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Car people - help me decide on one!

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  • Car people - help me decide on one!

    Well I am just a lucky bastard. I'm a 19yo full-time student with a full-time and 2 part-time jobs (70 hours a week during break, 50 during school). I've been saving like crazy so I could buy a new car (new as in new to me) by summer 06 and be able to fund the carpc project I've been planning since this past spring. I am driving around my mom's 99 Camry for 3 years now (she graciously donated it for my 24/7 use - she drives one of my stepfather's cars now), and have been itching to upgrade.

    I got the surprise of my life when my mother informed me that my father was going to buy me a car. He does owe me a lot of money, and I guess this is one way to get started in repayment.

    Conditions: The entire amount must be around $17k or so. That's it, no other restrictions. I am allowed to combine my money if I want something that costs more.

    So I've been shopping eBay motors, autotrader, etc, and here's the list of vehicles I am considering:
    Lexus IS300 (the previous generation before the new 06 models)
    VW GTI (again, the generation before the 06 models)
    Subaru Impreza WRX (not sti)
    Scion tC
    VW Jetta GLI (new model)
    Nissan 350Z
    Mitsubishi Eclipse GT (new 06 model - this is quite a stretch)
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

    Here are the factors I need to consider, in order of importance:
    Build quality/Reliability - I'm a sophomore right now, and this car must last me until the end of grad school (approx 5+ years). I don't want to be spending money to replace major worn-out components.
    Comfort/luxury - Seattle traffic is horrible. Figuring that in with my commute time from home/work/school and weekend trips, I spend an average of 3 hours per day on the road.
    Sustained value - Certain cars deprecate immensely, and others don't. I'd like to get as much money for the vehicle by the time I sell it. Not such a big deal, as I'm buying used (2 exceptions noted above), and values have already deprecated.

    Unfortunately due to my lack of time, I'm unable to personally research all 8 vehicles, let alone test drive them all. What I'd like is input on the vehicles you have hands-on experience with, so that I can narrow down the list to a more manageable number and start setting up test drives.

  • #2
    E36 Bmw
    http://jupiter.walagata.com/w/djpm05/sig.jpg

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    • #3
      strange list to include a 350z & a scion tc on the same list

      none of your choices are bad or good really... anyones opinion will be nothing more than that really.... the new eclipse does look hot though
      MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

      first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

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      • #4
        " I guess this is one way to get started in repayment"? Just how much does he owe you??

        All of the cars you list are pretty nice, but there's fairly wide range in the practicality department (people/cargo capacity, mainly). Also gas consumption/type, since you're persumably going to be paying for that. You didn't mention this in your factors, so maybe it doesn't matter.

        The only one I have direct experiance with is the WRX. It's quite a hoot, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. And 4WD is nice if you happen to live in wintery environs.

        Even with tight time though, I'd at least read a couple reviews for each car - shouldn't take more than a hour or so and it'll give you some idea one what's a pretty big decision.

        You lucky bastard

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        • #5
          What about insurance? I couldn't imagine paying insurance on a 19 year old with a 350z...
          2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mushin
            " I guess this is one way to get started in repayment"? Just how much does he owe you??
            I was thinking the same thing. Just curious, how the hell does a 19 yo become "owed" 17k+?????

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mushin
              " I guess this is one way to get started in repayment"? Just how much does he owe you??
              probably 19 years of child support


              not funny, i know.
              Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

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              • #8
                Well, I'm not sure about the exact amount he owes (it's deep in some documents somewhere), but it'll take him a few years to compensate me, and I'm pretty sure the car will cover more than half of his obligation.

                Practicality doesn't matter - if I ever am in need of cargo/people space, I can always borrow my mom's minivan or my stepdad's truck. As long as there's enough room for me, the girl, the carpc, a sub or two, and an auto emergency kit, I'll be fine.

                Gas consumption is a factor, but it's not *huge* as I am working 3 jobs, afterall. I figure as long as I am enjoying it, it's worth the few extra bucks at the pump.

