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CmdrSmirnoff
Oct 27, 2005
happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy

I'm looking to replace my '98 Lexus GS400 (because it was written off). I've already been researching and driving and know what I'm looking for, but need some help.

I work in criminal defence and drive huge distances on any given day. My average daily commute is about 120km, mostly highway, some city. I spend about 3-4 hours in the car daily. So I need a car that I really love, because spending so much time in one otherwise is painful. I had a rental Altima that was a perfectly adequate car and I hated every minute of it.

Anyway, the question. I've been looking at two of my past "hey I could actually afford one of these one day" dream cars: the Cadillac CTS-V and Subaru STI (MY04-06 for both). But these are obviously high-performance race-bred vehicles that I'm not sure can handle the sort of grind that I would need of them. So my point is: can these [and other performance-based cars - I also kinda want a Mini JCW] legitimately handle daily driver duties, or should they really be considered second cars? Do all of the go-fast bits put enough strain and stress on everything that the car will just rattle apart by the time I add another 30,000 KM next summer? While I can live with not having a car for a weekend while basic maintenance is done, I really do need something that will start on Monday morning with no drama.

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Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

CmdrSmirnoff posted:

I'm looking to replace my '98 Lexus GS400 (because it was written off). I've already been researching and driving and know what I'm looking for, but need some help.

I work in criminal defence and drive huge distances on any given day. My average daily commute is about 120km, mostly highway, some city. I spend about 3-4 hours in the car daily. So I need a car that I really love, because spending so much time in one otherwise is painful. I had a rental Altima that was a perfectly adequate car and I hated every minute of it.

Anyway, the question. I've been looking at two of my past "hey I could actually afford one of these one day" dream cars: the Cadillac CTS-V and Subaru STI (MY04-06 for both). But these are obviously high-performance race-bred vehicles that I'm not sure can handle the sort of grind that I would need of them. So my point is: can these [and other performance-based cars - I also kinda want a Mini JCW] legitimately handle daily driver duties, or should they really be considered second cars? Do all of the go-fast bits put enough strain and stress on everything that the car will just rattle apart by the time I add another 30,000 KM next summer? While I can live with not having a car for a weekend while basic maintenance is done, I really do need something that will start on Monday morning with no drama.

Well you'll spend more money for sure. High performance tires wear out quickly and are expensive to replace, you'll need synthetic oil on your oil changes, and you probably shouldn't tick the carbon ceramic brake option on the CTS-V - they're not really useful othe than on the track and women don't usually notice. But that's just part and parcel of an expensive car, it's not just the purchase price.

I don't think the CTS-V or the STi are known for being particularly unreliable, the CTS-V is a little too new to really say for sure. The MINI is known for being a bit more problematic. The STi will have fairly harsh suspension and a noisy and not particularly comfortable cabin, which might be neat for the first couple of hours but will start getting on your nerves. The CTS-V is a bit more luxurious and has adjustable magnetic suspension to be easier to live with.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




I love to drive and I like seriously hard-suspensioned cars, but I really can't recommend you dailying an STI 3-4 hours a day. It's a great car. It's an awful car in traffic, on the highway, or in basically any "normal" situation.

I think the CTS-V might be an OK choice. MRC is a phenomenal suspension. But in your situation, I'd be willing to trade some performance for comfort, especially since it doesn't sound like you have much actual opportunity to use the performance. I also wouldn't buy used someone else's performance car if I was depending on it for a daily.

Higher-performing cars aren't inherently less reliable, but they do require some more care and maintenance, as Throatwarbler pointed out.

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

You guys know he's talking about the first gen CTS-V with the rear end that dies just because right?

Also, as a subaru owner and fan, hit pains me to not be ale to recommend a 2.5 turbo, but two busted ring lands and a rebuilt motor later stops me fro doing it.

