A "What car should I buy" Thread

Labcoatguy

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Forced induction would be nice at that altitude, but there's not much that's RWD, reliable, and economical to run as well as being super/turbocharged. If you expand it to AWD, WRX comes close but used ones are always a crapshoot.
 

Okaen

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AWD is on the table. The A4 is on my list. I don't think I can see myself in a Subaru. Nothing like having a friend who is a Subaru fanatic to make you not like a car brand.

EDIT: Also I wouldn't mind if whatever car I get can be somewhat usable in the snow. I do live in Denver at the moment. People think that Denver gets a ton of snow. It does, but the streets are only hard to drive on a handful of times a year, so I don't need a purpose built car for the snow.
 
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argatoga

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The internet says you lose 3% of your power every 1000ft. So it is about 15% to 18% less power in the Denver area. All bets are off once you head into the mountains.

I can tell you my poor Honda is not nearly as fun in Denver as it was at sea level.

EDIT: Newer is more appealing to me at the moment. I have had old cars my whole life. I really want to experience a car where everything is together tightly and there are no little issues. It is a preference, not a must.
You may want to look into something with forced induction then. They mitigate a lot of the power loss from thinner air.
 

_HighVoltage_

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Okaen, from what I've read and seen the A4 is pushing your upper budget limit - around $15,000 for a newish (after 2002) model. Interior space is quite small for this class of car.

I have compared it with a regular S60 and they seem to be on par with power and options. The S60 had more space and was more comfortable, but the A4 was manual. The only way you can get a manual AWD with Volvo is the S60R.

Anyways, my point was - I wouldn't buy the A4. It is a good car, but it seems terribly overpriced to me.
 

thevictor390

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Most of the cars mentioned would be acceptable in the snow if you go for proper tires. I drive through the Massachusetts winter, which is similarly only an issue a few days a year.
 

Okaen

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Okaen, from what I've read and seen the A4 is pushing your upper budget limit - around $15,000 for a newish (after 2002) model. Interior space is quite small for this class of car.

I have compared it with a regular S60 and they seem to be on par with power and options. The S60 had more space and was more comfortable, but the A4 was manual. The only way you can get a manual AWD with Volvo is the S60R.

Anyways, my point was - I wouldn't buy the A4. It is a good car, but it seems terribly overpriced to me.
Yeah, I am aware the Audi's are pressing my budget number, but I figured I would give them a test and see if they are worth it. It is too bad those new ones are so insanely priced, I like the looks to them.
 

hiimandy1

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It's a little over your budget, but a quick search turned up a few earlier (2004, 2005ish) CTS-Vs for about $20k. 4 Door, manual, and, uh, over 200 horsepower by a considerable margin.
 

jsausley

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As far as the 330 and A4, I'd definitely recommend them.

As far as the GTO goes, of course I'd recommend that. I got mine, an '06, with 13,000 miles for $14,500. It's a fantastic car, and I love it in every way. I've only put 7,000 miles on it, but it's comfortable, easy to drive, and hasn't given me any problems. I took it all the way to Canada from NC and didn't have any problems with the comfort. It's a solid car. Also, I've taken it to the track (Virginia International Raceway) twice already and the thing performs quite well. The only reason I didn't recommend that was because it's a 2-door.

You were asking about the RX-8 - I don't know about its reliability but the rotary engines in the RX-7s were REALLY unreliable. So I don't think I'd touch a rotary, but maybe the new ones are better.

If I were you, I'd go for the manual 330, A4, or G8GT (but you'll need about $18,000 for that at 50,000 miles). Good luck.
 

Bad Bowtie

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Bad Bowtie, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the 04's had problems that the later models didn't. Any truth to that?
I don't recall very many overly-common issues with any of them. Maybe it was the lack of performance the 50hp gives up? :lol: Only real issue would be wheelhop, which can be cured by some cheap dragbags.

