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Recommendation for DD


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#1 mstieg

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 01:30 AM

My 04 Saturn Ion is on its last legs after 218k.  I'm looking for your experiences & recs for a reliable daily driver that's not totally lame:
  • < $15k if possible
  • street only use, no trucks or SUVs.  FL
  • 2-4 door (love the suicide doors on the Saturn btw), want back seats at least.
  • 150 rwhp or more (like I said, not totally lame)
  • UNL 87 or up - no diesel
  • manual / stick
  • no major known probs or recalls: engine, drivetrain, elec, AC, etc.

Before: 352 rwhp @15psi; MPI: SDS EM5F; Chad intake & equal length header; S256 turbo (56/80comp-64/74ex); 48" of 2.5" IC piping
Now Done:  7.5:1 .35 Wiseco rebuild w/ crank scraper; 274 Magna roller cam & 1.55 rockers; mod port AMC head; 1mm>valves; Innovate WB; GM alt/rewired; 3" 240 alum radiator, elec fans; BMW X5 oil separator exh. crankcase vent; gas tank renewed; D2s; sway/strut bars; LT1 T56 clutch & trans swap w/ Fidanza; 4.22 rear; 265 Kumos on SHP rears; new steering pump/box/lines & coupler fix: http://www.starquest...howtopic=139558; full dash/console rewire - Autometer, push start, etc.
In Progress: breakin & tune
Future: Enjoy driving again; meets & local shows; AC; WG reroute from open vent to exh; Water/Meth?; body/paint

FOR SALE:  Rear Camber plates (basic); NIB beefy U-joints(2); etc.see-->  http://www.starquest...howtopic=133262 Custom 5 gauge overlay panel: http://www.starquest...pic=136703&st=0





#2 Malykaii

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:00 AM

I'm pretty sure your thinking used, right? But just in case your asking about a new car...

How about the Kia Soul. I was considering one and would randomly see some dealers selling stick shift ones for $10,600 ish and autos for $11,800ish.

Has 10 year 100k warranty, plus it's such a simple drivetrain that should an engine or trans fail post warranty, a rebuild should be cheap.

It meets all your categories except the lame factor. Makes 130hp (still more than my Camry though) and is kind of ugly. However, any new car under $15k will be lame and unlikely to meet the 150hp cutoff.

Hard to beat a new car for under 11 Grand...
1988 Montero... turbo swap up and running. (rust repair in progress)
2000 Mustang gt... daily driver

#3 pcristquester

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:21 AM

RX-8 has all even the suicide doors, but i don't know about reliability or major problems or recalls
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#4 NotStock88

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:12 AM

WRX!

Ive never been a Subaru fan until I bought my WRX as my DD. I got a 2011 with the 2.5L turbo AWD 5sp -had112k on it. Its big enough for passengers(my dog) and gets DECENT gas mileage.
NOOB

#5 87redcat

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:23 AM

Have 2 friends that have wxr's. 07 and 08. Boight rhem new. 150K ish . oil changes and a serpentine belt change. Only recall I know is a relay . and they hold their value. Always thought about getting one but have my explorer as my daily. AWD V8.
I got blisters on my fingers!!!

#6 BC_99

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 03:08 PM

Not rwd, but any civic that hasn&rsquo;t been completely riced out is a good choice. I bought an 01 2dr 5spd 3 yrs ago with 140k on the clock to dd and save miles and gas $ on my 4wd Tacoma. It gets 36mpg no matter how I drive it, is decently peppy for such a small 4 banger, replacement parts are stupid cheap, and it&rsquo;s pretty easy to do any needed maintenance and repairs with hundreds of YouTube videos on them to follow. Nothing but gas and oil changes and 1 each side door window motor in 3 yrs and almost 30k miles. It&rsquo;s been a great little beater for me. Might not be what you have in mind, but for the $3k price tag, I have been very happy to get the kind of service out of this old car, that I&rsquo;m getting. Oh and insurance is about $15 a month, lol. So it is saving me money everywhere and life on my other vehicles. When this one kicks the bucket, I&rsquo;ll find another one and keep on beating on it.

