1 2 3 4
Luke
Luke SuperDork
3/25/10 8:45 a.m.
John Brown wrote: Screw the car seat, lets go DRIFTING!

$8690...really?

Looks like a prop from a Fast and Furious movie, but that still seems awfully cheap, considering the parts on it.

My vote would be for the Lexus IS...Toyota reliability, executive image, yet a great drivers car with a bit of an enthusiast vibe going on.

This is awesome:

unevolved wrote: Since image counts, how about an IS300 SportCross? If you can find one.
mtn
mtn SuperDork
3/25/10 8:59 a.m.

That sportcross thing is a de-facto exotic. Rarer than a Bently whatever, just cause they never sold any of them.

Thought of another: Lexus SC 300/400.

skruffy
skruffy Dork
3/25/10 9:04 a.m.

The IS300 wagon wasn't available with a stick either, so aside from being really hard to find, it doesn't fit the criteria.

81gtv6
81gtv6 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/25/10 9:10 a.m.

What about a 9-5? Sticks are easy to find. will get mid 30's and cheap.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
3/25/10 9:15 a.m.

Sweet old-school Benz wagon?

I'm shocked at how much I like this car. Unbelievably comfortable, attractive (in my eyes, at least) and surprisingly fun to drive hard once you accept the fact that it has ridiculous amounts of body roll.

Mine runs on gas, so it doesn't get anywhere near 30 mpg. The diesel would probably get you there, though.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
3/25/10 9:17 a.m.
81gtv6 wrote: What about a 9-5? Sticks are easy to find. will get mid 30's and cheap.

There is a reason they are cheap. I have one 6 months out of the year. Its a great car, and pretty reliable... but when it breaks (and it eventually will) it will be catastrophic. Also, good luck finding someone who wants to work on one.

But I do consider it to be one of the better bargains out there, just not for this criteria.

81gtv6
81gtv6 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/25/10 9:23 a.m.

In reply to mtn:

I have had mine for about 1 year, it has 120k (got it with 90k) on it and I have had to do exactly nothing to it so far.

Parts are not expensive, I know of at least 4 indi shops in and around Columbus that work on SAABs, and they are fairly rare around here.

I think that SAABs reliability had been blown way out of proportion for the most part. Get one that was taken care of and it will be a great car. But of course YMMV.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
3/25/10 9:27 a.m.

If you are up for a unicorn hunt.......

The Camry was available in the late 90s with the V6 and a 5spd. If you could find one of those it would be a great sleeper/ respectable/ invisible to Johnny Law machine. It would also get 30 mpg or so which is one of your requirements.

A V6 manual trans Maxima would also be a good choice. If the mileage thing isn't a top priority, a Subaru Forester XT would be at the top of my list. Your mileage will be closer to 20mpg than 30 though.

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
3/25/10 9:27 a.m.
skruffy wrote: Any of the 6 cyl E39's (525, 528, 530) should get 30mpg or better on the highway. All were available with a stick and are plentiful below $10k. Most of them will already have had the cooling system gone through at this point, and it's really the only weak point on 5's. Get one with the sport package. Plenty big for hauling kids, fun to drive, very safe, easy to work on, good looking but outdated enough as to not look expensive, etc... It's the car you want.

All of this is true under ideal circumstances. However, if the CCV hasn't been done, there are probably vacuum leaks and/or other related issues that will reduce fuel efficiency, sometimes significantly. If the suspension hasn't been looked after, it will likely need front control arm bushings and sway bar end links at the very least. And no automatic will touch 30mpg on the hilly highways of CT.

But, it can be done - I just drove from NY to RI and back last weekend and managed 30.9mpg over the highway portions in my manual 525i Sport.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/25/10 9:28 a.m.

Jag???? reliable?????? inexpensive to repair???? Is this a comedy thread?

81gtv6
81gtv6 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/25/10 9:31 a.m.
Tom Heath wrote: Sweet old-school Benz wagon? I'm shocked at how much I like this car. Unbelievably comfortable, attractive (in my eyes, at least) and surprisingly fun to drive hard once you accept the fact that it has ridiculous amounts of body roll. Mine runs on gas, so it doesn't get anywhere near 30 mpg. The diesel would probably get you there, though.

