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post #1 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Lets talk about cars for a moment.

Hey folks,

Well, my trusty, rusty, Tracker is just not cutting it for me anymore and I need a new car. Not brand new, but new to me. Here is the skinny on what I am looking for:

Sporty: It needs power and should easily pass traffic on the highway with a simple press of the throttle.

AWD: All wheel drive is important to me as my Tracker has pampered me with 5 winters of 4wd traction. Lets face it, 2wd is only good for dry pavement, and with winters like this last one, I don't want to sit there spinning my wheels.

5/6 speed: I prefer manual transmissions, and simply wont get an automatic. I would prefer 6 gears over 5 as the extra over drive gear will lead to lower revs on the highway for potentially increased fuel mileage on those long trips.

No Trucks, Hatchbacks, or Wagons: I had a hatchback as my first car, not bad but I never liked how easily accessible the trunk was from inside the cabin. I already own a truck type vehicle (read: Tracker) and quite frankly, there is no sport in something with this much body roll. Not to mention, the car gets blown around a lot on the highway due to its large side profile. Its like driving a billboard sign. Wagons are for family's. I do not have one as of yet.

Must have a young feel: This one is kind of vague. Basically, I'm 27 years old, but I feel like I am having a midlife crisis. All of my friends are older than me, everyone I work with is older than me, everyone I have dated has been older than me, cougars hit on me all the time, and just last week, I was told by someone that I look like I'm 40. Quite frankly, I feel as though my youthfull years are over, and I don't even know when I was supposedly having them. So with that in mind, I am not ready to settle into something ordinary.


Alright, now that that is out of the way, here is what I plan on using the car for: Daily driving. This will be my only car and I want to make sure that it can get me from point A to point B each and every day. I am not looking for a car that I will have to wrench on, or take into the shop because it requires weekly service check ups. I do not plan on driving the car like a maniac, nor take it to the track, but I want something that I can get on the gas, and actually feel some power. I want to have fun in a car again and not see it as just transportation.

My budget: $25000 max.

Cars I have looked at:

2006 Subaru WRX STi
2000-2002 Audi S4 2.7 Bi-Turbo (maintenance nightmare)
2003-2005 Audi A4 quattro (possible maintenance nightmare)
2002-2005 BMW 330IX

As of now, the STi is about the only one that I feel meets all the requirements. Its a little "boy-racerish" with its huge wing on the back, but its Japaneese, and its drivetrain is nearly bullet proof. I really like the BMW, but something about the car feels ordinary. Its just another BMW on the road. The Audi's aren't bad but the S4 is a lemon, and requires too much maintenance just to own. The A4 is nice but I wonder if it lacks power with its little 1.8L Turbo engine. Thats a lot of car to lug around with such a small engine.

So I am open to suggestions. I know I have a lot of demands out of a car, and I really shouldn't be so picky considering I am driving a Tracker, but lets face it $25000 is a lot to spend, and I want to make sure I am buying the right vehicle.

Tom DeCoste aka "Tommy Tarmac"
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post #2 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:32 AM
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Legacy GT FTW

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post #3 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:32 AM
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2.0 Litre Audi's are nice.


Evo ?


GTI ?


GLI ?


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post #4 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:33 AM
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post #5 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:34 AM
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I would think a used sti or evo anything would be perfect.

You can always have the wing removed.

edit...and the 1.8T is an absolute turd.
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post #6 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:34 AM
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g35
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You missed his AWD requirment.

G35-X is a nice car, but I would aim for 2007 or newer which might put you out of your price range.

I had an Evo and I used to get tickets up the ass when it had the wing on it. Took the wing off with no driving style change and poof no more tickets and people actually look at you like an adult. Evo is harsh for everyday use though, noisy cabin, lots of road noise, bumpy. I would personally buy an STI if I was going to drive it everyday.

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post #7 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:35 AM
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get the sti and do this:

-swap the trunk with a 2.5rs (no spoiler) or a wrx (more humane spoiler)
-swap the hood with a 2.5rs and get a front mount intercooler.
-get a set of winter tires/wheels for the winter

orrrrrr just get a Mazda Speed 6

-Maciek
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post #8 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:37 AM
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I would go with the used STi or maybe an 07 Evo IX since you might get a good deal on it due to the Evo X coming out this year. You could go with a WRX as well (which you could buy new) but they come with 5 speed trannies. I've heard WRX trannies are like glass though. R32 is a hatchie, GTi is a hatch + no AWD, I don't think the GLi has AWD. Don't like VWs anyway.

