best option for a travelling salesperson?

Capacitor

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Feb 5, 2008
Location
Toronto
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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
My uncle is in sales, and travels a lot,

ok, so he has to drive about 60,000 miles per year (yes, you read that correctly)
So he blew the mileage on the warranty pretty quick, and a lease would have the same problem.

i'm trying to think of the best option for them, not just fuel, but in maintenance for the car.

They bought a brand new 2006 car (non-diesel/non-vw) and killed it (mileage). I think they paid over $40k for it and ended up selling it for $5k in just about a years worth of use.

the only two things I could think of were either a cheap diesel or something like a $1000 "beater" (ie: a car you just use til it dies and get another one, and keep doing it cuz it's cheap).

with the mileage, I'm wondering how the costs would work out for a diesel, obviously we're talking a lot of timing belt jobs, and other assorted things.

But I just can't seem to think of a good solution, aside from the crappy cars.

Again my questions of comparing a '74/'76 mercedes diesel turbo vs a VW come to mind, but I haven't seen any thoughts on that. the mbz's run about $4k to $8k in price which is about the same. I've just had a few bad experiences with mbz's in the past (oil bearing went, etc)

Anyone got any bright ideas that will last the long term?
 

Antsrcool

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a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k buy it used with 70 or 80k Change the upper intake and drive till the wheels fall off buy these cars real cheap and they run fora quite awhile. Also the infamous corrolla is a good bet and the newer ones have timing chains.
 

Joe_Meehan

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Ohio USA
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NB TDI, 2002.5, Silver
Frankly any car today should stand up to 60,000 miles a year. At least for four or five years.

You never know when something bad is going to happen. It happens on VW's BMW's FORD GM Toyota .... in other words everyone.

Now normally someone driving 60,000 miles a year is driving mostly highway and that is usually the easiest miles for a car. I would suggest that he buys what he would like and make sure it gets all the maintenance listed in the owner's manual properly done on schedule.

If it were my choice I, of course would chose VW Diesel. I average about 60 mpg on the road and driving that kind of mileage that would save me some serious money.
 

greengeeker

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Cambridge, MN
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2002 Jetta GLS
He's going to miss a lot of sales calls if he keeps having $1k cars break down on him no?

There are a coulpe people on here, couriers I think, who put on that kind of mileage. They'll be around sooner or later. I don't think he could go wrong with an 03 jetta/golf with a 5spd for durability (provided he keeps up on maint) and mileage.
 

Capacitor

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Toronto
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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
The last car they got was the new corrolla.
They're usually pretty bad for rust, but theirs didn't have that issue. it was just pure mileage drove the value down right quick.

that GM sounds like the dodge spirit I had (don't ask). :)

I once had an astro van, timing belt went WHILE I was driving, in the middle of heavy traffic on the highway (going 100), just went...
Scariest moment in my life

Antsrcool said:
a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k buy it used with 70 or 80k Change the upper intake and drive till the wheels fall off buy these cars real cheap and they run fora quite awhile. Also the infamous corrolla is a good bet and the newer ones have timing chains.
 

dieseldorf

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Oct 11, 2000
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MA
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ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Antsrcool said:
a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k

A-men, mine's like the friggin' Energizer Bunny. Cheapest cars I've ever run.
 

dieseldorf

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ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Take your pick. That engine has been used across many, many models. It has a very good reputation for durability and longevity. Leaks are a common problem when DEX-KILL is used.
 

charlie75

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Location
Niceville FL/FFX VA
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1999 Golf; 2000 New Beetle (Gone)
I love my VW, but would never depend on it for my livelihood!

My 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI (3.8l w/supercharger) with 246K miles (30mpg) with never a major repair is the one I would use!

What does your Uncle sell? How much space does he need? How comfortable does he like to travel?
 

