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  #1  
Old July 10th, 2007, 11:58 PM
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Christian Shea
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Need Supplemental/Highway Vehicle

Alright well after a year of trying to do a 450 mile roundtrip every few weeks routinely and various other long distance trips I've decided to get another ride to relieve both the D90 and my patience (in only being able to do 65 mph). I want to spend 8-12k preferably and want something that will last another 60k miles with few maintanence/reliability issues. Additionally I want around 30 mpg or better on highway. Honda, toyota, etc are out of the question.... I was thinking a through a whole variety of cars and was hoping some of you either have/had them or have input regarding them.

List as follows:
2002 VW GTI 1.8t
Saab 9-5 aero (sedan or wagon) prob around 60k miles is in my range
Saab Viggen - higher mileage to fit in price range
Mazda Protege5 - sort of underpowered i think
Audi allroad 6 speed - mileage sucks but i want one - high maintanence though and high in price range
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  #2  
Old July 11th, 2007, 12:12 AM
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Robert Dassler
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I'd go for any TDI VW from about 2001 & newer, preferrably with a 5 speed.
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  #3  
Old July 11th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Mini Cooper................or I agree with Rob. VW Golf TDI. I have a Mini Cooper S, My sister has the Mini Cooper. I have driven the VW Golf TDI.

The VW TDI engine blew me away. I could not believe how response it was for a 45+ mile engine. And a 14.6 gallon fuel tank means it will cruise 600+ miles between fuel stops. This is my benchmark for a future car.............To get in your price range you might have to buy one quite a few years old, however.

Flagg
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  #4  
Old July 11th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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J. Michael McCaig
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It's hard to beat the VW TDI for economy that's for sure. I commute 100 miles a day and I have had great luck with my Mazda Miata. It's a fun car, pretty good mileage and in 60k miles it's just needed gas, oil changes, one set of plugs and one set of tires. You can find low mileage garage queens in your price range.
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  #5  
Old July 11th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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I was going to say Miata also - I've had two. It might not be the "coolest" car around, but it is a lot of fun. Plus they are cheap and super-reliable.
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  #6  
Old July 11th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Tony Brooks
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Having suffered through a year with an '06 mini cooper S, I'd urge you to stay well away from them -- the fun of driving it was far outweighed by it's frequent breakdowns and the supreme hassle of getting it service (6 weeks for a service appointment under warranty???). I've had very good luck with my audi, though my understanding is that repairs can be $. The tdi vws are supposed to be good as long as the electrics hold up. The Saab may not have any resale value. What about a 3 series bmw?
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  #7  
Old July 11th, 2007, 11:17 AM
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The Wife has had a 2004 MINI S since new. Perfect car; never a problem. Fun to drive and gets good gas mileage (~33 mpg on average).
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  #8  
Old July 11th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Why no asians? They are the best in just about every catagory you want. Too ugly for you?
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  #9  
Old July 11th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Heath Hollenbeck
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I have owned a passat TDI and it was very economical and dependable. Just keep those fuel fitlers changed before winter if you live in a cold climate.
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  #10  
Old July 11th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Tony,

What went wrong with the Mini! Sorry to hear you have had problems. I have an 2003 Cooper S. Never a problem. Almost 5 years old.....84k miles. I never have trouble making an appointment in Annapolis.......

I would not get another, because of my 6 mo. old son (althought the clubman looks cool). Problem now is that I am sold on the VW TDI engine.......after having driven one.

Flagg
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  #11  
Old July 11th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Christian Shea
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As far as hondas and toyotas go theres just too many of them... Call it being stupid or impractical I just don't want one, always been a European vehicle fan or big American trucks. I have very strongly considered the TDI VW but the issues are twofold. One the prices are very high on them relative to mileage (like $14,000 for one with around 100k) - though i realize those engines last a good while. The second issue is that I will probably put less than 10,000 miles on it a year and need it to last 3/4 years. With that in mind the savings on using diesel would prob only add up to $1000-1200 in that period. With the price and minimal savings I have my doubts as to how good idea it is.

As far as the Mini goes they look to be too high in the price range to be what I am looking for. Miata just ain't gonna happen being 6'4 240lbs and I'd like some sort of practical space.... pretty much why all those cars I previously listed were hatches/wagons.
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  #12  
Old July 11th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtg067i
Saab Viggen - higher mileage to fit in price range
Viggen? I'd personally prefer a Gripen or Draaken myself.

Oh, wait, they named a car that too, didn't they?

-Hans
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  #13  
Old July 11th, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs
I thought the term Asian was for people were and oriental was for objects?

That being said, a 4cyl 2wd Toyota pickup would fit the bill nicely.

-Jeff
That was the joke.


