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need some car advice

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:25 am
by ydx7
I have a 2001 Lincoln Town Car that I think is nearing its expiration date. I have have been thinking of used cars. I am going to want something better than the TC.

Now you are thinking "what do you mean by better". To be honest, I like to drive fast, so I would like a car that is better suited for that. For better or worse, the TC is my reference for performance. What I mean by performance are things like maneuverability, acceleration(both from standing still and while already moving), and braking.

There are some other things I am considering. Reliability is one item. It would be nice to have better gas mileage, which would mean something smaller. And it would be nice to handle better in the snow.

Of course, I'm not looking for a truck, suv, or crossover.

My main requirement is that it have an automatic transmission.

I'm open to getting something from Europe or Asia.

I'm in the US, so there is stuff we don't get here.

I'm a bit out of it right now, so I may think of some more stuff to say.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:35 am
by themanw/oaname
i'm on my fourth 1998 mustang, the other three were totals because of other driver negligence. they've always been pretty reliable, have decent mileage and look awesome. frankly, after the accidents i've walked away from i cant imagine owning anything other than a 98 mustang.

the one i drive now is a GT convertible, i paid 3200 for it, and the only repairs i've had to pay for are routine for a car nearing 20 years old. if you want something "newer" 99-04 have most of the same guts as 95-98. just be sure you find a reliable mechanic to do the things you cant do yourself, which is great because i've done a few of my own repairs and couldnt be prouder.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:43 pm
by DetritusMaximus
I'm with TMWNN on this. For the money you can't beat the Mustang. Your mileage will be a little better due to the lighter weight, but any savings will be more than offset by higher insurance. Look for something between 80-100k and you'll spend $5-8K. Check for rust, especially in the back under the bumper and around the rear wheel wells (bondo is no 'rust free'!). One/two owner cars with original paint that have been garaged are best. If you live in an area with emissions inspections, watch out for cars with modified exhaust. Frequently the cats are removed and the latest trend is to dump the exhaust behind the axle which is very loud (not in a good way, but they don't seem to realize that) and may promote exhaust fumes creeping into the cabin. Get an OBD2 scanner that will check for inspection compliance (reads readiness monitors) to see if there are any issues that do not trip the MIL (check engine light). Just because the MIL is not on does not mean that it will pass inspection.
Keep seeing cars with motors replaced around 100K for some reason, others go for 175K.

The only draw back to the Mustang is handling. Good, for the most part, but not as good some other choices. Buy the wrong tires and you can easily find yourself in a ditch, especially when it is wet or icy.

I've been looking at 03-07 Infiniti G35's as well. The right years/models have 300hp, big Brembo breaks. Rear wheel drive (AWD on G35X sedans). Very strong, reliable V6 motors good for 175-200K. Probably handle better than the Mustang. Coupes are cool, sedans are cheap. Sunroofs, too. Sophisticated, but not BMW/AUDI complex. MPG in the 24-28 range.

If you don't mind older, late 80s Supra (non-turbo). Fast and strong. Watch for rust, prefer 100k, one/two owner, no mods.

For a lark, cheap, but low production FAST car try the 2003-2004 Infinti M45. RWD, 345 hp V8. MPG...not so good. If you really liked the Town Car, then this is what you need and no one knows what they are. ... -678729583

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:55 pm
by ydx7
Thanks for the replies.

I'm still debating how much I want to spend, or how old I want to get.

Here is where i went Wed when I was having my car fixed in the service dept:

I told the salesman I was looking for something built for going fast. I didn't do any test driving, I just did a sit and fit since I'm a big guy. I didn't have any problem fitting in any of the cars.

Here are the cars I sat in, and some pros and cons. Generally, the cost seems to be a con. Please give any of your pros/cons that I may have missed

2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse
pros: made for going fast, cheap
cons: older
note: I couldn't fairly assess entry/exit because it was parked too close to another car

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer ES
pro: smaller, better gas milage, fwd for snow(the salesman thought it was rwd)
cons: lighter weight is bad in snow even though fwd, not Evolution so I don't know how performance-suited it really is

2014 Chrysler 300
pros: gas milage
cons: cost, rwd

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL
pros: gas mileage, fwd
cons: diesel
note: I'm not really interested in a diesel car, just sat in it to see how a VW Passat fit

2015 Kia Optima LX
pros: gas milage, fwd
cons: Kia is kind of a newcomer in the "nice car" market

2010 Ford Taurus SHO
pros: gas mileage, awd
cons: cost
note: Kind of looks like a huskier Ford Fusion

???? Ford Fusion
pros: gas milage, fwd
cons: don't really know if these were built for going fast

Buy the wrong tires and you can easily find yourself in a ditch, especially when it is wet or icy.

The salesman said that Mustangs, and other sportier cars, have "summer tires" that become hard "like hockey pucks" in cold weather.

This may be retarded, but I kind of want to focus on this place because I have been working with the same service rep for many years.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:20 pm
by DetritusMaximus
2nd gen Eclipse may have some rust issues. There is a spot on the front frame that can be problematic. Find the BIG Eclipse forum and research the pros/cons. I prefer the 3rd gen for looks and the v6 for a less high strung car.

VW/AUDI, some reliability issues and repairs/parts can be costly. VW not what it used to be.

Lancer is probably okay in the snow. Lighter is okay, fat wide tires bad in the snow/rain. It's a pounds per square inch thing, the wider your tire the less pressure there is per square inch in the contact patch with the asphalt. This is partly why snow tires tend to be narrower than the normal tires for a given car. Technically not a 'slow' car, but not necessarily a fast car.

