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Unfortunately, I don't think there is a safe, not-falling-apart car to be had for that price? I think? Haven't done research. But I definitely agree with you.
From my amateur perspective, I am a last-generation LeSabre fan. I think the Park Avenue would be a bit too much for me, but a nice normal 2000's LeSabre Custom would do just fine...
Er, the point. You have missed it. Though not knowing my family, I guess I can't blame you. To my mom, the WRX STi would seem to be a scrappy sports car. So it wouldn't be luxurious enough (meaning there wouldn't be an element of "being impressed" in that regard), and she cares not one bit for performance.
Hell, if there was a XC-70 sized wagon from one of the major luxury European manufacturers or Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti, and we could afford it, she'd drive it. But there isn't, so Volvo fills that niche.
edited 8th Sep '11 8:23:28 PM by frog753
Hmm, closest thing I can think of that's relatively luxurious, has AWD and is still somewhat large would have to be the Dodge Journey Crew AWD.
A cheap car for only 2 or 3 grand?
Craigslist. Just be mindful in what you buy and who you're dealing with. I've bought three daily drivers via craigslist.
Just don't expect them to last forever, because they're used.
edited 8th Sep '11 10:50:57 PM by pvtnum11
So, there's a new-ish Toyota Camry, I believe. Opinions seem to be divided.
And yeah, getting any kind of car for less than a second-hand Mondeo (British econobox made by Ford, was once sold here as the Contour) carries a fair amount of risks.
edited 17th Sep '11 2:01:01 AM by RocketDude
A new Camry? Last thing I knew, they had just made some exterior styling tweaks...I'm really falling behind.
Speaking of divided opinions...poor Honda and the new Civic! To my casual appraisal, it doesn't seem much different than the old one, but then Consumer Reports had to go all "I am disappoint" and totally pan it! I should ask around and find out what ordinary people think of it.
Right now what's really on my mind is the pre-GM-redesign (or slight cosmetic alterations, whatever) Saab 9-5, and the tragic fall of Saab in general. An interesting, quirky brand stripped of all its life and originality, force to carry two vehicles that were entirely not their own (9-2 X, 9-7 X), then nearly killed in GM's epic recession flail. I've seen on a website this 2004 9-5 in the midlevel Arc trim level, about 74k miles, 9 something thousand dollars...and it calls to me! "Not refined enough to be a luxury car, insufficient performance to be a sports car"...that's what one review I saw said. Poor thing, never really found its place, and yet somehow people bought 'em anyway, so that's cool. I love that center-mounted ignition... * I sound completely nuts when I get excited about cars. Thanks again for putting up with my ridiculousness.
The 9-5 seems pretty nice.
And yeah, Saab is being sold to the Chinese in order to keep it afloat. Amazed that it's not completely dead yet.
edited 17th Sep '11 10:51:27 PM by RocketDude
They could be pretty good if they found a solid niche that they knew people would go for. Right now, the only reason to buy one (say, the current new 9-5) is because of the styling. What's left of their lineup isn't decisively better than any competitors.
The irony is that I think the original Saab aircraft company is doing just fine. But there's another thread for that.
Anyway, 2 days ago I got to ride in a recent (post-2009 facelift) BMW 3-series. The driver wasn't very good, she tended to both accelerate and brake too suddenly, but I still got a sense of how precise and controlled and smooth everything was. It was also quiet. The interior wasn't as nice as I maybe expected it to be. (I mention all this in the first place because when you read enough Car and Driver, you become convinced that the 3-series is God's gift to the car world. I was curious as to whether it could measure up to the hype.)
Yeah, C/D gets a bit of criticism for all the love they heap on BMW.
edited 18th Sep '11 2:00:55 PM by RocketDude
I know. It is kind of ridiculous. But it is a nice car.
I was thinking about the American car companies just recently, and I think one of GM's problems when they all got into trouble and had to start axing divisions was that it had too many! 7 if you count Hummer, to the other Big Three companies' 3 each. That's a lot of redundancy. I miss Pontiac, and I think they could have done great stuff with it if things had gone differently, starting with the G8.
Yeah, Pontiac was Too Good to Last.
Car problem conquered! Yay me!
I'd been having problems with my windshield wipers; it was a tossup whether they would start at any given time, but if I pushed the passenger side wiper up onto the windshield when the switch didn't work, the motor would take over and they'd be fine. Until I turned them off.
So I was trying to figure out where the problem was, switch, or motor? Switch was more likely, but would be way more expensive, motor would be cheaper and easier, but was less likey to really be the problem. Then I noticed that the auto parts store was having a sale on wiper bladed, and realized that I'd put the current set on oh, maybe five years ago... So I changed to new blades. And they work fine. They were so badly worn that there was too much friction between the blade and the window unless the window was running with rain.
I love simple solutions.
edited 19th Sep '11 4:14:24 PM by Madrugada
I have a bit of a technical question. Both cars we've had for a while have had very similar "shiftable automatic" transmissions, where you can slide the shifter into a side area and it acts like a manual sans clutch where you simply bump it up or down to change gears. My mom doesn't use it at all. My dad uses it for precise control on winding hilly roads, and as a way to control slowing down in general without brakes, especially when going downhill.
However, he says never to bump it down to 1st gear. Sometimes he goes as low as 2nd, but says never to use 1st unless starting from a dead stop, for which there doesn't seem to be much of a logical opportunity anyway, because he always slides back to standard automatic if we're accelerating from a stop sign or whatever.
So what I'm wondering is about how cars with very ordinary basic automatic transmissions allow you to go all the way down to 1st gear independently (with usually 2nd and 3rd above it). Is this intended for serious hill-climbing or something?
