Wheels and Tires

which car would u choose in this list for around $2000 cad

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 11th, 2020 8:40 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2020
11 posts
2 upvotes

which car would u choose in this list for around $2000 cad

hello all i am located in yeg and am helping a friend find a car to buy, budget is between $2000-2500 cad after haggling. We are just doing some light searching rn and then we will spend 2 days of test drives and buy a car in that 2 day span. The following cars are still posted and with my searches over the past week it seems like these same models are always getting posted for similar pricing and similar km. I want to find him a car with low km's under 180,000 km for peace of mind. Also we want to find a vehicle that is mechanically functioning, we dont want to buy a car that has problems or even slight problems. So with the past few weeks it seems like when we decide to buy there should be any of these cars available. Also I know about condition and all of these cars that i have looked at in our price range have been minimal rust, like we obvs dont want to buy a rusted out vehicle etc etc. car also needs to be automatic.

*he just wants the car to be reliable for 2-3 years max and then he will sell / is okay if it blows up in the last year ahah**

ill try to include the engine info if i know. all of these cars that i listed between are between 150k km and 180k km ish
let me know the top 3 you would recommend out of the following based on reliability. thanks!!
2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6
2004 ish chevy optra 5
2006 ish pontiac g6
2006 ish pontiac g5
2006 ish pontiac vibe - might be hard to swing
2006 ish chevy impala
2006 ish chevy cobalt
2006 ish dodge caliber
2006 ish ford fusion
2002 ish chevy malibu
2001 ish toyota matrix - might be hard to swing
2001 ish ford focus
2004 ish ford focus
2008 ish kia rio 5
2007-2008 ford focus - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick
2005 ish mazda 3 - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick
2006 ish nissan altima - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick

all the vehicles i am looking to buy will be with minimal rust so i am obvs comparing apples to apples. i just want the recommendation on reliability and which one is LEAST likely going to need any repairs in the next 30,000 km/major maintenance

thanks!
Last edited by rpelich on Nov 10th, 2020 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
28 replies
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
694 posts
514 upvotes
I think he needs a different budget if he wants a car to be reliable for two + years. I'd be more inclined to go with older and more kms for a Honda/Toyota, but that wasn't your question. I'd go for something with the best maintenance records and not much history of a problem.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2020
11 posts
2 upvotes
thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
Member
Apr 25, 2019
272 posts
113 upvotes
rpelich wrote: hello all i am located in yeg and am helping a friend find a car to buy, budget is between $2000-2500 cad after haggling. We are just doing some light searching rn and then we will spend 2 days of test drives and buy a car in that 2 day span. The following cars are still posted and with my searches over the past week it seems like these same models are always getting posted for similar pricing and similar km. I want to find him a car with low km's under 180,000 km for peace of mind. Also we want to find a vehicle that is mechanically functioning, we dont want to buy a car that has problems or even slight problems. So with the past few weeks it seems like when we decide to buy there should be any of these cars available. Also I know about condition and all of these cars that i have looked at in our price range have been minimal rust, like we obvs dont want to buy a rusted out vehicle etc etc. car also needs to be automatic.

*he just wants the car to be reliable for 2-3 years max and then he will sell / is okay if it blows up in the last year ahah**

ill try to include the engine info if i know. all of these cars are between 150k km and 180k km ish
let me know the top 3 you would recommend out of the following based on reliability. thanks!!
2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6
2004 ish chevy optra 5
2006 ish pontiac g6
2006 ish pontiac g5
2006 ish chevy impala
2006 ish chevy cobalt
2006 ish dodge caliber
2006 ish ford fusion
2002 ish chevy malibu
2001 ish toyota matrix
2001 ish ford focus
2004 ish ford focus
2008 ish kia rio 5
2007-2008 ford focus - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick
2005 ish mazda 3 - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick
2006 ish nissan altima - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick

all the vehicles i am looking to buy will be with minimal rust so i am obvs comparing apples to apples. i just want the recommendation on reliability and which one is LEAST likely going to need any repairs in the next 30,000 km/major maintenance

thanks!

