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Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
4/5/18 10:46 a.m.

I can't be the only one, can I?

I probably am..... 

pres589 PowerDork
4/5/18 11:04 a.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

No, you're very much not the only one.

buzzboy Reader
4/5/18 7:44 p.m.

My mom drives a 2010 6 speed Mazda 3 wagon. It's been great in every way. Pretty quick, fun to drive, 40+mpg highway and lots of room inside. She routinely uses it for hauling 100s of dozens of Tshirts at a time(and wonders why it wears out the rear tires). Her only complaint is that the factory seat foam wore out quickly and my only complaint is the mushy feeling shifter and clutch.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/5/18 8:25 p.m.

Drove the C30 today- it was in good shape, wonderfully rust free, interior space seems serviceable, engine is nice and responsive but what were they thinking with the control feel?  The clutch, brakes, and steering wheel all feel like absolute numb garbage, which is my complaint about most modern cars.  I have to really think about whether a vehicle this numb is something I'm willing to live with.

Sonic UltraDork
4/5/18 8:56 p.m.

If you want to try a Mazda3, we aren’t far.  Ours is not stock, but nothing too crazy that you wouldn’t consider anyway.  2007 with 214k. 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/5/18 9:04 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

You hit the exact reason I sold ours when my no longer wanted hers. You can fix it all but by then you basically have a Volvo powered Mazdaspeed 3. 

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/5/18 10:36 p.m.

your 95 318ti would be perfect in NJ. They stopped emissions testing anything before OBD2 here. Like I said above, I am interested in what your's is like, I miss my 96

Casual Six
Casual Six UltraDork
4/6/18 12:29 a.m.

Mazdaspeed 3? Like a regular Mazda 3, but with a hundred or so extra horsepower.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/6/18 4:39 a.m.

I know a few guys with C30's through a friend in the classic Volvo and MINI clubs.  My friend switched to a C30 from an R53 MINI. He likes the C30 better for the fuel mileage and power compared to his mildly modified MINI, but he definitely says the MINI has better handling and overall "character" if that means anything. 

After driving the MINI home from your house last weekend, you need a trophy truck for those roads... I know what I would build, but everyone else would think I'm insane (modified Mk IV VW) Jetta/Golf/GTI)...  Unless anyone comes up with a better answer, I'm thinking WRX wagon with some minor upgrades... Not so much for the AWD but for the ground clearance and suspension travel.

Odd the BMW needs dyno testing where you are.  They stopped that around me as no inspection station around here has a working testing dyno anymore. Visual only now. That was a bane of my E30 - it couldn't pass a dyno test to save its life.

pres589 PowerDork
4/6/18 5:22 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

What kind of mpg's is your friend pulling with the C30 that he likes over his previous MINI?  The mileage was, for me, the biggest turn-off.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/6/18 8:00 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

Closing in on 180k miles.

Engine:  Seems healthy but burns and leaks a little oil.  Cooling system overhaul done 2.5 years ago.

Rest of drivetrain:  Open diff.  New guibo within the last 10k miles.

Chassis:  Not great- DS floor patched due to rust, rear wheel arches beginning to rust, repaired damage to PS control arm mount.  Paint is nice, though.

Interior:  Typical E36- seats have seen better days, door panels are the wrong color and screwed on, carpets are gross.  Sunroof and A/C don't work.

Suspension/Brakes:  Bilstein HDs all around, Condor bushings everywhere, 328is front springs, 318i coupe rear springs, long progressive bumpstops.  Stock wheels have well used Winterforces on them, also has 16" Kosei K1s with BFG Sport-Comp 2s.  EBC redstuff with good rotors and relatively new lines all around.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/6/18 8:07 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

Given that the BMW (with its' current suspension) handles these roads nicely, I think I can get most things to as long as they're not crazy short on travel.  The thing that draws me to the swedish stuff over the WRX is rust resistance, but I should at least drive one I guess.

The dyno testing thing is as much an excuse to not swap it as anything else- see above, chassis isn't necessarily one I feel is worth putting a huge amount of work into.  I did make a V6 swapped MR2 pass the dyno previously, so I know it's possible to increase the displacement and still pass... part of it is that, even if I did swap it, add sound deadening, replace the trashed interior parts, etc. the 318ti will still be an e36, so unless I want to explore remaking a whole bunch of interior stuff (not outside the realm of possibility) it's still going to keep falling apart.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/6/18 12:41 p.m.
pres589 said:

In reply to Ian F :

What kind of mpg's is your friend pulling with the C30 that he likes over his previous MINI?  The mileage was, for me, the biggest turn-off.


