling the e91 if I got something else.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I rather keep a maintained car with a known history thank roll the dice on something 12 to 20 years old with an unknown history in your budget range.

I don't know what part of TX you're in, but I just don't drive during the few heavy storms with get in the SAT area, and know where the low water crossings and areas that flood are. Selling a car and buying a new one just for a couple inches of ground clearance doesn't seem like the best idea to me. I'm guessing you're in Houston if this is something you're really worried about.

I'd probably see what kind of old Jeep Cherokee I could find. Not a fan of the Liberty/Patriot. Early 2000's Grand Cherokee's might fall down to your budget, but the regular XJ Cherokee is probably way easier to fix and maintain. I'm not a jeep guy, but the 4.0 XJ Cherokee is popular for a reason.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

AveMachina posted:

Column shifters are uncomfortable, mom-crossovers feel "floaty" to drive (reference: Nissan Murano)

Okay, I'm not sure how a column shifter is "uncomfortable" but I'd just love to see your driving position.

Also, a Nissan Murano is a piece of garbage in every way, not because it's a CUV, but because it's a Nissan. While there is a whole range of what a CUV can be, I assure you mine is not the least bit floaty unless I'm taking a jump.

What it comes down to is you have one baffling requirement and another one that's not clear....like what is a "mom-crossover" to you? Because if a freaking Escape and Sportage isn't on that list I have NO IDEA what you mean by that.

Maksimus54
Jan 5, 2011


The only vehicles on that list I'd consider owning are the Toyotas. The Toyota tax is worth it

Space Gopher
Jul 31, 2006

BLITHERING IDIOT AND HARDCORE DURIAN APOLOGIST. LET ME TELL YOU WHY THIS SHIT DON'T STINK EVEN THOUGH WE ALL KNOW IT DOES BECAUSE I'M SUPER CULTURED.


CR-Vs are pretty much interchangeable with Rav4s once you get out of the crazy late-90s era when Toyota made a cartoonishly short two door soft top SUV, so if youíre looking at one, you might as well look at the other. Automatic CR-V shifters in the first two generations are console-mounted but feel a bit like a column shifter; sticks are roughly where they should be.

AveMachina
Aug 30, 2008

God knows what COVIDs you people have





Motronic posted:

Okay, I'm not sure how a column shifter is "uncomfortable" but I'd just love to see your driving position.

Also, a Nissan Murano is a piece of garbage in every way, not because it's a CUV, but because it's a Nissan. While there is a whole range of what a CUV can be, I assure you mine is not the least bit floaty unless I'm taking a jump.

What it comes down to is you have one baffling requirement and another one that's not clear....like what is a "mom-crossover" to you? Because if a freaking Escape and Sportage isn't on that list I have NO IDEA what you mean by that.

It's a preference thing, any vehicle I've driven with a column shifter feels farmy and weird to me. I won't turn to ash if I touch a column shifter, I just don't like them. Hardly baffling.I sit probably at a 135-degree and have long legs/short arms, usually resting my arm on the center console when I'm driving. I'm cool with console-mount, I just like my shifters in the middle of the car.

Y'all are really fired up about this mom-crossover terminology, yeesh. You're likely thinking of current Escapes and Sportages too, not in the years I listed (2002-2008). Maybe "city crossover" is better? This deeply arbitrary term is what I apply to things like the Lexus RX series, Toyota Venza, aforementioned Murano, Ford Edge--relatively high curb weights, round shapes with high beltlines, soft suspensions, unibody build, oriented toward pavement driving with passengers. Not sure what crossover you're driving, you didn't say, but there's a loving million of them and there's a huge difference between a Subaru Forester and a Buick Encore. I haven't car shopped in years so I have few reference points on which ones are good or not, hence the asking.

skipdogg posted:

I rather keep a maintained car with a known history thank roll the dice on something 12 to 20 years old with an unknown history in your budget range.

I don't know what part of TX you're in, but I just don't drive during the few heavy storms with get in the SAT area, and know where the low water crossings and areas that flood are. Selling a car and buying a new one just for a couple inches of ground clearance doesn't seem like the best idea to me. I'm guessing you're in Houston if this is something you're really worried about.

I'd probably see what kind of old Jeep Cherokee I could find. Not a fan of the Liberty/Patriot. Early 2000's Grand Cherokee's might fall down to your budget, but the regular XJ Cherokee is probably way easier to fix and maintain. I'm not a jeep guy, but the 4.0 XJ Cherokee is popular for a reason.

