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  1. #1
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Car mavens, buffs, afficianados....

    I need a vehicle for winter. Accordingly I have been test driving everything I can get my paws on which is new to me. Generally I just sort of stumble into a car like J-Rhymedaddy stumbles into audio gear...that is to say, haphazardly. This time I have given some thought to my likes and dislikes.

    Here's some thoughts:

    1) While not the ultimate priority winter must be a consideration. I know, at least for smaller vehicles, this means I want to stay away from rear-wheel drive affairs but does this apply to larger sedans as well? I've never had one. Do the special, whopper traction doohickey thangs really make a difference? My current commute could become even more of a nightmare if performed on a slip-and-slide.

    2)I've basically had three longterm relationships with cars. They were, in order, with the RX-7 Turbo, Bimmer 3-series, and a Jetta. The Mazda was good on gas, fun to drive, and generally maintenance-free. I suppose an RX-8 would be a nice summer toy but that's not why we're here. The things are murder on the snow. The BMW and the Volks are completely competent automobiles. In six years with the Jetta I replaced a muffler and tires once and got oil changes. That's it. Great car but both the beetle from Bavaria and the Jay are kind of "samey". It's time for something different.

    3) Nightflier's gonna jump for joy but between him and my boss I have embraced at least a modicum of concern for the environment. At first I was just gonna grab a Land Rover and be done with it but, with the exception of the Hummer, there is no greater gas hog on the face of this here Earth. In the end I felt too guilty about the whole thing...I need something to soothe my conscience as I'm throwing styrofoam into the woods and letting off cans of Aquanet for no good reason. Moderately decent fuel consumption is a must.

    4) I need to be comfortable entering and exiting the vehicle in both suit and tie and ratty Pantera gear with spiked hair...a certain coolness factor is a must. I'm still single. I like sleeping with twenty-two year old girls on the weekends. I'm not driving a Camry.

    5) How are Jeeps in the cold? Not the Cherokees but the Saharas or the Wranglers. It seems to me that though they would handle acceptably well they would be particularly uncomfortable on long trips. True?

    6) The three most popular vehicles 'round these parts are the Murano, Avalanche and Magnum. No thanks.

    7) So far I've driven a variety of vehicles and found some positive attributes in the following: MB S-Class, Audi Quattro, Ford Escape, and Cadillac STS. Wouldn't mind some opinions on the X-Class Jag or Bimmer 7-series (hence, rear wheel drive question).

    8) Many moons ago in one of my badboy phases I accumulated 'bout 18 points in 10 minutes. After the subsequent legal entanglements I have trained myself not to speed (too much). I think a hot rod would be wasted on me.


    Thoughts? Experiences? Advice? Mockery? All are welcome....

  2. #2
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Up here in the Great White Snowstorm we call winter, there is only 3 choices;

    Snowmobile, dog sled, or snowshoes. I'm guessing you don't like any of them.

    Sorry I can't be much help.

    LDB
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Thanks anyway Larry.

    Good to see you posting though...the place ain't the same without ya.

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Random thoughts:

    Traction control does make a difference

    I made it through 3 Canadian winters, several feet of snow, -40 degrees, etc in a front wheel drive, standard Civic and Accord. My rule of thumb - if you can't take a 2-wheel drive compact on the roads because of snow and ice, a clumsy 4 x 4 is even more useless on the highway.

    Kex is really digging the new Mazda 6, and if (when) Topspeed gets here he'll put in a good word for the Zoom! Zoom! company.

    Kex used to drive a Wrangler (TJ body) and they handle fine in the winter...problem is they're noisier than hell, acoustically a nightmare for stereos, and too damn cold.

    Bobby Styxx is not coming to Kex's place for Christmas when his 22 year old sister is visiting.

    Them Mazda CX-7's or whatever look pretty cool and tuff...never been in one though. (not a big Mazda fan per se, but damn they got some nice machines right now).

    Hot young hippie chix dig the hybrids.

  5. #5
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I made it through 3 Canadian winters, several feet of snow, -40 degrees, etc in a front wheel drive, standard Civic and Accord. My rule of thumb - if you can't take a 2-wheel drive compact on the roads because of snow and ice, a clumsy 4 x 4 is even more useless on the highway..
    Well, that's a good point. The Escape and the Liberty seemed to be about the farthest extent of "truckerage" I care to approach.
    Didn't really care for the Tahoe or the Eddie B.
    ...and the "Too cold" aspect of the Sahara or Wrangler would probably be a dealbreaker. I've seen some, great pimped out ones but I doubt any of the pimage includes measures against inclement weather. Too bad, plenty of 'em floatin' 'round hilljack country.




    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hot young hippie chix dig the hybrids.
    I shouldn't rule out the hippie chix factor.

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I'm on my second Escape (I lease every three years). My last Escape was an '05 and had 4WD. I got the 4WD because I was in sales and covering Northern Ontario. 4WD was not an option in that situation. It not only got me through many a snowstorm and icestorm, but it got me home during a major flash flood when other vehicles were stalling in the intersections or didn't have the power to plow through the water. In May I traded in my '05 for an '08. Because I now do mostly city driving I decided to save some cash and not get a 4WD model. It's not even winter yet and I already miss it. Even with traction control, I can feel the difference on wet rainy roads. If my next car is another Escape, I'll get the 4WD. But other than that, I love my car! It's pretty good on gas on the highway, not so good in the city. So consider where you'll be doing the most driving.

