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Making the right choice

1024 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  DJ
Hey everybody, Im looking to get a new car in the middle of August. I've test drove a bunch of cars and am having trouble choosing. I really want something that is fun to drive. I am in the Boston area so I do have to put up with snow at times. Currently I have a 1997 A4 1.8TQ. If I decide on an A4, Im going to try and shoot for a 2.8Q. Here is what I test drove and my thoughts. Please give me any input or suggestions. Thanks!

Cars I have looked at:

Audi A4: have the 1.8 now, intrested in the 2.8. Hope the price is right.

Acura CL Type S: It drove very nice, but its very ugly. The price was right. Powerful!

BMW 323ci: Nice car...maybe a little over budget for a lease. Those accessories add up. (Added the sports package)

VW Passat with 4motion: Nice car, styling doesn't look up to date. It drove very nice, like my mom's A6.

IS300: Im counting down the days to look at this car. Im looking to lease, so I hope its a good price. I think this car is hot!

Infiniti I30t: Forgetit! It sucked and overpriced.

Nissan Maxima SE: A concideration, but the fun factor just was not there. The price was right.

I think I've hit em all. If you think I should look at something else, Im all ears. Remember I want something fun, possibly good in the snow, and around 300 a month lease with 5k-6k down.

Thank you all for your help,

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The A4 2.8Q will cost a lot when you add up the options. So I don't know if it'll be a good choice. But it is a nice car.

Did you try Acura 3.2 TL?

i'm exploring my options as well since i am getting a new car this summer too, hopefully late june early july, right now the IS300 is at the top of my list. This will be my first car and I will be getting a $10,000 "loan" for a downpayment from my parents, to be payed back later with no interest, my selection is a little more diversified than yours, heres a list of the cars i've considered and their pros or cons;

Honda S2000- unreasonable dealer markup (funny, guess they couldn't sell all of em cause a dealer i contacted back in december emailed me yesterday asking me to come and he'll get me a very good deal) and its a stick (can't drive stick, learning)

Plymouth Prowler- high dealer markup, 2000 models ahrd to come by, 99 models cost as much as 2000 MSRP

Lincoln Navigator- met more dissatisfied owners than satisfied ones

Toyota Celica GT-S- too small back seat, rear end styling looks bad, little horsepower

Toyota MR2Spyder- way too low horsepower

audi tt- looks too much like beetle

lexus gs300- a lil out of my price range for the options i want

used hummer- 94-96 wagon or open top- used, high mileage, used, high mileage, only two dealers in so cal, one in thousand oaks, one in huntington beach will cost around $33-47k and lack of dealers could mean unfair service cost

newer-new hummer- 97-00 - same as above except for the mileage and price. i can't afford $1000-$1500 a month for 60 months

man i hope the IS is as good as i think, else i will have to look at the gs300 or a used hummer...oh, by the way, if you were owndering im 17 and paying for everything except the 10000 my parents will let me borrow for the down payment as a graduation present and b-day present.
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those two toyotas may be low in horsepower, but they are still fast. Mr-2 spyder 0-60 in 6.6 seconds i think. faster than a miata.
Ditto on the MR-S, it may be low in horses, but it's one of the lightest cars made. And the lighter the car, the more those horses count...
Aaron and Don,

How about a Lincoln LS or a Chrysler 300M? Also, you might want to wait for the next-gen C-Class.

If you're looking for better performance in the Audi A4 series, you might want to consider upgrading the 1.8T with a bigger turbo (and possibly an intercooler) and an upgraded ECU. The 1.8T A4's can embarrass the 2.8 V6 A4's easy. If you're looking for more luxury and amenities, then the 2.8 is a better choice. Get the sport package too.
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It is sort of funny (maybe not a coincidence)
but the Toyota MR2-Spyder,
Toyota Celica GT-S,
and IS300 all have similar performance:
0-60 in about 7.0 seconds
1/4 mile in about 15.3 seconds

MR2-Spyder does it with 140hp and 2200lbs
Celica GT-S does it with 180hp and 2500lbs
IS300 does it with 215hp and 3250lbs

I sort of think that Toyota/Lexus may have
some sort of "performance target" that
they are using when engineering cars these
days. Perhaps - "fast enough to be fun",
but "slow enough to keep insurance reasonable".