22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010




Can I leverage being able to pay for a new-ish car up front into paying less for it (aside from lack of interest)? If so, how? I'm not buying a new car, but I'm going to help my mother decide on one, and I'm pretty sure this is the first time in her life she's been able to do that too.

edit: Also, there was a hailstorm recently. How would we find which dealerships have hail-damaged cars, other than driving to them? It's an option, but we'd rather not drive an hour to a dealership a few towns away to find out they don't have anything we're looking for.

22 Eargesplitten fucked around with this message at 18:30 on Sep 30, 2012

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Dealers make money on financing, so no, they actually dislike paying cash up front.

As for the second: Are you kidding me? Pick up the phone and call, or contact their Internet Sales Manager via email.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

nm posted:

You guys know he's talking about the first gen CTS-V with the rear end that dies just because right?

Also, as a subaru owner and fan, hit pains me to not be ale to recommend a 2.5 turbo, but two busted ring lands and a rebuilt motor later stops me fro doing it.

Oh. Don't know why I missed that bit. Yeah the last gen CTS-V had huge rear end issues that GM never fixed and denies existance of, and also the interior is both strange looking and cheaply built, don't buy it.

LCdr. Jebus
Sep 9, 2001

You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought...

Counterpoint: I recently sold a 05 CTS-V after having had it for 5 years and 60000km (total 83000km), and other than being really hard on tires it never gave me any issues other than some cosmetic GM'isms.

The interior is weirdly built and fugly, but its got a nice stereo and the seats are comfortable and supportive. Assuming you can get one cheap it's a decent ride with 400hp/395ft lbs and as far as large sedans go its a welterweight 3800lbs.

Make sure you listen for a whine coming from the rear diff, as well as check for leaks after driving, both are signs it's on the way out.

22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010




KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

Dealers make money on financing, so no, they actually dislike paying cash up front.

As for the second: Are you kidding me? Pick up the phone and call, or contact their Internet Sales Manager via email.
Unless you're at a scuzzy BHPH lot where they sell people with no credit cars for stupid-high APR, they actually don't make money off the financing. The credit union/bank does.

Yes, I know, BHPH lots take more risks on who they sell to, they need to ask higher rates to make it profitable, I'm still not paying an extra thousand dollars on my 10-year old used car.

The second part was as much not wanting to dig up every single dealership in the entire Front Range Urban Corridor as not wanting to drive without knowing. I worded it poorly. I was hoping there was some sort of site like Autotrader or something dealerships use to get rid of damaged merchandise like that.

edit: I just wanted to clarify I'm not arguing that you should get a car cheaper if you pay up front. I wasn't sure why you would, since either way they're getting paid in full up front, but I keep hearing people say that you can usually get a cash discount on big things. I thought I may as well ask.

22 Eargesplitten fucked around with this message at 02:41 on Oct 1, 2012

CmdrSmirnoff
Oct 27, 2005
happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy

Lt. Jebus posted:

Counterpoint: I recently sold a 05 CTS-V after having had it for 5 years and 60000km (total 83000km), and other than being really hard on tires it never gave me any issues other than some cosmetic GM'isms.

The interior is weirdly built and fugly, but its got a nice stereo and the seats are comfortable and supportive. Assuming you can get one cheap it's a decent ride with 400hp/395ft lbs and as far as large sedans go its a welterweight 3800lbs.

Make sure you listen for a whine coming from the rear diff, as well as check for leaks after driving, both are signs it's on the way out.

There's usually one or two up for sale up here in the Toronto area for 17-20k. In that price range there's a looooooot of other options as far as "fast and comfortable and super-loving-cool" goes, so if the V and STI are truly bad ideas I'll like just buy a G35 for $12k and use the rest of the money to buy a Datsun or bike or something in the summer.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



CmdrSmirnoff posted:

I'm looking to replace my '98 Lexus GS400 (because it was written off). I've already been researching and driving and know what I'm looking for, but need some help.


I'd just get another Lexus if I were you.

