Posted 17 July 2010 - 22:32
Hard to suggest a car since your looking for used/budget.
I would say a cavalier because they are built strong. Ive seen people run them down with no oil and everything and those cars still go. Dont sound pretty but if you can maintain the car, they go forever and there cheap. You can fnd a 02 Cavy 2dooor with 75k miles or higher for an easy $3-4k i believe.
But it just depends what you find at a used dealer or craigslist, or etc.
I got my saturn 02 for 2k, which was a steal because the car is worth 7k. Its a stick with 72k miles on it. Funny thing is, the guy thought the transmission was going on it and just wnted to get rid of it. I had an idea what the problem was, but wasnt sure. Took it to trans mechanic, he looked and found that the throw out bearings werent adjusted or lubed(i forget which one), but since the transmission/clutch/etc has been in there since 2002 he went ahead and did a quick lub/adjustment and done. Car was shifting like normal again.
When I went in it for a ride intially, it wasnt slipping, it just wasnt going into gears all that easy, actually require grinding and a lot of force to get it in gear. Now, 2 years later almost(august) car runs beautiful.
SO if you get lucky, you can get any car for 4k, just keep looking.