Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 11:49:09 AM

Title: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 11:49:09 AM
Hi all, the riding season is starting to wane and because of that it's time to give up having the guzzi as an only vehicle. I have access to my girlfriend's car most of the time but there will be times in the winter when it gets icy and riding the bike is too dangerous, so it's time to think about buying a 4 wheeled vehicle.

I currently own a mazda rx-8, I was most interested in the rotary engine and I got one, I've loved owning it but it only gave me 100,000 miles, which is pretty much what I expected to get out of it. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I want to put a remanufactured engine in it, which will cost 3300 for the engine plus labor to install it. So looking at about $5000 budget there. It really is that much fun when it's running.

But I'd like to consider other alternatives and would like some input from a bunch of guys who ride these weird italian bikes that no one knows about...

Requirements:

Pluses

As a reference, here are vehicles that are on my short list.

Mazda MX-6: indestructible engine, SUPER cheap
Civic hybrid: I like the overall nerdiness of hybrids, that and the amazing gas mileage.
Toyota Tacoma.
Subaru Outback: Like the practicality. The boxer engine will always scare me though
Jeep: Would be the ultimate fun machine. But I know how loud they are to drive, expensive to run (gas). They are not relaxing to drive and I know it.

So, it caneither be a fun car, or an offroad vehicle.

Please specify specific years and why you like them.

Carburators need not apply. I will scratch the classic car itch later.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: cloudbase on August 04, 2015, 11:57:15 AM
I love my Subaru Impreza wagon.  There's nothing to the boxer that's scary.  Low CG, everything is easy to get to.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: not-fishing on August 04, 2015, 12:00:14 PM
I've been looking at a Honda Element for my youngest son's first car.  yeah I know he's spoiled but he's the 200 lb baby

It doesn't have the HP but you can get them with a stick (my requirement).

Rubber floor mats, good camping vehicle, MP-3 connection, easy to park.

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-S4MWz86U-IXcTzo7TiYJ4D4TAJa5Xs0lSb9TGkCfutsoanHYsA)
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Arizona Wayne on August 04, 2015, 12:14:51 PM
Some Toyota Rav 4s are AWD.   4 or V6 motors.  Bulletproof!  If it's just packed snow you have to go thru the front 2wd works. 
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 12:17:48 PM
Oh yes, Stick shift is a requirement.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Lannis on August 04, 2015, 12:52:48 PM
Oh yes, Stick shift is a requirement.

You can get any of the Subarus with a stick, I think.   Nothing "scary" about the Subaru boxer engine, it's probably the toughest and most effective powerplant out there.    Complaints come because there are SO MANY of the things, the vast majority of which run and run and run and run ....

Lannis
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: ITSec on August 04, 2015, 12:53:50 PM
I've had Subarus for a few decades (along with some other things). My current is a 2006 Baja Turbo. 227 HP, a sleeper (less than $500 in mods to give it 305 HP, project soon to start). Only drawback is that this one particular model has unique suspension parts. The Outback and others are easy to find the stuff for.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 04, 2015, 01:45:36 PM
Requirements:
  • Reliable and bulletproof engine
  • A good degree of practicality (believe it or not, the RX8 is very practical)
  • At least a decent amount of power, enough that you get a kick in the pants
  • Stick shift required

Pluses
  • 4WD, with ability to turn it off desired over AWD
  • more than 200 hp, be fast but still practical
  • great fuel mileage

The WRX hits EVERY ONE of your requirements and plusses - except maybe "great mileage".


As a reference, here are vehicles that are on my short list.

Mazda MX-6: indestructible engine, SUPER cheap
Civic hybrid: I like the overall nerdiness of hybrids, that and the amazing gas mileage.
Toyota Tacoma.
Subaru Outback: Like the practicality. The boxer engine will always scare me though
Jeep: Would be the ultimate fun machine. But I know how loud they are to drive, expensive to run (gas). They are not relaxing to drive and I know it.

I get the MX-6 - though obviously that is short on power and AWD.