It took me awhile to find one that was 5spd, not lowered, not swapped, not fart canned, or otherwise had any appearance of a previous boy racer wannabe owner. But it was worth waiting for the right car.

BC
Steering coupler replacement U-Joints are available here...
http://www.starquest...howtopic=145280

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#7 mstieg

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 04:54 PM

I've shied from Civics due to the frequent rice factor, but if I found the right one that wasn't a toy car and was a bit classy/sporty, I'm open to exploring.  Admittedly I'm not well versed on the various models & types over the years.  Definitely don't want rice, but appreciate great mileage & low insurance.

WRX would be great if able to find one that hasn't been beat to hell and lower mileage.  

Think I'll pass on an RX-8, as it's pretty similar to the Starion in size & I'm not familiar with the rotary.


Keep it coming.
Before: 352 rwhp @15psi; MPI: SDS EM5F; Chad intake & equal length header; S256 turbo (56/80comp-64/74ex); 48" of 2.5" IC piping
Now Done:  7.5:1 .35 Wiseco rebuild w/ crank scraper; 274 Magna roller cam & 1.55 rockers; mod port AMC head; 1mm>valves; Innovate WB; GM alt/rewired; 3" 240 alum radiator, elec fans; BMW X5 oil separator exh. crankcase vent; gas tank renewed; D2s; sway/strut bars; LT1 T56 clutch & trans swap w/ Fidanza; 4.22 rear; 265 Kumos on SHP rears; new steering pump/box/lines & coupler fix: http://www.starquest...howtopic=139558; full dash/console rewire - Autometer, push start, etc.
In Progress: breakin & tune
Future: Enjoy driving again; meets & local shows; AC; WG reroute from open vent to exh; Water/Meth?; body/paint

FOR SALE:  Rear Camber plates (basic); NIB beefy U-joints(2); etc.see-->  http://www.starquest...howtopic=133262 Custom 5 gauge overlay panel: http://www.starquest...pic=136703&st=0

#8 BuGG

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 05:00 PM

Mazda 3

-4 doors
-Come in manual with larger engine
-Over 160 hp
-Reliable
-Good gas mileage
-Fun to drive
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#9 techboy

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:41 PM

Never owned one, but I always liked them ^^^. A used Golf GTI would be pretty similar.
1988 Starion ESi-R ... crushed by a tree 10/31/11 - back from the dead 8/2016
1988 Conquest TSi ... current driver - sold to Bigjoe 6/2016
1987 Conquest Flatty ... F/S thread - sold 8/2014
1987 Conquest TSi ... parts car - sold to Coldscrip 12/2011
1999 Eclipse 4G63 ... heavily modified.
Feeback Thread | Motor rebuild thread | Restoration thread

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#10 louswheel

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 06:15 PM

Ford Focus ST! No bull, they are good!

Late model Hyundais. Yeah, I'm serious. They have been making those cars way better since early 2000's.  

Hyundai Veloster Turbo, has a similar 3rd door like an Ion.  Its fun, fast and very reliable. But the kicker is the 100k mile warranty.  

The new Huyndais come with FREE 120k mile warranty! That should tell you how confident Hyundai is on the quality of their cars.  Not even Toyota or Honda gonna offer you that kind of warranty, not even if you pay for it!

On Hondas and Toyotas, over hyped, over priced econo craps, specially in the used market.

just my 2.6 cents

#11 Skullzaflare

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:08 PM

View PostBuGG, on 26 December 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

Mazda 3

-4 doors
-Come in manual with larger engine
-Over 160 hp
-Reliable
-Good gas mileage
-Fun to drive
One step up, Mazdaspeed3
2.3l turbo 6 speed
280ish hp
reliable
i average 32mpg, friend gets 35 in his
fun to drive

only issues with the speed3 are self inflicted

i got mine from a dealer so it cost more, but you can get 2012-13 for 12-14k, sometimes better private
i got mine at 84k, it was bone stock, and had original spark plugs (ugh people). i upgraded the fuel pump, bought a cobb, changed exhaust, changed intake, changed tmic. Have been driving it no issues. Only issue i had was my MAF got dirty, took me a while to figure out what was going on lol

Plenty of aftermarket support, can always find rollers with blown motors (cause idiots)

Only downside, its fwd, unless you get a speed6, they are awd with a little more power
Spark plug elimination kit

#12 mstieg

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:03 AM

View Postlouswheel, on 27 December 2017 - 06:15 PM, said:

Ford Focus ST! No bull, they are good!

