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Help me waste money on a car


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86 replies to this topic

#1 of 87 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted July 08 2003 - 03:37 AM

I've had a crummy year (don't ask), and I'm strongly considering a "therapy purchase" of a spiffy new vehicle. I know there several gearheads here, so...

I'm looking in the neighborhood of $26K-36K, though the actual lease payment will be the deciding factor on affordability. (Leasing makes best sense for me because I'm bored easily and have expensive tastes. I'm physically incapable of keeping a car long enough to reap the benefits of buying.) So resale value matters.

Requirements are fun-to-drive, manual transmission, and good for trips (no S2000s or anything else that revs 4500 at 70 MPH). Coupes preferred. No convertibles. (There are about three days each year around here that are good for top-down driving.) No Fords. (Bad experience. Don't ask.)

I haven't driven anything yet. Once I start doing that, I'll inevitably buy something and I'm not ready to pull the trigger. The early contenders are:

- Infiniti G35 coupe
- Honda Accord V-6 coupe
- BMW 325i coupe

I really like the Infiniti. The Accord is the practical choice -- it's cheaper to buy and to insure. I'm not sure I'm a BMW kind of guy, but it gets rave reviews so I figure I should consider it. (The insurance on those costs a ton, though.)

Any others I should think about? Anyone own one of those and like/hate it? Should I just spend the dough on DVDs?

Ryan

#2 of 87 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted July 08 2003 - 03:55 AM

I'd suggest the Altima 3.5, which can be found in a manual. Should run right around $23-29K

The BMW is by far the most fun of the above to drive, the Accord probably the most reliable and inexpensive over the long term. Both Honda and BMW have good resale, I'm not as familiar with the Nissan/Infiniti.

Personally? I would save the money. New cars are fun, but the newness quickly fades and you're left with the same car. The BMW would remain fun to drive, but its never the same after the first 6 months or so with any new car.

#3 of 87 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:00 AM

How about the MINI Cooper S? http://www.miniusa.com/link/home
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#4 of 87 OFFLINE   Chris Hovanic

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:07 AM

My picks....

350Z
Posted Image


RX-8
Posted Image
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#5 of 87 OFFLINE   Brian Kleinke

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:14 AM

What part of the country are you in? Given the convertible comment I'm guessing not the nicest.

Though they don't come in the coupe style :-/ but the Audi A4 fits the rest of what you like and can be had with AWD :-)

I'm VERY VERY happy with mine Posted Image

#6 of 87 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:22 AM

how about a used audi S4? Posted Image

#7 of 87 OFFLINE   Matt DeVillier

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:23 AM

Matt,

I disagree. I've had my "new" car for just over a year and still get the same feeling every time I sit down as I did when I first got it.


Ryan,

although it's not a coupe, you may want to look at an Audi A4. It's stylish in a conservative way, is very fun to drive, and you can't beat Quattro. And there is a coupe rumored for the fall if you really don't care for a sedan.

(edit)
Philip,

only problem with the used S4's is that they are all based on the older B5 platform A4s. The B6 platform S4 is set to debut this fall as an 04 model and is going to be quite sweeeeet. Certainly still worth a test drive though


gratuitous link to A4 pic (too big to post in thread)

#8 of 87 OFFLINE   StephenK

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Posted July 08 2003 - 04:59 AM

I would really recommend you test drive the A4. The S4 kicks ass but doesn't fit your price range. Course, I was just at the dealership to pick up a part and fell in love with the RS6...BiTurbo V8 cranking out 450 hp. only 87K...sigh

#9 of 87 OFFLINE   Dave E H

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:05 AM

BMW 325i is a great choice. is this also a new vs. used decision? How many miles do you put on?

If you're looking for fun but maybe slighly impractical, I'd loce to get like a 2001 BMW M Coupe - that's a sweet car.

