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Comparing Low to Mid $20k "sporty" cars

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Comparing Low to Mid $20k "sporty" cars

 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:04 PM
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Comparing Low to Mid $20k "sporty" cars

I have been on a quest to get out of a lease I have been putting way too many miles on. While it is probably going to be tough I have been trying to narrow down my potential next car. I am looking to finance if I find an opportunity to get out of the lease, but the question I am posing is not about getting out of a lease but what would be the best option for what I am looking for while keeping value in mind when it is time to move on. I have driven family sedans since getting my license (2000 Maxima, 2002 TL-S, and currently a 2009 Altima).

I am still young and looking for a fun car to drive since I do quite a bit of driving. I have a pretty clean driving record (aside from 2 minor speeding violations obtained during some highway driving) over my 6 years as a licensed driver and now that I am older my insurance rates wont be such a killer in this type of car. I am not much of a speeder, but I would like a fun car that could handle well but still have some get up and go power.

I have been doing a lot of research, and am looking for some input from the experts here in car talk. A few cars that have my attention (but please feel free to throw out other suggestions) are as follows:

2012 Civic si coupe
Hyundai genesis 2.0T R spec coupe
Mazdaspeed 3
3.5 Altima coupe (not a huge fan of the body style, but the refresh has improved it a bunch)
Lexus IS250
6mt Acura TSX
Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Turbo

Some of the cars listed would have to be used to be in my price range (trying to stay closer to the 20k mark). With my previous experiences with the used cars I have owned though I think I would prefer a new car. Anyway, I am looking for a balance between tech features and performance (would love to have bluetooth specifically). Any input on the choices I have listed, or other suggestions (keeping in mind i am NOT a fan of the GTI) would be great.

Reliability is also important. The hyundai's 100k mile powertrain warranty is an attractive selling point.

Anyway, any help would be great. Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:16 PM
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Looks like almost all those cars listed would have to be used to hit your budget.

I would definitely give the Si a test drive. Torque has been bumped up pretty nicely.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:20 PM
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The Mazdaspeed3 is probably the most fun-to-drive out of that list. I haven't driven the Genesis or Sonata, but the MS3 blows the others way in my opinion; not even close in the fun department.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:33 PM
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i think the mazdaspeed3 has a really cheap feeling interior. i hate my ex gfs mazda 3s. the 6mt TSX or Civic SI would be great all around cars. but it is true, the MS3 will have beastly power.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 03bl AC k CL View Post
2012 Civic si coupe
Hyundai genesis 2.0T R spec coupe
Mazdaspeed 3
3.5 Altima coupe (not a huge fan of the body style, but the refresh has improved it a bunch)
Lexus IS250
6mt Acura TSX
Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Turbo

Reliability is also important. The hyundai's 100k mile powertrain warranty is an attractive selling point.
I've read quite a few reports that Hyundai is having problems with the transmission in the Genesis both AT and MT - failing after 1000 miles. Though you're technically covered, I'd personally hate to deal with the hassle of taking in a new car. From a reliability standpoint, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Japanese cars listed (though I've read mixed reviews about the MS3). Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:05 PM
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I was in the same shoe two years ago. Loved my 05 TL but got bored after 5 yearz. Wanted something small, hatchback, turbocharged, fun and easy to mod car.

I cross shoped mazdaspeed3, GTI, civic Si, and miniS. Before test drive, i loved the Si the most because i was (still kinda is) a honda fanboy.

After test driving all cars on the same day, i picked the mazdaspeed3 without any doubt. As in stock form, nothing came closer to the MS3 in terms of fun factor. GTI was the second choice. I loved it and i knew if i spent like 500 bucks on apr tune, it would bump up the car's power by lots. But still, i picked the rawness of the MS3 over GTI's refinement. You cant go wrong with either though.

And not that im trying to defend the cheap interior of the MS3 issue here, and in fact i like my interior, but i tell you what... nobody buys the MS3 for the interior... lol

Good luck. There are so many fun cars for affordable prices. You will have so much fun!
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 03tLsNBP View Post
i think the mazdaspeed3 has a really cheap feeling interior. i hate my ex gfs mazda 3s. the 6mt TSX or Civic SI would be great all around cars. but it is true, the MS3 will have beastly power.
I made the mistake of basing my opinion of the MS3's interior on my co-workers 3s interior, but I have to say after test driving both 1st and 2nd gen MS3s the interiors are leaps and bounds better than the stock 3.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:13 AM
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I would probably pick the Sonata Turbo.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:03 AM
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Considering you already have an Altima, I think you'd get bored with the 3.5 coupe pretty quickly. Sonata turbo is probably a great car, but too big for what you'd consider "sporty".