I wish I had the option not to drive in bad weather, but I'm in the panhandle and the weather changes on a dime, and flash flooding isn't uncommon. Perhaps it's irrational, but it's still a massive anxiety for me, and I'm stuck wherever I am when there's heavy rain, snow, ice, etc. and it's only getting worse because lol the planet is dying. I'm fond of mechanically/electrically simple cars with ample aftermarket support so a Cherokee might be a good candidate. Old-school SUVs are really appealing to me.

Of course you're right that having a car with a known history is the smart move but again, I've got long hosed-up legs and the amount of bending and twisting to get in/out of the e91 is becoming less and less worth the driving dynamics.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009



Grimey Drawer

AveMachina posted:

It's a preference thing, any vehicle I've driven with a column shifter feels farmy and weird to me. I won't turn to ash if I touch a column shifter, I just don't like them. Hardly baffling.I sit probably at a 135-degree and have long legs/short arms, usually resting my arm on the center console when I'm driving. I'm cool with console-mount, I just like my shifters in the middle of the car.

Y'all are really fired up about this mom-crossover terminology, yeesh. You're likely thinking of current Escapes and Sportages too, not in the years I listed (2002-2008). Maybe "city crossover" is better? This deeply arbitrary term is what I apply to things like the Lexus RX series, Toyota Venza, aforementioned Murano, Ford Edge--relatively high curb weights, round shapes with high beltlines, soft suspensions, unibody build, oriented toward pavement driving with passengers. Not sure what crossover you're driving, you didn't say, but there's a loving million of them and there's a huge difference between a Subaru Forester and a Buick Encore. I haven't car shopped in years so I have few reference points on which ones are good or not, hence the asking.

You are using a "deeply arbitrary" term you made up while asking for advice. What other reaction did you think you would get? Now you're "defining" that term by basically describing what a crossover is and pretty much has always has been to some extent or another. These are "too soft" for you, but a column shifter is "too farmy"?

You've got some strange hangups and it doesn't sound like you actually want a CUV, so maybe don't look for one and choose something else to look at? For $4,000 you'll be lucky that it comes with all 4 wheels so I think you're going to be disappointed regardless. You ought to be shopping for basically ANYTHING in the best condition you can find when working with that budget.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 12:25 on Apr 30, 2021

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



Motronic posted:

You've got some strange hangups and it doesn't sound like you actually want a CUV, so maybe don't look for one and choose something else to look at? For $4,000 you'll be lucky that it comes with all 4 wheels so I think you're going to be disappointed regardless. You ought to be shopping for basically ANYTHING in the best condition you can find when working with that budget.

Pretty much. I just recently found a '97 Toyota Avalon with 120k miles in great condition for a friend for $2400 and I was surprised I was able to get it that cheap the way the market is now. I told my friend she could probably easily clean it up and flip it for 4k but she's really happy with it.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007

yospos


From a safety point of view I wouldn't drive a crossover in any standing water I wouldn't take a sedan through. The deck clearance or air intake position isn't the limiting factor here. If you dislike how it feels to get in and drive your current car I'd be looking for a comfortable car in any shape and not limit yourself on how raised it is.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

I realize that different people have different preferences, but I manage part of a state government fleet that includes law enforcement cars and SUVís, and the cop cars generally have column shifters that arenít available to the general public.

Theyíre WONDERFUL compared to the funky round shifter dials and screwy little nubs all the manufactures are going to. Just jump in that fucker, pop the lever in Drive and go, itís a no brainer. I canít imagine not liking a column shifter in a non-performance car w/automatic.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




the fears around weather are probably entirely irrational - maybe not the fears themselves, but the idea that a different car will make a difference if it's weather you should actually be scared of is very irrational. you should keep your current car because if you are in a flash flood that will wash away your E91 it would also wash away [insert "not mom crossover" of choice here]. what exactly do you think 2" of ground clearance are going to accomplish in this situation?

To me you're considering trading a known good quantity for the hellish uncertainty that is the $4K used car market. I would never do this. The only way that I would remotely consider doing this is if the leg injury truly made the E91 non viable or if you have some serious dirt/offroad use case that you somehow didn't articulate well. It sounds like you have some ideas and concepts about what you might like to do but they're all over the map - I like old BOF SUVs, I want to hike, I could add a tow hitch, etc. When spending $4K you have to get really precise about what matters and doesn't matter to you because you cannot have it all. It sounds like you're interested in the concept and aesthetics of old BOF SUVs rather than anything else. My buddy bought a tolerably well sorted Trooper in that price range. It has a weak parking brake so he carries chocks. It has an O2 sensor problem that makes it run rich. These are solvable but take time effort and money and are exactly what you will constantly be dealing with if you buy a 20 year old BOF SUV.

