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- Mini Cooper S; parts of other cars
The luring of jobs into a state by granting tax benefits has never yielded all that large an increase in jobs--perhaps a 1 to 2% gain. It seems, on paper at least, that this arrangement benefits the corporations more than the general population of the state.
One way to get people to vote for things they might normally shun, and even in some cases, to vote against their own best interests, is to dangle the idea of job security or, conversely, the threat of job loss. The unions used this carrot/stick to gain power, and now some states are using it for a political harvest.
Tough call. It sounds like this is internal damage, and I'm not sure I'd risk a rebuild by some shop---it might be wiser to install a Volvo remanufactured unit, which won't be cheap. So in one sense the car is pretty much "totaled" by this expense (approximately it will cost the value of the car), but on the other hand, what equivalent can you buy for $5,000?
So "on paper" it makes no sense to fix it, but if it's an otherwise very clean, trouble-free car with no other major cosmetic or mechanical issues, it might make sense to have it repaired.
However, if there are other dubious components on the car, and if its cosmetically a bit shabby, I don't think I'd do it---you can buy these cars used and you might find a clean low mileage one.
The TDI is TurbochargedDirectInjection and is a diesel engine; the TSI is TurbochargedStratifiedInjection and represents VW's latest gasoline engine technology.
Traditionally, the TDI offers better fuel economy and probably a longer overall engine life; however, reports coming in on the TSI fuel economy suggest that maybe the TDI is not worth the extra $2,500 or so bucks you pay for it or for the diesel fuel to run it.
Driving characteristics are also different between TDI and TSI. Diesel engines have more torque, and thus low-end power is very good, for darting around town, up hills, etc. And they are decent highway cruisers---but diesels don't like to rev up like gas engines. You hit a certain RPM and they begin to lose efficiency. They simply don't respond well to being driven like a high-strung sports car. For many people, that's fine. They like that low-end responsiveness and could car less about hi-revving engines.
The TSI offers as much power as the former 2.5 liter engine it replaces, and it should be a lot of fun as well.
There's no clear winner here--you should drive both and decide how they feel to you.
I would say that if you've driven this car 200K miles and never felt to need for a computer to intervene in keeping it on the road for you, that you don't need it. Sure, ESC might be nice to have in certain situations, but there are many variables to why a car becomes "unstable", and contrary to what anyone tells you, an ESC system cannot defy the laws of physics. A very careless driver, or a very nasty unavoidable situation, cannot be automatically corrected by ESC as if by magic.
ESC could help you avoid an accident, but it certainly isn't even close to guaranteeing it.
Same with convertibles---it's not easy to flip a car over, but it can happen. If this really bothers you, you can install a roll bar for not a great deal of money---certainly less than a new convertible!
to be as safe as you can---drive safely, use only the best tires you can afford, make sure the brakes are top-notch and up to spec, and simply avoid taking the car out in adverse weather conditions if you can. Nothing prevents accidents better than staying home! :)
I'm not so sure that the history of the automobile industry supports that method of doing business. The reason the Japanese gained such an enormous and rapid hold on market share in the USA was that they "did their homework" before introducing new models. Sure, now and then they had some glitches (Mazda rotary, for instance, the crude early Subarus, etc) but by and large people bought these cars with a certain confidence.
If early adapters like mercedesfan are discouraged from a repeat performance, who is left in this slim niche market?