Advice for used car purchase Honda vs VW
I've narrowed my search down to 3 cars that I have personally seen and test driven, except for the VW.
Car 1) 2001 Jetta 1.8T Manual with only 220K KM, and 1 owner, clutch changed at 150K km. The body had no rust, except for a 3inch x 3inch area near the front week door/wheel. The owner has done the repair himself and painted it over. Underneath looked good, and interior looked clean minus a few broken items. My first concern with this car is that the engine light is on, however the owner states it's the 2nd Air intake underneath. Owner mentioned he passed the e-test by resetting the code, driving around etc... but to replace the part is $400... My other concern, is it has a turbo, which if fails can get $$$, correct me if I'm wrong, also it being a VW, I'm assuming the parts are more $? I went for a test drive with the owner, I didn't drive it myself. The owner said he took the insurance off it, and has never sold a car, so didn't offer to let me drive, although I didn't bother asking either. On the road the acceleration was good, too good =) breaking seemed ok, and I felt no vibrations. If I knew the car would pass the e-test I might be sold, but that engine light, it having a turbo, has be on edge.
Car 2) 2001 Honda Accord Special Ed with 220k km, Automatic. In my search for cars, I REALLY want a manual, however with low(er) km, and in good shape they are harder to find. This car has absolutely zero rust, and the underneath is the same. Almost seems like the car came from Florida. No engine light or other warning lights are on, so hopefully that's good for the e-test..? Body is in 9.5 condition, for it's age. Someone must have hit a curb up front because the very bottom plastic grill is smashed. Zip tied in place now. The interior of the accord is flawless, no rips, stains, and everything works. I had it on the road for a good 20 minutes, acceleration was great, breaks seemed ok, car didn't pull to one side. There was a very, very slight vibration when idle, but only when idle do you notice it and it's very minimal. For it being 16years old the car is in really great shape.
Car 3) 2001 Honda Civic with 220k km, and manual ( +1 for being a manual) This car comes with the e-test cert, and safetied from the owner. Had it out for a spit, pick up seemed very good, breaking ok too. The body has it's normal wear and tear for the age. More so than then VW or the accord. There is minimal rust developing over the rear tire area. Now for the issues... When I test drove it, muffler sounded good, BUT whenever you accelerate, there is a buzzing noise coming from somewhere beneath. It sounds like something is rubbing, but it's a buzzing noise. The same noise you get when kids put carboard in their bike spokes. It's not overly loud but it's definitely present when you accelerate, although it seems to have no effect on the car's performance. Other than that, the car is ok, just in slightly more rough shape then the above two.
Thanks in advance for any replies. BTW, all 3 cars have an asking price of $1500(cnd), and I much prefer a manual but I'm considering the accord because of how spotless condition it's in.