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mainly because of alllll the knowledge and information I've gained over the past few years from frineds, co workers, family, and browsing manufacturers websites, lurking forums, wikipedia, car domain, aftermarket manufacturer's websites, etc etc....

I know that there is no do-it-all car, but I really don't know what I want. I'm in a constant argument with myself of Style: Performance: Practicality. But I DO want a manual tranny on my next car 100% sure.

Part of me wants a late 90's Mustang GT or Camaro SS/Trans AM for no frills power. Violent launches, deep rumbling fire breathing V8. But I don't want something that gets gas mileage as bad as some full size trucks.

Then, I want a Miata, Del Sol, MR2 or similiar nimble shortwheel base car. Zippy around turns, quick acceleration at low speeds, and great gas mileage. But I don't like the boy racer douchebag driver stigma, and too small to load up for a camping trip.

Then, part of me knows I should be more civilized and get a Mazda 3, Ford Focus or Acura TSX, or similar somewhat-sporty sedan, efficient, and room for things.. but to me, they're just too boring and nothing really stands out about them. And the Mazda's tail lights look like someone got them off ebay, imported from China...

A Jetta, or Golf TDI (diesel) is another car I'm looking at... low end power, great gas mileage, look great, practical, but.... Volkswagen/ German parts/labor prices...

Then, I want an old K5 Blazer, Jeep Cherokee, or some old Wrangler and have a badass offroad toy on 33" tires to go out to the mountain trails in. However they require a lot of work to maintain, and horrific on gas.

Another possibility is a 4WD Tacoma, Ranger, or 4Runner, maybe keep it stock, or slightly larger tires, 15" rock crawler style wheels, more practical as a daily driver than a Jeep.

Suggest other awesome cars under ~$8k
First or second generation Lexus LS400. Toyota reliability, Denso parts, very civilized. Great V8 package from the 1UZ-FE inside, that gets okay gas mileage considering its a V8 (around 17-20mpg)

Or and SC300/ 400. SC300 comes with a 2JZ-GE in it, very easy to do a NA-T build off of those. SC400 comes with the aforementioned 1UZ-FE. Both, can be very quick but very civilized and respectable cars that give off more of the luxury VIP vibe than boy racer vibe.
Chron0s
First or second generation Lexus LS400. Toyota reliability, Denso parts, very civilized. Great V8 package from the 1UZ-FE inside, that gets okay gas mileage considering its a V8 (around 17-20mpg)

Or and SC300/ 400. SC300 comes with a 2JZ-GE in it, very easy to do a NA-T build off of those. SC400 comes with the aforementioned 1UZ-FE. Both, can be very quick but very civilized and respectable cars that give off more of the luxury VIP vibe than boy racer vibe.


The LS isn't quite what i'm looking for, but the SC is a nice looking car. Honestly never seen one before. It's almost like a Japanese F-body. Giant 2 ton coupe with a wholloping V8. Auto only, but that's alright, I guess the straight 6 was made with a 5 speed. Alot in my area are already molested with big chrome wheels, or those time attack outter line wheels, body kits, etc

They look sweet
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zosh
Chron0s
First or second generation Lexus LS400. Toyota reliability, Denso parts, very civilized. Great V8 package from the 1UZ-FE inside, that gets okay gas mileage considering its a V8 (around 17-20mpg)

Or and SC300/ 400. SC300 comes with a 2JZ-GE in it, very easy to do a NA-T build off of those. SC400 comes with the aforementioned 1UZ-FE. Both, can be very quick but very civilized and respectable cars that give off more of the luxury VIP vibe than boy racer vibe.


The LS isn't quite what i'm looking for, but the SC is a nice looking car. Honestly never seen one before. It's almost like a Japanese F-body. Giant 2 ton coupe with a wholloping V8. Auto only, but that's alright, I guess the straight 6 was made with a 5 speed. Alot in my area are already molested with big chrome wheels, or those time attack outter line wheels, body kits, etc

They look sweet
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Right now especially, the 1UZ-FE that comes in these cars are starting to gain support, and there's a host of aftermarket choices that allow you to adapt a W58 5-speed manual transmission or the stronger R154 5-speed manual transmission to the 1UZ-FE. So, it is more than doable to have a SC400 5-speed at the end of the day. wink

If you decide to go this route and go with the SC400, feel free to talk to me in pm about the 5-speed options. I'll be more than happy to help. smile

Just did a CL search, and you're right, a lot of them have been molested with giant chrome wheels. lol But, that's alright. These cars seem to be well under your $8k budget for clean ones , you'd definitely be able to afford the parts for a 5-speed swap and some wheels of your choice for ~$8k. smile
Chron0s
Just did a CL search, and you're right, a lot of them have been molested with giant chrome wheels. lol )

Y'know, I read that and I said to myself "Nah, there must be a clean one somewhere on my local CL

And this is what I'm greeted with...

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and this.
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******** thats disappointing
elemein's avatar

Enduring Friend

I am dissapointed. Thoroughly.

