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bbaker480

Let's pick me a new daily driver

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Monday morning I totaled my Prius when a deer somehow managed to jump onto an overpass and land on my hood.  Fortunately the antlers cleared the windshield and beat up the door instead of stabbing me in the face.  I never really liked the car other than the economics of driving something that got 43mpg, the seats sucked, the steering wheel was like 8" too far away, it was slow, handled poorly, and looked like a weird blue kidney bean.  I also got more for it from the insurance company than I paid for it so today I'm trading State Farm my title for a check and letting them keep it.  I'm also moving my office in the next few weeks so I am willing to sacrifice some fuel economy for a more fun/comfortable car.

 

I'm not in a pinch to replace it, I have another car that kinda sucks as a street car now because I do dumb things like straight pipe Subarus and lift and cage Jeep Cherokees, but I would like to find something reasonably comfortable that I can be happy with STOCK and just drive as a daily.  Something that if another deer decides to teleport into the front end I can walk away without feeling like thousands of hours of time went into it.  Hoping to stay under $16,000.  Currently I think the top contenders are:

 

Cadillac CTS Wagon (not CTS-V): comfortable, potentially 300+ hp if I find the right one, and it's a wagon.  I can still haul parts around when needed, just throw a tarp in the back to keep it clean.

 

Mercedes GLK 350 4Matic:  again 300 hp, comfortable, able to haul some things.  I like the way these look but I don't know if I want an SUV, I love the utility of a wagon but I hate the way SUV's feel so disconnected from the road.  I think I need to drive one to see how I feel about it, and also consider the MB cost of repair when things go wrong.  

 

Subaru Outback Limited: it's a wagon, it's a Subaru, both things I like, with heated leather seats this time.  It's underpowered and CVT, which I don't like.  Lots of room inside for activities and it has a roof rack and could easily have a hitch for bike and ski racks. This would be Subaru #4 and Subaru wagon #3 so if I found the right one I wouldn't be in uncharted territory picking it up.  

 

Other suggestions have been thrown around, EcoBoost Mustang, Miata, Jeep Cherokee, retired Police Tahoe.....  I'm open to ideas.  Kinda partial to trying to get back into a wagon but this isn't dream car shopping, this is finding a reliable daily that I won't be sad to get into every morning.  AWD, while nice, isn't a deal breaker, I still have the WRX when I want to go play in the snow, and I can work from home if it gets really bad.

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I love my E46 BMW wagon.  You could get a really nice, well sorted example at that budget.  Even one with an engine swap if you so desired.

 

Or you could move up to a e91 or f31 wagon if you can find one.

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Just spitballing

 

Not a German car fan, there is a reason they depreciate like they do...(yeah wrong crowd to say something like this)

Subaru, you already have one and mod it, temptation will be strong to use some of those spare parts on it... Oh CVT, naaaa

Echoboost, as mentioned in another thread, I am not convinced they are going to age gracefully

Jeep, see subaru

 

Caddy, not sure how well it will age but I like em

Tahoe, cant go wrong with one of those

Toyota trucks are tough to beat

 

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5 minutes ago, mender said:

Dodge Magnum SRT8.

I can see that going exactly the direction I don't want to go.... sticky drag radials, electric cutouts on the headers, heck I bet an off the shelf tune pushes those over 500 at the wheels....  I wonder if there is one somewhere near where Rob's engine currently is sitting, I bet I could convince him to road trip with me and we can test out it's cargo hauling capability.

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26 minutes ago, Huggy said:

I love my E46 BMW wagon.  You could get a really nice, well sorted example at that budget.  Even one with an engine swap if you so desired.

 

Or you could move up to a e91 or f31 wagon if you can find one.

I've been told to stay away because of the repair costs.  I do love the way they look, anything I should be aware of if I consider one?

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7 minutes ago, bbaker480 said:

I've been told to stay away because of the repair costs.  I do love the way they look, anything I should be aware of if I consider one?

e46's are cheap at this point, specifically if you can turn your own wrenches.  All the software needed to satisfy the german overlords of idiot lightage is available online and a cheap laptop + a $50 cable opens the gates.

 

E91's are a bit more complicated, but still 100% DIY able.  Actually, there are some cool things that can be done with them that cannot be done on E46's.

