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New, or at least new to me car advice

I’m thinking about what I want for my next vehicle and would like some advice on what works well to fit my needs.

I’m looking for something a little sportier, not necessarily a sports car, as a nice coupe might do the trick.

I would prefer decent gas mileage, but also some good acceleration and handling, so small and light probably. I would also prefer 4 seats so I can at least occasionally drive friends around.

Reliability would also be nice, and a low price tag would be sweet as well.

I have no hard preferences for make or model. I do prefer an automatic though.

Don’t know what you’re upgrading from…
Don’t know your price range,

Right off the bat the Civic Si comes to mind, but I think those lean toward 5 speed manual transmissions.

You might even like the non-Si two door civic.

The 2 door auto Infiniti G35 is a nice but probably will suck down too much gas for your liking.

Get back to us with much more information.

A 2008 Acura TSX is about $22,000 from the dealer. Mileage is 20 city and 28 highway. A well optioned Mini Cooper S would be about 21,000 with auto. Mileage is 26/34 on premium (premium is no big deal IMO). You could get a loaded Mazda3 Grand Touring for $17,500. It gets 22/29 MPG. Are these in the right price range; too expensive?

This is a bit down the road, I wouldn’t want to look at anything over 30k or so and would rather something cheaper. I may purchase a older vehicle as well if I could be fairly sure of it’s long term reliability.

One thing I forgot to mention I prefer softer lines, like on the Chrysler Crossfire or Mazda RX-8. Although both of those are out due to the price of the Crossfire, and some paranoia about dealing with the rotary engine in the RX-8.

Does this help you out some more?

My uncle has an RX-8 and while I must say it’s fun to drive, he’s already on his 2nd engine with only 40k miles on the car and I think it gets around 18MPG. Good call on that.

The small and light thing combined with 4 passengers can put a crimp in things unless the people in the rear are not concerned with legroom.

As to the Crossfire, those cars did not go over very well at all and around here they can’t even given them away. A Chrysler dealer here has a sublot to which they assigned 3 of these things and they sat there for months with no takers until one day all 3 disappeared; probably by hauling them off to auction and washing their hands of them.

2004 - 2006 RX-8s have sever engine problems. Don’t get one before 2007.

If you like the Crossfire, why not get it’s better paternal twin, the Mercedes Benz SLK? The Crossfire was a generation older than the SLK and not as well appointed. You can get a 2007 SLK280 for under $30,000 and any 2006 or earlier version for under $30,000, including the SLK 55 AMG.

One more thing: when the top is down in the Crossfire/SLK, there is almost no trunk room. I had a Crossfire as a rental once and could just barely jam my briefcase and 22" roll-aboard bag in the trunk with the top down.

What about the Hyundai Forte Koup? I’ve not driven one but they look decent, have good power and a killer warranty.

A side note, the RX-8’s rotary goes through oil at a high rate because of its design. They all do it, so if an owner is not extra cautious it could cause the serious issues you’ve read about.

Scion tC. I love mine. My son liked it so much he bought one too.
Sporty, affordable, peppy, fold down (or reclining) rear seats, sliding glass moon roof, hatchback for utility, and Japanese Toyota reliability with a Camry engine.

Try one. You might like it.

Great choice, I almost bought one. The deal I got on a Fusion was too good to pass up though, and considering I have two little ones the four door made more sense. I still kind of wish I got one though.

Mine only got bought after my kids were grown and on their own. With two little ones a four door or larger is the only option.

I’m sure when yours are grown there’ll be a similar or better choice to make you feel young again…

Happy motoring.

I agree…You’re looking for a Scion tC.

Mazdas make sporty cars besides the RX-8. The 3 is a good example and has a few options that can fit everyone’s needs. If you don’t mind a hatch, though it’s available with a stick shift only, is the Speed3.