The Lexus SC is a good car. Though, do NOT mistake it's purposes; it is a GT car. A grand-tourer. Made for luxury at high speeds and long roads. They are NOT practical. They are NOT fuel efficient. They are NOT powerful. They are quite stylish, very admittable, and they are very reliable, but I am thoroughly confused as to how anyone came up with this car with your prerequisites. No offense. Biut cmon; near 4,000 lb cars need a very powerful engine to move quick. The 1U is not that engine. It is formidable, but lets be honest, 4,000 lbs is a lot. Now, a V8 + 4,000 lbs? Does that sound fuel efficient to you?

Anyway, most cars will easily meet your prerequisites of : Stylish, good FE, fast, etc. but the problem is the "practicality" sector. What do you mean by "practical"? Do you mean you want the practicality of a Ford F-650 Crew Cab? Be able to haul a boat fleet with the whole crew inside? While having a small fugitive family in the cabin? Be more specific.

My suggestions (and you knew the first one was coming):

Chevrolet Corvette C4 : You can find them for under 8k easily. The weigh only about 3,000 lbs (helluva lot lighter than the SC). All manuals come with a 6-spd. They have Lotus-tuned suspension. They can easily achieve 30 mpg when driven lightly; as the car is quite aerodynamic as well as light. They come with the large and classic second generation SBC; with a flat torque curve, high power, amazing reliability, and IRON internals (read as: can handle lots of stress.) They look grrrreat; not as good as a C3 or C6, but very slick looking cars. The aftermarket is even more endless than the universe. They have nice trunks. They do come in convertible trim. The ZR1 model came with the highly modified LT5 engine that became the fastest production car in the world on its release.

You must respect that; is that not a viable option? If you still want more options? Need that practicality still?

An El Camino. No explanation required. Its a car thats a pickup truck; and it has a V8.
The SC is much more civilized, modern, and luxurious than both the cars you suggested. And, I've been in and driven an LS400 which weighs as near as makes no difference the same as the SC. And, IMHO, it's fast enough for a daily. It's definitely no slouch, a bit slow to bang through the gears with the slush box, but with a W58 behind it, it'll definitely not be as bland or as slow as some economy runner. IMHO, it would be my choice, just like in your opinion the C4 is a good choice. It's differing opinions to the matter. Plus, I fail to see how the SC loses in practicality to the C4; unless you're judging practicality solely based on fuel economy.

To me practicality falls more into the lines of, space inside, space in the trunk, road manners, safety, things like that. And, again IMHO, the SC does it better. So, in my mind, the SC is more "practical." Of course, such subjective terms are always up for debate and I don't intend on telling you that your opinions are any less valid like you so kindly did just now by expressing how disappointed you are.
This what muscle cars are really practical and fast. Just saying. Two door famly car with roomy back seat and big a** trunk space. The suspintion on the old ones is fine for dd and they are just sexy as ******** hell. They got more win then Charlie sheen.
elemein: I was considering a C4 Corvette/Camaro/Trans Am for a long time, but they just have too many misc. problems. Sure the 5.7l is pretty stout and there are plenty of them out there, but the majority of them have problems with the power windows, locks, and the electronics in the dashboard failing. I'm trying to avoid 20 year old cars... About practicality.. well right now I have a mountaineer which seats 7. I used to sometimes haul around 8 people in there going to shows n parties, or fill the thing with band equipment. But now, I don't need all that space, a large sedan or small hatchback should be fine.

Chron0s: Yeah that's what I like about the SC, it's pretty elegant and refined compared to say, a Thunderbird or a Camaro.

themanovrthrt: yeah i'd love to have an old muscle car but i don't have the time, knowledge, or tools to be working on one every weekend. And ~98-02 Mustang GTs are even showing their age already... not good on gas... and insurance is high. I'd like to keep the additional costs of keeping a car minimal, aside from the initial cost, I have to factor in possible repairs, gas, insurance,.... and the periodic stuff; tires, brakes, battery, alternator, etc


What are your guys' thoughts on this:
http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/cto/3298965432.html

Should Volkswagen be avoided?
zosh
elemein: I was considering a C4 Corvette/Camaro/Trans Am for a long time, but they just have too many misc. problems. Sure the 5.7l is pretty stout and there are plenty of them out there, but the majority of them have problems with the power windows, locks, and the electronics in the dashboard failing. I'm trying to avoid 20 year old cars... About practicality.. well right now I have a mountaineer which seats 7. I used to sometimes haul around 8 people in there going to shows n parties, or fill the thing with band equipment. But now, I don't need all that space, a large sedan or small hatchback should be fine.