Late model Hyundais. Yeah, I'm serious. They have been making those cars way better since early 2000's.  

Hyundai Veloster Turbo, has a similar 3rd door like an Ion.  Its fun, fast and very reliable. But the kicker is the 100k mile warranty.  

The new Huyndais come with FREE 120k mile warranty! That should tell you how confident Hyundai is on the quality of their cars.  Not even Toyota or Honda gonna offer you that kind of warranty, not even if you pay for it!

On Hondas and Toyotas, over hyped, over priced econo craps, specially in the used market.

just my 2.6 cents

Funny, I found the Hyundai Veloster Turbo the other day just before your post and really like it on paper (errr...screen).
Seems to have potential for all the options I'd love.  It'll be hard to find one with all of them however (love a sunroof in FL).  Manuals are less frequent, although there is an "R-Spec" version which has some suspension tightening upgrades, but reduced comfort goodies...for a slightly higher price.  As a DD, I might prefer the softer ride of the standard Turbo.  Will be in upper limit of budget, but newer/lower milage could be worth it.  Up to 2015 has 10 years or 60k coverage.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Mazdaspeed 3 would also be nice, if I can land one in my budget.  More hp yet, but MPG isn't good...18/25
Speed6 seems like a bigger car?

WRX would be great IF I could find one that's not been beat to hell.  I'm honestly afraid I'd be tempted too much to mod it, when I have the Starion for that.  Newer ones are well above budget.  

Which Focus years & trims should I look at?  Many seem pretty dull, but I know there are some sporty ones somewhere.

Edited by mstieg, 28 December 2017 - 01:09 AM.

Before: 352 rwhp @15psi; MPI: SDS EM5F; Chad intake & equal length header; S256 turbo (56/80comp-64/74ex); 48" of 2.5" IC piping
Now Done:  7.5:1 .35 Wiseco rebuild w/ crank scraper; 274 Magna roller cam & 1.55 rockers; mod port AMC head; 1mm>valves; Innovate WB; GM alt/rewired; 3" 240 alum radiator, elec fans; BMW X5 oil separator exh. crankcase vent; gas tank renewed; D2s; sway/strut bars; LT1 T56 clutch & trans swap w/ Fidanza; 4.22 rear; 265 Kumos on SHP rears; new steering pump/box/lines & coupler fix: http://www.starquest...howtopic=139558; full dash/console rewire - Autometer, push start, etc.
In Progress: breakin & tune
Future: Enjoy driving again; meets & local shows; AC; WG reroute from open vent to exh; Water/Meth?; body/paint

FOR SALE:  Rear Camber plates (basic); NIB beefy U-joints(2); etc.see-->  http://www.starquest...howtopic=133262 Custom 5 gauge overlay panel: http://www.starquest...pic=136703&st=0

#13 louswheel

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:44 AM

View PostSkullzaflare, on 27 December 2017 - 10:08 PM, said:


One step up, Mazdaspeed3
2.3l turbo 6 speed
280ish hp
reliable
i average 32mpg, friend gets 35 in his
fun to drive

only issues with the speed3 are self inflicted

i got mine from a dealer so it cost more, but you can get 2012-13 for 12-14k, sometimes better private
i got mine at 84k, it was bone stock, and had original spark plugs (ugh people). i upgraded the fuel pump, bought a cobb, changed exhaust, changed intake, changed tmic. Have been driving it no issues. Only issue i had was my MAF got dirty, took me a while to figure out what was going on lol

Plenty of aftermarket support, can always find rollers with blown motors (cause idiots)

Only downside, its fwd, unless you get a speed6, they are awd with a little more power

I believe the Mazda Speed 3 is based on same chassis as Ford Focus ST. And from the looks of both engine bays, they share a lot more in common, except for engine displacement.

