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The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,609
    I had a similar experience with the NSX. It was a GREAT handling car...I think anybody with a shred of competence could run it up to 160 mph with confidence.

    But you know, it sounded and felt like an Acura. It was, in a sense, too civilized for its own good. When I drove a similar year Ferrari, the engine noises vibrated through my whole body. I felt like I was attached to the camshaft---LOL!

    But in the NSX, I could have driven one handed with the stereo on and carried on a conversation at 130 mph.

    There simply was no magic in this othewise fabulous supercar. It would be like having a Superhero called "ACCOUNTANT MAN" .

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  • ajvdhajvdh Posts: 223
    Ah yes. I remember the first time I saw an NSX with the hood (or whatever you call the bit that covers the powerplant on a mid-engine car) open. I thought, "Hey, this looks like a Legend engine in a mirror." As opposed to Ferraris, where the mechanical bits look either race-car purposeful if they're old, or high-tech sexy if they're new.
  • madmanmoomadmanmoo Posts: 2,039
    Was in love with the new bodystyle. Drove a brand new one that a Ford salesman drove over to me. Hopped in, was underwhelmed by the interior. Drove it. Felt like the rear end wasn't aware that we might be going around corners once in awhile. That vehicle was a major let down for me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,609
    I had a similar experience. I remember thinking that the last generation Camaro handled better. You hit a rough patch on a turn and the Mustang liked to pogo-stick.

    But you know, for what you pay you can't expect world-class handling. That's not really fair.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,143
    Just a bit of a "time warp" thing for me. My older sister had long lusted after the Mustang of her dreams.....not a new one, mind you....but a '67 Fastback with a 390 big block. For a female (especially one in her 50s) you'd never consider her a "motorhead". But, there's always been something (someone?) in her past that made her lust after this particular car.

    Well, after years of searching she found one. Just as important, she found one that was meticulously restored.

    Calling her baby brother to give it a once over before she laid down the cash, I gave it a thorough inspection. Numbers matched. Researched the net. It had 3 owners (including the current one who did the restoration). As best as my untrained eye could tell, aside from the paint job (arrest me red) and some interior/exterior replacement trim pieces, it was original. I suspect at one point, the seats were reupholstered. But, even they were true to the original. Carpet and headliner were replacements.

    It would be an understatement to say the car is a "looker".

    Time to jump in and drive it. Not sure what I was expecting, but it was imminently clear from the get go how much automotive engineering has advanced in the last 40+ years.

    It makes great muscle sounds.

    Yes, it was a straight line. All that torque will break the tires with little provocation, too. You have to plan your stops.......well in advance. Hit the brakes.....and wait....and wait (scary wait). Or, mash them harder and lock every thing up. It didn't seem like there was any in-between.

    To get it to turn a corner, it was more of a fight with the car to set a line around the bend.

    I'm not stranger to muscle cars, and given a bit more time with it, would probably smooth out the way I was driving it. But, it would have taken more than the 30 minutes I had behind the wheel.

    She bought it. For the most part, she doesn't drive it all that much. And, in truth, is better at getting the beast to do her bidding than I am. Great for parades and homecomings, though. She does enjoy looking at it as it sits in her garage, though.

    moo/Mr Shiftright....I owned a recent example of a Mustang GT ('05). They are what they are. V8 in a coupe (or 'vert) with a solid rear axle. Nothing real sophisticated or exotic about them. For roughly $22K-$23K (with rebates), you can get a car with V8 rumble. 0-60 in a tick over 5 seconds. And arguably, it looks good. No fancy intereriors, though. As long as you understand that, they're a lot of fun for the money.

    Then again, I've always like Mustangs (just can't drive a 40 year old one very well).
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,773
    To me, the current Mustang is the ideal replacement for buying that '65-'72. I know it's not the same thing, but in every way it's better. My on-and-off interest in getting an old one always ends up "Sure, it'll be fun to look at and tinker with, but for the same money I can get a new GT that's fun, period." And they come in 'arrest me red'. :D
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    I know that color! I had always called it speeding ticket red....
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,609
    Also known as:

    Resale Red
    Mid-Life Crisis Red
    Steal Me Red

    Not sure why Red gets such a bad rap :shades:

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,143
    Seems to me that any car that has even a pretense of being sporty has to be either red, black, maybe bright blue (none of that robbin's egg blue, either).

    Another car that I had high expectations of (maybe too high) was driven a few years ago. This time, it was Lingenfelter Corvette. Without a doubt the very fastest car I've ever driven. But, the quality of the conversion seemed haphazard. This 'vette only had 20K something miles on it. Perhaps they were the hardest 20K miles anyone could have imagined. Maybe it was because this car was made and converted in the early 90s. Maybe Corvettes of that vintage really weren't made all that well.

