Which To Buy?

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We are in the USA. Granddaughter is looking to buy her first car. She is talking Honda Civic. Don't know why, but she believes that is what she wants. She will have about $5,000 (US) to spend. I lean toward something
not more than 5 years old. Haven't started looking but thought I would ask this group for opinions re: a Civic. Are all Civics created equal or are there certain models/years to stay away from?
Thanks for any help.
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DodgeDriver wrote:

you'll be lucky to find a civic under 5yo for $5k or less. but that's ok, because while the ones that /do/ fit budget will be older, they'll still be a good deal more reliable than a domestic the same price. that's why the 5yo's cost more.
pretty much all post 88 civics are reliable and cheap to run. for handling, the 88-2000's are the best [wishbone suspension]. just make sure it's not been too badly crash damaged. be suspicious of anything where the paint looks "too new". civics are good for mileage up to 300k and beyond if well maintained.
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is
something
ask
are
Thanks for the info. I have not started to shop so didn't realy have any idea as to the price range for used civics.
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Tell her never to fall in love with something that can not love back. Civics are great. So are Corollas, Camry's and Accords. Look for the best one for the price she can afford to pay.

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Been there and done that. Thanks for the reminder. If granddaughter wants a civic, and an accord (for example) is a better buy, grandmother will be an obstacle that must be overcome.

is
something
are
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$5k will buy you a 10 or so year old Civic here in NJ... I like them a lot but was looking at Accords for my son (I wanted a little larger car to compete with the SUV's). We ended up with a '99 Subaru Legacy with AWD that he likes a lot. Paid well under $5k for it, too...
In addition to what the others have said, stay away from any car that has been 'upgraded' with aftermarket air intakes, wheels, headlight/ taillights, etc. As you'll see, Civics are very popular with the tuner crowd, but many of them have stuff added with no thought of how it will work, just how it will look (or sound). Also look for one with mechanical records, and preferably with the timing belt replaced.
Dan D '07 Ody EX Central NJ USA
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wrote:

is
something
ask
are
Thanks for the good info and suggestions. I started looking at prices this morning.
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For $5k I'd buy an american over a jap car anyday. Much better value and reliability because $5k buys you a dilapidated jap car and an american car in very good shape. Unless your daughter is a mechanic or runs a repair shop I won't advise to buy a desirable fun car for that kind of money. I suggest to get something some boring piece of junk that won't fall apart next day.
Speaking of that, are 07 and 08 Civics any better than 06s reliability wise?
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On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 23:12:34 -0800, isquat wrote:

You smoke crack, don't you? 5K buys you an older jap car that still runs longer and more reliably than the newer american scrap...

There are no 08 civics (or anything else). There have been no reliability problems with 06 civics. Hell, my Si is almost a year old, and there has not been a single recall for it. I don't remember ever having an American car with no recalls...
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Whatever. I stand by my statement. $5k on a jap car are likely to be flushed down the drain. At least that's my experience with the jap cars in that range. Won't go there. Ever.

Yep. I stand corrected. No 08s just yet.
reliability

I believe your Si is made in Japan and DX thru LXes are made all over the place. According to the previous posts here 06 civics were nothing but trouble. Especially with the automatic geatboxes. The don't make Si with an auto do they? My point exactly. Si is a very special car in the Civic lineup and it's reliability is not a good indicator of how DX, EX and LX fare. I suspect Honda may have cleaned up its civic act for 07. Did it?
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 20:09:21 -0800, isquat wrote:

Your experience is clearly BS. I'd rather have a 8 year old Accord (well maintained) than a 5 year old GM, Chrysler or Ford product. Any day of the week.

And yet again, you'd be wrong. My Si was assembled in Ontario, using parts from the US, Canada and Japan.
The last time there was a common problem with a Honda Auto Tranny it was 02 in the Accords and Odyssey lines using a V6. I know a couple people with 06 Civics with Auto Tranny, and they have had no problems...
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My experience might be BS but I can assure you that the money flushed the drain on my old Subaru were very real. No old used cars for me jap or otherwise thank you very much. The reliability is way overhyped.

You have a representative sample don't you? And I have $10k flushed on a 7 y.o. Legacy that I paid $7k for.
Then when I was shopping for a car three years ago I stop by a Honda dealer to see what they had. Well, they had a 3-4 y.o. civic with 50-60k miles on it and the dealer wanted $9600 or so for it. $10k for a stinky piece of "certified" junk with a half the juice taken out of it? It was probably due for a timing belt and gawd knows what else. I went straight to the Mazda dealer and bought a 1 y.o. Protege with 3k on odometer. Very clean and no stench. Granted, Civic has a better shifting tranny and a smooth motor to match but I feel that I got a much better value (and unlike Corolla the car is a hoot to drive) If I were to replace my car and I were in snowbelt I'd get a new Civic Si. A used one? Given the depreciation rates for Hondas: no bloody way! I'm not a complete moron. Used Hondas (Toyolets and Subarus too) are WAY overpriced. So I stand by my recommendation to OP to look elsewhere for a used car.
Just my $.02.
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 22:46:39 -0800, isquat wrote:

SNIP
Ahh, I see... So you are in a Honda newsgroup complaining about civics because you feel you paid too much for your Subaru. Good logic...
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You're badmouthing Honda based on your experience with Subaru. That makes no sense what-so-ever.
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I was explaining to the OP that there are better deals and that for $5k he can get a car in better shape if he shops elsewhere. I don't have a problem if he buys a new Civic but a used one is not a good value that's all. I think I explained already that CIvic Si is on the list of my protege replacements along with RX-8 and EVO. (Mazdaspeed 3 won't cut it for me). In case you wonder what I'm doing on this NG in the first place.
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From the experiences I have had over the years with any of the BIG 3 companies products, there is no way that any of them come close to being better than a Honda.
I have owned GM and Ford vehicles that have more rattles, squeaks and shakes than a ten year old Honda.
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Brian Smith wrote:

I got rid of a Saturn (LS2) after 2 1/2 years 'cause of the rattles and noises it was making. And it was only book valued at $8k by that time, after having spent $21k for it new. I hear the Aura is much better, but I'll let someone else risk their money.
-- Mike Smith
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Well, you're the poor sap who bought a used Subaru. Hondas and Toyotas are much more reliable. Nissans are more like VWs - they'll last a long time too, but demand careful maintenance.
-- Mike Smith
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On 3/2/07 10:38 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@news.supernews.com, "Mike

Where did you get that tidbit? I have found the opposite to be true. The Hondas need more tlc than the Nissans.
My Nissans (6 and counting) have all required less maintenance than my Hondas. Their ABS doesn't fail if you don't change the brake fluid every two years, their transmissions don't fail if you don't change the tranny fluid every two years, etc.
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