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Old 03-18-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,934,260 times
Reputation: 3919

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Quote:
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.
I did mean, as TheViking, stated in terms of interior/build quality of the car. Pontiac's are nice vehicles for a high school or college student but the poster is a bit above that bracket. I'm just saying that driving an Audi for a number of years, she is probably used to having creature comforts and a bit of an upscale feel to the car. Even a Pontiac G8, while being very capable on the street, isn't exactly up to the standards of a car costing (new) $30K. The BMW M3 would have the best combo of performance/luxury for $20K.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:50 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,552,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
I did mean, as TheViking, stated in terms of interior/build quality of the car. Pontiac's are nice vehicles for a high school or college student but the poster is a bit above that bracket. I'm just saying that driving an Audi for a number of years, she is probably used to having creature comforts and a bit of an upscale feel to the car. Even a Pontiac G8, while being very capable on the street, isn't exactly up to the standards of a car costing (new) $30K. The BMW M3 would have the best combo of performance/luxury for $20K.
If you've never been in or driven a G8, you really should check one out. Lightyears ahead of typical GM and good enough to make you wonder whether the extra $20k+ for the 5 series is really worth it.

Also, while the M3 is a fantastic car, exactly what year/mileage is the OP looking at for $20k? Here in the northeast the only M3's that even get into the $20k range are generally 2002/3's with over 60k miles on the clock. As soon as you buy it you are looking at dumping $2k into the car for the level 2 service to get the valves adjusted and VANOS tuned. Not to mention that the older M3's also had quite a few issues that the newer cars didn't have. Back in those model years there was a major problem with ring failure and VANOS failure. Given, most of the cars with ring issues have been recalled and fixed, but VANOS is a constant headache and very expensive to fix. If you look at pricing you'll see a significant disparity between 02/3 cars and 04 cars. You can pick up low mileage 03's for less than the price of high mileage 04's and there is definitely a good reason for that.

IMO if your budget is $20k to "go fast" the M3 isn't the car for you as you'll be in sticker shock when you take it in for service or stuck on the side of the road if you choose to skip on the maintenance.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,934,260 times
Reputation: 3919
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
If you've never been in or driven a G8, you really should check one out. Lightyears ahead of typical GM and good enough to make you wonder whether the extra $20k+ for the 5 series is really worth it.

Also, while the M3 is a fantastic car, exactly what year/mileage is the OP looking at for $20k? Here in the northeast the only M3's that even get into the $20k range are generally 2002/3's with over 60k miles on the clock. As soon as you buy it you are looking at dumping $2k into the car for the level 2 service to get the valves adjusted and VANOS tuned. Not to mention that the older M3's also had quite a few issues that the newer cars didn't have. Back in those model years there was a major problem with ring failure and VANOS failure. Given, most of the cars with ring issues have been recalled and fixed, but VANOS is a constant headache and very expensive to fix. If you look at pricing you'll see a significant disparity between 02/3 cars and 04 cars. You can pick up low mileage 03's for less than the price of high mileage 04's and there is definitely a good reason for that.

IMO if your budget is $20k to "go fast" the M3 isn't the car for you as you'll be in sticker shock when you take it in for service or stuck on the side of the road if you choose to skip on the maintenance.
In Phoenix, you can find a 2002-2004 M3 with about 40K-60K miles for $20K. We might have a slightly higher supply of performance vehicles out here versus the Northeast as we have year-round weather to drive them. I agree that you have to budget yourself for maintenance on the BMW as they are expensive vehicles to fix. I'm just offering a possible suggestion that would blend the OP's performance and luxury aspirations in her budget.

As far as the G8, I've never driven one but I have been in a few before. I don't doubt the performance aspect is there, but the interior, while being good by Pontiac standards, does not compete with a BMW/Lexus/Mercedes/Infiniti. I'm a fan of American cars, I drive a Yukon and a 'Vette so you can't call me a GM basher!

As far as the G8 vs BMW 5 Series, they're catering to an entirely different market. You can't compare an apple to a grapefruit! You sit in a G8 and then go sit in a BMW 550i and you'll see how different they are. The G8 is still plagued with the problem GM has with using hard plastic everywhere unlike foreign competitors who use soft-touch materials or leather to give the luxury appearance.

GM is really making their vehicles much more appealing to people who would usually purchase a foreign brand though. This is VERY evident in the new Cadillac CTS as well as the Buick Lacrosse. These two vehicles alone will not dig GM out of its hole, but they are a much needed step in the right direction.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,822,913 times
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Nissan 350Z.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,755 posts, read 25,559,421 times
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I agree with NJGOAT in that I would not touch an older M3 that's an unknown vehicle. If I knew the owner, and how the vehicle was maintained, and whether or not the seals on the VANOS had been addressed, since they were prone to early failure, I would pass on the car, since it would be less expensive to pay more for a choice example of a newer, lower mileage M3 than to deal with the issues on an earlier model.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,537,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
Nissan 350Z.
ooh, good one. don't know how i forgot about that. may not be as fast in a straight line as some of the others being thrown out there, but the handling and fun factor are DEFINITELY there.

