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Discussion Starter #1
Alrighty, I love my SVT like no other, but I'm one of those people that's easily bored and I've been giving some thought to upgrading to a new (or new to me) car. Here are some of my ideas:

Lexus IS300 (prolly the least expensive- certified pre-owned)
Mazdaspeed 6 (when it comes out)
Infiniti G35 Coupe (really expensive tho)
GTI w/ VR6 (but prolly not)
STi or Evo (but only cuz they're insanely fast)

Those are the ones that have the most of my attention right now. My main inspiration is finding a more luxurious/smoother car, as I may be commuting a lot in the next few months/years, even tho I can't help but mention the STi and Evo. Bear in mind that, although I'm confident that I can do this, I'm only in college so money isn't abundant.

Any thoughts?
 

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How much $$$ do you want to spend. Tell me that, and I'll give you my professional opinion
 

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Capital Obvious
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03 or 04 Cobra mustang? but from your choices there...I'd go with the EVO or STI
 

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IS300 is going to get boring fast. It was cool when it came out but the design is getting tired-looking and those Altezza tails are looking very "dated" now. Performance-wise it's good but not great, however it probably will be a more comfortable commuter than an SVT Focus. I'd say a few months owning one of those and you'll be wondering why you thought it was so great.

The STi/Evo are alluring cars but NOT good daily drivers, they are going to be uncomfortable for long commutes - or so I hear, I wouldn't know myself.

Of that list my pick would be the G35 coupe (but you're right, even a used one is still expensive) or the MazdaSpeed 6, but that's with reservation since we have no idea what the real car will actually be like.
 

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Normally I'd suggest getting the WRX hecause it's a fun car. It has good performance but lack the luxury you're looking for. Since you're going to be using this as a commuter...I would probably rule out the EVO because of it's firm suspension. I think the best all around car for you would be the G35. It has a good balance of speed, luxury, design.
 

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mmm evos are not that fast...a srt beats it by about a car...why isnt that on the list...personally i would go with a mazdaspeed cuz the 3 and 6 are both sweet cars...and im sure they know the srt-4 is the competition...i expect hot shit from mazda :)
 

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Ummm, you seem to be grossly misinformed. Not only does the EVO VIII beat the SRT-4 quite handily in a straight line, it absolutely destroys it on any kind of road course, autocross, or real-life situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As far as spending is concerned, for Carrera26, I don't want the payments to get higher than 300 per month for financing, assuming I trade in my car. I did a quote on a used IS300, and with trade-in the monthly bill was about 235. I could probably afford more, but I don't want this endeavor to leave me strapped for cash for the rest of my college years.

When's the Mazdaspeed 3 coming out? I haven't even heard of it yet.

Realistically, if I did want to go through with this whole thing I should get something that I really want, not settle cuz I want to pay less. I didn't know that the IS300 was quite so boring, but I guess I could see that. The good news about the Mazdaspeed 6 is that it doesn't come out for awhile, so I'd be able to give that one plenty of thought.

Alright, here's a few more ideas for cars that I just came up with:

Audi A4 or used S4
BMW 3-Series (coupe preferred)
Audi A6 w/ 2.7T
Mini Cooper
Audi TT
Acura TSX

If y'all have any others to suggest, feel free. Bear in mind, as I said, that I want something with more luxury, and, though power isn't a surpreme concern, get up 'n go is definitely taken into account. Keep the comments coming please!
 

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svt4chris said:
I didn't know that the IS300 was quite so boring, but I guess I could see that.
Well look at it this way, it doesn't (according to the stats) perform any better than the car you have now, it's only advantage is being more "luxurious" but it's disadvantage is that it's going to be older than the car you've got, most likely. And since it's been around for four or five years now and the design wasn't "radical" to begin with, it's looking pretty stale in the style department, but admittedly that's just my opinion.

The problem with virtually every car you've listed so far besides the Lexus, Acura, and maybe the Infiniti, is that they aren't known for being the most trouble-free or low maintenance cars. Something to consider alongside the monthly payment, insurance, and gas bill, when you're a college student.

Take the BMW for example, when you go into a BMW ownership one of the things you have to take for granted is that it's going to require more maintenance than a comparable Japanese car, and that it will cost more (sometimes considerably more) to perform that maintenance. That's why BMW now offers such a comprehensive warranty on new cars that includes oil changes and scheduled maintenance, because owners were balking at the high cost of service.
 

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The A4 is a pretty nice car. I test drove a couple before I bought my SVTF - that should tell you something though.

BMW's are great cars, no doubt, but SVT4ME is right, they ain't cheap to own.

The A6 is a fine automobile. I wouldn't mind one myself.

