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MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
2/11/21 7:40 a.m.

I recently bought a 2013 Passat TDI with the DSG transmission - it's one automatic that does not give up much to a manual, at least not with the slow turning diesel. A more aggressively tuned engine might have me thinking "This would be better with a stick", but it's still way above a planetary automatic with a torque converter. The main question is how big the people you will be carrying in the back will be. 3 kids doesn't seem too bad as long as some of them are in the "just a booster base" stage; I can't see fitting 3 adults in a Golf, or 3 very large child seats either.

Opti
Opti Dork
2/11/21 7:52 a.m.

In reply to Cxracer :

I have plenty of experience with 14-15s and Its not something I would consider cheap to feed. Oil consumption, oil pressure issues due to scored up cams and cam journals, screen in the cam bridge falling out and wiping everything out, valve bodies in the DSG failing, and plastic water pumps mounted to the side of the engine which break when oil starts leaking from the cam cover.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
2/11/21 11:33 a.m.

It’s not as sporty as a GTI, but I like the third-gen Mazda 3 my dad owns. He bought it to replace a manual trans BMW 540i as he was getting tired of shifting at age 70.

The auto trans is really good in sport mode. Has decent zip with the 2.5. Under your budget, good MPGs, nice chassis. My dad’s has been totally reliable without any maintenance needs other than oil changes in 35k and 6 years. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/11/21 11:45 a.m.
einy (Forum Supporter) said:
STM317 said:

Cadillac ATS. 

I just watched a South Main Auto video last night (YouTube) on what it takes to change a battery on one of those.  Jeepers GM, that rivals the Chrysler where it sits in a wheel well!  Beyond that (possible) anomaly, seems to be a pretty nice car.

I never understood why people bitch about this so much.

1) Jack up car and remove left front tire.

2) Open access panel in wheel well and remove battery.

3) Assembly is reverse of disassembly.

DD#2's 2006 Impala has a huge engine bay and the battery is right there in front under the hood.  But thanks to GM packaging it's a PITA to change.  The Cloud Car with the battery in the wheel well is much easier.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/11/21 11:56 a.m.

What about...?

Well within budget, T6 love, the automatic is pretty darn good, plenty o' torque, mid-20s fuel economy.

TR7 (Forum Supporter)
TR7 (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/11/21 12:03 p.m.
Duke said:
einy (Forum Supporter) said:
STM317 said:

Cadillac ATS. 

I just watched a South Main Auto video last night (YouTube) on what it takes to change a battery on one of those.  Jeepers GM, that rivals the Chrysler where it sits in a wheel well!  Beyond that (possible) anomaly, seems to be a pretty nice car.

I never understood why people bitch about this so much.

1) Jack up car and remove left front tire.

2) Open access panel in wheel well and remove battery.

3) Assembly is reverse of disassembly.

DD#2's 2006 Impala has a huge engine bay and the battery is right there in front under the hood.  But thanks to GM packaging it's a PITA to change.  The Cloud Car with the battery in the wheel well is much easier.

 

To add to this, how often are people changing batteries on their daily drivers? This should not be a weekly event. 

Flynlow (FS)
Flynlow (FS) HalfDork
2/11/21 12:12 p.m.
BLRB said:

I would look at used Lexus IS350-Fsport and GS350-Fsport too.  There are a bunch in the mid-20s, but a few years older, decent place to be in traffic, and reliable.  MPG won't be as good though. 

This.  I drove all the newer "entry level luxury" sedans ~2-3 years ago because I was staring down the barrel of 4 hours per day in the car driving between my company's research labs.  The IS350-Fsport was head and shoulders better than anything else.  The ONLY negative to me was the lack of manual option.  It was quiet, comfortable, seats and radio were good, power/brakes/handling were all sporty enough on the F-cars.  Available for ~$25K coming off lease with <45K miles.  And the biggest thing that gave it the nod (to me) over anything german was the Lexus reliability. 

