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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
...the formerly unthinkable.

I'm really getting bummed out about shelling out the extra coin for fuel...that 19mpg average adds up when you have to drive a minimum of 240 miles every work day.

I've started looking a bit more seriously for another daily driver for my commute from (and back to) Hades. Giving an extra $200+/month than I did just six months ago to the frikken oil companies is pissing me off, and I'm tired of the daily $40 kick in the nuts.

I'm casting about for a new ride that fills the following parameters:

1) Comfortable enough for four hours daily in the saddle. "Comfort" includes decent seats, effective a/c, and a good stereo. I don't need or want cushy- just something that doesn't feel like a church pew or those awful desks from 5th grade.

2) Fun to drive. I enjoy driving fast and hard for reasons of keeping my sanity. Manual transmission is a must for these reasons.

3)Reliable. This car has to run, and run, and run. I maintain my cars well, but I ask almost 50k miles/year without stranding me in return.

4) Fun to drive. Oh yeah...I said that, but it's really important.

5) Frugal. I would like at least an average of 27 mpg. According to my calculations, that would save me ~$3000/year on what I'm paying now in fuel costs alone!

...all while trying to keep the RWD faith. Not easy.

I'm eyeing the Solstice/Sky...but I've decided that buying new borders on financial idiocy since I stomp the crap out of potential resale due to the miles I pile on my ride...the fact that resale on an '04 GTO with 45k miles on it hovers somewhere between jack and sh1t doesn't help. All-new cars are dicey buys anyway.And I'm not exactly in mad rush to give the General more of my money after my Goat's transmission blenderized at only 30,000 miles. Still, the Solstice would come pretty close to filling all of the above...though the fuel economy would most likely be closer to 23-25 mpg. Still an improvement, but not enough to vault the above hurdles.

Sat in an '06 Mazda MX-5 (the first of the 3rd generation Miatas) the other day. That would be a great fun street-dissector...but again, it's a new car. You can find 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5s (the 178hp turbo variant) with stupid low miles on them for cheap...that may be a good / fun beater.


Then again, I may just have to grin and bear it when I visit the pump every day. I do love the GTO, with it's mixture of speed and comfort it still stands as the best GT value on the market today, period. But spreadsheets don't lie...ack. It's like trying to decide if you should leave a hot girlfriend who is also good in the sack when you know she's spending your money, she refuses to get a job, and you suspect she just might be cheating on you !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
AnthonyGP said:
Scion tC might be a good choice. My friend bought one last year, with manual trans, and it is deff. a fun little car. I think it gets 23/29 mpg too.
Trying to avoid FWD cars, as I vastly prefer the driving dynamics of RWD. That being said, the new Civic Si with the helical LSD may be a decent compromise...and the MINI Cooper S, Acura RSX-S, and VW GTI are possibilities.

bemeyer said:
Man! Can't you telecommute or something? Or relocate?? ;)

Keep the GTO for weekends and just buy the most fuel efficient beater (or motorcycle for that matter) for work...??
Moving is not an option at this time, as I have four school-age kids... I have a large house in a good school district, two things I would not have in LA without a huge outlay of cash. My job is not very condusive to telecommuting.

A bike would be fun as occasional jaunt- I have considered it- but as my commute carries me over a 4100' mountain and into big-city traffic it would be far too tiring for every day use. A "fuel efficient beater" would obviously make sense, but would you want to spend four hours a day in a car you cannot stand? No...it needs to be fun.

Keeping the GTO for "weekend use" would be fine, but the idea of paying a car payment on something I drove once a week borders on retarded, in my mind. besides...if you drove 1100 miles a week, would you want to drive anywhere on the weekends?
 

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Cobalt SS minus spoiler :D

2.0 Litre, 2806 lbs, supercharger, 205 hp, 200 lbs torque, 4:05 final drive ratio, 0 - 60 low 6's, top speed 144 mph,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
westell said:
Cobalt SS minus spoiler :D

2.0 Litre, 2806 lbs, supercharger, 205 hp, 200 lbs torque, 4:05 final drive ratio, 0 - 60 low 6's, top speed 144 mph,
Still FWD, and I'd much rather have a new 2006 Civic Si (with that trick new helical LSD, negating torque steer) or used Acura RSX-S than a Cobalt.
 

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Groucho said:
Still FWD, and I'd much rather have a new 2006 Civic Si (with that trick new helical LSD, negating torque steer) or used Acura RSX-S than a Cobalt.
Sorry, but I gotta stay within my own race :cheers
 

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Try taking a blimp over the San Gabriel Mountains. Will shorten your commute because it's only 15 miles to Pasadena from Bakersfield as the crow flies. It's going around those mountains that's taking all your time.

As for a car -- Miata if you can fit. I'd get one but I'm so tall my noggin sticks out over the top of the windscreen. Almost like that guy whose head stuck through the t-top in those old Smokey and the Bandit flicks.

You can also get an RV. Drive in Monday AM, stay all week, empty the sewage tanks in the company parking lot on Friday PM and drive home. What could be better?