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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #9 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:39 AM
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You missed his AWD requirment.

G35-X is a nice car, but I would aim for 2007 or newer which might put you out of your price range.

I had an Evo and I used to get tickets up the ass when it had the wing on it. Took the wing off with no driving style change and poof no more tickets and people actually look at you like an adult. Evo is harsh for everyday use though, noisy cabin, lots of road noise, bumpy. I would personally buy an STI if I was going to drive it everyday.
I've heard from a couple people that Evos have really cheap interiors and the STi has a better fit and finish on it.

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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #10 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:40 AM
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Both cars have cheap interiors. But it shouldn't matter to that type of buyer, they're track cars for the street.
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post #11 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:40 AM
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Legacy GT FTW
+1

These are sweet. I change my vote to Legacy GT. Spec B if you're an enthusiast and/or want the stock Navy and the couple extra ponies.

-Maciek
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post #12 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:42 AM
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2003-2005 Audi A4 quattro (possible maintenance nightmare)
This is my vote- buy it certified with 0 dollar deductible warranty to solve the maint. concern.

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve your situation, but it will end the suspense."
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post #13 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:47 AM
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Subaru wagon sti. You will be the envy of all lesbians.
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post #14 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:49 AM
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Passat W8 4-Motion would also be sweet, even though I hate VW and it is a 8 cylinder so poopy mileage.

My vote still is Legacy GT with the 2.5 turbo motor.

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post #15 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:52 AM
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08 Wrx Ftw
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post #16 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! Work must be slow today. Lots of responces.

I like the Legacy Spec B. Nice interiors, detuned STi engine, and low key as well. Is it a big car? I dont need the family sedan, but I should probably look at these cars a little closer.

The Volvo S40 was another one I was considering. Nice cars. I like their exterior styling a lot. The interior console is kind of goofy, but probably something I could get used to. Volvo S60R has also come up, but they have enormous turning radius's (radii???). Yeah, I know its a silly thing to complain about, but every time I drive my mom's Mazda 6 I always complain about its turning radius. And that S60R has an even larger turning radius than the 6. Sweet interiors (especially the orangish/tan leather).

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post #17 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:55 AM
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Legacy is no bigger then the A4 thats for sure.

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post #18 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:03 PM
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2000-2002 Audi S4 2.7 Bi-Turbo (maintenance nightmare)
2003-2005 Audi A4 quattro (possible maintenance nightmare)
Def skip on the B5 S4's. A nightmare to own. Plus, depending on the mileage, anything above 60k, the timing belt (if it has not been changed) has to be replaced, and that's easily around 2gs.

I vote for an Evo or STi, then de-rice it.

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post #19 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:16 PM
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The legacy is not much bigger than the wrx. I sat in one at the auto show. I like the Legacy GT a lot. I think the Spec B has the 6spd STi tranny. Good luck finding a decently priced one.

The S60R is ok but the interior is kinda goofy, as you put it.

-Maciek
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post #20 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:19 PM
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Audi & VW products aren't "possible maintenance nightmares" they ARE maintenance nightmares. Remember that the best warranty in the world is worthless when you are on a first name basis with the service manager.
Do yourself a favor and buy a Japanese product.

-Mike
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post #21 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:43 PM
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A few things that are a + about owning an Audi.

1. You get to test drive a bunch of the cars in their lineup.
2. If you're into AutoX, you can have a new 'track' car every weekend.
3. If you ever need to go out of town via driving and don't feel like racking up miles on your car, complain about something, and use the loaner for the long haul.



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post #22 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 12:53 PM
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If you ever need to go out of town via driving and don't feel like racking up miles on your car, complain about something, and use the loaner for the long haul.


i like this one, lol.

-Maciek
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post #23 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 01:00 PM
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As of now, the STi is about the only one that I feel meets all the requirements. Its a little "boy-racerish" with its huge wing on the back, but its Japaneese, and its drivetrain is nearly bullet proof.

Those drivetrains are as far from bulletproof as you can get.

The 1.8t is a turd off the showroom floor, but it also one of easiest to mod and get ALOT more power. With your 25k budget you could get into a nice B6 A4 and still have about 10K to play with.

The new 2.0 liter turbo is a whole other story. That is a nice engine and is very under rated at 200 HP. I have seen stock A3's dyno 200 at the wheels.