Thewittyname
May 9, 2010

It's time to...
PRESS! YOUR! LUCK!


dexter6 posted:

Trip Report:

Thanks to the advice of this thread, I spent today looking at the following cars:
    * 2012 Mazda 3 i Touring
    * 2013 Ford Focus SE
    * 2013 Chevy Cruze 1LT
    * 2013 Hyundai Elantra GLS

These are pretty much the exact cars I'm looking at right now, can you explain why you went with the Mazda? What did you think about the Elantra?

dexter6
Sep 22, 2003


Thewittyname posted:

These are pretty much the exact cars I'm looking at right now, can you explain why you went with the Mazda? What did you think about the Elantra?
I got the best deal on the Mazda and it felt the coolest / sportiest / tightest to me. The focus just felt really plain and clunky.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


CmdrSmirnoff,

I wouldn't recommend either of those cars. I spend 2 to 3 hours a day in a car and the thought of my commute in an STi makes me want to put a bullet in my brain. I say stick with a comfy road cruiser that's reliable. Look at another GS400. Depending on your budget maybe a 5 series sedan or E series if your looking for that sports performance sedan and want a premium mark vehicle.

I'm kind of in a similar situation and I've been eyeballing CPO 2010 Taurus SHO's pretty heavily these days. I'll probably grab one after the first of the year. The SHO has plenty of power for me and is super nicely equipped inside. I just drove a 2010 with 43K miles on it that was fully loaded. 3 year old car that MSRP'd at 46K was selling for 26.9K. Radar cruise control, massaging heated/cooled seats, NAV, the whole 9 yards. No premium maintenance costs or anything like that since it's still just a Ford.

I did like the early 2000's Acura RL's. My mom had one for a while and it was great at chewing up highway miles. I believe early 2000 Honda products had some transmission issues though, not sure if the RL was affected. It was a very plain looking car compared to some, but a capable comfy cruiser.

CmdrSmirnoff
Oct 27, 2005
happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy

skipdogg posted:

CmdrSmirnoff,

I wouldn't recommend either of those cars. I spend 2 to 3 hours a day in a car and the thought of my commute in an STi makes me want to put a bullet in my brain. I say stick with a comfy road cruiser that's reliable. Look at another GS400. Depending on your budget maybe a 5 series sedan or E series if your looking for that sports performance sedan and want a premium mark vehicle.

I'm kind of in a similar situation and I've been eyeballing CPO 2010 Taurus SHO's pretty heavily these days. I'll probably grab one after the first of the year. The SHO has plenty of power for me and is super nicely equipped inside. I just drove a 2010 with 43K miles on it that was fully loaded. 3 year old car that MSRP'd at 46K was selling for 26.9K. Radar cruise control, massaging heated/cooled seats, NAV, the whole 9 yards. No premium maintenance costs or anything like that since it's still just a Ford.

I did like the early 2000's Acura RL's. My mom had one for a while and it was great at chewing up highway miles. I believe early 2000 Honda products had some transmission issues though, not sure if the RL was affected. It was a very plain looking car compared to some, but a capable comfy cruiser.

I do still love the GS-series and other performance sedans, but really wanted to downgrade to something smaller. I do an increasing amount of downtown driving from court to court and having a larger car is just a hassle. I don't even use most of the space in the car besides acting as a friend taxi. On the other hand, I'm a big guy and like for [i]me[i] to be comfortable. Maybe a luxury coupe is really the best option...

Splizwarf
Jun 15, 2007
It's like there's a soup can in front of me!

Get an auto FR-S or BRZ. You'll fit in it nicely, fun to drive, not enough room for more than one friend.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Ahhh sorry, I guess I didn't pick up on the downsizing thing. The luxury coupe market is probably where you'll be happiest.

