By on July 25, 2012

I currently drive a 2005 MINI Cooper S convertible. I’ve been swapping winter/summer tires for the past few years but I was thinking that this year I might get a beater car for the harsher weather months. The combination of FWD and wear and tear on the fabric roof are my main reasons for these considerations.

I live in NJ, so most of my driving is on the highway but as part of my job as a systems admin in a datacenter, I’m occasionally called into work at times when even the highways haven’t been plowed.

Do you think it’s possible to find a cheap (around $1000), preferably AWD car that would work well for winters in the northeast? Craigslist searches so far have turned up a handful of Subarus, Volvos, and Audis Quattro.

 

A Former Resident Of The Garden State Says…

 

Yes! You can buy an AWD car in New Jersey for $1000!

Of course the car would have to be stolen or misappropriated from a government agency. Maybe both.

Then there is always the slim chance to do one of those low down payment deals and ‘negotiate’ your way through the winter months.

Something tells me that neither one of these possibilities will come true for you. Then again, I have no idea who you work for so feel free to ponder them if you like.

My real advice is two-fold…

1) Buy some top of the line protectant. TTAC isn’t in the official endorsement business. But start with this.

2) Most anything you buy these days for $1000 will require a lot of immediate maintenance… and may very well be at death’s door.

If you want to lose your savings, keep being stingy.

If you want to keep your car for the long haul, invest in it. Snow tires, protectant, and a couple of good cleanings throughout the year will  yield far greater dividends than a broken down jalopy that spews oil and sucks your savings.

You can also rent if you like. Enterprise and a few other rental car companies will pick you up. Make sure you have plenty of coupons and a friendly relationship with the counter person. Good luck!

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49 Comments on “New Or Used?: Living In A Cheapskate Paradise...”


  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Thousand-dollar cars aren’t what they used to be. For a beater that’s not on its last legs (and four legged, to boot), you’d be looking at $5K or so.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Totally agree. Not to mention the fact that an AWD beater will be even worse, and more of a wallet drainer.

      I bought a beater 3 years ago for $1800, and have since added about $3k in parts, not to mention my free labor. It’s a stable car now, but I might have been further ahead to spend the $5k to begin with.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      I’ve been driving in winter conditions all my life including the past 36 years here in Colorado. Tires are 95% of winter driving (common sense is the other 5%). I’ve owned SUVs, 4X4 trucks and several RWD BMWs.

      My current RWD 328i sedan has seen 7 Colorado winters and never failed to get me where I was going. My previous 540i saw 3 winters and previous to that 535i four winters. I would rather drive a RWD car with four real winter tires than an AWD with “all” (read three) season tires.

      Of all the cars I’ve owned (30+), my 1997 Subaru Outback was my worst vehicle. Sucked a valve <90,000 miles, always triggering the check engine light, etc. It's the only make I'd never buy again.

      Keep your car and buy 4 real winter tires come November. $1,000 buys a set of four great winter tires mounted on separate wheels. It will not buy a car worth driving.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny ro

        Colorado has different snow than the east but otherwise I agree 100% with recommendation.

        Tinkering with numbers, I think its more in my humble opinion like 60% tire, 20% common sense, and 20% drive axle.

        FWD works really well in snow. Center of thrust forward of center of drag = self correcting.

      • 0 avatar
        TomHend

        twotone, that is an excellent post. This is what I love about the internet, getting to read what others think besides the author.

      • 0 avatar
        r56turbo

        Redundant advice is redundant; OP said he has winter tires.

      • 0 avatar
        mikedt

        In this case the OP, can drive his Mini in the winter, he’d just rather not. Perfectly understandable if this is a car he longs to keep. Last winter NJ got very little snow but I think they still used the same amount of salt that they used in the winter before.

    • 0 avatar
      Windy

      I live in deep woods Maine and did the winter beater thing for decades ( the last one was a 1969 Chevy Blazer in school bus yellow it was S# 75 a preproduction example from when the assembly line was being set up and it lasted until the mid 90s doing winter duty only from 75 on… it ran with very aggressive snow tires that were also studded and while it was a maintenance hog the last ten years and drank gas and a frightening rate it worked till it was at last killed by the tin worm but it was never a cheap option.

      in 2004 in February I bought a MINI Cooper S new and that is what Drive now (85,000 miles or so to date) it came with 17″ Dunlop run flats that seem to last about 35,000 miles and for the the first winter I went to the tire rack dot com site and bought a set of 16″ wheels with mounted snows also run flats.

