Boy…that’s what I feel like. I am always buying the WRONG model of car! First, I had Fieros.. pieces of junk. Then, a Cadillac 4100.. more junk..then, a Isuzu Trooper. It lasted a while.. and is still with me. My holy grail is finding..the SIMPLEST car to work on. The very simplest car. Actually the old Trooper isn’t bad. I never spend more than $1200 on a car. It was good, but had wheel bearing problems. You CAN find a cheap car. You have to really, really think about the hidden costs. License, insurance, and TAXES TAXES TAXES! Tires. It’s gotta be safe. That old weenie skin can cost you your life on the road. I wouldn’t buy the Trooper over again. Nope. For Urban Survival you need a car that cheap, and maybe most of all, EASY TO GET FIXED…easy and cheap. In general, the easier it is, the cheaper the repair. Do-It-Yourself can turn into a can of worms. You strip bolts..and mess up other stuff, doing more harm than good. Even the mechanics will screw it up. Maybe a Toyota Tercel. A Toyota Corolla, and I am talking the old ones, the ones that were Chevy Novas.
Now, I am looking for a Ford Ranger.. the best one I can get for $1200. It SEEMS like..there’s a lot of ’em available! I want the 4 cyl 5 speed, because it is easy to maintain. That ISUZU is built tough, but the 4 X 4 transmission expensive..in fact most all the parts are expensive.. but it may last me a while longer. The Ford Ranger seems a better choice. Cheaper parts, tires, no 4X4 either.. simple manual transmission.
Update: I am STILL driving that old Isuzu trooper..and it has been a good, reliable vehicle for me.