I think the IS250 and 2.0 Genesis are a bit slow, if you can swing a used 3.8 Genesis that would probably be a great choice.

MS3 = win. Always.

I think the 3.8 Genesis MT and the MS3 would be your two best bets, but you should test drive all the cars you're considering. You may find some hidden gems.

I'd try both the 2011 and 2012 Civic Si if I were you.

What about a 1-2 year old Subaru WRX? Almost as fast as the STi for a lot less money. Or an RX-8? I hear they're oil and gas hogs though, and they're down on torque.

V6 Mustang? Used G37?
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:40 AM
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list your insurance quotes for the above cars, and we could take it from there

i cross-shopped the TSX 6 spd and IS 250 - ended up getting a 250. It's slow, but a great little solid car for the money. After the fact, i would never. ever. consider a civic mazda 3, nissan, or hyundai. the interior and build quality does not compare to the Lexus.

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Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 AM
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I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I would go look at a 2012 Focus Hatch.

Yeah it only has 160hp and the other cars on your list have more but it's probably the nicest car of the list and $25k gets you MyFord Touch w/Navigation, the Titanium Handling Package, etc ... Basically everything but leather.

It's not going to be as quick as the other cars but I'd at least go drive it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:05 AM
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gen coupe.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 AM
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Low to mid 20k will not get him the gen coupe 3.8. He could only get the 2.0T, which is pretty weaksauce. The 3.8 is very very nice though!
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:26 AM
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my car with the work done for 4k...
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:28 AM
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insurance will be rape on the MS3. i was quoted 209 a month... thats crazy!
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:30 AM
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x2 for the focus titanium hatch. that thing is SWEET. not as fast as my car tho
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by phee View Post
insurance will be rape on the MS3. i was quoted 209 a month... thats crazy!
thats pretty damn good, actually! what were you thinking it would be? Atlanta, 22/m, with two prior speeding tickets, and a fast car.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:22 AM
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+3 for the Focus hatch
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by phee View Post
insurance will be rape on the MS3. i was quoted 209 a month... thats crazy!
$105 for me in Los Angeles
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:27 AM
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The new Focus hatch looks
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:29 AM
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you fuckers...was quoted $1,330/mo for an IS-F for downtown financial district of Miami. At which point, 22/m $209 on a MS3 seems like a walk in the park.

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Old 05-11-2011, 11:34 AM
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OMG that's high
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JS + MS3 View Post
OMG that's high
AVERAGE per MSA: (figure these are based on average 10 year old, family sedans with < 200 hp for married person in their late 30s with maybe one violation).

Detroit: 423/mo
Miami: 267/mo
NYC: 226/mo
LA: 137/mo
Atlanta: 121/mo

So add your young age, the fact that your single, possible traffic and crime in your zip code, effective cost of car, performance of car....and these average multiply very quickly.

Last edited by ThermonMermon; 05-11-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:37 PM
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I hear there's a Focus ST coming out soon? 6MT, EcoBoost 2.0 with 250 horseower.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:59 PM
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2008.5 MS3, 45k miles, $17k...

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/cto/2342173671.html

2010 MS3, ? miles, $23k...

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/cto/2371527743.html

2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Auto, 13k miles, $20k...

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/ctd/2340617403.html

2010 Si Sedan, 24k miles, $21k...

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/ctd/2373385614.html

2006 IS250, 62k miles, $20k...

http://fayetteville.craigslist.org/cto/2323452900.html



My pick is the Si. 4 doors with plenty of power, plus a huge aftermarket parts base.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Aman View Post
I hear there's a Focus ST coming out soon? 6MT, EcoBoost 2.0 with 250 horseower.
Lots of camo/mules in the wild.

This car has the potential to be incredible!
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:26 PM
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wow this thread blew up haha. i appreciate all the input. As far as insurance goes, I would be going from my NJ insurance (about $1,850 per year) to north carolina insurance, so I am fairly certain any car I get will be cheaper than what it costs me now.

