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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyways, in search for a new car as my Mazda RX-8 is gone. I've decided to have a list all of different kind of cars, from high end range, to low end right, to high price, to cheap price, so not all cars I am going to list are in the same range.

What I am looking for is a nice looking car for a daily driver and if I want to bring it to the track (autox or drag) it'll be able to perform. I will be doing mods on the car, exhaust, coilovers, etc, and depending on the car, I will work on the engine, some of these cars have enough power as it is. Gas mileage has to be on par or greater than the 8 (I got 16.5-17mpg shifting like a grandma at 3.5k)

Anyways, the past two days I've gone to dealerships to check out the cars and these were the ones I have test drove and my thoughts.

First test drive: 2006 Base Nissan 350Z
I sat in the car. Felt pretty nice, very little blind spot in comparison to the 8 when I first got it. Downfall on view is looking out the rear view mirror, there is not much window to look out of because of how steep the back window is angled at. I started the car and loved the sound at startup. Drove it out to the road and started the test drive. Felt good, definatly had the low end torque that the 8 was missing, so acceleration was a quicker. Ride was sorta bumpy, about the same as the 8. Was able to take it on the freeway, but didn't really gun it at all, because I didn't want to make the sales person nervous. He let me take a turn to test handling, it's pretty good, but no where close as the 8. Overall, I loved the looks of the car, the power and interior was decent, once again, nothing compared to the 8.

Second test drive: 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged
So, of course in a total different ballpark in comparison with the Z. The car actually impressed me a little. The exterior and interior is better than I expected, except that ugly spoiler has to go. Drove it around the city, felt good, ride was not bumpy at all. Let me take it on the freeway to test acceleration. The handling was pretty good, a little worse than the Z which impressed me. Acceleration was pretty quick too because of the supercharger. It might have even accelerated a little quicker, but that's because I never really got on the Z. It was a really fun car to drive, really surprised me for what it is and how much they are.

Third test drive: 2005 Pontiac GTO
Wow, that is really all I had to say after the test drive. If you can even call it that. I asked if I could test drive it, and the guy first asked my age, thinking I wasn't old enough to drive or something? This was the first time someone had asked me my age before test driving a car, usually they would just ask for my lisence first. Anyways, the sales person only wanted me to drive it around the block. I got in the car, started the car and loved the sound of the LS2 engine. I pulled onto the road and just got used to the car for a little. I could tell from the beginning I started looking at the GTO the sales person did not want me driving this car, so he only let me drive it around the block, literally, we pulled out of the dealership and just circled around it and that was it. For the time I was in it, I tested the acceleration a little and you definatly knew the power was there. Can't really comment on this test drive since it wasn't really one. If I was looking at a GTO, I'd probably pickup a 2004 LS1 GTO though, but who knows.

Fourth test drive: 2006 Subaru WRX
Don't really like the looks of this car, but I soon started to fall in love with how fun it was to drive. I got on the road and the sales person let me take it on the expressway and told me to gun it. I went through 1st-3rd quickly, as the boost kicked in and sent the car flying. Now the scary part was when my sales person grabbed the wheel and started to jerk it back and forth to show how sturdy the car was, but he stopped thank goodness. The car felt extremely light compared to all the other cars I drove. He let me launch it at one of the stop lights and I did not expect the fast jump and somewhat a whip of my neck. This was also a very fun car to drive.

So in all, every car was great, the Z and GTO are in the same category, and the WRX and Cobalt are in the same. I would probably choose the WRX > the Cobalt and the GTO > the Z but who knows.

GTO>Z>WRX>Cobalt in Power

Cobalt>WRX>Z>GTO in MPG

Z>GTO>Cobalt>WRX in looks for me

Only downfall of the Z is that it's a two seater...I don't mind it, but I always would want to have some seats incase I need to drag an extra person around.

MPG is definatly better in the Z than GTO.

The 2004 Z's cost around 24-25k, 2004 GTO's cost around 23-24k but GTO insurance is 100-200$ cheaper a year than the Z. I would leave the GTO engine alone, mod Z later down the line. If I went with a Z, would there be any way to make it sound like a GTO? (I know it's a V8, but who knows)

Thoughts?

P.S. Thanks for reading the whole thing lol.
 
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go to another dealership and drive the GTO again. Sounds to me like the salesman was a wimp and didnt want you to unleash 400hp with him in the car. And I know some dealers are HEAVILY discounting the 05's now due to the 06's coming over on the boat!

From your post though, sounds like your greatest experience was with the Subaru salesman. At least he let you beat the car a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does the GTO have too much power to have it on the streets? From what the sales person was telling me, was basically he didn't want me to test out the power cause he thought I wouldn't be able to handle the power. Will the GTO really go out of control if you gun it?
 
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NO! It has terrible wheelhop though! But depending on your history of high hp V8 cars, it can or cant be too much. For me, I have owned plenty of V8's and I thought it was fine on dry roads, but when wet you have to use a LOT of caution. Gotta remember, you have 400 hp on a 235 tire. I still think the salesman was a wuss...

so, how old are ya? 35? lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am actually only 19, soon to be 20, so that is probably where he got the sign of me not knowing what exactly this car has under the hood.

