need a "grocerie getter" for $25k

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by 348 Turbo, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    Gents, I'm soliciting your opinions for my next vehicle purchase. Here's what I need:
    25k or less.
    will be used to rack up miles between my city and country house, where I frequently stay on wekends. This is a highway drive ending at the end of 3 mile dirt, (and gravel) road.
    I need to be able to depend on the vehicle also, it will be my regular driver to work.
    Good mileage too.
    It should be able to hold groceries for a weak, and the wife, at the same time.
    Fun driver.
    I am not opposed to going into a Japanese car either.

    So far, I am considering:
    2004 RX-8
    2002 S2000
    2003 350z?
    BMW 3 series
    BMW Z4?

    I love the idea of the paddle shifter in the RX-8!
    several available on eBay for under 25k!
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  3. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    What about a BMW 330CI? It's a nice little car that's fun to drive, holds everything you need and should be dependable enough.
  4. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim E
    Subaru WRX STi.
  5. SteveNSX

    SteveNSX Rookie

    Jun 18, 2004
    I second the WRX. The dirt road seals the deal! Ugly, but fun and dependable..
  6. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Chris P. Bakon
    WRX. If you don't need all the power, get the wagon and you can carry 2 weeks worth of groceries.

    Or you can get the SAAB clone if you want something a bit different
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  8. Webby

    Webby F1 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2004
    The WRX would be best for driving on gravel and stuff I guess .. but I think the S2000 and 350Z would be better because they are better looking.
    Sorry, I'm no good at suggesting cars because all I care about are looks and of course those are subjective ...
  9. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    the wrx has always sounded like fun since the first article I read about them. A few issues. First 2 1/2 hours of wrx road noise on the way to the country house. How bad is the road noise in the wrx?
    Second, (perhaps insurmountable), the wife has GOT to like it. It will be my daily driver. I would like to go test drive one though..........
    Thoughts on the RX-8? Put in four full size adults, groceries, and paddle shifters!
  10. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas
    Sounds to me like my '04 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax would fit the bill except for your price restriction. Great mileage, comfort, fun to drive, goes anywhere - don't have to worry about low clearance like with our Ferrari or MB coupe.

  11. Mojo

    Mojo Formula 3

    Sep 24, 2002
    Washington St.
    Full Name:
    STI in silver with a wrx wing (not so boyracer)
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  13. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
    Full Name:
    Internet Poseur
    Sounds like you really want the Mazda. Well, get it! I REALLY like it as well, but I just cannot get past the (over) Japanese styling. I think they really missed out on a possible grand slam if they would just have made it...pretty!

    The styling somehow reminds me of the home-grown Japanese styling that goes back to the RX3, the B210 and other small Japanese cars.... just does not stand the test of time as a nice Italian design might. Just MHO.
  14. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    Panther City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Preferred Pronouns: Lord/Master
    No shame in the WRX wagon, I'd own one in a heartbeat. 227hp, plenty of room for mods, 5sp, 6 disk CD changer w/ cassette, one of the safest & well built cars on the road today. As for the road noise, you can aways change to a different set of tires but keep in mind that's what Subarus AWD are known for. After awhile it won't bother you so much.
  15. rloewy

    rloewy Karting

    Aug 4, 2004
    The Subaru Legacy GT is another option. AWD, more torque than the WRX, better looking and better interior.

    Should be able to get an entry level model in your range.
  16. Noelrp

    Noelrp Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2001
    Full Name:
    How about a '00 Audi S4.

    I just checked Autotrader, there are 149 S4 ranging from $21k to $27K.
  17. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    I'm putting another vote in for the WRX. I'd suggest getting the STi version though, used running $24-26k easily.

    I've logged 23,000 miles on my (regular 04) WRX in 14 months, mostly freeway. The road noise isn't anything to complain about, my only complaint is slight knee pain on my gas leg after 6+ hours - I don't use the cruise control at all. I wish I had the STi though.
  18. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    For 25K you can get a nice ('00 or '01) Audi A6 4.2, loaded, with nav.

  19. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    Russ Turner
    $12K for a new PT Cruiser for mindless reliable and versatile care free daily fare with extended warranty

    $13K left over for 1st class transatlantic cabin with included car transport on the QE2 or QM2 to England, then off through the Chunnel to the Nurburgring to drive your Ferrari on the historic Nordschleife, catching the European Grand Prix or the race at nearby Spa-Francorchamps meeting up with the European Ferrarichat contingent.

  20. tfazio

    tfazio Formula 3
    Classified Subscribed

    Apr 20, 2004
    I vote for the WRX too. It isn't the best looking car out there but it is a lot of fun to drive. I have had mine for 5 months and have had no problems. The noise levels aren't unbearable and the AWD will help you out when the weather is bad.

    The RX-8 is a cool looking car. Yet I have a feeling that it will look dated soon. If it snows where you live you will have to get snow tires if you plan to drive it in the winter. The paddle shifting transmission has less hp than the 6-speed Manual(197hp vs 238hp). So while the paddles might be fun to use, the car may feel sluggish when driving it. I have never driven one so I am just guessing. Also the paddle shifting transmission is basically a 4 speed automatic that allows you to change the gears with the paddles. The paddles are not going to help you shift faster than a manual but I bet you know that. It is similar to when Chrylser came out with the Autostick many years ago where you could shift gears up and down just not with paddles.