I'm thinking right now.. If I understand correctly you want

- something fun to drive with good power and handling
- something reasonably comfortable that won't make you hate spending 3 to 4 hours a day in the car
- premium/upmarket brand/model
- can be 2 or 4 door, but you don't want a full sized sedan.
- reliable

The G35 you mentioned before is a very solid choice in that market. I would recommend a Mustang as well, but I'm not sure that's something that would interest you though. It does hit most of your requirements. Might be worth a look?

The coupe market doesn't have a whole lot of choice. The Altima didn't excite you.. I would avoid an out of factory warranty Audi at all costs...BMW 1 or 3 series might be your cup of tea but out of budget. Benz C-Series coupe could be a maybe...repairs on a MB can get crazy when one of the electronic doodads goes haywire. Your JCW Mini option might be a good idea, but I personally would get tired of the manual transmission in traffic and the harsh ride could get old on crappy downtown streets.

If I were in your shoes I would probably be looking at BMW 3 Series and G35/37 coupes in your price range, and possibly a Mustang GT. I'm not a BMW expert, but there are quite a few in AI, and a BMW 3 Series seems to be a pretty solid car if taken care of properly.

Splizwarf makes a good suggestion with the FR-S/BRZ recommendation, but I get the impression you're not shopping new cars. In absence of a budget I'm assuming you're in the 20K CAD or less market, and with as much as you drive new doesn't make much sense anyway.


Comedy Option: Lotus Elise.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 16:25 on Oct 1, 2012

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



CmdrSmirnoff posted:

I do still love the GS-series and other performance sedans, but really wanted to downgrade to something smaller. I do an increasing amount of downtown driving from court to court and having a larger car is just a hassle. I don't even use most of the space in the car besides acting as a friend taxi. On the other hand, I'm a big guy and like for [i]me[i] to be comfortable. Maybe a luxury coupe is really the best option...

G35 or BMW 3 series. Also I know it's not a coupe but the Lexus CT looks awesome and would be the perfect "downgrade" if you like Lexus.

CmdrSmirnoff
Oct 27, 2005
happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy

leica posted:

G35 or BMW 3 series. Also I know it's not a coupe but the Lexus CT looks awesome and would be the perfect "downgrade" if you like Lexus.

The G35 was my favourite of the reasonable cars before I decided to look at some of the more...extreme options. Thanks guys, I'll just pick up a coupe for now and buy something beastly during the summer.

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


Proposed Budget: $5000 but would prefer to be less.
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Wagon
How will you be using the car?: Car-camping and driving the kids to Tahoe a few times in the winter
What aspects are most important to you? Reliablity

I need some advice: I want a wagon to take my family (car) camping, and the occasional trips to Eastern California to play in the snow during the winter time. This car won't be used as a daily driver. I'm strongly considering either a Volvo V70 or a Subaru Outback. I'm open to other cars or even something like a VW Camper van, too.

What should I be looking for in these cars? The ones in my price range have between 120k-150k miles, so their current condition and reliability can really vary.

DixielandDelight
Jul 23, 2012


So here's where I'm at. I need a truck for my job. I've found a truck I like - it's a '79 F250 for $3750. Now I'm 19 years old and I don't have 3k sitting around so I was planning on taking out a loan. I guess it was naivety but I thought I could get a loan no problem but the more I learn about loans the less this seems likely. I've got a Jeep I could use for collateral and a co-signer. Would this be enough to get me a loan?

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


DixielandDelight posted:

So here's where I'm at. I need a truck for my job. I've found a truck I like - it's a '79 F250 for $3750. Now I'm 19 years old and I don't have 3k sitting around so I was planning on taking out a loan. I guess it was naivety but I thought I could get a loan no problem but the more I learn about loans the less this seems likely. I've got a Jeep I could use for collateral and a co-signer. Would this be enough to get me a loan?

What did your bank say when you asked?

Saltin
Aug 20, 2003
Don't touch

Oxford Comma posted:

What did your bank say when you asked?
Likely that they arent in the business of handing out money for vehicles made in the 70's.

