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07-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #31
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2006 Saabaru 9-2X Aero, 2.5 liter turbo, 5 speed manual with 78K miles. I love the ride/handling compromise that the SAAB and Subaru engineers came up with compared to the WRX. Of course the power and torque are fun to have as well as the STi suspension and steering. SAAB also spec'd a leather interior, automatic climate control, and sunroof. I dislike the amount of road and wind noise especially at cruising speeds. The worst part of the driving experience was the lurching of the drive train caused by soft bushings. I had the transmission bushings replaced with some harder neoprene ones and 90% percent of the drive line snatch is now gone. I love it!




Last edited by wtlwdwgn; 07-10-2015 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Added image.
07-10-2015, 10:21 AM   #32
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Toyota Corolla

2008 and 2013 Toyota Corolla because: (1) right size for me, (2) good gas mileage (31-38 mpg), (3) never need repair, (4) hold value very well, (5) peaceful and no drama, and (6) nobody thinks you are a dick driving BMW or Mercedes, in fact no one even notices you.
07-10-2015, 11:40 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RoxnDox Quote
2008 Honda Civic Hybrid

Likes:
- Mileage (it was purchased because I had a 112 mile round trip commute back in Nebraska...)
- Comfortable seats, good visibility all around, console is perfect arm rest
- Good handling in snow (not a big deal here in Pugetropolis, but it was in NE!)
- Excellent powertrain (gas w/ battery assist, CVT, FWD) - handled 900-mile drives from Omaha to Denver easily, as well as chugging up the 9000 ft passes in the mountains without even slowing down. And kept the mileage above 30 even up there...
- Sits low enough I can wrestle 80+ lbs of kayak on and off the roof solo.

Dislikes:
- had to get carpet floormat replaced twice - wore a hole in it with my heel in about 6 months...

Thinking about trading it on a small pickup, though, just for getting the boat around easier.

Jim
I have replaced my carpet mats a couple times since 2004 in my Mazda 3. My heels put tears in them rather quickly. I've got big feet and I don't drive with my feet floating on the pedals. My left foot pivots on my heel for actuating the clutch pedal.

The carpeting below the mats is also worn and torn, but I haven't replaced that because the quote from the body shop was ridiculous. I think that the material they use is way too thin, and it's something I've noticed on several cars these days.
07-10-2015, 12:06 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Well, I'm about to find out. Fiat = Alfa Romeo. See my post above. I'll update it when I get results.



Yourself? That's really very cool. The cheapest place that I could find to do it for me would cost me about 700 euros. How does it work really?
Yeah, we are on opposite sides of the pond, but I would like to hear how your fixes turn out.

Believe or not the FIAT is one of a couple of useful cars available in the USA that will fit into our garage. Hence the purchase. Most fixes that I have read about for my model are fairly inexpensive if you can find a competent mechanic. Used low mileage engines are going for less than $1200 USD. The two tunes that I put on my car cost me about that much. They work really well. The ECU tune smooths out the power delivery greatly and adds about 20 HP. The TCU tune is for automatics only. It compresses the shift times (so no more slushiness) and allows for maximum torque at all rpms. I didn't write any of the software for either one - just loaded them in. I have installed all the other mods with a lift, tools etc. - intake, exhaust, springs, shocks, various stabilizer bars, engine mounts, etc.


Last edited by lammie200; 07-10-2015 at 12:17 PM.
07-10-2015, 12:38 PM   #35
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'04 Mazda 3s, 2.3L, 5-speed manual
+ stylish, handles great, good acceleration, fun to drive
+ very reliable, except for wear items (clutch, battery, brakes, tires) which seem to need replacement a little sooner than other people claim is "average"
+ a very good job of putting together a "cheap" interior that doesn't look or feel the part. This is one area where I think Mazda is (or at least was?) setting itself apart from the pack.
+ MASSIVE glove compartment and trunk, in this model year at least. The glove box literally fits a full size laptop. They downsized it in later years.
+ very good stock stereo system
- weak air conditioning
- exhaust has a notable, sometimes heavy, sulfur smell... like rotten eggs. Passengers have commented. Dealer finds no faults, and has suggested to use low-sulfur fuel. Good luck finding it.
- gas mileage was never as good as claimed, and has gotten worse 11 years later
- tight rear seats
- car just will not die.... I'm getting bored of maintaining it.


