Last week’s visit to the charming northern Nevada town, Reno revealed a few cheap cars for sale, some of which were solid enthusiast picks. This week, let’s cruise across much of the country to Asheville, North Carolina, and take a look at what this southeast version of a metropolitan area nestled in the mountains has to offer.
Like Reno, Asheville has outdoor splendor to the max. It’s located along the Appalachian Trail, offers great hiking, hunting, fishing, and biking, and even sports a very pleasant downtown area. Plus, a great variety of solid microbrews and some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my life. It’s not too a car ride to other cool cities, like Knoxville, Atlanta, Athens, Greenville, Charlotte, and more.
While the area’s car classifieds weren’t exactly plentiful, what there was was some great potential. Here are five options for short-term money that seem worth investigating.
And as always, a disclaimer: The Garage’s “five-under-five” highlights five cars listed under $5,000 in a specific geographic region. The idea is to keep a finger on the pulse of the low-end car market and provide context on the current state of what’s on Craigslist. We don’t know these sellers and haven’t seen any of these cars in person. We’re just sharing them based on what appears in the ad, so get your wallet out at your own risk!
Connoisseur’s Choice: 2001 Lexus GS300
- Mileage: 159,000
- Price: $4,650
What a survivor! It’s rare to find a 2JZ-powered, rear-wheel-drive Lexus in any metro area, as many of them have been converted to hellish takeover sleds, unfortunately. This one appears to be well maintained with a clean coat of paint, clean wheels and clean trim. I hope the interior is in the same condition.
From what I understand, these cars are tanks and drive quite well. It would probably be a great luxury cruiser with very little maintenance, a suspension refresh and everything else normal for a car of this vintage.
The Euro at a low price: BMW 325i 2006
- Miles: 149,211
- Price: $3,300
This E90 BMW 325i is the first year of what would become one of the best 3 Series generations of all time. As long as they’re well maintained and you watch for fluid leaks, they’re generally tough cars that deliver a rewarding driving experience at all trim levels. Also, the secondary market is quite huge (it shares a lot with the E82 Series 1), and any performance modification is a wise investment, as its naturally aspirated N52 straight-six is a very enthusiastic engine. Especially if you throw a junk from a junkyard three-stage intake manifold and 330i tune on it.
This one seems like a good candidate, as it looks clean overall and even has a six-speed manual, which is a bit of a rarity. However, there is a lot to watch out for, so do your due diligence. Especially considering its price and mileage, it could use some work.
The Frugal Commuter: 2001 Mazda Protege
- Miles: 239,175
- Price: $4,000
The latest generation Protege is special: they are really fun cars. This one is also manual and features a fairly spirited naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Although they’re the epitome of econoboxes, they feature independent rear suspension, an above-average sporty look (especially for the era) and they’re fairly simple to work with. I know from personal experience, I had an ES 2003 version.
This example appears to have been lovingly owned and well maintained over the past year. The mileage is high, but regular maintenance always supersedes the mileage. Plus, if the engine ever fails, there are plenty of replacements on eBay.
The vigorous bird: Ford Ranger 2000
- Mileage: 234,000
- Price: $3,500
I have mentioned old Rangers before in these articles and will continue because they are the epitome of basic work trucks, easy to use and reliable.
This one has had some recent work done and is a prime candidate to keep it in its current shape and just make sure it is mechanically sound, or do a light restoration. Mother nature has already removed a good part of the varnish, so you might as well finish the job and breathe new life into your body!
Bargain Family Hauler/ATV: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Mileage: 235,000
- Price: $5,000
You can’t beat a Grand Cherokee from this era. Especially one that would have been well-maintained and includes the trusty 4.0-litre straight-six.
This example has mileage and a bit of a drive from Asheville. But like some of the rough diamonds mentioned above, solid maintenance always means peace of mind. Moreover, it is one of those cars and generations for which it will always be easy to find cheap spare parts. It would do well as a daily hauler, family hauler, all-terrain, or all of the above.
Previous regions featured on ‘5 Under 5’
You probably won’t be able to buy the exact cars in these previous window-shopping previews, but they should still give you an idea of the kind of gear available in different corners of the United States.
#Cheap #Cars #Sale #Asheville #Edition