    Another make to consider for a good winter vehicle is Subaru. I test drove a Forrester in '05 and this past winter (I try to do all my test driving in the winter). From what I could tell, they handle great in the snow. The downside is price. I don't know what US prices are like, but in Canada they are pretty expensive for what you get. Not a lot of bells and whistles or power, but they'll get you through the weather and have a safety record that can't be beat.

  7. #7
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Autumn. Good stuff from someone with practical experience...and given that the bulk of my driving miles are on the highway I might expect to have similar good fortune.

    Chalk up one for the Escape.

    I'm gonna have to Google "MX-6 or whatever" and arrange a head-to-head

  8. #8
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Thanks for the input Autumn. Good stuff from someone with practical experience...and given that the bulk of my driving miles are on the highway I might expect to have similar good fortune.

    Chalk up one for the Escape.

    I'm gonna have to Google "MX-6 or whatever" and arrange a head-to-head
    Oh yeah, and you can lay the back seats down completely flat.

  9. #9
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Seriously tho Bobs, I have never had a winter w/o snow and can only offer advice.

    I have driven many types of vehicles (RWD, FWD and 4x4) in all types of winter conditions (Mountain and Prairie) and have never had a problem getting around. If you keep the vehicle in good mechanical repair (sounds like yur buyin' new so never mind), use good WINTER tires (IMHO more important than the type of vehicle. Traction control does help a lot tho) and DRIVE FOR THE CONDITIONS, you shouldn't have any moblity problems.

    Just my 2.693 cents,

    LDB
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  10. #10
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    It's comments like that...well you know

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Oh yeah, and you can lay the back seats down completely flat.

    That's wot ahm talkembout bay-bay.

  11. #11
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I also have a crush on the those neato Subaru Imprezzas...you put dress one of those AWD sporty models up to the 9's and have the best of all worlds IMO.
    If you're looking for something a little more soccer-mom ish, there's plenty o' sport'utes out there, but there's something simple yet rugged looking about the Suzuki XL-7 and Grand Vitara...

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not much use

    Sorry, 'Sticks, I'm not going to be of much use.

    Yeah, I talk big about Bentleys and such but in reality I drive a '02 Ford Taurus wagon; (see Worf's thread for a picture).

    When I next trade I expect to be retired and will be downsizing my auto somewhat. If the Taurus quit now, (and it had damned well better not), I would go for a Hyundai Sonata. Consumer Report says it's reliable and functional; I say it's cheap and an amazing value. I can lease one of the buggies for C$346/mo., no downpayment, tax included. Tough to beat, my man. By the way, Sonatas, like most cars, are significantly cheaper in the US.

    Also BTW, my 3000th post.
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Car mavens, buffs, afficianados....-hyundai_sonata.jpg  
    Last edited by Feanor; 10-08-2008 at 04:50 AM.

  13. #13
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I also have a crush on the those neato Subaru Imprezzas...you put dress one of those AWD sporty models up to the 9's and have the best of all worlds IMO.
    If you're looking for something a little more soccer-mom ish, there's plenty o' sport'utes out there, but there's something simple yet rugged looking about the Suzuki XL-7 and Grand Vitara...
    I agree. Those Imprezzas can look pretty sweet. But by the time you dress it up, you got no money left to take it out.

    I considered an Imprezza but you couldn't get one with a sun roof for some stupid reason...no sunroof is a deal breaker for me. I gotta have the roof open.

  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Maybe a little more helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I need a vehicle for winter. ...

    7) So far I've driven a variety of vehicles and found some positive attributes in the following: MB S-Class, Audi Quattro, Ford Escape, and Cadillac STS. Wouldn't mind some opinions on the X-Class Jag or Bimmer 7-series (hence, rear wheel drive question).
    ...

    Thoughts? Experiences? Advice? Mockery? All are welcome....
    Experiences? Hahaha

    Were I a well-heeled, early mid-/late young-aged swinger (and Republican) like yourself, the Audio Quattro would rank very highly. Consider the this S5 4.2 coupe
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Car mavens, buffs, afficianados....-audi_s5quattro-3-.jpg  
    Last edited by Feanor; 10-07-2008 at 10:17 AM.

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Of course ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Experience? Hahaha

    Were I a well-heeled, early mid-aged/late young swinger (and Republican) like yourself, the Audio Quattro would rank very highly. Consider the this S5 4.2 coupe
    ...
    ... the Bentley Continental GT is awfully nice, and all-wheel drive too
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Car mavens, buffs, afficianados....-bentley_continentalgt.jpg  
    Last edited by Feanor; 10-07-2008 at 10:17 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    ...Were I a well-heeled, early mid-/late young-aged swinger (and Repulican) like yourself, the Audio Quattro would rank very highly. Consider the this S5 4.2 coupe
    ...
    I'll wait and see if this discussion dissolves into more Republican bashing before I chime in with my suggestions, for what they may be worth.

