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#319765 - 08/24/10 06:45 AM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6835
Loc: PEI, Canada
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Apparently, it is an automatic frown and hence, a full second slower 0-60. It *looks* like a stick, but the dealer assures me it is an automatic, albeit a fancy 6-speed one with manual mode.

Still having trouble with that fun/comfort balance thing.


Nothing wrong with an automatic transmission with a manual mode if it's a well designed system, although many are not well designed. A lot of drag racers have gone that route and are liking it.
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#319781 - 08/24/10 10:33 AM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Murph]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
Automatics are a must for serious drag racing if you want to win races. But, that includes trans-brakes and stall converters. The Nova I mentioned earlier launched at 5200 rpm where peak torque was being developed. It had a built two speed power glide, which is the typical choice for transmission on the drag strip as you only have one shift. The power glide also has less torque robbing components as the three or four speeds do. But that’s the drag strip, for road racing and just general screwing around and having fun, a car without a manual and clutch just isn’t as much fun and you won’t find them on many race winning road race cars.

Tom – The V60R my X had was equipped with the automatic. It’s just has the typical “manual” mode that pretty much all cars have nowadays. It’s not actually manual by any stretch of the imagination, but simply allows you to bounce up and down at will by tapping the lever back and forth. It’s better than nothing, but a far cry from the real thing.
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#319790 - 08/24/10 11:25 AM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: michael_d]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6835
Loc: PEI, Canada
I have also seen government rebates for purchasing a new standard shift vehicles but I have no idea if they apply in your location. They are based on green initiatives for the 'better' gas mileage.
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#319802 - 08/24/10 12:32 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Murph]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
We had that initiative 1 or 2 yrs ago here, I'm not sure if it still applies.

Say, I wonder if they consider a PDK or DSG an auto or manual?
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#319803 - 08/24/10 12:35 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Murph]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8290
Loc: Tacoma
I am very grateful to you guys for your ongoing counsel. I expect that - before too long - you will be reduced to the overanalyzer's spousal reaction of "I don't care anymore - just buy something"

It's a fun journey and it helps me a lot to bounce things off you all.

I drove a 2010 Miata Grand Touring 6-speed with the retractable hard top last night. Man, that was FUN. It sounded right and felt great when I was driving and shifting. Very exhilarating. Problem is, I had quite a time getting in and out of it even though my back is actually in pretty good shape at the moment. I have a sedentary job and have never been overly fit or flexible, so the ingress/egress was pretty uncomfortable given how low the car is.

When I started this journey, I had pretty much dismissed convertibles for a number of solid reasons, including higher insurance, noise, ingress/egress, and general impracticality. Thanks to your bad influence, the availability of retractable hard tops at (attainable?) prices and a couple of transcendent test drives in glorious summer weather, I had put convertibles back on my "potential" list. The reality is that it is dark, gray and "gonna rain soon if it's not right now" for 8 months of the year in Western Washington. Since I'm looking for a daily driver, I really should get a grip and remember my longstanding assessment that it's pretty stupid to own a convertible in Seattle unless you plan to only drive it part of the year.

I've also discovered that I am quite a bit pickier about color, trim level and options than I have ever been before, and that's okay. Because of lifestyle, economics, family, and a general outlook of automobiles as transportation appliances, I'd never really cared too much about some of these details. Now, there are more available goodies than ever, and I find myself wanting to indulge in a few of them. It's weird to have this conscious realization that my decision-making paradigm has shifted due to not only technology, but being at a fundamentally different place in life.

So, now I really want the seats to be comfortable. Having steering-wheel mounted audio controls is pretty much a deal breaker. Heaven help me, I've come to have a preference for heated seats.

And - thanks to Mike for helping me crystallize the concept - I really do need to get a stick. After driving the Miata last night, it was pretty clear to me how much I've missed that level of involvement. I don't have a stop-and-go freeway commute anymore, and there just is no substitute for that level of control. It's gone from preference to deal-breaker. And wow, is it damn difficult to find manual-shift versions of some of these cars.

I apparently owe the Subaruians an apology, and appreciate their patience in showing me the omissions in my knowledge. I incorrectly thought that the Legacy GT afforded changes in trim but not in drivetrain, and now stand happily corrected. Special thanks to Zarak for finally getting through to me. Perhaps I will try to find and drive a 2007-08 Legacy GT SpecB.

But I'm still not sure how I feel about turbocharged engines. My frame of reference from many years ago was that basically any turbo was an inevitable and expensive repair.

Finally, as much as I'd like to throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes to indulge my motoring whimsy, I have realized that I am fundamentally pretty darn risk averse and it really pisses me off when things are broken. So, I've discounted certain makes like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc. because of my perception that I don't wait to wait or pay for the boat from Stuttgart.

Seems like I've always dreamed of having a German car, and now it appears that I really don't want one after all.

Murph, not even naked vegetarians in a Prius can get tax credits any more.

I might end up with a Civic Si after all. Even if I could find one of the obscure stick-shift GT's (like the Volvo or TL), there probably aren't enough of them in existence for me to feel good about parts availability.

I gotta go do something else with my life.

Thanks for being there.
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#319804 - 08/24/10 12:42 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
Ok...you've settled at least on the transmission. Now we have to attach a car to it.

Do you prefer rwd over fwd, Tom? that's something you haven't brought up.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#319805 - 08/24/10 12:44 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16280
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
awd. You want awd. smile
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#319807 - 08/24/10 12:52 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: pmbuko]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
2011 Porsche Turbo.

Tom I'll schedule a test drive at Pfaff Porsche when you visit, bring your checkbook.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#319820 - 08/24/10 01:16 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Adrian]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
Porsche, great car, but the same damn thing year after year. This video review mirrors my thoughts..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYWk-nat1ok&feature=search

Tom - Thanks for this little distraction, regardless of what you do. It's been the most interesting thread on these boards to me for a long time. Now to just put this little journey of yours into perspective, you said you want a car that's fun, but it needs to be a daily driver. That's OK and quite doable. However, you really should not put the words "fun" and "practical" in the same sentence. Fun (RE: performance) is not practical. So stop worrying about that practical piece. It doesn't matter if you have four days a year to enjoy the top down or not. That's four days you will have a truly enjoyable time, if that's your bag. I love convertibles. There's nothing like having the air and open space around you. If you want that, get it and don't worry about the practicality of it. Good call on the imports. Unless you are buying new with warranty, I would not give that a second thought. Mercedes has gone so far to remove the "owner DIY" repair piece, that they have eliminated the dip stick.
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#319823 - 08/24/10 01:20 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: michael_d]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
Jeremy Clarkson is a Ferrari Fan boy so anything he says about Porsche should be taken in that context.
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