The build quality is really good. My generation of the C-class was probably one of the last Mercs made before they got all plastic-y in the interior. The mechanics are also pretty solid relative to the Audi A4s and VWs I was looking at. And yes, Mercedes was aiming for a somewhat sportier C-class with the W203. The transmission is a five-speed.
Indeed! It is fantastic. It isn't terribly performance oriented (relative to the sweet Cooper S my dad and I checked out), but compared to what I'm used to, it's brilliant. I can throw it around mountain curves with ease and accelerate up steep slopes with far less struggle than the M-class my parents own. The quality of the vehicle is absolutely fantastic. The interior is second to none and the build is solid. You can check out the C240 thread in the Post Your Car section for pics and more.
You don't want to hear the kind of noises a car makes at -40! Anyway, that -40 was a couple of years ago, but you get the idea.
I recently saw a 2006 MINI for $8,900, but that left me a bit sceptical. I also really like the Mk5 Golf, but unfortunately they suffer from the same lack of depreciation as the MINIs. One of my friends at school just got a Audi A4, quite new actually, but I don't know what he paid for it. W8 Passats have come down in price recently, and they seem quite attractive due to that very interesting engine (and I came really close to buying a Passat last year). Also, in the range of BMW, I've found loads of great cars at great prices. I've found a nice Bimmer to fit any price range, so that is high on my list.
I'm not all that interested in getting a motorbike, and anyway, my mum would burn it and throw it off a cliff if she saw it. :lol: Also considering the weather here, I'm not keen on freezing solid before I get to school. The worst drive to school so far -40?.
As for the car search, I've always got my eyes open, and I've seen several things I like, but I'm waiting until I get a job this summer, to pay for the outrageous insurance.
Yeah, I don't know it it's the Italian Job effect or what. They aren't driven by a bunch of estate agents here, though, so I imagine that helps. And yes, the BL Minis are expensive as well. The cheapest way to get one is to buy from Britain, and that isn't much of an option for me.
Anyway, I just found out today that one of my best mate's dad is looking for a sports car right now, and a brand new Miata is on the top of his list. My dad is trying to talk him out of it already. Why does he hate Miatas? Why!?!
Another car that I really liked today was the VW SportWagen (US name, it is essentially a Jetta/Bora estate). As far as I was concerned, it was an Audi A3. It was really fantastic. Then I realised it just came out, so no used market.
Yeah, today was my first time to actually sit in a Mini for real, though mind you it was the latest 2009 JCW top-spec model... Those back seats are a tight squeeze! :lol: The experience really reinforced just how much I love it.
We don't have the One in the US; only the Cooper and Clubman, and their S variants are available. A quick search in Tampa yielded a crashed one for $6,900, and after that they sell in the 10ks. These are $10k cars with 100k+ mi, and that is a lot to spend on high mileage.
I love the MINI, but it is on the very edge of affordability. They hold their resale value very well here. Finding the oldest base model for much less than $10k is challenging, but we'll see. It is definitely high on my list (and has been since it first came out ).
Usually, if I'm looking for things in my area(s), I check out cars.com and vehix.com. Those two sites tend to have the best selection of cars in the US. eBay is great for older or less common cars though.
I don't disagree with you. A lot of hatches make up my favourite cars. The Mini, virtually any German hatchback, many of those French hot hatches, any current Euro Ford hatches... I could go on all day. In the end though, I'm definitely not excluding other body styles, as there are many cars that interest me. I like most European cars, but I'm a bit more selective when it comes to Japanese. I hate Subaru. A lot. Where I live, it's what ever boring person buys when they want a safe, reliable car. It's the Toyota of the mountains. Every car you see is either a Ford 4x4 or a Subaru.
If you do want to look (you'll look for me, but not for your Beetle parts? ) anything within ~250mi of the ZIP codes 34695 (my Florida home) or 80482 (my Colorado home) would be preferable. Price-wise, I'm not so sure. My dad is really wanting to help me financially to get a newer car, but my mum may throw down veto, so I would just pick things in varying price ranges anywhere from $1700-10000.
I probably won't be looking for a project car specifically because of my lack of experience and tools. My best mate here is taking automotive in school, and BMW is his favourite car (why are Eastern Europeans obsessed with modding German cars? ), so I'm sure he'll want to help me out.
I imagine the 3-series is more fun than a Merc Kompressor?
I don't think my dad trusts the old Minis because he grew up with some less than reliable British cars (Austin and such).