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Thread: Seeking Crowd Wisdom

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Default Seeking Crowd Wisdom

    Guys,

    OK, I'm looking for a sipper to putt around town in so I don't have to drive a crew cab pickup every day. I'm looking to spend no more or not much more than $5,000 and I'm looking for ideas for what to get.

    The following criteria must be met:

    - 30 mpg highway or darn close to it. The cooler the car, the more I'm willing to budge on fuel economy. For example, a clean E30 gets around 28 or 29, which I could live with.
    - four or six cylinders
    - FWD or RWD
    - manual transmission
    - black or dark gray interior
    - four doors only, sedan, hatchback or wagon is OK
    - white exterior preferred

    I'd like something sporty that I can autocross if I feel so inclined. I'm considering a Protege5, a Protege ES, an E30 or a Lexus IS300. Am I missing other potentials?

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    $5k is the tough part. My vote would be an 5th or 6th gen civic sedan, 91-95 DX/LX. Kids want the hatches so clean sedans abound. Cheap hop up parts like better shocks, exhaust, seats, etc. Get one for $3000 and spend the rest on a
    set of wheels, tires, shocks, exhaust, and maybe reflash. OBD1 so dealing with CARB is easy. These will get 40mpg on the hwy without batting an eye, handle decent.

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    Last edited by emilio700; 07-19-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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    But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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    Senior Member pucsicsal's Avatar
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    - four doors only, sedan, hatchback or wagon is OK
    If I could use an MR2, I'd already have a Miata.

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I notice a common theme among all those Hondas, but I can't put my finger on it. Hmmm ...

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    +1 Great insight on the sedan vs. hatch choice.

    I drove an Infiniti G20 as my commuter car for years, but they are hard to find without an automatic transmission.

    The Protégé looks so nice, but can they autox?

    Or, if you can stomach an auto trans this one could be worth a few hours of due diligence: Cars for Sale: 1990 Acura Integra in Laguna Hills, CA 92637: Sedan Details - 350983071 - AutoTrader.com

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    E30 would be a mistake. BMW stopped making them over 20 years ago. Parts are expensive. Honda fwd like Emilio recommends sounds better to me.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    I notice a common theme among all those Hondas, but I can't put my finger on it. Hmmm ...
    they're all mad tyte JDM

    yo


    Honestly after looking at the pics, I kinda want one. Good engines, roomy for a small car, cheap, easy to maintain and my wheels fit.
    ucfbrett likes this.
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    But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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    dirty smack talker hakeem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    E30 would be a mistake. BMW stopped making them over 20 years ago. Parts are expensive. Honda fwd like Emilio recommends sounds better to me.
    Parts are cheap for the E30 and E36. Would be cooler than the Honda but doubt they would be even close on gas mileage.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    Parts are cheap for the E30 and E36. Would be cooler than the Honda but doubt they would be even close on gas mileage.
    The gas mileage is important these days,to survive after a crash is not of less importance."They" forgot to put metal in those Hondas,hence the mileage Oh,and the 135 tires also..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    Parts are cheap for the E30 and E36. Would be cooler than the Honda but doubt they would be even close on gas mileage.
    Amir -

    I'll accept your word for that, but can you buy an E36 4-door sedan with manual gearbox that is not a FRIGHT PIG for $5,000-? I don't think so . . .
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    Senior Member Silversprint's Avatar
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    I'm willing to give up 5-10 mpg to get a nicer ride. The Lexus is300 is a nice car. They are safe, reliable and look great. They have held their value well and it might be tough to find nice one for $5k. It's also tough to find a manual transmission.

    The IS300 has doublewish bone suspension, RWD, HID head lights. Some also came with an optional LSD. Look at the sticker on driver door sill/jamb, look for the area that reads "A/TM"
    You'll see numbers such as B02A, B02B, B02C. A=no LSD. B,C = LSD.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    90-93 Acura Integra, 94+ too. Four door, manual, sometimes in GSR trim. Can be found for $5k or less, unmolested. Great DD, comfy seats, FWD, DW. The IS300 @5k will be a salvage title. Also be aware the insurance on the IS is crazy.

    The Protege 5 is fun, but slow. I bought my e30 325is from a buddy for $3k ('friend' price), 180k, all the 'right' modifications, detailed ownership and records. You can find an e36, but I find them more expensive to maintain.

    I found my '02 RSX base with leather for $5k. Rough around the edges (dents and scrapes), but it had good documentation and 108k on it. For $5k, you may want to look at sleepers, like perhaps a Focus SVT 5 door hatch?

    I bought my mom a Protege ES in '03. It handled surprising well and was great on fuel. My older sister has it now for commuting and after 10 years and 180k on it, it still runs like a top.
    Last edited by Force McCocken; 07-23-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silversprint View Post
    I'm willing to give up 5-10 mpg to get a nicer ride. The Lexus is300 is a nice car. They are safe, reliable and look great. They have held their value well and it might be tough to find nice one for $5k. It's also tough to find a manual transmission.

    The IS300 has doublewish bone suspension, RWD, HID head lights. Some also came with an optional LSD. Look at the sticker on driver door sill/jamb, look for the area that reads "A/TM"
    You'll see numbers such as B02A, B02B, B02C. A=no LSD. B,C = LSD.
    Yeah, but you have to drive a Lexus!!! Don't do it Brett. This will be when you know you are getting old.
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    What about an early Acura TSX? 4 door and probably a little easier to find in a manual transmission than the Lexus.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    The TSX is a little newer(04) than the IS300. $10k seemed to be the going rate for good used ones with a manual without really high mileage.

    I have have been doing a similar search with varying levels of interest over the past 18 mos. TSX, IS300/SportCross, c320, e46 wagon, occasionally a Volvo v40. The IS pops up a lot under 10k though usually as a salvage title. I haven't read exactly why this happens, but I suspect it has to do with airbags and expensive body work. The fuel economy on the IS is SUV-like The e46 is possible to find around 8k or less in a wagon, but the manuals are rare. The autos on the e46 are notoriously bad. The TSX is a little difficult to find under 10k that hasn't been well maintained. The Volvo appeals to my designer thinking, but frightens me because of the general reputation of the brand.

    I still also look at 03+ V8 4runners.

    I took the RSX because I know the k20 motors reasonably well and it's a reliable DD'er. The e30 was too good of a deal to pass up.

    If you're willing to go to 8-10k, look at the Mazda 3 5 door hatches.
    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I can get 20 mpg with my truck, so lofty highway mileage is important. I did find one E46 wagon with a manual on Craigslist, but it was $9k, which was a bridge too far.

    I really like the looks of the V50 Volvo wagons, but you finding a manual transmission is nearly impossible. Actually, if you search on AutoTrader.com for any brand of wagon with a manual transmission, you get an abundance of Subarus, which aren't frugal enough.

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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Okay, how about a Fit or Mazda2? I've seen new 2s in the $12k range so you should be able to get a first year one for $7k. Fits have been in the US for longer but I'm guessing hold their value better than the Mazda.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    If $5k is the sticking point, go with the Protege 5. Maybe a 5dr Golf if you're feeling masochistic.
    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Captain Planet tq3z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    I notice a common theme among all those Hondas, but I can't put my finger on it. Hmmm ...
    They're gay?
    Do you understand?

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