None of these. You might be able to get one of these for 2500 CAD but then would need to spend 2500+ in fixing various issues within next 2 years.

Look for an 10-15 years old Corolla, Civic, Accord, Camry, Lexus, Accura. Maybe ponitac would be good as its also a toyota inside but parts could be an issue. Also look into rockauto website if you can get parts later on for the car you want to buy.
Last edited by dentonic88 on Nov 10th, 2020 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2020
11 posts
2 upvotes
dentonic88 wrote: None of these. You might be able to get one of these for 2500 CAD but then would need to spend 2500+ in fixing various issues within next 2 years.

Look for an 10-15 years old Corolla, Civic, Accord, Camry, Lexus, Accura.
thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
Member
Apr 25, 2019
272 posts
113 upvotes
rpelich wrote: thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
Hard to understand engine status with so many km. But search kijji, kijjiauto, autotrader. You will find many Honda/Toyota selling even after 300K KM but hardly any other brand, this means they have better components usually.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
694 posts
514 upvotes
rpelich wrote: thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
I understand your reasoning, but I don't think that it is necessarily sound reasoning. I'd take a civic with 300k km over a chevy with 180k km all other things being equal. The reason all these cars are available at this price is they're an owner away from the junk yard, the same as a civic with 275k km that you'll find for the same price. The experience of most is that the civic/corolla's just tend to last longer with far less problems. If I had to pick from your list I'd probably go for the Rio/Mazda.
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2017
960 posts
719 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
I can shed some decent insight as I'm also in the 780/yeg/edm, and regularly window shop for cheap beaters. I have it down to a niche/science. Right now prices are quite high this time of year due to demand for cheap winter beaters, and also due to 100's of collisions from the snow storms. So might want to hold off if you can.

2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6 - garbage
2004 ish chevy optra 5 - garbage
2006 ish pontiac g6 - garbage
2006 ish pontiac g5 - garbage
2006 ish chevy impala - garbage
2006 ish chevy cobalt - garbage
2006 ish dodge caliber - cvt/garbage
2006 ish ford fusion - garbage
2002 ish chevy malibu - garbage
2003 (first year of the first gen) toyota matrix - great cars. Also look at the Pontiac Vibe. Its the same car. These cars all use timing chains, not a crap belt. Reliable as hell.
2004 ish ford focus - 1st gen Focus are epic rust buckets. Otherwise can be reliable cars. Just make sure it has the Zetec engine. If timing belt ever does snap on one, they don't care, they are non interference engines. Can get a new timing belt on and good to go.
2008 ish kia rio 5 - perhaps, I'd trust it over a GM, another option is the KIA Rondo - those are pretty solid.
2007-2008 ford focus - 2nd gen Focus are alright
2005 ish mazda 3 - Watch closely for rust on a 1st gen Mazda3. Solid cars except for that fatal flaw that gets so bad the rear struts detach from the body.
2006 ish nissan altima - AVOID. CVT's are trash. Most of them for sale are ticking time bombs. Unless you can get a standard transmission.


[/quote]

-Avoid Nissan automatic (CVT) like the plague.
-Avoid the whole GM family: Buick Chevy Cadillac Oldsmobile Saturn Pontiac - worthless trash at that price point.
-Watch for severe rust issues on Mazda Protege, 1st gen (04-08) Mazda3, and 1st gen (01-06) Ford Focus.

Honda and Toyota are amazing. I had a $500 92 Camry V6 with 430k km and it still drove great. Currently driving a $2000 07 Honda Fit that still drives like new at 330k km and gets 500km to 30L of gas. Don't be scared of high mileage if they've been maintained right and aren't owned by deadbeats - can easily pick up if the owner is legit or not.

Suzuki SX4 is alright.
Mitsu Lancer is alright but really test out the CVT autos.
Mazda6 is alright.
Deal Addict
Jun 4, 2020
1195 posts
1097 upvotes
Clarington, ON
tehwegz wrote:

-Avoid Nissan automatic (CVT) like the plague.


Honda and Toyota are amazing.

Suzuki SX4 is alright.
Let me paraphrase.

I don't like anything but fuel suckling conventional automatic.

