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seeking best bang for buck camry under $6k? suggestions for yr/model, please?

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seeking best bang for buck camry under $6k? suggestions for yr/model, please?

  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 01:30 PM
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Default seeking best bang for buck camry under $6k? suggestions for yr/model, please?

i currently have an '86 jetta (non diesel) that i love but it's burning alot of oil and my mechanic says to start looking for a new car to replace it in 5-6 mo....their loaner car is a 4 cyl '96 camry which feels like a flippin' plush mercedes comparatively...love it.

that said, i do like driving stick (esp with less repair costs given i don't do my own) yet wouldn't turn down auto either given a reliable model.

are there any particular models you'd suggest to look into for under $6k (i live in vancouver bc)? a colleague at work has a '98 camry, 225k, auto, which he says is in great conditon (he's a former mechanic) i could have for cdn 3k (he'd even replace the timing belt)....but am a bit leery of cars with 225k on them

bottom line: want a trouble free car to last me a good 5-7 yr with little troubles, is possible, hence the camry and it's stellar reputation....so also considering a honda accord of similar yr

thanks for any helpful replies
cheers
 

Last edited by canali; 12-18-2011 at 01:32 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-18-2011, 03:20 PM
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How many miles do you want to get out of your replacement car?

Camry offered a stick but it is more difficult to find and thought only available with the 4 cylinder.

My own opinion is years up to 2001 were good with 92-96 (Generation 3) being the best. After 2001 Toyota efforts to be more profitable, gain market share and reduce the cars purchase price started being reflected in the quality of the car as something had to give.

The 4 and 6 cylinder engines used during these years were excellent. If you want a V6 get the 1MZ-FE. Toyota used a different V6 for 92-93, a good engine but much less common given the 1MZ-FE was used until around 2005ish.

If you are looking for a Camry after 2001 don't get the 4 cylinder engine (2AZ-FE) having issues with head gasket failure and excessive oil consumption (two different problems).

As the miles add up Camry as most other makes/models of cars start having issues with worn parts. Don't assume Camry are as trouble free as the Toyota ads claimed.

Any car you are interested in buying should be inspected by mechanic that knows Camry and what to look for. Since your mechanic owns one and maintains might use this person.

It is very possible to achieve 300K+ miles (US) but this requires good maintenance.

One caveat is if the trans fluid was never changed odds are the trans will fail sometime in the 100-200K period.

The 130K (US) mark (a very ballpark figure) seem to be the time when parts start to need replacing. If one gets through this period unless a trans or engine problem the car is good to go for at least 100K miles. If having a shop do the work the costs add up.

Not knocking Camry. Stating as with most cars after a time they need repairs and this costs add up. You might talk to your mechanic about this.

Try to find a car where the previous owner has already gone through the repair period on their dime.

What years of Honda are you looking out? The mid 90's were good cars.

The front Honda rotors of the 90's can be a pain to change as the hubs need to be pulled.

Both Camry and Honda are easy enough to work on. Their V6 options do take up most of the engine compartment which makes engine work difficult.

Might pop over to the Toyotanation website and review posts for the years of Camry you are looking for and ask for opinions.

There are also Honda forums which can aid you.

I would not have an issue buying a Honda or Camry made in the mid/late 90's but of course would give any car a complete inspection.
 

Last edited by toyomoho; 12-18-2011 at 03:23 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-19-2011, 11:29 AM
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thanks for the reply/advice

if i get camry or accord the yrs would be mid 90s to 2000 (due to my budget)...would prefer stick in 4 cylinder but i don't think camry came in stick....am sure the 6 cylinder burns much more gas than 4 (does it, however)?
 
  #4  
Old 12-19-2011, 08:50 PM
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The Camry 4 cylinder averages around 26 mpg and can get 32 on long hwy drives. The V6 gets around 21 overall.

The Honda 4 cylinder seemed to get less MPG then the Camry 4. Not sure about the V6.

If doing your own work, ODBII diagnostics was mandatory in 1996.

The 97 Camry had body changes to improve side impact protection. Thought the 98 offered side airbags.

Check the pricing range through the years of car you are interested in. Prices may narrow thus paying a little more may buy a later model car.
 
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