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paul
paul New Reader
8/30/09 5:23 p.m.

Hey all,

Current situation: 38k mile/year daily-driver = 1989 accord, 130k miles

Within a year it'll need new balljoints etc, possibly more money that I'd want to put into it, and I really want something with an airbag.

My mechanical repair ability ends with replacing spark plugs & rotating tires, and HOA apartment rules state I can't do any car maintenance on-site anyway, so any 'big' repairs will be going to a shop...

I'm looking to spend around $13k for a daily driver that I'll be putting 36-40k miles/year on.

Requirements: -AC, -Passes NYS inpsection, larger than a Miata (I frequently travel to job sites with alot of equipment), -Runs good on 87 octane. -Airbags & good safety overall. -Less than 50k miles.

Wants: Something that has few handling shortcomings.. I'd love to get a protege mp3, or a 04(+-) civic SI. The current SI is out because it won't really run on 87. I can't stand the Mini styling & it woudn't work on job sites...

Any other suggestions? Maybe a non-mazdaspeed protege/5, or the current non-si civic?

aussiesmg
aussiesmg Dork
8/30/09 5:27 p.m.

WRX

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
8/30/09 5:30 p.m.

Turbo Subies need high octane fuel. The standard Impreza is still fun though. High safety rating, very reliable. Rally car provenance and winter fun abound.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
8/30/09 5:41 p.m.

mazda3

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/30/09 5:52 p.m.

can almost get a brand new Accent nicely equipped for that price

walterj
walterj Dork
8/30/09 6:11 p.m.

I'd be tempted to put $1-2k into the Accord, put another 100k on it and pocket the leftover $11k if I was doing practical math (if its not rusty).

If I wasn't in the mood for good sense and wanted an awesome car I'd buy an E46 330i.

griffin729
griffin729 Reader
8/30/09 7:03 p.m.
aussiesmg wrote: WRX wagon

Fixed that.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter HalfDork
8/30/09 7:07 p.m.

Not sure why the insistence on 87 octane. Difference in price between that and premium is $3/tank (or to phrase it like a commerical "for the price of one premium coffee"...), and seems to unnecessarily limit your options.

+1 on the Scoobies, though. I took a Harley-Davidson on the chin in a combined 130mph frontal impact in a '97 Outback and escaped with nothing more than a 1" scar on my forearm from a topical cut. BTW, don't drink, get it an fight with your wife, and ride, kids

Apexcarver
Apexcarver SuperDork
8/30/09 7:08 p.m.
griffin729 wrote:
aussiesmg wrote: subaru impreza 2.5rs wagon
Fixed that.

fixed your fix

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter HalfDork
8/30/09 7:11 p.m.
Apexcarver wrote:
griffin729 wrote:
aussiesmg wrote: subaru impreza 2.5rs wagon
Fixed that.
fixed your fix

There WAS a 2.5RS wagon? You must be talking about the de-turbo'd WRX bodystyle "2.5 RS".

I wouldn't want one anway, I lust after the 1st-gen 2.5RS Coupe. :drool:

InigoMontoya
InigoMontoya Reader
8/31/09 10:32 a.m.

RSX

You might find an early G35 for that much

E36-E46 BMW

Forester with WRX bits put on it

Used Fit, not so much on the speed part, but the added gas mileage might be nice.

Suzuki SX4

Autolex
Autolex Reader
8/31/09 11:22 a.m.

I vote 2005+ Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

Cheap, decent gas mileage, AWD, manual trans can be had, handles pretty decently too...

Bobzilla
Bobzilla HalfDork
8/31/09 11:28 a.m.

SX4. Accent SE. Spectra 5.

Gimp
Gimp GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/31/09 11:33 a.m.

I'll put in on the Accent as well.... great daily with some fun factor.

paul
paul New Reader
8/31/09 6:38 p.m.

Thanks for the input guys!

I already owned a 2004 2.5rs, the paint had chips all over by 10k miles, transmission had to be rebuilt by 27k miles (under warranty), and was failing again at 78k when I sold it, never got more than 26mpg, and I actually saved over $350/year in insurance when I sold the RS and bought my cobra... no more Subarus for me.

I'd definitely prefer regular gas because the car will mainly be used as a highway commuter, so I wouldn't realize any performance benefits 99% of the time, and I'll be putting almost 40k miles/year on it, so the premium gas price adds up to $350+ each year...

I'd love to stick with rwd & get a e30 or 318ti, are their parts somewhat affordable?

I'd check out the accent, but in a little over 3 years I'd have a hyundai that was out of warranty.

What other cars do well in h-stock?

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Reader
8/31/09 6:42 p.m.

What about a CRX? cheap, hatch back, looks good. Great gas milage (especially the HF)

BAMF
BAMF Reader
8/31/09 9:20 p.m.
Strizzo wrote: mazda3

+1 I think mine is the bee's knees. Only caveat is that the stock tires suck, bad. However, they get even worse in rain, snow or ice. Nothing that blizzaks won't fix though.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/31/09 9:32 p.m.

I have found most parts for my Ti to be fairly affordable.. It really is a simple car compated to the sedan and coupe'

Tommy Suddard
Tommy Suddard GRM+ Memberand SonDork
8/31/09 9:44 p.m.

Most BMWs (E30s included) take premium, though.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
8/31/09 10:04 p.m.

In reply to BAMF:

i'd hope that a mazda3 old enough to cost around 11k wouldn't have its original tires anyways

dxman92
dxman92 New Reader
8/31/09 10:25 p.m.

Accent, Yaris, Focus hatch are my main votes. I'll even throw out a Cobalt xfe into the mix. They look like they can pull pretty good mileage and also there are some suspension options according to Tire Rack..

HappyAndy
HappyAndy Reader
8/31/09 10:27 p.m.

If your honda is structurally sound why not just fix it, even paying some one else would be cheaper than getting a new and unknown to you car. But there are a lot of good machines to be had in your price range. Going with the early 2000s these are my sugestions. focus, areio, protege5, mazda3 hatch, lancer wagon, mazada6 wagon or hatch, kia spectra hatch.

For the amount of driving that you do I can understand wanting to have an air bag, especialy if you are driving in the more urban parts of New York state. This is just my opinion, but I would stay away from a subaru, or anything with awd because when something goes wrong with them it gets expencive fast, even more so for you since you can't do your own repairs do to the HOA problem.

BAMF
BAMF Reader
8/31/09 10:42 p.m.
Strizzo wrote: In reply to BAMF: i'd hope that a mazda3 old enough to cost around 11k wouldn't have its original tires anyways

Too true. I'm very much looking forward to replacing mine. In all honesty, I think it handles better on dry pavement with the snow tires than the OEM RS-As.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
9/1/09 12:10 a.m.

it was the same thing with the mxm4's on the acura rsx-s. the kumho MX's that replaced them were better in the wet than the stocker all-seasons were in the dry

ProjectVIN
ProjectVIN New Reader
9/1/09 1:13 a.m.

Sentra SE-R? Dunno about the fuel requirements though.

There are also Eclipse GT's around for that price. I would probably think it was a perfect luxo-commuter-GT, 27mpg EPA Hwy, but then again I actually commute in an SRT-4 so I am slightly looney.

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