Anyway, a few notes from some posts: Have not given the focus even a minute of my time, but from the reviews from some of you guys in this thread I am going to check it out.

whats wrong with the 2.0T genesis coupe? i know the 3.8 is beastly, but isnt the 2.0T fairly easy to mod like the ms3? I will also look into those tranny problems, I do not need another headache like that after my TL-S.

Phee, I do love your TL and it is tempting, i got your PM and am gonna respond back to you tonight when ive got a few mins... Ill keep that in mind.

does anybody know if any performance numbers on the new si came out yet? that jump in torque is highly tempting.

as for the WRX, i love the new style and the hatch is pretty sexy too. I was skeptical of their reliability though. does anybody have any input on that?
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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WRX: my friend bought the 2010 WRX on the same day i bought my MS3. Its a great car! Super fast too. his car has been trouble free for the past two years. its at around 40k miles already. Oh yeah he has the clunking issue with his rear suspension, but thats because he put on POS BC coilovers on it. I told him not to get the BC but he didnt listen. Lol

I know the average reliability for WRXs are not very good, but if you treat and maintain ur car well, it'll be alright.

Ive always heard good things about gen coupe 3.8 and bad things about gen coupe 2.0T.

The tested numbers are out for the 2012 Si. Its literally the same with 2011s. Its disappointing but was expected, so no surprise there.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:49 PM
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:56 PM
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^^Hot!

I really wish they produce a 2 door ST
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:00 PM
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^ +1

Great looking hatch!
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JS + MS3 View Post
The tested numbers are out for the 2012 Si. Its literally the same with 2011s. Its disappointing but was expected, so no surprise there.
Same in terms of what?
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:31 PM
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Everything.

Performance
Looks

Go check it out yourself.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:52 PM
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My opinion

GTI
MS3
Focus
Si
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:04 PM
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2006 BMW 325i or 2007 BMW 328i. If you look hard enough you can find a CPO E90 3 series with 6/100k warranty. Once you drive a bimmer you will never leave .

Out of your list I don't like the IS250 I test drove one before getting my 3G TL and the IS250 handled like a boat. The Civic SI would be good for you its reliable and somewhat sporty.

But seriously look at a E90 BMW. If your budget is around $25k you can find many you might even be lucky enough to score a 335i.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/2369025708.html

And don't forgot G35/G37. You can score a G37 coupe for low 20's. My pick would be this.

BMW E90
Infiniti G35/G37
MS3
Civic SI
TSX
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:49 PM
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^Stow away a few more grand once the warranty is up on the BMW.

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Old 05-11-2011, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermonMermon View Post
thats pretty damn good, actually! what were you thinking it would be? Atlanta, 22/m, with two prior speeding tickets, and a fast car.
I have two prior speeding tickets?
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:57 PM
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if you get the focus please get it in white with the titanium package. i almost signed my life away when i saw it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Moog-Type-S View Post
Lots of camo/mules in the wild.

This car has the potential to be incredible!
More than camos:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...led/index.html





Oh lawd.

Originally Posted by cjTL View Post
Sell your TL once the warranty on the BMW is up
Fixoured.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:11 PM
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wow the focus is nice! i was not expecting that. I absolutely had not researched it at all and didnt even know what it looked like. As for an e90 bmw, believe me I would love to get into a 3 series, and if i could get into one with a 100k mile warranty I would consider it, but I would definitely dump it once the warranty was running to an end.

I would still like to hear what the issues with the 2.0T genesis are (besides the tranny issues previously mentioned). the numbers didnt look too bad on it, and it supposedly had a lot of low end power. I want to look into the WRX a bit more after hearing some positive testimonials. An old friend of mine has an 06 STI, i have been out of touch with him for about 2 years though, I should get back in touch with him and find out how its doing haha.

I have driven the g35 coupe in 6mt form, and was not a fan. I really disliked the interior, and honestly it didnt feel more powerful or handle any considerably better than the 3.5 Altima I am currently driving. I am in love with the 350z though, but have not had the chance to drive one. I think I will add that on to my list as well, though I do travel up to NJ fairly often so I would like a car with a bit of comfort on a long trip, and the Z may be too small for that.

I do really like the g37's though, and have driven the RWD 7 speed auto sedan. On another note two not so "sporty" cars I am really in love with are the 3rd gen TL-S and the 06-08 M45 Infiniti. I have some time before I have to make my decision, but I appreciate you guys helping me rule some choices out.
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