    You may want to check out a VW R32. I drove one and it was a lot of fun. It has AWD(you will need snow tires too though if it snows where you are at) and has got to be one of the best sounding cars for under $50K out there. The seats are outstanding and it has a wonderful engine. I have seen a few available(slightly used) in the $25-27K range.

    Like others said there are a lot of good used Audi vehicles available. If you get a used Audi try to get an extended warranty if you can. The S2000 is a great buy too right now. I almost got one but I went with the WRX because I live in Michgan and our winters can be bad at times.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. Have you taken the RX-8 out on a test drive yet?
  21. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    Mobile, AL
    I have driven S2000's extensively, though never owned one. If you need to take anything more than a week's worth of groceries and the wife -- forget it. However, you could also autocross it very competitively. I think 2.5 hrs in one would get somewhat taxing. Unless you are a one of those people that could drive a fairly "extreme" car every day, I would not recommend this for a daily driver.

    Obviously the WRX has been HIGHLY recommended from many on here that own one, but I would also say try to get an STi, especially if you can get an extended warranty. I think you're less likely to feel that you MUST modify the car to really love it. I might get flamed for this, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't keep a regular WRX stock for long,while an STi would probably make me more content. I've only driven a WRX once, and it was very brief (basically testing out a friend's car), so I can't comment on usability. I think it would be leaps and bounds ahead of the S2000, though.

    The RX-8 you're talking about is the automatic equipped one with less than 200 hp. Make sure you drive it first, because I think you'll change your mind. It is a four-speed auto that you can select the gears on.

    One thing no one has mentioned is a year old G35. You can get both the coupe and the sedan with a six-speed (though sedan 6MT's are rare), and it would be the most livable car of any that have been mentioned. Both will be 0-60 in well under 6 seconds, and if you were bit by the mod-bug (you *DO* own a turbocharged Ferrari, after all) you can get those cars up over 300 hp withll a few bolt ons.

    I drove a Honda Accord V6 6-speed and LOVED it, but I'm a Honda person. You might want something with more status, and I understand that. Acura of Memphis on Mount Moriah has GREAT customer service, and you might really like the Acura TSX with the 6-speed. Much more stylish than the Accord, better interior, and an all around GREAT car. PLEASE drive this car before you buy another one. It has got to be one of the most underappreciated cars out right now. GREAT CAR.

    Keep us updated :)
  22. Ryan S.

    Ryan S. Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 20, 2004
    another vote for the WRX here. friends had two(wrecked first one, lol), i really like it. id probably go with the wagon though if i was you. and if you can stretch it, get the saab version. looks much better imo.
  23. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    WRX, I have a wagon
  24. L8Braker

    L8Braker Formula 3

    Nov 10, 2003
    Asheville NC
    Full Name:
    Jeremy Stafford
    #21 L8Braker, Nov 18, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    How about this? haha

    I just had a thread about a new daily driver, but my car didn't sell on ebay so I'm keepin it. You can find the 430's under $25.
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  25. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula 3

    Jul 17, 2002
    great input guys!! Thank you all so much. I didn't expect so much participation. I am currently on a business trip and will be out of the country for the rest of the week. When I return, I'll begin refining my search. First, of course, I'll go find an sti to test drive. I'll also post my impressions. Is it really leaps and bounds above the s2000? I drove my nieghbor's s2000 and loved it. Fun car. I'll make sure to drive each of the cars that has been suggested too.
    This purchase is not urgent. I really want to stop driving my Yukon 2 1/2 hours each way to my lake house. This is what is primarily driving the buy.
    Can't wait to try the WRX.
    Thanks again,
  26. isellpower

    isellpower Formula Junior

    Nov 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    How about an NSX? Just kidding, but I did happen to notice that there seems to be a few nice ones out there in the mid 20's.
  27. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    Be sure to really flog the WRX during the test drive, as they respond well to being pushed. I made the mistake of driving like a grandpa and would never have bought the car, were it not for letting the salesman take the wheel and drive like a maniac - then I was sold.

    These cars really shine between 4-5k RPM's.
  28. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
    do you need awd, or is rear wheel ok? if you need awd, i would get the wrx wagon...sorry , but the sti looks too boy racer, esp with the silly wing... cool for the younger crowd but i would get ridiculed by my professional contacts and friendds for driving one at my age...but they aregreat fun, except the turbo lag and road noise...also subus have a tinny feel and sound to the doors that feels a little cheap, but they are great cars and i love them....the 330 bmws are built like tanks and would be better for the highway, road noise is an issue for 3hours on the highway...the rx8 are great fun to drive, and more practical than the s2000, which has no room for anything and can be very loud on the highway,,...the z4 is also small with limited cargo room....the legacy gt would be fun to drive and more refined than the wrx and might be worth a look... good luck, you are on the right track and let us know what you choose....

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