The only thing I am worried about in the GTO is having TOO much power, which is strange the say. I am responsible, will NEVER street race and respect the kind of raw power this engine is able to put out. This would be my first V8, so that is why I am sort of warry of if I am able to control it. Like I've said in other posts, the car is going to be used as a daily driver, never to be used in speeding or any kind of wreckless driving on streets. Will most likely bring it to a track/drag around where I live if I want to do any type of racing.

I have already saved up money to take classes down in Laguna Seca, so I will have advance drivers training under my belt, but if I got a car like this, I want the power to be under control, this is why I ask.

Also, I doubt I'll be able to afford the 05's unless they drop down to 04 price. Other than the 50hp increase from ls1 to ls2, is there other pros for the ls2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After seeing this video
http://padrenet.com/host/chris/LTs-Cats-FMasters.MPG
it really gives me a slight view of how much power this can put out.

If I got a GTO, I most likely would be getting the 04 GTO because I've been finding them for really cheap (22-23,000), but I love the "extras" you get on the 05, not only 50HP but the hood scoops, and dual exhaust, etc.

I could get an 04 and then spend the money to buy the hood and rear bumper right? And when I get exhaust, I'd have to look for 05 exhaust correct? It'll still match up fine with an 04 if I buy 05 exhaust/hf cats/headers or does it matter? The only thing that matters is the dual exhaust exits on seperate sides instead of together like the 04's.
 
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yes, thats really the only difference but if you get an 04, keep in mind you will have little nuances like a throttle cable, the ls2 is electronic throttle, but the LS1 is cheaper to modify than the LS2 is. You really dont want to waste your money to look like an 05 if your a performance junkie. Spend the money on decent mods like exhaust, intake, and motor work.
 

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Get a new one. Most people buy this muscle car for one thing.........to beat on it. For a few grand more you can get a new '05, way better deal, believe me. This car is not a toy, it's a serious machine and probably one of the best cars you'll ever own, believe me. I've been buying cars for nearly 40 years and the new GTO is the best I've ever owned. The other cars you mentioned testing aren't in the same class. Go to another dealer and take a good test drive. Take someone older with you if necessary to make the salesman feel a little more secure. Once you stomp on this bad boy you'll be sold. Good luck........

JET
 

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Find a different dealer. The one went to just didn't want you burning up a set of tires on your test drive. The car is very streetable and is a great daily driver. If you are in the snow belt you'll need snow tires, in my opinion. This is the best of my last 3 cars (MB E420 and Audi TT). I drive it pretty sane most of the time. Attacking onramps is about as wild as I get most of the time, but 70 at less than half the ramp is pretty easyto accomplish. Others on this forum have tested these cars and pretty much come to the same conclusion, the GTO is a lot of car for the money. If you aren't scared off by the fuel consumption, I get about 20-21 with the manual in mixed driving, then get the GTO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you guys are getting 21-22mpg then I love it. My RX-8 would get 17-18mpg and I had to try really hard (shifting at 3.5k in a 9.5k redline car) to get that kind of mileage, and for those who know the 8, they have 170-180hp with no low end torque. So if this 400HP GTO can get on par or greater MPG than the 8, than this might be another big plus.

For those who don't have a lead foot, and drive thier GTO's economically for daily driving, what's your MPG and miles at fill up? Basically, if I drive say 70/30 city/highway and keeping the shifts below 3k or whatever is a good point to shift for getting good mpg, will I get good gas mileage or what do you guys expect?

Like I said, if I can get a 400hp car to get the same or better gas mileage than my old 170-180HP RX-8, then I'd love this car for that! Too often I couldn't enjoy the 8 because if I redlined it or had even the slightest amount of fun, I would often get around 16-17mpg.

Atleast with the GTO, I can shift like a grandma, but in a 400HP car, I still would experience quite some power and get better gas mileage.
 
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your funny. If you care about performance AT ALL, trying to resist temptation in this car is like trying to hold your breath for 20 minutes. Ya just CANT do it !!! :)

the GTO is rated at 16 city/21 highway but it all depends on your driving style, habits, track time.
 

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I agree that you need to go to a dealership that will let you test drive the car. It is not a car that you take on the normal route. You find a empty road and paint the concrete black.

The GTO is very economical, especially the manual, and a very good daily driver, thanks to the many erogonomics in the interior(i.e. comfortable seats, good sound system, steering wheel controls...). Safety would be my concern for you. This car has allot more power than your old car did. Keep the traction control on and spend a day at the track with someone that knows what the hell they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. I live in San Jose/Los Gatos California so I'm not near DC lol. I have saved enough money to go down to Laguna Seca and take some driving classes there. I think it would be fun to go with my dad too so we can have some father/son bonding time, plus learn some advance techniques in handling your car if you spin out or anything.

I am sure there are other people around my area, maybe I should setup a track day if they are intersted.
 
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