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Crosswind

Low Budget Car Option

Question

This is the kind of topic that I usually answer. But I'm posting this to find as many options as possible and narrow down on a few... Who knows what might turn up...

I'm seeking a car, with the aim to more or less abuse, for a very low budget. Budget is between 700,000 to 800,000. That's frankly because I don't think there are any cars that are in decent running condition for a budget below that. But if you guys have any suggestions for a lower price, I'll be glad to look at.

Here are the requirements:

Budget: ~700,000 - 800,000

Need to be reliable

Size: Doesn't matter. Prefer small hatches rather than sedans

Fuel: Petrol. No diesels.

Country of Origin: Anywhere except India and China

Transmission: Doesn't matter

Fuel efficiency: Say around 9 -10km/ltr will be fine. Even 8 should be ok. But not the fuel economy of Cefiros and similar cars.

Spares availability: I am yet to come across a car which doesn't have spare parts in Sri Lanka. For me, this question is somewhat irrelevant.

Maintenance: I know ppl who can maintain even Fiats, Alfas and the like... so again, this question is somewhat irrevelant

While trolling in classifieds, papers and nearby car yards, this is what I came up with so far:

EP82 starlet (auto gear) with a duplicate book (note that I am not worried about duplicate books either)

Doctor Sunny (auto gear)

Fiat Punto (again, auto gear) - price quoted is a bit higher than the budget

Kia Pride (manual)

Proton Wira (manual)

Nissan March K10 (comes below budget so its a good choice too... is it reliable is the question)

I also know older generation Sonatas (questionable reliability and fuel consumption) and Daihatsu Miras (not powerful enough) fall under these categories.

Right now, the starlet seems to be on the top of the list with the Punto as second.

What are the other options you guys can think of... even if it sounds remote and silly, pls do post them...

Do let me know what your thoughts are on these and any other vehicles that are potential options...

Edited by Crosswind

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22 answers to this question

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Lancer CB1or 2. Decent one could be bought around 7.5

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I saw a absolute mint Honda City GA2 today.

That should fit in all your requirements

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Find good copy of Opel Corsa or Astra ()

cost will be 400,000 - 700,000 max

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Toyota KE72 Wagon, bullet proof, simple and sell for under 500K :)

The proton Wira is a good option as well as most of the important bits are made by Mitsubishi, and while the trim is rubbish replacing them is cheap.

Nissan Tran Sunny HB12, widely considered to be the best Sunny ever made and most examples I've seen to date are in excellent working order

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Corolla II/Windy (EL3#)

Mazda Familiar (BG series ?) and equivelant Ford Laser

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Thanks for expanding my horizons guys (do keep 'em coming)

Corolla II Windy is definitely an option but the trouble is they are blatantly overpriced, just like starlets. I was considering the EP82 only because it comes with a competitive price tag (around 800k with the duplicate CR).

I also saw a BG-series 2 door familia advertised so that would be on my list as well.

As for KE72, I do have a problem with wagons so that would be out. If I had a budget below 500k, KE72 would have been the obvious choice.

B12/B13, Lancers and Wiras are also on the list. So is the Opel but it wouldn't be on the top of the list for obvious reasons.

Also what do you guys think about Auto-gear cars of this age? Now that there are ppl who can repair those to almost factory spec, would it be a bad idea to go for a 20-25 year old auto gear car???

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Not entirely sure if it is the norm but I've seen "Grand Civic"s within that budget.

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If you are going for an Auto Gear, check with the Nilawala guy or somebody if they can be fixed easily. The issue is parts availability more than anything else, but if the box did not change in future models its not much of a concern.

I've noted an EE96 which is the next generation wagon after the KE72 in the classifieds within your budget.

There is also the VY10 Nissan AD wagon which might be negotiated down

The Mazda BG is a good option and so is the Ford Lazer of the same generation.

There is also the old Suzuki swift which then came as the Maruti Esteem if you can find one.

And then I found this...........

http://www.autolanka.com/ad.asp?ID=165405

My family owned the same model (a 1987 version) and I learned to drive on it. Though abused and rusting to the ground due to a bad accident repair previous to our ownership, it was reliable, efficient and transported everything from cement bags, to bicycles, to large screen tvs. The most useful vehicle we have ever owned, and while body parts are hard to come by (probably close to impossible now) shares a lot with the sedans and hatchbacks so maintenance was not an issue.

http://www.autolanka.com/ad.asp?ID=170362

This suggests the petrol wagon of that generation should fit your budget

I do not suggest the Astra of that generation as its panned over here, where it was once popular. Thr MK4 was an improvement.