If I didn't need 4 doors, 4 seats and some
trunk space, then I would be getting
an MR2-Spyder, but unfortunately it
is just too impractical for me right now.
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TEG, why no consideration of the S2000? Not enough low end grunt?
Brad, TEG said he needed 4 doors, 4 seats and some trunk space...

That's the same reason the IS appeals to me. Although I do still have my Miata. It's in the garage now, ready to be rebuilt.
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I think the S2000 is a great car and a great value on paper 33grand... There was a comparison between the Boxter, BMW M roadster, Mercedes SLK, and Honda S2000 in a Car & Driver Magazine)... The Honda S2000 won the competition and was regarded as a great value for 33grand... HOWEVER, there were several letters to the editor regarding the car's price. Some dealers were offering the car WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY above the sticker value. 40grand and above with one dealer offering the car for 45grand. So it didn't turn out to be the great value it was meant to be....
Thanks webmaster, but I meant to imply if he was looking in the two seater convertible bracket why no mention of the S2000? Also, I have seen several dealer posts that they will sell at MSRP. I have also seen adds in Autoweek saying the same. The S2000, it appears, has gone the way of the Miata (in terms of +MSRP and then MSRP).
My boss asked me the same thing...

I have a picture of an MR2-Spyder on
my wall, and I have really wanted that
car since I first heard about it.

When the S2000 came out my boss stopped
by and said "well, I guess you want the
new Honda now?" I said nope...

Even though the S2000 is fast (0-60 about
5.5) and has a great shifter, I would never
buy one because:

1> I don't like the very long nose styling.
2> I don't want a super high revving engine with limited low end torque.
3> I much prefer a mid engined car.

Here is my current plan:

1> Buy an IS300 this summer. Use it as my family car to commute and haul the kids around.
2> Keep my supercharged MR2 for occasional weekend mountain road fun driving or if the IS300 is ever out of commision.
3> See if Toyota puts the sequential manual and/or 2ZZ-GE (180hp VVTL-i GT-S) engine into the MR2-Spyder ... At which point (finances
permitting) I would replace the supercharged
MR2 with the MR2-Spyder.

My bigger dillema is what to do with my
Ninja 900 motorcyle...
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The MR2 Spyder is Great.
Test drive one. I have one.
There is no other car that come close in the way it drives other than Boxster, Fererri, etc.
mid engine balance, the best brakes/shortest stopping distance, etc.
If power is a problem, there is a turbo kit soon to be released from Performance art motorsports that was getting 4.47 0-60 runs with babying the clutch. That's Fererri speed range!
Kit is easy owner installable in 5 hours and very professional quality parts/design.
Also, many have gotten into low 6sec 0-60 with removeing a few pounds - lightweight wheels, spare tire, etc. Take the weight off of the turbo car, add LSD and a ACT clutch and you got at least 4 sec 0-60.
Check out
If you want an Audi, why not get the new one in August? The V6 will have 220hp instead of 190 (?). Sounds like you'd be a candidate for the new Jaguar X-Type - reviews are coming in saying it's a good drive - though not as good as a BMW. Gorgeous car though.
V6 Passats (esp the 4Motion) are WAY overpriced, and unreliable.
With all the new great cars out or coming out, please don't buy an I30 or A4 or some 8 year old design.
It's funny how no one mentions Imprezza WRX turbo. Great for snow. Very fun to drive(according to car mag. I 've never have a chance myself). Momo steering wheels. Hey, did i mention turbo??
How old is this thread? How did this get resurrected?
Nobody mentioned the WRX because the thread is from May 2000. The WRX was not available at the time.

Originally posted by Chad:
It's funny how no one mentions Imprezza WRX turbo. Great for snow. Very fun to drive(according to car mag. I 've never have a chance myself). Momo steering wheels. Hey, did i mention turbo??
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