                Insurance is a HUGE factor! Thanks for mentioning that, as I will be responsible for all insurance on this car (my stepdad currently pays the insurance for all of our cars). Are there any auto insurance calculators out there that don't involve my forking over my entire life history + phone calls/emails from the insurance companies?

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                • #9
                  progressive isn't that bad, once you enter your info, you can save it to their site. Then just gotta change the vehicle.
                  2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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                  • #10
                    evo....... great car out of the factory and with a few grand insanely quick.... either that or the 350z but thats gonna cost you a few more than the evo and everyone loves a turbo and awd and cant forget about the 4g63 motor thats been proven reliable and strong..... damn I wish I had one... mayby its time to sell my altima and get one

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                    • #11
                      Dude,

                      You really need to decide what you want from the car. If all you want is room for the chick (assuming you have one already cause you might choose a different car depending on if you have a chick, or if you are trying to attract one, and what type of girl you are trying to attract) and the carputer and steroe, well then ALL of them will work. None of them are all that much more unreliable then the next.

                      But, if you want speed, then there is one choice, speed and comfort, another. Occassional track days, one car, go skiing/boarding, another. Room for the friends, yet another car, etc... I think you get the point. If you start adding things together, like taking the pals for a snowboarding weekend, well that might be a different car then if they were not considered together.

                      Make up your mind about what you really expect/want from the car, and go from there. Once we know that, well then we can point you in a direction.

                      Michael
                      ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks binary, I happened to be finishing up on the Progressive site when you posted. For anyone who's curious, here are the rates I received (in order - montly payments/6 months in full):
                        04 GTI - 128.21/692
                        04 Impreza WRX - 129.21/695
                        06 Jetta - 131.37/710
                        01 3-series 158.38/852
                        06 Eclipse - 161.05/867
                        03 350z - 164.38/884
                        04 IS300 - 168.88/881
                        05 tC - 170.38/916
                        03 Lancer - 170.55/916
                        02 G35 - 175.05/938

                        I'm very surprised that the GTI and WRX have the lowest rates and the tC and Lancer have the highest - that seems reversed.

                        Edit: Post revised to correct an error brought to my attention by mushin. The second set of prices is for a 6 month duration w/ the pre-pay discount, not a year in full.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wiredwrx
                          You really need to decide what you want from the car.

                          But, if you want speed, then there is one choice, speed and comfort, another. Occassional track days, one car, go skiing/boarding, another. Room for the friends, yet another car, etc... I think you get the point. If you start adding things together, like taking the pals for a snowboarding weekend, well that might be a different car then if they were not considered together.
                          Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough in my first post about what I wanted:

                          Build quality/Reliability
                          Comfort/luxury
                          Sustained value

                          I suppose speed/performance would come right after comfort/luxury. I spend a lot of time in the car, and I'd rather be comfortable the the duration rather than reach the destination a little quicker.

                          It would be nice to turn heads as I go as well, but I think the subs may accomplish that on their own

                          What I want in something I can ride and zip around town in quick (most of it on the highway). 75% of the time I drive solo, 15% of the time I have a single passenger, and 10% of times I have more than 1 passenger. If it's the case that I get a two-seater, then we can always take one of their cars - it's not a big issue. I don't plan on going to the track or driving in mud/dirt/snow/sand/etc. Perhaps gravel on some parking lots.

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                          • #14
                            Those second series of numbers can't be year in full. Gotta be 6 months (which is a common term of payment).

                            Btw, performance isn't about getting there faster (all cars are the same) but rather how much fun driving it is

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Song0330
                              Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough in my first post about what I wanted:

                              Build quality/Reliability
                              Comfort/luxury
                              Sustained value

                              I suppose speed/performance would come right after comfort/luxury. I spend a lot of time in the car, and I'd rather be comfortable the the duration rather than reach the destination a little quicker.
                              I would say the IS300 then.

                              First, they are quite luxurious, depending on the options. Lexus holds thier value like a MoFo. They have amazing build quality, and they are quite reliable, and, it is quite sporty. If you can find one in your price range, I think that would meet all of your needs quite well.

                              Michael
                              ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

                              Comment

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