I don't get the Civic hybrid one little bit, it's short on almost everything but mileage.

Taco - Short on mileage, but a good sturdy vehicle.

Subaru - I don't think you can get a stick in the Outback for some time now, but see my points about the WRX. Our 2010 Impreza was a great car, but got boring due to lack of power, and that was the previous 2.5L which made about 180 hp, not the current 2.0L that is down near 140.

Jeeps - the JK and JKU Wranglers are a LOT quieter than the old ones. I test drove a JKU soft-top recently and was shocked how relatively quiet it was. But yeah, mileage is downright HORRIBLE. I like the new Renegade, but will probably buy a Wrangler in the next year.

I like my Juke - it's fun and quirky and hits MOST of your points, but you can't get the AWD with the Manual. Though shiftable CVT is pretty fun in the twisties (and later models come with paddle shifters on the wheel).


Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: rboe on August 04, 2015, 02:00:35 PM
Run any short list choice through http://www.truedelta.com to give you a real world picture of reliability.

Best car I've ever owned, a 2007 Ford Edge. We have a 2012 Outback that is probably dethrown it (Edge was traded in for a F150 for towing capability). When it comes to recommending a car I got nothing. There are some very cool cars out there I simply don't fit in very well, so I'll recommend that you test fit a bunch (after all, the inside is were you'll hopefully spend all your time) and work back from there.

As I get older I find stick shift to be over rated. PITA when commuting, the clutch is a wear item that is hard to get to and typically not user fixable. For the fun factor I have the bike. Your mileage will vary. :D Speaking of mileage, some auto shifters get better mileage that shift types. WTH!
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 02:04:05 PM
The problem with the WRX is that it doesn't lose value at all.

That's a plus for overall value, but I'm looking to spend less than the $12k you need for a decent wrx wagon.

Also, my girlfriend has a Toyota Matrix so we have the practical hatchback box ticket. It's a gutless POS but it's practical.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: threebrits on August 04, 2015, 02:14:10 PM
I would take the civic hybrid off your list.   It's more of a hybrid assist than an all out hybrid.  My sister had one and her mileage was not particularly great, plus she needed a new battery pack just after the warranty expired - but Honda DID pick up the tab for replacing them.  Additionally Honda just dropped the civic hybrid.

As for the Outback, they are as bullet proof as a Honda civic.  (Mother has one for 10 years that lives at the beach 3-5 months a year).  There is no coolness factor to them, so it's good you already have a girlfriend.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 04, 2015, 02:15:30 PM
The problem with the WRX is that it doesn't lose value at all.

That's a plus for overall value, but I'm looking to spend less than the $12k you need for a decent wrx wagon.

Also, my girlfriend has a Toyota Matrix so we have the practical hatchback box ticket. It's a gutless POS but it's practical.

Ahh, I missed the only buying used and spending < $12k part of the "requirements"  :wink:.

That's harder, because the field of reliability gets smaller as you go up in miles and down in value.

And some of your desires, especially AWD and 200+ hp, are also at odds with your pricing point.

A quick check of my KBB app suggests you could probably get at 2011 Nissan Juke AWD in a base model S for that price range.

But a WRX would have to be much older, probably around 2009 or so before you could start to break into your price range, maybe even 2008 or earlier.

If you give up the AWD maybe a Ford Focus might offer a nice balance. You could get into a mid-level trim as new as 2012.

I would have suggested maybe a Focus ST, but they started in 2013 and should still be in the $15-17 range (more for CPO or dealer, but negotiable into that range).

And if price is that big of a concern, you might as well forget about Jeeps (unless you're willing to go HIGH miles). They command just silly prices used.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 02:34:41 PM
I have driven the Focus ST and I liked it a lot, but being a relatively high strung engine I'd want to buy new so I knew how well it had been treated over time.