 

No idea on the F31's.  They are rare also.

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I literally just bought a 2011 Outback with the 3.6  Its a pretty bland car I'll admit, but decent enough as a winter "beater".  Ok power (not fast, but sufficient), it has the 5 speed auto that seemed ok in the test drive and obviously awd will help.  A friend has 2.5 of the same model year, and says it has been dead nuts reliable over 150k miles.

 

FWIW, have you driven a 15-19 3.6 with the CVT?  I tested one and it felt ok actually.  I was pleasantly surprised that it "hid" the CVT-ness pretty well.  I also drove a new 2020 XT with the turbo and CVT.  I walked away REALLY impressed.  That car is fast, and I would be that you could fool 99% of people (including us car guys) if you told them its an auto not a CVT.

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If you want something fun (but respectable) that has already depreciated, I recommend the 2007 to 2010 BMW 335i. Lots of fun when stock. Seats are very comfortable. Should be around $10,000. Keep $5,000 at the ready for repairs in the next few years!!!

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Brian, you live in Pittsburgh. You need to embrace the Rbank racing life! 

Jay at rust repair just got this in. You need to be living the disposable Saab life. I'll text you Jays number. 

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42 minutes ago, enginerd said:

If you want something fun (but respectable) that has already depreciated, I recommend the 2007 to 2010 BMW 335i. Lots of fun when stock. Seats are very comfortable. Should be around $10,000. Keep $5,000 at the ready for repairs in the next few years!!!

I have one of these for sale, RWD, Sedan , 6-speed, half your budget. 

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Used 1/2 ton 2wd pick-up?  My Silverado turned 10 years old last week, has almost 230K miles, and I would struggle to find anything to complain about.  I put a posi in mine as soon as I got it and toss sand bags in the bed in winter.  My folks have a Suburban and it gets mid-20 mpg, rides very well, and can haul plenty.  My mom has taken out two or three deer with it, too, and still going strong.

 

My mom had a couple of used first gen CTS sedans that seemed to be pretty decent.  And my dad has had at least half a dozen of the 8th and 9th gen Impalas and Monte Carlos - all used - and loved them.  He also had a used, base model C5 automatic Corvette as a DD for a few years and absolutely loved it.

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5 hours ago, red0 said:

Brian, you live in Pittsburgh. You need to embrace the Rbank racing life! 

Jay at rust repair just got this in. You need to be living the disposable Saab life. I'll text you Jays number. 

Image may contain: car

That car sure looks clean, might be a good option to end up still with no payment. 

 

I did stop and test drive a GLK on the way home from cleaning the Prius out:

https://www.hillviewmotors.com/inventory/used-2014-mercedes-benz-glk-glk-350-4matic®-4d-sport-utility-wdcgg8jbxeg328625  Super clean, and my childhood next door neighbor owns the dealership so there is some wiggle room on the sticker price.  I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea of having a car payment, 20 mpg, or the $1000 annual tire replacement with the miles I drive.  

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5 hours ago, bbaker480 said:

That car sure looks clean, might be a good option to end up still with no payment. 

 

I did stop and test drive a GLK on the way home from cleaning the Prius out:

https://www.hillviewmotors.com/inventory/used-2014-mercedes-benz-glk-glk-350-4matic®-4d-sport-utility-wdcgg8jbxeg328625  Super clean, and my childhood next door neighbor owns the dealership so there is some wiggle room on the sticker price.  I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea of having a car payment, 20 mpg, or the $1000 annual tire replacement with the miles I drive.  

Saabs are the best bang for your buck right now. Great cars and prices are much too low given the quality.

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6 hours ago, enginerd said:

Saabs are the best bang for your buck right now. Great cars and prices are much too low given the quality.

Kinda leaning hard that direction. I hate having a car payment.  I suppose I could drive it for 2 or 3 years and put cash away to buy the MB later if that's still what I want..... or a C6 Z06 might be in my price range by then.

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Old MBs seem to find me; I have three right now.

 

Ones from the '80s-'90s were built to the old standard and are actually quite cheap to fix and maintain if you don't mind something that old. My wife's '99 ML320 has just under 200,000 miles and has been very reliable and low cost, not hard to find the first gen ones with half that mileage on them.

