So I’m helping a friend choose his next car after his Pontiac Aztek, which is currently not looking so hot (it never did anyway)

So a few things:

Budget: $5500

Musts: Be sporty, but not overly (no miatas, etc.), manual, preferably coupe but hatches and sedans are still fine

Must nots: Cannot be a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Acura, Lincoln, basically anything luxury except for Lexus, Infiniti, or Cadillac. No Saabs either (sorry Oppos, but we need something reliable)

After about a month or so of looking, these are the two frontrunners:

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It’s perfect. Literally everything but the price. It would need some good haggling.

Decent shape. Clean under the hood for it’s age. No ricer bullshit. Great price

Any more reccomendations???

Our info: South Jersey Craigslist, 08034 ZIP (not exactly ours obviously, but close)

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UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Okay so after reading some comments, there are some things I should definitely add

This reason for none of the luxury makers I listed above is insurance, reliability, and the fact that the money is coming from his parents. After borrowing their car for 1+ year, they’re getting him his own as a graduation present. This also means NO SPORTS CARS (miatas, mustangs, etc.)

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No Acuras or Hondas due to a very poor (putting it lightly) family history we have with them. I just can’t reccommend one.

No craiglist anymore or private sellers. The car must come from a dealer so they have the opportunity to haggle for some sort of short term (30 day) warranty (which I’ve told them many times TO GET IN WRITING, thank you Steve Lehto)

Budget has also increased to a firm $6000

It can be a fun car (Mazdaspeed, SVT Focus, Golf), just not a sports car.

So here are the current two frontrunners. Yes I know they’re boring economy cars to most of you, but they’re miles better than a Camry, Corolla, Civic, Accord, etc.

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I know it’s not the most reliable thing in the world, nor is it even a 1.8T. But it’s stick shift.

http://www.cherryhilltriplex.com/bargain/Ford/2…

Base. Automatic. Yawn. But at least it’s a Ford. It’s also not pull-me-over red

Thanks Oppo

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Okay, Oppo

We dodged a bullet today when his parents fell in love with a Mitsubishi Galant. A Dodge Avenger was also in the running. Neither were bought

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They have decided to allow luxury now, which gives us a few more options. But still no Saabs

The Golf and the Focus are still being considered, but I have a few more options:

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Jaguar. Low miles. Decent price. But reliability is a concern.

Manual. Lower miles. 1 owner, non-molested/riced.

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E46. Lower miles. Decent price. But automatic. Concerns about long term reliability.

Decent price. Low miles. Turbo. But unreliable

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Newer than others here. Great price. Low miles. But very base

Thanks again Oppo, have this riced Civic for your time

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Dat paint job yo...

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Well. Against my wishes, and all of yours, he has decided to go the anti-sporty route.

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The winner was the 2005 Ford Focus

http://www.cherryhilltriplex.com/bargain/Ford/2…

Not a bad car. Unfortunately it’s an automatic. And has hubcaps. But he was able to knock a couple thousand off the price, so I can’t really argue.

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It’s reliable. It’s economic. It’s boring as sh1t. At least it’s not beige.

Thanks for the help everyone. I have a new project starting tuesday for my uncle. Coupe/convertible around $70k

Should be interesting...