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


Saltin posted:

Likely that they arent in the business of handing out money for vehicles made in the 70's.

Most banks won't give out an auto loan for cars more than 5 years old. But there are other options and different kinds of loans that banks will do.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Yeah, no bank - not even the ones that do loans for classic buyers - will give out a loan on a '79 F250. You'll basically need a personal line of credit or something else not secured by the truck, which will almost certainly be higher interest than a car loan - and I have to ask from the BFC perspective, why would you be taking out a loan on a 33 year old F250 if you have a Jeep?

DixielandDelight
Jul 23, 2012


I'm going to the bank tomorrow but not in high hopes. I'm just going to see if I can get a general loan(?). The Jeep's title isn't in my name and it's being used as collateral as something else I've found out.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



Oxford Comma posted:

Proposed Budget: $5000 but would prefer to be less.
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Wagon
How will you be using the car?: Car-camping and driving the kids to Tahoe a few times in the winter
What aspects are most important to you? Reliablity

I need some advice: I want a wagon to take my family (car) camping, and the occasional trips to Eastern California to play in the snow during the winter time. This car won't be used as a daily driver. I'm strongly considering either a Volvo V70 or a Subaru Outback. I'm open to other cars or even something like a VW Camper van, too.

What should I be looking for in these cars? The ones in my price range have between 120k-150k miles, so their current condition and reliability can really vary.

Dodge Caravan. The only weak point is the trans, but that's only if you don't take good care of it. I owned one for two years, and my mother in law had it for seven years before that, it was rock solid and wear parts like brakes and suspension are dirt cheap. Super easy to get in and out of, holds a TON of poo poo with the third row out, can strap poo poo to the roof, drives like a car and is comfy on road trips. Ours was in Western NY and had no problems in snow with winter tires. You can get a very nice Caravan for 5k, I know this because I'm thinking about getting another one and that's right around my budget also.

Applebees Appetizer fucked around with this message at 05:48 on Oct 2, 2012

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

leica posted:

Dodge Caravan. The only weak point is the trans, but that's only if you don't take good care of it. I owned one for two years, and my mother in law had it for seven years before that, it was rock solid and wear parts like brakes and suspension are dirt cheap. Super easy to get in and out of, holds a TON of poo poo with the third row out, can strap poo poo to the roof, drives like a car and is comfy on road trips. Ours was in Western NY and had no problems in snow with winter tires. You can get a very nice Caravan for 5k, I know this because I'm thinking about getting another one and that's right around my budget also.

And they made AWD Caravans, which is very useful for Tahoe because if you have AWD they don't make you put on chains. Putting on chains sucks.
(Snow tires might get you up the pass, but caltrans is still going to make you put chains on your Nokians with a 2WD car.)

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


nm posted:

And they made AWD Caravans, which is very useful for Tahoe because if you have AWD they don't make you put on chains. Putting on chains sucks.
(Snow tires might get you up the pass, but caltrans is still going to make you put chains on your Nokians with a 2WD car.)

Was the AWD a specific model because I'm not getting any hits on Craigslist for "AWD" and "Caravan".

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Oct 3, 2016 00:06: SO I'm also in 1st year classes and it's going pretty well I think.

Dec 9, 2016 15:46: Well I just took my first law school final exam. I think I've made a huge mistake.

Oxford Comma posted:

Was the AWD a specific model because I'm not getting any hits on Craigslist for "AWD" and "Caravan".

http://www.cars.com/for-sale/search...ice&sf2Dir=DESC

They weren't sold in big numbers and the option was dropped for the 2008-today generation.

Duncan Doenitz
Nov 17, 2010

There are four lights.

My 2000 Dodge Intrepid is really showing its age (broken AC, cracks in dashboard and door seals, dodgy electrical), and I decided it would make more financial sense to replace it than repair it at this point. Here's what I'm looking for:

Proposed Budget: $10,000 or less

New or Used: Used

Body Style: Four door, midsize or compact, sedan or hatchback

How will you be using the car?: Mainly for my brief (less than 10 mile) daily commute, with occasional highway trips of no more than a few hundred miles.

