Eunos Cosmo's Car [search/contemplation] Thread: What would you rent for a trip to Japan?

Discussion in 'Member's Rides' started by Eunos_Cosmo, May 8, 2016.

  1. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    Ordered some gauge trim rings on a whim from an Ebay seller in Poland. Hopefully they aren't crap. :lol:

    Hopefully they look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Will update when I receive them. I think they'll look fantastic set against my red interior.

    Also considering buying a second center console (available from salvage yards for under $100) and body matching the color, a little like this:
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't dare do that to the original one in the car, but I do like the look...similar to the original Boxster concept. The owner of the above car when a little overboard with some of the trim painting....I think I'd stick with just the console.
     
    Heldenzeit and SVX like this.
  2. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    I've been looking at pictures of spec Boxsters lately and I really love them. I think the lowered stance, meaty tires on smaller (stock) wheels, with the hardtop and no other body modifications make the 986 look purposeful, lean and athletic in a way race cars of the 1960s were. I really want to score a hardtop...but they come up for sale so infrequently, and usually for a lot of money. I'm gonna keep my eye out and arm my craigslist notifications. :lol:

    Also considering getting a tow hook as it's such a cheap and simple mod (there's already the removable plug in the car, I just need to pop it off) but I'm debating whether or not it's too much of a "hard-parked" mod. I've really been enjoying the car lately and I've entered it into Radwood NorCal 2018!

    Some spec Boxster photos for reference:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With these slight mods, I honestly think the 986 becomes one of the better looking modern Porsches.
     
  3. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    I'll have to take better pictures soon. Rings came and the quality is actually pretty good...just honest to goodness machined aluminum trim. They snap on rather require any tape or glue, which is great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really like them. Adds a jewel-like quality to the instrument cluster. I really need to get the 3-spoke steering wheel from a '00-later car.
     
    SVX and Ze Elephant like this.
  4. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    What do you guys think of the sound of this exhaust system? I love the richness of the low frequency...it sounds actually a lot like an air-cooled 911.

     
    Doog likes this.
  5. Heldenzeit

    Heldenzeit

    Messages:
    4,607
    Location:
    United States
    I'd say add the towhook only if you plan on tracking. Otherwise the OE one works fine.
     
  6. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    So I've been having an electrical drain issue lately that I've traced to my mostly non-function stereo. The stock Becker has a removable faceplate, but a small tab on the faceplate broke at some point before I owned the car. The result is that the faceplate does not get achieve a solid connection to the base receiver, meaning the stereo does not receive the control instructions....doesn't work. At the same time, it's managing to drain the battery....:rolleyes: Becker can refurbish them, but it's something like $200. And I would still have a stereo that is a poor/fragile design and lacking modern features. So I've decided to replace it.

    However, the aftermarket radio market place is a scary place. The bright, multi-color lighting, cheap looking animated graphics, crap materials, and just general all around poor design puts me off of them. Not to mention most require cutting into the factory harness. No bueno. Then I found a company called Bergville F/X who make adapter kits and use rather period-correct looking head units. So I've got one on order. For $180, you get something that very much looks like it could have came with the car, but with a better/simpler design, and modern features like bluetooth, aux-in, and USB.

    Stock (fragile) becker, you can see the detachable center section, which is what is broken on my car:
    [​IMG]

    Continental aftermarket unit as supplied by Bergville:
    [​IMG]

    (neither are my car).

    The fact that it's completely plug-and-play (and can be returned to stock) really sold me on it. I haven't had a functioning stereo in this car in 2 years!

    In other news, my ignition switch gave a nasty crunch a few weeks ago, and ever since the key has been difficult to get in and out. Thankfully, I believe it's an $8 part. I ordered 2.
     
  7. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    Thought I'd fire up Rhino and throw together a bikini top on a Boxster mesh I found, just to see how it could look:

    (this was a 45 min sketch, so pardon the less than stellar modeling)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I quite like the initial study, I think it improves the sort of wonky side profile of the OEM 986 and makes the whole car look a little more special. I think I'm going to put a little more effort into designing this thing...now to scour the classifieds to find a busted top I can rip apart. :lol:
     
    boiltheocean and Heldenzeit like this.
  8. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    I think the time is approaching for me to sell the Boxster. It's been probably the least dependable car I've ever owned (and that list includes TWO Merkur XR4Tis and a 1984 RX-7!) and it's been frustrating me a lot that I just cannot rely on it to just work. It's always something with this thing.

