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Old 04-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #1
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Default Help me pick a new car

I've been pondering over getting a different car for a few months now, since Jan. I can't seem to make up my mind on things. As soon as I zone in on wanting one car, the cons of it come up and I start to look at another car. Then the cycle repeats itself.

So the car isn't going to be a track car, got the 97 to do that. I've got a buddy's SSM miata I'm co-driving with so the car isn't really going to see much autox either, maybe 3-4 times a year locally. The car will basically be a fun DD that I can rely on and have fun with when I want to take it to the mountains or where ever. And maybe do a few things to it, wheels/tires, etc.

My budget is..... cheap as ******* possible But really not wanting to go over $16k. It will be financed, 10%-20% payed down depending on overall price.

Here's what I've ran thru so far:

S2000(preferably AP2)
Pros:
-fast in stock trim
-throw the top back on a nice day
-big aftermarket
-rwd
-cheapest of my choices
-v-tec sir
Cons:
-no back-seat
-so-so gas mileage
-v-tak bro

07-09 Mazdaspeed 3
Pros:
-back-seat
-lots of extra space
-great power
-responds well to a few mods
-turbo
Cons:
-fwd
-heavier
-most expensive of my choices
-bad mileage if my right foot gets heavy
-no rag top

Forester 2.5 XT 04+

Pros:
-back-seat
-lots of extra space
-awd
-good power
Cons
-I have little knowledge on scoobies
-heavier
-bad mileage with a kinda heavy foot
-no rag top

cjernigan's 99 + protege5
Pros:
-real fast miata
-reliable DD
-two cars
-back seat in one
-storage in one
-good mileage in either
-weekend toy
-easy to make more power with miata
-rag top and a quiet 4-door
Cons:
-double the chances something can break
-inexpensive car with a lot of money in parts(miata)
-won't have protege5 intially, have to sell my 94 (so 6 or so months of having two miatas)
-Always the chance of the 99 going pop(highly unlikely, but considered)

06+ Civic Si
Pros:
-dead reliable honda
-ok power, responds well to mods
-back-seat, possible 4-door
-great gas mileage
Cons:
-slowest of my choices
-V-TACCHH brah, get that **** hellashlamedflushnstuff
-fwd
-heavy-ish


As far as prices goes it seems to go like this, most inexpensive to most expensive:
1. S2000
2. Chad's 99 + Protege 5
3. 06+ Civic Si
4. Forester 2.5 XT
5. Mazdaspeed3



Halp!

Last edited by flier129; 04-18-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
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I would look for a 4 door Civic SI. Great for a daily that has some zip and 31 hwy. The four door has different suspension than the 2 door. The 2 door's handling sucks.

Edit: I have had both the Civic and S, the S is better on track but the slight advantage on track is overshadowed by the Civic's great daily manners.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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The redneck in me says buy an LS Camaro. They have power, fairly reliable, have a backseat (kinda), and can chugg along on the highway getting 28 mpg. Build quality, braking, handling, not so much.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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Mitsubishi! My lancer is fun. 28 if I'm an ***, 30mpg if I'm not. That's average for a tank.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have an MS3.

I love the car but it's not without it's issues.


the positives

-cheap (I bought mine new as a left over for 17,700)
-TONS of room with the rear seats folded down. I've fit 6 non-stacking dining chairs in the car without issues, a 7 foot table, a huge power washer, etc.
-lot's of hardware for the money. The brakes are great, the LSD transfers power well, with the COBB tune and intake the motor has gobs of torque (for a 4 banger).
-a decent and affordable aftermarket parts selection

the negatives

-shitty mpg unless you drive it like a Prius (which you won't)
-crap factory motor mounts, however, there's a couple aftermarket offerings
-handling is decent, however, it feels a bit like riding a bull compared to a Mini or Civic. The factory LSD does it's best to mitigate wheel spin but at the end of the day you're driving a 3400 lb FWD with 285-300 ft lbs. of torque.
-loud ... very loud. Lots of wind noise, factory exhaust draws a lot of attention. If you have an aftermarket intake you'll think you're in a 737. If I'm driving by myself I don't care (mostly I enjoy it), however, passengers tend to comment and/or talk loudly. The short - it's ain't no Cadillac and is far 'harsher' as a DD than a Civic Si or Cooper S.

-Zach
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thasac View Post
I have an MS3.

I love the car but it's not without it's issues.


the positives

-cheap (I bought mine new as a left over for 17,700)
-TONS of room with the rear seats folded down. I've fit 6 non-stacking dining chairs in the car without issues, a 7 foot table, a huge power washer, etc.
-lot's of hardware for the money. The brakes are great, the LSD transfers power well, with the COBB tune and intake the motor has gobs of torque (for a 4 banger).
-a decent and affordable aftermarket parts selection

the negatives

-shitty mpg unless you drive it like a Prius (which you won't)
-crap factory motor mounts, however, there's a couple aftermarket offerings
-handling is decent, however, it feels a bit like riding a bull compared to a Mini or Civic. The factory LSD does it's best to mitigate wheel spin but at the end of the day you're driving a 3400 lb FWD with 285-300 ft lbs. of torque.
-loud ... very loud. Lots of wind noise, factory exhaust draws a lot of attention. If you have an aftermarket intake you'll think you're in a 737. If I'm driving by myself I don't care (mostly I enjoy it), however, passengers tend to comment and/or talk loudly. The short - it's ain't no Cadillac and is far 'harsher' as a DD than a Civic Si or Cooper S.

-Zach
A couple important things I forgot to mention.

- I'm 6'3" and can easily and comfortably seat 6'+ adult in the rear seat behind me.