As far as a car goes, I don't think there is a better value on the road than a Nissan Altima. It is large and comfortable on the inside with plenty of power (faster than a BMW 3 series). It has a timing chain so no mainenance required. I bought a 2002 with 50,000 miles on it in 2004 for 14k out the door with the 100k warranty. It now has 180,000 miles on it and just had it's first brake job in 130,000 miles. Best part is it averages a real world 27.9 MPG through the streets of LA.
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  #14  
Old July 11th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrooks
Having suffered through a year with an '06 mini cooper S, I'd urge you to stay well away from them -- the fun of driving it was far outweighed by it's frequent breakdowns and the supreme hassle of getting it service (6 weeks for a service appointment under warranty???). I've had very good luck with my audi, though my understanding is that repairs can be $. The tdi vws are supposed to be good as long as the electrics hold up. The Saab may not have any resale value. What about a 3 series bmw?
BMW of Sterling by any chance? From what I've heard they are assclowns there so 6 weeks doesn't sound too far off.
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  #15  
Old July 11th, 2007, 10:59 PM
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Trevor K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
That was the joke.


As far as a car goes, I don't think there is a better value on the road than a Nissan Altima. It is large and comfortable on the inside with plenty of power (faster than a BMW 3 series). It has a timing chain so no mainenance required. I bought a 2002 with 50,000 miles on it in 2004 for 14k out the door with the 100k warranty. It now has 180,000 miles on it and just had it's first brake job in 130,000 miles. Best part is it averages a real world 27.9 MPG through the streets of LA.
i just drove a rental altima, that thing was a piece of crap, i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy...
also the advertisement stating that the altima is faster then the bmw 3 series used the 325i which isn't even built anymore...

gtg067i:

your being just like my wife with ignoring the japanese cars, you'll realize down the road they are exactly what you are looking for...
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  #16  
Old July 11th, 2007, 11:42 PM
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Brian Terpstra
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Subaru?

The 2.5 turbo is one outstanding little engine - at least to drive it. Think the reliability is more or less there.

Mileage is fair if you can keep your foot out of the engine bay.
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  #17  
Old July 12th, 2007, 01:01 AM
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Christian Shea
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I know I'm being difficult/dumb in not going for a honda or toyota but frankly after looking I would be getting less car per dollar. In the price range I'm looking at an older generation of both a civic or accord with pretty high mileage. Regardless of that I'm discounting them more b/c they don't fit the bill of being interesting or fun to drive. The GTI is sort of the front runner b/c it sort of does everything I want (sporty, good handling, good on gas, interesting). The altima is probably what my lady friend is shooting for so I'm hesitant to have twins in the driveway.
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  #18  
Old July 12th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkavan01
i just drove a rental altima, that thing was a piece of crap, i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy...
also the advertisement stating that the altima is faster then the bmw 3 series used the 325i which isn't even built anymore...

gtg067i:

your being just like my wife with ignoring the japanese cars, you'll realize down the road they are exactly what you are looking for...
B.S. on it being a piece of crap. The interior is nicer than some cars twice the price. And I never saw any ad where it said it was faster than a BMW. I raced my buddy with a 2006 3 series. Not sure which one but my car with 170k on it beat the 3 series up to just past 70 mph. Not bad for a car that cost about 40% of the BMW cost.
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  #19  
Old July 12th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flippedrover
BMW of Sterling by any chance? From what I've heard they are assclowns there so 6 weeks doesn't sound too far off.
You got it. In the 1 year and 11K miles I owned it (from new) it needed multiple chunks of intereior plastic reinstalled, a wheel bearing, a clutch throwout bearing, a tire inflation sensor and I think 3 computer reflashes. As far as I'm concerned, that's unacceptable for a new car. What made it worse though was the goddamned dealer network and sterling in particular. It really was my own fault for not realizing how frequently I'd have to be at a dealer, but sterling and annapolis are equidistant (a long freaking way in traffic) and only mini dealers can service them (not BMW). Sterling, in total, just bit ass. They'd half fix problems, not fix them at all, not return calls for literally days to check on the status of a car, and on and on and on. Fun to drive, shit for gas mileage (an S with a commute of 4 miles a day doesn't yield great MPG) but what a hassle to own . . .
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  #20  
Old July 12th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkavan01
i just drove a rental altima, that thing was a piece of crap, i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy...
To be fair, a 'rental car' shouldn't be used to judge a car entirely. The majority of rentals are no frill, no fluff...practically stripped down. I don't know about you, but I've never purchased a car in the past with just the 'basic' options like you would get at a rental place.

I too drove an Altima at a rental, it was the 2.5L version. I was actually impressed by it, I wasn't sure if it had a 4 or 6 under the hood. Although the interior of what I drove was basic, it still had option that other cars don't even offer. Hehe, I've not seen any commercial boasting about beating a BMW, I think that's nutty! I have seen Hyundai boast about how it compares to a BMW...sad, because unless you've owned a BMW...you would know...there is NO comparison...atleast at that level!

Christian,

It seems like you've already put some serious thought into this and just need to pull the trigger. The only con I can come up with in regards to the VW is that parts are expensive and the dealer will bend you over come repair time. Going with a 2002, maintenance time is right around the corner. I'd consider leasing, before buying a used vehicle at the price point you are considering. I've personally have always gone 1 year old to new or have gotten a REAL beater in the less than 1500 range (a honda...) Your timing is perfect for picking up a good lease deal on a car. No, the car won't be yours...but neither will the headaches!

Good luck
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