Any Easy-to-work-on small GM's ?

Hi,
I'm thinking of buying a new or used car to replace my 85 Chevy Caprice. The Caprice is leaking too much from the trans, costs too much to fix
it, etc. Also 21 mpg hiway is expensive at $1.90 per gallon. The Caprice was easy to work on, and I did a lot of the repairs myself . Waterpump, alternators, spark plugs, oil changes, washer pump, radiator, and so on, and saved a small fortune.
Is there a 4 or 6 cylinder car that is known to be reliable and/or easy to fix, that gets 30 mpg or better hiway ? I've been thinking of Chevy Cavalier, Geo Metro, Chevy Malibu, and Ford Focus, maybe Ford Taurus.
I might buy a new one, to get the 10 year 100K mile warranrty (on some of them). Or might buy used, up to 10 years old, low milage.
Any ideas ?
Thanks
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On 29 Sep 2004 02:29:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.commissary (User132384) wrote:

Personal preference: Buick Park Ave/Century, Olds 88/98 Chev Malibu Reliable as can be. Cheap on Insurance & on repairs.
The Geo Metro "can" sometimes be reliable *but* you cannot ever miss any maintenance or rust proofing treatments (the whole getting killed in an accident is what scares me away from the Metro's etc).
Ideally, if you're looking lowest cost per mile. a 2-4 year old Buick Century with winding windows owned by a Sr. No resale value for the dealer, babied since new Decent mechanicals if maintained.
Just my $0.02
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Thanks. I just test drove a V6 Olds 88 (2001 or thereabouts). Also test drove a 2004 Malibu. Both smooth and crisp. Thanks for the recommendations.
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don't you mean PA/LeSabre? Dave
Mir welle bleiwe wat mir sin (Letzebuergesch)
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User132384 wrote:

Don't get the 3.1 or 3.4. Get the GEN 3 version of the 3.8 or the 2.2 Ecotec. Do your engine and trans research before buying anything.
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Malibu Classic or the new Malibu? The Classic is a nice car, lots of personality, dependability, fit and finish is a bit subpar though. The new Malibu looks a bit better and that Ecotec engine is neato.
http://www.gm.com/automotive/gmpowertrain/engines/ecotec/news/press2.htm
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It was the Malibu Classic I test drove, with the 2.2 Ecotec engine.
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User132384 wrote:

IMO, it's decent car. Stay away from the leaking V-6 engine. I would never buy one because I like to hang my arm out the window and it cannot be done on that car due to the very high door sills. If you never open the window, then go for it. Get a bigger inside mirror though.
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I have heard many appraises about Ecotec engine as the engine of choice today. What made this engine so special in term or reliability or ease of repair? Are we talking about alternator, water pump accessibility? Has anyone work on Ecotec engine yet?

new
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none wrote:

For the DIY'er...I doubt that the Ecotec engine will come to be considered an "easy" engine to work on. It's a great little engine that is based on all the other all aluminum engines that GM is putting out. They have had 10 years of experience with the Northstar engine, and it appears so far that the inline 4.2 6 cylinder and the Ecotec are going to be fairly reliable engines.
Ian
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.commissary (User132384) wrote in message news:

I can't think ANYTHING made in the last 10-15 years that could be described as "easy to work on", though a Cavalier is a pretty solid small car in my experience. Dunno about the Focus but my wife used to have one of the Mazda-built Escorts...it was miserable to work on.
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So far so good on my 2000 Monte Carlo. Just get one that the intake manifold gasket has already been replaced ;-) (Then again that goes for an 3.4 GM car.)

to fix

was
and
easy to

Cavalier,
of
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