My girlfriend recently decided she wanted to sell her two cars and get one all-around car. She likes my xB, so I decided to start looking there. I immediately lucked into a 2004 5-speed model about 2.5 hours away going for $1200. The ad said the check engine light was on and it needed some work, but since xBs book for around $4500 I figured it was worth a look.
Drove up through sleet & rain to find a somewhat ratty looking xB that a college kid was selling as he bought a newer Golf. Despite having 237K miles and having sat all summer, it seemed to start & run fine. I pulled the code, which turned out to be an evap leak code that usually throws from not tightening the gas cap all the way.
Took it for a test drive and other than slightly mushy brakes and noise from the front pads having rusted to the rotors it drove & handled fine. The body was rough, but didn't have any real rust, and everything seemed to work as it should.
Talked him down to $1000, cleared the check engine light(hasn't come back on), and headed home in a 2 xB convoy. The weather had shifted to combined rain & thick wet snow, but our new box trucked home without missing a beat.
The plan is to do some maintenance & clean it up some so she can start using it. Then over time make some aesthetic & mechanical improvements.