Cars for sale under 1000
Cars Under 1000
Why was my Escort so reliable? In my opinion there was really nothing to break except for the engine and transmission.
The only option it did have was a radio and air conditioning which served me well during the hot summer months.
I have to admit it wasn’t the most fun car to drive and wasn’t very pleasing to the eyes but it got the job done. It consistently delivered over 30 miles per gallon.
Parts were very cheap and labor didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
I eventually donated the car because the motor was beginning to sound like a lawn mower. I ended up buying a 1998 Toyota Camry V6 which currently servers as my daily driver. But I’m sure I could have gotten three more years out of the car without any major problems.
What’s there not to love about a 3 cylinder car giving you up to 58 mpg?
The Metro costs a fraction of a modern hybrid and gets similar if not better gas mileage.
I once rented a two door Metro in the early 1990s and can tell you the car was a fuel miser.
Though the engine was underpowered and rather noisy it delivered gas mileage like no other car I had driven before.
If you’re in the market for one of these cars make sure to get it thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic.
The Metro isn’t going to win any design awards so I wouldn’t be concerned about minor dents or faded paint.
Even if you do end up paying 1000 dollars in repairs you can easily recover that money at the gas pump.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a Metro on the road. If you’re in the market for one you probably won’t find many in your area. Looking on eBay would be your best bet for finding one in decent condition.
You can get a high mileage Tercel for roughly a grand these days.
You can’t go wrong with these cars because they’re made by the company who knows reliability.
The fourth generation model, as pictured on the right, has a 1.5 liter engine producing a whopping 82 hp.
It might not have a lot of power but this car only weighs 2000 lbs making it feel nimble especially with a manual transmission. All while getting up to 35 mpg.
The Tercel is actually a bit fun to drive in stop and go traffic. While it may be not be rev-happy like the Honda Civic it still feels peppy.
Ride quality on this car isn’t the best but it’s a bit more refined than the Escort.
Here’s another Toyota that can deliver years of reliable transportation as well as deliver excellent gas mileage.
I still see a lot of 20+ year old Corollas on the road today.
Though a late 80s to early 90s Corolla can be purchased for roughly a grand, don’t expect a cream puff for that price.
If you’re in the market for this car look for one with a manual transmission to spice things up a bit.
A Corolla with manual transmission should provide plenty of pep since these cars weigh as much as a Mazda Miata.
The whine of the engine and the loud road noise makes it feel you’re going faster than you actually are.
Back in mid 90s my college buddy purchased a used 1988 Corolla sedan.
Though the engine sounded like a lawn mower the car was bulletproof. It endured over five years of abuse and neglect. Now that’s what I call Toyota durability.
The highly sought-after VTEC model attracted a cult-like following among performance enthusiasts.
Where other manufacturers used turbochargers to increase their engine’s output, Honda remain committed to using their trademark high-revving naturally aspirated engines.
Though the Acura Integra was never a flop, it never enjoyed the same level of success as the Civic.
As a result, Honda didn’t build many of these cars.
You probably won’t find many for sale in your area so looking on eBay would be your best bet for finding one.
These days a first generation Integra in decent condition should run anywhere from under a grand to 2500 dollars.
Keep in mind that though these cars were made by Honda and are generally reliable, many owners tend to modify and race them.
If you can find an unmodified Integra in decent condition it certainly would be worth checking out for.
The Mk1 Golf was made from 1974 to 1984 and is still one of the most popular models among VW enthusiasts.
The best thing about these cars is that they are fun to drive on twisty roads while getting excellent gas mileage.
I occasionally see these cars on the road and they look good even to this day.
Once in a while I’ll see a nicely modified Mk1 on the road and I must say I wouldn’t mind having one.
I once owned a 1990 Ford Taurus and the only good thing I can say about the car is that it had a comfortable ride on the highway.
Power from the 6 cylinder engine was adequate and it got me from point A to point B somewhat reliably.