Mike
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:23 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,552,424 times
Reputation: 14279
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
In Phoenix, you can find a 2002-2004 M3 with about 40K-60K miles for $20K. We might have a slightly higher supply of performance vehicles out here versus the Northeast as we have year-round weather to drive them. I agree that you have to budget yourself for maintenance on the BMW as they are expensive vehicles to fix. I'm just offering a possible suggestion that would blend the OP's performance and luxury aspirations in her budget.

As far as the G8, I've never driven one but I have been in a few before. I don't doubt the performance aspect is there, but the interior, while being good by Pontiac standards, does not compete with a BMW/Lexus/Mercedes/Infiniti. I'm a fan of American cars, I drive a Yukon and a 'Vette so you can't call me a GM basher!

As far as the G8 vs BMW 5 Series, they're catering to an entirely different market. You can't compare an apple to a grapefruit! You sit in a G8 and then go sit in a BMW 550i and you'll see how different they are. The G8 is still plagued with the problem GM has with using hard plastic everywhere unlike foreign competitors who use soft-touch materials or leather to give the luxury appearance.

GM is really making their vehicles much more appealing to people who would usually purchase a foreign brand though. This is VERY evident in the new Cadillac CTS as well as the Buick Lacrosse. These two vehicles alone will not dig GM out of its hole, but they are a much needed step in the right direction.
I didn't realize M's were so affordable in AZ. Your definitely not scraping into a decent M3 for $20k in the northeast. You are definitely right in that if she can swing it, it is still the best blend of luxury and performance you are going to find (with just a bit more bias to the performance).

As for the G8, no it doesn't have the fit and finish of a lot of the higher end Euro cars, but it's price is also reflective of that. I've owned quite a few Audi's and a couple BMW's over the years and they are definitely way ahead on the fit and finish and material quality.

I compared the G8 to the 5 series, mainly because most people do. The G8 is a true performance oriented RWD sedan that can carry 5 people. The only other car really like it is the 5 series and that was Pontiacs intention when they designed it. Other cars in the same realm generally offer significantly softer performance then either of those two.

With that said, my statement was that the G8 is just good enough to make you seriously ponder whether the BMW is worth nicer plastics, a few gadgets and a better badge on the hood. Performance wise, the G8 GT matches or outperforms the 550i in just about every category. The 5 wins hands down for interior appointments and technology, but how much is that worth? A fully loaded G8 GT was ~$35k in 2009. A BASE model 550i was ~$60k. If I had the dough, I would personally pick the 550i, but the G8 GT is more than compelling at a $25k discount vs. the BMW. So, again, how much is plastic quality, a few tech gadgets (which you will pay more than the $60k I quoted to get) and a propeller on the hood worth to you?

As for the other cars you mentioned, right on. The new CTS and the new Regal are both excellent, perception changing cars. I'm a big fan of Euro and GM vehicles, but I like to give credit where it's do and criticism where it's warranted.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,354,775 times
Reputation: 5137
man if it was just a year and a bit ago you could find a brand new G8 on Buick/pontiac lots for a really good deal some had $8K-$10K knocked off the MSRP
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Cupertino, CA
831 posts, read 1,682,136 times
Reputation: 1089
01-04 Corvette Z06. 405 hp 02-04 models, many are going from high teens - $25k
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
59 posts, read 105,609 times
Reputation: 38
I guess I could add a little more specification here. I would love to get an M3, but like all of you have said, for my price range I would have to get something quite old with a lot of miles, which is exactly what I don't want. My Audi is a 2001 with about 100k miles on it and it seems like every day something needs to be fixed on it. In fact, I'm taking it in tomorrow to get an electrical problem and vacuum hose fixed. I love the luxury of my car, but it's more of a basic model and not as fancy as what todays A4's are. So I can deal with something a little less luxurious than a BMW or an Audi. And as for mileage, I would really prefer 50k or less. I'm just sick of all the maintanence that comes with an older and high mileage car, and also the higher price for german auto parts. I will sure miss my AWD though. It made for amazing handling in the winter and I feel like I will regret not getting another AWD vehicle, but if it comes downt to horsepower vs AWD, horsepower will win me over. I guess I could always just keep my Audi for a winter car?

I like mustangs, but for some reason I'm more partial to the older body style (don't ask me why!), although the new 2010 models look much better than those previous. Plus the interior just isn't that appealing to me. I rented one down in Florida, and although the v6 had really nice pickup, I just wasn't impressed with the interior.
The 3500z isn't bad, but there are so many, for lack of a better term, guidos around here that drive them that they also just aren't that appealing to me. I suppose maybe I should test drive one and see how I like it.
The GTO is always an option, especially because it is so familiar to me. I would love the purple colored 2004, but it only has a 5.7 LS1, and I would much rather have the 6.0 LS2. His and hers GTO's? Cute or ridiculous? haha.
The G8's interior is great, even compared to my Audi. I love the look of it, sporty with clean lines and even a little expensive looking with the metallic insterts.

I guess it will all come down to test driving these vehicles and seeing how they handle and whatnot. That's about all I could think of now, if anything else comes to mind I'll be sure to let you all know!

P.S. What about an Acura TL Type S??

Last edited by omckenzie710; 03-18-2010 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: added text
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