All that being said, I got a great deal on a stick shift E46.  But prior to the pandemic, I was putting 40k miles a year on it, and was already starting to look at IS350's as the eventual next DD.  If they bring back the ISF for the chassis's swan song, that'll probably cinch it for me.

 

 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/11/21 12:23 p.m.
Duke said:

What about...?

Well within budget, T6 love, the automatic is pretty darn good, plenty o' torque, mid-20s fuel economy.

 

Love the car, this is mine 'GOWAGON', the real version, not the silly sedan.  If you're getting mid 20's you're driving it wrong is all I have to say.  While not fast by todays standards 325hp/350tq is adictive, especially when you floor it at freeway speeds, the shove in the back is very satisfying.  If you test drive one make sure you try the trans in sport mode, it makes a huge difference in response at any speed.

tremm
tremm Reader
2/11/21 1:35 p.m.

What mileage does the tsx get? And what size 5 passengers?

My thought was Mini Clubman, but i don't know if it'll achieve better mpg. Also don't know if it's better than the GTI, but probably worth a test drive. Oh & premium fuel

Benswen
Benswen Reader
2/11/21 2:17 p.m.

Sonata N-Line?

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
2/11/21 3:00 p.m.
racerdave600 said:
spandak said:

What is the mileage of your commute? An electric car might be a good option if you have a place to charge it. I think used Model S' are in that range. If not you could get 2 E-Golfs and swap them out.

Kidding but seriously electric seems perfect. Instant torque, no idling, and I have a feeling that a commute through the bay could be handled mileage-wise with a basic electric car.

This.  If you can do electric, check out BMW i3.  Used they are pretty cheap around here.  

OR, if you're thinking of a GTI, but an electric can do the commuting job, check out the 2020 Bolts. About the same size as a GTI, with similar cargo and better rear seating. Leftover new ones can be had for $20-23k right now, for an optioned LT. They are fun to drive, instant throttle response (very quick around town and out of corners with 200 hp and 266 lb ft of torque), and where you are you don't have to deal with the cold weather range drop. I can get over 300 miles on one charge out of mine with the AC running, and 220 miles in the winter with using the seat and steering wheel heaters. You could add stickier tires (the stock LRR, run flat, all seasons, suck!) for better handling, though at about a 5-10% range loss depending on how wide and sticky you choose. Try one, put it in L and Sport and drive it hard. You'll like it.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/11/21 3:00 p.m.

the  2018+ mazda 6 turbo will definitely fall within your price range used.. I'd go drive one.. they're better around town than a DSG car because they have an actual torque converter.

I loved my 2016 mazda 6 as a comfy around town car.. would have been even better with a turbo.

 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/11/21 4:20 p.m.
tremm said:

What mileage does the tsx get? And what size 5 passengers?

My thought was Mini Clubman, but i don't know if it'll achieve better mpg. Also don't know if it's better than the GTI, but probably worth a test drive. Oh & premium fuel

Other than the Volvo we also have a 2017 Mini Cooper S Clubman All 4 (and that's not the longest or silliest name they have in their line up). It's also a great car, better gas mileage in the Volvo, although both take premium. Gas is so stupidly cheap in this country that I don't even think about premium versus regular gas these days. We own five cars and all of them use premium, no big deal. I have to say the clubman is a riot to drive, although significantly down on power compared with the Volvo. They have a pretty reasonable eight speed auto. Unlike most cars they don't have flappy paddles on the steering wheel, but unlike most cars when you move the stick across to the left it operates the correct way, forward for down back for up. It's actually a joy to use. The ride manages to be firm and a bit jiggly but perfectly acceptable for both mine and my wife's 50+-year-old butts. It's strange to think of cross shopping vehicles like this with the Volvo, we own both and they are both a joy. We both love our cars. The Volvo is supremely comfortable and an amazing road trip vehicle with her for those power. The Clubman is a kart that is more fun than it has a right to be for what it is.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/11/21 4:37 p.m.