What aspects are most important to you?: Reliability and gas mileage are the most important. I live in Florida, so cold weather is not a factor.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




22 Eargesplitten posted:

Unless you're at a scuzzy BHPH lot where they sell people with no credit cars for stupid-high APR, they actually don't make money off the financing. The credit union/bank does.

Yes, I know, BHPH lots take more risks on who they sell to, they need to ask higher rates to make it profitable, I'm still not paying an extra thousand dollars on my 10-year old used car.

The second part was as much not wanting to dig up every single dealership in the entire Front Range Urban Corridor as not wanting to drive without knowing. I worded it poorly. I was hoping there was some sort of site like Autotrader or something dealerships use to get rid of damaged merchandise like that.

edit: I just wanted to clarify I'm not arguing that you should get a car cheaper if you pay up front. I wasn't sure why you would, since either way they're getting paid in full up front, but I keep hearing people say that you can usually get a cash discount on big things. I thought I may as well ask.

No, actually, dealers make money off financing. If you bring your own financing, they don't make any money, but the sales guy usually gets spiffed for providing business for the captive finance arm, and frequently there's backend for using captive financing. If the dealership interacts with the loan in any way, you can bet that they're making money off it.

LandedGentry
Jan 31, 2008

Ask me about my serfs!


Hello, all! Sorry for the incoming longpost. I've just started driving again after a half-decade legally-enforced hiatus, and I'm back to terrorizing the roads. I finally have a real job, so I can afford something quite a lot nicer than the scuzzy, bombed-out Miata I've been trying to get back on the road. I'm not rich, though, so I'll probably still have to take out a loan to get a car that's substantially better. First question: I've already put $2500 into repairing this crap car that I left sitting in my friend's yard after my license got zapped, and the interior and roof are going to have to be completely redone. Should I fix it up, or try to sell it off? Second, if I do sell it off, what cars are a good deal right now? I've looked around, and have considered picking up something cheap like a '90s BMW 3 series or Z3, or perhaps a '95 XJS, just to give you an idea of the sort of thing I've had my eye on. The 3 series is actually looking pretty nice, because I'm handy with a wrench and the parts are prevalent. I've also eyed the BRZ, even knowing I'll be paying on that poo poo for half a decade probably.

For some background on why I haven't driven in so long, I got in a wreck right after my insurance lapsed, and have been paying enormous sums of money to get that paid off. During the whole process, I got hit by a car as a pedestrian, which has made me nervous around vehicles in general. Even being a passenger has made me uncomfortable and stressed, and I still can't stop cursing loudly at anyone that changes lanes without signalling. I've decided to put the grown man pants on again, though, and just do what has to be done, but I'm still not OK and I need a car that inspires some confidence.

Proposed Budget: <$15k? A bit flexible past that, depending on what I get for it.
New or Used: Either
Body Style: Two door sporty thing
How will you be using the car?: I have a very short commute, but would like something comfortable enough that I could drive a couple of states out if I wanted to do a road trip.
What aspects are most important to you?: Since I haven't driven in so long, large cars make me a bit nervous. I deal well with something a bit twitchy in its handling, and rougher suspension isn't a huge problem (Miata driver, after all), but larger sedans make me sweat and curse under my breath whenever another car is in the next lane. Getting my current car going has been a huge stress, too, so I'd like something fairly easy to maintain.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



Oxford Comma posted:

Was the AWD a specific model because I'm not getting any hits on Craigslist for "AWD" and "Caravan".

Looking at Wiki, only the 2nd gen Caravans had AWD and you don't want one of those. You should be looking at 4th gen (01-07) with your budget.