    So I've been looking at newer models in the sub-20kish price range. Technically I could afford more, but I'm saving for a house....in the Bay Area....:nervous:

    My usage: Weekend trips/usage mostly. I take public transportation to work so I don't really need a daily driver. So something fun is desirable. But I would like something that can do the occasional trip to Ikea, take 4 adults every now and then (serious knock to #1 below). I also love taking extended road trips (like 10hr/day drives), so fuel mileage, range, luggage space, and comfort deserve at least passing consideration. Blasting down panoramic highway to Stinson Beach on a Sunday morning or driving to a late night jazz show in San Francisco. These are the things I want the car to excel at. Also, I want to be able to throw my bike(s) on or in it.

    Ideally I'd be holding onto this car for 5 years or longer.

    So the cars I'm considering thus far are (hold on, these are all over the place)

    1. Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S - Probably the most similar to my Porsche in a variety of ways. Great fun and the most pure sports car I'm considering. That said, the quality/refinement is pretty low and I still don't love the engine. I also don't love the styling...its generally fine, but the front end on all of them almost spoils it for me with the fussy detailing. As a thing to drive, almost nothing can touch it without a Porsche badge.

    2. Fiat 500 Abarth - Somewhat similar to my dearly departed Mazda 2 in terms of driving position (though the Mazda was better) packaging, size, and driving experience...except with a relative mountain of torque and hilarious exhaust note and some Italian flair. It's nowhere near as sophisticated feeling as the BRZ or my Boxster, but its arguably more fun in certain situations. A short-ton of character. I'm not sure how one of these would be on a long trip though. That's a little worrying.

    3. Mazda 3 2.5 M6 - A more grown up and more powerful version of my old 2. The 2018s are quite handsome and it's the most premium-esque car I'm considering. With the 2.5 engine it's no slouch either. Easily the most practical....but also the least special. I'm certain the 3 would kill it on a road trip.

    3.5. Next Gen Mazda 3 - This is wildcard #1 as I only have a vague idea what this will be, but if it's similar to the Mazda Kai shown last year, it should be a stunner to look at. I wouldn't expect it to be drastically different to the current 3. The major downside to this is waiting. The car is probably going to be unveiled at the LA Auto show in November...but who knows when I'd even be able to drive one...and my Porsche is kind of ruining my life already.... :lol:

    4. Hyundai Veloster R Spec - This car technically matches all of my criteria, but I have a hard time getting excited about the prospect. It's practical, it looks decent, the interior is fine. I haven't driven one. I'm certain it will drive well. I really don't like how Hyundai's have rev-hang. Maybe you get used to it? Seems like a good compromise between the 3 & the 500 Abarth. But do I want a compromise? :confused::boggled::lol:

    5. Honda Accord Coupe (2013-2017) - This is a handsome, comfortable, reasonably quick car in the GT mold. It's not gonna be so much fun on a canyon road, but I doubt anything on this list would be better to drive to Vegas in. These are remarkably hard to find with a manual.

    Vehicles below should be considered less in the running:

    6. Nissan Frontier king cab V6 6m - Combo breaker! This is a very simple, V6 powered truck with a stick shift. I would likely opt for a 2wd version. I don't remotely need a truck, but I admire how simple this thing is. I'm not sure how serious I am about this idea, but I might go drive one.

    7. Chevy Camaro V6 6M - A lot more car than any other car here, but I'm not a huge fan of the interior and driving a V6 Camaro is frustratingly wrong. I hate that it feels wrong, but it does.

    8. VW GTI - Admittedly, the GTI probably aces my use case better than any car here. But I don't want a VW. Last time I drove one (I believe it was a 2014 with a DSG) it left me feeling cold. A friend of mine let me drive his Golf R and that was quite a machine....but it still didn't pull at my heart.

    9. Subaru Crosstrek - I like the ethos of this car ....simple, rugged, useful. However, with it's small engine and relatively high weight, I doubt it would ever be very fun to drive.

