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Help me choose a used convertible "toy" car

cobra617cobra617 Posts: 3
edited May 2016 in General
Hey folks,
I am looking to find a car to play with and looking for some thoughts from others.

My requirements might be tight but here is what I want to find:
- Convertible (a must)
- Reliable (a must)
- Fast (a must)
- Manual (nice to have, but would consider auto)
- < $20,000
- 4 seats

What I have been looking at are:
- Mid 2000's BMW M3 (reliability is iffy)
- Late 2000's/early 2010's BMW 135 (again with the iffy BMW reliability)
- Late 2000's BMW 335 (sigh....)
- Infiniti G37 (not as fast as the others, and pricier than I'd like)
- 2010+ Lexus IS350 (Pricey, no manual, not as fast)


My daily driver is a 2006 Forester XT 5sp modified to about 400HP (325WHP). That car is a blast to drive, but I want a convertible for when I go to the beach (which is often....as in every weekend often).

The 335/135 is tempting because with an aftermarket computer mod, you can add lots of power. But BMWs not so great reliability history is scaring me off.

Thanks

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Mercedes CLK 320?
  • cobra617cobra617 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response, but for my tastes the CLK320 is far too slow.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 110,534
    If you've modded a Forester XT to that kind of power, aren't you afraid of maintenance on that?

    A BMW ought to be childs play in comparison.

    Let me see if I can get some experts over here to offer some advice.

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  • cobra617cobra617 Posts: 3
    @Michaell - I actually got 180K miles out of my Forester and am now having the engine rebuilt and I got to that HP rating at about 5K miles. (so 175K miles at that power) I could have gotten more, but I started to really slack off in the last 2 years with some maintenance.
    That car has been super reliable. It is my benchmark. I want to get a convertible that is close to my Forester in reliability.
    I like the BMW 135i (as with a simple chip I can get quite a bit more power). The G37 is also intriguing. I won't get the power of the 135, but it is far more reliable.

    Hmmmm.....


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A BMW would be okay as long as it isn't miled up. Personally I wouldn't touch one over 80K unless you get a hell of a deal and have room to do some rehab on it.

    The G37 convertible is only 6/10ths of a second slower than the 135 @ 0-60--, and only 4 mph slower in the quarter mile----I doubt you'd even notice.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,098
    The N55 has proven to be very reliable, not suffering from most of the issues that plagued the N54.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,433
    Like the N55 BMW that roadburner refers to. Problem there is, the 135 series was ugly as sin.

    G37s coupe is a pretty car. As Mr Shiftright mentions, pretty close performance wise to the BMW and probably more reliable.

    I've often thought of a G3x 'vert on the used market would be a good buy.
    2018 Acura TLX 3.5 SH AWD A-SPEC
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,718
    cobra617 said:

    Hey folks,
    I am looking to find a car to play with and looking for some thoughts from others.

    My requirements might be tight but here is what I want to find:
    - Convertible (a must)
    - Reliable (a must)
    - Fast (a must)
    - Manual (nice to have, but would consider auto)
    - < $20,000
    - 4 seats

    What I have been looking at are:
    - Mid 2000's BMW M3 (reliability is iffy)
    - Late 2000's/early 2010's BMW 135 (again with the iffy BMW reliability)
    - Late 2000's BMW 335 (sigh....)
    - Infiniti G37 (not as fast as the others, and pricier than I'd like)
    - 2010+ Lexus IS350 (Pricey, no manual, not as fast)

    Mustang.


    Sorry, but that is it, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, I'd be looking at much older stuff like a restomod or maybe a babied E46 M3.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Good call. I forgot about the Mustang. You might lose a notch in prestige but it's the same sunshine and view you get out of a $100K convertible.
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