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Thread: Considering a 300k mile Mirage for $2k - good idea? Alternatives?

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    Considering a 300k mile Mirage for $2k - good idea? Alternatives?

    I'm currently looking to purchase a used, very inexpensive vehicle to make a weekly ~200 mile mainly highway round trip drive and save a lot of fuel and tire costs over my truck that averages about 14mpg. Over the course of the year and assuming average fuel costs of $2.50 and getting a very conservative 42mpg (so 3x as efficient), I would be saving over a thousand dollars a year in fuel.

    My financial situation (student) limits me to purchasing a very inexpensive up-front cost though, and most used Mirages near me seem to be going in the $3000-4000 range at the cheap end. However, I have found a 2015 manual, standard option Mirage with two dented passenger side doors and around 300,000 miles with an asking price of $2000. According to KBB, this appears realistic, but NADA guides makes it seem otherwise? Also, that's a lot of miles. It is also located a 5 hour drive away so is tough to check out in person so I feel like I'd have to negotiate a price before I leave based on accurate photos, descriptions, answered questions, etc which could be risky or otherwise face a wasted day (with less bargaining power) and quite a bit of fuel costs driving out to check it out. However, it is substantially cheaper than other used Mirages (barring the ones I see for sale in Canada), and a thousand dollars or more savings over other used options with only 100,000-150,000 does go a long way in repair/maintenance/fuel costs or just straight up savings to use to pay for other life necessities.

    Another option that I'm trying to consider is just purchased an even cheaper used car of older vintage such as 90s or 2000s. That will open up purchase options a lot, and I could feasibly get something even cheaper, but I'm still risking unreliability and maintenance and it seems like the Mirage is quite reliable and easy to work on (I'm able and willing to do my own maintenance and repairs). Is a $1000 1990s Corolla with 1xx,xxx miles and 'only' 35mpg better than a 2015 Mirage with WAY more miles but perhaps less brand cachet and reliability? Fuel costs will be marginally higher (a couple hundred bucks a year) and the cars I'd be looking at would likely be much less safe with less airbags, no traction control, possibly no ABS, and likely to have worse crumple zone and impact designs. Even a vehicle in the 30mpg range will be a huge increase over what I'm driving now .

    I'm leaning towards the super high mileage Mirage, living with the dented doors, and reaping the rewards of ultra low fuel costs and modernish safety features and design and dealing with maintenance and repairs when it comes up. I feel like a 300,000 mileage car will have roughly the same maintenance issue probabilities as a 100,000 or a 200,000 mile car.

    Is $2000 realistic? Is a $1000 offer insulting? It looks like the seller had listed it for $2700 originally and it's been on sale for 8 weeks.
    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...code=undefined

    Should I be talked into or out of this purchase???



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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Hey penn_matte. So, one thing to consider, Mirage is still a newer car, compared to other options. So Mirage has the "newerness" and also likely better than old junkers.

    If you think about your fuel savings, a $4000 used Mirage, maybe one still in decent shape, would pay for itself with you sitting there, driving around, and reaping the benefits.

    So yea I wouldn't maybe buy a repo Mirage, but you don't need a mint one either. If you are looking for a $5000 student car Mirage is hard to beat. And comes with USB check the glovebox. Watch for rust underneath though, or like any used car, signs it was driven hard or doesn't run well. All cars can have problems! They don't tell you the story of the previous owner.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 41.8 mpg (US) ... 17.8 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Ethay earthway isway atfl Fummins's Avatar
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    I think after 300,000MILES the "new car smell" and novelty is long gone.

    If that thing has been well maintained and doesn't have any obvious problems it might last you a while. Or you might have some repair bills in the near future. As long as it drives alright and there's no obvious signs of it dying tomorrow I'd probably take a gamble. I'd consider low balling them, especially with 2 effered doors and that many miles. And it likely needs tires. Windshield?

