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Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/10/21 1:57 a.m.

I've been driving a stick since I took my test in 87. Yah, I'm 50 now and my current commuter is a 2004 6 speed Acura TSX. I switched jobs in the beginning of 2019 and have a 50min to 1hr 10min (pre-pandemic) drive each day through SF Bay Area traffic and over hwy 17, a super fun twisty hwy if someone doesn't crash (which happens a lot).

I want to get a new used car (2018 or newer / 20k or less miles) that handles well, gets a little better gas mileage, be fairly quick when you put your foot down and comes with an auto that doesn't want to make me kill myself. Has to seat 5 have decent cargo space (folding rear seats, etc) be reliable and not Porsche like expensive to repair.

Oh and a sale price in the $25k or less range.

Right now, top of my list is a 2018 or newer Volkswagen GTI SE. I like this one since they are pretty quick, get good combined mileage and the dual clutch auto rather than a CVT trans. Sporty but comfortable and practical. And even with an auto should be fun for an occasional track day if the weather doesn't make sense for my usual open top car.

Any other recommendations to check out?

kevinatfms
kevinatfms Reader
2/10/21 6:49 a.m.

2018+ Hyundai Elantra GT? They had the 201hp 1.6L with a DCT available.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/10/21 6:52 a.m.

I thought Korean too but my thought went to used Stingers.  4 door with hatch makes for a lot of room but still seems athletic.  Probably 2.0L turbo for economy.  

BLRB
BLRB New Reader
2/10/21 7:04 a.m.

I would look at used Lexus IS350-Fsport and GS350-Fsport too.  There are a bunch in the mid-20s, but a few years older, decent place to be in traffic, and reliable.  MPG won't be as good though. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
2/10/21 7:06 a.m.

Cadillac ATS. Same fuel economy, size and luxury feel as your TSX in a RWD chassis regarded for it's handling. It's more or less a 4 door Camaro in a suit with the benefit of better visibility.

Here's a 2018 in the Bay Area that is comfortably under budget and has just 10k miles

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
2/10/21 7:23 a.m.
STM317 said:

Cadillac ATS. Same fuel economy, size and luxury feel as your TSX in a RWD chassis regarded for it's handling. It's more or less a 4 door Camaro in a suit with the benefit of better visibility.

Here's a 2018 in the Bay Area that is comfortably under budget and has just 10k miles

That is one great looking car. That car for that $$$ with that little millage seems looks a fantastic deal. I have always liked the look of those cars. That one is in the color combo I would get as well. I did not know those were based on the camaro platform. I would assume that means there are upgrades available should you want to change things up or go a bit more track focused in the future. 

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/10/21 7:42 a.m.
STM317 said:

Cadillac ATS. 

I just watched a South Main Auto video last night (YouTube) on what it takes to change a battery on one of those.  Jeepers GM, that rivals the Chrysler where it sits in a wheel well!  Beyond that (possible) anomaly, seems to be a pretty nice car.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/10/21 8:04 a.m.
Cxracer said:

I've been driving a stick since I took my test in 87. Yah, I'm 50 now and my current commuter is a 2004 6 speed Acura TSX. I switched jobs in the beginning of 2019 and have a 50min to 1hr 10min (pre-pandemic) drive each day through SF Bay Area traffic and over hwy 17, a super fun twisty hwy if someone doesn't crash (which happens a lot).

I want to get a new used car (2018 or newer / 20k or less miles) that handles well, gets a little better gas mileage, be fairly quick when you put your foot down and comes with an auto that doesn't want to make me kill myself. Has to seat 5 have decent cargo space (folding rear seats, etc) be reliable and not Porsche like expensive to repair.

Oh and a sale price in the $25k or less range.

Right now, top of my list is a 2018 or newer Volkswagen GTI SE. I like this one since they are pretty quick, get good combined mileage and the dual clutch auto rather than a CVT trans. Sporty but comfortable and practical. And even with an auto should be fun for an occasional track day if the weather doesn't make sense for my usual open top car.

Any other recommendations to check out?

First look very carefully at what you can buy the new version of what you're thinking of buying used.  
      Take the list price and multiply it times .80 that's your target price. Some cars you won't get that cheap but you can try.  
     Now look at what the dealer is offering for financing. Sometimes it's 0%. ( free )  yeah sometimes they Jack up the sales price to cover it.  But not always.  
      Then check out the insurance costs. Again your insurance company may have a lower rate because the new one has safety features that reduce common accidents. 
      Finally how much delayed maintenance does that car have?  Brakes worn? Tires just OK ?  Maybe oil changes were skipped. 
        All right it's time to talk depreciation.  Yep there is some.  But it doesn't occur until you sell it.   Why not keep it until the depreciation levels off. 
      Maybe you just like to change cars?   That's OK.  
look at leases.  A 24 month lease on a new car can be pretty affordable. Sometimes cheaper than buying and selling.  
I'll tell you a secret. New car dealers seldom make their costs back on selling new cars. All the profit comes from trade ins that they mark up dramatically. ( and sell to people afraid of depreciation.   

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/10/21 8:08 a.m.

The Volkswagen is the obvious choice, it takes all the boxes and then some. When I was shopping for a similar set of criteria I drove a DSG GTI and loved it.

I also looked at a car that is a bit of a unicorn, a BMW 330i. What you want is the 4 door with the M sport package and the paddle shifters. Look for a car originally sold in Alameda that has car seat imprints in the rear leather. That means some tech rich couple wanted a fancy BMW to take the kids to swim lessons or whatever, and bought the most expensive non M car they had. They never redlined it or used the paddles on their way to the juice bar.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
2/10/21 8:12 a.m.

