Alfonso Piñate has cars on the brain. He didn’t just forward one car-related article — he sent me three! And they’re all good. From Jalopnik, here’s an “Ask the Readers”-type question: “Your car recommendations for broke, flakazoid car-ignorant friends?” Author Murilee Martin says: “I always recommend the same three cars.” Those are, in order:

  • 1987-1990 Nissan Sentra
  • 1987-1990 Toyota Tercel
  • 1984-1987 Honda Civic

But don’t stop there. This thread is loaded 101 reader comments on cheap beaters. Almost makes me want to trade down from my 2000 Ford Focus. Almost.

Speaking of old cars, Alfonso also pointed me to Beater Review, a site that praises the virtues of older trucks and cars. “Buying new is for suckers,” the site claims. “Any vehicle we review has to have a local market value, in good condition, of less than $5,000.”

Finally, U.S. News & World Report has a look at eight costly car features you don’t need. What are they?

  1. Automatic stick shift
  2. All-wheel drive
  3. CD changer
  4. Power folding seats
  5. Keyless ingition
  6. Xenon headlamps
  7. Dual-zone climate control
  8. Factory-installed navigation systems

I don’t know. Dual-zone climate control would prevent a lot of marital strife in our household.

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