    If you can get a decent car for a fraction of what one with 100-200,000 miles would cost I'd take a gamble if it drives good. Especially if you're not the kind of person who cries all the way to the dealership when a check engine light comes on or you get a flat tire lol.
    Regardless of what someone pays for a Mirage they're all **** boxes that do the same thing, cheap on fuel and are reliable. And if you can count to 11 without taking off your shoes, they're easy to repair and maintain yourself.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE wussie cvt edition. 1.2 automatic: 37.7 mpg (US) ... 16.0 km/L ... 6.2 L/100 km ... 45.3 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Dodge Aries K's Avatar
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    Hahaha I've considered this exact car as a beater before I got my beater one but I don't really like smashed up doors. It's a courier car, lots of use and abuse. I talked to the guy, he bought it used with I think 20 or 30K on it. Original clutch so plan on doing that like asap. He didn't seem too willing to negotiate the price so I wouldn't count on getting much off of it. I would call some places about clutch replacement and keep that in mind when buying the car. Even if the clutch grabs good, with that kind of use the dampening springs are probably tired and getting close to failure so when they fail it really tears things up.
    -Karl B. 2015 DE 5 speed x 2. Plenty of other cars as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge Aries K View Post
    Hahaha I've considered this exact car as a beater before I got my beater one but I don't really like smashed up doors. It's a courier car, lots of use and abuse. I talked to the guy, he bought it used with I think 20 or 30K on it. Original clutch so plan on doing that like asap. He didn't seem too willing to negotiate the price so I wouldn't count on getting much off of it. I would call some places about clutch replacement and keep that in mind when buying the car. Even if the clutch grabs good, with that kind of use the dampening springs are probably tired and getting close to failure so when they fail it really tears things up.
    What were your thoughts when you looked at this car and what did you think was a fair offer? How come you decided not to purchase it? And how much did you pay for your beater instead?
    This would entail around $200 in gas and car trailer rental costs to go pick up, so it would definitely be expensive to show up to look over and negotiate in person and then not purchase. I'm not sure the best way to negotiate a lower offer over facebook while relying on him giving truthful answers to my questions about any possible issues without verification. I would think as a courier he probably took good care of it, but even taking good care of stuff, that's a good amount of mileage-based wear and tear on things that don't have standard/easy/cheap replacement mileage intervals like piston rings, cylinder liner wear, etc and shocks and springs as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    I think after 300,000MILES the "new car smell" and novelty is long gone.

    If that thing has been well maintained and doesn't have any obvious problems it might last you a while. Or you might have some repair bills in the near future. As long as it drives alright and there's no obvious signs of it dying tomorrow I'd probably take a gamble. I'd consider low balling them, especially with 2 effered doors and that many miles. And it likely needs tires. Windshield?

    If you can get a decent car for a fraction of what one with 100-200,000 miles would cost I'd take a gamble if it drives good. Especially if you're not the kind of person who cries all the way to the dealership when a check engine light comes on or you get a flat tire lol.
    Regardless of what someone pays for a Mirage they're all **** boxes that do the same thing, cheap on fuel and are reliable. And if you can count to 11 without taking off your shoes, they're easy to repair and maintain yourself.
    Yeah, I guess I'm wondering if the savings is fair enough for the mileage and door damage and if it's realistic to be firm with a lower offer. It seems like if the average 2015 with 100-150k miles is $1000 or $2000 more, that pays for a 'new' used engine of $600 or so, plus $100 for clutch plates. Tires, brake pads, etc of any car could be ripe for replacement so I feel like that is a wash when considering the mileage of a car. Are there any other 'big' issues that would matter with super high mileage? Cosmetic condition isn't super important to me, but it's definitely a legitimate bargaining chip, but maybe the seller has already realistically priced this into his listing. I did read the recent article about the couple with the 400k mileage Mirage which is reassuring, especially as I usually ride my bicycle around town, and my 200 mile weekly drive will likely only be for a year. Who knows what my longer term driving future holds, but my goal would be to live somewhere where I can bike to work and to do most chores and socialization. Another 100k miles would likely last me a looooong time, and at that point I'll have the income where I don't NEED to worry about buying a sub $2000 car with 300k miles and can easily spend another grand or two or five to get something with under a hundred thousand miles and I wouldn't be having these concerns about ultra high mileage.


    Quote Originally Posted by dspace9 View Post
    Hey penn_matte. So, one thing to consider, Mirage is still a newer car, compared to other options. So Mirage has the "newerness" and also likely better than old junkers.

    If you think about your fuel savings, a $4000 used Mirage, maybe one still in decent shape, would pay for itself with you sitting there, driving around, and reaping the benefits.

    So yea I wouldn't maybe buy a repo Mirage, but you don't need a mint one either. If you are looking for a $5000 student car Mirage is hard to beat. And comes with USB check the glovebox. Watch for rust underneath though, or like any used car, signs it was driven hard or doesn't run well. All cars can have problems! They don't tell you the story of the previous owner.
    $4000 is a little too much for me, especially with plenty of 'good enough' fuel economy cars that could be found for substantially less. The 'newness' of the safety features is pretty much the only selling point to me (and it is something I consider and value, but I do have to weigh it against initial car outlay and fuel economy)) besides newer, possibly better engineering and reliability. But I know mid 90s and early 2000s Toyota Camrys and Corollas are incredibly reliable as well and can be had for around or under $2000, but their fuel economy is nowhere as good and I'm guessing their safety level is not the same either.

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    Hello penn_matte and welcome to the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    Is $2000 realistic?
    Hard to say without seeing (and smelling) it in person.

    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    Is a $1000 offer insulting?
    Yes, especially if you haven't seen it. But that's the problem with shopping online. I get peeved when I offer something online and some joker comes along and makes a lowball offer without even looking at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    Should I be talked into or out of this purchase???
    Keep looking for something with less wear & tear. With patience you'll find something. On the other hand, these little cars are kinda rare. Have you even driven one?

    Quote Originally Posted by penn_matte View Post
    But I know mid 90s and early 2000s Toyota Camrys and Corollas are incredibly reliable as well and can be had for around or under $2000, but their fuel economy is nowhere as good and I'm guessing their safety level is not the same either.
    It's possible to get an old Civic into the 50mpg range with careful driving, it just won't be a quick trip.