The TT is slick, but not really practical. If you can swing a 'fun' car, you should drive one.

The Mini is ok, but the S is exactly on par (performance wise) with what you already drive and is smaller.

I have no opinions on Acuras as I have never driven one.

Of all the cars you have listed, I would choose either the G35 or Mazdaspeed 6. Sadly, however, neither will be cheap. I'd be impressed if you could own either car for < $300 a month.

How about a GTO? '04s are going for the low 20's here.
 

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Michael J. Caboose
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^^^Yeah, there's a GTO parked at a local dealer that's going for 20k...I would definitely snag that. 400hp...looks pretty good too.
 

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2005 Saab 9-2X Aero 4dr All-wheel Drive Hatchback
Luxury and sorted out suspension by Saab. Everything else is Subaru WRX.
This is the best bang for the buck buy in automobiles period. Under $21K with $6k in rebates. Good luck finding one though.
 

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^^ They're offering $6,000 in rebates on those?? That's not a bad deal at all, at that price. But you have to endure every idiot telling you that you drive a "Saabaru" as though they were the first person to think of that name. [rolleyes] And the styling is a little "quirky" in the sense that the front looks dead-on Saab but the rest of it still looks very Subaru. It almost looks like one of those "what if?" cars where someone figured out you could put the front of a totally different car on, to some extent like what they did on "Pimp My Ride" where they put the BMW front on the Escort.

I still think it's better-looking than the actual Subaru version of the car. [paranoid] If you could really get one at that price, hmm... the wheels in my own head are turning now. [:D]
 

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As far as cost of ownership, the European cars do ten to cost more on maintenance, but as they tend to have much better residuals, oftentimes they cost less to own in the end.

It's going to be awfully hard to beat a BMW for a combination of sport and luxury. They pretty much have it nailed. I could get a good lower miles 2003 330CI for what you seem to be saying with trade-in value. It would still have factory warranty, and extending that is quite economical. I would get a good extended warranty on nearly any vehicle, because even though you may end up paying a bit more that you would in the long run, you are never going to have an expensive "surprise".

Of course, G35 coupes are in that same price range as well, and they are holding their value exceptionally well. For coupes with some good useable room in them, those are the 2 I would reccomend.

As for sedan, again it's just going to be tough to beat the combination of sport, lusury, style, and residuals that is a BMW sedan. There's so much available at that price, though, that it's hard to say. AMG Benzes, Jaguar XJRs, TwinTurbo S4s, etc. Your even into high-mileage 2000 S-class territory. Any way you would want to go, though, contact me and you'll get the best deal guaranteed...

[email protected]
 

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By the way, STIs, EVOs, and 2004/2005 350Zs are well within that range as well. Also R32s are quite a good mix of power, AWD, and luxury. Not quite as sharp as an EVO, but that can also be a good thing for living with it day.

The first 3 listed are almost in the 300 a month range without trade, as long as you have decent credit...
 

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GO Green
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i have just thought of something else, the sabb 9-2x might be worth looking at, it handles very nicley, and the ride is pretty smooth, and the interior is very nice, plus awd and a turbo. Also you might wanna take a look at the new Audi A3 hatches that are out now.
 

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When i was looking for a car I originally wante somethign with power and luxery as well. Throughout my quest I thought of the same cars you have listed but to me the best mix of power and luxery without paying a bundle is the R32. I am not a big fan VW's for some reason but I love the combo they have going with the AWD and leather seats that are to die for. The limited run production is a nice add on as well. Mazdaspeed6 looks very nice as well but I can't really contribute on that since it isn't out yet. As much as I love the G35...if you ever needed to take something with you that is somewhat big then you will be SOL.

The STi is a great daily as long as you can accept the stiff ride (The EVO is even stiffer). I can't really comment on commutes since I only drive the car 5 minutes to work everyday. STi's can be had cheaply but are not maintained cheaply if you get my drift. They eat gas quickly because you get too addicted to the boost. (I average 13-15 mpg... all city though) I really wanted the IS300 but when you take a step back at it and look you start to think to yourself "I paid how much to go slow?". The IS300 is VERY tunable though but do you really wanna dump that much more dough into an expensive car already?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Carrera26, I may be doing something car-wise soon, but if not then I'll definitely keep you in mind. If you could find me a G35 coupe with stick for around 30k (used) and no tranny/clutch problems I'd be extremely interested, given pretty low mileage. But the fact that you're in Iowa may make things difficult.

As far as your comments about BMW, I would say many of the same things, but what I've also heard is that they're more likely to break and more expensive to repair than, for instance, a G35. I've had a Beemer and definitely loved it, but I don't want to run the risk of problems with a car. Not that I would, but risks aren't worthwhile right now.
 
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