Fuel economy wasn’t the best for a 3.0L engine but parts and maintenance was on the affordable side.
I can’t say it was the best car I’ve ever owned but it certainly wasn’t the worst either.
In the late 90s my father bought a 1991 Ford Taurus and the transmission busted only after a couple of years of ownership.
The Dodge Neon won’t win any awards for styling or performance but it will give you many years of cheap transportation.
Power comes in at 134hp which isn’t bad for a base compact car like this.
You’ll also appreciate the decent fuel economy coming from its 2.0L 4-cylinder power plant.
This is a basic car for people with basic needs, which is getting from point A to B.
In the mid 1990s I rented a Dodge Neon and took it on a long distance drive. The rental car had decent passing power on the highway and a relatively quiet cabin.
If you’re in the market for a Dodge Neon I would opt for the manual transmission which makes the car a bit more fun to drive.
As for reliability this car isn’t going to outlast your typical Honda Civic. But a well maintained Neon can definitely pass the 100K mile mark without any major problems.
Mercedes Benz Diesel
They look great and sound great.
You may not be able to find a cream puff for under a thousand dollars but you may be able to find one in running condition.
The Mercedes Benz W123, as pictured above, is already beginning to be a classic.
Owners are noticing the demand. I’ve seen many clean and low mileage cream puffs go for more than 12 grand on eBay.
But before you go out and start searching for your dream Mercedes be aware that a diesel engine needs proper maintenance just like a regular engine.
True, these cars are virtually indestructible and can last a very long time but only if you maintain them properly.
Chances are there aren’t many of these diesel classics in your neck of the woods so browsing on eBay would be your best bet for finding one.
This list wouldn’t be complete without the ubiquitous Honda Accord.
Everybody knows that the Honda Accord can easily pass the 200K mile mark without breaking a sweat. There are still see many 20+ year old Accords on the road today.
But don’t expect an Accord with over 200K miles selling for under a grand to be a cream puff. In fact the paint will probably be faded (as old Hondas are known to be prone) and the interior all worn out. But that doesn’t matter because this car can reliably get you from point A to point B.
I remember driving a friend’s Accord back in 1991. It was a newly designed car at the time and it felt solid.
Though it was a 4-cylinder with automatic transmission it felt quick and had a very sporty ride.
I prefer the fourth generation (1990-1993) Accords compared to the later generations because of its simple and clean styling.
As with any Honda I would recommend getting a manual transmission. I’ve always felt that Hondas were made to be driven with a stick shift.
Just like the Accord the Toyota Camry can easily pass the 200K mile mark without any major problems.
Camrys are usually driven by older folks for a reason; they are comfortable cars.
I myself currently drive a 1998 Camry V6 and have to say it has a more comfortable ride than my previous 1998 Nissan Maxima SE.
The car isn’t as fun to drive as the Maxima but it’s great for long distance driving.
Toyota makes one of the smoothest 4-cylinder engines around. You would never guess there’s a small 2.2 liter engine under the hood. In fact, the four cylinder engines seem to be as smooth as the six cylinder engines.
You should be able to grab an early 90s Camry for a grand but don’t expect a cream puff.
You can buy a fourth generation (1988-1991) Honda Civic for under a grand these days, though it may not be as clean as the one pictured here.
Powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine the fourth generation Civic produces a whopping 92 hp and 83 ft-lbs of torque. Gas mileage isn’t too shabby at 28/33 mpg.
Though the performance numbers aren’t quite impressive the car is actually very nimble especially with a manual transmission. This is due to its low curb weight of 2200 lbs which is about as light as a Mazda Miata.
Many Honda fans actually prefer the fourth generation’s clean body line over the fifth generation’s bubble shape design. It has a more handsome and sophisticated look to it.
The interior of Hondas have always appealed to me with its large windshield and large speedometer and tachometer.
Cars for sale under 1000