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redkow97

New job - new toy budget.

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I've resigned my current position effective 7/7 and start a new job 7/9.  It's a (slightly) shorter commute, and significantly more money.

I'm going to get screwed on my student loans, but I should still have more left over at the end of each month to devote to fun and frivolity.

My current situation is:  Bikeless, and driving a 2003 Corolla CE with 188,000 miles and counting.  I'm not in a hurry to replace the corolla, but once we pay off the wife's car (scheduled to be a couple of years, but we'll probably pay it down a lot quicker now), there would be no reason for me not to be driving something nicer, and keep the corolla around for the bike rack, transporting the dog, and really snowy days, etc.

The options I'm considering are:

- buy a $2500 (or less) bike, and replace the corolla with a slightly newer corolla whenever necessary

- forego the street bike, admitting to myself that I won't commute, and buy another XR100 race bike for $1000 or so, and then buy a nicER car.

That's where things get complicated...  Assuming I want to spend no more than $10k on a car (with some wiggle room for something really awesome), what's the best option to live with long term?  I have considered the following (in loose order, from most seriously considered, to least)

8th or 9th generation Civic Si sedan (changed from 2.0 to 2.4 between 2011 and 2012) - 4 doors, manual transmission, 200ish horsepower, and reasonable fuel economy.

used Acura TSX - 4 doors, hopefully a manual transmission, the same 2.4 the newer Si and base model Accord uses, but a much nicer interior.

either generation Lexus IS.  I actually prefer the older model better, and those have a manual transmission.  If the new ones have a manual option, no one has them for sale.  But it's toyota build quality, and a nice interior

used 3-series sedan.  I would insist upon a manual transmission if i went this route.  Concerned about maintenance costs and longevity when I can probably get a newer, lower mileage Si for the same money.  With that said, an Si will never carry the 'clout' of a BMW

and I'm open to MANY other options, if they're good quality vehicles.  My wife doesn't have a lot of experience driving a manual transmission, but she's willing to learn.  With that said, i am open to automatics so long as there is some benefit in exchange for giving up the manual trans. (i.e. I would hypothetically consider a Charger SRT8, because the horsepower makes the automatic worth it.  I would probably NOT consider an Si with an automatic, if they made them)

Other things to consider:  I am primarily interested in small sedans. My garage isn't large enough for a Challenger - especially not if I ever want to store bikes again.  4-doors makes transporting kids easier, but I would look at coupes if it's something really cool (E36 M3?).  My commute is still 37 miles each way, which keeps me above average, but it's considerably shorter than the 47 each way I've been driving for the last 5 years...  What I'm saying is, fuel economy is still something to consider, so I'd like to be able to get close to 30 mpg highway.  While I am not super hung-up on having a car as a 'status symbol,' I admit that I would enjoy a nicer interior than even a top-trim 2018 corolla could possibly offer.  The wife would also enjoy it if we had something that puts off an air of sophistication, rather than redbull rally car fart-can WRX.  Additionally, she hates hatches.  I know the GTI is a great car, but she wouldn't see it that way.

I don't sell my cars.  I drive them until they need to be replaced. Resale value is a non-factor for me unless the car becomes a maintenance money-pit (my concern with 3 series...), and I can't justify keeping it. 

 

As they would say on the WERA forum, "what sayeth the beeb?"

Edited by redkow97

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Audi A4 2.0T.  Good gas mileage, fun to drive, nice interior.

I just picked up a very nice 2007 with about 150K, for way less than your 10k budget.  It's fun to drive and solidly built.  I bought it as a second car that is more fun to drive then my main vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

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I am a little nervous about VW electronics.  I have known some people who have had horrible experiences with Jettas.  With that said, I have read good things about the 1.8T.  I don't recall reading anything about the 2.0T - but that definitely checks all the boxes.

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You are welcome to take a look at mine if you want.

Mine isn't perfect, but has zero rust, no annoying rattles, and is mechanically sound.  Oh, and I got it for a song...

I wouldn't call the (stock) 2.0T fast, but it's enough to be entertaining.        

 

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21 minutes ago, Tpoppa said:

You are welcome to take a look at mine if you want.

Mine isn't perfect, but has zero rust, no annoying rattles, and is mechanically sound.  Oh, and I got it for a song...

I wouldn't call the (stock) 2.0T fast, but it's enough to be entertaining.        

 

What other "fun" cars have you driven just so I know where you are coming from. That a4 doesnt even crack the top 20 for me.

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7 seconds to 60 would be plenty "fast" for me.  The corolla takes more like 9 seconds, and my wife's SUV can hustle to 60 in the mid 7's, and feels like lightning by comparison.