Edited by The Don

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- Ford is a famous brand in the world but not in SL (not sure now) they made good cars, i think Ford Laser is a good option for bargain hunters, as most of the parts been sheared with Mazda

- I am not sure about the price range in SL but its more than a car for the price you pay for sure

regards

JC

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How about

Dihatsu Charade

Toyota AE 91 (and older versions)

Toyota Carina AT 170

Saw a Toyota Trueno too in this price range

( Generally what I do is search for cars with a price filter. ;) )

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How about

Dihatsu Charade

Toyota AE 91 (and older versions)

Toyota Carina AT 170

Saw a Toyota Trueno too in this price range

( Generally what I do is search for cars with a price filter. ;) )

I was just going to recommend the AE91. We had one of those, very reliable and comfortable car. We had a carb, manual. I've heard some parts are little bit expensive now, because they are little bit hard to come by.

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If you are going for an Auto Gear, check with the Nilawala guy or somebody if they can be fixed easily. The issue is parts availability more than anything else, but if the box did not change in future models its not much of a concern.

Update: Thanks for the tip Don. I did talk to Chandana (NIlwala). His opinion is that auto gear boxes of old Toyotas, Nissans and Mitsubishis are repairable to factory spec in Sri Lanka. Between the three, Toyotas (Starlet, Corolla, Tercel etc.) has better parts availability.

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Crosswind, 800K is a good price for a automatic starlet even with a duplicate CR.

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Crosswind, 800K is a good price for a automatic starlet even with a duplicate CR.

Yup thats what I thought too... it's in a car sale and the A/C is not working. The usual "no gas" story. I suspect the entire A/C system is corroded. Plus the paint job is rather shoddy. No other major problems such as compression issues or chassis damages etc.

Edited by Crosswind

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Yup thats what I thought too... it's in a car sale and the A/C is not working. The usual "no gas" story. I suspect the entire A/C system is corroded. Plus the paint job is rather shoddy. No other major problems such as compression issues or chassis damages etc.

is it a four door white colour car? Any way I assume you are buying this as a daily driver to work or looking at an option of investing your year end bonus? ?

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Update:

Managed to find this one

34oc7l3.jpg

A 1996 (301- ) Mazda Familia (butterfly model) with some repairs and a duplicate CR within my budget. I got this off someone who decided to buy a vehicle beyond his means and as a result, couldn't pay off the loan or maintain the car.

All those dirt marks are caused by the fact that the car was taken to a garage straightaway after purchase.

The problems identified are:

Brakes are weak. I suspect the brake booster is shot. Pedal goes all the way to the floor before stopping.

A/C doesn't cool... still didnt have time to investigate. It could be anything frm a minor leak to a corroded A/C system

Bad starter motor

Weak shocks

and a stone chip on the windscreen

Oh yeah and did I mention the duplicate CR?

On the positive side, it's a full option auto tranny vehicle with gears shifting fairly smoothly. Mazda cars can withstand a lot of abuse and this is an example for that (the engine and drivetrain is in good nick, although the exterior looks shoddy). Power mirrors, shutters and central locking are working and got those all-important retractable mirrors too...

Edited by Crosswind
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Sounds like a great buy man! Especially for that budget.

I'd say 50K for shocks, 20K for suspension 30K for AC and 20K for everything else, you should have a great car.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/10/2015 at 9:46 AM, Crosswind said:

His opinion is that auto gear boxes of old Toyotas, Nissans and Mitsubishis are repairable to factory spec in Sri Lanka. Between the three, Toyotas (Starlet, Corolla, Tercel etc.) has better parts availability.

Sorry for digging up this old thread - : What do you guys think about the repair-ability of almost ancient japanese auto gear boxes - I'm talking about cars  that are now 30+ years old.(belonging to the era when Sri Lankans ran away when they saw an auto gear box)   And how nightmarish would the likes of mid 80's Honda's  Mazdas with Auto-boxes  be ? Time to time  old cars with plenty of bells and whistles (for their age) pop up and most of the time these 'pull-opsan'  specimens come with Auto gears on classifieds and facebook groups - (for instance there was this mint looking  Sunny B12  -1985 i think - with sunroof and A/T on classifieds a few weeks ago) 

Edited by matroska

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A call to Chandana at Nilwala might help. When I had the last conversation with him on the same topic, he said Toyota carried on with old auto boxes for a long time. It might also be possible that the same manufacturer did the auto boxes for Nissan and other makes as well. Also the old Japanese auto boxes were copies of European ones from Borgwarner and other manufacturers. Bit of research and a conversation with chandana might help.

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2 hours ago, Crosswind said:

It might also be possible that the same manufacturer did the auto boxes for Nissan and other makes as well.

Apparently most older jap cars had gearboxes from Jatco - a nissan subsidary and at a certain point a joint venture between Nissan and Mazda. Honda though have been using their own 'hondamatic'  since the 70's ..but good inputs Crosswind -  I will contact him and have a chat. 

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On 5/5/2019 at 3:45 PM, matroska said:

Apparently most older jap cars had gearboxes from Jatco - a nissan subsidary and at a certain point a joint venture between Nissan and Mazda. Honda though have been using their own 'hondamatic'  since the 70's ..but good inputs Crosswind -  I will contact him and have a chat. 

Not just them, even Subaru, Suzuki, Mitsubishi & even Renault used/continue to use JATCO automatic gearboxes 

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