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By fpena944
Years ago wife made a bad decision to purchase a Olds Achieva that had the engine partially give out one day. So with rods knocking from within we drove to the Hyundai dealer in 2005. Yes it was the most embarrassing drive I'd ever been a part of because it sounded like there was a snare drum under our hood.

In any case we did little research but ended up leaving there with a 2005 Hyundai Tucson. Funny story, when we were trading in the Olds the salesperson comes back and tells us, "There seems to be a slight knocking coming from the engine." "Oh really?!?", we responded. They gave us $400 for it.

Back then Hyundai was not the best in terms of reliability but we figured this new car should be much better than that Olds!

Well wow were we surprised! This thing was our workhorse until I purchased the Cayenne Turbo (haha, how many others go directly from Hyundai Tucson to Cayenne Turbo?) several years ago. After that it turned into our "Home Depot" car that would be used for anything that we didn't want in our CTT.

Late last year it was approaching 200k miles. Even though it was still running, my daughter was getting her license so we needed something a little more modern. So the Hyundai was traded in for a Mini Cooper S.

But a salute here to old reliable that lasted WAY longer than I ever expected. What about all of you? Which car pleasantly surprised you?

By fpena944
amdavid wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:54 am I never keep my cars long enough, but....I would roll a mazda, or a hyundi as a beater/get in and drive no worries car.
Wow we're opposites then. I've only had 7 cars in my lifetime and I still own the last two right now!

I've had my 996 for 11 years so far.
By Cuda911
I have an 05 Tucson also. It handles like a ship on the high seas, but very reliable. Bought it new, and all it has needed is oil, brakes, and tires.
By G8RB8
2000 Boxster
'92 Miata

Both well over 100,000 miles.
By lupo.sk
Hyundai i30 (elantra GT in the US).
I’m leasing 6 of 2013-2015 MY, combined they drove well over 1mil miles. My techs are 21 - 31 years old who drive them like they stole them according to the GPS monitoring system.

These things are as reliable as Mercedes from the 80s - and I’m not joking.
By Scott at Team Harco
I guess my German cars have surprised me. I have 944s that accumulated over 200,000 miles. My S2 will get its engine built one of these days. The rest of the car is at about 180,000.

The surprises are the Audis. The 94 S4 I am fixing up (after accident damage) has nearly 236,000 miles on it. The A4 that I have used the last couple of years, for daily/ rally use, has 270,000 miles on it. That thing was babied by its first owner. It fell into the hands of a kid, and he did his best to run it into the ground. I bought it for $550. It had a bad head gasket. I rebuilt the engine, and expect to get a couple hundred thousand miles out of it... unless it gets totaled, as my previous A4 was...
By sundog
For me it is the Toyota Brand. I've had 2 4-Runners each for 12+ years. My daughter still drives the 2003, with 270K miles on it.

I'm now in the Lexus GX460, because of the V8 and towing capacity, for the 964 going to the track.

The other surprise was a 1985 Subaru Station Wagon. Drove it places in the Colorado Rockys where Jeeps were struggling. I just bounced off the skid plates.
By N_Jay
2001 CRV, 176 K miles teaching two kids to drive and finally one put it into a tree. Paid 21K and got 7.5K from insurance.
2003 Pilot, 183K miles much at 75 to 85 MPH except when towing a trailer a bit over the recommended weight.
Only sold it because a little shudder when the TC Lock-up clutch engaged and my wife started to worry. (ands I wanted GL320)

Both were 1st year/1srt month production. (just to push my luck)
By Prairiedawg
2004 Honda CRV, 160k on it. Runs great, needed rear struts and a blower motor over the years, that's it. Has scratches, dents, it's our busy parking lot/take the kids to the beach car. Surprisingly no rust, starts and runs every time.

I love it, old, beat up, faded paint.......needs a "My other car is a Porsche" bumper sticker.
By Airkuhl
Drove my '91 Miata for 125K miles. Did countless track days with the throttle floored for the entire day bouncing off the rev limiter. Spun at the bottom of the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca once, and did a full 360 spin exiting turn 6.