I know I'm unlikely to get stellar acceleration AND good fuel economy.  I don't need the car to be V8 quick, I just want it to be able to get out of its own way on entrance ramps.  The ability to leave it in 2nd gear, rather than waiting for the automatic to drop from 4th to 2nd, will alleviate some of that issue even in a low-powered car.

 

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12 minutes ago, TimTheAzn said:

What other "fun" cars have you driven just so I know where you are coming from. That a4 doesnt even crack the top 20 for me.

Tim, I really have never been impressed by "fast" cars.  Fast is for 2 wheels, cars are slow. 

Nice interior and no rattles pretty much tops my list.  Then the ability to go around corners at a decent pace, but I'm not trying to race anyone.  The A4 checks all my boxes, and it's more fun to drive then my MKX.

I have zero interest in "tuning'" a car or buying something that puts me in a really high insurance bracket.

Edited by Tpoppa
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I like my 2014 Accord. V6 EX with leather and nav. Gets good mileage as long as you're not running it hard.

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12 minutes ago, JustinNck1 said:

I like my 2014 Accord. V6 EX with leather and nav. Gets good mileage as long as you're not running it hard.

that would almost definitely be more than 10k, unless i find one with pretty high mileage.

Plus it's on the large side of what I would want to fit in the garage.  The accord is about the largest I would realistically consider...  I need to be able to fit 4 adults in a pinch, but it's usually just me in the car.

A4 deserves consideration, so long as I believe it can last 200,000+ miles without major mechanical expenses.  I wish I could find more FWD models rather than AWD.  More stuff to break, and pulls down economy figures...

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15 minutes ago, redkow97 said:

A4 deserves consideration, so long as I believe it can last 200,000+ miles without major mechanical expenses.  I wish I could find more FWD models rather than AWD.  More stuff to break, and pulls down economy figures...

If you get an Audi you want Quattro.  The Quattro system is reliable and doesn't have ANY scheduled maintenance (at least on the gen I have). 

Also,.the CVT transmissions (only on FWD) are known to fail.  The Manual or Tiptronic transmission on the Quattros are much more reliable.  Quattros also drive much nicer.

Anything German is going to have some maintenance/repair costs, but the big stuff should be solid to 200k+ if it was maintained properly.  ( I would't touch one without maintenance records).  

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1 hour ago, Tpoppa said:

Tim, I really have never been impressed by "fast" cars.  Fast is for 2 wheels, cars are slow. 

Nice interior and no rattles pretty much tops my list.  Then the ability to go around corners at a decent pace, but I'm not trying to race anyone.  The A4 checks all my boxes, and it's more fun to drive then my MKX.

I have zero interest in "tuning'" a car or buying something that puts me in a really high insurance bracket.

Gottcha. I've driven a handful of cars that regularly walk liter bikes so my perspective of a fast car is super skewed lol. But I'm with you on the whole, motorcycles have ruined me for speed kind of thing. I'm glad you are enjoying the A4. I seemed to be more concerned with the fun aspect when you were asking me questions hahaha.

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4 minutes ago, TimTheAzn said:

Gottcha. I've driven a handful of cars that regularly walk liter bikes so my perspective of a fast car is super skewed lol. But I'm with you on the whole, motorcycles have ruined me for speed kind of thing. I'm glad you are enjoying the A4. I seemed to be more concerned with the fun aspect when you were asking me questions hahaha.

I driven fast cars...911s, various years of Vettes, ridiculously built muscle cars.  They are fun, no argument...but the amount of $$ that you need to be even come close the performance of a used, stock sportbike  just doesn't make sense for me or my wallet.

Kind of like boats.  Boats are super fun, but I'd rather have a friend with a boat then own one myself :)

 

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Tesla Model X.

 

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Thread is amusing.   Thanks.

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MINI Cooper S!  it's the perfect car for your needs.  But don't buy whichever one I look at after i sell my vette.

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Focus hatch with manual. Not horrible in the backseat. Fold the seats down and you pretty much have a pick up. Reasonabley fun to drive. Great fuel mileage and cheap parts abound. I’ve hit almost 50k on my 1.0 and besides a battery failure covered under warranty it’s been flawless. 

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A little surprised at the lack-of-love for the Civic Si and the BMWs. 

A4 is definitely getting consideration at this point.  I wouldn't have excluded it from the start if not for some nervousness about Jetta issues...  I'm also surprised by how inexpensive they are.  Need to make sure tires aren't $250 each... Just spend $303 to put 4 new tires on the corolla.   That's a nice little perk of having a low-performance car.

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Just now, redkow97 said:

I'm also surprised by how inexpensive they are. 

