Buying my first car need opinion

09-20-2013, 06:38 PM
Hello id like to first start off by saying this is my first post on the forum. I am taking my drivers test in about 2 months. Ive saved up a few thousand for a car and look every now and then on craigslist. I currently have my eye on a few cars and would like an opinion on which one would be best for a young driver as far as reliability and stuff. I do have two jobs so i can afford gas and stuff.
First car is a 1999 Hyundai Tiburon fx 96,015 miles 5spd manual appears to be in fairly decent condition. Its 2 hours away from where i live so i havent taken a look at it in person yet. Here is a pic. Its $2,000 and i did the edmunds appraisal its listed about $400 bellow that price. The pros of this car for me is that it has a manual which is something i want. I heard its a more engaging driving experience and I think its a good skill to have.
The second car is a 1991 honda accord dx 72528 miles automatic $1,500 appears to be very well maintained. heres a pic. Ive heard nothing but good things about honda but im not sure about the older ones. This car is much closer and i could easily take a drive out to look at it.
The last car is a 2001 ford explorer xls 4x4 $2,400. pic not much info was listed but i can call later and possibly take a ride out to see it.
Id like to add that i live in rhode island and we do get a decent amount of snow. I am willing to buy snow tires but please keep this in mind. Im not sure about how a tiburon would be in snow but it is FWD. I am really passionate about cars and i plan on doing my own oil and filter changes and fix any small issues i can. I dont know too much about cars mechanically but thats because i have never had one to mess around with. I will be driving it to work, school, and the gym weekly so I will be driving it quite a bit. Insurance shouldn't be a huge issue because my dad is going to register it as a second car for him. I will also have my mom who works at an insurance company run the vin #s. Any advice be appreciated.

10-13-2013, 07:03 AM
Interesting array of choices:

Explorer: lots of room and cargo space, but I think there maybe some reliability issues there. Also it would not be particularly fuel efficient. City mileage will likely be in the teens, and highway mpg you will be lucky in one that old to see 20-21. so gas costs will be high. Also SUVs, even older ones tend to be in higher cost insurance bracket, and as a young person that will be highly relevant. I would recommend getting insurance quotes on all three for comparisons from a well known insurer. If you are interested in getting an SUV, older CRV, RAV4 or Forester might be better choices, all three have been on the market since 1999 and have good reliability.

Tiburon: sporty, not bad looking and should be reasonably fuel efficient. The boot might be a bit small, not to mention a lack of interior room. Hyundai was still struggling with reliability/quality issues at that point so you may want to check Consumer reports for reliability ratings for the model. For sporty econocars with a stick shift, some others might be the Honda Civic Coupe, Toyota Celica, Mazda MX6, all of which are fuel efficient, with older versions now at a reasonable prices.

Honda Accord: That generation had legendary reliability. Interior room is decent and the boot good. Fuel economy is good as well expect a properly maintained one to hit the mid 30s in hwy driving. The engine and drive train are much quicker than the ratings suggest, and if you can find one with a stick, the shift action is as smooth as hot butter.

My only other advice is to make sure a mechanic has a good look at everything especially the engine bay, the brakes and tires. Also get a carfax report.

Good luck on your purchase.

Add your comment to this topic!