    10. 2019+ Toyota Corolla Hatch - Seems cool....idk

    Cars I'm not considering and why:

    1. Focus ST - My brother has one and I don't like the controls...everything feels clumsy.
    1.5 Fiesta ST - Don't like how they look.
    2. 2017+ Civic Si - I despise how they look.
    3. 2016+ Mazda6 - Too heavy for the 2.5L. Feels too slow. Turbo is too expensive and automatic only.
    4. 2016+ Mazda MX-5 - I don't want another convertible at this point. The fact that you can't even get two carry-on size pieces of luggage in the trunk puts me off. Otherwise I love the ND.
    5. Nissan 370Z - Too unrefined and unrewarding to drive. Can't see out. Engine sounds awful in stock form.
    6. Hyundai Elantra Sport - Not too jazzed about the exterior styling...I'd rather get the Veloster.
    7. 2018+ Honda Accord Sport - Don't like the styling too much and they are pretty pricey.
    8. Mazda RX-8 - Fuel economy, lack of torque, and potential reliability concerns.
    9. Most European cars...the Porsche has kind of soured me. Parts prices are unbelievable.

    Any feedback, experience, other suggestions, etc would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  9. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,392
    I know US driving conditions are different to those in Europe, but I did a couple of long trips in my old Fiat Panda 100HP without issue. It was my only car at a time before I started getting press vehicles to test, and during that time I drove it from Yorkshire in the UK to Frankfurt in Germany for the motor show (a roughly 11 hour/700-mile trip - returning a few days later), and then the same to the Geneva show, which is 12 hours+/800+ miles (and back again a few days later).

    While I'd not owned much to compare it to at the time, I didn't feel any the worse for wear after those trips and the upright driving position possibly even helped. I'd not think twice about doing it in a 500 Abarth (which uses the same platform of course) with a decade's worth of detail improvements, extra performance etc over my old car.

    More comfortable than the ND in your no-go list too! Though on that car, are you sure that it can't fit two carry-on pieces of luggage? I'm fairly certain I could have in the one I ran last year.

    Honestly, aside from the ability to carry four people I'd probably go down the 86/BRZ route. Remap to remove the torque dip, set of Michelin PS4s to replace the Primacys, and it'd be great. Bit noisy but I wouldn't say quality is low - the feel of the plastics isn't up to much but the ones I've driven have all felt ultra-solid in terms of build and chassis stiffness is on another level compared to something like the ND.
     
  10. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran



    "You cannot generally put more than 1 big piece of luggage" :lol: (Don't mind the infomercial in the middle)
     
  11. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,392
    Second-guessing what I put in mine now. The largest bag I ever travel with is a standard carry-on bag, which is 19" x 14" x 9" (about 3", 4" and 1" smaller than what British Airways allows), and placed in that dip in the bottom of the trunk I reckon I could have fit another on top of it, but maybe it really isn't as deep as I'm remembering.
     
  12. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    25,722
    Location:
    United States
    It'll be tough to find but... RSX Type S is my recommendation. It's fun, it's pretty, it's kiiiinda fast, it makes a great noise at redline, and the hatch is amazingly useful (rear seats fold flat).
     
  13. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    While this (in addition to the TSX which I actually prefer) has occurred to me, they are basically impossible to find with under 100k miles, let alone under 40k which is more or less a requirement. An FA5 Civic Si popped up on craigslist recently with 45k miles but it sold in less than 6 hours. I'm thinking ultimately (like when I have my own house) I'd like to have a DC Integra and my RX-7 as project cars. An RSX would be basically redundant with the DC.

    The Abarth kind of squeezed my heart a little....I've driven an FR-S or BRZ (at dealerships mind you) 4 times now and my impression of them has been a bit all over the place. I admire things about them but I've struggled to see myself owning one. Most recently, I drove a lightly-used BRZ on some hilly roads just south of SF. The salesman was a big guy, the road was kind of wide, sweeping, and uphill, and the BRZ felt absolutely slow. Granted, it was out of it's element, but it worried me about the car's ability to be enjoyable outside of a very narrow scope of driving situations.

    The Abarth actually reminds me a lot of a Turbo NB Miata I drove...actually-kind-of-quick-slow car fast. I think it's a unique trait only lightweight cars with more torque than is reasonable can achieve. Except, unlike the Miata you can actually fit some things in it. With the seats folded flat, the Abarth actually has more cargo capacity than my Mazda2 did with its seats folded flat. That's actually pretty impressive, though I realize that is likely mostly in the Z dimension and it has notably less space with the rear seats up than the Mazda. Seats up or down it blows away the BRZ's measly 6.9 cubic ft of trunk space (Abarth has 9.5 even with the seat up).

