Automotive

Reliable winter beater in $1-3K range? Please advise..

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 17th, 2015 10:05 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 15, 2012
576 posts
117 upvotes
Mississauga

Reliable winter beater in $1-3K range? Please advise..

I was wondering if you guys can recommend a reliable car to get me through the winter and next year.. in the $1000-$3000 range? Something thats good on gas as well. I honestly just need it for small trips: to school and back (roughly 30km combined), groceries, running errands, stuff like that. I won't be keeping the car for too long anyway.

Some obvious choices that I was looking at: Civic and a Corolla...but I don't know which year and whats the max KM I should buy for these cars?

And the best place to buy is autotrader, correct? I will be paying cash up front for the vehicle. Oh and is running carproof on the car a must?
36 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2015
1543 posts
252 upvotes
Hmmm Another beater looking......
I do not understand as to how can people afford 40 60 80 K dollars cars for those summer months when the weather is nice hence less safety issues in picture however they look for 1000 dollar car for the harshest of the weather.....
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2003
554 posts
125 upvotes
For a grand, I wouldn't worry about carproof or accidents etc. You're lucky it runs and drives. Any early 2000's Japanese econobox will suffice. Civic, corolla, RSX, accord, etc.
Jr. Member
May 20, 2015
132 posts
49 upvotes
Toronto, ON
i got lucky with a 2006 4cyl mazda6 for $1000..had 270000km but still drives fine

I noticed 2004 mazda6 can be had for under 3k, check it out, and make sure they are 4cyl
Sr. Member
Dec 19, 2010
725 posts
217 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
civic, kijiji, personally i would try to stay under 200k km, but for $1-3k range that may not be possible.
carproof is not a must, but more of a due diligence thing.
i would do certified cheque over cash, at least that way you have a record of it on your books.
make sure to get it inspected by a mechanic beforehand.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 12, 2006
6394 posts
2220 upvotes
Canada
The answer to every cheap car question is: Civic.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2010
2138 posts
272 upvotes
2000-2005 Toyota Echo...solid engine (timing chain, not belt, hence no *scheduled* engine worries past 200,000 KM). Very economical at around 700 KM per tank driving it pretty hard, plus parts wear slower due to it being a very light car, and parts are relatively cheap too.

Maintenance is easy for the backyard mechanic; oil filter and plug are very easy to get to from underneath. Winter tires are cheap as well (used for 200-300 a set depending on how much tread is left) and I used to have winters on all year because of that.

As a note, driving this thing on the highway is a bit scary when passing a semi; due to it being very light and tall, it gets blown around a lot. City driving is a no brainer for it though. You can usually pick up one of these for under $3000 (my 2001 was $1600).
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
20970 posts
10344 upvotes
Iqaluit, NU
for 1k you'll be lucky for it to run.
Member
User avatar
Dec 9, 2008
419 posts
74 upvotes
Toronto
Winter beater better get SUV. Trailblazer, bravada, envoy, Saab 9-7x, xterra(2000-2004), Jimmy, torrent
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2539 posts
925 upvotes
GTA
LeisureSuitL wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 1:29 pm
2000-2005 Toyota Echo...solid engine (timing chain, not belt, hence no *scheduled* engine worries past 200,000 KM). Very economical at around 700 KM per tank driving it pretty hard, plus parts wear slower due to it being a very light car, and parts are relatively cheap too.

Maintenance is easy for the backyard mechanic; oil filter and plug are very easy to get to from underneath. Winter tires are cheap as well (used for 200-300 a set depending on how much tread is left) and I used to have winters on all year because of that.

As a note, driving this thing on the highway is a bit scary when passing a semi; due to it being very light and tall, it gets blown around a lot. City driving is a no brainer for it though. You can usually pick up one of these for under $3000 (my 2001 was $1600).
This, my echo did great in the snow, but I did have stiffer lowering springs and Koni yellow struts/shocks on it; the factory setup has a lot of sway and is pretty soft.

Otherwise any late 90's to 2000's japanese car that's not a nissan or a honda accord with auto tranny.
Penalty Box
Oct 17, 2012
2689 posts
116 upvotes
1996 mercury villager 2K with only 100k

or dodge caravan 1999-2007 $2k-5k

1999 camry xle v6 100k for 3k

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