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Old 02-26-2013, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help Me Choose a Car!

Hey all,

So I'm all grown up now and I want to get a car. There are a number of reasons for this, mainly because I feel bad about my friends usually having to drive on our weekend trips since my parents need the car on Sundays more often than not. But there's also the freedom of having my own shit and is another life milestone (I'm in my mid-20s). Here's what I'm looking for in a car:

1. Fun to drive; something that can at least sort of haul ass when I want it to.
2. Preferably a 4-wheel drive, or at least a car that can handle potentially sketch driving conditions.
3. Decent amount of trunk space, at least a 50/50 backseat.
4. I'd like to avoid SUVs and trucks and stick to sedans or hatchbacks.
5. Semi-decent gas mileage.

I'm looking to keep it in below $40k; below are some of the ones I've looked at and the pros and cons.

1. Subaru Impreza WRX - It's got pretty much everything I'm looking for in the above and the price is right. Realistically, I'd pull the trigger on this one. Only issue is that it only comes in manual transmission. Not a huge issue, but not many of my friends can drive stick and if I get tired I'd be shit out of luck.
2. Volkswagen GTI - Better gas mileage but the fun factor suffers. Another hatchback with decent trunk space, but the seats apparently don't fold completely flat and not much storage up front for accessories (phones, keys, etc.).
3. Mini Cooper - I just like the retro look of the car. Otherwise it's weaker than the other two, though it looks like the Clubman has more cargo space.

What do you guys take on your weekend trips and what cars can you recommend based on what I'm looking for and what I've already checked out?

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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40k....well I think you should consider spending a little more
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmmm, well I wanted to set a price cap before people suggest cars way out of my somewhat flexible price range.

Assuming that it's not a factor, what would you suggest I take a look at?
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Of your list, I would definitely pick the WRX. I've owned one and they are great cars.

In your budget though, you could probably even start looking at some Audis. I always hear great things about them in the snow and they certainly seem like nice cars. I've never personally driven one though.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm incredibly biased towards the WRX. Take this with a grain of salt, but I've *heard* the Mini Cooper's have reliability issues with starting during the winter. <-- Just what I've heard though. And I can't say too much about the VW. If you're willing to buy used, Subaru made an auto version of the WRX in 08 and 09. Perhaps that is something for you to consider.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefutui2e View Post
Hmmm, well I wanted to set a price cap before people suggest cars way out of my somewhat flexible price range.

Assuming that it's not a factor, what would you suggest I take a look at?
fuck i would never spend that much on a vehicle that is going to get mud, snow, salted...potential to get hit by some douche snow driver, slamed in to a snow bank, dinged and scraped by boards and skis....and....

I'd drive some reliable old pos tercel sr5 or old toy with a 22r and spend some of the budget on a heli/cat trip.

as for the fun factor...get a pos vw camper van and have a snow bunny harem

wrx is cool and all but really only fits 3 at the most comfortably with all the gear...and since you are a relatively inexperienced driver...you'll wreck the damm thing in relatively short order
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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With a $40k cap I would go with a certified B8 (2010 or newer) Audi S4 hands down. The cars are real solid, fast, classy, quattro awd, all the features you'd want, the S-tronic 7 speed transmission is the shit, body is galvanized and there's a 10 year warranty against corrosion, there's plenty of mods available if you want to go that route but the car is still great out of the box and it gets 28 mpg highway. There are several certified ones available around the country for just under $40k.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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WRX, bro!!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by S4Shredr View Post
With a $40k cap I would go with a certified B8 (2010 or newer) Audi S4 hands down. The cars are real solid, fast, classy, quattro awd, all the features you'd want, the S-tronic 7 speed transmission is the shit, body is galvanized and there's a 10 year warranty against corrosion, there's plenty of mods available if you want to go that route but the car is still great out of the box and it gets 28 mpg highway. There are several certified ones available around the country for just under $40k.
only get an Audi if you want the best all wheel drive around, but you'll also spend as much time fixing an Audi as you do driving one.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
fuck i would never spend that much on a vehicle that is going to get mud, snow, salted...potential to get hit by some douche snow driver, slamed in to a snow bank, dinged and scraped by boards and skis....and....

I'd drive some reliable old pos tercel sr5 or old toy with a 22r and spend some of the budget on a heli/cat trip.

as for the fun factor...get a pos vw camper van and have a snow bunny harem

wrx is cool and all but really only fits 3 at the most comfortably with all the gear...and since you are a relatively inexperienced driver...you'll wreck the damm thing in relatively short order
Well, I think with sedans I'm resigning myself to fitting in 3 at most regardless of anything I get. There's always the option of getting a roof rack, which expands my options tremendously. As for cost, well, it's also going to be my everyday car, so why not? I'd like to not touch the $40k ceiling, but again, that was just an arbitrary cap I set so that I don't get people who recommend ridiculously priced cars.

As for experience, I have about 7 years of driving experience at about 10k miles per year, which is a significant amount of driving for someone living in NYC (keep in mind I'm only 26). Plus, with some exceptions I'd much rather drive in the middle of a snowstorm out on the road than through the streets of Manhattan (pedestrian traffic lights are treated as suggestions more than laws, and there are A LOT of pedestrians). So I wouldn't worry too much about that part.

Seems like the WRX is worth a good, hard look. Thanks for the tips, boarderholic. Stickz, I heard the same thing about Audis unfortunately, but when they work they are incredibly fun to drive! I would love it if anyone has ever had experience driving a GTI.
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