Need advice: Buying a pocket friendly student project car

The thought of a turbo R18 Honda Civic would be a good idea, but I am really unsure of the reliability issues that would join me once I put in a turbo in that engine.

BHPian k.e.s.h.a.v.57 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I just turned 18 in the past month. The urge to build a car from what it was like when it came out of the factory was one of the biggest distractions in my complete student life. It's my 12th this year and I will progress to college in the next year.

The joy of college might sound really cool, but for someone like me who's more interested in what type of car will I get for college, I cannot keep my mind off it. I would really like the experts here to advise me with some good cars in the pre-owned market with good potential to be tuned and played around with.

Being a VAG owner, I love my Polo GT for sure, but I feel like a bit of restriction with my new 6-speed AT gearbox. For now, I have got my eyes on the R18 Honda Civic and a 9th gen Corolla with low miles on the odo. The Laura or the gen 1 Octavia would have been my personal favorite choices for a car, but they come with their set of problems when bought from a pre-owned market.

The thought of a turbo R18 Honda Civic would be a good idea, but i am really unsure of the reliability issues that would join me once I put in a turbo in that engine.

I also had thoughts of a Cruze from the later generation but I am not very sure if I would get one in good condition and also about the long-term reliability of that machine.

A City V-TEC 1.5 is also a tough to find deal because most of them are on the verge of ending their life in a scrapyard and the ones in good condition and low mileage are with owners well aware of the importance of that car in the tuner market.

The rare models which I would hunt down are also going to be the Ford Fiesta 1.6S and the Suzuki Kizashi. The Octavia and Laura would have been great picks but as mentioned, their set of problems is something my student wallet is to be kept away from.

Looking forward to the experts to help me out with this.

Here's what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

The SX4 is an excellent simple and cheap platform to start with if you want something a bit better then I haven't heard of too many issues with the facelifted Laura. Accord is a great car as well. The Kizashi comes with a block rated to handle upwards of 500bhp and an engine bay with loads of room spare since it was developed with a GM sourced 3.6 V6 in mind, so that could make for a capable package. My advice would be to start with something cheap hence suggested the SX4. You can change nearly everything and still have money to walk away with if you eventually wrap it around a tree.

Here's what BHPian jayanttalvar had to say on the matter:

Hey, I was in a similar position with similar options, I went for the R18 civic which I got from a BHPian. The car is very fun to drive, handles better then most cars i have driven and that hydraulic steering wheel just adds so much more. The car has ample support for modifications too and is cheaper to maintain then Laura's etc.

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