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Thinkkker
Thinkkker UltraDork
8/2/17 9:51 a.m.

S197 GT with a 3v. You would have to have highway driving and stick to near 65mph, but it will get upper 20's there. Especially if you lower it a bit.

Got mine for 5kish, that will get a lot of gas.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
8/2/17 9:56 a.m.

Acura TL Type-S would be on my list. 275hp, 6 speed, limited slip, double wishbones, brembos, 4 doors.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy New Reader
8/2/17 10:06 a.m.

Have '08 Accord LX w/ a stick. Would suggest at minimum a V6 with a stick as the autos had issues for a good bit.

Extremely boring to drive. MPG is meh. Trunk is ok. Seats aren't that great. Insurance is cheap, though! And It's almost paid off so I might just keep it at this point after Honda replaced the pistons and everything else thanks to that oil consumption recall.

But came from a '00 T/A and a '05 GTO, so my views are skewed. They weren't "fast", but faster than the majority of vehicles on the road.

Currently, I'm looking at older 5-series wagons or newer 3-series wagons (RWD is must). Just something about BMW wagons get me all giddy. Especially the E39 wagon for the possibility of a LS swap down the road.

The_Jed
The_Jed PowerDork
8/2/17 10:43 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: V6 Mustang. Cheap. Plentiful. Thow a hitch on it and it's an smallish truck. There are so many of them you don't have to feel the least bit bad about winters destroying it. When it ceases to function, buy another one. And before anyone says "just buy the V8", I picked the V6 for it's mileage and cheapness allowing you to move up a generation (for safety features) and stay the same price.

I'd say this.^

I'm such a cheapskate that I automatically, reflexively, and unconsciously halved the budget and when I read V6 Mustang I was vigorously nodding, picturing an SN95 ('02-'04 for the longer connecting rods and fewer head gasket woes) with a trailer hitch, caster/camber plates, a panhard bar, and three sets of wheels and tires.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/2/17 11:22 a.m.
RealMiniParker wrote: IMHO, I'd sacrifice mpg for comfort, if I had to spend two hours a day in a car. Look at something with longer wheelbase and bigger motor. Smoother ride and less buzz.

That's along my thinking but I don't want to go too far in that direction. The whole reason I got the Fit was because the BMW E39 touring I had at the time (which ironically has been recommended to me here!) was sucking down premium gas at 22MPG on a good day, and between that and upkeep costs was running me in the range of $400-500 a month to keep going! Way too much for an old daily driver.

Not too interested in VWs (I love the idea of a GTI but every single one has some kind of "the engine will catastrophically fail if this maintenance hasn't been done"-type issue) and will probably avoid the Germans in general for this go-round since I already have one as a fun car in the garage.

I also drive enough that anything below 25MPG (especially on premium gas!) is kind of out of the running, as that will wash out any savings from a higher payment. Really, from the kind of cars I'm used to, a newer Accord Sport or 6 would be pretty luxurious, so an LS430 or similar is farther than I want to go. I also really don't have any desire to go full-out for a V8 'Stang or anything, I already have a fun car, I'm just looking for a reasonably entertaining daily.

Overall though some good suggestions so far, didn't even think of the V6 'Stang, Genesis, etc.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/2/17 6:26 p.m.
This last week I have had a chance to drive my mom's 4 cyl Accord around. 38mpg and real comfortable. Suddenly boring has some appeal.

Boring is a funny thing. A 4cyl/manual Accord gets that mpg (lady i bought my Prius from had one and she was actually getting 42mpg hwy) and accelerates the same as the last gen Prelude. I think the 50mpg Hybrid is slightly quicker.

But i did just come from a thread where someone said modern minivans weren't really that powerful because they only run 15s in the 1/4. Truly a golden age for 'boring'.

cue old man voice "I remember when cars were slow!"

Cotton
Cotton UberDork
8/2/17 6:42 p.m.

I was getting a consistent 17.5-18mpg in the cl600 I DD, but my last tank was 19.5. I'm going to keep an eye on t to see if it was a fluke. Not bad for a big heavy coupe with a tuned twin turbo v12 and almost 200k miles. I have a long commute, so yeah the CL doesn't get awesome mpg, but it makes the commute so much bearable.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
8/2/17 7:03 p.m.

You can buy a really nice is300 manual with an lsd and have money left over for mods.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/2/17 8:07 p.m.
sesto elemento wrote: You can buy a really nice is300 manual with an lsd and have money left over for mods.

Had one, that is a 22MPG on premium car and I found the seats to be awful. I would have another as a project, but not a daily driver.

hotchocolate
hotchocolate Reader
8/2/17 10:05 p.m.
Vigo wrote: 05-up Lexus GS. A 300 or 350 will do damn close if not 30mpg on the highway.

I second this or the IS350. IS350 is tight for rear passengers though. They are "grown up" cars. Otherwise a Civic Si on koni yellows set to full soft is a pleasant enough place to be on the highway--significantly more comfortable than stock. Crank up the stiffness and it is decent on track--but it doesn't feel grown up.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy New Reader
8/3/17 8:14 a.m.

If looking for strictly kinda quick and good enough MPG (compared to your touring), The Accord Or Mazda 6 will most likely be your best bet. Very easy to find a newer one under $10k under 100k miles and your insurance will be relatively cheap.

