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Hi guys,
I used to be around here for years with a '93 GT. Now I'm hoping to get into med school, so I need an economical/roomy commuter car and have negative dollars to my name. I have been wanting a '97-up 5-sp wagon for years, but statistically I guess that's never going to happen unless I go AT and swap.

I am looking at a local 1997 wagon, auto, champagne, 162k miles, AC, no cruise, all stock, clean and good shape inside and out. Guy seems like good people. He listed it for $1600, but I am pretty certain I could get it for $1300.

What do you think about the price? Any amount is too much, and I wanted it for less than $1000, but an extra $300 for a clean car ain't bad.

Thanks!
David
 

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I'd check with him and see if he has any service/repair records on the car. With 162K it's may be getting to the point where you'd have to put more money in it to keep it road worthy. It probably wouldn't be that bad if you can do the work yourself, but buying a car with that mileage and having to pay someone to do the work for you could get expensive fast. Before buying it be sure to find out if the timing belt and water pump have ever been replaced or not. If not it's over due a timing belt and most people go ahead and replace the water pump while they have the belt off. I would guess that a garage would probably want $300.- $400. just to replace them. If the front end hasn't been rebuilt with tie rod ends and ball joints that's proabably about due too, a few more hundred dollars. Also check the rear spings there's a common problem with them cracking on the 3rd generations. I'm not saying don't buy it, just try to get an idea of what has been done to it and what it might be needing. Any problems you find use toward negotiations on the price.
 

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I just ran Kelly Blue Book on a '97 Escort wagon and just added the basic options and figured 165K miles, it gave a retail value of $1875. in EXCELLENT condition. So you'll have to be the judge from there. If you want to research it yourself just do a search on Kelly Blue Book and it will give you a guide where you can add the options and see what you come up with.

I'm not sure you want to trust KBB. I just ran the numbers on my '97 wagon with 5 speed, A/C, cruise, AM/FM Cassette, ABS, power steering, dual front air bags, and has less than 25K miles and is as near perfect as any you'll find and it said it was valued at $2505. retail. I'd hardly let anybody even sit in it for that. LOL
 

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My 97 wagon with 32K miles was listed for $4000 4 years ago. I got it for $3700 though. Truth be told when it comes to older cars with low miles and no rust you can ask more than book value for them.
 
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