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Old 03-17-2010, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,754 posts, read 25,537,232 times
Reputation: 6681

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You won't find a 2006+ BMW M5 for $20k. The lower priced versions (around 100k on the clock) are going to be around $30k, but a good example is going to be in the $40-$50k range. A good M3 that's 2005+ is going to be around $25-$30k, for a decent example with not too many miles on it. But, for that price, you could find the S4, though perhaps not in your immediate area. I would not describe either BMW as a muscle car, especially given the list you have put together.

I agree the G8 is a good choice, so too is the Mustang, though I would not consider the Jeep to be a muscle car. It's a car that suburban parents have to drive because they have kids, and still want a "sporty" car, IMO. At least that's who I see driving them. I don't know about the Charger, since I worry about Chrysler fit-and-finish, especially as the cars age, and the interior is not that great for starters. The Charger offers good performance, but that's about it, since I'd imagine any cost savings would be made up in the long-term, as it would be more likely to have a higher incidence of repair.

The G8 is light years ahead of a Cadillac CTS, which just has a very cheap feel to it for the price, and has been plagued by reliability issues in previous generations, much like it's bigger sibling, the STS. GM should have upgraded the G8's luxury features and inserted it into the Cadillac line if they really wanted to attract a younger buyer, as has been their goal for a while now.

A two-generations old Mercedes? I would not buy that one, especially not a two-generations old E55 because anything AMG trumps regular Mercedes repair bills by an extra wide margin. The regular Mercedes 8s can have issues as they age, though the 6-cylinder in the E tends to age well, but it's not exactly a sporty performer. And, for a choice example, around $20k, you would be looking at one from the 2001-2002 vintage, and would likely have to travel to get it. The less expensive versions likely have deferred maintenance that could easily eat the $8-$10k in purchase price savings with repairs/maintenance.

If you like your Audi, I'd look for another in the S4 variety, even if you had to travel. Carmax can bring one to you if there's one in their inventory, for a fee if it's a long-distance transfer. I would also recommend evaluating the M3 in comparison, too, but again, don't settle for one that's got a few miles more or is a few thousand less, since you want a pristine example of the car. You should see the service history, too, since deferred maintenance is a very bad thing with either the Audi or the BMW. And, I would only buy an adult-owned version, but that can be difficult to discern if you are purchasing from a dealership.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,925,093 times
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I'd recommend a 2002-2004 BMW M3, that'll fit right in your price range of around $20K. Nice car, very quick, and comfortable like your Audi. I wouldn't go from an Audi to a Pontiac or Dodge, that's definitely a step down.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:40 PM
 
1,739 posts, read 4,824,077 times
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Corvette
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,742,038 times
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Test drive a Lincoln LS with the big V8. That's a real nice strong engine. Decent mileage on the interstate, too.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:31 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,293,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knoxgarden View Post
Test drive a Lincoln LS with the big V8. That's a real nice strong engine. Decent mileage on the interstate, too.
It's not very fast nor does it handle well by sports car standards.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,527,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
I wouldn't go from an Audi to a Pontiac ......... that's definitely a step down.
If you're talking about the Grand Prix, yes. FWD and V8 rarely makes a good combination; this car is/was no exception. In terms of the G8 (or GTO, for that matter), I would strongly disagree.

Mike
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:30 AM
 
10,485 posts, read 22,558,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
If you're talking about the Grand Prix, yes. FWD and V8 rarely makes a good combination; this car is/was no exception. In terms of the G8 (or GTO, for that matter), I would strongly disagree.

Mike
I disagree completely. One of my landlord's had a 2007 Impala SS which is the same thing as a Grand Prix. It had a V8 and it was awesome. I never drove it, but I rode with him in it. That thing was fast and it handled well. I would love to have one of those.

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,527,131 times
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well, my experience was limited to a few laps around what was basically an autocross course with the Chevy version (anyone here ever attend an event GM used to put on called Auto Show in Motion?). First, to my knowledge, there's no manual option. second, the shift 'paddles' didnt' react quick enough and were in an annoying location. last, it torque-steered and nose-dived like a *****.

but that's just my opinion. different strokes for different folks.

Mike
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:08 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,507,040 times
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You really have an abundant selection of vehicles, but it is highly dependent on your tolerance for maintenance costs. Any of the BMW's and Mercedes named are going to be older cars with no warranty and get pricey real quick. In general you should plan for at least $2k a year in general maintenance on any one of those cars and add another $2k on top of that for major services. They are fantastic cars, but you need to pay to play.

Audi's tend to be a little less expensive, but I would highly recommend avoiding the 2.7T engine. It is a fantastic engine, with a ton of potential, but they are very problem prone. I had one in my 2004 A6 S-line and it cost a mint just to keep up with the needed maintenance. Not to mention that most examples of cars with these engines are really getting up there in mileage and timing belt services are real pricey.

If you want to stick with Audi, I would really look into the 2004/5 S4 with the 4.2L V8. Fantastic car and the N/A V8 is a little less to maintain than the turbo cars. The only drawback is that it isn't that fast, especially compared to a 6.0L GTO, or even a Mustang. AWD and luxury adds a lot of weight. It also won't have the same handling characteristics as your A4 as the V8 is way heavier than the 1.8T and the generations of S4 in your price range were built before Audi started moving the engines behind the front axle to improve weight distribution.

I also don't think any of the import turbo cars are going to give you what you are looking for. They are certainly fast and handle very well, but they are a different kind of fast. If you are looking for the feel of the torque like in the GTO, you won't get that from a turbo car.

With all that said here would be my list based on what the OP said:

- 2005/6 GTO - Having owned one and a 2000 Audi A4 at the same time, you really aren't giving up anything in comfort getting the GTO. It is fast and a fantastic highway cruiser that gets decent MPG.

- Infiniti G35 Coupe - I would get the newest year and lowest mileage example you can find. Fantastic car with plenty of power and it will still give you the luxury amenities of the Audi and is a great drivers car.

- Nissan 350Z - Again newest year and lowest mileage you can find. This is basically a decontented Infiniti and shares many of the same driving dynamics of the Infiniti. The nice thing here is that while you give up on the gizmos vs. the Infiniti you should be able to get a newer and lower mileage car that will pretty much drive the same.

- Mustang GT - Any 2005+ Mustang will do the trick. They are pretty quick overall and offer a nice driving experience. This is closest thing to a classic pony car that is made today. The nice thing about Mustangs is that they are plentiful and are very cheap to maintain and modify. The only thing that stinks is that you will be seeing your boyfriends taillights a lot.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,636,767 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
If you're talking about the Grand Prix, yes. FWD and V8 rarely makes a good combination; this car is/was no exception. In terms of the G8 (or GTO, for that matter), I would strongly disagree.

Mike
I think he meant primarily in terms of interior quality and apparent build quality.

The G8 has a better looking interior than many of it's earlier siblings, but it's still miles away from an exec. kraut cruiser.

That said, the performance of the Holden sourced G8 isn't too shabby, from what I understand, though it handles in a different manner than, again, German saloon cars.
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