- If you live in an area with temps below 30 degrees be prepared for a very harsh ride. I don't drive the car much in NE winters since I have an old Volvo 240 beater, however, if I drive the car in 10-20 degree weather I get squeaking from the sway bar bushings and a VERY harsh ride - lot's of slamming, creaking, and concern from the girlfriend.

-Zach
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input!

I'm concerned less with mpg and more with the fun factor. I would fit right in with a Camaro around here, but I couldn't jump from a miata to a camaro when I want to toss it around a curve.

I looked into Evo's, then realized most of them are still $18k+

Car noise I can handle, especially since I've been driving miatas for the past 4 years. The ms3 I test drove wasn't too loud, I was able to talk to the salesman with ease. The Si was a turd compared to the MS3, **** a friend's 2010 Mazda3 wagon was faster than the Si, I forgot to put that car in the mix as well. Although I would just spend the extra $2-3k and get an older speed3.

No input on the whole two car deal? Its my number one choice right now, lol.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
Thanks for the input!

I'm concerned less with mpg and more with the fun factor. I would fit right in with a Camaro around here, but I couldn't jump from a miata to a camaro when I want to toss it around a curve.


No input on the whole two car deal? Its my number one choice right now, lol.
I've done this, and I was off in the weeds, driving a Camaro is a love/hate affair.

2 car deal sounds pretty good. Can't go wrong with a DD protege and another miata.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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2 cars is the way to go. but instead of "double the chances something can break" it should be "more insurance costs".

Think about it, you can drive the DD in shitty weather, work on one car without time constraints etc etc.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
cjernigan's 99 + protege5
Pros:
-real fast miata
-reliable DD
-two cars
-back seat in one
-storage in one
-good mileage in either
-weekend toy
-easy to make more power with miata
-rag top and a quiet 4-door
Cons:
-double the chances something can break
-inexpensive car with a lot of money in parts(miata)
-won't have protege5 intially, have to sell my 94 (so 6 or so months of having two miatas)
-Always the chance of the 99 going pop(highly unlikely, but considered)
Why are you doubling the chance that something can break? I can almost guarantee that you won't be driving twice as much just because you have two cars. What is the chance that something will break on a car that is sitting in your garage? Consider this - if something on one of the cars DOES break, you still have a fully functional running "backup" car.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
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Should of re-worded that one, lol. Not exactly doubled but I have two cars to keep up with.

Insurance on a 99 miata and 03 protege 5 together is actually cheaper than a MS3 by itself for me, :-D

I definitely like the backup car idea, that's the whole idea behind it. And can't make myself DD a nice turbo miata.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #12
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C5 Corvette, WS6 Trans Am (in black), Terminator Cobra (03/04 SVT, ******* awesome), S2000's are nice, older Porsche 911 (air cooled), Audi S4, STi, Evo, E30/36/46 M3, E39 M5, GTO, G8 GT

I have a soft spot for the Termi Cobra.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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Love the s2000. Also like the mazdaspeed 3. As for the Civic, IDK I've driven it and it was pretty boring. Also my friend (who owns the civic) has had a couple of issues. I guess the 3rd gear sucks on them and the paint is garbage on them. Also modifying them is a pain. For a strict daily, the civic would probably be fine, otherwise I'd choose the first two I mentioned for a more fun car
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
C5 Corvette, Audi S4, STi, Evo, E30/36/46 M3, E39 M5, GTO, G8 GT
Where are these for around $15k? Remember this will be financed, so bank won't give me anything over nada retail.


I read about the 3rd gear synchro issue, it's not too common thankfully. Similar to the 1.6 short-nose crank issue.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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If MPG isn't a big concern, get something like this:


Seats 4, great handling, good power. It would be a hoot to drive, and you can get em for a great price used.

Other suggestions:
Cooper s

Scion tC
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:11 PM   #16
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I always forget about the rx8, it might be a contender. Need to research reliability issues on it again. Looked them up about 1 1/2 ago, looks like they dropped in price alot.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond View Post
The redneck in me says buy an LS Camaro.
It's funny that you mention this- I was idly browsing around autotrader just yesterday looking at Firebirds.

Rather oddly, it would seem (based on my admittedly small sample size) that the number of third-generation Firebirds in the state of California equipped with both a V8 engine and a manual transmission is approximately zero.


That said, if you're looking for a car that's fun, cheap, reliable, and nets reasonable mileage, why not a stock NA?
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
Where are these for around $15k? Remember this will be financed, so bank won't give me anything over nada retail.


I read about the 3rd gear synchro issue, it's not too common thankfully. Similar to the 1.6 short-nose crank issue.
Oh ****-*****, I didn't see that.
Amended list:
C5 Corvette, WS6 Trans Am (in black), Terminator Cobra (03/04 SVT, ******* awesome), S2000's are nice, older Porsche 911 (air cooled), Audi S4, STi, Evo, E30/36 M3, E39 M5, GTO.
I've only seen a few 911's at that price, and they probably aren't exactly what you need, but other then that, everything on the list can be had for around $15K. I'm not 100% sure about the terminator cobra though, of course if you can get one I'd be totally worth it.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I looked into Evo's, then realized most of them are still $18k+
I said Lancer, not evo.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
older Porsche 911 (air cooled),
Admittedly, I've only ever driven one air-cooled 911 (an early 80s model), but I didn't enjoy it one bit. That car is a real chore to drive. The feel of the shifter is about on par with that of a VW Beetle, the clutch and steering are obnoxiously heavy, and it just wasn't all that remarkable in the speed or handling departments.

Now, you could easily pick up a low mileage Boxster for the kind of money that's being discussed, and I do rather like those cars quite a lot.
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