Car opinions - anyone drive a fun hatchback? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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View Poll Results: Best option for a "new" fun car?
Mini Cooper S 2 15.38%
Mini Cooper - John Cooper Works 0 0%
Volkswagen GTI 7 53.85%
Other - post suggestions below 4 30.77%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Car opinions - anyone drive a fun hatchback?

So Iím working on selling my V8 Grand Cherokee in hopes of finding a car thatís fun to drive again. My Jeep has done me well for the last 18 months but after driving the Mini Countryman thatís been added to the stable over the last few weeks, Iíve realized how much I miss driving a fun car with a manual.

Iím currently looking for a 2 door hatchback, manual transmission, turbocharged that gets good gas mileage. Iíve narrowed my search down to a couple fun hatchbacks and wanted to see if anyone out there has had any experience with driving or owning either car or if someone had any other suggestions on something that I may have missed. So far my two options so far are the Mini Cooper S (or John Cooper Works) and also the Volkswagen GTI. Looking around the 2010 age, $20K mark for either of these.

Iíd also be open to going with an older vehicle that meets similar criteria. Would like to stick with the hatch back for the functionality, but if thereís another rock solid vehicle out there thatís been a lot of fun to drive/own and been bullet proof for you, post it up.

Adam
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 11:58 AM
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Loved my GTI w/the DSG - All the performance of a Manual (even faster shifting) and the ease of an Auto when in traffic - The 2.0t is what you want it to be - With the DSG, in "D" she will shift light an be in econo mode for Gas Savings (ro rev out of gears) - In sport mode it is an entirely different car - Spend $600 for the Chip (VW Dealers do it) and it is a BLAST to rip on

I loved this Car and only got rid of it because I needed a 4 door sedan for clients at work - (6) Years later and I am still basically driving the same car in the '13 GLI and could not be happier
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 12:29 PM
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Auto's are boring. Sometimes its not about having the fastest car but one thats fun to drive. That is why people drive stick. watch this vid, https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=wCN7KlMzDAk



even though the porsche is waaaaay underpwered they even say that it being a stick its more fun to drive.


Muddy I am just about to pull the trigger on the mini.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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Not many options for hot hatches in US.
Honda Fit is a good option but it's 5 door.

The only hatchback I'd buy is the RS4, but they don't sell em here.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Bug – In those 6 years, how many miles did you put on it? Did you ever have any real problems with it? I’ve been reading reviews of both cars and while the Mini has early generation auto trans issues, the VW seemed to score surprisingly low in terms of reliability. I always thought VWs were pretty reliable, but the ratings I was seeing seemed to say differently. Thoughts?

Steve – which one are you going pick up?

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 12:37 PM
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy View Post
Bug Ė In those 6 years, how many miles did you put on it? Did you ever have any real problems with it? Iíve been reading reviews of both cars and while the Mini has early generation auto trans issues, the VW seemed to score surprisingly low in terms of reliability. I always thought VWs were pretty reliable, but the ratings I was seeing seemed to say differently. Thoughts?

Steve Ė which one are you going pick up?
I put about 5000 miles on my GTI that I had for 1.5 years - Traded it in on the Passat (Same Motor SANS DSG) and had the Passat for (3.5) years and 20K miles - Never had any issues with either

Maybe I am just lucky or I flip out after 2-3-4 years of the car but VW has never let me down - Even my Touareg that I used for hauling bikes was a tank with zero problems

Even then, extend the warranty and all is good

Steve, you like that Buuuuuuusa huh? Remember that fucker in pieces in Cooks garage? Mopar Wrenching on it, JimZX9 Hacking away at the exhaust Indian style in the front yard grumbling to himself, you and cook managing and me eating choc covered pretzels and saying insightful things like "what do you guys want on your pizza?"

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy View Post
Bug – In those 6 years, how many miles did you put on it? Did you ever have any real problems with it? I’ve been reading reviews of both cars and while the Mini has early generation auto trans issues, the VW seemed to score surprisingly low in terms of reliability. I always thought VWs were pretty reliable, but the ratings I was seeing seemed to say differently. Thoughts?

Steve – which one are you going pick up?
I've had my GLI since new in 06. 91K miles, mostly problem free. Couple strange issues that were covered under warranty. My A/C just stopped working though. And my headliner is starting to fall apart. Pretty happy overall. Definitely fun to drive. And I've been doing the burbs to downtown rush hour commute, the 6sp isn't too bad. Doesn't have a real heavy clutch, so traffic doesn't bother me much.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 01:47 PM
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My wife got Mini S about six months ago. Very fun car to drive.

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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 01:54 PM
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STI ... awesome car and it comes in hatchback too. I have the sedan version and I had it for 7 years now, no problems at all even after several autoX.

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#123
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 01:58 PM
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STI ... awesome car and it comes in hatchback too. I have the sedan version and I had it for 7 years now, no problems at all even after several autoX.
Even an older model WRX with the 2.0t Boxter Motor and AWD, BLAST to rip around on - I had an '02 and loved it - Sold it for a '03 EVO - Two completely different cars - The WRX was truly Rally Inspired and the EVO 8 (with my Stage 2) was a M3 and 911 beater

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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The STI and WRX were scratched at this point because of the gas mileage. The EPA ratings I was seeing online was around 24-26 max on the highway. Is that accurate to what you've seen?