#14 DSMracespeed

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:01 PM

350z/g35

Jerry L.
'87 Starion
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#15 viper1355

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 03:32 AM

96-01 Integra, if you can find a clean one. I DD a 96, and I fully expect to clear 300k. The chassis is really well balanced. If you want something newer, the Pontiac G8 or the Chevy SS sedan is a good choice. A bit hard to come by, but loads of fun.

#16 louswheel

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 08:07 AM

View PostDSMracespeed, on 29 December 2017 - 12:01 PM, said:

350z/g35

Jerry L.

They are nice to drive. But a bit underpowered in stock form. You have to get the one with the RevUp version, I think its 2005 to 2008, they got more ponies.

#17 importwarrior

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 08:10 AM

WRX
WRX STI
< 15K easy to find.
Daily driven mine to 250,000 miles all stock even the turbo was stock.
Proper maintenance was performed.

B-71 87 TSI ~ RIP

Black 87 Starion ~ Mess SOLD!!!

Proud New 89 slightly Rusted Fiji Owner !!!




#18 mstieg

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:48 PM

View Postimportwarrior, on 31 December 2017 - 08:10 AM, said:

WRX
WRX STI
< 15K easy to find.
Daily driven mine to 250,000 miles all stock even the turbo was stock.
Proper maintenance was performed.

Not seeing many with lesser miles.  They tend to be older and I do worry about high chance it was beat on by previous owner(s), even if still/back in stock form.  
Plus...I'd be too tempted to mod it. ;)


Thoughts on Scion TC?  Larger engine and no turbo I believe, so weaker MPG, but look nice.
Before: 352 rwhp @15psi; MPI: SDS EM5F; Chad intake & equal length header; S256 turbo (56/80comp-64/74ex); 48" of 2.5" IC piping
Now Done:  7.5:1 .35 Wiseco rebuild w/ crank scraper; 274 Magna roller cam & 1.55 rockers; mod port AMC head; 1mm>valves; Innovate WB; GM alt/rewired; 3" 240 alum radiator, elec fans; BMW X5 oil separator exh. crankcase vent; gas tank renewed; D2s; sway/strut bars; LT1 T56 clutch & trans swap w/ Fidanza; 4.22 rear; 265 Kumos on SHP rears; new steering pump/box/lines & coupler fix: http://www.starquest...howtopic=139558; full dash/console rewire - Autometer, push start, etc.
In Progress: breakin & tune
Future: Enjoy driving again; meets & local shows; AC; WG reroute from open vent to exh; Water/Meth?; body/paint

FOR SALE:  Rear Camber plates (basic); NIB beefy U-joints(2); etc.see-->  http://www.starquest...howtopic=133262 Custom 5 gauge overlay panel: http://www.starquest...pic=136703&st=0

#19 Richie_Rich

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 12:07 PM

I was planning on getting a Ford Fusion Titanium, then I thought about how much I love driving my C5.
Doesn't have a back seat, but there is nothing like having instant power available when you want to pass.
I've got about 139k and I'm itching for a newer one. You can get low mile C5's & C6's for pretty cheap.
It's a Chevy, so parts are pretty cheap. Only problems I've had were some leaks around 100k and a battery drain issue which turned out to be a seat contoller which I fixed for about $2.

Oh, I get about 28mpg on the highway

Edited by Richie_Rich, 31 January 2018 - 12:08 PM.

SOLD off into prostitution 08-28-2010
'88 Fiji - 8:1-40ovr Wiseco's, Schndr 6610 springs,Updated TPS sensor
Kelly's 3" exh, MSD 8.8Spr Cndctr wires, Welderwiz's vacuum hoses, Stock turbo, 1G MAS
ProfecB-II, Fidanza




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