Windex

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Cambridge
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05 B5V 01E FRF
Capacitor said:
I once had an astro van, timing belt went WHILE I was driving, in the middle of heavy traffic on the highway (going 100), just went...
Scariest moment in my life
Ummm... Astro/Safari vans don't have timing belts. And the 4.3litre engine that came in them had a pretty-well bullet proof timing chain, as it was just a chopped small-block chev (read short chain, tested, long term design). Do you want to try again?
 

Capacitor

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Joined
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Location
Toronto
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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
the timing chain went. sorry. I have a habit of calling them both the same thing. timing belt/chain as I'm not a mechanic and can't keep track of which vehicles have which.

I think it was a 92 (but can't be sure). I only paid $1200 (cdn) for it.

it totally died in the middle of driving, got it over to the shoulder before I was killed, towed it, 2 different mechanics at 2 different places said it had snapped and would cost more than the van cost to fix. I ended up scrapping it - sold for parts to another place.
and if you're going to ask how it got to the shoulder without any power (no engine), it's a little thing in physics called "momentum".

Unless you're taking me to task for using the wrong term (sorry I'm new to this), you tell me...

Windex said:
Ummm... Astro/Safari vans don't have timing belts. And the 4.3litre engine that came in them had a pretty-well bullet proof timing chain, as it was just a chopped small-block chev (read short chain, tested, long term design). Do you want to try again?
 
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Capacitor

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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
I'm not really sure what he sells exactly. I think it's some sort of business investments/insurance.

He doesn't need much space. But they also use it for the family car.

They had a van for a while (he inherited when his parents passed away), but that thing was a real dog.

So a 4 door sedan or beetle or something roughly that size is more than enough.

BTW it seems like no matter what make or model car you pick, you may always have problems.

The car I wished I could have kept was an 04 Passat GLX AWD (brand new at the time). but man did that thing suck gas. Sure it was "silent" on the road (no noise) and soooo smooth driving you'd never notice a bump (even a bad one) or gravel or anything else. smooth as glass. that and it kinda sucked for maintenance costs.

charlie75 said:
I love my VW, but would never depend on it for my livelihood!

My 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI (3.8l w/supercharger) with 246K miles (30mpg) with never a major repair is the one I would use!

What does your Uncle sell? How much space does he need? How comfortable does he like to travel?
 

ruking

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Joined
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Location
San Jose area, CA
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2003 VW Jetta, 5 M, Reflex Silver: 09 Jetta, 6 Sp DSG, Candy White: 12 VW Touareg, 8 Sp A/T, Flint Gray
Capacitor said:
My uncle is in sales, and travels a lot,

ok, so he has to drive about 60,000 miles per year (yes, you read that correctly)
So he blew the mileage on the warranty pretty quick, and a lease would have the same problem.

i'm trying to think of the best option for them, not just fuel, but in maintenance for the car.

They bought a brand new 2006 car (non-diesel/non-vw) and killed it (mileage). I think they paid over $40k for it and ended up selling it for $5k in just about a years worth of use.

the only two things I could think of were either a cheap diesel or something like a $1000 "beater" (ie: a car you just use til it dies and get another one, and keep doing it cuz it's cheap).

with the mileage, I'm wondering how the costs would work out for a diesel, obviously we're talking a lot of timing belt jobs, and other assorted things.

But I just can't seem to think of a good solution, aside from the crappy cars.

Again my questions of comparing a '74/'76 mercedes diesel turbo vs a VW come to mind, but I haven't seen any thoughts on that. the mbz's run about $4k to $8k in price which is about the same. I've just had a few bad experiences with mbz's in the past (oil bearing went, etc)

Anyone got any bright ideas that will last the long term?
A couple of things you said do not add up.

1. Is there really that much of a price difference between same model (Toyota Corolla?) car due to the border between two countries?

2. If a car is only worth 5k (after paying significantly more for it) it is almost a no brainer to keep driving it. You really do not want residual value in the car, just the ability to go 60,000 miles per year.

So given you can locate a 2003 Jetta, New Beetle, Golf, your uncle is a definite candidate for a TDI. He will be doing a (100,000 miles T/B W/P about every year and a half. No reason why he should not be able to put a min of 500,000 miles on it (8.3 years at your stated consumption) This is far from a bright idea, but this is precisely what the TDI was built to do.