'15 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC, 3.0L, 6-speed auto (not the CVT)
+ comfort, value, selectable AWD modes including FWD "eco" mode or AWD "lock" mode for off-road
+ good power vs. fuel economy in the V6 (note: the 4 cylinder / CVT version felt anemic)
+ tons of space
+ power / remote liftgate
+ actually fun to drive for a 3-row crossover; very sporty
+ 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (!)
+ understated, collected interior that is classy
+ good initial quality; 8k miles so far and literally zero issues that we had to take it in for
+ Rockford Fosgate sound system with subwoofer is a treat (but not as good as more expensive aftermarket systems)
- some visibly cheap interior components
- slightly outmoded infotainment system (not important to us, so long as Bluetooth functions work for streaming music, Google Nav voice directions, and hands-free calling-- they all work.)
- you have to pony up for the top trim levels to get most of the things that make this car stand out, otherwise look elsewhere
- runs on any octane, but prefers premium for the best performance (4-cylinder is designed for 87/regular, though)
+/- very small, dwindling dealer network and not very strong sales for Mitsubishi USA
con: finding a dealer for regular maintenance; some concern about them still being around to honor the 10-year warranty in 2025 if needed
pro: was able to negotiate very effectively and paid what I believe to be the invoice price from independent research

Last edited by lightbox; 07-10-2015 at 01:03 PM.
07-10-2015, 03:05 PM   #36
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I drive a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis. Out of all the vehicles I've had this is the one that I like the most.

Pros:V8, rear wheel drive
styling(I've been a LTD/Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis fan since the 80s)
Fuel economy-17mpg city/26 hwy. Much better than a truck or full size SUV
gear shifter on steering column and bench front seat with fold out armrests
Comfortable on long trips
Terrible resale value-I got it for 12000usd when it was 3 years old and had 30,000 miles
Very reliable

Cons:not much luggage space(there are times when I wish I had a gas guzzling truck or SUV)need to haul a washing machine-forget it
2.73 axle ratio hurts performance-but that's how it gets 26mpg
2010 was the last year they were made so this will be my last one-gotta hang onto it as long as I can
07-11-2015, 12:59 PM   #37
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Mazda3s, 2010

We have a 2010 Mazda3s, the 5 door hatchback, 167hp 2.5 liter, 6 speed manual. Bought new in October 2010, now has about 72K

Likes:

Handling. Very responsive, agile. Good cornering power, powerful brakes. Acceleration is adequate, and the gear ratios give good passing if one drops down a gear or two. Low wind noise. We bought the sunroof - Bose audio combination, quite good sound. Since the rear seat will fold down in 1/3 or 2/3 sections hauling is easy. Seats are pretty good, driver's seat adjusts height, seat back angle, wish it had a lumbar adjust. Front leg room is good, rear legroom barely adequate, but so it goes with a small car. Headlights are adequate, but the plastic lenses are beginning to cloud. Good AC The HVAC controls are easy to use. The steering column stalks are excellent, they look as from Ford's parts bin, identical to those on my '96 Contour SE. Body integrity is good, but here in Georgia road salt is a real rarity. No rattles, save for an errant socket I dropped in the spare tire well, and the spoiler which needs periodic bolt tightening. Fit of body panels is good.

Dislikes:

Road noise. The transmission gave trouble from day one, very easy to beat the 1 - 2 shift synchros when the engine is cold. It was worked on under warranty, and it is better, but still not as good as other trans I've driven. The original floor mats wore through by 40K; the carpet seems pretty thin. The interior "metallic" trim bits are wearing down to the black plastic; cruise control tabs on the wheel are wearing to the cream plastic. In general the interior materials seem a bit cheap. The horn is a wimpy travesty. The original tires 205x50x17in were very noisy, lasted about 30K. According to the dealer that was a good performance on this car. I switched to comparable Firestone and got over 40K on them. Since the brake pads are the original and should last to over 100K I don't think its my driving style.

We generally like the car, and its replacement could well be another Mazda.
07-11-2015, 02:04 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Very sharp lookin' car! Love it!

Statistics I have read say the red color is not any more likely to be a "cop stopper" than other colors....but I don't believe it! I had a '69 Red Roadrunner......cops loved it...but maybe it wasn't the red they loved after all....it was the fastest car around in its day. A few cops only got a brief glimpse of it as it flew out of their reach.
Regards!

Thanks Rupert. Despite it's drawbacks, it's been the most fun car I've ever owned. Your little TT looks like it would be a hoot to drive. And darn good looking jeep you've got too!