Gave it to my sister who still has it, now with about 250K miles. Her husband puts snow tires on it each winter and drives it to work year round in CT. Replaced the alternator at 100K miles, but that was my fault. Vinyl top wore out twice, rear plastic window 3 times, leather on steering wheel once. Still has the original wheels and brake discs, still using the second clutch. Paint is "10 foot" decent. But everything still works like the day I bought it. If she gets tired of it I'll happily take it back.
By XR4Tim
None of my surprisingly reliable imports were Asian. The best car I ever owned was my '95.5 Audi S6 (same as @Scott at Team Harco's '94 S4). I bought it from a meticulous owner at 130k miles and had no major issues with it. I sold it at 160k+ for what I paid for it, but really should have kept it.
Also on the list would be our 2010 Audi S6 (still owned at 112k), and the 2003 VW Passat W8 (sold at 130k). The engines in both of those cars scare some people but they're really pretty solid if you can get past the cam adjuster issues on the W8 and keep carbon off the valves on the V10.
By TheDeckMan
Prior 04 Saab 9-3, bought for some change and drove it 100k miles with very little other than the normal wear parts. 35mpg, 210hp and it continues well over 240k miles with its new owner.
By NSXguy
In hindsight it really shouldn't have been a surprise, but in all the years we've had our S2000 it's needed nothing beyond normal (fluids/tires/battery) maintenance.
It's a 1st year (2000) model, with the high revving K20A engine to boot.
The original battery lasted 9 years, which I viewed as an opportunity to install a 7lb Odyssey replacement.
It's on the 2nd set of tires (in 40K miles), and I'm starting to think about the 3rd set mostly due to age.

Being an early example, there were 2 recalls performed;
A set of spark plugs with a higher torque setting (different crush washers, IIRC).
New taillight lenses that better resisted turning a lighter shade of red than the DOT allowed, if faded by the sun.

The cams are chain-driven so there is no timing belt age/mileage clock ticking, and although the plastic rear window isn't as clear as it used to be the top is still in great shape.......probably because it's almost always driven with it down :cool:

Optional changes we made were slotted galvanized brake rotors and a lightweight exhaust (to better enjoy the 9,000 rpm wail).

Is it just me, or does anyone else actually feel guilty about NOT working on a car? :rolleyes:

By Bill51sdr
1990 Miata, rebuilt the engine at 255k miles. Bored out .020 over as I bought the pistons and other new pieces @ 7 years ago. As I got into it found that the bores were still round w/hone marks and the pistons could have been reused without issue. The B series engines in these cars are tough. This car was my SOLO2 car, spent LOTS of time at WOT, bouncing on the rev limiter, multiple drivers at events. A few people I raced with bought one of their own after driving mine. Nothing has ever broken on the car, never stranded. Driving it now as my DD after the rebuild. It was always funny to watch the high HP cars/drivers sitting off to the side with their hoods up cooling off their cars between runs/sessions as I and other Miata drivers continued on. Like they say, much more rewarding to drive a 'slow' car fast... I have owned it since 1992. May never get rid of it.
Rick Carter liked this
By fpena944
I just remembered I have another one to add to this thread.

I also had a 1992 Geo Storm!!!

No I wasn't lucky enough to have the GSi model but this was my daily driver and snow car when I bought my first Porsche, a 1991 944 S2 Cabrio. You can see both in the photos below.

But in any case this thing did not complain at all. Drove in all conditions and was actually fun when doing its duties. Sure the interior reminded me of my kid's Power Wheels with all of the plastic in it. And yes the locks would freeze in the winter and I'd have to climb in through the hatch. But it started every time and with a 5 speed it was a lot more fun than anything else in that price range.

I ended up selling it when I moved from PA to NJ as then I had to pay for parking and barely used a car anyway. But the "Red Rocket" did a great job for me and was one of only two non-German cars I ever owned. Hope it's out there somewhere and not recycled these days!

By JDS968
I don't think all you guys getting surprised at Toyotas and Hondas being reliable really count. I mean sure, my Land Cruiser has 241,000 miles on it and runs like a tank, but if it didn't, I must be doing something wrong.

Much more surprising was my 2005 VW GLI 1.8 that basically never had a hiccup. Didn't put a million miles on it, but drove it well past the warranty and it just did everything exactly the way it should. The headliner did start falling down in the Miami heat, but that's not super disappointing. Commuted in it, took road trips in it, drove it at Sebring, Moroso, and Homestead...okay, I did overheat the brakes and snap a lug bolt once. But it really was not built to lap Sebring in August. Added air ducts, switched to Hawk Blue pads with Ate blue fluid, and it braked just fine after that. What electronics it did have worked 100%, the powertrain was bulletproof, and I really liked the interior (comfortable, high quality materials, looked good without being flashy). Excellent highway manners but it did NOT want to go around curves until I put a massive rear sway bar on.
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