I'm open to hearing all suggestions no matter what they are.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: neverquit on August 04, 2015, 03:17:56 PM
 Doppelgaenger, you sound like a fairly young guy, get a pickup truck.  If you've never owned one it will change your life.  Camping, fishing, helping friends, all that is easier with a truck.  Hey, you can start going through Craigslist and buy up junk motorcycles and bring them home.  The possibilities are endless.  You'll become more manly and start new manly hobbies.  The best part is you don't have to wash them or repair the dents; that all ads to the whole new image.  It's the only way to go.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: rboe on August 04, 2015, 03:27:56 PM
My F150 is my first pickup; it is also the fanciest "car" I've ever had (Lariat trim, while not as spiffy as the King Ranch it is spoiling the dickens out of us!). Bought a ramp to load bike into the back (6.5' bed). But too nice to dent and dirty up. A used pickup would be easier to "use".

Pickups are damn seductive though.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Bill929 on August 04, 2015, 04:04:24 PM
Doppelgaenger, you sound like a fairly young guy, get a pickup truck.  If you've never owned one it will change your life.  Camping, fishing, helping friends, all that is easier with a truck.  Hey, you can start going through Craigslist and buy up junk motorcycles and bring them home.  The possibilities are endless.  You'll become more manly and start new manly hobbies.  The best part is you don't have to wash them or repair the dents; that all ads to the whole new image.  It's the only way to go.

And the Toyota Tacoma is available with 4wd and a manual tranny. 
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Lannis on August 04, 2015, 04:37:25 PM

Subaru - I don't think you can get a stick in the Outback for some time now, but see my points about the WRX. Our 2010 Impreza was a great car, but got boring due to lack of power, and that was the previous 2.5L which made about 180 hp, not the current 2.0L that is down near 140.



You're right about the WRX - the specs sound like they were made for that car.

And I stand corrected, Outback you can't get with a stick - the Forester, yes.

Lannis
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 04, 2015, 06:09:40 PM
Doppelgaenger, you sound like a fairly young guy, get a pickup truck.  If you've never owned one it will change your life.  Camping, fishing, helping friends, all that is easier with a truck.  Hey, you can start going through Craigslist and buy up junk motorcycles and bring them home.  The possibilities are endless.  You'll become more manly and start new manly hobbies.  The best part is you don't have to wash them or repair the dents; that all ads to the whole new image.  It's the only way to go.

37, so young for being on here it seems. I've owned pickups before, but it's been a very long time and they weren't what you would call off-roadable by a long shot... I'm not really seeing too many alternatives past the pickup though, but a fun car could cut thru the practicality.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: boatdetective on August 04, 2015, 06:59:49 PM
You e got some tough requirements. I'll tell you, unless it was a Miata, mini, Baxter, or a true roadster, I wouldNEVER go stick again. Click and Clack once said, "a real man knows when to let the car do the shifting for him." I have a 2012 V6 Rav and it is a great vehicle. AWD,short wheel base, 265hp, plenty of room in the back,etc.  It is practical, yet has plenty of power. More vesate than my Tacoma.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: LowRyter on August 04, 2015, 07:03:01 PM
Honda is saying they're coming out with a 300 hp Civic Sport Coupe.  Looks fascinating unless they price it like a Beemer or WRX.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 04, 2015, 07:10:08 PM
It's so funny cause your search is a little like mine.

Before moving to NJ it seemed likely that  Jenn was going to take a job in the Poconos. So I bought a Buell and started looking at AWD cars with some performance. My qualifications were a minimum 300 hp to make the cut.

The short list was an STI, 3-series X drive, and AWD Infiniti Q50 and I saw on the horizon two more players, the new Golf R and next year's Focus RS.

BUT then I moved to this land of flat, straight roads and sand trails that lead on for miles and thousands of acres of state and federal forests and my list turned upside down.

Suddenly I sold the Buell and started looking at trucks and Jeeps.

It's VERY likely that I'm going to go with a new Jeep JKU (Wrangler Unlimited), probably with a 6-speed and Trac-lok rear.

But I'm also at least considering the new Chevy Colorado and the upcoming updated Tacoma.

