<= 6k Japanese car, need your help

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Hey guys,

Sorry if i'm posting in the wrong area... just let me know where to if I am.

Anyways, I've been searching around for a used car but I haven't been able to decide which car to buy. That's where I'm hoping you guys come in. After having bad experiences with German cars and pleasurable experiences with Japanese cars, especially Hondas, I've been leaning towards Japanese cars. I've gone through the forums and saw that you guys like some criteria.. so here it goes:

Japanese
Coupe or Sedan
4cyl or 6cyl (I love rotarys but they're more of a hassle)
Reliable (Very important)
Not too small (like an MR2)
Not too old (early 1990s is as far back as I plan on going)
Decent looks (I'm not a huge fan of older Corollas but Integras aren't bad)
Power is obviously a plus, but I'm not gonna fret if its 260hp or 200hp
I'm a huge fan of cars that handle well

And I have $6000 to use. Whether I plan on using all $6000 on buying the car, or $5000 on the car and the rest on modding it, I don't know. Let's just say $6000 is the absolute limit.

Also, I've been doing a little research. The cars I'm thinking about right now are the Integra (most likely as of now), Accord (also not bad), Camry, 300zx, 240sx, 3000gt, Eclipse, Civic, and Celica. Tell me all the other ones I'm missing. I'm definitely not going to buy a MR2 (too small), Supra (haha only if it were MK4... I wish), or RX7 (rotarys... too much work). And I'm a little hesitant with a Prelude, as I haven't heard much good of them.

A few suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks fellas

posted by  JuBeZ

"This porridge is too cold, this porridge is too hot, this porridge is just right". Point is, what is too hot or too cold for one person, is just right for someone else. It sounds like almost every early 1990s Japanese sports car fits into those categories. You gave us a very broad spectrum and you want us to pick a car that in your opnion is perfect, but in our opinion, might not even be close to what you were thinking.

My advice would be to get onto a web site like Edmunds and do a used car search using criteria you want. CHeck out your area. The cars we plan on buying and the cars we end up buying are often times different.

posted by  SPRS4

If reliability is important, I'd stay away from sub-6k 300ZXs or 3000GTs.

posted by  giant016

I say the lude, as it was rated bet handling FWD car when it came out and it looks great.

Or 240sx cause you cant be RWD, and it has a huge aftermarket plus it looks great especially a Silvia conversion

Or a Hatch much like elchango36s. Im tarting to really liek the look of old hatchs with a few JDM parts and I dont like many imports especially front drivers, but Ive seen a few of these with swaps and boost that werent to bad plus a nicely styled but subdued one lacking a farter has a great street presensce as they are so few and far in between.

posted by  Enthusiast

Don't be a afraid of the Prelude, awesome daily driver. I'd recommend this or a Civic/Integra mainly because I'm partial to Honda, and also because you don't want something small. You could pick up a nice 1st gen MX5 Miata for that much, but you're probably put off by it because of the space (or lack thereof). You could go 240 as Enthusiast said, but this can be pricey to modify because of the current demand (it's the latest bandwagon/fashion accessory for tuners right now). If you want something practical, a 5th or 6th gen Civic hatchback with a few mods will do the trick. I agree 100% with what giant said. Expect to pay over $8,000 for a good example of either the Z or 300GT.
Lastly, there is one car you didn't mention and I can't figure why (other than the badge). A 2nd Gen Ford Probe has everything your looking for including the Japanese DNA. Its really a rebadged Mazda MX-6 with better looks IMO.

I don't know how mechanically inclined you are. Modding can be "affordable" or pricey depending on how much work you can do yourself, and how many people you know that can help you out. It's a great hobby if you have the funds for it. You could build a very nice car with your budget. In the end it's YOU who has to decide as YOU'RE the one that has to live with the car everyday. Good Luck!!!:2cents: :thumbs:

posted by  elchango36

Awesome. Thanks for the help guys. I've decided Integra or Prelude.

Thanks again.

posted by  JuBeZ

you won't ever regret getting an integra for 6k you can get a nice 96-97 GSR.. loads of fun to drive even if it is all stock.. extrimely reliable.. but keep in mind it isvery high risk of being stolen and insurance might be pricey for that reason. also a chance of getting a ticket in an integra is a little higher than lets say in a corola

posted by  ateymura

300zx blows all those cars away. No joke. RWD, 220-300hp, handles great, was expensive new, large aftermarket support, beautiful rare looking lines, etc. You can stick real sized rubber under those cars too. They are true sports cars. Most of the cars you listed are economy cars, ALL of them are FWD based designs besides the Nissans. The 240sx is only a four so it ain't quick like the Z either (stock). If you want to switch motors on the 240sx it might make more sense since it is light (er).

posted by  rudypoochris

I agree with rudypoochris. I just got a 91 300zx and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I love it. Puts a smile on my face to step out everymorning and see it in my front yard. LOL. And also it already has enough power for a sports car fan. Mine is a 220hp N/A 2+2 model. I don think I'd need anymore speed than that and the back seats are comfee as hell. I go out with 3-4 of my friends and they love the bucket back seats. Also think about importing a car directly from Japan. Its not that big of a deal. Im from the Bahamas and its a big thing over hear. You get a car thats cheap, low milege, well kept, and comes directly from the motherland. Unless u would hate to have a RHD it might be a problem finding a LHD. But I assure you that you can easily get, say a 300zx for 5k or less. Im in the process of having one brought over for my cuz right now. Think about it and like that guy up there said. Think about what you want. Look into all the cars you fancy and find one that suits you. Think about down the road as well and what your goals are for the car.

posted by  cake872

He made it clear that reliability is important. I don't know where you're getting your cars, but I highly doubt he'll be able to find a reliable 300zx for 5-6K.

posted by  giant016

Like I said "IMPORTED" form japan that is.

posted by  cake872

Def the lude. Like enthusiast said one of the best rated fwd cars for handling. Eclipse would def not be on your radar due to the reliable factor. I say prelude. I owned one and loved it for the time i had it.:thumbs:

posted by  Spanky2324

Depends where you look and if you get a good deal or not. My roomate got his Z32 300zx N/A 5-speed leather w/ bose in good condition and it runs just fine. He paid $3,200 or $3,300 for it. Bought it at 140k miles and he is doing fine at 155k now. Although they do have some electricity problems, they are decent cars reliability wise.

Likewise, my other roomate bought a Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 1997 for $3,200. That was a dumb buy. The car leaks, has cloth interior, is slow (137 horse with torque to match), and is just plain unatractive. No offense. Plus it had 130-140k on it. That kind of money could buy a much better car. He wanted AWD for some reason though, in which case I advised he consider why he wants AWD and if the Subaru is really up to the task. 97' Imprezas use 2 open diffs and a viscous center. That means your basically 1WD. So whats the point.

posted by  rudypoochris

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