    I'm trying very hard to not let the sound of that 1.4 sway my decision....but I'm failing. The subtle pops on the upshifts, the just-noticeable turbo spooling layered over the gruff but never raspy exhaust note...it's as good sounding as my Boxster but in a much different way.

    I think I owe it to myself to drive a 2.5 Mazda 3 and a new Veloster R Spec. But those cars are a good 5 grand more expensive. (The Abarth I drove was a brand new 2018 model listed at $18.5k!) The Abarth has taken a surprising lead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  14. jjaisli

    jjaisli Premium

    Messages:
    2,597
    Location:
    United States
    IMO...

    1. Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S: As much as I love the car, even I have to admit they don't make an ideal daily. Great car. Fun car. But lacking in areas that may eventually annoy you.

    2. Fiat 500 Abarth : I know 2 people with an Abarth. It's not a large control group. But both have said that the headaches and problems they have had, both with less than 50K miles, are enough to make early 80's era Fiats seem as reliable as Hondas. For a daily STAY AWAY.

    3. Mazda 3 2.5 M6
    : As a former Speed 3 owner, I think the benefits of Mazda are plentiful--of all the Japanese cars probably the best road manners out of the box. But you're probably right. The current design is getting a bit long in the tooth. Wait for the next generation, and hope they come out with a Speed 3 version.

    4. Hyundai Veloster R Spec: I won't comment other than "No". At least compared to the other options.

    5. Honda Accord Coupe (2013-2017):

    Well....[​IMG]

    Vehicles below should be considered less in the running:

    7. Chevy Camaro V6 6M - A lot more car than any other car here, but I'm not a huge fan of the interior and driving a V6 Camaro is frustratingly wrong. I hate that it feels wrong, but it does. Yeah, agreed.

    8. VW GTI - I've owned 2 GTis (long time ago). And I was actually considering getting another one (as a daily replacement for the Fit) in another 2 years. I'm a little unsure of VW reliability. But they do now have something like 6 years or 70K mile warranty.

    10. 2019+ Toyota Corolla Hatch - Seems cool....idk This is also in the running for a Fit replacement in 2 years. While the GTI may leave you feeling cold. If you drive it back to back I'm guessing you'll change your mind and start thinking clinical isn't so bad.

    Cars I'm not considering and why:

    2. 2017+ Civic Si - I despise how they look. Get over it. :D Seriously. I mean, yeah, I know, FWD and all, but I think of all the cars you listed, this is probably one of the best. It's fast, exciting, handles well, brakes well, has plenty of room, is dynamically excellent. And aside form some 2nd gear syncro issues, it seems to be pretty reliable. The car has REALLY impressive performance and if you can just get over the looks, I think it's really the winner.
     
  15. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    Were these early cars? I've actually done a fair amount of research on the reliability of the Abarths. Apart from the first 2 year models which had some turbo issues, I haven't come across a lot of issues. I've also known 2 owners and both of them loved their cars. :confused:
     
  16. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    25,722
    Location:
    United States
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2006-acura-rsx-3/

    Just sayin'

    Here's an active one:

    https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for...searchRadius=0&makeCode1=ACURA&modelCode1=RSX
     
  17. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
  18. motortrend

    motortrend

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I'd get the GTI. It's honestly one of the most fun cars I've driven. Stage 1+ 93 oct tune with DSG and you get wheelspin through first, pull the paddle into second and you get uninterrupted wheelspin until almost third gear. It never gets old. That said, I'd be weary about long term reliability if you plan to put a lot of miles into it.
     
    jjaisli likes this.
  19. jjaisli

    jjaisli Premium

    Messages:
    2,597
    Location:
    United States
    I really don't remember. One of them, from the Atlanta area, sold his car more than 2 years ago. Hmm, actually almost 3 years ago. And he had it for 2 years. So let's say it was a 2014 or earlier. He complained about a wide swath of unrelated issues: lumpy idle, creaking suspension, oil leaks, constant check engine light with unending diagnostics for a variety of codes, seats that constantly moved on the rails, as if they weren't properly secured, a radio that wouldn't change station or input device and would blast static like something from the 80s. There were other issues that I can't remember, but he was constantly going on about it. He did love the car, but he finally traded it in because he couldn't live with the constant issues--every other other week it was something else and he was constantly back the dealer, who instead of being embarrassed, treated him rather contemptuously, which only added to his poor experience. And the other sees mostly track use so it's probably a bit unfair to compare. So you're right, they may have finally nailed down all of the known issues.