I looked into the Mazdaspeed3, but the big smiley face on the front didn't really do much for me. Other than that, I don't know much about Mazda's though to be honest. My buddy that I used to work with has an RX-8 and the fit and finish seemed decent, but had some weird rattles at times and his stereo would freak out and spew gibberish and strobes when it got really hot in the summer.

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 03:30 PM
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I'm loving the Focus ST. Fast, handles like a go-cart, 30mpg on the highway (might have been a little better if I was slower). 4 door doesn't meet your criteria and new for 2013 means you're looking at $27K. In your price range I'd go with a GTI. Minis just don't do it for me.


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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy View Post
The STI and WRX were scratched at this point because of the gas mileage. The EPA ratings I was seeing online was around 24-26 max on the highway. Is that accurate to what you've seen?

I looked into the Mazdaspeed3, but the big smiley face on the front didn't really do much for me. Other than that, I don't know much about Mazda's though to be honest. My buddy that I used to work with has an RX-8 and the fit and finish seemed decent, but had some weird rattles at times and his stereo would freak out and spew gibberish and strobes when it got really hot in the summer.
I did this for some time from day 1. Subaru STI stock (after about 1.5-2y intake + catback)

The WRX has a much better fuel economy than STI ... unfortunately it drives and behave differently











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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:02 PM
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Thats some shitty gas mileage right there. Jesus my Tahoe get almost as good mileage as that lol
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:05 PM
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Subie will be lower MPG due in part to AWD - The WRX should by no means be confused with the STI

I cant say enough good things about the DSG in VW - It up shits and down shifts in 4/100s of a second and even "blips' the throttle on down shift - Both paddle and stick for shifting and the RPM control is 2nd to none - I HATED not having it in my Passat

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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:17 PM
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Mini paceman ..... fun to rip and AWD.


My wife has an 07 GTI - DSG, trouble free at 45K and a riot to drive.



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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Mini paceman ..... fun to rip and AWD.


My wife has an 07 GTI - DSG, trouble free at 45K and a riot to drive.



Tom
How would you compare the two in terms of butt-dyno and personal opinion on handling? I've been driving the Countryman, have driven the JCW Clubman and a hard top S model so I've gotten a pretty good handle on the Mini side. Just wondering how you'd compare it to the GTI.

Thanks!

Adam
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:51 PM
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2 door. check
Hatch. check
Manual trans. check
Fun to drive. check
Good gas mileage. check
Turbo. nope but faster than most turbos and better gas mileage.
Rock solid. check
Open top option. check
$20k. check



Buy a used Vette. :

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post #21 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 05:06 PM
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^^This is the best idea so far!

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post #22 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Runner View Post
2 door. check
Hatch. check
Manual trans. check
Fun to drive. check
Good gas mileage. check
Turbo. nope but faster than most turbos and better gas mileage.
Rock solid. check
Open top option. check
$20k. check



Buy a used Vette. :
HAHAHAHA - Awesome

/thread

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post #23 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 05:55 PM
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Honda S2000....

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post #24 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 05:58 PM
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Honda S2000....
Hi Rev but SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOW

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post #25 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 06:03 PM
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A S2000 is neat but not a very useable CAR.

TO compare the paceman and the GTI .... I think the GTI is more "serious" in that is disguises itself very well as a practical car, seats four
( love the four-door version ), can be used as a hauler with the seats down pretty well and really fun to drive and competent at speed.

I think the Mini's tend to be a little more frivolous in features and appearance ..... not as boy-racer as an EVO or STI but headed in that direction ....
and more go-kart like handling-wise. If you are just going to thrash around ..... mini is cool.

If you are taking your wife to the county club for a nice evening out and roll up .... the GTI doesn't make you look like a punk.


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post #26 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 07:13 PM
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Mazdaspeed3?
or WRX.
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post #27 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 08:43 PM
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I own an 2007 S2000 and they are very impractical. The truck space is worthless. The interior has no room in it, and it only has 2 seats. The speakers are terrible. There are no luxurious options. The car is a drivers car and that's it. It's a wonderful car and it's a pleasure to own but as an only car I would not even consider it. It's totally a toy.

A WRX would be a great daily checks all the checkboxes car. Maintenance and insurance and premium fuel are all things that should be accounted for. Aside from that, it would be my go to daily. Subaru Symmetrical AWD System is a class above the rest. Chicago isn't always nasty but when it is you won't car about the additional fuel consumption of the AWD through the other 3 seasons. I own a 2010 Forester Premium and it is wonderful. Speaking from personal knowledge. I go through the blizzard at 4 in the morning in 2011. I saw disabled tow trucks, even the company F250's got stuck in the parking lot. What a laughable sight that was, my little truck just blazing through the snow as the maintenance men had to watch and tow each other out of the snow. Twas a moment to cherish.

WRX gets my vote.
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post #28 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 09:11 PM
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If you're thinking more the toy car type, the scion FRS or Subaru BRZ is fun to drive. It's a hatch too, but doesn't look like a wagon.

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post #29 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 09:22 PM
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I vote for the Family Truckster.

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post #30 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy View Post
The STI and WRX were scratched at this point because of the gas mileage. The EPA ratings I was seeing online was around 24-26 max on the highway. Is that accurate to what you've seen?
I have a 2011 WRX hatchback. I get 26 mpg on long highway drives... otherwise I get 22-24 around town - pretty consistent for the last year.

2 other considerations... requires premium gas and comes with summer tires only, so you will have to buy winter tires and swap. Same with the MazdaSpeed3.

Other than that, its a great car. I love mine.

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