#10 of 87 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:19 AM

I'm in Lexington, Kentucky. The weather isn't bad, it's just that it's either too cold or too hot here -- we have no real spring or fall. (I saw a brave soul out in the sun and humidity just now in a new Z4 with the top down. He looked hot, and I don't mean that in a good way.)

Another thing we don't have is an Audi dealer. Posted Image There's one an hour away in Louisville, but I'm a bit nervous about being that far away from warranty service. Otherwise, the A4 would definitely be on the short list. Maybe I'll go drive it anyway, since it sounds like it's a winner.

The Mini isn't sold around here, either, and it might be a bit small for trips. Cute as hell, though. Suggestion noted.

The RX-8 looks sorta goofy to me with the Saturn doors and the bulbous roofline. Probably worth a look though, since I hear it drives nicely.

The G35 is basically the same as the 350Z with a longer wheelbase and a back seat. And I like the looks of the G better than the Z. I guess that means I'm getting old(er).

Thanks for the great suggestions!

Ryan

#11 of 87 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:22 AM

Quote:
only problem with the used S4's is that they are all based on the older B5 platform A4s. The B6 platform S4 is set to debut this fall as an 04 model and is going to be quite sweeeeet. Certainly still worth a test drive though

Yes. but the new one is out of the desired budget. Personally I prefer that platform, and the biturbo Posted Image

also, why not a 6 speed maxima? looking for a max myself, so I'm just a bit biased there Posted Image

#12 of 87 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:26 AM

Another "problem" with the RS6 (though I know you're not looking in that price range) is that not every Audi dealer is authorized to service it. Other than doing basic oil changes, the dealer needs to spend $60k to be accredited for servicing the RS6. I believe only 100 or so dealers have done it nationwide.

I'd recommend finding a certified pre-owned BMW 540i (2000 or newer). You could probably find one for $30-32k.

#13 of 87 OFFLINE   Matt DeVillier

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:32 AM

Ryan,

an hour away is nothing. I'm 1:45 from the dealer where I bought my A4 (though there is one a little closer, it's still at least an hour away). They only need servicing every 10k anyway (inc. oil changes)

#14 of 87 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:32 AM

Yeah, I've thought about the Maxima (and Altima), but I just like that G coupe, so looking at other 3.5 liter V6 Nissans seems redundant. I did see a new Maxima SE out and about yesterday and it did look sweet. I've heard that torque steer is a problem with the manual front-drive Nissans, but I don't think I drive hard enough for that to be a big issue.

Maybe I'll give those a gander if the Infiniti dealer turns out to be a bunch of jerks...

Ryan

#15 of 87 OFFLINE   Philip_T

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:35 AM

Another vote for the A4. I love mine!!Posted Image

#16 of 87 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:40 AM

damnit philip_T quit stalking me Posted Image

back on topic.. the WRX is a fun car too, I also kind of dig the new forrester turbo. Shoot me now. Just to toss out a few more ideas to confuse you..

#17 of 87 OFFLINE   Tim Markley

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:39 AM

Quote:
I'm not sure I'm a BMW kind of guy, but it gets rave reviews so I figure I should consider it. (The insurance on those costs a ton, though.)
The BMW 3 Series are great, fun to drive cars. I'm not sure why you think the insurance is expensive though? It's no more expensive than any other comparable car. If anything, I would think that the insurance on the Infiniti G35 Coupe would be more expensive. If I was making your decision, I'd choose between the BMW (try to get a 330 if you can) the Infiniti G35C and the Audi A4. They're all great cars and I think you'd be happy with any of them.

#18 of 87 OFFLINE   Ryan Spaight

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:42 AM

Hmmmm. Did Audi start sponsoring the site when I wasn't looking? Posted Image Looks like I'll have to go to Louisville to check this out.

Ryan

#19 of 87 OFFLINE   Matt DeVillier

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:55 AM

cmon Philip(s), our cover here is blown Posted Image

#20 of 87 OFFLINE   Michael Marklund

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Posted July 08 2003 - 05:53 AM

Ryan,

Fun to drive?

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

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