If you gotta have AWD I'd go for a Forester/Outback but then there's the whole head gasket issue with those. Try to find one that's already had the head gaskets replaced, or budget for it to be done eventually. The father in law had a Forester with a manual and that thing was perfect for western NY winters, he got lucky and never had a gasket issue.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




LandedGentry posted:

Hello, all! Sorry for the incoming longpost. I've just started driving again after a half-decade legally-enforced hiatus, and I'm back to terrorizing the roads. I finally have a real job, so I can afford something quite a lot nicer than the scuzzy, bombed-out Miata I've been trying to get back on the road. I'm not rich, though, so I'll probably still have to take out a loan to get a car that's substantially better. First question: I've already put $2500 into repairing this crap car that I left sitting in my friend's yard after my license got zapped, and the interior and roof are going to have to be completely redone. Should I fix it up, or try to sell it off? Second, if I do sell it off, what cars are a good deal right now? I've looked around, and have considered picking up something cheap like a '90s BMW 3 series or Z3, or perhaps a '95 XJS, just to give you an idea of the sort of thing I've had my eye on. The 3 series is actually looking pretty nice, because I'm handy with a wrench and the parts are prevalent. I've also eyed the BRZ, even knowing I'll be paying on that poo poo for half a decade probably.

For some background on why I haven't driven in so long, I got in a wreck right after my insurance lapsed, and have been paying enormous sums of money to get that paid off. During the whole process, I got hit by a car as a pedestrian, which has made me nervous around vehicles in general. Even being a passenger has made me uncomfortable and stressed, and I still can't stop cursing loudly at anyone that changes lanes without signalling. I've decided to put the grown man pants on again, though, and just do what has to be done, but I'm still not OK and I need a car that inspires some confidence.

Proposed Budget: <$15k? A bit flexible past that, depending on what I get for it.
New or Used: Either
Body Style: Two door sporty thing
How will you be using the car?: I have a very short commute, but would like something comfortable enough that I could drive a couple of states out if I wanted to do a road trip.
What aspects are most important to you?: Since I haven't driven in so long, large cars make me a bit nervous. I deal well with something a bit twitchy in its handling, and rougher suspension isn't a huge problem (Miata driver, after all), but larger sedans make me sweat and curse under my breath whenever another car is in the next lane. Getting my current car going has been a huge stress, too, so I'd like something fairly easy to maintain.

Go to therapy - seriously it will be very good.

And an E36 3 series sounds like it'd be right up your alley. You might also snag an older G35 2-door for that money, for a different type of thing.

There weren't/aren't a whole lot of smallish RWD 2-doors around.

Do Not Buy An XJS.

Fatal
Jul 29, 2004

I'm gunna kill you BITCH!!!


Any thoughts on the A3 MY2013-11? I'm also looking at the GTI but not that big a fan of the interior and my only other real consideration is the BRZ (waiting until MY2014 unless they come out with some big incentives)

Essentially looking for something in the sub 30k price range that is fun to drive and not a gas hog.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




The A3 is awesome if you want to pay more money for a car that's almost functionally identical to the GTI.

Have you checked the Autobahn package on the GTI? Most people's issue is the plaid seats, and the Autobahn gets rid of them.

Fatal
Jul 29, 2004

I'm gunna kill you BITCH!!!


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

The A3 is awesome if you want to pay more money for a car that's almost functionally identical to the GTI.

Have you checked the Autobahn package on the GTI? Most people's issue is the plaid seats, and the Autobahn gets rid of them.

Yeah, my argument is then it's pretty much the same price and why not go with Audi then?

Splizwarf
Jun 15, 2007
It's like there's a soup can in front of me!

KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

Have you checked the Autobahn package on the GTI? Most people's issue is the plaid seats, and the Autobahn gets rid of them.

Does it also get rid of the dumb red outlines on everything like a reverse Prius? Plaid seats aren't nearly as irritating.

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PaulAllen
Jul 10, 2007


Anyone have any word on dealerships that offer $3,000 for clunkers "no questions asked?" This seems like a deal that is too good to be true.

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