Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Musings on a replacement car #2

After a bit more feedback I've a rough idea of what I want.

  • To not hurry because the car should last 10+ years before I decide to replace it.
  • AWD: because rally cars use this system for better handling, not a 4x4 because I won’t need the ground clearance.
  • Hatchback: To fit my bike (or kiteboard +swag + passenger with 2xPCs). Sedans are too small wagons too big.
  • Smallish and lighter: So it's zippy around corners, because I don't slow down much for them. Also makes carparks more managable.
  • Anchor points in the back for kiddie seats.
  • 5 door, to accommodate passengers + room for gear.
  • USB connection for stereo, to charge and play music (3.1 media jack too)
  • Smaller lighter car is better for parking and economy and power to weight ratio.
  • ~$20,000 with a $10,000 loan from grandma
  • <$30k, dont want to break the bank + all the cars here seem purely racing cars and I may like that too much.
  • Auto: Manual will be more fun (not in briz) but auto is easier, lots. Some cars have both!
  • New or just out of warranty (3yo): Don't need another 10yo "my first car"
  • Able to take regular unleaded petrol, not restricted to premium. Though I’ll probably keep using premium on long trips.
  • Decepticon car badge ~$4
  • Comfortably drive from Bundaberg to Roma (7h, 600km) without needing to stop other than for lunch.

So some candidates are:

Just looked at the Subaru Impreza L (L-mid range) in real life and am happy with the list above, with the fold down seats a bike should definatly fit. It also has the thing where you pretend its a manual not an auto.

same price as the Impreza and definatly a AWD

$10k cheaper than the Impreza, but not sure if its an AWD
not may 5 door models on this website AWD? ~$19K
do I stick with holdens? seem they are going to a single international car design (slowly) AWD?
Just like Levi and Tony. But wait the AWD is only avalible in Japan? maybe the rest of these are too? then the Suzuki may be my only alternative almost rally car.


Suzuki SX4 GYB
not a crossover, not sure what the difference is. Carpoint has them too. This one has 12km and is 1yo already. Would like it better if it wasn't approaced for use by P platers.

Audi A3 TFSI Ambition 8P
I think this is a 4x4 not an AWD and is a bigger heavier car than the others.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart CJ
Ralliart makes it sound like a hoons car and the price starts at $50k and drop ~$10k per year, to $24k for an 2009 model.

and then there is lots more Subarus, they seem to have the market nich.

So before Ive even posted this I seem to have narrowed it down to two cars, and the first review of the SX4 mentions this, although the review is rather old.

These on the other hand seem current. Generally favouring the slightly more expensive Impreza and have twice as much to say about it. But they dont seem to lift one above the other. I'm also fighting against the preconception bias as the Impreza is the first I took a liking to 2 weeks ago when looking on wikipedia.

 SX4 and Impreza on Car Verdict
 SX4 and Impreza on msn
 SX4 and Impreza on car advice
 SX4 and Impreza on TopGear

And now Tony and Wayne got me thinking about when the traction control benefits of an AWD would actually be noticeable. Seems Occasionally but rarely, unless I drive off-road more and much more aggressively. Wayne then suggested that if I want something that’s fun to take corners in then I should get a mini and that he is not biased at all.
MINI Ray – the cheaper option ~$26K petrol only, has no optional extras, except to remove the “Ray” badging so you can pretend you spent the extra. I wouldn’t miss any of the few optional extras that are available here.
MINI Countryman – Larger (and a 4x4) ~40K with things like fog lights, Sporty seats, DTC, DSC, possible sports suspension, buttons on the steering wheel, auto pretends to be manual. Diesel gives more toque & less power for nearly twice the economy. Lots of other options too.
MINI Cooper – $35K, Not sure about the dimensions, but shape of the Ray and extra bits like the Countryman, excluding 4x4. None of the MINIs have a real spare tyre either and require going to Briz for a service.
But these are aparently not terribly comefortable to drive, plus Aurore reccomended I go for a primarily practical car.

Good website for Dan, shows some car stats, without showing 20+ of the exact same car.