In both lists you see practical vehicles (Infiniti or Colorado/Tacoma), and the vehicles I really want (JKU or STI/Focus RS).

This time around, after all these years of putting things off while Jenn was getting through school and training we swore it would be about fun and screw practicality.

Which brings me back to the Jeep.

We just got back from a week at our friend's place in the 4X4 section of the OBX (Corolla). So we took Jenn's Jeep GC. But we had enough people going that we needed two vehicles and my bud had to take his MDX (which did the job, but we left it parked at the house all week rather than abuse it over the dunes constantly).

Anyway, I can just see how much fun the Wrangler would have been/would be, kids in the back in ball caps and sunglasses and top down or running a bikini top.

Yeah, it's not practical in a lot of ways, but you only live once.

One could argue there are more practical bikes than we have in the garage too.

So I guess I'm saying follow your bliss...
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: charlie b on August 04, 2015, 07:33:59 PM
This just goes to show how much every differs in what kind of car/truck they like/want.

If we didn't have such a PITA driveway I'd have 2WD vehicles right now.  A Tundra pickup and Mini Cooper.

But, I do love pulling the trailer with WAY too much power :)  And the wife can fit our Old English Sheepdog in the back of the Element much easier than the Mini :)
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 05, 2015, 11:12:52 PM
You e got some tough requirements. I'll tell you, unless it was a Miata, mini, Baxter, or a true roadster, I wouldNEVER go stick again. Click and Clack once said, "a real man knows when to let the car do the shifting for him." I have a 2012 V6 Rav and it is a great vehicle. AWD,short wheel base, 265hp, plenty of room in the back,etc.  It is practical, yet has plenty of power. More vesate than my Tacoma.

one of my friends bought a Mini S. She paid $15k for it and spent the same amount of money fixing everything that went wrong with it over the course of one year (turbo, clutch, gearbox, etc). Then she bought the newer clubman and had problems with the ABS activating when not needed. They reflashed the computer that handles that and somehow that reflash killed the fancy radio...

I will never buy a mini or any other car made by bmw because of this. They're great cars until they go wrong... and then they earn their Break My Wallet reputation.

I do like the Lego qualities of the jeep, and you are correct Kev that we do only live once. Words to live by...
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: jdgretz on August 06, 2015, 12:13:32 AM
Completely off the track from the current recommendations, but an older Acura TSX can be had with a manual transmission, and you might just find one in your price area.

I've had my '07 since new, currently 126,000 mostly trouble free miles (A/C issue has been the big one).   It does have just over 200hp, is fun to drive, and quite comfortable.  The TSX has the fold down rear seat with trunk pass through for long stuff, so it's pretty practical unless you need to transport sheets of plywood or drywall.  Not 4WD or AWD, but mine regularly gets in the mid 20s for mileage around town and up close to 40 on long highway stints, like LA to San Francisco, Vegas, etc.

Maintenance?  We don' need no stinkin' maintenance!  Mostly it's change the oil and see if anything is wearing out.  Change some of the fluids every couple of years and spark plugs and belts (I think) every 100,000 miles.  I have a ball joint that is starting to get loose, so I'll do that with the next oil change.

jdg
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 06, 2015, 03:27:21 AM
Tell you what though, our Mini Cooper S was an absolute BLAST to own for 7 years and 105k miles (till things started found wrong).

Thing is we bought new, had "free" maintenance for a couple of years, warranty for a few more. And when we traded it we got a ridiculously high trade-in value, so total cost of ownership was low.

Look at it this way, you can buy a $12k used one with over 100k miles on it and risk thousands in repair and be pissed.

OR you can spend $24k on a new one, get a good number of trouble free years and then get a $12k on trade (I think we may have gotten little more, I'd have to check the paperwork).

Either way it only cost you $12k, but you got to enjoy the convenience and reliability and FUN of a new car along the way.

Now I don't know if Mini's are still that high in residual value. But like that WRX you were talking about, I bet they're still pretty good.