    No matter. The car did what it was supposed to do. That is go fast....very, very fast. The mere fact that it also felt like every bolt holding it together felt loose may very well be a by-product of the conversion. Or, typical Corvette build quality of the time.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • rpfingstenrpfingsten Posts: 154
    My huge dissappointment took place back in the mid 90's. My wife and I stopped at a local Chrysler lot and test drove a "top of the line" Imperial. Interior was so plush I referred to it as the passion pit, car was ( to us ) stunning.. then came the test drive, the second that I pulled out of the parking lot, the rear view mirror literally fell from the windshield and was just hanging there from the electronic cord. Needless to say the salesmas was quite embarassed. I think that was the year I bought a caddy. Not sure, but I know it wasn't the Chrysler.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    OMG!!! Was it a really hot day by any chance? The adhesive that holds the mirror to the windshield might've melted allowing the mirror to let go. The look on the salesman's face must've been priceless.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I have always liked the look of the current generation Tiburon. The interior, while a bit tight, is well laid out for my tastes. Got the chance to drive one of the "hot rod" versions with the 6spd stick. What a disapointment. The car drove like a sedan. Nice ride, no drama, no nothing. The most 'average' car I have driven in a long time.
    My '05 Elantra GT had more personality.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 437
    My Subaru lust had had a couple years to grow, and when they came up with the Limited version of the WRX, I was quite keen to get one. But when I drove it, there just wasn't enough seat under my lower thighs, and it brought back memories of a Saturn with the same issue, which caused my booty to fall asleep on long trips! So no Rex for me. :/
  • wjtinatlwjtinatl Posts: 50
    Back in the mid-'80s, all the buzz was about the upcoming Isuzu Impulse, Italian styling, Lotus tuned chassis, blah, blah, blah. Thought it may be the logical replacement for my (also underwhelming) 280ZX. One finally appeared at the local Isuzu, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Nissan dealer (guess where he is today). Jeez... the 280ZX felt like a Ferrari 308 by comparison. It may have been noisy, but at least it was slow! Also, a dashboard only Bill Gates could love. No wonder Isuzu is no longer for this country!

    Additional disappointments from the era included the Chevy Beretta, Olds Quad 4, 3rd generation "Cross-Fire Injection" Z-28 and my dad's Cadillac Seville with the pathetic 4.1 litre V8. GM really was on a roll in the 80's. Thank god fuel injection and OBD II electronics came along, I'd still be looking for a nice '77 VW Scirocco again (rusty but fun)!
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    I bought an '88 Isuzu Impulse Turbo RS Special Edition with Lotus Handling, but that would go under "The Car Purchase That Shattered Your Dream."

    It wasn't a bad car, just not as good as I hoped. Combining that with dismal reliability did not make for a happy combination.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,609
    Well okay aside from dismal reliability and disappointing performance, what's not to like? :cry:

    The last new car I bought....I test drove for AN HOUR...I got a pretty good idea of what to expect and so I was not disappointed later on. Also it was a Toyota, so I just got in it and turned the key for the next couple of years.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,143
    No wonder Isuzu is no longer for this country!

    au contraire.......Isuzu is still alive in the U.S. Matter of fact, I see one of their dealers advertise in my local paper from time to time.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    CTS - the press made the original sound like a legit contender. I got my hands on a manual - which the salesman chided saying nobody drives manuals. What a sloppy, heavy, cheap feeling hunk of junk. Seriously, that car couldn't feel any less like the vehicle described by Edmunds, MT, R&T, Autoweek.

    G35 - 2nd gen. Heavy, bloated, muted steering, coarse engine at the upper rev range. The press made it sound like Infiniti G35 had gone from being 90% BMW to 95% BMW. Nope, it actually regressed. As did the e9x BMWs.

  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Yeah - I'd forgotten how bitterly I was disapointed with the CTS the first time I saw it. I was at Narita Airport in Tokyo, and they had one on a turntable rotating around to impress everyone. Well, maybe they impressed somebody but it sure wasn't me.

    Since turntable lifted the car about 3 feet, it made the CTS' fat and heavy buttocks very prominent. When the turntable rotated, the grill was also pretty sad too; it was made out of cheap gray Mattel plastic.

    Overall, my impression was that someone had taken a nice 1964 de Ville and done a caricature of it. The Chevron toy cars came to mind.

    Being an American travelling in a foreign country, I was a bit embarrassed for the home team. My thought was... !%$@%! - all that money invested and GM has blown it again. :mad:
  • wjtinatlwjtinatl Posts: 50
    You are correct sir... Isuzu still makes and sells a very high-quality line of diesel and gas medium duty trucks for the US market. I believe GM also rebrands these vehicles and sells them as Chevy and GMC products. However, Isuzu's consumer business is dead. Announced in January, they are no longer selling the re-badged TrailBlazer and Colorado pick-up. Seems like GM got the better of that deal, high-quality diesel engines and commercial vehicles. Isuzu got two of GM's most underwhelming vehicles that they sell at hefty discounts. Isuzu dealers must have been thrilled. The shame is, Isuzu is well known as a diesel expert, and played a significant role in developing the GM Duramax diesel. Why thay couldn't provide a nice 4 cylinder direct injection turbo diesel for the Malibu and perhaps Lambda crossovers is a mystery. A Malibu with solid performance that could get 40 mpg highway would have made the new Jetta diesel yesterday's news.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,582
    If you go to Isuzu's website, it looks like the rebadged Trailblazer and Colorado are eligible for the employee pricing discount, so there must be a few strays hiding somewhere.
  • Also it was a Toyota, so I just got in it and turned the key for the next couple of years.

    Well, that's one way to keep the miles off of it. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,609

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Actually, I know a couple people who killed Toyotas because they DID take that a bit too literally and turning the key was all they did! Well, that and driving it and putting gas in it. Little details like changing the oil or at least checking the oil level, replacing filters as necessary, etc, got overlooked.

    One of 'em was a mid-90's Corolla that blew up around 30,000 miles when it ran out of oil. The other was an early 90's Tercel that actually tolerated that abuse for about 60,000 before seizing up.
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