I see both sides of the maintenence concerns with Audi's/VW's, the key is buying a good one to begin with. I can't even count how many people I know who bought one without having a prepurchase inspection performed. For every "maintenence nightmare" story I hear I can give you another example of someone who has gone 100K just doing scheduled services.

PM me if you have any questions about the Audis or VW's.
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post #24 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 01:57 PM
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I have an 06 GLI and that thing SUCKS in the snow. I get stuck all the time. If AWD is definately a must, I would go with the sti or beemer.

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post #25 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:01 PM
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Get a set of winter tires and wheels, it will be like a whole different car. I bet you could find some really good deals right now. Some tire places are selling winter tires at 50% off right now
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post #26 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:01 PM
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I wouldn't buy a Volvo, thats for soccer moms.

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post #27 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:12 PM
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first off, AWD is over rated. good tires will get you through almost anything you need to get through.

the cars you are looking at have low ground clearance, and in soft slushy snow, you are not going to see a huge improvement anyway.

If you are willing to scratch the requirements for AWD, I would add the Pontiac GTO, 6.0L 6 spd, it will get up and go, and with the 6 spd it's gas mileage is probably on par with other vehicles.

also, one thing to remember with gas mileage is that if you are paying 25 cents more for premium, you can afford to give up a few MPG to drive a larger engine that takes regular.

<-- Chris

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post #28 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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first off, AWD is over rated. good tires will get you through almost anything you need to get through.
Well, after owning a FWD car for 7 years, and now moving on to my Tracker (RWD w/ 4x4) for the past 5 years, I would say that in regular everyday driving, AWD is not necessary. However, if there is snow on the ground, FWD sucks balls and RWD can be fun if you like drifting, but 4x4 will always win hands down.

Lets face it, we live in an area that gets a pretty good amount of snow, and it is something that we live with for 5 months out of the year. I don't want to deal with spinning my tires every time the car comes to a stop. I like to go when I step on the gas, and 4x4 gives me that. So unless this global warming theory actually pans out, or I get a job somewhere in the south, AWD is a requirement for me.

I realize that AWD narrows my options down quite a bit, and if I had a house with a garage and a driveway, I might even keep the Tracker for a winter beater, but thats not the case. Hell, I would love an M3 (I would need to up the budget a bit), or even a G35/350Z, but those cars are impractical for my situation.

Tom DeCoste aka "Tommy Tarmac"
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post #29 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
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first off, AWD is over rated.

If you are willing to scratch the requirements for AWD, I would add the Pontiac GTO, 6.0L 6 spd, it will get up and go, and with the 6 spd it's gas mileage is probably on par with other vehicles.

also, one thing to remember with gas mileage is that if you are paying 25 cents more for premium, you can afford to give up a few MPG to drive a larger engine that takes regular.
this man speaks the truth.

btw - GTO + winter tires = awesome

i drove through all the storms this year with no problem.

-Maciek
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post #30 of 114 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTEC_EATER View Post
Well, after owning a FWD car for 7 years, and now moving on to my Tracker (RWD w/ 4x4) for the past 5 years, I would say that in regular everyday driving, AWD is not necessary. However, if there is snow on the ground, FWD sucks balls and RWD can be fun if you like drifting, but 4x4 will always win hands down.

Lets face it, we live in an area that gets a pretty good amount of snow, and it is something that we live with for 5 months out of the year. I don't want to deal with spinning my tires every time the car comes to a stop. I like to go when I step on the gas, and 4x4 gives me that. So unless this global warming theory actually pans out, or I get a job somewhere in the south, AWD is a requirement for me.

I realize that AWD narrows my options down quite a bit, and if I had a house with a garage and a driveway, I might even keep the Tracker for a winter beater, but thats not the case. Hell, I would love an M3 (I would need to up the budget a bit), or even a G35/350Z, but those cars are impractical for my situation.
I am willing to bet that a properly equipped FWD car (or even RWD for that matter) by properly equipped, I mean driver and tires, will handle just fine. We live in chicago, not alaska.
except for this year, we live with snow on the ground for only a few hours, maybe days out of that 5 month period. If you live in rural wisconsin, or somewhere they don't plow, then maybe the AWD might come in handy, but if they don't plow I want something that is tall enough to go over the loose snow and not plow through it.

buy what you want it's your money, I just think that the AWD requirement is taking alot of vehicles out of the picture that are otherwise perfect vehicles.

<-- Chris

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