Actually. Come to think of it, the math may work out the same for a new WRX too (except that you probably won't want or need to trade it out by 100k).

Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: steamdriven NZ on August 06, 2015, 06:27:56 AM
We own a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara which has the 2.0 four cylinder. Tows the big boat, has selectable 4wd including low range (suprisingly, used more times than you'd think) and is built on a separate chassis. Reliable, cheap parts, goes quite well. Quite torquey for what it is. Practical, durable. Ours has almost no rattles at 220k kms. 32 mpg on a trip. Comfortable. More capable off road than some people give them credit for. Handles well on-road too.

We are looking at the newer ones to replace this one, very similar build now with a 2.4 four or a 2.7 V6 I think. But we are looking at the 2.4 coz it's more than enough for us.

Kev.
 
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 06, 2015, 06:40:07 AM
We own a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara which has the 2.0 four cylinder. Tows the big boat, has selectable 4wd including low range (suprisingly, used more times than you'd think) and is built on a separate chassis. Reliable, cheap parts, goes quite well. Quite torquey for what it is. Practical, durable. Ours has almost no rattles at 220k kms. 32 mpg on a trip. Comfortable. More capable off road than some people give them credit for. Handles well on-road too.

We are looking at the newer ones to replace this one, very similar build now with a 2.4 four or a 2.7 V6 I think. But we are looking at the 2.4 coz it's more than enough for us.

Kev.

I really liked the first generation Suzuki Sidekick/Geo Tracker. So much so I bought a slightly used 1992 2wd Geo Tracker in 1994 or so. It was very well built little beast. I started to get bored with it pretty quickly and by 95 of 96 I turned it into a 4wd model (much easier than one would expect. Bought a slightly wrecked 4wd and swapped over everything I needed but ONE $10 bracket I had to buy and have a bud weld on the chassis, it was one of 3 brackets to mount the front axle and the other 2 were already there). It was a tough little truck.

Over the years after that I looked at other models, including the Grand Vitara (I remember driving a press one for a week or two back in the day) and I considered buying one.

But sadly Suzuki is gone from the US Automotive market. They pulled out after 2013 I believe.

Good news is that that Grand Vitara was available up to the end. And the fact that they're gone might scare some buyers off so I doubt they're holding value well (which can be good for a buyer).

Bad news is that parts will eventually get harder to find and you've basically got no dealer support. Still it's a basic car, and you can find a half-dozen places in any town that can fix them as long as you can get the parts. And most parts should be readily available for some time.

Yeah, I could see that as a viable option if the OP wanted.

Doubt you'd find one in a stick though, not sure if they EVER sold them here in the Grand Vitara...I bet on the Sidekick and Tracker offered a stick.

Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: charlie b on August 06, 2015, 08:13:46 AM
Tell you what though, our Mini Cooper S was an absolute BLAST to own for 7 years and 105k miles (till things started found wrong).

Thing is we bought new, had "free" maintenance for a couple of years, warranty for a few more. And when we traded it we got a ridiculously high trade-in value, so total cost of ownership was low.

Look at it this way, you can buy a $12k used one with over 100k miles on it and risk thousands in repair and be pissed.

OR you can spend $24k on a new one, get a good number of trouble free years and then get a $12k on trade (I think we may have gotten little more, I'd have to check the paperwork).

Either way it only cost you $12k, but you got to enjoy the convenience and reliability and FUN of a new car along the way.

Now I don't know if Mini's are still that high in residual value. But like that WRX you were talking about, I bet they're still pretty good.

Actually. Come to think of it, the math my work out the same for a new WRX too (except that you probably won't want or need to trade it out by 100k).



We had almost exactly the same experience.  Mini Clubman S with no problems at all.  Traded it after 4 yrs for just a little less than $20k (new was $28k).  WRX bought new in 2001 (yes, the 2002 model year).  Don't know what resale is cause it will never leave the family  :D

My brother's approach to BMW.  Keep until warranty is up, then trade in on a new one.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: steamdriven NZ on August 06, 2015, 05:02:47 PM


But sadly Suzuki is gone from the US Automotive market. They pulled out after 2013 I believe.



