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Help Me Choose!



  • hull22hull22 Posts: 31
    I am 29yo and will be starting a new job this summer where I can afford to trade in my 2002 Camry for a more luxurious and sporty car. I don't drive too aggressively, maybe because I've never had a car with much HP or RWD(previous cars were an old Civic and 1999 Corolla LE), so the fastest 0-60 time isn't important. Never learned how to drive a stick either.
    So when I started looking, I focused on the TSX, G35, 325i and IS250. Important features I looked for were a good nav system and bluetooth interface. What can I say, I love gadgets even such things as BMW's Idrive. Ride quality is still somewhat important to me, given what I've become accustomed to. At the very least, I'd like for a long trip on the highway to be comfortable.
    Then, I started thinking maybe I should consider a convertible/roadster like the TT, Z4, S2000, and MX-5 because I haven't started a family yet and perhaps should take advantage of that fact while I can. But, this car will still be my only vehicle to drive. My price ceiling is 35K +TTL.
    Anybody with experience driving or testing these cars have any suggestions? Anything I haven't looked at or should drop from the list?
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    I don't drive too aggressively

    All the cars you're mentioning are at their best when DRIVEN kinda hard. The TSX has to almost redline to experience all its beauty, and the 35 and 325 like to be pushed. If you're just gonna putt putt around....stick with the Camry.

    If you want a nice package with great power & features, and at a great price, the Acura TL will more than satisfy you. And the 4 doors are nice when the little ones start to appear.
  • hull22hull22 Posts: 31
    I've looked at the TL. Seems just like a bigger TSX but with more quality issues. The 2007 Camry has caught my eye, but I'd really like to get something isn't perceived as a family car. I thought the 2002 Camry was a nice change, but then everyone started getting it.
    About driving aggressively, it's kinda hard to and not too wise when my daily commute is through downtown Boston. I floor it for a couple secs and i'm already way past the speed limit. I'll be moving somewhere warmer this summer, so I might have more opportunity to open things up.
  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    Has anyone compared these vehicles. My 22 year son is interested in one of these. Any thoughts?
  • So you love it!, but highlight for what that means in terms of real performance. e.g. Passing on a two lane road, with traffic comming the opposite way 1/4 mile down.
    passing and accelerating on a steep hill climb,
    some other situation where the DSG showed its significant value?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    You think.

  • "So you love it!, but highlight for what that means in terms of real performance. e.g. Passing on a two lane road, with traffic comming the opposite way 1/4 mile down."

    Okay. Totally awesome here. With a stick you have to hit the right gear and then usually do a shift in the middle of the pass. With a slushbox, you hit the gas, wait for it to downshift, possibly downshift too far and then it pauses again as it upshifts and results in unpredictable acceleration. With DSG you just floor it and it nearly instantly pops down to the right gear and makes perfect shifts from there. You actually have to make sure you are not too close to the car in front of you so you don't launch your car into theirs.

    "passing and accelerating on a steep hill climb"
    Pretty much same as above. A bit more so since the longer shift times of a stick or a slushbox hurt even more.

    "some other situation where the DSG showed its significant value?"
    Any sudden acceleration like the situations mentioned above are where it really shines. Do a test drive and cruise at around 40, then stomp the gas. You'll be amazed at how it downshifts, revs up, and takes off!. Faster than you can say "never follow". Plus, you've still got better gas mileage, if you can hold back on the gas pedal, which I find difficult. Also, you get the convenience of an automatic and the efficiency of a stick during normal driving. One last thing... The paddle shifters are just soooo cool!
    P.S. I've driven stick for almost 25 years and never wanted to drive anything else before I experienced the DSG.
  • P.S. I've driven stick for almost 25 years and never wanted to drive anything else before I experienced the DSG.

    Thanks for adding that last comment. Took care of my follow-up question.
  • I am finalizing the details of a 3 yr. lease on a 325i and am looking for some feedback from those of you who may be familiar with Active Steering.

    Is it worth the $$$. Send me a mail if you have any input please. :)

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You should be able to find feedback on active steering in the ongoing discussion at this link: BMW 3-Series 2006+. You can try using the Search This Discussion feature to track down what's been previously posted and you can ask any other questions about features of the vehicle right there.

    I need to mention to you, though, that we'd like the conversations to take place right here on the boards rather than by email. That way the exchange is useful to all of our members, both present and future.

    Good luck!
  • mummermummer Posts: 1
    Well, I'm not the person purchasing the car, but I'm helping my father make the decision on a new sedan. His 99 Intrepid has been becoming increasingly troublesome, and it's becoming prohibitively expensive to keep it, especially considering it's trade-in value.

    Okay, second of all, I don't know all that much about cars. I figured this would be a great place to hear what people who know what they're talking about have to say about this.

    He's looking for a pre-owned vehical, not too expensive. (Aprox. 20k is his limit.) The main consideration for the decision is long-term reliability and safety. He has to make relatively regular trips between Southern Virginia and Southern North Carolina, a journey of about 700 miles. This car will be getting A LOT of miles, relatively quickly. This is also a stretch of road that can be very busy, and the likelyhood for accidents seems fairly high. So, safety and reliability are the two primary concerns, to the exclusion of nearly all others (Besides price.).

