If you want a great cheap car, buy a quality used car and fix it up, rather than buy a junky new car. That's my motto, anyway.
My beloved Integra isn't with me any more. I got rear ended and the insurance company totalled it out even though the damage was superficial, just because I had 225,000 miles on it. They said it was worth $600, and let me tell you, where am I going to get a comfortable, quick, 30 mpg 4 door car with A/C, excellent stereo, great handling and sleadgehamer reliability for $600? Sheesh.
We bought the car new, and drove it and drove it and drove it. Minor maintenance was required, only one alternator and one starter the whole time we owned it, shows you how well Honda builds cars.
Towards the end it did get a little rough handling, probably needed some work there, but it was just jolty enough that my wife refused to drive it but not so much it bugged me, and having your wife not borrow your car is a good thing. She tends to drive each car until it is out of gas, and since I go to work at 4 AM I've been hornswoggled a few times.
This is a 1987 car. If you are reading this, it is either because you love these cars and want to restore one, or you just need a reliable "beater" car to get around. These Acuras are great beater cars. Honda made them a little hard to service, a lot of engine components are so crammed in there you have to jack up the car and remove a front wheel to get at them, but if you are having it worked on by a shop they put it up on a lift anyway and it is not too bad. The parts are comparatively cheap and are very available, especially used. Things like tires and brakes are cheap because they are small, and they make lots of them.
If you are shopping for an Integra, try to get one with low miles, the maximum you will get out of it is about 230,000 miles before it needs a major engine rebuild. Also note that this is an "interference" engine, which means if the timing belt breaks the valves will bend, so you might find one out there that has already had a new engine put in. If the timing belt age is unknown, replace it. They are good for 75,000 miles and that's it. Also, if you can find a good Honda specialist shop you'll be happier in the long run, these aren't super complex cars but a mechanic who knows the quirks will save you money in the long run.
Amount Paid (US$):
1987Model and Options:
LS 5 Speed Manual with A/C