The 4 cars that I am looking at for my 16 year old daughter's first car are:
2007 Chevy Equinox, 2005 Ford Escape, 2006 VW Jetta, 2007 Saab 9-3
Are any of these known lemons or money pits?
Honestly, any car can be a money pit, even those with reputations for reliability. With any choice of vehicle, a pre-purchase inspection would be a good route to take. As for the vehicles listed, the Saab is a very nice car but with the company no longer in existence, parts other than normal maintenance items may be hard to come by. Not necessarily impossible, but difficult and probably expensive. I have owned several VW models. My sister is still driving her 2005 Jetta (identical to the 2006) which she purchased new. It has about 155,000 miles on it. It’s had it’s quirks but has never left her stranded except for one instance where the battery kept dying. It turned out to be a bad driver’s door wiring harness which was a common fault in some 2005 and early 2006 models. By this time, if that was an issue, it’s probably long since been taken care of. Hers still runs and drives beautifully. She’s had several random offers to sell the car and refuses. Make use of all the information available today like CarFax or the CarFax app for your phone so you can check VIN numbers while you are out looking at vehicles. Use Google as well. For example, search "2007 Chevy Equinox issues". While people tend to post more when there is a problem rather than "my car is the best in the world", read plenty of reviews on any vehicle you decide on. It can be a big help in your decision process.
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