Low 30's in mixed driving.  His R53 MINI rarely got up to 30.

My concern with the C30 on rough roads is it seems typical of many FWD cars - a lot of front overhang and a vulnerable oil pan.

pres589 PowerDork
4/6/18 1:00 p.m.

Gah, another car I like that pulls better mpg's than the car I have now.  

Off to autotrader to tease myself.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/6/18 1:57 p.m.

I suppose I should add his results may not be typical.  While not nuts about it, he is prone to hyper-miling. 

BlueInGreen44 - Jon
BlueInGreen44 - Jon SuperDork
4/6/18 2:08 p.m.

I liked my 318ti.  My wife's 2012 Focus almost, in a weird way, reminds me of driving an improved fwd version of the little BMW.  My vehicle requirements seem pretty similar to yours: dog hauling, highway miles, pothole dodging, and backroads fun.  When it comes time to shop for myself, probably a couple years from now, I'll be looking for current gen. 6spd manual Foci or Mazda 3 hatches.

irish44j UltimaDork
4/6/18 4:54 p.m.

I'll vote Mazda3(S) hatchback.

They handle well in stock form, have good brakes, reasonable power (the 2.5 has more than the TI, that's for sure), nice steering weight, and a pretty nice interior. Plus plenty of the room you're looking for, good MPGs, and good reliability.  We had zero problems with my wife's 2004 (the 2.3) and i thought it was fun to drive if not a rocket ship off the line. My one and only complaint with it, really, was that the center stack is kind of wide and my knee always banged into it. 

CyberEric Reader
4/6/18 5:28 p.m.

Yeah the C30 (and most modern Volvos) have crap control feel. I had the exact same impressions you had when I drove one. I actually laughed out loud when I went to shift it, it was that bad. (I was coming from a Miata, however). 

Go drive a Mazda 3 on a twisty road. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/9/18 7:41 a.m.

The Mazda 3 has been moved to the top of the FWD list, although there's a Saab 9-3 just sitting at a friend's place that I'm being tempted by as well.

Reflecting on my preferences, I know I've ended up disliking every front wheel drive car I've ever owned- the is300 sportcross manual swap is a real contender, we have to go drive a regular is300 to see if it might be worth the hassle.  I know I like Toyota, which is a start, but are there other similar vehicles which are just a third pedal away from being a good choice?  FX35/45 with a transmission from a G35?  Let's ignore the German wagons for this experiment.  

I appreciate all of the suggestions so far, I'm not ignoring any of them but I enjoy the thought experiment.  Sonic, thanks for the offer- we'll probably just drive one which is for sale since we can buy it if we like it, two birds with one stone kind of.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/9/18 8:25 a.m.

Also the exception to any newness/safety criteria is a 70s Toyota Crown wagon.  If anybody can find me one of those anywhere this thread is over cheeky

paul_s0 New Reader
4/9/18 9:15 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Also the exception to any newness/safety criteria is a 70s Toyota Crown wagon.  If anybody can find me one of those anywhere this thread is over cheeky

You should come and get one from Peru, falling over the things here in Lima, Datsun 510s and Toyota Coronas.  Ok, more sedans than wagons and the numbers are reducing, but I still see 1 or 2 wagons on average every day.. If you ever want 70s and 80s Japanese stuff, it's all here in Lima, mostly in use as taxis.

Oh, and if ground clearance is an issue - I went through all that with my Mazda 3 hatch, as the roads here are absolutely awful - Moog have some off-the-shelf springs for around $40 a pair that lift it up nicely, and work very well with Bilsteins.

CyberEric Reader
4/9/18 10:43 a.m.

The IS 300 I drove felt great. I liked it a lot, so I imagine the Sportcross will be nice as well.

The transmission swap sounds like too big of a headache for me though. 

kodachrome New Reader
4/12/18 3:43 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

The real headache stems from dealing with me being picky! But looking at two options this weekend laugh

But it may be less of a headache to manual swap an is300 sportback than finding something that exists for us

MrChaos GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/12/18 4:03 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Also the exception to any newness/safety criteria is a 70s Toyota Crown wagon.  If anybody can find me one of those anywhere this thread is over cheeky


that is an 89.



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
4/12/18 4:18 p.m.

In reply to MrChaos :

Wrong one, I'm talking about this body style:

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