Lastly, IF it's stick, your E91 in good condition is worth a fair amount of money (like, a lot more than $4K). Something to consider - you could probably buy a lot more SUV with your money and that gets you out of the 4k range.

AveMachina posted:

I'm fond of mechanically/electrically simple cars with ample aftermarket support

E91 owner ~only want what you can't have~

KYOON GRIFFEY JR fucked around with this message at 13:17 on Apr 30, 2021

DildenAnders
Mar 16, 2016

"I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he's found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman.√ʬĬĚ

A WJ Grand Cherokee (especially with the 4.0l) wouldn't be a bad bet. With the 4.0l it's got a real deal transfer case, has super comfortable seats, easy to get in/out of, and best of all you could get a real nice one for $4k. That being said, drive it hard, and test the brakes. The transmissions on them are not the most reliable, and the the brake calipera have a really nasty habit of locking up. I wouldn't really consider a "cross-over" but it's about the size of modern CRVs and it doesn't sound like you actually want a CUV.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




the secret bonus on all those old BOF SUVs is dying or being horribly injured when you are in a collision

AveMachina
Aug 30, 2008

God knows what COVIDs you people have





KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

the fears around weather are probably entirely irrational - maybe not the fears themselves, but the idea that a different car will make a difference if it's weather you should actually be scared of is very irrational. you should keep your current car because if you are in a flash flood that will wash away your E91 it would also wash away [insert "not mom crossover" of choice here]. what exactly do you think 2" of ground clearance are going to accomplish in this situation?

To me you're considering trading a known good quantity for the hellish uncertainty that is the $4K used car market. I would never do this. The only way that I would remotely consider doing this is if the leg injury truly made the E91 non viable or if you have some serious dirt/offroad use case that you somehow didn't articulate well. It sounds like you have some ideas and concepts about what you might like to do but they're all over the map - I like old BOF SUVs, I want to hike, I could add a tow hitch, etc. When spending $4K you have to get really precise about what matters and doesn't matter to you because you cannot have it all. It sounds like you're interested in the concept and aesthetics of old BOF SUVs rather than anything else. My buddy bought a tolerably well sorted Trooper in that price range. It has a weak parking brake so he carries chocks. It has an O2 sensor problem that makes it run rich. These are solvable but take time effort and money and are exactly what you will constantly be dealing with if you buy a 20 year old BOF SUV.

Lastly, IF it's stick, your E91 in good condition is worth a fair amount of money (like, a lot more than $4K). Something to consider - you could probably buy a lot more SUV with your money and that gets you out of the 4k range.


E19 owner ~only want what you can't have~

You've summarized it pretty well, I posted more or less to get an idea if the $4k market has potential to have something better than my current ride and it sounds like a no. Since I currently have a running vehicle, it made more sense to get a temperature reading than wait until catastrophic failure pushes me out of the e91 (which is auto, unfortunately). I'll stick to it for now until I can get a more flexible budget. I didn't expect the strong reaction to how I articulated my preferences but that's on me. Thanks thread.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




I think you may have gotten a strong reaction in part because a "mom crossover" sounds fairly well suited to your use case and this tends to be a very utilitarian thread

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

this tends to be a very utilitarian thread

Indeed. I only post about the cars I buy for the comedic juxtaposition and inevitable flames.

With that in mind, I will now hear arguments about whether I should get the exterior CF package on the new M4. Aaaaand go.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




are you getting the seats with the carbon fiber codpiece or not

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






I am not.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




KillHour posted:

I am not.

in that case no as the exterior carbon fiber will only betray your poser nature the minute someone gets in their car

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

this tends to be a very utilitarian thread

A lot of that comes from everyone who stumbles in, puts "reliability and fuel economy" as requirements one and two in either order, and then wonders why the thread screams PRIUS at them.

All the same I'm still laughing at trying to find something harder than a CRV but can't possibly have a column shifter.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007

yospos


A crossover or CUV that isn't a mom mobile and a car from the 2000s that doesn't look like a flat egg are both riddles on their own. To combine the two is an enigma for the millenium.

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

in that case no as the exterior carbon fiber will only betray your poser nature the minute someone gets in their car

I have a body like a goon and I don't want to gamble on if I fit.

incogneato
Jun 4, 2007

Zoom! Swish! Bang!

zedprime posted:

A crossover or CUV that isn't a mom mobile and a car from the 2000s that doesn't look like a flat egg are both riddles on their own. To combine the two is an enigma for the millenium.