      It is easy to swap mounted wheels back and forth and I am on my 2ed set of run flat snows(no flats yet knock wood) and next spring will be time for a new set of summer boots.

      I have had no problems in fresh snow so deep that the front bumper underhang (not really a spoiler i think) was plowing the road in snow that has been as much a 2 to 3 inches deeper than its bottom edge.

      I live in a very hilly area as well… I have found the MINI to be a good snow car I do have a 6 speed manual and all the DSC stuff and the lights flash quite a bit to tell me that they are working hard in bad conditions but it gets me where I need to go even in bad winters.

      But I am a fanatic about preventative maintenance and throughly wash the underside of the car several times a week as well as a mid winter wax job to keep the paint nice I run an invisibra and also touch up any stone chips in the paint so rust does not get a chance to start.
      and lastly my garage is under my house so is seldom below 40f as the furnace is in the next room of the basement so snow melts into the floor drain and the car dries out (the floor drain helps when I wash the underside with a wand attachment on the power washer.

      So Maintain Maintain and do the preventative stuff as well and forget a beater for winter… most of my friends around here no longer use them… though some young folks still seem to be giving them a try.

  • avatar
    segfault

    If the counter person looks like the one at my local ERAC, I’d like to have a very friendly relationship with her!

  • avatar
    wagonsonly

    Is it just me or are there a couple of lines missing between the original post and the reply?

    I’d chance a beater – in fact, I already do. I drive a 2002 Saab 9-3 during the summer and a 2002 Subaru Forester in the winter. With both cars older (but in excellent mechanical condition), it’s worth it to me to have a slightly more fun car in the summer, with a pristine body & paint job. I live in CT, so the winter elements here are just as harsh, if not worse, than NJ. The Forester is used almost exclusively through salt season, and occasionally as a trucklet during the summer. With a little over 270K on the Subie, it’s nice having a reliable AWD car that presents well enough to not be a beater, but that I don’t have to worry about; and the Saab, at a fully-depreciated 10 years and 145K miles, still looks like new since it’s never seen a winter. (The previous owner lived in Georgia, so my only appearance problem is a little bit of sun fade on the mirrors.)

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I’ll bet that Subaru gets 40 mpg and the 9-3 hits 60 mph in 6.0 seconds. (end sarcasm)

      I’m not sure what your point is. If the writer is supposed to contemplate buying a 270k mile Subaru as a beater, he will either a) pay much more than $1k for it (the Subaru AWD Kool-Aid is strong), or b) soon be spending a lot on frame repairs and engine rebuilds.

      Personally, I’d treat both the Subaru and the Saab as radioactive in terms of resale or future dependability.

      • 0 avatar
        wagonsonly

        I do see your point. The Subaru gets around 22mpg – another reason I don’t drive it year-round, as I have a 110 mile-per-day round trip commute. The Saab gets between 29 and 33 depending on the traffic pattern (and some of that savings is absorbed by the premium fuel requirement). Yes, I do have a spare ignition cassette in the trunk.

        The Subaru was purchased at 248k as a spare car/winter beater after several months of perusing the paper, Craigslist, and checking out cars for sale at curbside, for $1750 almost three years ago. It has required a wheel bearing – unexpected and expensive – and some exhaust work – anticipated and cheap. All told I have around $2500 in it for three years of winter beaterage.

        The Saab I picked up this past winter for $2200 at 131k to replace my former daily driver – a 9-5 wagon that went to 206k before needing a turbo and starting to rust. I’ve put a little over 14k on it so far and have done nothing but brake pads and oil changes.

