Help Me Plan My Car Life (new car search @post 290)

Discussion in 'Cars in General' started by Danoff, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Current Relevant Topic Starts Here: https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/thre...-search-post-290.129881/page-10#post-12903023

    Original Topic Below

    I should preface this with the fact that I'm at least 6 months away from purchasing my next car, and up to 5 years from taking the plunge on something extreme. So there is no instant gratification to be found here.

    I'm currently driving a 4 cylinder 2001 Honda Accord LX with 140k mi back and forth to work. Not long ago we upgraded the wife to an AWD 2008 FX35. So that's the starting place.

    Here's what I want to drive:

    [​IMG]

    ...but I want a DSG transmission, which Nissan doesn't put in that car and as far as I know has no plans to put in that car.

    Now, I have a pretty simple commute to work. It's a lot of traffic lights and is very boring. At the end of my commute I park outside in the California sun near some trees that leave really annoying residue on my car.

    There is no chance that I'll be parking my commuting vehicle inside in the foreseeable future, and it is unlikely that my commute will change anytime soon.

    If I want a DSG in a decent sports car, I think I basically have to get a Cayman. That's a bit of a stretch for me financially. I don't want to shell out tons of a cash on a car that I'm going to grind out worthless miles on and leave in the sun. So buying a Cayman and driving it back and forth to work is out of the question. I won't waste money on that.

    So I'm left with 3 options:

    - Buy a boring commuter and live without my sports car
    - Buy a DSG non-sports car (like an A4).
    - Buy two cars, one cheaper car to commute with and one to use when I can make the miles count.

    Option one is basically out. Option 2 I think is more expensive and less desireable than Option 3. I haven't crunched the numbers yet but I think that I might be able to save a good deal of money by driving the dedicated sports car less frequently (thereby buying fewer expensive cars) and putting the worthless miles on a car that doesn't cost as much.

    This lead me to the conclusion that I wanted a used TSX to drive back and forth to work (basically a nicer, more powerful version of what I have now), and a DSG Cayman to drive on the weekends.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cayman would basically be a loooong term purchase (~20 years), while the TSX would be something I would replace with other used functional vehicles as it got chewed up getting me back and forth to work. I figure this saves me on insurance (low mileage on sports car), transactions (chewing up commuters costs less than chewing up sports cars), and maintenance (fewer maint. milestones on the car that has the most aggressive/expensive maintenance schedule). Again, I haven't crunched the numbers on that, but I think there's a good chance I come out ahead on the 2-car scenario rather than simply driving the sports car everywhere. The hope is that that savings enables me to get the more expensive car I really want.

    So here's the summary:

    One-Car Scenario

    Needs to do everything. Accelerate, handle, and have the DSG trans. Reliability is a concern.

    - DSG A4
    - DSG TTS
    - DSG Cayman

    Two-Car Scenario

    *Commuter*

    The commuter needs to be reliable and cheap to be cost effective. I'd want to be able to own it for a long time, put lots of miles on it, low maintenance, etc. It would be nice if it retained value well. I need something with ~200hp because I need to be able to pass on the freeway at 80 mph. Good fuel economy goes farther toward making it cost-effective.

    - TSX
    - 330i
    - G35

    *Sports Car*

    Just fun. Cheap as possible while offering a DSG with an engine and chassis that I won't get sick of after 20 years.

    - Cayman
    - TTS
    - SLK AMG
    - NSX

    Now, you might have noticed that I slipped the NSX into that list and that it doesn't have a DSG. That's because somewhere in the back of my mind I can't get over the notion of sacrificing my one-single requirement (the DSG) for a car that could appreciate a lot over the next 20 years. I know a guy who has 30+ cars and has made over a million dollars owning them who is strongly urging me to pick up an NSX.