Good maintenance is the real key. (outside of not damaging the vehicle)
 
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Capacitor

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Location
Toronto
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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
1. yes the price difference between Canada and USA is horrendous!
In some cases the US price is about half the Canadian one - even with our dollar at "par"

Some examples:
An HP/Compaq notebook (picked random models) in Canada run around $2500, sometimes you're lucky and it's a bit less. The same notebook in the US runs about $800.

Gas prices - don't even start. We pay per "litre" (about 1/4 gallon) about $1.00

Televisions and other electronics. A 47" LCD TV brand new in USA (from Best Buy) is $1400, the same exact model in Canada is about $2000

It's sickening. And even with our supposed "Canadian pricing" on cars, it's still MUCH cheaper to buy it in US, drive it across and pay whatever at the border. Especially for non-current cars.

2. its just the choice they made, not mine. My aunt said it was just costing too much to keep up, maybe they just had a bad dealer or whatever. I don't know the details, and again, not my choice on the corolla.

and for the rest, I agree with what everyone has been saying here. it's all good advice and I've passed it on. We'll see what they end up getting :)

As for me, I plan to keep my 01 golf (A4 ALH O1M 146k miles) going for as long as I possibly can!

I love the smell of diesel in the morning ;)

ruking said:
A couple of things you said do not add up.

1. Is there really that much of a price difference between same model (Toyota Corolla?) car due to the border between two countries?

2. If a car is only worth 5k (after paying significantly more for it) it is almost a no brainer to keep driving it. You really do not want residual value in the car, just the ability to go 60,000 miles per year.

So given you can locate a 2003 Jetta, New Beetle, Golf, your uncle is a definite candidate for a TDI. He will be doing a (100,000 miles T/B W/P about every year and a half. No reason why he should not be able to put a min of 500,000 miles on it (8.3 years at your stated consumption) This is far from a bright idea, but this is precisely what the TDI was built to do.

Good maintenance is the real key. (outside of not damaging the vehicle)
 
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NorthernMage

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Joined
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Location
Victoria, BC
TDI
2012 Jetta TDI, 6MT, Platinum Grey
Agree with ruking, a good well maintained 03 Jetta Sedan or Wagon would be ideal and you are in the best spot in Canada to buy one. There are a lot of lease returns out there and some of the used car dealers specialize in the TDIs.
Don't buy it from a VW dealer (unless it is a really great deal) and don't get an automatic unless you go up a few years and get a 6 speed DSG.... Make sure there is a maintenance history and the correct oil has been used.
The timing belt on the 03 was the first of the long life timing belts and has to be changed every 160K Km so make sure it has been done if your car has more than 160K on it...
I have a 03 and averaged 52.6 Mpg lifetime so far so they will save money on fuel.
If they have the money to spend I would look at the brand new CRD VW Jetta's coming out this summer. There should be a demo model in the showroom soon with cars arriving this summer/fall. Great mileage and much more power and torque than either the ALH or PD engines. Not sure how much they will cost but the rumour was below $30K.... Check out some of the news articles on the home page....
 

Capacitor

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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
What do you think about my own golf (01 A4 ALH 01M w/146k miles, TB/etc changed 2700 miles ago (supposedly) was it a good pick ?

NorthernMage said:
Agree with ruking, a good well maintained 03 Jetta Sedan or Wagon would be ideal and you are in the best spot in Canada to buy one. There are a lot of lease returns out there and some of the used car dealers specialize in the TDIs.
Don't buy it from a VW dealer (unless it is a really great deal) and don't get an automatic unless you go up a few years and get a 6 speed DSG.... Make sure there is a maintenance history and the correct oil has been used.
The timing belt on the 03 was the first of the long life timing belts and has to be changed every 160K Km so make sure it has been done if your car has more than 160K on it...
I have a 03 and averaged 52.6 Mpg lifetime so far so they will save money on fuel.
If they have the money to spend I would look at the brand new CRD VW Jetta's coming out this summer. There should be a demo model in the showroom soon with cars arriving this summer/fall. Great mileage and much more power and torque than either the ALH or PD engines. Not sure how much they will cost but the rumour was below $30K.... Check out some of the news articles on the home page....
 