        They aren’t cosmetically perfect, and I am not expecting Toyota levels of reliability from the Saab. But they are both in excellent mechanical shape. I followed Steve’s advice on that one and “bought the seller” – over $20k in maintenance records on both, combined. When I’m done with them, I will have paid little to no depreciation, enjoyed the convenience of having a(somewhat) nicer car and a (somewhat) beater, paid vastly reduced property taxes, not had a car payment, and been able to afford and drive cars I have liked and enjoyed. My point is that the original poster can certainly do the same for a reasonable amount of money. $1,000 is probably too little unless he is exceptionally lucky; $5,000 is probably a little on the high side unless he is exceptionally unlucky. I do acknowledge that my Forester transmission could go out at any time, or that I could lose a Saab head gasket on my way to work tomorrow. But I’d be inclined to throw the dice on that chance if it let me keep my nice car nicer longer, and in doing so it has worked for me. As to your final observation, the resale radioactivity is what let me buy both of my cars on the cheap, and the reliability perception is both a gamble on my part (that I am knowingly willing to take) and a calculated maneuver in “buying” the previous owner.

    • 0 avatar
      EchoChamberJDM

      Wagonsonly – 2 thumbs up for the Saab winterbeater. $3-4k should get you a nice later model Saab 9-3. Comes with ABS, Traction Control, and side airbags standard on the 2003MY and later. Turbo power provides lots of fun. Saab 9-5 also had similar equipment but supply doesn’t seem to be as plentiful. Either way, make sure you get service records and evidence of careful maintenance history.

      Would be a far better buy than a $1k beater which won’t be safe for NJ winters. Nor safe for your wallet. What you can find on Craigslist for $1k are either later models in need of significant repair, or older models (say early 90s) that lack any modern safety equipment.

      Why did I sell my Echo and buy a Saab? Spun the Echo out 360 degress, slid across the road in a NY upstate winter, ended up in a ditch. Luckily no one coming the other way, otherwise I would have been toast. Just got tired of fearing the neighbors Suburban plowing into me on an ice covered road.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    You could trade the Mini (while it still has some value) and get one all-season car, rather than having two part-time cars that both need care.

    KBB says your car is worth maybe $11k on trade. If you’re truly going to spend another $5k on a beater, why not buy a new/newish car for around $18-$20k, with a warranty, less insurance cost, and no headaches for years to come?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    You live in New Jersey? I don’t advise buying anything new for a second car, that’s for sure. It will be “destroyed” in no time due to the environment if you live near NYC, theft, bad roads and parking lot carelessness.

    My advice? Yes, buy something reasonable but not cheap, as it will cost you more down the road. Or just buy a Kia Rio and call it done!

    AWD? fugetaboutit. For icy/snowy/uplowed roads, get a set of strap chains and use them as the need arises. No such thing as cheap AWD. Ditto for 4WD. A good FWD car will be just fine. If things are that bad, stay home until conditions improve.

    • 0 avatar
      r56turbo

      LOL there is a very large part of NJ that doesn’t come anywhere near NYC…also, why would anyone who is looking for a beater car buy new?

      Cf. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/hammer-time-the-beater-index/

  • avatar
    JohnTheDriver

    Raggtopp fabric protectant. It’s what (most) of the manufacturers use.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    I’d get a FWD beater and put a good set of snow tires on it. But you’ll probably have to put more than $1000 into it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Suggest you read the lyrics to the song thousand dollar car.

    That’s all you need to know.

    http://www.cowboylyrics.com/tabs/bottle-rockets/1000-dollar-car-7967.html

    $1000 car is gonna let you down,
    More than it’s ever gonna get you around.
    Replace your gaskets and paint over your rust,
    You’ll still end up with something that you’ll never trust.
    $1000 car’s life was through,
    ‘bought 50,000 miles ‘fore it got to you.
    Oh why did I ever buy,
    a $1000 car.

    • 0 avatar
      Mathias

      Add the most salient point of the song, about the thousand-dollar car’s need for additional expenses:

      “You put your money in it, and there you are:
      Owner of a two-thousand-dollar, thousand-dollar car!”

      FWD and snow tires will work if there aren’t steep hills.
      GROUND CLEARANCE is a really big deal when it snows a lot.
      My Pontiac Vibe with snows is incredible in the thick stuff. Wouldn’t know from hills as we don’t have any in mid-MI.

      Buying used Subarus is a fool’s game, waggonsonly’s experience notwithstanding. Mr. Shiftright over on edmunds.com has a very good rules for 200k cars: If in good shape now, plan for one year of service, then having to discard it. Anything beyond that is gravy.

