Here are 5 cars under $5,000 right now: Los Angeles, CA

New and used cars are bloody expensive, and it feels like there’s no way around it. But cheap cars still exist, and in fact you can now find nice things even in the under $5,000 price range. We want to prove that fun, interesting or simply practical cars still exist at an affordable price. Here’s a selection of one of the best places to spot cars: Los Angeles, California.

Rising costs due to various factors, such as the pandemic and inflation, have made $5,000 the new $2,500. Old, used, but high-quality crapcans will probably never be the same after the chaos that was the 2021 car market. But if 5,000 or more are regularly marked on brand new cars, why not spend that otherwise wasted money on a fine fine? bit of old car technology?

Note: The Garage’s “five under five” highlights five cars worth less than $5,000 within a specific geographic region. The idea is to keep a finger on the pulse of the low-end auto market and provide some context on the current state of what’s on Craigslist. Please note that we do not know these sellers and have not personally seen any of these cars. We’re only sharing them based on what’s clear in the ad, so break your wallet at your own risk!

2007 Mini Cooper S

  • Price: $3,999
  • miles: 145.492
  • Mention

This 2007 Mini Cooper S with manual gearbox is a perfect example of this. I was originally looking for a supercharged Cooper S of the R53 generation for this list, but couldn’t find a decent one as most have exploded. This Cooper S is the R56 model with the turbocharged N14 engine based on an old PSA Group engine design, the Prince engine.

I’ll make this caveat by saying these are known to be problematic, mainly with oil leaks, cooling system issues and turbocharger issues, but can be incredibly rewarding for someone who’s a decent wrench and doesn’t cringe at the words “service position.” It does the job of a hot hatch well because it’s lightweight, small and well tuned, but it also looks quite fashionable.These cars may be a little forgotten, but they offer a lot for little money.Keep this one in your heart.

2007 Honda Accord

  • Price: $3,000
  • miles: 220.114
  • Clutch

For those who are not so brave or just want reliable transport, the Honda Accord is a must. The only real problem with them is that they can be a boring way to get around, so I specifically looked for a V6 powered one. This one is automatic, unfortunately, but that makes it a great cruiser, especially with the worthy 3.0-litre J30 V6.

There is something sporty about these Chords. It won’t impress you on a back road, but it does have double wishbone front suspension and pretty decent steering if memory serves me. It strays heavily on the comfortable daily driver side, but they can be made pretty fun with some suspension tweaks. This car also has the honor of being the least unhinged car I’ll introduce to you, which brings me to our next installment of auto prime rib.

1986 BMW 325e

  • Price: $4,500
  • miles: 180,000 (reported)
  • Clutch

Most of us recognize that the E30 market is a mess and most are expensive, so don’t hope for a $5,000 325i or even a 318i. The best we can hope for right now is the positively sleep-inducing 325e.

The engine may use gas, but it delivers power in an eerily diesel-like way. Really, this 2.7-litre low-rev economy engine is a dog, but everything else about the car is still the same brilliant E30. And for the $4,500 this costs, save some pennies and trade in something better. Old E36 M50 engines are cheap these days, and the swap isn’t That difficult.

2001 Nissan Pathfinder

  • Price: $3,500
  • miles: 192.550
  • Clutch

The public currently loves SUVs and trucks so much that it is even difficult to find affordable quality examples that are 20-30 years old. I’m giving away a big secret here, and it’s called the 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. It’s just about the last cheap four-wheel drive SUV you can buy. The aftermarket for these may not be as strong as what you would find for Land Cruisers or Jeeps, but these were popular internationally and certainly have potential.

Finding a manual 4×4 under $5,000 is difficult to say the least and will most likely be beaten to death. This truck looks pretty clean, uses an excellent VQ35 V6 engine and should go on a good trail with decent tires with minimal fuss. You can have it all folks, and it’s called an old Nissan Pathfinder.

2008 Volkswagen Golf GTI

  • Price: $4,800
  • miles: 143,000
  • Clutch

For the last entry on this list, I chose familiar territory. As a GTI person, I know the intricate details of owning one. This 2008 GTI is of the Mk5 generation, the first of the modern VW GTIs. With a new clutch and some maintenance, it should be able to drive again for a while. Most importantly, this car is inexpensive, combines excellent performance with practicality, and is a great car to customize.

They also have only a small propensity to explode. Seriously, these are great cars. But they take attention and care. If you do, I can confidently say that this car is worth the headache for the wide range of talent it possesses.

Doing this list has shown me that not all is bleak in the auto market. I admit the choices are much slimmer than they were a few years ago, but there are still choices and that’s the main thing. Some are projects, others will just work, but all are interesting or good in their own right. I can also buy that Pathfinder if no one else does.

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