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docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 8:39 a.m.

So, trying to decide what to do.  Keep my current Lexus GX470 as my tow/winter/ski machine/hauler, then buy a sporty car that can fit kids, or trade in the GX for another SUV

Assuming the former, what sort of fun cars are out there that'll fit kids in the back?  So far I'm thinking Focus RS/Golf R, 996 C4S, 997.1 C2 (may have some budget issues with this one) or ???

I'm shying away from M3's as I already own an E36 M3 that's track prepped, so don't think it makes a ton of sense for my fun street car to be another M3, even if it's an E46 or E90...

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/29/18 8:50 a.m.

The new Accord Sport 2.0T six speed sounds like it might be a good choice here.

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/29/18 8:51 a.m.

Chevy SS?  Are they in the 30s?

Saron81 New Reader
3/29/18 8:53 a.m.

Are you a Mustang guy? You can get a new GT for that price.

Jaynen UltraDork
3/29/18 8:59 a.m.

How big of kids are we talking about and how many are we talking about? And for how long do they need to fit? The P cars sort of surprise me.

What makes a street car "fun" for you? Is it fun because its cool/interesting or is it fun because of accelerating onto onramps? Or fun because you have corners on your commute?

The most "fun" cars on the street are the ones that actually have pretty low performance thresholds but are quick enough to be faster than traffic but you can really cane them without feeling like you are going to jail.

I would skip the focus RS and the Golf R and just get the now standard GTI with the performance pack

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 9:01 a.m.

I dig Chevy SS's, but I'm interested in something smaller. 

Woody, LOL!  I'm throwing out hot hatches and 911's and you suggest an Accord!  You're killing me!  cheeky

Hadn't thought about mustangs.  Hmm. 

Also doesn't have to be a new car, but would prefer something no older than early 2000's.  Would love a Mk4 Supra Turbo but my friend who's a Supra guy told me that I'd have to ante up another $10-15k to get a decent one.  Ouch, no thanks....

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/29/18 9:04 a.m.
docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 9:06 a.m.

In reply to Jaynen :

I've got a 13 year old and a 5 year old.  5 year old is about to get out of his big forward facing seat and into a small booster.  Even the bigger seat will fit into the back of a 996 tho. 

Fun for me means a nimble car with a goodly amount of power, like 300hp+.  I tend to knee jerk towards German cars in general but do like some of the Asian offerings.  Unfortunately the Asian cars I'm interested in have appreciated past my budget.

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 9:07 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Now if he'd have sold me the V wagon for my budget, I'd be IN!

nderwater UltimaDork
3/29/18 9:21 a.m.

I spent months working through this exact same scenario. The best and most obvious option was M3 and other BMWs were strong runners-up -- but I've already had a bunch of BMWs, so I dove into left field and bought a Jag coupe instead.

I still want a 911 someday, though. Late-model Mustang had been a strong contender but I didn't love the driving experience of the ones I test drove.

1988RedT2 UltimaDork
3/29/18 9:33 a.m.

Used Porsche Cayenne?  I have dreams about them.  Too small for me, though.

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 9:48 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

My last SUV was a Cayenne Turbo S.  Fun SUV, but I'm looking for a sporty car this time, if I decide to get rid of the GX I'll most likely trade it for a '15 Grand Cherokee SRT...

BoxheadCougarTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/29/18 9:52 a.m.

Evo VIII and IX should fit into the budget. Evo X if you want the flappy paddle gearbox.

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
3/29/18 10:00 a.m.

I haul my twins in an '11 WRX.  They're 2 yrs old and still in their infant car seats (front facing now).  We all fit fine and have a ton of fun on the commute, but if you're well over 6ft tall it would be tight with those big car seats.  Probably not an issue for your kids though.  We have the hatch so it's easy to throw enough stuff back there for day trips.  It would be a bit tight for overnight stuff, but we have a bigger car for that.  For what it's worth, I find the stock suspension is a pretty good compromise between handling and comfort.  I'm sure the heavier German stuff has even better ride quality, but overall I'm happy with the compromises.

edit: I got mine used for mid-$20K years ago.  I'm sure you could find an STi for under your price range or simply go brand-new.

Shameless photo sharing:

ace37 New Reader
3/29/18 10:02 a.m.

Pretty much any muscle car will work.

You can get a number of fun two sweaters for half the money if that opens up doors. Thinking Caymans/S2000. Or for $30 an old NSX or  an Elise would be pretty exotic.

And thinking exotic, a Maserati GT fits the purchase budget and looks and sounds stunning but probably will break the budget if you plan to turn the key often.

As you already mention, a 911 is one of the real obvious choices. I have one and really enjoy it. A few air cooled variants would also fit the budget and your increased maintenance costs might be offset by no depreciation.

Mndsm MegaDork
3/29/18 10:02 a.m.

Golf r is a neat idea. They're shockingly roomy. What about an s4? Ctsv? The v2 sedans should be down into the 30s. 

NickD UltraDork
3/29/18 10:03 a.m.

The 2012-2016  Buick Regal GS was a surprisingly good car. European Opel Insignia chassis, 270hp turbo 2.0L, available with paddle-shifted automatic or manual transmission, FWD or AWD, HiPer Strut suspension, Brembo brakes

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 10:06 a.m.

Can you get NSX's for $30k?  I thought those were all $50-60k now.  Obviously I can't fit kids in an NSX, but its an NSX!  Soooo sexy!

Could probably buy an SC or a Carrera for mid $30k's, I'm just ruined by the fact that I remember SC's costing under $10k not all that long ago.  You're right in that its a car I could own and sell for certainly no less than I have into it.

Forgot about the boost buggies.  If I could find a well kept, lightly modded Evo IX or X that'd be a contender, as would an Audi RS4...

akylekoz HalfDork
3/29/18 10:07 a.m.

Don't trade in the GX sell it to me.   Well that depends on what they give you for it.  Three rows correct with the folding third row seats.

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 10:09 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Yes, three rows with the folding 3rd row seats.

akylekoz HalfDork
3/29/18 10:13 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

I was eyeing the GX470's, a 460 is likely out of my range, but if the trade in offer is real low.smiley

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 10:15 a.m.

Mmmm, maybe an E39 M5?

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 10:22 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Looks like the GX is worth $15k in trade, $18-19k private sale...

Sonic UltraDork
3/29/18 10:25 a.m.

The only NSXs for $30k these days are 91s with 200k miles and/or a salvage title.  


How about a Lexus IS-F? Like an M3 but perfectly reliable. 


If wanting to stay German, many of the AMG 63s are in that range, like a 2012 e63 which has the turbo motor for your altitude. 

docwyte SuperDork
3/29/18 10:32 a.m.

In reply to Sonic :

That's what I thought.  Was pretty sure any decent NSX was a $50-60k car now.  Just like a decent Mk4 Supra Turbo is now a $45-55k car...

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