I've driven a couple GTOs, had friend's with them, and used to be totally obsessed with them when they first came out. They do not disappoint. I actually went to a dealer about 3 months ago because a local dealer had the EXACT GTO I wanted (06 Spice Red Metallic, 6 speed, 18"s, 20k miles for $17k). I was pre-approved for a loan and ready to buy that day if it drove perfect...but it was sold an hour before I got there. I drove another GTO that was there just because I missed driving one. The only reason I probably won't end up in a GTO as my "nice/modded" car is because the rearends are expensive to replace if you blow them up, which will only happen if it sees the drag strip a lot with a lot of extra power...which would be what I would be putting it through. That, and I'll be able to afford a C6 in a couple years or turbo an f-body.

Girlfriend wants a GTO though, and if prices on newer 335s don't fall into the 25k territory by the time she's ready to buy, GTO it is. It really is a perfect DD.
It's a little over your budget, but a quick search turned up a few earlier (2004, 2005ish) CTS-Vs for about $20k. 4 Door, manual, and, uh, over 200 horsepower by a considerable margin.
There is one reason I did not mention a CTS-V...I forgot about it. :lol: Another great choice. Bonkers power while riding in luxury. 4 doors, manual, RWD. I'm not as versed in V's though, but most of what I said about the GTO applies here.
 

argatoga

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You were asking about the RX-8 - I don't know about its reliability but the rotary engines in the RX-7s were REALLY unreliable. So I don't think I'd touch a rotary, but maybe the new ones are better.
90% of rotary deaths came from idiots shoving 20 pounds of boost into the intake. The N/A engines fared far better.
 

jsausley

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I knew someone who had to replace turbos at 90,000 miles and the car was almost completely stock at the time. He didn't drag race it either - I'm sure he didn't drive it completely responsibly, but that's what a sports car is about, and if you can't have fun in it it's not worth buying. Maybe that was an isolated case, but as much as I like the idea of the rotary design I'd be too afraid to keep it for a daily driver.

Still, I'm sure a naturally aspirated one isn't too bad.
 

Lekky

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I think they are called Pontiac GTO in the US though. You can't go wrong with that.
Other suggestions:
An old BMW 3-5 series (sorry I don't know the models)
Mazda RX7?
 

Okaen

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I must say the GTO wasn't a car I had in mind when I started to think about what I should get, I will have to drive one.
What if there wasn't the 200hp preference?
 

Der Stig

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Another vote for the G35, 330i, RX8 (they suck oil though), and the G8 GT (but keep in mind that parts availability might be an issue down the line).

I would not recommend the A4, but I would recommend my car. I, however, would look for the 2005 330i ZHP models as they have a bit more power and really are only missing an LSD. If you stay with an '04 or newer car, they had most of the kinks worked out like the rear subframe issues that plagued some of the earlier models. The cars are reliable- the only faults to look for are electrical problems, failed window regulators (I had to do that this Christmas with 63k on the clock), very high mileage cars (100+ k) and avoid poorly maintained/hooned ones.

VANOS failure is the big scary monster for these cars, but if they're properly maintained, then 150+ k miles is no problem. Just feed it premium and change the oil regularly (I do a 5k intervals and am currently running on "BMW" oil).

There are lots of good resources for almost all of these cars, too, as well as healthy aftermarkets.
 

thevictor390

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RX-8s aren't turbo, so no problem in that regard. They do burn oil. It's not a big deal, just add a quart every month or two. A 5 quart jug for less than $15 will last me a year.
 

Okaen

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One issue I have with a lot of the cars that fit my wants is that what is considered high mileage for these cars is 150k. I consider at least 200k+ higher mileage.
 

Bad Bowtie

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I must say the GTO wasn't a car I had in mind when I started to think about what I should get, I will have to drive one.
What if there wasn't the 200hp preference?
The 200hp preference in or out of this discussion, I'd still be choosing the GTO. It fits so almost perfectly into what you want. Like I said before, drive one. You will not be disappointed. Keep the accord for a couple reasons though. Insurance will be lower, winter won't be an issue really, and if you decide the GTO needs a little more go and/or show you will be able to keep the car down and not rush it back to life.
 

Okaen

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I'll give it a drive. Whatever car I buy will replace the Accord. The Accord is drawing close to the end of it's life and having three vehicles in my household isn't a viable option at the moment. Down the road I plan to have a project car, but this isn't going to be it.

I plan on driving at least two cars this weekend. I will post my opinion.
 
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