Chrysler 300...I like them, mainly for their resemblance to The black please. Can probably find an older low mileage one. Brakes and headroom can be an issue.

I like the Optima styling and know nothing about them otherwise.

The SHO could be cool. The cops seem to like them.

The Fusion is an interesting car. Current generation, look for the 2.0 turbo, 1.6 is okay, but there is a big difference. I do believe there was a V6 in the past couple of years. Previous generation, I like the sport model in blue with V6 and AWD and honeycomb taillights.

If you can spend the money, a 2011 or later Mustang V6 (3.7l, I think) has 300 hp and gets 31mpg. More hp than the previous gen GT and 6-8 more MPG. Probably $15k for something in 60-80K range. You can still take it to the service rep you like.

The tires on new cars can be crappy once the weather turns. I like for sourcing good tires. Pirelli Cinturauto P7 AS have very high reviews for all season capability and aren't the most expensive.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:46 am
by themanw/oaname
ydx7 wrote:The salesman said that Mustangs, and other sportier cars, have "summer tires" that become hard "like hockey pucks" in cold weather.

that's kind of bullshit. you can purchase summer/winter weather tires, but these are not limited to a specific vehicle. what an incredibly dumb thing to say. either he's completely misinformed about his own job, or he's trying to upsell you another one he wants you to buy.

i just bought 4 new tires and saw summer as an option to go with(never even saw it before now) but didnt choose them. i went with all weather tires; but i probably would have gone with tires that werent held to a specific weather either. typically, if you live in warmer climate: you get summer tires. if you live in colder climate: you get winter tires. if you live in moderate climate: you get tires. if your area is cooler and it has summer tires on it, then someone screwed something up some where.

if you have another dealership near by go to that one. this guy is shady. i'm kind of pissed he said that.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:55 pm
by ydx7
Thanks. I read the new replies. I went to another dealership today. They didn't seem to have a lot of selection(they have A LOT of trucks though), unless the guy was just showing me his "turf". I haven't checked the website yet.

I sat in a few cars, and discussed a few othes. I didn't get into gas mileage much today

Lexus ES350
pros: fwd, performance oriented
cons: cost, emergency brake pedal placement
note: I sat in another model of Lexus many years ago, and had the same problem with the emergency brake

I'm taking off now. I'll list the other cars later. I also wanted to discuss the new comments.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:24 pm
by ydx7
I'm back. Lets get back to the cars.

Here is the site for the dealership: ... MakeModel/
If you look under coupes, apparently they have a Ferrari for $197k.

2013 Dodge Dart (don't know the trim level)
note: This car isn't listed on the site for some reason(it was red, there is a white one on the site, unless they listed the wrong color/pic)

2010 Chrysler Sebring Touring
pros: gas mileage, cost
cost: don't know if built for speed

2011 Ford Crown Vic
pros: newer than TC, a bit better gas milage than TC
cons: rwd, probably not a performance improvement

RE: tires
The guy I talked to Monday said you just got to see what tires the car you're looking at has.

I think the first guy might have actually said the cars ship from the factory with the summer tires. Since I don't know about new cars, I would guess all-weather tires would be considered an upgrade.

RE: Fusion
The guy on Mon said the big engine for the current body style is the 2.0L. For the previous body style, the version to get is the Sport version with the 3.5L.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:52 am
by themanw/oaname
unfortunately; i can only speak for a mustang for the rest of the ones you're looking at.

look for something common enough that you can get repaired inexpensively or do your own. i wouldnt go with the lexus for that reason. luxury type cars are made to be repaired by their own mechanics. you CAN take it to someone you know, but there's no promises that it will be right (ex: my brother in law is an audi mechanic at an audi dealer, trained specifically to work on audis. you can take an audi any where you want, but they arent likely going to be repaired by someone that has the special credentials to do the work). if you're a billionaire: get a luxury car. there's nothing more empowering than being able to do some work on your car.

with some clarification on what tires shipped on the car in the lot that actually means something; generally those will eventually be changed when you need to buy new tires anyway.

but for the other salesman to say that mustangs only have summer tires is false.

Re: need some car advice

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:01 am
by DetritusMaximus
You generally do not get premium tires on new cars (or if a used car still has it's original tires). Even though they have less than 22k on them the tires on our '13 Ford Escape will probably get replaced soon as I've heard multiple complaints about them in the wet. Our experience so far has matched those complaints. I really don't care how much the tires cost or how much tread is left, a tire that you don't feel safe on is not worth risking your car or your life.

The top current Fusion motor is 2.0L turbo, pretty strong motor.

You might check out the test articles by Motor Trend/Road and Track/Etc. for whatever cars get your interest. They usually do a road test and give you an idea if a car is 'performance' oriented or if it just looks the part. Small motors (non-turbo) and automatics are not usually a good combination. Remember, front wheel drive will feel very different from a rear wheel drive car.

If you don't mind older cars, 2001-2004 Ford Focus SVT is a decent performer. 170hp and great suspension. I'd stay way from 'modded' or 'upgraded' cars. I have the SVT suspension installed on my 2001 130hp ZX3 Focus with an automatic and I really like how the car handles. It's actually a cheap thing on the 2001-2004 Focus. The SVT kit is about $300 and includes struts, springs and the rear sway bar. You can't get replacement struts for that.