GoFaster

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Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
If you maintain it by the book (and you don't take it to a mechanic who screws you over, and you do certain things beyond what the book says) a VW diesel will last a LONG time.

I am at 158,000 km on my '06 TDI, and all is well. Timing belt and water pump was just done by Total Mechanical Services in Orangeville ... lots of people around here take their VW's there for service.

On your particular car, you are talking miles but you give a location of Toronto, so can we switch to kilometers? I presume you are at 235,000 km. There are two things over and above the maintenance schedule that experience has found need to be addressed: the water pump, and the supposed "lifetime" automatic transmission fluid.

At this point, although the official schedule says nothing about it, the water pump should have been changed along with the timing belt at least once. (If not the one you just did, then it should have been done the time before that.) Don't go over 200,000 km on a water pump - change it with the timing belt at suitable intervals to not go over that. If it wasn't done last time 'round, too late now, do it next time but don't stretch the next timing belt change interval.

The other thing is that automatic transmission. If it were my car (which it woudn't be, because I don't want to deal with VW automatic trannies, but s'pose), I'd be changing the fluid every 64,000 km. Lifetime fluid, my butt.
 

Capacitor

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2001 Golf, 2009 Jetta DSG Auto
orangeville is quite a drive but may be worth it. theres one listed in hamilton in the trusted dealers list.

I'm really surprised there isn't a single toronto repair shop listed. that's a bit odd.

oh, yes, its 236,000 km - so many people speak miles here :)

I'll be taking it in for a once-over and see what they say.

GoFaster said:
If you maintain it by the book (and you don't take it to a mechanic who screws you over, and you do certain things beyond what the book says) a VW diesel will last a LONG time.

I am at 158,000 km on my '06 TDI, and all is well. Timing belt and water pump was just done by Total Mechanical Services in Orangeville ... lots of people around here take their VW's there for service.

On your particular car, you are talking miles but you give a location of Toronto, so can we switch to kilometers? I presume you are at 235,000 km. There are two things over and above the maintenance schedule that experience has found need to be addressed: the water pump, and the supposed "lifetime" automatic transmission fluid.

At this point, although the official schedule says nothing about it, the water pump should have been changed along with the timing belt at least once. (If not the one you just did, then it should have been done the time before that.) Don't go over 200,000 km on a water pump - change it with the timing belt at suitable intervals to not go over that. If it wasn't done last time 'round, too late now, do it next time but don't stretch the next timing belt change interval.

The other thing is that automatic transmission. If it were my car (which it woudn't be, because I don't want to deal with VW automatic trannies, but s'pose), I'd be changing the fluid every 64,000 km. Lifetime fluid, my butt.
 

NorthernMage

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2012 Jetta TDI, 6MT, Platinum Grey
I would check the part numbers on the timing belt kit that was installed in your car to confirm that you now have the "long life kit" i.e. 160K Km, that means they put on the correct belt and large roller as well as replacing the water pump, tensioner and both small rollers - and the stretch bolts..... other than that the ALH is a great engine and very tweakable with injectors and chips. I wouldn't put in the chip until the clutch was replaced with a VR6 setup though.....
 