    So what are your thoughts? I expect some of you to think that I'm an idiot for considering getting a sports car that I won't drive every day - go ahead and state your case. Have some experience with multiple cars? Tell me I'm a nutcase for thinking it could save me money. Am I crazy for thinking I could find a car that I'd love for 20 years? Feel free to suggest options on any of the above.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  2. Tornado

    Tornado

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    No. My father's Neon probably would have been such a car for him. It is just a matter of finding the correct car.
    With that said, what I would do in your situation would be to actually take a 4th option and get a GTi with a DSG and an NSX.



    As a side note, while I may be missing something, I'm pretty sure the transmission in the SLK AMG is actually a straight up slushbox, not a DSG.
     
  3. ROAD_DOGG33J

    ROAD_DOGG33J Premium

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    Why the DSG?
     
  4. astrosdude91

    astrosdude91

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    An NSX would be pretty cool to have. And the earlier ones are fairly cheap too! Also, have you considered maybe a Subaru STi of Mitsu Evo? Those have DSG's I believe. I think even the base model Lancer has paddle shifters. But out of those two rally cars, I would go with the Scooby, since Mitsubishi isn't exactly the most reliable brand (they're actually near the bottom in terms of reliability).
     
  5. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Because I've driven an example and loved it. It's the best of all worlds transmission-wise. You get full control of super quick gear changes (faster than you can do by hand) while not having to negotiate the clutch.

    I've heard bad things about reliability with VW. But if I were going to go the VW route, I think the GLI would be ahead of the GTi.
     
  6. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Audi's aren't that much better in that respect, though. Not the lower-level models, at least.
     
  7. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I suspect you can't go too wrong with the Cayman. It'd certainly last 20 years given general Porsche built quality, and I've no doubt it'd continue to be entertaining and useable too.

    As for the daily, I'd be tempted to go down the BMW route, but if it's "expendable" to a degree anyway the daily doesn't matter as much as your 20-year toy.
     
  8. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    There are several questions here.

    - Whether I can find a car that does everything (I suspect not).
    - Whether I should drive the sports car everywhere (I suspect not)
    - If I get two cars, what kind of commuter makes the most sense
    - If I get two cars, do I get what I really want to drive? or do I get an NSX and view it as an investment.
     
  9. hemisport15

    hemisport15

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    Have you put any thought into an E46 BMW M3?
     
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  10. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    For which car? The commuter? I assume it's too expensive and not reliable enough. For the sports car I assume it can't be found with an SMG in the states.
     
  11. Tornado

    Tornado

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    E46s did come with an SMG. Let that be all that we speak of it.

    Strictly speaking, the NSX (and probably the Cayman too) would fit the first bullet point perfectly fine. The only question would then be if you would choose to follow the second.


    I'm not sure what you mean by "investment."
     
  12. hemisport15

    hemisport15

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    Either or I guess. I'm too sure how reliable they are, I'm not sure what problems they could have since the engine is pretty much bullet proof. And it can be bought with a DSG transmission which is basically the same i think, i don't know much about them but i figured it is basically the same deal. I posted a video review of one in my previous post.
     
  13. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Over the next 20 years, there's a decent chance the NSX will appreciate substantially. So it might be worth a lot of money. It would change the way I'd own the car - basically I'd get less enjoyment out of it but possibly a financial return.

    My understanding is that the SMG is almost impossible to find in the states and is not the most rewarding driving experience when compared to the DSGs on the market. Perhaps I'm mistaken....
     
  14. Eric.

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    I'd definitely go with the NSX route. However, I'd ignore it as a financial asset and enjoy it for what it is.

    Even better, get a first gen for a daily, and a second gen for the "sports car" and financial asset! :lol:
     
  15. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Ignoring my love for the DSG I suppose.
     
  16. Eric.

    Eric. Premium

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    You haven't driven an NSX yet have you?
     
  17. McLaren

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    But, but, it's not as fun![/sarcasm]
    :p

    It is, but let me to tell you from my personal experience. It's hard as hell, very hard, & I'm betting you want a Coupe, too.