Chron0s: Yeah that's what I like about the SC, it's pretty elegant and refined compared to say, a Thunderbird or a Camaro.

themanovrthrt: yeah i'd love to have an old muscle car but i don't have the time, knowledge, or tools to be working on one every weekend. And ~98-02 Mustang GTs are even showing their age already... not good on gas... and insurance is high. I'd like to keep the additional costs of keeping a car minimal, aside from the initial cost, I have to factor in possible repairs, gas, insurance,.... and the periodic stuff; tires, brakes, battery, alternator, etc


What are your guys' thoughts on this:
http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/cto/3298965432.html

Should Volkswagen be avoided?
the vw sounds good and looks good would have to test drive it but it don't sound like a bad deal. Deff on to keep and eye on.
elemein's avatar

Enduring Friend

Chron0s
The SC is much more civilized, modern, and luxurious than both the cars you suggested. And, I've been in and driven an LS400 which weighs as near as makes no difference the same as the SC. And, IMHO, it's fast enough for a daily. It's definitely no slouch, a bit slow to bang through the gears with the slush box, but with a W58 behind it, it'll definitely not be as bland or as slow as some economy runner. IMHO, it would be my choice, just like in your opinion the C4 is a good choice. It's differing opinions to the matter. Plus, I fail to see how the SC loses in practicality to the C4; unless you're judging practicality solely based on fuel economy.

To me practicality falls more into the lines of, space inside, space in the trunk, road manners, safety, things like that. And, again IMHO, the SC does it better. So, in my mind, the SC is more "practical." Of course, such subjective terms are always up for debate and I don't intend on telling you that your opinions are any less valid like you so kindly did just now by expressing how disappointed you are.


Fair enough, fair points; the SC is significantly more civil (I could imagine you could actually drive it without everyone having their eyes on you.) the C4 is not more practical than the SC; which is why finding a car that is everything he said + practical is difficult. If the OP has some gripes with the C4 that i personally dont care for, then that's too bad; it's a very good car and it's what I'd choose if I were in his situation.

Dont forget that the Lexus model (the first model also known as the Toyota Soarer) is an older car by your standards and would also be showing some "age." smile
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Jeep CJ5 they are made for off road and a little desent on gas if its a v6

or try a Dodge Dakota with a v6 or a 318 v8 the 318 is alright on gas the v6 is pretty good on gas for a truck

i have a 94 dodge dakota v6 magnum it gets 20-21 mpg to a gallon and i take it into the woods all the time and it has no problem going in or getting out of the woods
BMW Z3? Like a miata, but without that 'boyracer' scene you mentioned! Plus for $8k you could get a really nice one!
And it's a BMW so well spec'd, luxury, not lined with faults, holds it's value, drives great and good mpg!
elemein
Chron0s
The SC is much more civilized, modern, and luxurious than both the cars you suggested. And, I've been in and driven an LS400 which weighs as near as makes no difference the same as the SC. And, IMHO, it's fast enough for a daily. It's definitely no slouch, a bit slow to bang through the gears with the slush box, but with a W58 behind it, it'll definitely not be as bland or as slow as some economy runner. IMHO, it would be my choice, just like in your opinion the C4 is a good choice. It's differing opinions to the matter. Plus, I fail to see how the SC loses in practicality to the C4; unless you're judging practicality solely based on fuel economy.

To me practicality falls more into the lines of, space inside, space in the trunk, road manners, safety, things like that. And, again IMHO, the SC does it better. So, in my mind, the SC is more "practical." Of course, such subjective terms are always up for debate and I don't intend on telling you that your opinions are any less valid like you so kindly did just now by expressing how disappointed you are.


Fair enough, fair points; the SC is significantly more civil (I could imagine you could actually drive it without everyone having their eyes on you.) the C4 is not more practical than the SC; which is why finding a car that is everything he said + practical is difficult. If the OP has some gripes with the C4 that i personally dont care for, then that's too bad; it's a very good car and it's what I'd choose if I were in his situation.

Dont forget that the Lexus model (the first model also known as the Toyota Soarer) is an older car by your standards and would also be showing some "age." smile


The first model year would be the '92s, so yes, you are right. I do believe that the SC300/400 goes all the way up to MY 2000 though. A 96-98 would be reasonably price yet not so aged. biggrin


Chained-Down-Brit
BMW Z3? Like a miata, but without that 'boyracer' scene you mentioned! Plus for $8k you could get a really nice one!
And it's a BMW so well spec'd, luxury, not lined with faults, holds it's value, drives great and good mpg!


One problem. It's a German luxury car so it's heavy on maintenance. There's no way of getting around that. Oh, and because it's a German luxury car, maintenance is also very pricy.
lux occulta's avatar

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Chained-Down-Brit
BMW Z3? Like a miata, but without that 'boyracer' scene you mentioned! Plus for $8k you could get a really nice one!
And it's a BMW so well spec'd, luxury, not lined with faults, holds it's value, drives great and good mpg!
I wouldn't suggest a Z3 due to the fact that the M44/M43 has issues with it's head gaskets, exhaust gaskets, and warping intake manifolds.

Also it has issues with the windshield being made of really soft glass and the polyvinyl rear windows which needs to be replace every couple of years.

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