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Old 04-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
Pinecone
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Car Shopping

Took this nice day and did some car shopping.

We are looking at getting something smallish, reasonable gas mileage, but not hard core enough about that to get a non-performance model.

We we thinking Fiat 500 Abarth, and that is still on the list, but no demos to see and drive yet. So we took at a look at some cars in the similar range. We are looking in the $25K range MSRP.

Today we looked at the VW GTI, Honda Civic Si, and Subaru WRX.

VW GTI - VERY impressed with this car. More so than I expected. Feels like a German car, even starting from opening the doors. Fairly roomy, good power, NICE brakes. Feels a lot like the M3 in many ways. Not much torque steer, but will probably be a handful with serious understeer if pushed hard. 200 HP 3000 pounds EPA 21/31

Honda Civic Si - Not available without a sunroof (deal killer itself) but I don't fit in the car. With the seat all the way down and otherwise adjusted, my head is against the sunroof surround section. Nope, did not bother to drive it.

Subara WRX - More power and less gas mileage than the 500 and GTI. It has gotten to be a fairly big car, but nice to drive. Very good power, a good bit of body roll. Not quite as quality feeling as the GTI, but definitely nice. EPA 19/25. 265 HP 3200 pounds

One ringer, the dealer has a Golf R sitting there. No sunroof. Blue. Sweet. But doesn't fit the price or gas mileage goals. I will NOT buy it, I will NOT buy it, I will NOT buy it. EPA 19/27 256 HP 3300 pounds.

Fiat 500 is 160 HP 2600 pounds and only mileage figure seems to be highway at 34.

Still want to check out the Mini and maybe the 1 series. And see/drive the Abarth.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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Don't know about the GTI or the R, but our 2.5 liter Rabbit go much better mileage than the EPA average.

MUCH better than the sticker. I even joked about it once to our service writer that maybe they should look at the motor to find out why we got such good mileage

IF memory serves correct, we got about 33/40-42 with the 5-speed
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Nice group. I think what you'll find, driving the Mini, is that it has the same Germanic solidity as the Golf. It drives like a much more serious car than the looks would have you believe.

At the same time, it is a lot livelier than the Golf. The steering, clutch and shifter all have a lot more resistance, and next to the Golf it feels downright twitchy.

The Golf certainly feels more adult, but the Mini is a lot more playful.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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Not to steal your thread, but I too went to a couple dealerships to see what the story is for the FRS/BRZs. Perhaps you may want to consider one too?

BRZ - The dealer was very pushy to get a deposit from me, and I do not blame him. The first salesman read the brochure to me and told me that Scions have nothing to do with Subarus. The sales manager was walking by/listening to our conversation and took over from there. Bottom line, this dealer is claiming that they are only allocated 5 BRZs for the whole year. The price quote for the Premium (Subaru's base model) he gave me seemed to have a mark up and pushed the total sales price near $29k. Maybe that is the price point for these. No thanks. Having a Subaru badge is not worth an extra $2-3k to me.

FRS - I just need to pick a color (dark blue or dark grey), but Scion it is for me.

It sounds like the Golf R is the winner in your search so far. Are the Fiat Abarths here yet, or are all of the Abarths sold already? Which Mini model were you considering?
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:59 AM   #5
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We picked up the BRZ brochure and will look more closely at it. It seems that for the gas mileage, staying the 200 HP or less range makes sense. Fun, but reasonable fuel economy. Going to the 250+ range really makes a difference in gas mileage.

Had not considered the Scion, but will add that to the mix.

Probably ooking the the MCS (see 200 HP comment above), but would prefer the JCW, but same considerations as the Golf R (price gas mileage).

Trying to stay away from going too high end, as if the leaked info is correct, the next gen M3 might be a serious player (I like the idea of 3100 pounds 480 HP ).

The Fiat 500 Abarths are in production. The demo should be at the dealer soon. I think they took the first round of customer orders for delivery in May sometime.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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I vote R
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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just saw this
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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Looked at the BRZ and FR-S online. NO WAY those two are not from the same assembly line.

No mileage stats on it yet.

I like that it is RWD.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
Looked at the BRZ and FR-S online. NO WAY those two are not from the same assembly line.

No mileage stats on it yet.

I like that it is RWD.
They are almost exactly the same car save for the bumper covers, badging, and maybe a few other easy-to-change parts. Possibly a little different interior. Oh, and I think the Subie will have a bit more "content" to it's base model. Don't quote me, however. Otherwise, almost exactly the same car.

And . . . I don't really care about the badges. If the Scion were cheaper for what I'd want I'd probably go that route.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
They are almost exactly the same car save for the bumper covers, badging, and maybe a few other easy-to-change parts. Possibly a little different interior. Oh, and I think the Subie will have a bit more "content" to it's base model. Don't quote me, however. Otherwise, almost exactly the same car.

And . . . I don't really care about the badges. If the Scion were cheaper for what I'd want I'd probably go that route.
The most recent C/D had a comparison of the two that indicated that the suspension tuning will be slightly different, and it sounded as though the Scion will be a bit less biased toward understeer and thus potentially a bit more fun out of the box.

Both cars roll on Toyota Prius tires, weirdly enough. The article suggested that this was intentional, because low grip tires with progressive breakaway are more fun than super sticky summer rubber. Might just be spin to explain cost-cutting, though.
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