Canadian_Grizzly

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Joined
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Location
British Columbia, Canada
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02 Jetta TDI
Keeping the corolla should have been a no brainer... if its already sold I personally would go for a A4 TDI. Have them start a relationship with Wingnut (I think he's still doing some work) and stay away from all dealers. I drive approx 45,000 miles a year and have 415,000kms on my 02 Jetta. Maintenance costs are negligable considering the fuel economy I get. For a salesman to drive around a beater would be a poor choice in my opinion. I know there was a lot of cheap A4's listed on the internet coming out of Quebec...rust won't be an issue for a long while with the undercoating they put on these cars and all maintenance costs etc can be written off on his taxes.
 

pdh

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I drive 30000 miles/yr and so bought a 2006.5 TDI to save fuel. My mileage is 42 mixed city/hwy. Pure highway I get 50+. Been very happy with the car, but I did get 200,000 miles plus on (3)Nissan Maximas with manual trannies (28 mpg)and traded them in due to boredom. Can't beat sticks for longevity....but use synthetic lubes, the sooner the better. Also, use oil analaysis at first 10000 miles and follow the labs recommendations. Can't beat Japanese cars for dependability or service.
 

hank miller

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Location
Monticello, MN
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'06 Jetta
Most salesmen I know have to have a nice car as part of the image thing. So I can see selling as perfectly good car just because it is getting old. Depending on his budget I'd look at a 2006 Mercedes E320 with the CDI (diesel), which fits the image most salesmen need, should last a while, and keep the image for several years.

The truth is the engines in even the cheapest cars today will have no problem reaching 200,000 miles if maintained properly. (There will of course be exceptions, but they are just that exceptions). Most people confuse needing to do some maintenance with the car becoming a money pit. Alternators and starters tend to fail at about the same time (generally around 150,000 miles), so you see both going and thing the car is wearing out when in truth once you replace those parts it is good for another 150000 miles again. Likewise the front end will need work, but once you fix it, it is good again.
 

TornadoRed

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hank miller said:
The truth is the engines in even the cheapest cars today will have no problem reaching 200,000 miles if maintained properly. (There will of course be exceptions, but they are just that exceptions).
The exceptions are certain Korean cars that are good for 100k miles, but after the warranty expires the spare parts are outrageously expensive. Buying a new one then makes more sense than repairing the old one.
 

terrydtdi

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Charleston S.C.
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I got into sales back in August , 35,000 miles later . My fellow sales guys are spending 2 to 3 times what I'm spending on fuel I love it .
 

TornadoRed

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Our Yaris drivers are paying about 8 cents/mile for gas right now, I've been paying 8.5-9.0 cents/mile lately. Considering the usual seasonal fuel price patterns, that's pretty good. Considering the difference in comfort, safety, and performance, the TDI looks pretty good against the Yaris or any similar car in its class.
 

doc_m

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somwhere
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was going too say maintinence costs on these cars aren't really much more than anything else in the 307k kms on my car other than reg maintinence had a window reg go and just a short while ago front wheel bearings.... treat the car well and it will last :)
 

BrianCT

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USA
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TDI
terrydtdi said:
I got into sales back in August , 35,000 miles later . My fellow sales guys are spending 2 to 3 times what I'm spending on fuel I love it .
There's something I'm missing here?

Are you reimbursed for mileage using your own car for business?
 

dremd

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May 31, 2007
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South Louisiana
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06 sprinter. 03 jetta wagon premium with 6 speed ALH swap, 14 JSW
How much did you say he paid for a Corolla?
I went to Toyota.ca and the most expensive corolla I could build was $23,000 CA (cheapest was 14.5k) more than USA by 20% (just guessing) But noplace near $40k

That being said if I drove 60k a year I'd much rather be in a Jetta/ golf than a corolla.
However if I had to put a family member in a car I'd know would not break down, I'd do the Corolla

Why did he sell the Corolla? Should easily do 200,000 Miles with no problem, shouldn't be much less value with 200k than with 60k
 

John96895

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Apr 10, 2004
Location
RI
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Jetta, 2002, Black
I have a brother in sales and drives megamiles. He drives the small Chevy pickups and swears by them. Last one had 320k and was only about 4 yrs old, original drivetrain when traded in.
 

dariod

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Feb 22, 2007
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Windy City
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2000 Jetta GLS TDI
I know they are bad on gas (20 MPG) but Lincoln TownCar are good cars. I know my friend has them in limo company regular sedans and there is 2004 model with over 400K miles and it runs perfect all original. All of the models have over 200k they drive 100k per year.
 
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