07-11-2015, 10:09 PM - 1 Like   #39
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This! No longer made since Saab went bankrupt after being shed by GM during it's own bankruptcy. I still own a Saab 900, but it is not the SPG. I had to sell that when I moved countries. This has a huge trunk, and can be slept in with the back seat folded. Another thing - I don't see myself on every second street corner. Built like a tank, and Saab Led the way with small turbo charged engines. The industry caught up 40 years later.
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07-12-2015, 11:53 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote

Thanks for your response! I've learned some new car/thechnical English from you here. And in hindsight, I wan't entirely correct when I described my problem in my first post. It's the two front ball joints that they want to replace. Not the stabilizers, they were replaced around three months ago. I could surely hear them knocking, yes. Can it be that the broken stabilizer have worn out the ball joints extra quickly?
They can but they wont, there is just not enough strenght in the stabilizer to affect the ball joints. The big wheels and skinny tires on the other hand can definitely be part of the problem since they filter out less of the bumps.
07-13-2015, 03:04 PM   #41
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My ride is a silver 2014 Ford Escape.

I love this vehicle for a variety of practical reasons, but there is one overriding sentimental reason. I bought it a couple of months after my divorce was finalized last year: it was the first vehicle I had bought on my own since before I got married. I picked it out, test drove it, and handled the paperwork all by myself. It was a liberating experience.

Practically, I love how how it looks and how it drives (so smooth). Being vertically challenged, I like how it sits me up fairly high. I like that it has a rear-view camera, Bluetooth, and USB ports (I came from a 2003 Toyota Matrix, so it was a big step up in technology). When I put the back seat down, there's a crap-ton of cargo space. I like the fact that I can put stickers on the back window and not worry about a husband complaining about them.

There isn't really anything that I dislike about my vehicle, but I have just one minor annoyance. When I hook my phone up to the USB play music through the stereo speakers, it doesn't automatically pick up on it and I have to punch a series of buttons just to get it to work properly. It's not terribly convenient while I'm driving down the road.

All in all, I see myself keeping this vehicle for a good long time.
07-14-2015, 12:08 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by heatherslightbox Quote
My ride is a silver 2014 Ford Escape.

I love this vehicle for a variety of practical reasons, but there is one overriding sentimental reason. I bought it a couple of months after my divorce was finalized last year: it was the first vehicle I had bought on my own since before I got married. I picked it out, test drove it, and handled the paperwork all by myself. It was a liberating experience.

Practically, I love how how it looks and how it drives (so smooth). Being vertically challenged, I like how it sits me up fairly high. I like that it has a rear-view camera, Bluetooth, and USB ports (I came from a 2003 Toyota Matrix, so it was a big step up in technology). When I put the back seat down, there's a crap-ton of cargo space. I like the fact that I can put stickers on the back window and not worry about a husband complaining about them.

There isn't really anything that I dislike about my vehicle, but I have just one minor annoyance. When I hook my phone up to the USB play music through the stereo speakers, it doesn't automatically pick up on it and I have to punch a series of buttons just to get it to work properly. It's not terribly convenient while I'm driving down the road.

All in all, I see myself keeping this vehicle for a good long time.
Stickers on the rear window can block the view and are dangerous.
07-14-2015, 06:30 AM   #43
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Bought this thing new back in 2008....then retired a couple of years later.....don't use it much....about 45,000km on it now (30,000 miles). Played around with it a bit when I retired, larger intercooler, free flowing dump pipes (turbo back), along with a ECU that you can plug your notebook into and adjust things.... boost upped from 8psi to 16 now with appropriate fuel maps..... about 330w (450hp or so).... 1/4 around low 12's. Now I don't drive it anywhere were I can go quick so why bother.... all bit silly really (probably like getting a FF camera).



Drive a Toyota Prado 95% of the time (Small Land cruiser?)....which suits my "Sea Change" bum lifestyle now.

Last edited by noelpolar; 07-14-2015 at 06:37 AM.
07-14-2015, 06:48 AM - 1 Like   #44
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Subaru Impreza WR-X Club Spec 10. Before that I drove a Subaru WR-P10 and before that an Impreza RX. Can you pick the pattern?
Reliable, safe, great handling, fun to drive, surprisingly economical, nice looking.


100000

07-14-2015, 09:37 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
Stickers on the rear window can block the view and are dangerous.
That's exactly why I keep them around the edges of the window so they won't block my view.
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