      A miley Vibe/Matrix; more likely a 2003+ Focus; else anything that has been maintained and is sold cheap, be it an Oldsmobile ’88.

      If you see a good deal, jump on it; shoot for the $2-$5k.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    AWD is over-rated unless you drive through mountain passes. Snow tires and heavy FWD car will get you through. I suggest an oldsmobile 88 or equivalent buick H body if you’re looking for rock bottom price.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Yeah, AWD is not 4WD. I’d take fwd and snowtires any day over the modern 2-3(awd) wheel drive systems.

      I have a set of Winterforce(aka “my knobbies”) I put on the 9-5 last year. Only got to use them once in 4-8″ of the white stuff that was previously run over and went to town passing everbody. Including Subarus and CUVs in lane three.

      Yes, I have chains, or rather cables, and have had to use them when we had 10″ of wet stuff. They worked well on my C5. :)

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Snow tires will get you through most anything – buy a pair of chains and throw them in the back if you intend to go to a ski resort during a snowstorm.

    AWD adds considerable expense both in gas costs and maintence. it’s a luxury feature..

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    $1000 + AWD = parts car.

    Any decent AWD car or pickup is at least $3000.

    If you are not wrenching yourself don’t bother.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I would be really worried about safety and dependability of a $1,000 car. We’re talking about something more than a decade old. This car is guaranteed to have many expensive maintenance issues. Worn out and/or sagging spring coils, struts, and shocks. Steering and suspension problems, such as worn out steering rack, tie rods, etc. AC issues, which are expensive to fix. If the car has automatic transmission that’s another possible surprise in a can. Rusting brake lines, and deteriorating rubber hoses, etc. You might get by in it for one winter. However, by the end of it, you will become aware of the mounting estimates for fixing this car. In my experience, a car like this is an endless money pit. The quality of aftermarket parts is shit and the labor cost for repairs is high. So just because you just spent $800 on fixing a suspension issue does not mean that you will not have to spend $800 or more on exactly the same repair a year or two later. Bad idea in and out IMHO. Unless it’s a collector car or a future LeMons racer, it’s just not worth the trouble.

    To save money, I personally would look for a basic trim 4-6 year old Subaru Forester with non-turbo engine. Something with a good history, single owner, and just out of warranty. This should be ok all around car, not just for winter. Nice for Home Depot, camping or ski trips.

  • avatar

    Well I live in the south so I know nothing about this thing you call winter. But beaters are a bad idea. Trust me, I grew up with the stingiest father on the planet (think the father from “Everybody Hates Chis.”) he went through more daily drivers than anyone I’ve ever known. But he got them cheap, never more than $1500. But by the next year he had already picked up another one. He could have just made payments on a second car for that money. Don’t be cheap, be frugal (there is a difference.)

  • avatar

    If you look up “winter beater” in the encyclopedia, I’m pretty sure there’s a photo of a rusty Subaru.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      If you find a 2.2 Subaru and undercoat it well, you can definitely get through the winter with $1,500 worth of car, no problem. You have to be careful, though… and a 2.5-powered car at that price may very well (read: probably will) need head gaskets done.

      AWD Volvos at that price point are anxiously awaiting opportunities to revert to FWD, but FWD 850s and S/V70s do well in the snow, too, especially with a manual. Audi? Well…

  • avatar
    npbheights

    The transfer case in our 07 Lincoln MKZ AWD went bad and needed to be replaced. Over $900 for the part and the dealer charged only $450 to put it in. Book was something like $725. I could not even begin to imagine what this would cost in a European AWD car. Good thing it is amazing to drive, like it is glued to the pavement. If it was a sub $2000 car it would have sent it to the scrap yard though, I bet.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Buy a beater truck. Throw on some snow tires; go buy a 2X6 and stick the 2X6 behind the wheel hump. Fill space between 2X6 and tailgate with sandbags from your home improvement warehouse. Gain points with your boss when you can go pick up that emergency hardware order. You have a truck, you can haul it. Meet new friends come summertime/moving season. Hope they have hot friends. On the sad day it dies,and it will die, slap a for sale sign on it. Someone mechanically inclined will buy it and keep it running for a few more years. All dogs and beater trucks live in a special part of heaven.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    At a $1000 you’re better to look for a 4×4 p/u. Much more available and some sort of likelyhood of finding something in reasonable shape. Not pretty but it could be mechanically sound. Easily fixed as well.

