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IYO, best 4-seat sporty car for under $50k?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by sjb509, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    What cars do you guys recommend or have owned. Used would be fine as well as new, looking to buy next spring/summer for reference.

    I would use the car as a primary driver (~8k/year) when I'm not on the bikes during the summer. Winters in MO are pretty easy, w/o much snow or salt, have an AWD for really bad days anyway.

    My personal defintion of "best 4-seater":
    1) Must have back seats which can fit a child seat at the bare minmum, room for a growing child would be even better (for example, I doubt a 911 would meet this requirement).
    2) Nothing Japanese. No offense, but they do nothing for me. S2000 and NSX are neat, but don't meet #1. Lexus, Inifiniti, Acura, Mazda...no thanks.
    3) Nothing American. Again, no offense. Cobra Mustang or Camaro do not appeal to me. CTS-V is a helluva car I'm sure, but I'd rather pick one up after three years for a song compared to buying new.

    This is by no means is an exhaustive list of used cars, just a few that spring to mind.
    a) 2002 Maserati Coupe GT. I know they are not $50k...yet. But they will be for cars with mileage soon. A short stretch over $50k would be possible.
    b) Jag S-type R. For some reason this car appeals to me, but doesn't seem to with many others.
    c) BMW M3. We had trouble with our 3-series, but most people don't. They will look out of date as soon as the new 3 comes out. My local dealer sucks as well. Everything I've read says this would be a nice car.
    d) 1999-2001 M-B SL600. I love this body style, and rear seats can be fitted with seat belts. Not sure on the room back there though. I'd love to have a big ol' 6.0L V-12 whisking me down the highway sucking down about a gallon of premium every 12 miles. Some may argue about it's "sporty car" credentials.
    e) Ferrari Mondial. Not sure on the backseat room, but the "T" would have to be it. The black bumpers on the others turns me off, unless the car is of course black.
    f) Ferrari 456. I know most of these are not near $50k, and finding an early one with mileage could be a challenge. Given the dubious reliability (windows, electrics) reputation they seem to have, finding one or stretching to $60k for the right one could be a possibility.

    BTW, as of right now my choices would be a,f,d,c,b. I doubt I would get a Mondial.

    Hopefully we'll need a 4-seater next year. If not, I'll be back to plan A which would be choosing between an early TR, 348ts, 328.....

    Look forward to your responses.
     
  2. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    5,938
    USA
    911 has just as big rear seats as Maserati - as in, not really big at all. Sit there for long and the pressure on your shins will cut off the circulation to your feet. Ok, it's not that bad, but it's small. The SL600 doesn't have a back seat and if you fitted one aftermarket (I don't even see how you would do this) it would be tiny

    If you don't mind the back seat problem, I would also throw an XKR or even a higher mileage Aston DB7 into the mix. Similarly sized back seats, but really stylish cars.

    I've sat in the back of an M3 for somewhat of a long time and that wasn't bad. I'd probably go with that one.

    Setting aside back seat issues, but keeping price restriction heavily in mind, I would select:

    1. DB7
    2. 456 - close number 2. would be number 1 if it weren't for your price criteria, under which your 456 would have a million miles and need its engine rebuilt. Otherwise, without a doubt the greatest car on your list, and if you could bump up to 60-65K, this would be the car I would select. I love this 2 + 2.
    3. Maserati (it would be a strong contender for number 1 if if I enjoyed the styling more)
    4. 993 or 996
    5. M3
     
  3. pdiack

    pdiack Karting

    Nov 19, 2003
    236
    M3 - hands down. Also, if backseat is really required, I'd drop the 911 and SL - unless you have a lot of midget friends. :)

    edit - also, you might want to consider a used M5 (2001 and 2002 can be had around 50k) - 400HP, 6spd and a true 4-door, 4-seater ain't bad.
     
  4. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Audi S4 *list is 52k but with model year rollover ya can't beat it
     
  5. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

    Any hope for a Porsche? A 928GTS looks like it could suit your needs quite well and good examples of it are certainly there for under 50k.
     
  6. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Does the 928 have more room than a 911? The 928 would be a possibility, its appearance has grown on me over time.

    I'd never thought of an XKR or DB7. XKR coupe would be nice. I didn't think DB7 was available for under $50k, but high-mileage ones seem to be dipping down to that level. That is a beautiful car.
     
  7. tfazio

    tfazio Formula 3
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    Apr 20, 2004
    1,793
    Michigan
    Either a new M3 or S4 would be a good choice if you want to spend $50K or less. I have seen a few used S Type R's for sale for less than $50K but it won't be as rewarding to drive as an M3 or S4 but I am sure you know that. If you want to spend even less than I would look at the Infiniti G35 Coupe. It has good looks, power and features for the price.
     
  8. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
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    potomac
    i just did multiple test drives of an m3, s4, and 911...for use as an everyday driver....these were 2-3 hour drives in each car....the most fun and most practical was the m3...it was more sporty and better looking than the s4 , it wasmore roomy and better riding than the 911..
     
  9. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Toss some snow or heavy rain in and the S4 will walk away
     
  10. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
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    the reliability i of jags and esp aston martins is very suspect.... for a daily driver, i would stay away.. i would stay away from english cars!!! get a good german or japanese car, save your self the headaches
     
  11. Noelrp

    Noelrp Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2001
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    M3, S4, or C55 - take your pick but expect to pay slightly over 50k if you want a new one.

    BMW just announced the Club Sport M3 for 2005 to take it up a notch (the closest to CSL we americans will get). If you wait a couple of months, it will be worth it.
     
  12. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

    "As for drawbacks, other than price and mileage, there is the rear seat, which is too small to carry anything larger than babes in diapers or your leather racing gloves."

    I think they're lying somewhat. My reccomendation would be to go out to the local Porsche dealer and see if they have any used 928s and look at the back-seat and see if its large enough for what you need. Certainly the seats are as large as those in the Maser.

    Infact now that I think about it, the Maser is almost like a modern 928. V8 engines, 2+2 coupes, lots of luxury and high prices.
     
  13. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Also, how about the last model CLK55 ?
     
  14. David_S

    David_S F1 Veteran
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    Nov 1, 2003
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  15. David_S

    David_S F1 Veteran
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    Nov 1, 2003
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  16. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    I looked at an RX8 hard when they first came out, and it was a good performer. The room in the back would be about what I was looking for. I'm not enthused about the looks, though. I think it will look out-of-date pretty quickly.

    The '93-95 RX7 still looks very cool to me. Light weight with 255 hp would be fun. They are inexpensive to buy and would be fun to drive.

    I would plan to keep the car at least for a few years. For a special car like the Maser, 456, or DB7, probably permanently as "everyday" cars came and went through the other bays of the garage.
     
  17. Fan512bbi

    Fan512bbi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 25, 2004
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    Steve.
    Why not go the classic route?
    1. Ferrari 400i-412i.
    2. Jaguar XJ-S.
    3. Porsche 928.
    4. BMW M6.
     
  18. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

    Sep 27, 2002
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    XK-8

    I love that interior. Exterior still turns heads, too.
     
  19. Dr.Bleed

    Dr.Bleed Karting

    Jun 5, 2004
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    Nathan E. K.
    M3, C32 AMG, Jaguar XK-8, or something along those lines.

    Extremely difficult to think of any sub 50k Euro cars that would be sporty enough for ya that actually have a livable back seat.
     
  20. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

     

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