What to buy? '99 Fiat Punto vs Mitsubishi Carisma

liquid_rockface

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Hi guys

So I'm on a tight budget, and can only afford one of these two cars ('99 Fiat Punto or '99 Mitsubishi Carisma), or maybe something similar (I live in Israel so not too much choice here and cars are really pricey).

I will be probably mostly be doing drives of an hour or less, and not too frequently. Some of the terrain here is a little mountainous, so should be decent at pulling up hills. I want a car that is fairly comfy and practical, fuel economic and easy on maintenance. Oh and I would like something that is somewhat zippy and fun to drive!

I know that the Fiat Punto is a compact car and the Mitsubishi Carisma is more of a family car, but I am a single guy and not really sure it makes much difference for me. How is the boot space in these cars?

Any advice would be appreciated, this will be the first car I ever buy!!

Thanks

Liquid
 

liquid_rockface

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I should also add that a friend of mine bought a Renault Megane of similar vintage at a ridiculous price, maybe almost 50% of the price of the Mitsubishi. I should also point out that the Punto could be about 40% cheaper than the Mitsubishi...

Edit: I could get a 2001 3.6L V6 Chevrolet/Oldsmobile Alero for a similar price....
 
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Aston Martin

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Carisma, the dullest car ever made.
If the Punto's a mk1 check the rear radius arms.
 

teeb

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The Punto has a reasonably spacious boot, and folding the rear seats down will mean you can hold many things.

On the flip side, it's not great for reliability - the Mrs had one and the list of reliability issues was as long as a giraffe's neck.
 

liquid_rockface

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Ok so my final list seems like this:

'99 Punto
'99 Carisma
'01 Chev/Oldsmobile Alero
'97 Chev Malibu
'98 Volvo S70 Turbo 2.4 litre (2nd hand)
'97 Audi A4 (5th hand)
'97 Mazda Lantis (5th hand)
'00 VW Polo (3rd hand)
'98 Volvo S40 1.8 litre (1st hand!) 165000km
'00 Renault Megane (one of the cheaper cars here)

This is my list of cars that I would be interested in. I would appreciate any input! How are the Volvos (and the others) for fuel efficiency? Fuel is REALLY expensive here (like $7 a gallon). And reliability? And fun to drive factor :) And I guess comfort factor too....

What does it mean when people say there there's a new engine (some say new IMPORTED engine), or that the engine has undergone a major overhaul in the last half year. Is that a bad thing? Or a good thing?

Teeb, strangely people here say the Punto is pretty reliable! Guess it depends on your luck!
 

liquid_rockface

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I should add that when I was in America I rented a Grand Mercury Marquis with like a 4.6L V8. I was really excited that this was the ticket to a fast and exciting ride, and it turned out to be really slow and annoying. I nicknamed it "the barge". So I don't want a similar experience with the Volvo. Looks like if the car is heavy enough, the big engine doesn't help much until you start cruising. On the other hand, the few times I was passenger in a Volvo (newer models) it was super fast and exciting.

Once I rented a small Opel Corsa (1.3L or so) and it was one of the best city cars I ever drove. Ever corner felt like an adventure, even at 40km/h!!! Just felt really alive and fun.

So I am interested to hear about the driving experience too if anybody can help me there.
 

Finnley

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My parents had a 199x Carisma hatchback 1.8L. NOT an exciting car to say the least, but it was absolutely bulletproof. It had 350.000 problem free km's on it when they decided it was time for something else. Bootspace was plenty (note it was a hatchback).
 
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MWF

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Scrap the entire list and buy the best MX5 you can afford. Plus mountainous roads means interesting roads so more smiles per gallon.

/thread
 

Cobol74

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Something that old, no matter what exactly, has to be Japanese or German. That lets out the Punto and personally I'd only get a Charisma (What a badly named car!) if I had a family (i.e. 2 children plus significant other) and it was my only daily driver, even then I'd prefer a Toyota or Honda of that vintage.
 

Adunaphel

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Night_Hawk

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If I were you and I was picking from the list you have I'd pick the VW Polo hands down. If VW parts are expensive where you live or if they generally have a bad name the Oldsmobile Alero is a reasonable choice. They are cheap to run by almost any standard. But with a 2.2 or 2.4 liter engine you will certainly burn some more fuel.
 

public

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Out of that list, the Carisma probably or the S40. Both have the same GDI engine?
 

public

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I'd otherwise recommend the Lantis (=323F Forte) but I've never driven one that I'd liked and five previous owners is a bit much. Perhaps you (=the OP) can dig further and find a good example? But otherwise, the S40 and Carisma are the only ones I'd trust.
 

liquid_rockface

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I'm getting pretty keen on the Volvo S70 2.4 litre turbo!! Second hand from 1998, only 147 000km on the odo. Looks sweet

e1_1_1_178256_20120425170410.jpg


What do you guys think? I'm going to see it on the weekend I think.
 

Cobol74

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My brother used to work for volvo and told me that the body was galvinised then they decided not to do it anymore, and to reduce the amount of rust protection to save money - I wish I could get a job in a big car company I could make decisions like that!

When they did that is the cars that got the reputation for rotting bodies.


I'm getting pretty keen on the Volvo S70 2.4 litre turbo!! Second hand from 1998, only 147 000km on the odo. Looks sweet

e1_1_1_178256_20120425170410.jpg


What do you guys think? I'm going to see it on the weekend I think.
Good car - my work collegue had an 850 and it lasted over 200,000 miles he only got rid of it two years ago.
 
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skippious

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The carisma's weren't sold here in Australia, the only ones I have seen here were really full bodykit souped up monsters, really funny how on the other side of the world I know they are dull and here really flash. reliable.

Lol at Israel cars, 3500USD for this:

83219(3).jpg


No, then this, a geely:

http://www.carsdir.com/used-car-details.asp?carid=39187

They are probably jokes. :lol:
 
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