I think it's just to add a sporting character, but I don't know much about hill climbs.
Well I suppose my question still stands, but in the meantime...motorcycles can go in this garage too, right?
It seems some staff at my school are rather fond of Japanese standard bikes. The back one is a Honda CB650. The front one is some kind of Suzuki but if it ever had any further identification on it, they painted over it so I don't know. Maybe you can tell what it is?
I like this kind of bike, they seem versatile and durable.
Pictured in obscured background: Honda Element and...a Nissan Maxima or Altima I think. Like, a coupe.
edited 21st Sep '11 12:20:08 PM by frog753
The problem with shifting down into first gear at speeds is the potential to over-rev your engine. Most electronic-controlled automatics (read: modern ones) will happen to know that you're about to greande the engine by attempting to do so, and will simply refuse to down-shift until the vehicle speed is low enough to prevent overreving the engine. Older hydraulic-controlled automatics may not prevent that from happening; not sure.
Red-line is the engineer's estimation as to how fast you can spin the engine without tossing a serpentine belt, throwing a connecting rod, over-spinning an accessory item, bouncing valves off of the valve seats, or doing any number of other Really Bad Things to your engine. My car of choice (see avatar) has a redline of only 5200 RPM. I rarely take it above 3k; usually have no need to do so, since peak torque is made below 3000 RPM anyway.
I saw a video in which a jazzed-out Honda CRX with racing slicks on the front tires was doing a quarter-mile pass. First gear take off, shifted to second, went for third, and ended up back in first because some fail-safe mechanism that woudl've prevented mis-shifting it back into first (at sixty miles an hour or however fast he was going - but he was really hauling butt) didn't work right. The rear end of the car came off of the ground and the engine made the most hideous-sounding overrev noise imagineable.
Amazingly, they only had to replace the transmission, as the driver either slammed the clutch back in or threw it into neutral within a second or two. New transmission, ran again the next day.
Yeah, downshifting at higher gears can be tricky.
Oh wow. Ok. Didn't expect a response after all this time, but thanks.
Latest motorcycle sighting at school: Suzuki TU250x. Proving that the popularity of classic Japanese standards persists...even when the bike in question is a new one that's just classically styled. Looks like a solid choice, though I've heard they can't really keep up on highways.
Also, I was about to comment on the fact that strangely enough, I am warming to the idea of eventually getting a used late-model Volvo S40 for my first car. I know my parents would be so happy, they both drive Volvos now. And the S40 doesn't seem that bad, really. Then I remembered it's only front wheel drive. My parents believe in all wheel drive only. Oh well. Guess I'll go looking for an Impreza or something. (Mind you, none of this is going to happen until at least about two years from now...)
There is the S60 T6 AWD, though, which is a sportier-than-normal Volvo, and it's not even an R version.
Uh, yeah. That's what my dad drives. And it's awesome. But I don't want to have the same car as my dad. And we'd want to save some money.
But thanks for bringing that car up. I wasn't so sure if I liked the idea of him getting it, since my mom hasn't driven anything but Volvos since like 1993. But then we went for a test drive...
DAT ENGINE. Seriously, though...it may not quite be best in class, but power and handling are both excellent, it wasn't too expensive for the class, and not too many people are driving them, so hipster value!
edited 27th Sep '11 9:06:46 PM by frog753
I've heard you can boost the crap out of the 5-cylinder Volvo engines and have fun ding front-wheel burnouts at fifty miles an hour. "No, I don't have any traction, is that a problem...?"
My grandparents had a 740-turbo wagon, and my dad loved it when we borrowed it for a road trip. Boost is fun.
Oh yeah, Volvo wagons would also be good, considering how much storage space one would get with one. They even have turbocharged models, I believe. You could also get a Ford Focus ST for storage space and sportiness, but it's FWD.
Speaking of turbo-five engines and AWD, Audis come with TFSI inline-five engines (or turbodiesel inline-fours) and Quattro AWD, but Audis are expensive German luxury cars (with the possible exception of the S and RS lines), so...
Also, in the news, Saab had the cars in their museum seized by the Swedish government, with some of them most likely being sold to Saab's creditors. While I'd hate to see pieces of history get sold off like that, Saab is in trouble, so they'd need the money.
edited 28th Sep '11 7:27:31 PM by RocketDude
Whaaaa, all those vintage Saab's going into - wait. Going into the market. Maybe I'll get a chance to own a pristine GT750...? Or even a Sonett III.
edited 30th Sep '11 10:41:09 AM by pvtnum11
Does Saab Automobile A.B. (or Saab Automobile N.V. or whatever) owe you money?
edited 29th Sep '11 7:48:14 PM by RocketDude
I wish. Man, a pristine Sonett III is worth something like 25 thousand - totaly kick-butt looking cars, only 57 horsepower, supposed to be an absolute blast to drive. Anyway, I hope the UrSaab finds a good home.
My Dad had two III's in the field, although only one was mechanically complete and a non-runner. The other had no drivetrain. He also had a Model 95 and three Model 96's in non-running condition - all of that was as a favor to a friend, who's wife said "Those things go or I go!" I'd love to own one - they weigh less than a ton!
My Mom wasn't too happy about receiving them, either, but they were a BLAST to play in as a little kid, what with all the rusty metal, broken glass and finnicky door latches.
edited 30th Sep '11 10:44:08 AM by pvtnum11
Look what's for sale at the place we bought our cars from: 1988 Caprice Classic Brougham. Only 76k miles...how does that happen? I wonder if anyone would want this car...and on that note, I wonder why they even decided it was worthwhile to try to resell it.
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