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My 2004 Dodge Stratus (purchased Feb. 2007)was totaled recently, so now I need to buy a another used car. My Stratus had some qualities, but frequent small repairs seemed to be constant. I have $7000 to spend. I would like a sturdy reliable car. I really would like to find a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, or Corolla but they seem to be out of my reach for under 100,000 miles. Could you tell me, is there a less expensive comparable alternative?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Dear Julia, My favorite used cars are Honda & Toyota. They are reliable, long lasting and economical to maintain. I would rather spend 7k on a high mileage Toyota then on a low mileage vehicle from other manufactures. A Corolla is a model under a Camry and is the same car as the Geo Prism. The Civic is under the Accord. If you found a really sound Corolla, Prism or Civic, and it was under 100k, this would not scare me. We have 3 loaner cars here at my shop that have over 200k miles. 1 Corolla & 2 Camry. BUT, as in any car, you need to have it inspected thoroughly by a professional mechanic to make sure it is worthy of spending money on, and that is will last another 100k miles. Thoroughly means that they take at least 1.5 hours if not 2 hrs. to give it a thorough inspection. We have had 2 vehicles come into the shop this summer that my clients had purchased {without bringing them in for our used car inspection) because they were both priced over $12k, and they figured that if the vehicle cost this much, it must be a good car. Unfortunately one had been in a major accident and the frame was so bent that is was unsafe to drive (and they had taken it to a different shop who did a once over easy inspection on it), and the other one had a beautiful paint job, new like interior but the under body of the vehicle was so rusty it should have been taken to the junk yard. It doesn

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