Beware the Mini. Beware. Quality ratings are shameful. Would an old M3 work? Those hatchback one can be had fairly cheap because a lot of people don't like how they look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
b_a_betterperson said:
Would an old M3 work? Those hatchback one can be had fairly cheap because a lot of people don't like how they look.
It is a possibility...I would like the M-Coupe. Monsters. :D

Also,dammit... I do love the Stook.

This one- an '02- is right here in town, 19k miles, $18k.

From what I'm led to believe at the S2k forums, however, I'd be lucky to get 24mpg out of it. :rolleyes:

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Optimal solution:

Gas prices come back down. Soon.

Between the depreciation hit I'd take on the GTO...and the fact that I do love driving this car...ditching her makes little sense.

:cheers

:party:
 

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If you are truely looking to save some money on gas buy something that gets 50mpg. That should save you enough money to keep the GTO also.

Honda insight, or a hybrid 4 door Accord that gets 37mpg.

I don't think you are going to find a SPORTY car with any kind of power that is going to get 30mpg.

With a 300C Hemi you could get 25mpg, but that probably isn't enough.
 

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GOTPWR said:
If you are truely looking to save some money on gas buy something that gets 50mpg. That should save you enough money to keep the GTO also.

Honda insight, or a hybrid 4 door Accord that gets 37mpg.

I don't think you are going to find a SPORTY car with any kind of power that is going to get 30mpg.

With a 300C Hemi you could get 25mpg, but that probably isn't enough.
Thats highway mileage, its the same as the goat. I agree, finding a RWD car with good power, handling and gas mileage would be a auto manufacturers dream. RWD selections are scarce as it is, and most of the ones out there have V8's with comperable mileage to the goat. Gas savers are FWD these days. The Toyota hybrid is much better looking than the Insight, that thing is a joke. One of my coworkers has one. What a teenie tiny dog, looks gay too. Good luck Grouch, but I think you are going to have to sacrifice performance for the cost of fuel in order to get a vehicle that will pay for its own cost before you would normally ditch the goat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hybrids would buy me very little for my driving profile. Great for in-town, but most of my driving is open highway.

Probably hanging on to my Goat...smiling when I drive it, and gritting my teeth when I visit the pump every day.
 

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Gas Price

Groucho, what is the price of premium out there in LA? Here in Central PA I can get premium today for 3.08, mid grade is about 2.95 per gal... regular today is about 2.75-2.79 in places......I know California is higher, was wondering what its running right now out there.
 

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You'll shoot this one down in a second, but here goes. Low mileage F-body LS1. They get 28-30 on the highway. They ride well on the highway. If you get one without the T-Tops you won't look like an F-body type. They are very reliable, fast, RWD, and with the hatchback you can haul things you would never guess. You can get a low mileage 20-30k for low teens.

Solution 2: get better gas mileage from the GTO. The weight is the issue. The F-body gets much better mileage from the same powertrain because it's 400+ pounds less. Since you were considering an s2000 I'm guessing you don't need to have a back seat in the GTO. There is some weight savings. Take the carpet out of the trunk and the floor mats out of the car. Look for a carbon fiber hood and trunk. Switch to a 235/50/16 tire. The added benefit is the increased performance.

I looked at a Miata, but they don't get as good a mileage as you would think. 4.1 gears I think. They are real buzzy on the highway. Same for the s2000 real buzzy. Mercedes C class with supercharged 4 or the Audi A4. An A4 quattro would be fun get decent mileage with the turbo4 and have AWD for the grapevine in the winter.

I kinda saw this coming a few weeks back with your posts. Hope you stick around, GTO or not.
 

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Groucho, I think the VW GTI is calling your name. Good on gas, FUN to drive, comfortable even during long trips, FUN to drive, easy on the eyes, FUN to drive.. I know that it is wrong wheel drive but RWD is tough to find in a car that would have everything you are looking for. Did I mention that the GTI is really FUN to drive???
As far as the Mini goes, My 64 year old Mother bought one (She thought it was cute). I think BMW may have taken the retro thing too far... NOTHING but electrical problems with it. It is British... VERY British. I have owned a couple of MGs in my life and I still have nightmares about random electrical fires... Damn Lucas CRAP!!!
 

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eldodroptop said:
Groucho, I think the VW GTI is calling your name. Good on gas, FUN to drive, comfortable even during long trips, FUN to drive, easy on the eyes, FUN to drive.. I know that it is wrong wheel drive but RWD is tough to find in a car that would have everything you are looking for. Did I mention that the GTI is really FUN to drive???
As far as the Mini goes, My 64 year old Mother bought one (She thought it was cute). I think BMW may have taken the retro thing too far... NOTHING but electrical problems with it. It is British... VERY British. I have owned a couple of MGs in my life and I still have nightmares about random electrical fires... Damn Lucas CRAP!!!
Not to mention the are expensive as hell for a little death trap.
 

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ftlfirefighter said:
Diesel Diesel Diesel!!! my Grandfather switched to a MB 300SD in 82 from his 450SEL. He added a second tank to the trunk and was entirely too pleased with himself that he could go a 1000 miles btwn fill ups!
Man I had 2 Diesel cars in my life. Both were V8 diesels, talk about no power! Torque yes, horsepower no. My 1.8L KIA Spectra would have run circles around them and my KIA got 31MPG with the a/c off! :willy:
 
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