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The Wizard of Oz
Feb 7, 2004

I need a new car after my poor beloved 1999 Toyota Tercel got smashed by a guy who took a left turn immediately in front of me going in the opposite direction. I'm willing to go up to the $2.3k (Canadian) I got from insurance, but a deal would be better. My priorities are reliability and easy maintenance, which I'll be doing exclusively myself.

So today I went out and looked at 5 cars, and am now stuck thinking about three of them. The contestants are, in order encountered:

2002 Saturn SL2, $1500, 122Mm (thousands of kilometres)
Cons: Scratched-up front bumper cover, front tires need replacement, engine light is on (he says it's due to the oxygen sensor in the gas cap and that he has documentation for it, I haven't seen that).
Notes: Performs perfectly fine. I must absolutely see that documentation before anything happened or we'll run it down to Mr. Lube and get them to read it, but I heard nothing wrong with the engine in the test run. No logs.

1991 Toyota Tercel, $1600 soft, 226Mm
Cons: Old as gently caress, some rattling of the valves when cold, a little bit of tugging during coasting (like it's getting pulled back), made a little white smoke out the exhaust when revved when cold, and peeling on the plastics.
Notes: Complete maintenance records going back to 1991 when he bought it new. Spotless exterior, no rust on the panels, underside looks great, clearly driven properly and maintained well. His asking price was too much, but when I suggested $1600 (I know, I should have said $1400, I'm too nice) he immediately said okay, so I think I can bring it down more.

1996 Ford Taurus, $975, 238Mm
Cons: It's a Ford car, suspiciously cheap, some minor scratches and a bit of paint torn off that's been painted over, rust in both rear tire wells, lots of replaced parts in the engine, really really harsh and random gear changes in the slushbox when revving up hills and some increasing rattling when approaching just 60kph - I think the transmission needs replacement, antenna motor don't work.
Notes: He claims they're moving to Ontario in two weeks, so they want to get rid of their cars quick. gently caress, I could just buy it and sell it again for a profit, if there's nothing seriously wrong with it. I would really like a station wagon.

So what do you all think? I'm not hooked on any of these, I could keep looking, but they all seem quite meritorious.


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