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I went out looking for a car today to act as a fuel sipper when the Rumble Bee is not necisary such as running in to town to pick up grocerys. This car will supplement the Rumble Bee not replace it. My wife gets all stessed about our money situation so the mileage of the truck is not adequete. She wants me to sale it and get a car but that is not going to happen. That leaves me with not much to buy with so I went out looking for a used car. I have managed to narrow it down to two and I would like your advice to help me with my final selection.

First and foremost, a 2002 Ford Focus SE. Its a Sedan, 5speed, AC and CD. It has 110k miles on it and they are asking 6k. I was lucky and negotiated them down to $5800 but that is rock bottom. I like the car and my wife has one just like it but in a different color. Negatively, I don't like the manual transmission.

Next, as you can see, the Dodge Neon. I don't like the Neon much but the truck has been so great so I thought I'd at least give them a look. Found a 2001 with 93k miles. It's an automatic and it is bright red( the only color that the car looks half descent in ) I don't like the styling, ride or power as good, but it will cost $5500.

What do you think? The Neon will save me 300 and has less miles on it. What I want to know how do these cars stack up? Anybody owned them or know somebody who did? Any help will be appreciated, and thanks ahead of time.
 

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Focus, I know many horror stories about the engine of the neon not lasting too long. Don't know the particulars but I know the Ford has better dependability than the Dodge
 

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Early Neons had headgasket and automatic transmission failure problems. I don't know if those problems were remedied in the 2nd gen model.

Early U.S. Focuses (2000-2001) had many recalls. Be sure those recalls were performed or will be performed.
 

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iirc
just the 2000&2001my Focus had problems & after that they've scored well on dependability studies

I remember the Neon when it came out for 2000cy still had only a 3 speed auto - the reason I crossed it off my list back then
 

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An auto neon will not be that good for mpg's.


EDIT: fueleconomy.gov says an '01 auto neon gets 21/28. Not that good. A first gen neon will get 24/36(with a stick) but is not a great car I will admit.

A '01 focus is 25/32, still not great I guess.
 

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Yeah those prices seem awfully high to me
 

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Focus no question. Long in the tooth now, but it was one of the best small cars on the market when it was new.
 

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if you can get 2003+ Focus - hands down get it - the Quality of 2003 compared to earlier models is incomparable. even more so if you can get the 2.3l engine.

However even earlier Foci - given all the recalls were taken care of are WAYS better than the neon
 

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I'm serious man, go for a Saturn S-series. They're cheaper than those, the bodies are plastic, they will never rust and always look new. The spaceframe makes them very safe in crashes. The dependibility is usually unbeatable, but sometimes it depends on the previous owner. Simple to maintain or fix when needed. Great on gas (SOHC is great on gas. The DOHC is not quite as good, but much more fun to drive, well worth the minor economy penalty). And the coupes looks good! :yup::cool: The 3-door ones ('99+) are awesome!

Here's my old one...


But if that can't sway you, I'd take the Focus over the Neon by a slim margin.
 

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i wouldnt take any of them. they both have alot of proplems. my friend had a 98 neon and the motor blew on her. she now drives a 05 saturn ion quad coupe. my other friend she just got a 07 Focus and its been good so far but it only had about 4k on it
 

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I'm serious man, go for a Saturn S-series. They're cheaper than those, the bodies are plastic, they will never rust and always look new. The spaceframe makes them very safe in crashes. The dependibility is usually unbeatable, but sometimes it depends on the previous owner. Simple to maintain or fix when needed. Great on gas (SOHC is great on gas. The DOHC is not quite as good, but much more fun to drive, well worth the minor economy penalty). And the coupes looks good! :yup::cool: The 3-door ones ('99+) are awesome!

Here's my old one...


But if that can't sway you, I'd take the Focus over the Neon by a slim margin.
Ohh I change my vote to! I miss my sc2 HOWEVER my mom and dad are going on a cruise so I get to use THIER 1998 sc2 w/ 5ok mileage for my commuting pleasure! woot
 

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Have you driven a Focus and a Neon before? I know I have a blue oval in my avatar but that's not even a contest, the Focus is a much better car than the Neon.

That said, both of those are waayyy overpriced. You should be able to get a newer Focus for that price.
 

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I attribute the Neon to a good part of the forthcoming death of Chrysler. They are tinny, unsafe, poorly engineered and unreliable. Same goes for the Cavalier.

The Focus is a brilliant car however, I myself would be looking for a hatch though. I'll also be the devils advocate and say Honda Civic.
 

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I'll also be the devils advocate and say Honda Civic.
He won't even consider it, this is a continuation to his other thread taking suggestions on cars, and one unwavering condition is that it much be a domestic....54% of buyers won't consider domestic (according to another thread here) what percentage would consider only domestic? I know would with a few rare exceptions. Mostly exceptions I couldn't afford. :eek:
 

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EDIT: fueleconomy.gov says an '01 auto neon gets 21/28. Not that good. A first gen neon will get 24/36(with a stick) but is not a great car I will admit.
That's garbage! My Auto SOHC Saturn got a consistant 26MPG with a lot of city driving and waiting in line at the border. Also I have a very heavy right foot and drive like a maniac from time to time. I was well under what most people on SaturnFans.com averaged BTW. If you were getting under 28MPG city it was unusual. I'd pull off mid 30s on the few long highway cruises I took and one of them I topped out the speedo on the, car to see if the 108MPH electronic governor was true...it is. :eek:

A '01 focus is 25/32, still not great I guess.
Not stellar, but a little better than the Neon at least.
 
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