    By the way, did this Mirage happen to be located in Louisiana? That would be funny.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.5 mpg (US) ... 21.0 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.4 mpg (Imp)


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    Still Plays With Cars Loren's Avatar
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    You can throw away "the book" for a car with 300k miles on it. It's depreciated to zero. It has surpassed anybody's expectations of it by 2x. It's worth what YOU are willing to pay for it and not a penny more.

    I own a 2015 Mirage with only 50k miles... and I'm about to consider it "depreciated" as well. It's 6 years old, and I only paid $6800 for it.

    So, what's it worth with 300k miles?

    Does it drive as it should? Does it appear that the oil has been changed regularly? Maintenance records? It's a manual, so no CVT to worry about. Does it shift smoothly? No grinding? Does the clutch release smoothly and at the correct pedal height?

    Dented doors are fine, but is it otherwise trashed and abused? Or was it just a highway car that racked up a lot of miles?

    I think I'd look at it as... what would a 100k mile 2015 be worth? And then what should I expect to have to replace on this car for it to be as reliable as one with 100k miles? Maybe you'll get lucky and not have to replace some of those things anytime soon, but here's my list of things I'd consider suspect on a 300k mile Mirage with a manual trans (I wouldn't even dream of buying a CVT with that many miles):
    Transmission
    Clutch
    Brake Pads
    Tires
    Shocks
    Wheel Bearings
    All Belts and Hoses
    Spark Plugs
    Coil Packs
    Radiator
    Heater Core

    If you do your own mechanical work, figure out what those parts would cost... subtract that from the value of a 2015 with 100k miles... maybe take a little more off for your labor... and a little more off because it's dented.

    If you don't do your own mechanical work... you better keep some cash on-hand to pay somebody when a couple of those things fail... some of them WILL without question.

    Idunno. Without doing the math, I'm leaning towards $2k being a bit much. That's a lot of miles. Not to say it can't last a lot more miles... just that a Mirage depreciates pretty darned hard compared to ANY other car. A billion miles plus body damage? That car ain't worth squat! And while we might prefer a manual trans, the rest of the population does not... the fact that it's a MT limits its market, and thus its value, even further. I wouldn't feel the least bit guilty about offering $1k for it. Be ready with $1200... maaaaybe $1500 if you really want it. But, also be ready to walk if it looks the least bit iffy.

    Consider:
    https://sarasota.craigslist.org/cto/...256967138.html

    A 2014 MT with 68k miles for $4250. It's a FL car, so no rust. They'd probably take $3800 cash for it. Worst case, it might need a clutch soon. But, shouldn't need anything else... for about 150,000 more miles. Seems like a MUCH better deal to me. Deals like that are out there.
    Simplify and add lightness.

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    ...2014 MT with 68k miles for $4250
    ...They'd probably take $3800 cash for it
    ...Seems like a MUCH better deal to me.
    Now that thing looks like a a solid deal.

    A $2000 beater with 300K miles will probably end up costing you another $1,000 in the short term to fix everything that's broken or needs maintenance.

    I'd rather stretch the budget to buy this car than pay $1,000 for a 300K Mirage.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 52.1 mpg (US) ... 22.2 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.6 mpg (Imp)


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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    Consider:
    https://sarasota.craigslist.org/cto/...256967138.html

    A 2014 MT with 68k miles for $4250. It's a FL car, so no rust.
    This is a much better value and safer bet. Sell your truck and use the proceeds to get this one.

    Just an opinion. Of course you'll know what's best for you. But there's nothing quite like not having to worry about being stranded or throwing parts at late hours to keep things rolling.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.5 mpg (US) ... 21.0 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.4 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggman View Post

    By the way, did this Mirage happen to be located in Louisiana? That would be funny.
    I had the same thought at first! Dodge Aries K's post #4 sort of confirms it's not the car we are thinking of.

    If it was Steve's cheap plastic car fixed up, I would pitch in some money just to see its history stay in the forum.

    If a Mirage is well taken care of, the 414,000 mile Mirage sitting at White Bear Mitsubishi is a good testament to the durability of these little cars. Fummins' fleet of Mirages at work has been reassuring, too.

    In the $2000 price range, I would not rule out the 15-20 year old Civics & Corollas. Another basic little car that I considered for myself for quite some time was the 2000-05 Toyota Echo. The Echo reminds me of the Mirage. Critics sort of bashed the car, but owners were quite happy with them. The Echo checks the right boxes (affordable, reliable, and economical) for me.

    I would add the Civic, Corolla, & Echo to your Mirage search list. The Yaris sort of replaced the Echo, and the first generation of those wouldn't be a bad choice either. I would pay extra for a sunbelt car verses a rust belt one. You need to find that car that belonged to someone's grandma or old aunt, & whoever inherited it has no interest in it. Those vehicles appear, but you need to be patient.



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