Wow. Really?
I have been on a US Suzuki forum (looking for the odd fix a few years ago, much like this place!) so thought they'd be still in the US for sure.
Quite a strong brand here. Mind you when Ford sell a new F-150 every minute or so Suzuki were going to struggle I guess!
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Doppelgaenger on August 07, 2015, 12:29:08 AM
Suzuki never lived down the release of the X90 in the US.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 07, 2015, 06:33:25 AM
Suzuki never lived down the release of the X90 in the US.

I LOVED that stupid little vehicle. That's another one that I immediately scheduled a press vehicle for a week to drive it as soon as it was introduced.

But I have a long history of liking the weird stuff.

Oddities I've loved over the years:

Suzuki X-90 (or my Geo Tracker!)
Pontiac Aztec
Isuzu Vehicross (had a press one for a week, really thought about buying one)
Honda Element (only Honda I ever seriously thought about buying)
Suzuki SX4
VW Beetle (Got Jenn a neo addition for a few years)
Mini Cooper S (Got Jenn one as a wedding present)
Toyota FJ
Subaru Baja (had one for 5 years)
Nissan Juke (current odd ride)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rlfsPSg2yR0/VPm5ipDF26I/AAAAAAAAEJs/uvEd9Jd5aXs/w783-h589-no/1992GEO.JPG)
 
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1dsjSBGhLoc/VPm5iiaDIII/AAAAAAAAEJw/29efy9mntF8/w562-h747-no/Beetlesmalla.jpeg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lV-YxKNMxEk/VPm5klxnTrI/AAAAAAAAEKY/lup8LbyQJNw/w810-h747-no/IMG_9124a.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PF9foWExCgs/VPm5kasJCAI/AAAAAAAAEKQ/RVwfY1lchRc/w996-h747-no/IMG_7208.JPG)


(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7uvOh4UCFe4/VCtKJUIKuAI/AAAAAAAAA2o/QNzcJ6Cli_0/w1325-h747-no/IMG_20140922_084023_146.jpg)

Hell you could say my Oldsmobile Rallye 350 was an odd bird (only came in SCREAMING YELLOW with Black racing stripes on the ram air hood and down the sides, with orange pinstripe borders)! Hell, when it was introduced not a lot of cars had painted bumpers. And if I remember the trivia correctly it had a special coating on it's rear bumper so you could apply bumper stickers, then peel them off easily.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gQXh6jRX3hk/VPm5lU-oNMI/AAAAAAAAEKo/kUHcYbzn9kY/w993-h747-no/Rallye350a.jpg)


Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: tris on August 07, 2015, 06:47:18 AM
Audi A4 Quatro Estate
http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a4/a4-allroad-quattro.html (http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a4/a4-allroad-quattro.html)

Same car - less money
Skoda Octavia Scout
http://www.skoda.co.uk/models/octavia-scout/default/ (http://www.skoda.co.uk/models/octavia-scout/default/)

Bigger Audi
http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a6/a6-allroad-quattro.html (http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a6/a6-allroad-quattro.html)


Even bigger Skoda
http://cc-cloud.skoda-auto.com/gbr/gbr/en-gbhttp://

All 4 wheel drive (not true off roaders though) with a selection of Diesel Engines/Transmissions
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Kev m on August 07, 2015, 07:02:22 AM
Audi A4 Quatro Estate
http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a4/a4-allroad-quattro.html (http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a4/a4-allroad-quattro.html)

Same car - less money
Skoda Octavia Scout
http://www.skoda.co.uk/models/octavia-scout/default/ (http://www.skoda.co.uk/models/octavia-scout/default/)

Bigger Audi
http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a6/a6-allroad-quattro.html (http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a6/a6-allroad-quattro.html)


Even bigger Skoda
http://cc-cloud.skoda-auto.com/gbr/gbr/en-gbhttp://

All 4 wheel drive (not true off roaders though) with a selection of Diesel Engines/Transmissions

No Skoda's here in the US and Audi, well, they don't have the best reputation. And if you're only spending $12k, you probably don't have enough for the first repair (which will be soon if you only buy a $12k Audi).
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: tris on August 07, 2015, 07:10:34 AM
I'm on my second Skoda Octavia and they used to be the butt of many jokes over here

Such as:-
"Why to Skoda's have heated rear windows? To keep your hands warm while you're pushing it
"What do you call a soft top Skoda? A skip (dumpster?)

