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Old 08-15-2022, 07:19 PM   #1
JST
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Kars for Kids

There's a thread here somewhere about this but I can't find it, so I'm just starting a new one.

Our decision point is getting closer. The used car market is a fucking wreck these days, and prices are just absolutely insane. The new car market isn't much better, with inventory levels hovering between "zero" and "near zero." Plus, K1 has some definite preferences about vehicles, which should be honored if possible.

So, that said, here's where I am:
  • -GTI had been my default backup plan, but they are insanely expensive these days. Plus K1 does not like the way they look.
  • -No two doors.
  • -Minis are an interesting possibility. The non-S Coopers could still be had with a stick up to a few years ago, and I've found a few with c. 50K miles for less than 20 grand. But that's a lot of cheddar for a car like that.
  • -The Honda Civic Sport is my first choice. Good reviews, reasonably priced (mid 20s), hatchback, stick...it's pretty ideal. Except that there aren't any. And Honda won't let you order one, and the dealers don't know when they're getting more. You basically have to call every dealer every week in the hope that they'll have one coming in. What a stupid business model.
  • -VW Jetta is a surprisingly good value. Less than 25 in "Sport" trim, it has a 1.5T engine, 6 speed manual, and...well, that's about it, but basic spec is fine for a new driver. And it has a full warranty. It's reviews are middling, though, and it's a sedan, so it doesn't really add much in the way of functionality to the fleet.
  • -GLIs are, in contrast, not a good value. A new one is more than 30, and there's a representative 2019 here with 60K miles on it for 27. Pass.
  • -There are some wackier options. A used VW Golf Alltrack can be had for about 30, which is way more than the other cars I'm looking at but it would also serve a more unique role. The Acura Integra is 37, which is even more, but it's much more interesting than a Jetta.

Really, it's a two horse race between the Civic and the Jetta, and the fact that Civics are basically unobtainable might be the difference. I've seen F30 320s for the price range that I'm looking at, but not recently and I'm not sure I want to have another out-of-warranty late model BMW, anyway.

Anything I'm missing?
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Old 08-15-2022, 07:21 PM   #2
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:27 PM   #3
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Mazda3 stick shift cars are 30k minimum and are just as vaporous as Civics.
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
Mazda3 stick shift cars are 30k minimum and are just as vaporous as Civics.
I will add more tomorrow, because I’ve been on this same train trip. Beware blind spots on the Mazda3 and also higher prices to insure than a CX-5.

We drove a CX-30 recently and that thing is pretty awful. Not sure why it gets such good reviews. Very tight cabin and the windshield was defective/distorted.

The Golf Wagons are intriguing, but hard to find one without the sunroof and that is a weak link. Also most used ones are, as you say, $30k.

I think GTI is the best choice but, as you say, both scarce and expensive.

I am still a little intrigued by the idea of a used i3.

As you have noticed, Jettas with a stick are a screaming deal. It’s so hard to explain.

And, cough, used 330s or 330es are a pretty decent deal. Also, potentially, used X1s/X2s. And used Minis do seem to offer some decent deals, as well.
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Old 08-15-2022, 11:51 PM   #5
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Elantra N or Elantra N-Line?
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Old 08-16-2022, 12:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
Mazda3 stick shift cars are 30k minimum and are just as vaporous as Civics.
Autos are cheaper and plentiful
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Old 08-16-2022, 08:24 AM   #7
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Autos are cheaper and plentiful
This is true, except for the strange case of Jetta sedans.
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Old 08-16-2022, 08:41 AM   #8
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Iím not categorically opposed to an auto, but I (and K1) prefer a stick. An auto will be a last resort.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:26 AM   #9
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Decent E9x 328s are in the 15k range (edit: I guess these are all autos.... manuals command a $5k premium). Seems like the best fit for you and k1 needs. I'm happy to help look if you'd like
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JST View Post
Mazda3 stick shift cars are 30k minimum and are just as vaporous as Civics.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...ckType=listing
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