Yeah, even the 4runner generation they're talking about (2002-2009, 4th gen) is the roundest and least attractive of all 4runner generations. And that's the most capable vehicle on that list.

On the other hand it's the only generation with the option for a v8, so looks can be deceiving! You won't get a v8 4runner for anywhere close to $4000, though.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




KillHour posted:

I have a body like a goon and I don't want to gamble on if I fit.

just cut to make weight to fit in the seats

pumped up for school
Nov 24, 2010



Current topic (and me being cheap) made me sad and miss my gen 3 4Runner, so I've been window shopping XJs for a desert/mountain camping mobile (can't afford a 4runner for a play car).

If the only thing I know about them is "Pretty sure I want the inline 6 4 liter" is there any model years I should be avoiding or things to watch out for? I've already got a spot picked out in my driveway for the oil stain. I've been looking at 97-99 and hoping for a manual, but those aren't as common as the older models.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





1999 is the ideal year since it has pretty much all of the updates and upgrades, without having some of the issues that cropped up on the later 4.0s like cracking heads.

But time and previous owners have been harsher to every XJ than AMC or DaimlerChrysler ever were. Condition and how the POs have treated any given example will be more important than model year.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

The manuals are like hens teeth and IIRC the auto is possibly more robust anyway. Seems like ones in nice shape are hard to find anymore regardless.

PCjr sidecar
Jan 26, 2011

dude, you gotta end it on the rhyme



KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

the secret bonus on all those old BOF SUVs is dying or being horribly injured when you are in a collision

Carried to Valhalla in 4000 lbs of instantly aerosolized iron oxide.

Internet Explorer
Jun 1, 2005


That made me laugh significantly harder than it should have.

ethanol
Jul 13, 2007

#essereFerrari


Honestly never been more scared in a car than like 2008 when my girlfriendís xj had the worst death wobble Iíve ever seen in a vehicle.

My 99 wrangler also taught me and my wallet that axles and gearing actually do matter when youíve got oversized tires, so maybe find an xj with a Dana 44s or 60s I donít know which trim came with what although I imagine 60s are only owner replacements. I replaced my stock Dana 30/35 with 44/44 out of a wrecked rubicon. It was a nightmare

And then trailer it everywhere and learn how to weld like Matt in Mattís off-road recovery. Actually if you havenít seen Mattís off-road recovery it should be a pretty great reminder of how much work an xj needs to stay alive

Dudes always breaking something

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

XJís only came with stock D44ís in the rear from hmmm... I think Ď86 to Ď88 if you ordered a special tow package. Theyíve always been quite rare, Iíve seen maybe ten of them in all my years of doing diffs. Most people run the Mopar 8-1/4 diff which is much better than the horrid(for wheeling) D35, but still not really bulletproof.

Beyond that, some people swap in Explorer 8.8ís, which are very good and have disc brakes while retaining the 5x4.5 bolt pattern. Custom D60ís are great, but kinda overkill in all but the most modified XJís and pretty expensive.

ethanol
Jul 13, 2007

#essereFerrari


That sounds right. I wonder how many surviving XJ still have their D35? Maybe a fair amount of people never upsized their tires? Anyways, if you are going to buy a jeep of that era for wheeling, I would take careful attention to what axles are under it, you can find pictures of the diff housing on google so you can check under vehicles. Or figure out if you're comfortable paying upwards of 3k depending on your thriftiness and mechanical experience to replace that piece of poo poo d35 if/when it breaks.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

The 8.25Ē c-lip whatever that was normally on most of the good xj years is fine and the stock situation is much better than the 30/35 stuff on a lot of wranglers if youíre not doing big tires and whatnot.

Edit: also, the original discussion was someone looking for a glorified crossover for getting to trailheads or something not actual off-roading.

ethanol
Jul 13, 2007

#essereFerrari


powderific posted:

The 8.25Ē c-lip whatever that was normally on most of the good xj years is fine and the stock situation is much better than the 30/35 stuff on a lot of wranglers if youíre not doing big tires and whatnot.

drat that's infuriating, wrangler owners got so owned

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Yeah, especially considering I think the xj is actually about the same weight, maybe a touch lighter.

E: though i suppose the weight rating is probably higher given the extra space

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sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

ethanol posted:

drat that's infuriating, wrangler owners got so owned

Yup. It's a theme.

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