    The issue with E46 M3s is this. If you find a coupe, it's most likely a 6-speed & probably high on miles. If it's got the SMG transmission. it's probably a conv. I've been looking for one for so long now that I have resorted to just including a 6-speed in my search.

    As for the NSX, they do have automatics, but god forbid, you'll find anyone on this site telling you to buy one besides me if it's got a good price going for it.

    On the Cayman note, good choice & I'd recommend a used one if you're honestly considering a 10+ year deal just for a new one (I'm probably misunderstanding what you mean). Couple months back, found one for under $40,000 & stupid low miles & only a year or 2 old. Got snatched up fast thanks to being a CPO.
     
  18. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    I've actually driven almost none of these cars. The Cayman, TTS, and NSX are foreign to me. I've never even been in a Porsche.

    I don't think I could bring myself to do an automatic NSX. I assumed they weren't made. No I think that has to be a manual if it's going to appreciate in value. I was thinking automatic for the commuter though.

    Yea I was planning on lightly used. I actually wasn't thinking about brand spanking new for any of these cars - despite the fact that the cayman that I'd want requires paddles, which means waiting a few years for it to be found used.
     
  19. McLaren

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    I honestly do not blame you.

    Ah, I see. Yes, it's hard finding the used car you want with exactly the options you want, matched with a good price & mileage. I'm spoiled & would like a '03+ M3 Coupe with 50,000-/+ miles, SMG, Navi, & 19" wheel option. Impossible in a town where even there's not even a listed E39 M5 for sale within 100 miles of DFW. :grumpy:


    This is a great thread, though. Very close to what I would like to do for my next cars.
     
  20. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    Thought about keeping the Accord for the daily grind, getting basic insurance on it, and then getting something sporty fun for road trips or whatever? I can tell you with certainty that any sporty car not fuel mileage-forward gets really old really quick on the daily grind. Whatever happened to your RSX? My Si experience tells me that car was a pretty darn good compromise between daily and sporty.

    I agree that two cars is the ideal situation. One for this, one for that. I'd drive a beater Corolla every day if i could garage the Rex and afford to fix it up a bit for fun, but I can't. If you can I'd suggest keeping the car you have now unless it's got some terminal problem, and getting a reasonable and cost effective sports car on the side. You may want to forego a DSG unless you want to keep your fancy German sports car/weenie hatchback in the service shop every other weekend. When people make fun of Volkswagens for reliability they're doing it for a good reason.

    I'd suggest a new Miata, first and foremost...

    [​IMG]

    But they're slow, and you might not like getting beat by your wife's minivan. I'd suggest a slightly used GTO...

    [​IMG]

    ...but your wife has an Infiniti minivan and therefore you know what sort of design quality you want. Still though, 400 horses, a big trunk, and 25+ highway mpg makes a good roadtrip car, and they're popularly daily driven around here. But you don't want a stick. That generally limits your selection to fancy European cars with positively ridiculous regular maintenance costs, and that's just besides the time taken out of your schedule when the navi goes on the fritz or the computer cuts engine power for no good reason.

    Also, the NSX is a terrible idea. If you even half like driving it's a terrible investment simply because you won't want to drive anything else. In order for a car to appreciate you'd be hard pressed to enjoy it at all. The thing isn't a sculpture, it's a driving machine, just like an M3 or a 911 or an old Supra. Yeah, they appreciate, but not when it's making 800 horsepower and doing 40-rolls. NSX = excellent car for a wealthy driving enthusiast, but a terrible investment for him too. No offence, but it may be perfect for you now that I think about it.

    [​IMG]

    That car has done nothing but lose value to the kind of weirdos who attend auctions. He put BBSs that cost a month of SoCal paychecks, a Type R spoiler, and Recaro buckets in it for heaven's sake, not because he wants to sell it to some wrinkly old Honda collector, but because he wants to drive it. It's just too good of a car to sit on it while it gets old. Know what I mean?

    The perfect sports car on the market right now is a 370Z I feel.

