Feel free to skip this post if you're not interested in this subject, but here it is for anyone who is.
We bought the 2005 Nissan Frontier about 5 yrs ago (so it was about 5 yrs old) from its original owner. It had around 40,000 miles on it and we paid $6,000 for it. The following stuff was wrong with it when we got it:
1. Passenger side window didn't roll up and down from driver's side.
2. Windshield washer didn't work.
3. There is no key lock on the passenger side making it very irritating to have to walk around to get in. (I could have used the remote device, but never did take to it. Forgot why now.)
4. Seat belt retract-er on driver's side didn't work automatically causing the seat belt to get caught in the door all the time, which probably led to #3 in next list.
5. Dust leaked into the cab making it impossible to keep clean, not to mention so many crevices and carpet.
6. CD player didn't work, and radio didn't work correctly.
7. Very annoying feature was the inside door lock being inside the handle so that when you open the door, the side of your hand depresses the lock. Got locked out often that way but of course as long as I turned off the engine before getting out of the car, I could always go around to the passenger side and unlock it from the inside. May not sound like a big deal but every time I go in and out of the oasis I stop and pick up rocks along the road. Have to really focus as much on the door lock feature as I did on the rocks. And even that was doable, but I lived in fear of the wind slamming the door shut with the lock accidentally locked. Therefore, I constantly had to turn off the engine to get out for a rock, unless it was a very still day.
The rear cargo light feature drove me nuts too, but I took the bulbs out of that the day after we bought it.
So during the next 65+ thousand miles, and 5 years, including a year of pulling a heavy water trailer up and down hills on bad, bad roads, the following unfixed additional stuff happened (other than stuff our mechanic fixed as we went along):
1. Tail gate hinge broke.
2. Driver's seat upholstery wearing out, even though I kept seat covers on it the whole time.
3. Driver's side door hard to close (see #4 in above list).
4. Driver's side visor broke.
5. Rear metal fender braces broke.
6. Passenger side window now didn't roll up or down from either side.
6. Windshield full of huge cracks all over the place from gravel trucks on the highway.
7. Fuel gauge broke and mechanic couldn't fix it.
8 Transmission acting up.
We had just spent $1000 on some repair work before the transmission problem. Some drive train carriage thing and hood latch, etc. So my husband sold the Nissan for $1400. He paid $9000 for the 2011 Ford Ranger (4 years old) with 103,000 miles on it.
I love that the Ford doesn't automatically lock when you start the motor. You get to manually lock the doors (nobody locks doors around here). And you get to roll up the windows manually. Isn't that a great innovation? And no carpet to vacuum. I can just scrub to my heart's content.
It won't pull a water trailer, but if I ever have to haul water again... I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. The Ford should be cheaper on gas and maintenance. Both vehicles are automatic transmissions, which I have to have because pushing in a clutch causes pain in my hip and knee. Otherwise, I wouldn't have one. Everything works perfectly on the Ford. Everything, even with basically the same mileage as the Nissan.
Before the Nissan I had a little Ford Mazda that I loved and only got rid of when the clutch caused me pain to depress, plus there was a stiff button to depress to shift, which was very painful for my thumb (both my thumbs ruined doing rock work), But it was easy on gas and everything worked perfect on it to the day we sold it with a little over 100,000 miles on it. Also my husband figured since nothing had ever gone wrong with it that it was due to start having problems. Seems he's revised that theory now. Our town car, a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria, has nearly 200,000 miles on it and he's planning to keep it as long as possible. My sister drives a 2001 Nissan pickup but she's put a lot into it to keep it running, including a rebuilt transmission (it's a manual).
My husband drives an old Diesel Ford Pickup that he loves and won't part with. It's in the shop more than not, including as I write this. Enough car talk for now. Maybe forever.