  • avatar
    jrhmobile

    I’m up in Maine, the home of winter beaters. If you’re not too stuck on appearances, a $2000-2500 winter beater can be found and reliably run for the next couple of years. Easily.

    Forget about AWD. Go for 4WD. Older Jeep Cherokees are a little crusty at that price point, but they wear like iron. Perhaps because large parts of them ARE cast iron. You might want to look at older Blazers/Tahoes/Suburbans and full-size Broncos/Expeditions too.

    It would have been better if you bought one at the start of Spring, when gas prices were high and full-size SUVs were being dumped for short money. You’ll pay for these rides on the installment plan, and they’re short on driving dynamics and creature comforts. But they are generally reliable, relatively simple to fix and can eat up everything that Jersey byways can dish out.

    Plus, you’ve got a cruiser-class hauler on those occasions when you need to haul bulky or heavy stuff. Put tons of liability insurance on it, and you can be lending it out to friends and family year ’round. Just tell ‘em that they have to bring it back with a full tank.

  • avatar
    jco

    I just completed an exhaustive search of every CL except the west coast (too far) for a cheap Subaru. i found one, in the south, for $3500. and it has a lot of miles and needed another $1000 to get to point where it wasn’t a road hazard ready to shed parts and fluids everywhere. you’ll be better off finding a fwd Japanese penalty box and getting a set of winter tires for it. offset the cost by selling your extra set from the mini. and I still think you’re gonna hit $2k because you’ll have to do at least one major thing for it.

    if you know someone that lives at least 1,000 miles south.. call them and enlist their help. you’re better off at least finding something that hasn’t been extensively chewed up by the tin worm

  • avatar
    bbbuzzy

    Here in Mass, the winter can be harsh (or not, like this past year). A beater is not a necessity, but rather a luxury (or penalty, depending on your point of view: more cost, more parking issues, etc). However, the OP was only asking if they can be found for around $1000. I believe they can. Here’s a few from my local Craigslist:

    http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/3156640463.html

    http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/ctd/3159565581.html

    http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/3158791129.html

    Obviously, at this price point many cars will have issues, perhaps hidden by the seller. Grab a mechanically inclined friend and go look at some possibilities. Perhaps you’ll find one you actually “like”. Good luck.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    How come every time somebody on this site mentions anything about a winter car, everybody tuns it into snow tires on FWD vs all seasons on AWD as if it’s not allowed to put snows on them? I’ll take one of my Subaru’s on snow tires in a Canadian snow fall vs anything else I’ve ever driven. (Off soapbox now.)

    An older 2.2 Subaru is very reliable. A 2.5 with the head gaskets done should be similar. As an odd question, with the used car bubble in the US, have you looked across the border? TONS of them in Quebec/New Brunswick/NS.
    I just sold my last beater, a 2003 Legacy Wagon with 116,000km on it (60k miles or so?) For $3000. I used to have a 93 Imprezza with the 1.8. Bulletproof. Sold that for about $500 a couple years ago. Needed a brake line and a little quarter panel work to be good for another few years.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    No free ride on this. 2 grand or so will get you into an 91 or 92 Land Cruiser. Full Time 4WD, Amazing in the snow and very reliable. The catch of course would be the 10-12 MPG you will enjoy. You pay one way or another.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    ya the beater idea is beat, hehe.

    jersey boy here, the main problem i see here is not he snow, but the salt! Its a killer. I have a 95 VW that i maintain carefully, especailly getting the salt off ASAP after the roads dry. Seems to work.

    You might also consider putting it in a garage whenever u can, i found this helps alot. If u dont have one in your house, look around, maybe someone who lives close has an unused space, u could rent that.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Yup, I live in Jersey as well. The second we get any moisture on the roads from November-March, the salt trucks come out. That’s the #1 reason why finding a serviceable old car in Jersey is so difficult, the salt dissolves most before they get to be old.

      You can forget about finding a serviceable AWD car in Jersey for $1K, even Albanian “used car dealers” would look at you as if you were insane for suggesting such a thing.

