Category: New Or Used?

By on June 10, 2014


I have a 10 year old Mazda Protege which I have loved ever since new.

There is just one small problem.

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By on May 30, 2014


Hi Steve,

I’m a 17 year old in grade 12 who purchased his first car about six months ago, a ’96 Crown Vic for $1300. As much as I love the size, comfort, space and V8 soundtrack it offers, gas here in Ontario costs nearly $1.40 CAD per litre (about $4.90 USD per gallon). Taking into account it won’t get much better than 14 MPG in the city (yes I’ve tried all I can to improve it) I have decided I need to get something more fuel efficient. Right now my budget is about $2500 plus whatever I can get for my Vic. I’m fairly mechanically inclined and try to repair as much as I can myself to save money, so I want a car that’s easy to work on.

Basically my checklist goes like this:

– Fuel efficient (four cylinder)
– Cheap to buy
– Easy to repair
– Cheap parts
– Reliable
– Domestic over imports (a Ford ideally)
– Lots of trunk space

Needless to say my Vic meets all but the first requirement. This list has led me to a bunch of mid-late 90’s Ford Escort wagons, not my number one choice but what do you think? Overall what do you think would be best car for me?


Steve Says:

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By on May 5, 2014



Love your articles on TTAC. Especially those on auctions, your dealership, and used cars.

I was wondering, do you provide services to buyers looking to buy a specific car? The prices in ATL are much better than the market in New England, to the point where I would be willing to fly down, buy a car and drive it back up. (I also have some friends in ATL anyway.)

If you do please let me know. I’ve been hunting for a decent priced NB Mazda Miata – and in my neck of the woods many are quite over priced.

If not no worries. I’ll continue to enjoy your articles.


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By on April 24, 2014



Hi Steve,

What would be the most reliable car I can purchase for about $7000-8000? And what would be the upper limit on mileage that I would even consider?

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By on April 22, 2014


I’m a working musician from NYC. I have a conundrum.

Since 1998 I’ve owned a 1989 BMW E30 ‘vert, which has served me well as a touring artist — it just hit 160k, most of those miles mine. However, all those miles have come at a price, between 40k timing belt changes and other occasional maintenance items, I wind up putting roughly $1500 into it every two to four years.

But I’ve always loved it, and it never let me down, until recently.

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By on April 18, 2014


I currently have three cars and I feel a hankering to buy a fourth. My wife has bought into the idea, now it’s just a matter of what to get.

The particulars:

– Five kids between the ages of 5 and 15…

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By on April 9, 2014



Thanks for sending along your email address, and for you all that you do to demystify the process of buying and owning cars. I find myself in a unique situation, and I would like your thoughts.

My wife is considering taking a job that is 135 miles away from our home. She will commute up once and return 3 days later. We have 3 young kids, and they attend a school that is about 15 miles from home and a similar distance from my office. Should she take the job, I will be in charge of picking them up 3 days a week, in addition to dropping them every day already.

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By on April 8, 2014
A reader writes: 
I have a 2007 Pontiac G6 coupe which, up until last fall, had been a pretty decent car.
By on April 4, 2014
Hi Steve,

I really enjoy your articles.  Thank you.

I have a question about fleet cars.  I was driving to a meeting in one of the fleet cars my employer has.  Nothing special, a late model Ford Fusion .  And I was thinking is this a better deal to buy when they get rid of it than another used car?  Then I realized that people who use a car that doesn’t belong to them trash it. So I thought, “No way!”

Then I realized that the same people who don’t take care of it, aren’t the same people who maintain it.  So are fleet cars a better deal then non fleet on the market? After giving them a good cleaning does it not matter one way or the other all other things being the same?

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By on March 18, 2014
Yummy Food + Fire Hydrant Red = A Dog's New Best Friend

Yummy Food + Fire Hydrant Red = A Dog’s New Best Friend

We own a pet supply delivery business and use two vehicles. A 1995 Toyota Tacoma with 360,000 miles, and a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica with less than 20,000 miles.

Guess which one has given us more problems?

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