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pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
9/4/18 3:19 p.m.

2013 gti.  I will let it go to a GRM'er for 10k.  It's a 6 speed though...

 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/4/18 3:27 p.m.

In reply to pimpm3:

 

ohh that looks nice.

scardeal
scardeal SuperDork
9/4/18 3:56 p.m.

In reply to pimpm3 :

It does look nice, definitely.  Getting to Florida, though, is currently not feasible.  I'm actually limited to looking at cars in approx 2ish hour stints right now.  It's a little frustrating in terms of actually finding the car.  Those test drives have been strung out over 3 weeks.

In terms of auto vs manual, the side-bonus of an auto is that my wife can drive it.  If we go on a long trip, or the Durango is in the shop, she can drive around with the kids.  And I might even convince her to try her hand at autocrossing.

scardeal
scardeal SuperDork
9/5/18 7:41 p.m.

So... today I test drove 4 more cars back to back:

1. 2015 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Auto (non-flappy paddles, non-sport version) - Very buttoned down, well judged suspension.  Would want the flappy paddles and LSD though.  I was partially driving it as a reference.  This one had a radio volume dial which was much appreciated.

2. 2016 GTI - I was incorrect, this particular one did NOT have the sport package.  It had the same issue as the GLI putting down power, but felt a little more agile.  Unless the sport package transforms the car, it didn't feel special.

3. 2014 328i - Liked the engine and the seats.  It feels slightly stronger than the ATS, despite being rated lower.  However, the non-sport suspension WALLOWED.  It was almost unnerving.  

4. 2008 IS F - This was a wild card.  It had an aftermarket intake, and possibly other power mods.  And the traction control couldn't keep up in dry weather.  If I was looking for a toy, this would be a real contender.  But it gives me serious reservations about driving it in wet weather.  The power was really impressive.  I liked the seats and the suspension and the flappy paddles on it.  I'm afraid it'll kill me though.

Still feel undecided....

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
9/7/18 11:17 a.m.

I have a somewhat similar list to you, so I can add a couple things here.

For the Infiniti Q40, you can add the paddle shifters for ~$40 and 20 minutes, check YouTube.

BMW 328/335i's seem to be underrated and the ZF trans is supposedly great with paddles (some have it some don't, but you want a Sport Line)

CTS V-Sports are slightly above the $25k budget but 420hp TT and mag ride (with paddles)

Charger R/T Road and Track I believe also has a ZF trans that is fun to shift with paddles (you can tell Road and Tarck packages by the wheels and an extra Track Pak button on the dash).

15-16 Genesis 5.0?

Also, I have GTi and Golf R on my list but haven't started test driving yet, so no impressions to add.

Maybe new Accord Sport 2.0T? They are about 29 MSRP...

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
9/7/18 12:16 p.m.

The GTI is a completely different car with the performance package.  The diff is so good some people don’t see the need for an R.  Look for red badging and GTI logos on the front calipers.

M3racer
M3racer New Reader
9/7/18 1:13 p.m.

I went through a similar analysis last year  - needed to be fun to drive, room for growing teenage boy in back, somewhat unique and under 20 with no car payment. Specifically wanted manual tranny, so your search should be a little easier.  Autocross capability was irrelevant to me because racecar in the garage. I found spending a little over 20 would net me a much nicer car and I was patient enough to wait until I found what I really liked. 

I ended up with a 2010 Audi S4 last December - it had a few aftermarket mods (downpipes, amazing sounding track exhaust and lowered), only 59k miles, every option available and I think I paid 22.   Aside from some niggling issues with the bluetooth interface (it is a 2010), it is the most enjoyable car I have ever owned. I have a 60mi r/t commute and probably do 25k miles a year of driving and every single day I get in the car I smile. If I didn't have friends in local law enforcement I'd probably have been arrested by now for my stoplight antics (and I'm close to 50 ) I just can't help myself.  Though repair costs are not insignificant (new thermostat set me back $1000 with labor) I will drive this car for a long while. 

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltimaDork
9/7/18 9:18 p.m.

If are going ATS, hold out for a V6. Heard some longevity issues with the 4 cly.  (Same for Audi's)

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Reader
9/7/18 11:03 p.m.

In reply to M3racer :

Having owned a lot of Audi S cars myself I agree.  Launch control is a blast.  The car is way faster than you think, luxurious roomy and handles better than it should.  The thing that always kills me is they are too smooth and too refined.  I like a little more harshness and bad behavior in my cars.  

I honestly thought of S4s when I read the description too.  

Me....  I’d buy a 5k commuter and a 20k ‘02-‘04 Z06 but I’m crazy like that.

My 17 Ram has 395 hp and push button shift.....  I could probably scare every corner worker at an autocross and I probably wouldn’t finish last.

scardeal
scardeal SuperDork
9/8/18 12:34 p.m.

I just test drove a 2011 335i. It’s got some cosmetic issues but it’s much cheaper than some of the other ones that I am looking at. It has 90k miles. Would it be a good buy at $12k?

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
9/21/18 2:41 p.m.

In reply to scardeal :

2011, is that the N54 or the N55 motor? If N55, they sorted out a lot of the issues with the wastegate rattle and HPFP so would seem to be a pretty good buy.

 

OP, have you driven/decided anything else? Curious to hear impressions on some of these other cars in the mix as well. I find myself doing mental gymnastics on price/performance/presence on a daily basis...

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