How much for your TSX? I'd take an old Honda anything over any GM any day. At 10k miles the ATS will soon start having issues. 
I worked with a guy, could almost say friend but he was too annoying about his love affair with GM cars. I drove my old Honda's & Toyota's. He had his GM cars & pickups. He was always fixing something, transmissions, rear diffs,  alternators, starters, fuel pumps etc. One conversation he listed all the things he had replaced on his pickup, transmission twice, rear diff, starter, alternator on & on. He thought it was fine for a 10 year old vehicle. I told him that on my 94 Civic - (@20 years old at the time) since I had it, I had replaced the clutch, brakes & fixed the a/c. He said it was because he hauled stuff & drove off-road. Whatever. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/10/21 8:15 a.m.
kevinatfms said:

2018+ Hyundai Elantra GT? They had the 201hp 1.6L with a DCT available.

and the Forte GT as well

 

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/10/21 10:36 a.m.

If you want to get a little more perk, Hyundai Veloster N with the DCT? That would probably mean buying new and higher than your budget, but it seems that a writer from your favourite car mag rather liked it.

spandak
spandak HalfDork
2/10/21 11:18 a.m.

What is the mileage of your commute? An electric car might be a good option if you have a place to charge it. I think used Model S' are in that range. If not you could get 2 E-Golfs and swap them out.

Kidding but seriously electric seems perfect. Instant torque, no idling, and I have a feeling that a commute through the bay could be handled mileage-wise with a basic electric car.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
2/10/21 11:37 a.m.

How much for the TSX? Have an auto would love the 6 speed. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/10/21 11:49 a.m.

Seat 5 in a GTi?  Are the 3 people in the back seat adults or kids?  Cause 3 adults back there aren't gonna be happy.  With the seats folded down my R holds a TON of stuff.  With the back seats up the cargo capacity is much more limited, to the point where when I go skiing I've got space for my stuff and my sons stuff and that's it.  While I could take 1 more person with us, I couldn't carry their stuff too without folding down half the back seat...

TR7 (Forum Supporter)
TR7 (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/10/21 11:56 a.m.
mdshaw said:

How much for your Chevy? I'd take an old GM anything over any new Honda any day. At 10k miles the Honda will soon start having issues. 
I worked with a guy, could almost say friend but he was too annoying about his love affair with Honda cars. I drove my old Chavys & Fords. He had his Honda minivans & SUVs. He was always fixing something, transmissions, AC compressors,  alternators, starters, fuel diluted oil, etc. One conversation he listed all the things he had replaced on his Odyssey, transmission twice, steering rack, starter, engine mounts, wheel bearings, alternator on & on. He thought it was fine for a 10 year old vehicle. I told him that on my 94 Blazer - (@20 years old at the time) since I had it, I had replaced the clutch, brakes & fixed the a/c. He said it was because he hauled kids & drove to soccer. Whatever. 

Lolz. 

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
2/10/21 12:01 p.m.
spandak said:

What is the mileage of your commute? An electric car might be a good option if you have a place to charge it. I think used Model S' are in that range. If not you could get 2 E-Golfs and swap them out.

Kidding but seriously electric seems perfect. Instant torque, no idling, and I have a feeling that a commute through the bay could be handled mileage-wise with a basic electric car.

This.  If you can do electric, check out BMW i3.  Used they are pretty cheap around here.  

Opti
Opti Dork
2/10/21 12:16 p.m.

Came here to say ATS but SMT beat me to it. Love those cars. Understated styling so I think they will age well. Id take the 2.0T motor. I think they have some carbon issues although not as commonly as Ive seen them on the 2.0 VW. Hydraulic engine mounts like to leak, seen a few WP leaks and the differential side seals leak. You may be able to get a good low mileage one from carmax and get their warranty.

Whn you say not expensive to repair, I would think that rules out the GTI, we have multiple members chewing up DI fuel pumps and cam. Its like a 6 hour book job to change a "valve cover gasket" (I use quotes causes it really a cam tower/girdle/whatever the germans call it) and it used a 150 dollar sealant. Personal experience has been the GTis are a a pain to feed and any generation from mk4 to whatever they are now has it quirks. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/10/21 12:57 p.m.

In reply to Opti :

The latest GTI's don't have that same DI pump/cam issue.  The 2018-2019's also have a 6 year/72k mile bumper to bumper warranty...

Opti
Opti Dork
2/10/21 3:50 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

do they not have issues or are they too new for people to have found the pattern failures with the new design. Subaru repeatedly saying they fixed headgasket problems comes to mind, or even the many iterations of the VW 2.0, next design and they just have different problems.

 

Is the bumper to bumper warranty transferable?

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
2/10/21 4:30 p.m.

In reply to TR7 (Forum Supporter) :

There might be 1 high maintenance Odyssey out there.wink

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/11/21 12:29 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) :

I like the looks and from what I hear a lot of fun. But I have also been told by a mechanic who works a a Hyundai dealer that he has seen a number of catastrophic engine failures surprise

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/11/21 1:18 a.m.

In reply to Opti :

The Gen7 GTI has been out with the same engine since 2014. Bumper to Bumper transfers to new owner 

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/11/21 1:22 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

I've got an 07 Suburban 2500 when I need to haul people, big stuff or tow cars. I mostly drive alone but I have a habit of picking up used car parts on my way home from work and expandable storage is always helpful.

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
2/11/21 1:33 a.m.

In reply to spandak :

Unfortunately our office doesn't look like it's going green any time soon so charge stations are not in my immediate future. We bought a Prius Prime for my wife and she loves it but the battery only portion doesn't even make it a 3rd of my commute. The big high climb over 17 sucks up a lot of juice.

 I think a model S cheap enough for me to afford would be tantamount to buying the car equivalent of an iPhone 4. 

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