If RWD is a must, G35/7 are getting extremely cheap as well, but I don't believe the MPG will be good enough.

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
8/3/17 8:17 a.m.

BMW E46s and even E90s are in that range, as well. Something like a 328i/330i or even a ZHP might not be a bad commuter. Not sure what your definition of "not awful to maintain is."

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
8/3/17 11:24 a.m.

ZHP's are nice, just do the entire cooling system on it and it should be solid.

The TL Type S seems like a nice choice tho...

Erich
Erich UltraDork
8/4/17 6:46 a.m.

TL Type S is great because it's a real rocketship - quarter mile in the low 14s stock. You will pay the Premium penalty and gas mileage will be closer to 20 than 30.

I'm a huge believer in the manual Accord, especially coming from a Fit. The transmission is great and the gas mileage on the 4 cylinder is about as good as the Fit, but it's way more luxurious and stable on the freeway. If you need more power find a manual trans 6 cylinder.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltimaDork
8/4/17 7:08 a.m.

I'm going to say some form of Accord or small Lexi. Preferably something that doesn't require premium petrol.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/4/17 7:48 a.m.

I'd get the nicest, newest 4-door Acura you can find in your price range. The K24 should be in an NVH museum. Smooth, revvy, quiet, and punchy enough even with an automatic. If you stay at 70 or below, you should get close to 30 mpg.

[edit] In Acura trim, it does require 92 octane. Around here, that's about a $3-$4 per tank surcharge. Not a deal buster to me, but I'm not driving as much as you are.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
8/11/17 1:19 p.m.

A $10000 C5 Corvette is a terrific road-trip car and gets about 30 mpg on the freeway.

(35 at 65-70 MPH, 30 at 80-85 MPH, 25 at 95-100 MPH, 20 at 110)

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/11/17 1:37 p.m.
STM317 wrote: 5 year old Hyundai Genesis sedans seem like really nice cars too, and they can tickle 30mpg on the highway. They'd be more towards the luxury end of the spectrum than the sporty end, but it would be a nice place to spend a couple of hours every day.

I think this might be a new really-great-option. They look great, super luxurious inside, plenty of power in all iterations.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/11/17 6:45 p.m.

There's always the anti-GRM answer: lease a new Mazda 6 or Honda Accord at $199/mo for 36 months. Latest safety and tech, warranty, little maintenance, etc.

http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/199-lease-deals-for-august-2017

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
8/11/17 7:33 p.m.
nderwater wrote: There's always the anti-GRM answer: lease a new Mazda 6 or Honda Accord at $199/mo for 36 months. Latest safety and tech, warranty, little maintenance, etc. http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/199-lease-deals-for-august-2017

As much as he drives though mileage limits will be an issue.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/12/17 7:24 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin:

Yep, for me it would honestly be a better decision to just buy a new one. I have connections to get Mazda S-plan pricing which would make a new 6 Touring 6-speed right around $19k before TTL. Tempting option to be honest, although it's more than I really want to spend and if Mazda is going to drop the HCCI bomb soon I feel like it's the wrong time to buy a 100% new one.

OTOH Honda is ultra-stingy with its incentives and its affiliate purchase program is much harder to get access to than most rivals, really takes much of the appeal out of trying to buy a new one.

The market is real crappy in my area right now so I find myself looking more around the $15k mark which still isn't that bad. A close friend of mine just got his dealer's license though so I'm going to have him do some peeking around the auctions for me...

drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
8/12/17 7:45 a.m.
pointofdeparture wrote: In reply to Cactus: I already own a Euro E28. Looking for something in the range of 10 years old here, the older stuff you listed would vaporize in a Wisconsin winter. Another draw, honestly, is modern safety. I see accidents once every couple days on my drive. Getting punted by a commuting Tahoe is something I wouldn't want to do in an 80's car...

Sounds like your in WI? Being in the land of 10,000 taxes just to your west, and having pretty much the same 7-9 months of winter every year, don't forget about the sometimes crater like potholes and otherwise unexpected stretches of rough road like we have here. Unless WI has not let their roadways go to heck like so many here, you'll want a vehicle with a suspension that can withstand such road surfaces. Without naming the vehicles, I've had two in my life as daily drivers that in stock form each had the low profile style "sport" tires which when you hit an unexpected or unavoidable pothole or crater in the roadway, equated to the feeling of impact with earth when parachuting (with the chute open).

02Pilot
02Pilot Dork
8/12/17 7:59 a.m.

When I was shopping for a replacement for my DD E39 one of the strong contenders was the Mazda6. The one I drove was really quite nice, and if I had a longer commute it may well have won out. Throw a set of snows on it and you're good to go. Current-gen 2014s are dropping into the ~10k range around here.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad PowerDork
8/12/17 9:11 a.m.

If I had to spend that much time in a car that far north I'd want something that would never rust and have AWD. What kind of Volvo might fit the bill, S80?

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/12/17 9:49 a.m.
KyAllroad wrote: If I had to spend that much time in a car that far north I'd want something that would never rust and have AWD. What kind of Volvo might fit the bill, S80?

AWD is super overrated unless you live in the boonies. I've never met a snowstorm that an average compact car on snow tires couldn't handle...maybe with the exception of the freak 18-24" storms that shut the whole city down, but even AWD won't save you there.

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