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I'm generally not a new Euro-fan, but holy crap I got to drive a 2019 E63 AMG last week. Good god man. It had regular, 2 sport modes, and race mode. Dunno what the sport modes felt like because they were just extra menu items that got in my way getting to race mode. It was a bad mammerjammer - real paddle shifts, exhaust burps on up-shifts, mega-brakes... Of course it is 110k, but it got me to researching them and I felt pretty bad I'd never realized how cool these things were. 

 

2007-2009 E63 naturally asp 6.2 V8 - 507hp from the factory. Sounds fun. Saw a minty on in FL on FB marketplace for like 10,500. Not bad for factory 500hp car. I think this was also available in wagons too. 

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7 hours ago, pintodave said:

I'm generally not a new Euro-fan, but holy crap I got to drive a 2019 E63 AMG last week. Good god man. It had regular, 2 sport modes, and race mode. Dunno what the sport modes felt like because they were just extra menu items that got in my way getting to race mode. It was a bad mammerjammer - real paddle shifts, exhaust burps on up-shifts, mega-brakes... Of course it is 110k, but it got me to researching them and I felt pretty bad I'd never realized how cool these things were. 

 

2007-2009 E63 naturally asp 6.2 V8 - 507hp from the factory. Sounds fun. Saw a minty on in FL on FB marketplace for like 10,500. Not bad for factory 500hp car. I think this was also available in wagons too. 

The older ones are E class cars, no AMG option in the Estate body, the current ones are available as the AMG E63 S which is a weird but awesome combination of the S class features but in the smaller E class Estate shell.  No doubt if I hit the Powerball my first stop will be to see someone at Bobby Rahal Mercedes to order one and then call Renntech to schedule it to get worked over.  809 HP, black pearl paint, limo tint, black wheels..... 

Edited by bbaker480
I failed you all with my bad information

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1 hour ago, bbaker480 said:

The older ones are E class cars, no AMG option in the Estate body, the current ones are available as the AMG E63 S which is a weird but awesome combination of the S class features but in the smaller E class Estate shell.  No doubt if I hit the Powerball my first stop will be to see someone at Bobby Rahal Mercedes to order one and then call Renntech to schedule it to get worked over.  809 HP, black pearl paint, limo tint, black wheels..... 

Jeff was just looking for e class amg wagons and drove a few.  They exist. 

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4 hours ago, thewheelerZ said:

 

I know this isn't helping you buy a car, but...

4 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Jeff was just looking for e class amg wagons and drove a few.  They exist. 

 

Wow, I feel dumb-ish now, but I have been looking for these for years and never found one....  I think I know what I'm saving for now :)

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10 hours ago, pintodave said:

I'm generally not a new Euro-fan, but holy crap I got to drive a 2019 E63 AMG last week. Good god man. It had regular, 2 sport modes, and race mode. Dunno what the sport modes felt like because they were just extra menu items that got in my way getting to race mode. It was a bad mammerjammer - real paddle shifts, exhaust burps on up-shifts, mega-brakes... Of course it is 110k, but it got me to researching them and I felt pretty bad I'd never realized how cool these things were. 

 

2007-2009 E63 naturally asp 6.2 V8 - 507hp from the factory. Sounds fun. Saw a minty on in FL on FB marketplace for like 10,500. Not bad for factory 500hp car. I think this was also available in wagons too. 

When I was doing the local track instructor school a few years back, I was paired up with a guy who brought his C63 AMG Black Series. I brought my son's C280 Sport, capable and competent but not a track car.

 

We were supposed to trade off driving and coaching in our respective cars but after one session in my son's car, the other guy offered to spend the rest of the day in his car. I accepted. :) It was interesting; driven at 8.5-9/10ths it felt secure and planted but once I got it past that I had to work hard to keep the car there because of the car nannies. Also seemed like the effort of the steering and brakes went up substantially in the last little bit, possibly part of the programming to slow things down.

 

After five laps of fighting with the engineers' notions of what the car should do vs what I wanted to do, I was ready for a break! Hopping into the Fiero after that (different day but ...) felt like going from wrestling a heavyweight to dancing with a ballerina. ;)

Edited by mender
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