    As I said, two cars is not much of a control group. My wife once had a Subaru Legacy Wagon and that car was the biggest lemon and the worst car either of us have ever owned. The car was a total nightmare and we got rid of it in less than two years (after buying it new) It was still under warranty but my wife just didn't want to drive it anymore. It was almost like the car was cursed. I fully accept that the car was lemon and not typical, but when people talk about Subaru reliability, I always shake my head thinking of my own painful experience. Sometimes components fail. And long before they should. But when multiple components fail, all before they should, and in some cases multiple times, you start to wonder. So any manufacturer can make a lemon. But far worse than the car itself was the shoddy way we were treated by 3 separate Subaru dealers here in the North East. It's one of the reasons I bought the FRS over the BRZ. I made up my mind back then, that as long as we lived in this area, I would never, EVER buy another Subaru and give those dealers any of my business. (It was really THAT bad).
     
  20. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    25,722
    Location:
    United States
    Aside from the RSX for a minute, shipping a car across the country costs about $1200. I've done it a few times with car purchases. They'll show up at a private party seller's house with a giant truck, load it, and a few days later show up at your place and unload. It does add frictional cost to the purchase, but sometimes it nets you much more of a discount in car price than the cost of shipping.
     
  21. Heldenzeit

    Heldenzeit

    Messages:
    4,607
    Location:
    United States
    996 has four seats. :cool:
     
    SVX likes this.
  22. SVX

    SVX Premium

    Messages:
    14,187
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can confirm, have sat in the back - if it wasn't for my longer leg stature, it would've been pretty good actually.
     
    Heldenzeit likes this.
  23. Bram Turismo

    Bram Turismo Premium

    Messages:
    10,677
    Location:
    Belgium
    I don't spot a BMW in that list. How about a 130i?
     
  24. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    While I really like the idea of the 130i (it's like a modern E30) I can't get over how they look. The 1M looked ok, but the rest of the line look just sad. The 2 series is an improvement, but they are more money than I want to spend.
     
  25. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    I remembered today that what I really want is a Nissan IDX. But since Nissan doesn't think we deserve that, I'm trying to find a substitute. Maybe Peugeot will bring their badass E-Legend to the states? Wish it had a gasser in it, but the design is just about perfect.
     
  26. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

    Messages:
    25,722
    Location:
    United States
    BTW I really adore the E36 M3 Sedan as a great buy right now and a great car all around. It's not the most amazing interior in the world, but it's a better car than the coupe, a rarer car than the coupe, and a more practical car than the coupe.

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1997-bmw-m3-77/

    Sold for $14k this year with 64k mi.
     
  27. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    I'm not sure I want to trade my old German sports car for an even older German sports car. My Boxster had only 41k miles when I bought it. Absolutely did not mean it was trouble free. I know E36s have a fairly solid reputation, but I've had a few friends that owned them and they weren't exactly perfect. More worryingly, none of them kept the car longer than 1-2 years as they got bored with them. I asked one of them about it a few years ago when I was actually looking into M3s...he said "only get an E36 M3 if you really, really want an E36 M3". As in, don't buy the car just because it matches some criteria, buy it because that is absolutely what you want. I think that's actually pretty solid advice.
     
    Heldenzeit likes this.
  28. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    In Porsche news, I finally got my new stereo installed after initially ordering the wrong wiring harness. Overall happy with how it looks...very OEM. However, the electrical issues persist. For some reason, the radio is turning on without the key even in the ignition. Ugh.

    [​IMG]

    Interesting quote from a member of the 986 forum:

    "I am on Engine #5. Once you get to your third replacement, you'll realize that M96 engines are standard wear items like brakes and tires. I'll buy engine #6 this winter so I have it on-hand and can swap it in quickly whenever #5 decides to fail."
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    Doog likes this.
  29. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    Called the Fiat dealership to see if they can find me an Olive Green Abarth. It's a really awesome looking color and I don't think I've seen one. The white one I drove has sold.

    After extensive searching, I still haven't found any evidence of major issues with these cars, they seem to be mechanically quite solid with forged internals and strong transmission. The recommended timing belt service is a kind of crazy 150k miles.
     
  30. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    6,228
    Location:
    Iran
    Anyone here ever owned a 350Z?

    I know it violates some criteria (no back seats at all, for one) but they have aged (in my opinion) very well, and the platform is solid. Cheap to, with most around me coming in less than 10k.