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Old 12-25-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
CharlieRose
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Fan#: 86472
Location: St. Louis, MO
What I Drive: 2012 Tuxedo Black Focus SE

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Considering My Next Car

I've owned my 2012 Focus SE for about 1 1/2 years now, and I've got 30,000 miles on it already. My Focus is great, and I have no significant complaints about. I'm getting high mileage, commuting comfort, and a decent amount of pep for a $17,000 car. I was thinking about what I may buy next when the time comes, and thought it would be interesting to keep track of my list of contenders here (and update them over time).

I recognize the cars on this list aren't all "apples-to-apples," but they happen to be the cars that have my attention at the moment. Major upsides (green) and downsides (red) are highlighted. Let me know if you've got others you think should be here, or problems with any of my picks.

My current car:

Ford Focus SE, 5 speed MT, FWD, 160hp / 146ft-lb, 36 MPG highway, 446 mile fuel range, $17K


Contenders in order of most to least likely:

1. Ford Focus ST, 6 speed MT, FWD, 252hp / 270ft-lb, 32 MPG highway, 387 mile fuel range, $26K
Comment: Best bang for your buck. Fun car, but also works as a daily driver.

2. Volkswagen Golf TDI, 6 speed MT, FWD, 140hp / 236ft-lb, 42 MPG highway, 609 mile fuel range, $25K
Comment: Could commute for nearly 2 weeks between fill-ups.

3. Scion FR-S, 6 speed MT, RWD, 200hp / 151ft-lb, 30 MPG highway, 396 mile fuel range, $24K
Comment: Maybe the most fun car here, but not a great daily driver--especially in winter. Under-juiced engine for the carʼs styling.

4. BMW 128i, 6 speed MT, RWD, 230hp / 200ft-lb, RWD, 28 MPG highway, 392 mile fuel range, $32K
Comment: Maybe the most refined car here, but you pay for it. Poor fuel economy and RWD is rough in the winter.

5. Cadillac ATS, 6 speed MT, RWD, 272hp / 260ft-lb, 30 MPG highway, 480 mile fuel range, $34K
Comment: May be a bit too big for me. RWD poses winter driving challenges. Expensive, but reportedly a great drive.

6. Hyundai Genesis 2.0T R-Spec, 6 speed MT, RWD, 274hp / 275ft-lb, 30 MPG highway, 516 mile fuel range, $27K
Comment: Of course the RWD...also tempting to jump to the 3.8 liter V6 for a couple thousand dollars more. Not a fan of the front exposed bumper.

7. Subaru WRX, 5 speed MT, AWD, 265hp / 244ft-lb, 25 MPG highway, 422 mile fuel range, $27K
Comment: Ugly, but due for an update, which may make it better. The AWD is a huge bonus in the winter.

8. MazdaSpeed3, 6 speed MT, FWD, 263hp / 1280ft-lb, 25 MPG highway, 397 mile fuel range, $24K
Comment: See dragonpalm's experience with this car--not a great review.



Last edited by CharlieRose; 12-30-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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