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Well, finally test-drove a bunch this weekend... (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
Mar 26, 2001
To continue the thread I started a few weeks ago, in that I am moving out of NYC to LA and need a sports/sporty car!

Finally got to Dallas and did some proper test-driving this past weekend.

Went to the Acura dealership (i used to own an Integra and was interested in RSX), but just didn't like the styling on any of there current models. Look pretty bland. And finally saw RSX upclose, and think it looks like a Civic. I hate those cheesy dials on the top fo the center column! As I sat in it, just felt like I was taking a step back to my college integra days. In fact, I would rather have the old styling, with the new engine! Didn't test drive, as the salesman didn't pay any attention to me...idiots I swear.

Anyways, moved on and drove a '00 C5 as the dealers won't let you drive a new one. Blazing speed...tough to fall below 60 with a heavy foot. Never seems to run out of power. Great brakes etc. However, interiro on this 2 year old model already showed wear on the seats, and the moldings seemed warped--only 20k miles. Just a lot of plastic ala the Camaro. Also, through curves I can feel the back end slide out---just a big car. Tough to maintain control on the road, and I always felt like I was having to "contain" it. However, love the Electron Blue color and have always been a Vette styling fan.

Next up, Lexus GS300 (my dad owns an LS400 and so he made me do it!). Drives just like his LS400...quiet, soft, and not really performance-like. 300 desperately needs more power, and the 430 would be the only way to go. However, besides exterior styling, it wasn't any more sporty to drive. Also felt hard to drive off the line...you floor it, and it catches up, but not that instant speed you want! However, the interior is superior, and I like the gauges. Definitely a smooth ride.

On to the BMW lot, where I took for a spin the 330ci. Man, that 5 speed tranny is just amazing...I have never felt more joy shifting. It almost be automatic! Smooth, and very natural. Seating position very nice in teh Bimmer...although the interior is pretty stark. Did not like the myrtle wood trim. On the highway, the 3 liter engine just moves...passing was a joy at 80 mph. I did notice that steering seemed soft--this was a 2001 i took out, and I hear they reverted back for the 02s due to similar complaints. That said, handling seemed pretty good for the rwd. Pretty quiet interior, and obviously a refined product. One thing I didn't like is that I was constantly shifting 1-3 on stops...it could be a bigger problem in LA traffic. My big problem with 3-series is that they are as common as Civics in LA...however, I really enjoyed the drive, and see why it is a "drivers" car.

Finally, to Porsche. Drove a plain-jane Boxster with sport package and upgraded 17" wheels. Man, I now finally understand why people like Porsches...this thing was a screamer. Not as roomy as the 330ci, but I felt like I was "one" with the car. Everything in the car exactly where I want it--and love that tach in front. Every inch I moved, it went. Low end torque was superb. I didn't have to get out of 2nd gear on most normal driving. However, when wanting to pass, the power was just instantly delivered to the wheels. I don't understand the need to go for the S version, an extra 9k. Handling is absolutely reference in my opinion...sorry BMW. The 5sp wasnt as smooth as the Bimmer, but I felt like I had more control over shifting with the clutch/stick interaction. In short, this is a performance machine...it does lack some interior refinement and play toys (cup holders pathetic, no glove box, etc.). Dual cargo depts is great---1 is deep for suitcases, 1 is wide for golf clubs. I also was shocked at how much room I had in the car (6'2"), as I also sat in an S2000 the same day. The honda was much, much smaller. Even with the top up, I had 4 inches of headroom it seemed. Not too shabby...although have to wait till 03 to get a glass rear window.

The Porsche and Audis are at the same store, and after driving the Boxster, I forgot about the Audis. Also, really don't want to pay for quattro being that I will never need it.

So that's it...made my choice...a Porsche will be my ride in LA. For anyone going through the same situation, go drive one...it is mandatory fun! While not necessarily practical (no back seat), it still drives exceptional, and having a true convertible in so CA for a few years is going to be fun....

Thanks for all the ideas/suggestions guys!


Jay H

Senior HTF Member
Mar 22, 1999
Pittsfield, MA
Real Name
I don't think the Quattro or any 4WD system is just for the snow. You might want to check out the Audi S4 or the TT, to add to your list even though you seem to be settling in on the Porsche. Just to round out the selection. Perhaps even the new Infinity G35 if that is available in a stick...
How about the new Nissan 350Z, if you can find one.. ;)

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