Now its just a VAG car for 5 grand less
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Dave Bell on August 07, 2015, 07:39:46 AM
I've been looking at a Honda Element for my youngest son's first car.  yeah I know he's spoiled but he's the 200 lb baby

It doesn't have the HP but you can get them with a stick (my requirement).

Rubber floor mats, good camping vehicle, MP-3 connection, easy to park.

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-S4MWz86U-IXcTzo7TiYJ4D4TAJa5Xs0lSb9TGkCfutsoanHYsA)

I had the first four wheel drive Element in the state of Texas.  If I hadn't had 7 grandkids to tote, I'd still have it.  Absolutely stone reliable, comfortable, easy to deal with.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: jbell on August 07, 2015, 07:13:52 PM
Mazda Speed 6.  You'll get your HP, AWD, daily driver, convenience of a mid size sedan, bolt action and your price point.  Just make sure you have it checked out carefully by a good Mazda tech.  I had two MX-6's, great cars that'll go 200k miles but they are rather small and a bit long in the tooth.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: charlie b on August 07, 2015, 08:20:44 PM
I also have an Element.  For what it is, perfect car.  But, really, really boring to drive.
Title: Re: Vehicle reocmmendations
Post by: Dave Bell on August 16, 2015, 07:56:05 AM
I LOVED that stupid little vehicle. That's another one that I immediately scheduled a press vehicle for a week to drive it as soon as it was introduced.

But I have a long history of liking the weird stuff.

Oddities I've loved over the years:

Suzuki X-90 (or my Geo Tracker!)
Pontiac Aztec
Isuzu Vehicross (had a press one for a week, really thought about buying one)
Honda Element (only Honda I ever seriously thought about buying)
Suzuki SX4
VW Beetle (Got Jenn a neo addition for a few years)
Mini Cooper S (Got Jenn one as a wedding present)
Toyota FJ
Subaru Baja (had one for 5 years)
Nissan Juke (current odd ride)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rlfsPSg2yR0/VPm5ipDF26I/AAAAAAAAEJs/uvEd9Jd5aXs/w783-h589-no/1992GEO.JPG)
 
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1dsjSBGhLoc/VPm5iiaDIII/AAAAAAAAEJw/29efy9mntF8/w562-h747-no/Beetlesmalla.jpeg)

How's the Juke?  My wife is looking.........

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lV-YxKNMxEk/VPm5klxnTrI/AAAAAAAAEKY/lup8LbyQJNw/w810-h747-no/IMG_9124a.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PF9foWExCgs/VPm5kasJCAI/AAAAAAAAEKQ/RVwfY1lchRc/w996-h747-no/IMG_7208.JPG)


(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7uvOh4UCFe4/VCtKJUIKuAI/AAAAAAAAA2o/QNzcJ6Cli_0/w1325-h747-no/IMG_20140922_084023_146.jpg)

Hell you could say my Oldsmobile Rallye 350 was an odd bird (only came in SCREAMING YELLOW with Black racing stripes on the ram air hood and down the sides, with orange pinstripe borders)! Hell, when it was introduced not a lot of cars had painted bumpers. And if I remember the trivia correctly it had a special coating on it's rear bumper so you could apply bumper stickers, then peel them off easily.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gQXh6jRX3hk/VPm5lU-oNMI/AAAAAAAAEKo/kUHcYbzn9kY/w993-h747-no/Rallye350a.jpg)