Sweet car by the way.

Strike_Zero
Strike_Zero Reader
3/25/10 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Tom Heath:

Styling!!!

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
3/25/10 9:42 a.m.

um, i just skimmed the responses, but i don't think anyone has mentioned an E39 5 series. you could probably find a 6cyl/6spd for well under your 10k limit, and 540i/6's go for about 10k as well. even available in wagon form, but not sure if you could get the stick that way

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/25/10 9:45 a.m.

I second the maxima and the tsx... they sound perfect for what you need

seeker589
seeker589 Reader
3/25/10 9:50 a.m.

Acura Integra, TSX or even some of the larger Acuras were available with manuals.

Don't rule out the Accord - appliance reliability - fun to drive with the right mild suspension mods - very attractive with the right wheels - not too large. A friend had a '93 that he thrashed for years - 232K miles later - the only thing that needed fixed was mild rust and second gear - it drove great!

Mazda 6

VW Passats can be reliable - but it is a crap shoot.

Saabs and Bimmers can be expensive to fix. Volvos can be money pits as well if there are gremlins.

A Chevy Cobalt - even a non SS can be fun. Even the base model motors and trannys can support boost and big (400) horsepower. Parts and service are cheap, too.

Can your replace your Civic with another Civic. Ten grand can get a pretty nice one.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/25/10 9:51 a.m.
seeker589 wrote: VW Passats can be reliable - but it is a crap shoot.

You almost typed that with a straight face ;)

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/25/10 9:52 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: Jag???? reliable?????? inexpensive to repair???? Is this a comedy thread?

I work in a VW dealership, I look UP to British automakers.

itsarebuild
itsarebuild GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/25/10 9:56 a.m.

top 2 mentioned so far for your needs are audi 1.8T and Mazda 3 for my $.02.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Reader
3/25/10 9:59 a.m.
John Brown wrote: I work in a VW dealership, I look UP to British automakers.

I was at my tire place getting some slicks mounted and the service writer noticed my Disco. "Whats the deal with the Rover?" he says. "Oh, I got rid of my Audi and got this because I was sick of all the expensive maintenance." Got a good laugh out of the whole shop.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Reader
3/25/10 10:55 a.m.

Mazda 3 Mazda 6 - this might actually be cheaper than the 3 and they have a hatch and wagon variation :) Ford Focus

Maximas are cool

So are Volva wagons

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
3/25/10 10:59 a.m.

I'm shocked no one's mentioned the Mazda5 yet. Might be a little more functional that you're looking for, though.

EDIT: I'm not sure if you'd find one used for $10k, so maybe I'm less shocked than I was.

fromeast2west
fromeast2west New Reader
3/25/10 11:20 a.m.

My GF has been looking at Mazda3s, and they should fit right in your range.

It was surprising how close in price the higher level Mazdas were. I guess there's just a lot of demand for the 3s, so the others depreciate faster. It would be an easy way into a nice midsized sedan. The hatchback 3 is a nice option if you want something smaller that will fit babies, extra gear, and help you move your stuff around.

mrhappy
mrhappy New Reader
3/25/10 12:12 p.m.
Tom Heath wrote: Sweet old-school Benz wagon? I'm shocked at how much I like this car. Unbelievably comfortable, attractive (in my eyes, at least) and surprisingly fun to drive hard once you accept the fact that it has ridiculous amounts of body roll. Mine runs on gas, so it doesn't get anywhere near 30 mpg. The diesel would probably get you there, though.

Does this one have the rear facing third row seat?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/25/10 12:22 p.m.
John Brown wrote:
dean1484 wrote: Jag???? reliable?????? inexpensive to repair???? Is this a comedy thread?
I work in a VW dealership, I look UP to British automakers.

A lot of people do that.

Usually when they're lying underneath them trying to fix the darn thing again.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/25/10 12:26 p.m.

I wonder if you could pick up a BMW E46 325 (or is a 328)Xi for that money?

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
yOVihmeasN6WgpdW7ux23qTu4Jyy7lQhptHdqFKrDOzHFdLYj0L91psOyn5y0wFg