I drink the koolaid regularly.

Every once in a while I like to lick windows.
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2017
960 posts
719 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
KevinM56081 wrote: Let me paraphrase.

I don't like anything but fuel suckling conventional automatic.

I drink the koolaid regularly.

Every once in a while I like to lick windows.
Care to expand? I've spent years going over vehicles in the 5k or under segment. I've personally gone through 35 vehicles. I currently have 5. Most fun I've had was a 5spd manual RHD JDM WRX with winter tires in the winter time. 2004 Grand Marquis in the winter with winter tires a close 2nd.

Please further expand how your comment even has an inkling of helping the OP.

I've obviously hit a nerve. Yes. GM really is garbage. I've personally scrapped 3 of them for being so worthless.
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2672 posts
1938 upvotes
Markham
Let me go through everything, actually a large list where I have driven all:

2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6 - Not good especially the dreadful engine
2004 ish chevy optra 5 - This one is a GM Daewoo, below average at everything
2006 ish pontiac g6 - Random quality problems, this had its budget sacrificed for the 2008 Malibu, the locks are particularly unreliable
2006 ish pontiac g5 - Worst built car on the list, its ignition cylinder was extremely bad either never starts or worse turns off randomly(has killed people)
2006 ish chevy impala - Its a couch with a bad engine, yes the 3.5 wasn't good
2006 ish chevy cobalt - Exactly the same as G5
2006 ish dodge caliber - Absolute worst car in this list, everything about it is very bad, had quality problems when new.
2006 ish ford fusion - Decent...but the 4-cylinder is very very slow
2002 ish chevy malibu - Worse than the G6
2001 ish toyota matrix - 2003 will be the oldest, they're good but at this price might be in awful condition
2001 ish ford focus - Earliest ones were the recall prone ones, not well made sadly
2004 ish ford focus - Fixed all the recall problems, an average car, spacious if you get a wagon although the steering is extremely heavy.
2008 ish kia rio 5 - Awful, Korean cars still kind of bad in this time, stereo in this was the worst
2007-2008 ford focus - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Actually decent
2005 ish mazda 3 - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Watch for rust, if in good shape best car here to drive
2006 ish nissan altima - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Bad, butterfly valve screws killed the engines in these.

This list reminds me how many rubbish cars I've driven, it also reminded me of how terrible so many GMs were. If you only wanted 3 from this list exclusively, Matrix, Mazda 3 and Fusion are where I'd narrow it down, the Focuses are fine as well.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2020
11 posts
2 upvotes
tehwegz wrote: I can shed some decent insight as I'm also in the 780/yeg/edm, and regularly window shop for cheap beaters. I have it down to a niche/science. Right now prices are quite high this time of year due to demand for cheap winter beaters, and also due to 100's of collisions from the snow storms. So might want to hold off if you can.

2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6 - garbage
2004 ish chevy optra 5 - garbage
2006 ish pontiac g6 - garbage
2006 ish pontiac g5 - garbage
2006 ish chevy impala - garbage
2006 ish chevy cobalt - garbage
2006 ish dodge caliber - cvt/garbage
2006 ish ford fusion - garbage
2002 ish chevy malibu - garbage
2003 (first year of the first gen) toyota matrix - great cars. Also look at the Pontiac Vibe. Its the same car. These cars all use timing chains, not a crap belt. Reliable as hell.
2004 ish ford focus - 1st gen Focus are epic rust buckets. Otherwise can be reliable cars. Just make sure it has the Zetec engine. If timing belt ever does snap on one, they don't care, they are non interference engines. Can get a new timing belt on and good to go.
2008 ish kia rio 5 - perhaps, I'd trust it over a GM, another option is the KIA Rondo - those are pretty solid.
2007-2008 ford focus - 2nd gen Focus are alright
2005 ish mazda 3 - Watch closely for rust on a 1st gen Mazda3. Solid cars except for that fatal flaw that gets so bad the rear struts detach from the body.
2006 ish nissan altima - AVOID. CVT's are trash. Most of them for sale are ticking time bombs. Unless you can get a standard transmission.

