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alexseiji
alexseiji
7/10/14 3:31 p.m.

Its come to the time in my life where I need something that has more space than my RX8. I LOVE my Mazda so damn much, however I cannot think of anything that I have driven that has been so dialed in and so perfect in regards to driving feel I am afraid to even ask in fear that there isn't going to be a solid response. Does anybody have any ideas for some great absolutely "a blast to drive" cars that would fit the bill I am looking for? I am open to all makes and vintages. I just want something that will let me fit more than 1 suitcase for 4 people.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/10/14 3:36 p.m.

More space than an RX8, excellent handling...hmm yeah that's bloody difficult. Maybe a Tesla S comes closest? Good luck paying for one!

(Or you could wait for their new $30~$40k "mini-S" model...but then it might not have enough room!)

Edit: Another idea, again not wallet-friendly: Porsche Panamera?

Edit2: Maybe a 4-Door M3? They make those now.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
7/10/14 3:59 p.m.

If it doesn't have to be new, the only two cars that really can do what you want in my opinion are the M3 or M5. I would think any vintage of these would fit the bill. In fact, the M3 to me is almost as good a driver as the RX8.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UltimaDork
7/10/14 4:03 p.m.

They made 4 door M3s back in the 90s, too. Trunk on the E36 isn't that big, though.

M5? CTS-V? Second RX8 for the suitcases?

maj75
maj75 Reader
7/10/14 4:11 p.m.

After an RX8 a M3's trunk would seem huge. It is a decent size and as long as you aren't trying to fix oversize hard luggage, you can pack a lot in there.

nderwater
nderwater PowerDork
7/10/14 4:19 p.m.

Yet another M3 vote. E46, preferably (that engine, tho).

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi SuperDork
7/10/14 8:06 p.m.

E39 540/6?

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
7/10/14 10:39 p.m.

You may also be able to get away with a regular E46 +koni yellows if you don't need M3 performance (and cost) levels. How about an E34 M5?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
7/11/14 6:42 a.m.

I agree that anything less than the Ultimate Driving Machine will be a big disappointment.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
7/11/14 9:04 a.m.

Having sampled some of the finer vehicles in life I can tell you this- short of exotica, nothing is as good (IMO YMMV ETC) chassis wise as an RX. That disclaimer in place-

More space. WHY do you need more space? If you've got a kiddo on the way, I can guarantee an RX will work at least until the kid is in grade school. If you've got clients, not so much.

I currently own a Mazdaspeed 3. I love the car. I've spent a E36 M3pile on suspension. It rides extremely stiff as a result. Stock, it was a brilliant car. HOWEVER- my 05 Cooper S would take its lunch money. That little bugger has the best damn handling I've ever seen in a FWD car. Only problem is, it has squat for room. A very close second was the Mazdaspeed Protege, and it has 4 doors. However- I suspect that is getting older and smaller and more tempramental than you're looking to deal with. I think I agree with the others on this one- You're looking towards a BMW. I REALLLLLLY like the E39 5 series cars, and the M5's are coming well down into affordability range, for purchase anyhow. Personally I'd buy a CTSV, but I'm a hooligan at heart and value tire shredding power over handling (see why I own an ms3 instead of an rx8). So there you have it.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
7/11/14 10:53 a.m.

The RXs are difficult cars to replace. The driving experience is unique. If you can keep it, I would. If you can't, check into a BMW, Infiniti G35 sedan (manual trans) or CTS. The Caddy and Infiniti have fewer gremlins.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
7/11/14 11:15 a.m.
nderwater wrote: Yet another M3 vote. E46, preferably (that engine, tho).

No 4dr E46 M3 though.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/11/14 11:30 a.m.

how about an E46 with the ZHP performance package. As close to a 4 door M3 as you can get

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UberDork
7/11/14 12:49 p.m.

Get another car to haul your crap. Keep the RX8 esp if you've cared for it and are confident the engine will last past 100k. Otherwise sell it.

docwyte
docwyte HalfDork
7/11/14 6:03 p.m.

No way will a rear facing car seat fit in the back of an RX8, in such a way that either a driver or passenger could comfortably fit in the front seats.

It barely fit into the back of my Audi A4 wagon, with the front passenger seat run all the way forward.

series8217
series8217 Reader
7/11/14 7:26 p.m.

Full E46 M3 conversion on a 330i sedan? That's the best I can think of. The RX8 chassis is incredible -- it's really hard to beat. The E46 M3 comes close and has more space but it sounds like you need 4 doors.

mattmacklind
mattmacklind UltimaDork
7/11/14 7:52 p.m.

Has anyone driven a Regal GS? I've been watching the depreciation lately, quite a cut, and I for one think they look awesome, especially with the 20"s. (Never thought I'd ever say I liked something on 20"s).

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
7/11/14 8:07 p.m.
mattmacklind wrote: Has anyone driven a Regal GS? I've been watching the depreciation lately, quite a cut, and I for one think they look awesome, especially with the 20"s. (Never thought I'd ever say I liked something on 20"s).

A close friend to whom I will refer to as the Worlds Pickiest Gay Car Enthusiast just traded his heavily modified 04 mazda 6 hatch for one. It's gotta be good.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 HalfDork
7/11/14 10:31 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine: I want to say that the ZHP package on the E46 is only for the coupes, but I'm not 100% sure on that. I also read that they can chew up tires quick because they have aggressive camber.

A Mazda 6 is a good handling FWD car that may work.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
7/11/14 10:37 p.m.

They are on sedans too, but really not that much of an improvement over a regular 330 for the price.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/12/14 3:47 a.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: In reply to mad_machine: I want to say that the ZHP package on the E46 is only for the coupes, but I'm not 100% sure on that. I also read that they can chew up tires quick because they have aggressive camber. A Mazda 6 is a good handling FWD car that may work.

I mostly see 4 doors with the zhp package.

lnlds
lnlds Reader
7/12/14 10:38 a.m.

I think an e36 m3 would be your best bet. 4-doors are harder to come by but they are probably the best all around do it cars. E46 m3s or 330 zhps are good too but they feel a more muted/ refined compared to the e36s which can be good or bad depending on what you want. Other longshots you may consider would be the mazdaspeed6 or is300+modifications.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
7/12/14 1:36 p.m.

Try and find one of these:

The short time i've had mine, coupe version, it definitely is a car you would lose nothing coming from a RX7/8. That and not any BMW gremlins as well. There are no real issues with these cars other than being a bit laggy and having not very much low end torque... which coming from a RX8 you wouldn't notice.

Rupert
Rupert HalfDork
7/12/14 1:58 p.m.

I'd go with a Mazdaspeed 3 or check out a manual version of the new Mazda 3. It doesn't rev like your RX-8 but does meet pretty much all your other requirements. Plus it gets great on gas mileage!

JtspellS
JtspellS Dork
7/12/14 2:38 p.m.

Oh how I have long thought of this same thing if/when the rx goes.

Tbh a newer golf GTI is quite the fun machine and still capable of everything else you need.

I still miss my old MS3 to this day for the pure versatility and raw muscle car power of it and as long as you don't do more then a mazdaspeed spring kit the suspension is solid but decent riding (not as good as the rx for long trips comfort wise though) in a perfect world the ms3 would be the daily and the rx8 would be the everything else vehicle.

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