    So far, we've been looking at pretty much any of the Toyota sedans, which look to be extremely reliable and relatively safe. However, he's also been considering a Volvo. Now, I know Volvo's have a reputation for being very safe and reliable, but I have heard that in recent years they have been doing very little to justify that reputation, and they are very expensive. I'm thinking if he pays the high cost of a Volvo, he'll be paying for the name and the import costs and not excellent reliability and safety.

    The Mitsubishi Galant also seems to be both reliable and safe, but I'm really not positive.

    If anybody has any suggestions based on this, that would be wonderful. Any help would be appreciated!
  • Ok, this Malibu Maxx driver, who likes the Maxx but is worried his first year build model is gonna offer real trouble, is considering the following:

    1. Malibu Maxx SS ('06 model)
    2. Audi A3 3.2T QUATTRO
    3. Toyota RAV4 ('06 model)

    My biggest concern is overall reliability and dealer backing.

    The Audi has advantage of AWD and a nice interior but costs way more than the other two, and I really don't know if it will be reliable (Audi, and especially its parent BMW, do poorly on that) or if its resale will hold up.

    The Maxx SS, has a more advanced engine than my LS, is a known quanity and should have its 1st year gremlins out by now, but I hear the ride is like lead and am not 100% sure the VVT engine reliability (how are other GM engines with VVT holding up?).

    Perhaps the Toyota is the safest choice given their track record. But this years RAV4 is an all new design.

    Comments? All of them will get me where I need to go.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    So you compare sporty hatchback with AWD, crossover aka high wagon and domestic sedan.
    I have no clue what you want.


    PS Audi A3 compares to Mazdaspeed6, Legacy GT, BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Acura TSX maybe (no AWD).

    RAV4 with Honda CR-V, Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, Kia Sportage, Toyota Highlander, Chevy Equinox.

    No clue about Maxx but suspect family sedans like Accord, Camry, Altima, Legacy (there is wagon), Mazda 6 (wagon and hatchback).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,266
    I think the common thread between the cars... is that they are all four-door wagons....

    Wagon buyers have a tough time of it...

    Why not a Subaru Legacy GT?


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Maybe the Help Me Select a Wagon discussion would be more helpful in this particular instance.
  • The RAV4, Maxx and A3 all have rear hatches, which is why I compared them.
    The A3 link "Help Me Choose" brought me here. Just noticed this forum is for sedans. A3 isn't a sedan, however.

    I'll chk out other forum..thanks!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Right, the A3 isn't a sedan - someone was comparing it to some sedans a while back, that's how it got there.

    You can also stick around here - maybe we can help you in both places. ;)

    In any case, best of luck and let us know how it goes.
  • I'm considering the volvo s40 T5 (can't decide if I need the AWD or not) and other competitors to it... like maybe the Saab 9-3 2.0T, possibly the Passat (maybe no AWD to go cheaper?), Audi A4 (maaaybe.. probably more expensive well equipped), maybe the subaru Legacy. I'd like to stay near (or under) the $30-32k mark, leather (or a good synthetic? don't like cloth) would be nice, can't decide if I want the AWD, Auto w/ manual mode (I'd like to hear if anyone has experience with the difference in the "manual" mode for these vehicles?), fun to drive.
    I read about people having problems with the s40 so I'm a little concerned with quality there, but then again, shouldn't the Volvo be one of the best?
    My family has had lots of problems with VW so I'm very leery there too. We just bought a Tribute and love it, but I'm not sure the Mazda 6 has the same interior luxury/build quality of the Volvo?
    I'm also concerned the s40 may be a little small in the back (even though I like small) since it's built on the same platform as the Mazda 3.

    It'll be a while before I buy, so I could be looking at '07s if there are rumors of any big changes for these vehicles.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    Well as an Audi A6 2.7T driver who does not want to spend too much when my lease ends this year, I have driven the RAV4 2006 Sport and it is very nice. No luxury, very basic, fairly quiet, lots of room and handling was impresive for a "truck". Waiting to try the V6. I have no Toyota experience but resale prices are very hight it seems and everyone says reliability is good. Extended warranty for 7yrs/100,000 is about $1050 list which is about 1/3 the cost of one for Audi.
    Price for the 4cyl Sport with lots of stuff but no leather is around $25K
    But I will miss the Audi, the perfect car.
  • Looking for
    1) 4 door compact sedan
    2) safe/economical/ environmentally-friendly
    3) Honda civic? Toyota Corolla? VW Jetta?
    4) New or used? (Keep in mind, I am a first-time driver, with NO CREDIT)
    5) What trim level? I don't need anything fancy...
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    Look at a Mazda3. They're very highly rated, economical and reasonably priced. One thing to be careful about, however, is that some models do not have standard side airbags (an absolute must).
  • OK...need some opinions:
    Volvo S40 2.4i fwd or the Subaru Imprezza 2.5 awd Limited sedan.
    Both will be automatics.
    Both new 06's.
    Sticker prices are within $100 of each other.
    The subie's insurance might be a deciding factor (runs higher).
  • Prosa gives good advice. I just want to comment that I don't think the new Jetta qualifies as "compact," so if that's a priority, you'll need to go with a used one.
  • Long story short- my '96 Honda civic was stolen about a month ago so I'm being forced to buy a car. While I've been wrestling with new vs. used (based on money and relability), more importantly, I've been wrestling between a volvo s40 and a jetta (not the new body style so I guess 2005 or earlier.)I'm in my mid-20's so I would really like this car to last me atleast 8-10 years. All of my friends suggest the Jetta but I really like the look of the s40. Does anyone have experience with either or both?
  • I test-drove the T5 version fo the S40 and it was fine. Good acceleration on the T5 model. My bro-in-law has the older Jetta - it's got a really luxurious interior.

