In 1986 Tim and I paid $9000 for a brand new 1987 Nissan Sentra two door sedan, no air conditioning, no cruise control and no radio. It was our first major purchase as newlyweds. The car payment was $197 a month financed for 4 years.
We brought our firstborn son home from the hospital in the back seat and drove back and forth from Idaho to San Diego several times. As our family expanded faster than our car budget, at one point there were three car seats buckled in the rear.
Twenty three years and 200,000 miles later, it functions as economical teenage transportation. Although we paid $1500 too much at the time of purchase, it has turned out to be one of the best financial decisions of our marriage.