Which One of These $500 Beaters Would You Most Like to Throw Into Park at 60 MPH?

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There's a good chance you don't have a ton of cash laying around right now. Money for beaters may be a little tight, but we all need some quality entertainment in this trying time. 

For $500, these fine machines I've prepared for you will get the job done. Trust me when I say there is no greater joy than money-shifting a car so hard you run over your own transmission.

2002 Buick Rendezvous—$400

So I said these cars were gonna be $500. This one is $400. So I lied—so what?

This thing looks like a real sweetie. The Buick Rendezvous is a modern classic, plain and simple. Strange, then, that this one is listed for such little money. We'll just have to chalk the minuscule price up to the owner's ignorance. 

This particular Rendezvous is appointed with the exciting and dynamic grey interior and grey exterior. Its 3.5-liter V6 puts out about 240 horsepower. There are unfortunately no pictures of the interior of the car, but at 18 years old, I'd say it's likely worn it just right. A paltry 185,000 miles reads on the odometer, a number indicating that this Buick is ready for more adventures. 

Then again, neutral drop this car on the highway and put it out of its misery. I'm tired of looking at it, get it out of my sight. Next!

2009 Chevy Malibu Hybrid—$500

Some people don't care for the Chevy Malibu Hybrid, but I think it was just misunderstood. Sort of like... The Godfather Part III. This particular example looks like it's in good shape. Just 250,000 miles on the odometer and she looks factory fresh. The owner, who wrote the ad in all caps, says the car needs an engine, but it still runs. Maybe the right phrasing for that would've been "wants an engine." Any car with an engine that still runs doesn't need anything.

The tires are "newer", it has a sunroof (wow), and the body looks straight as a die. Probably gets great gas mileage, too. If I'm honest, I forgot they even made a Malibu Hybrid.

What a shame, it will be missed.

2002 Saturn SL1—$500

Would I feel bad about neutral-dropping a Saturn? I'm not sure. I mean, they aren't making any more of them. I guess I would have to try it to see how I felt about it, you know? Just sort of sit in that feeling after the transmission is ejected out of the bottom of the car—really have a moment of reflection.

This Saturn SL1 actually looks pretty clean. There are no pictures of the interior (which I'm sure is spotless) but the only real visible flaw on the outside is a chip out of one of the plastic wheel covers. There's no mileage listed, but our boy Larry who owns the thing says it runs good. I trust Larry. Don't you trust Larry?

You know, I've thought about it a bit, and I don't think anyone should neutral-drop this thing. It looks... I don't know. Friendly? Let's just spare this one. 

1999 Honda CRV—$500

This is sort of a confusing listing, so I'll try to break down what I think is going on. As per the description, the owner says the timing belt and water pump have been replaced. The car has also received a valve adjustment. That's good.

It seems like—and bear with me here—after he completed this work, he drove the car into the side of his house. Again, I'm not sure why this happened, I'm just reporting the facts. The car is listed as a salvage for this reason, but why did he replace those parts then? Something is just not really adding up here.

Looks great though—it would take a real philistine not to appreciate what this thing is. I love the red, and that spare on the back could probably be sold for a few extra chips after the fact. At just 135,338 miles, it's practically new. 

You might have to tow it home, but once it's running I think this thing could take some abuse. Looks sturdy as hell, like a brick shithouse. This thing could probably take a lot of neutral drops.

I think we've found our winner. You might want to make sure the owner isn't still unconscious in the driver's seat when you pick it up.

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