    Here's a link to Edmunds' "long-term S40 test"

    If it were up to me, I'd look at the acceleration times, and if they're similar, then I'd go with the Jetta. ANother Jetta bonus is that its trunk is shaped better than the S40's - I don't care what they measure the cubic storage space as being, you can fit more in th Jetta's trunk than in the S40's.
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    Hi! I'd love to help you! OK, so you want safety, reliability, good car at about $20,000. Volvo is safe, but not reliable. I have a friend who owned many volvo's, they all weren't reliable. Read CONSUMER REPORTS if you want proof on that. Volvo is Ford. Mitsubishi, is never praised for making great cars. Quality is average for Mitsubishi.

    The best cars are Honda's and Toyota's. I've owned Toyota's all my life, they never, ever break. The best thing would be to actually BUY a current camry. There is a new Camry coming out in a few months, so you will get a cheap price for the one out now. You can get a good new car for 24,000. The camry might be around 21-24, depending on features. The Honda accord is also something to consider - reliable, safe, affordable. Again, for two or three thousand dollars more you get a new car.

    I hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions, I will gladly reply. Also, please narrow down to specifically what type of size car you want if you would like more information, and my opinion. (Avalon - large, Accord - Midsize)
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    My suggestion - Honda Civic, or the upcoming Honda Fit. Trims level you have to research on your own. I don't know what your budget is, and you are the best to decide. Manufacturer websites will give you that information. Honda's are very safe - they have STANDARD front, side, and SIDE CURTAIN airbags.

    Civic - about $14,000 - $18,000
    Upcoming Fit coming in April - about $12,000 - $14,000 (Smaller than the Civic)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    If the #1 characteristic you want this car to have is "reliability" forget any European car.

    If you can spring for a new car with a new car warranty from somewhere other than Europe (and frankly probably the US, too), all the positive buzz in terms of your personal risk seems to suggest a certain car manufacturer originally making all their cars in Korea, now making some in the US, but all offering a 100,000 mile or 10 year warranty.

    You probably figured: Hyundai is the company to mitigate risk ($$$$) -- moreover, they are often available for really surprising money, even brand new.

    One of the guys I work with had a 2004 "baby Jaguar" looking Hyundai, V6, sunroof, nice sound system decent interior -- the car rode great, decent back seat and with the V6 engine was pretty peppy.

    I'd say it was a bit bigger than an Audi A4 and, like I said didn't seem to be cheap, but he got it for around $17K "nicely equipped" as the saying goes.

    I drove the S40 T5 AWD -- and I thought it was a very nice "discount" Audi S4.

    There are quite a few Subarus that might do also, but the price point may be less attractive than a brand new 2006 Hyundai.

    Hope this provides some food for thought.

    Were I you, I would research this here and elsewhere on the Internet and then I would go drive some cars.

    Note: difficult or awkward as it may be, test drive your short list more than once and if you test drive car "A" on a specific mixed route (of secondary streets, primary and secondary roads and Interstates), make certain you test drive the other cars on the SAME circuit.

    If you drive car A on Rt 32 and car B on Rt 119, one of these cars will be at a disadvantage for this, that and the other reason.

    I took a test drive with a salesperson with me (something I rarely do) and let her tell me which route to follow -- and sure enough if she didn't direct me on the route that had "perfect" road surfaces and ideally banked corners and curves and was as smooth as glass yielding the quiet-est ride. Now that was a revealing test drive! :P

    Test your Volvo, VW and yes your Hyundai over the same, exact same route -- very revealing.

    Also, if you, as I do, test the sound system, I bring my own CD and always use the same one in each test drive.

    On the other hand, if you would never consider a Hyundai, don't waste your or the salesperson's time. If you must have a European car despite the comments here about reliability, etc, forget Honda and Toyota too.

    If you're feeling particularly rich, test the new "high zoot" Hyundai Azera -- I saw it at the Auto Show and it is pretty impressive for $27K nicely equipped.

    Just some thoughts. Keep us posted.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Subaru just raised their incentive to 2,000 for their X foresters. YOu can get one for right at 20K. I like mine...
  • growler5growler5 Posts: 67
    Consumer Reports just announced their Top Ten for '06. Details here at CR top ten

    2 Subies, 2 Toyotas, 5 Hondas, 1 Nissan. No domestics, though the Hondas have a strong US flavor.
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