    [​IMG]

    err...

    [​IMG]

    It's new, it looks cool, it's got two seats and two doors, it's powerful, it's fun, relatively reliable and inexpensive, and gets decent gas mileage to boot. It's a hatchback so you can fit stuff in it. But it's a stick, which means if you want a sports car you should get it and if you want an automatic you should get a Crown Victoria. Maybe you can get a special end-of-production edition.

    Crappy old Accord + shiny new 370Z = happy, reliable, financially sound Danoff.

    And then you get one of these...

     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  21. McLaren

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    Supras are hardly an investment of any kind, anymore. All the turds with one thinks his is something special & adds another $5K onto his asking price because it's a Supra, esp. Mk. IV owners.
     
  22. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    People jack the price up because young money wants to buy it and go drag racing. They would be a mildly appreciable if it weren't that every example was turned into a fire breathing dragon. One day they'll be on the concourse sitting next to pristine FDs, 3000GTs, 300ZXs and NSXs. Maybe an XYZ123.

    I guess for Danoff to decide between enjoying an NSX and investing in an NSX he has to decide if he's a cool dude or if he's a geezer.
     
  23. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

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    Get a Mustang GT or 370z for your sports car and get a new Sonata for your commuter. That turbo coming out in the fall has 274hp and 34mpg. :)
     
  24. astrosdude91

    astrosdude91

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about the 2011 Mustang GT. Very good car!
     
  25. McLaren

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    Young money is the group over pricing them. The high horsepower ones are worth the cost usually b/c most of those guys take a hit on the car anyways with all the cash they've invested to get 800whp & up. Then again, most of them never sell theirs anyways.

    It's the guys with N/As, or lightly modded Turbos who think they can ask for just as much because of the Supra name, too. I saw a N/A guy try to ask for $20K a couple weeks back because he had an exhaust, intake, & small tune, but was automatic & had exterior mods.
     
  26. Azuremen

    Azuremen Premium

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    I must suggest the NSX. It is a car that I can only see going up in value over time, being one of the most iconic modern sports cars to come out of Japan, while being originally available in the US.

    It is reliable, unique, and even the first generation models are quite eye catching.

    As for owning multiple cars, I've some experience. And it is nice to have a fun sports car for weekends, because it can be as impractical as possible because you will have something more on the sane side to daily. And it means you won't have to debate on tires if you decide to track a car, or how to get people around, buy stuff, etc.
     
  27. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    I'll reiterate my point with the NSX. It's equally as good at making money as it is being a good driver's car. But can it do both at the same time? You made a thread about buying a sports car, not one about investing for the future. What's more important to you?

    Also, Omnis hit it with the Mustang and 370. Both are at the top of their respective games, but the games are indeed different. It's a personality choice.
     
  28. Eric.

    Eric. Premium

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    I'm not so keen on the 370Z. One guy blew his motor autocrossing it a few weekends ago.
     
  29. YSSMAN

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    Well, its an interesting question at the least. One thing I would have to point out is that, while an automatic clutch gearbox is becoming "the next big thing," there have been a lot of drastic improvements made with automatic transmissions that make them nearly as fast, and presumably more reliable. Mercedes, Jaguar, General Motors and ZF have all created some pretty substantial gearboxes in the last few years, so I wouldn't write them off entirely.


    Single Car:
    - Cadillac CTS-V Wagon: The automatic is said to be the better gearbox here. It'll carry all of your stuff, the kids, haul ass, and find some magical way to be comfortable at the same time. The blown small block and gearbox should be solid for an eternity.
    - Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback: It does 90% of what the Evolution X does performance wise, is a bit cheaper, and fits your stuff in the back. The SST gearbox is supposed to be pretty good, I think. Not sure about reliability though...
    - Buick Regal GS: "It's happening," was the last I heard. Think TSX-sized car, all wheel drive, 260 BHP turbo, Magnaride suspension. It should split the performance of the A4 and S4 nicely. Should be about the price of an A4 2.0T as well.