-Avoid Nissan automatic (CVT) like the plague.
-Avoid the whole GM family: Buick Chevy Cadillac Oldsmobile Saturn Pontiac - worthless trash at that price point.
-Watch for severe rust issues on Mazda Protege, 1st gen (04-08) Mazda3, and 1st gen (01-06) Ford Focus.

Honda and Toyota are amazing. I had a $500 92 Camry V6 with 430k km and it still drove great. Currently driving a $2000 07 Honda Fit that still drives like new at 330k km and gets 500km to 30L of gas. Don't be scared of high mileage if they've been maintained right and aren't owned by deadbeats - can easily pick up if the owner is legit or not.

Suzuki SX4 is alright.
Mitsu Lancer is alright but really test out the CVT autos.
Mazda6 is alright.
[/quote]

thanks sooo much!!!
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2020
11 posts
2 upvotes
JeganV wrote: Let me go through everything, actually a large list where I have driven all:

2004 ish chevy impala 3.4 v6 - Not good especially the dreadful engine
2004 ish chevy optra 5 - This one is a GM Daewoo, below average at everything
2006 ish pontiac g6 - Random quality problems, this had its budget sacrificed for the 2008 Malibu, the locks are particularly unreliable
2006 ish pontiac g5 - Worst built car on the list, its ignition cylinder was extremely bad either never starts or worse turns off randomly(has killed people)
2006 ish chevy impala - Its a couch with a bad engine, yes the 3.5 wasn't good
2006 ish chevy cobalt - Exactly the same as G5
2006 ish dodge caliber - Absolute worst car in this list, everything about it is very bad, had quality problems when new.
2006 ish ford fusion - Decent...but the 4-cylinder is very very slow
2002 ish chevy malibu - Worse than the G6
2001 ish toyota matrix - 2003 will be the oldest, they're good but at this price might be in awful condition
2001 ish ford focus - Earliest ones were the recall prone ones, not well made sadly
2004 ish ford focus - Fixed all the recall problems, an average car, spacious if you get a wagon although the steering is extremely heavy.
2008 ish kia rio 5 - Awful, Korean cars still kind of bad in this time, stereo in this was the worst
2007-2008 ford focus - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Actually decent
2005 ish mazda 3 - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Watch for rust, if in good shape best car here to drive
2006 ish nissan altima - more rare might be able to swing one of these as ive seen some posted but seem to sell quick - Bad, butterfly valve screws killed the engines in these.

This list reminds me how many rubbish cars I've driven, it also reminded me of how terrible so many GMs were. If you only wanted 3 from this list exclusively, Matrix, Mazda 3 and Fusion are where I'd narrow it down, the Focuses are fine as well.


thx soo much! that makes sense and seems right with what others are saying:)
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 30, 2020
872 posts
1300 upvotes
YEG/YYZ
Every car on that list is garbage except for the Toyota Matrix. For a 2001 you could probably haggle down to $1700-$2000.
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Jan 12, 2008
1070 posts
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TDot
Lol there was a woman behind me at the gas station with a mint condition but old uh.. Oldsmobile Alero.

Reminded me of when I had one as a rental back in the day, felt quickish with the 3.4 ...
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
rpelich wrote: thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
I dunno about that... those toyotas can take a beating.
Gf bought a $2500 corolla. Daily drove that 60km a day for 2 years and dumped it for $900.
Only thing changed was brake pads and tires.
Deal Addict
Mar 7, 2010
2535 posts
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Mississauga
Something about civic and corolla



Nice and fresh for OP and his or her friend
Banned
Sep 14, 2020
437 posts
239 upvotes
rpelich wrote: thx for the reply, my reasoning for him to not look at a 250k toyota or honda is that 250k is alot of km's and sure the engines might be stout af but if not maintained properly which is hard to tell and or just wear or tear i feel like theres a higher chance he will have some suspension part breaking or neededing replacement sooner then on a vehicle that only has 160k km. do u know what im tryna say?
hope that makes sense ty
Stay away from any honda's that are not 2000 or older. 2001-2005 civic are notorious for transmission problems, 2006-2009 are notorious for engine block cracking. Check carcomplaints website for the full list

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