Luxury brands in general don't hold their value so well.   Bad for new buyers, great when buying used.  

The Hyundia Genesis, while a really nice, well built car, is the poster child for shitty resale value.

If you go with something German, there's a place  in N Ridgeville called Ianelli.  They service and sell (used) German cars, they have a good reputation and service is cheaper than going to a dealer.  The A4 I bought was the personal car of someone that works there.   

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40 minutes ago, Tpoppa said:

Luxury brands in general don't hold their value so well.   Bad for new buyers, great when buying used.  

The Hyundia Genesis, while a really nice, well built car, is the poster child for shitty resale value.

If you go with something German, there's a place  in N Ridgeville called Ianelli.  They service and sell (used) German cars, they have a good reputation and service is cheaper than going to a dealer.  The A4 I bought was the personal car of someone that works there.   

My buddy bought his e39 M5 off of Ianelli. Drove up from cbus to get it a few years ago. No longer his, but it's in our friend group. Still solid.

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20 hours ago, Tpoppa said:

I driven fast cars...911s, various years of Vettes, ridiculously built muscle cars.  They are fun, no argument...but the amount of $$ that you need to be even come close the performance of a used, stock sportbike  just doesn't make sense for me or my wallet.

Kind of like boats.  Boats are super fun, but I'd rather have a friend with a boat then own one myself :)

 

I'm with you, I had a '86 convertible Vette for years, put in storage during the winter for 15 years. I only drove it with the top down, that meant the weather was nice, with the limited time I had when the kids were growing up, since the weather was nice I always opted for the motorcycle. One year I took it out of storage in the spring and put it back on the fall and never drove it once! Cars have become transportation to me. Bikes are exhilarating, fun and a blast to ride anytime I am on them. I have driven 911's etc. just don't do it for me like bikes. 

If you are looking at cars from a financial point of view for "transportation", a domestic (GM, Ford or Chrysler) depreciate more that the Asian vehicles (Sorry, Tim, don't mean to be racist) in the first couple of years. Find a low mileage domestic couple year old vehicle ($10K) and buy a $3000 bike, at that price point there are are great bikes out there.  

JMHO?

Good Luck!

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2 hours ago, motocat12 said:

I drove a Mazda 3 for a couple years and it was one of the most fun cars I've had as a daily driver... Kinda slow, but it's got some pep to it and handles nice... Ate up headleys mill road in Pataskala in that thing at 80mph, Steph left nail prints in the door from death gripping lmao ... It's by no means a high performance car, but they're great for budget minded daily drivers 

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On 6/9/2018 at 8:14 AM, motocat12 said:

I'm leaning more back to this direction...  The possible maintenance nightmares of a used luxury car are weighing too heavily on my mind.

I'm looking at newer corollas, and crashed Groms.  I'm not going to commute.  It's just not practical.  But I like the option to have a bike that is OMRL eligible, and also street legal for when I want to take a quick ride to scratch the itch.  I can get to the Brecksville reservation without taking any highways (I cycle to the Brecksville reservation), and it's a nice shaded ride with 30 mph speed limits.  The roads there are fun enough for between race weekends, and a grom is small enough that my kids can learn on it some day.  Wife has her M endorsement, but hasn't ridden since I sold my EX500...  Groms haven't dropped to the price-point I was hoping, but I think I can pick one up this winter (maybe sooner) for $2,000.  

When i say "Grom," I also mean Z125 pro, and I'd even consider the Motrac 125, if I can find one new for the same price as a used Grom.  Nervous about the other Chinese 125s for $1200-$1500 new...  But I won't be putting a ton of miles on it, so maybe it's not the worst idea ...but FI is appealing.

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side note:  The bar for "luxury" is low for me.

My current vehicle lacks 2 features that I would like:  power windows, and cruise control.  The wife would like remote locks (it has power locks, but no remote. weird)

The mazda 3 and the Jetta are the only compact (non "luxury") cars that I have found with leather interior.  I'm not married to leather interior, but any car that has it tends to be very well optioned.  I really only started looking at luxury brands because it's nearly impossible to find a compact car with a manual transmission AND a high trim-level.

I've also come to learn that there is no such thing as a "nicely optioned" Nissan Versa or even a nicely optioned Corolla...  With that said, the Civic interior doesn't suck horribly.  I just can't bring myself to buy a Civic unless it's an Si.  My neighbor's teenage daughters share a 2014ish civic.  They're great (they watch our dog when we're away, and our kids when we go out), but i can't drive the same car as them...  And I'm totally going to do a sweet Grom burnout in the cul-de-sac in front of their house.

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