    Dual Car:
    *Commuter Class*
    - Ford Fusion: It's the best mid-size car in America for a reason. Just about the perfect size, offers up a pretty good mix of performance and practicality, and you really can't go wrong with either engine option. They're holding up in value, and based on current crops of cars, they're very reliable. Plus, SYNC... They have it.
    - Nissan Maxima: At least in my case, it's taken a while to warm up to the new car. But, now that I've wrapped my head around the styling, I can get behind the rest of it. It manages to keep things civilized, with occasional bouts of interestingness. Although, I think they only offer the car with a CVT now. I'm not a huge fan of that.
    - MKV Volkswagen Jetta TDI: The MKVI model goes back to a torsion beam rear end, and that's dumb. Spring for a newer TDI, better yet a TDI Cup Edition, and you're in for a surprise. The size is actually pretty good, fuel economy is in the high 30 MPG range on average, and the TDI engine is solid as a rock. You can get it with a DSG gearbox as well. Bonus.

    *Sports Class*
    - 2011 Ford Mustang GT: The 5.0L is back, and it's arguably the best sports car money can buy right now. Option up to the BOSS package, and you've got a ringer. The look, sound, and style will never grow old. Reliability should be solid as a rock.
    - C6 Chevrolet Corvette: We're in the twilight years of the model generation, but it keeps getting better. You're not going to find anything that outlasts a GM small block or their excellent automatic gearbox, and these things take forever to depreciate. You'd have to own a Corvette, though.
    - Porsche 911 Carerra 997: I'd have it over the Cayman S in a heartbeat. But I'm a 911 (and Corvette) kind of guy. Long-term, my guess is that it would fare a bit better, but it's likely a draw. Plus, you could always go for an older and waaaay better 930 or 993, since you're dabbling with the idea of an NSX anyway.
    - Jaguar XK: The looks have yet to fade for me, both generations of the car, actually. It may not be as "collectible" as a 911 or a NSX, but as something that I would have to live with for some time, I think it would be a wise decision. For some reason I prefer the convertible to the coupe at the moment, but it's generally a draw otherwise.


    If I were going singles, I'd opt for the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon. The performance and practicality of the car is really hard to ignore, and I'd say its the best looking of all the CTS models. Say what you will of GM, this car is a masterpiece, a shame that more of their cars don't hit the nail on the head like this one does.

    If we're doing doubles, I'd probably go for the Ford Fusion SES I4 and the Chevrolet Corvette GS. The Fusion is a champion, an unsung hero in the segment. The Mazda powerplant should be solid as a rock, the fuel economy isn't half bad, and it's a solid value in the segment. Choosing the Corvette is tough, even as a Corvette guy. The Jaguar pulls on my heartstrings, the Porsche seems like the most logical long-term choice, and the Mustang has the "gotta have it!" factor for me. But, the Corvette would likely be the most-reliable, would probably hold its value just as well as the 911, and offers a performance style that will never actually go out of style.

    The good news is that you've got a lot of options. The bad news is that you've probably got too many options. Good luck!


    * PS: Second dual car choice would be the MKV Jetta TDI Cup Edition and the Ford Mustang GT. Actually, that might make a lot more sense...
     
  30. JCE

    JCE

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    I'd definitely go with an NSX primarily because they are still available low mileage and they have depreciated to the point of almost being affordable. However, living with one on a daily basis would get old. So on your list Option 3 is the best route to take, buy the NSX and another commuter. For the cheap daily commuter you can get a 2004-2005 Nissan Maxima SE, great reliable fast saloon car with plenty of space. And the bonus is they are relatively inexpensive used. For what a TSX costs the you can get a faster car with more space for people and luggage. I really like the first gen TSX, but it cannot really compete with the Maxima on most categories except on gas mileage. lol

    Otherwise just buy the NSX and keep it for 30 years.

    *edit*
    +1 on the Ford Fusion Brad mentioned as well.