First car I had was a 1999 Nissan Sentra GXE. Manual transmission, because who wants to learn to drive on a boring automatic?
It was in pretty great condition when I bought it, and the only thing that I had to get working again was the radiator fan motors. Easy fix. And it only had 130k miles on it at the time. An absolute steal at $1000
It’s awful demise was in the piston rings, and some other undetermined issues. After nearly 6 years of abuse (I drove it like I stole it, daily) and 60k miles later, she started burning oil like mad. Would go through nearly 2 quarts in 40 miles. Never could find a leak… Had to let her go for $500, despite my best attempts at troubleshooting where all the damn oil was going.
My next car is my current car. A 2007 Mazda 3. Manual transmission, because I refuse to go auto.
Picked it up with only 89k miles on it, however the paint is fading pretty fast on the top of the car from years of sitting in the sun without proper care. Poor thing… Still worth the $4k that I paid for it though. It’s so much more fun to drive than the Nissan. Way more acceleration with the larger engine, and drastically less body roll in the corners.
I need to replace the headlights soon. The lenses are absolutely shot beyond the effort it would take to restore them. Brake pads are due soon as well as an oil change. I hate the plastic cover underneath the engine. Makes it a pain in the ass to drain the oil.