So... it's more than a bit modded.. but an AWESOME DSG GTi just popped up for sale on FB.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/522592824569057/permalink/1793992164095777/?sale_post_id=1793992164095777

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/11/21 8:02 p.m.

I'd check out a DSG GTI with your requirements. I owned a '14 ATS (AWD 2.0T AT) for a year. The engine, although it has decent poke, was completely soulless (coming from a guy who DDs an Odyssey and Rav4), and it never encouraged you to misbehave. The chassis and brakes were great, but I never really connected with the car as a whole. Honestly, I think our V6 Rav4 was more engaging to drive.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
2/11/21 9:25 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

That's a great idea. I forgot that the turbo 6 could be in this price range now. Yeah, I prefer the throttle tip in of Mazda's Skyactiv auto compared to most of the DSGs I've driven, which feel lazy in comparison. The trans allows full lock-up of the torque converter in first gear. It feels great.

I like the idea of the Bolt too. Didn't realize they were 25k now. I would definitely test one.

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/9/22 11:13 p.m.

In the end I bought a 2020 VW GTI SE with the DSG trans. I was looking to see if I could find a 2019 that had already taken a bit of the depreciation ding but only found a $2-3k difference on used cars with 30K miles and a new left over 2020 and a big discount.

 I bought in early 2021 and I guess between the pandemic and the new model year cars coming out some of the dealers had 2020s that had been sitting on the lot for a long time.

Anyway, I got a great deal considering where car prices have gone in the year since. Not to mention that I really like the car. The power is good, the suspension is an excellent mix of sport and comfort, and the DSG has been excellent as traffic continues to get worse.

oldcpecdr
oldcpecdr New Reader
2/10/22 12:01 a.m.

 

Sounds like it really is going to be a commuter car..... Miata is sometimes the answer EXCEPT for commuting and carrying FIVE.

Drive a late model Camry, buy it..... New KYB's and some stickier tires.... you are set for 300,000 miles of happy motoring .

Oil changes, occasional brake pads, and tire replacement.

NO Korean car will last like a Toyota. 

All that maintenance money saved can help your fun car budget.....

 

Mike B

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/10/22 10:51 a.m.
Duke said:

What about...?

Well within budget, T6 love, the automatic is pretty darn good, plenty o' torque, mid-20s fuel economy.

Came here to say the same thing.  I've got a 2015.5 V60 T6 R design with Polestar flash.  It's invisible to cops being a white wagon driven by a graying middle age guy, but has a good ride/handling balance, excellent NVH and makes for a fun carver while being outstanding on the freeway.  Look for a 2015.5 car as they got better, but still old by todays standards HMI/Connectivity.  The next gen cars, while looking better IMHO, are supper laggy as the T6's downgraded to a turbo 4 hybrid.  FYI Car and Driver recorded 0-60 in 4.9sec and the ¼ at 13.5 @ 105 for these cars with the Polestar flash which is relativly common, but interestingly more so on the wagons like mine.

 

Region_Rat
Region_Rat New Reader
2/11/22 4:14 p.m.

I have tried a couple times to give up the third pedal (Taurus SHO, M235ix and most recently Fusion) and have not made it very long in any of them.  My daily is now an Elantra N-Line with manual and I love it.  Haven't driven one with the auto but I hear good things on the forum I'm on with those cars.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/11/22 4:47 p.m.

In reply to oldcpecdr :

Scotty Kilmer, is that you?

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
2/12/22 11:33 a.m.

In reply to Cxracer :

I think we were looking at those at the same time! I was surprised by the deals back then. But ended up realizing that I wouldn't have a 45 minute commutes with my new job so, kind of opposite from you on that change. 

Still they were very nice deals on those 2020s.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/12/22 5:26 p.m.

Of you're shopping ATS or CTS, slip the 4cyl and get the V6. Gas mileage is about the same, you won't need premium, and they drive better. 

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