      You can find 20 year old American iron, with low miles, at estate sales of a recently departed biddies. Most of these cars have been driven very little, if at all, in the years leading up to grandma’s demise. As an added benefit, most were garage kept. With a bit of work, and a new set of snow tires, most would make excellent winter beaters, but expect to pay at least $2K-$3K.

  • avatar
    dts187

    Others have said it and I will too. . .

    Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck. Truck.

    It makes a great complimentary vehicle to the Mini. An early 90’s Dakota/Ranger/S10 could be had between 1-2k, EASY to work on, cheap/abundant parts, and a wealth of information on repairs on the net. In the summer, run some cheap all seasons and haul some stuff around. Come winter, throw on some good snows, get a set of chains just in case, load up the bed with sandbags, and hit the snowy streets with wreckless abandon.

  • avatar
    peteinsonj

    As a fellow Jerseyite — my first recommendation would be the best set snows you can get, like Pirelli Scorpions. Simplest and will work 95% of the time.

    If, OTOH, you really need to get something else, don’t get a pick up truck. How do I say this politely, this is NJ, not Texas. The only pick ups trucks in NJ are those driven for work, and when those are available used, they’re usually junk (exception, when the rich kid, 17 yo, gets tired of his first car, often a toy pick up, those may be ok)

    What we have lots of in NJ is used Explorers, Trailblazers, and the like. They get Mommy duty for several years, then get traded on something either richer (Land Rover) or a sedan. Great for camping, hauling, and the like, and your neighbors won’t look at you cross eyed for having one in the driveway.

  • avatar
    Downtown Dan

    My initial reaction was to go the truck route– Jeep Cherokee, Isuzu Rodeo, Chevy S-10…. But what about something like a Corolla All-Trac wagon, or a Subaru Justy?

    I’d suggest expanding your budget a tad, though — at $1000, it’s pretty much luck of the draw; at $1800, you have a few more options.
    Between the recession-driven spike in used car prices, and Cash for Clunkers, the good old days of buying a $750 beater and running it into the ground (practiced by my family for many, many years) are over.

    I find that in this price bracket, family and friends are a good resource– put word out at work and see what happens. Someone is bound to have an old beater taking up valuable space in the garage.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I did the 2 car thing for 5 years in MA. Summer dd was a Miata with performance tires which went into the garage from Nov to May. Winter dd was my trusty Integra with regular all-season tires. Winter tires? Who needs that?

    The only time I had problems were with crappy Falken 912 tires which seemed to handle rain well but were awful in snow. Surprisingly Falken 512s were excellent in both. Anyway, never had winter tires in my life. Fwd and all-seasons were sufficient.

    If getting there is a must even when snow is still on road, get a Subaru and decent all-season tires. That ought to be enough.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Like a lot of posters, I’m skeptical of the idea that a $1,000 car can be purchased that doesn’t have as a feature the fact that the $1000 is just the first of an unknown series of $1000 payments required to keep the car roadable.

    Last time I was there (a few months ago), New Jersey was pretty flat, not Kansas-flat, but pretty flat. If you have a snowfall which will stop an FWD snow-tire equipped car, it’s most likely because the snow is too deep and the car doesn’t want to be a snowplow. The solution to that problem is not AWD, it’s ground clearance . . . like you would find in a truck or a truck-based SUV, not any of the AWD choices you mention.

    As a convertible owner, I can understand why you don’t want to subject your MINI to road salt and other winter sludge. But in your state, if you want a winter beater, a lil’ ol’ lady GM car with lots of years, few miles and the 3800 V6 should do pretty nicely, even without AWD, if you buy it some snows for all 4 wheels.

    Or, if the MINI really doesn’t suit your needs now (e.g. no effective back seat for other than a dog), then, as others suggested, trade it on something that does. I can’t imagine the amount of snow in NJ is such (and I went to college there for 4 years) that road salt is going to be the same kind of problem that it is for folks in New England and the true snowbelt.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    These are probably rare, but have you checked out Astro AWD?

    While looking through my local CL, I could only find 3 cars. Two were Volvos that needed new engines. The remaining one was a beater looking Astro that apparently ran decently.

    That should be a marginally cheaper solution than an older Volvo, Saab, or Audi.


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