opinions wanted, which car would you choose?

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4 door sedan, mid 2000's, $20K or less, manual trans preferred. some ideas I already have: 325/330i IS300 G35 and just to get some virulent responses: '06 malibu SS millenia S RX-8
 
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well, no manual in that Impala. Plus it's wrong wheel drive. The well cared for BMW may be the best choice. I've had a couple of people relate poor experiences to me on the older G35's. Also, from what little I know the IS300 is a great little car and gets good economy.
 

mpvue

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not impala, but the smaller malibu; yes, it is FWD, but it has a nice chassis and 240hp from its 3.9. just something about a 2 year only SS that looks interesting.
 
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Nothing on that list *really* lights my fire... but I'd have to go with the BMW followed by the G-35 and RX-8. The IS is probably fun to drive, but its such a generic jellybean I just couldn't ever see myself really liking it, even if I didn't have some strange chromosome-level hatred of anything Toyota....
 
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Originally Posted By: mpvue
not impala, but the smaller malibu; yes, it is FWD, but it has a nice chassis and 240hp from its 3.9. just something about a 2 year only SS that looks interesting.
As with Dodge putting the name "Challenger" on a rebadged Mitsubishi in the 80s, Chevrolet putting "SS" on anything with front-wheel-drive is an abomination before the Lord...
 
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The top 3 are all similar in the amount of luxury inside, I would get the Lexus IS300, but It's your choice, get what ever makes you smile after the test drive.
 
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Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Also, from what little I know the IS300 is a great little car and gets good economy.
+1 The 2006 and up IS250 manual is a good looking and fun little car with good reliability. The cockpit is nicely done as well, although larger drivers may find it a bit cramped. That is the only downside - it's a bit tight inside.
 
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'06 Malibu SS crackmeup
Quote:
As with Dodge putting the name "Challenger" on a rebadged Mitsubishi in the 80s, Chevrolet putting "SS" on anything with front-wheel-drive is an abomination before the Lord...
I dunno'...the turbo Cobalt SS represented the Super Sport badge pretty well. shrug The RX-8 has more interior room than the Lexus IS and it's the best handling front engine/rear drive vehicle. Of course it's Wankel requires some special care and feeding and it gets terrible fuel economy. shrug The Millenia S is the most reliable mass-produced Japanese Miller-Cycle V6 luxury sedan LOL The G35 has some of the Nissan VQ woes but nothing deal-breaking Pretty decent. Someone here said that the G35/G37 was Nissan's real "4 Door Sports Car". I agree. Way too many accolades, press-raves, and fan-boys of the 3-series for BMW to be doing something wrong....Just make certain the previous owner did not neglect the oil change like a certain now infamous internet sludge car.
 
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Originally Posted By: Spazdog
'06 Malibu SS crackmeup
Quote:
As with Dodge putting the name "Challenger" on a rebadged Mitsubishi in the 80s, Chevrolet putting "SS" on anything with front-wheel-drive is an abomination before the Lord...
I dunno'...the turbo Cobalt SS represented the Super Sport badge pretty well. shrug
I thought of that as an exception a little after hitting "submit." And of course the Neon SRT-4 falls under the same exception... both are very nice little performers. But no matter how much overall fun they are, you can't make front-drive NOT act like front-drive in some regards.
 
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Originally Posted By: mpvue
4 door sedan, mid 2000's, $20K or less, manual trans preferred. some ideas I already have: 325/330i IS300 G35 and just to get some virulent responses: '06 malibu SS millenia S RX-8
Given the chance to have a RWD car with good driving dynamics, I would immediately strike all the automatic and FWD options. That takes care of the Malibu and Millenia. I have an unnatural love for the RX-8, but good used ones can be very, very hard to find. Keep an eye out (and DRIVE one) but don't go too far out of your way unless you eventually decide it's the only thing that'll satisfy you. A 2000-2005 BMW 3-series is an excellent option, especially with the manual transmission. Very satisfying to drive and to own long-term. The more recent, the better; AFAIK, earlier model years had a few kinks that the later ones worked out. The only caveat -- and it's a big one -- is that you should make darn sure you do your homework before buying one. If it was treated well early on, it should keep treating you well. If it was abused or neglected, you are rolling the dice; some are fine, and some are disastrous. I don't know much about the IS300 and G35, but they should at least be worth driving. One thing I can say is that while the G35 is faster in a straight line and roomier than the 3-series, I think it's a joke to compare them otherwise; the 3's dynamics just feel like they're in a completely different league. Then again, the G35 does have a certain frat boy-like charm to it. Drive it and judge for yourself. thumbsup Also, see if you can track down a Pontiac G8 GXP 6-speed. UBER rare, but if the reviews are any indication, you'll be glad you did.
 
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1. 330i 2. G35 3. IS300 (I saw a 250 in a graphite color today and it looked beautiful) And what about Audi and Mercedes?
 
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Originally Posted By: asiancivicmaniac
3. IS300 (I saw a 250 in a graphite color today and it looked beautiful)
On the US market, there was only an IS300 from 1998 to 2005 (first generation of the IS). From 2006 on, we have the IS250 and IS350 (second generation). So, if you're looking at an IS250, that doesn't tell you much about how the IS300 looks. wink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_IS
 
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Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: asiancivicmaniac
3. IS300 (I saw a 250 in a graphite color today and it looked beautiful)
On the US market, there was only an IS300 from 1998 to 2005 (first generation of the IS). From 2006 on, we have the IS250 and IS350 (second generation). So, if you're looking at an IS250, that doesn't tell you much about how the IS300 looks. wink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_IS
Oops. The first one is still a handsome looking car though. I liked the wagon too.
 
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Originally Posted By: asiancivicmaniac
The first one is still a handsome looking car though. I liked the wagon too.
Agreed on both points! Wish I could drive one. I'd be fascinated to know how they feel.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: asiancivicmaniac
The first one is still a handsome looking car though. I liked the wagon too.
Agreed on both points! Wish I could drive one. I'd be fascinated to know how they feel.
+1. Wasnt it kind of like a 4dr supra with a base engine?
 
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Having test driven the fist gen IS before I settled on an A4, I wasn't at all impressed. It handled OK, but the interior fit, finish, and materials felt like a Corolla, not a Lexus. The second gen IS looks and feels much better in that respect... the interior fits me like a glove, but again, I'm kinda short and skinny. smile A typical American male may be inclined to perform a Hightower maneuver in it... I wish the IS350 was available with a manual trans. I would have seriously considered it.
 
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