    Is Audio Quattro anything like Quadraphonic from back in the 70's?

  17. #17
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice y'all characters. Good stuff though I am in no position to be buying a Bentley anything...unless it's a cast picture of the Jeffersons with Mr. Bentley in it.

    Suburu had never crossed my mind so I will have to investigate.

    Congrats on 3000 Feanor. Thanks for sharing your musical knowledge...

  18. #18
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Welp....

    Living in upstate New York and surrounded by ski resorts I can only tell you what I've driven and worked with.

    1. SUBARU - I own a Subaru B9 Tribeca - Well appointed, decent gas milage (now that you can run the dang thing on "regular", excellent AWD and simply the most ergornimcally schweet jammied I've ever owned. Subaru makes a variety of all wheel drive jammy's from mild to wild, big sixes and turbocharged 4s.

    2. FORD/MERCURY - The Ford Edge is very similar to the Tribeca, but cheaper and more affordable. The Mercury version's even prettier

    3. VOLVO XC-90 - Great in snow but expensive.

    I've driven all of the above and found them to be comfortable, stylish winter transportation that won't bankrupt you completely.

    Da Worfster

  19. #19
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I looked briefly at the Edge. It's a big vehicle and more expensive than the Escape. It was nice though. But I suspect that it'll be more of a family car than what Bobsticks is looking for.

    Another car to look at, if you aren't opposed to Fords is the Fusion. It's in the same price range as the Escape. It's available in AWD and it comes with a lot more standard options including defrosters on the side mirrors (an option that I had three cars ago and miss). Its had great ratings in the consumer guides. When I bought my car in May, my decision actually came down to an Escape or a Fusion. I went with the Escape because I wanted the extra space of an SUV, but it was a very close race.

    Because the Fusion was new to the market Ford was running some great promotions on it last spring. I don't know if they still are.

  20. #20
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hmmm, Volvo, eh? I think I remember taking an S60 for a spin. That was pretty decent if I recall. Interesting, Worfster.

    Anyway, after a near-death experience in the middle of a thunderstorm last night I'm stepping this project up a bit. I've got an auction to go to later and maybe a few dealerships...

    ...and Autumn's right. I don't really want a family car...nor do I want to start a family. I just want to practice.

  21. #21
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    This is a tough question, what's more important: Practicality or Cool Factor?

    As a single guy, I would imagine the latter is pretty important. What is your price range? Do you need the extra space of a SUV or Crossover? Do you drive more on the highway or in town? Do you like attacking the twisties?

    I don't think you should rule out rear drive simply because today's DSC and TCS systems are so advanced. Mix in yaw control, ABS, and toss on a set of Blizzaks and you could confidently drive a Shelby GT500 in a snowstorm.

    Your recent cars were all sporty and I would venture to say you want to stay that way. It sounds like you've ruled out another Bimmer, although the 335i or 335ix are terrific. The new 335d will change everything you know about diesels (sequential twin turbo I6, 262hp, 425lb/ft, est. 33-41mpg) and should seriously be on your drive list. Full Bias Disclosure: The 335 coupe is likely the best daily driver I've owned so far, including my M3. It's as fast as the M, rides waaay better, very predictable at the limit, and has every toy I'd want including an excellent stereo. Plus, it doesn't break every other week like the M all while returning 29mpg!
    I'll take that.

    The new A4 is gorgeous, comes with quattro, and the 2.0t is more than quick enough with excellent mileage. Bonus points for not being as common as Bimmers (at least in Cali where you see more roundels than Toyotas). The A5/S5 is beautiful but at nearly 4000lbs (for a coupe!) it drove like a pig. Jumping back into my M3 (no flyweight itself) afterward was like jettisoning 2 fat chicks from the back seat.

    The new Passat CC is a really, really good looking car you might consider. It doesn't have the "road appliance" stigma of a Camry yet is very practical, offers awd, and the same 2.0t motor as the A4. It's a Mercedes CLS on the cheap.

    As Kex noted, Mazda has a heckuva lineup right now. I just bought a CX9 for the wife, but that's more vehicle than you need. The CX7 is way cool, albeit a bit thirsty. The Acura RDX is more efficient than the Mazda but has a punishingly stiff ride. The new Mazda6 is terrific as is the Mazdaspeed3. If you don't know the latter, think of your old Jetta on Clear and a couple of cases of Red Bull and you'll get the idea. The Speed3 is Godzilla in $23,000 clothes. It's the car I would have bought this year if the wife would have let me (She didn't think it was professional enough. Whatever )

    The new Camaro is almost out and is amazing. The RS comes with a 302hp V6 while the SS comes with a 422hp LS3 V8 straight outta the Vette. I don't know if you can wait 'till January, but it would be worth considering if you can.

    The Saab 9-3 is a quirky, fun car. Not as quick as its German counterparts, Saab's have a personality unlike any other. Designed in Sweden, you can rest assured they'll tackle your winters with ease in either FWD or XWD (Saabspeak for awd) form. Be careful buying one that is out of warranty: When they break, they break the bank as well. I'm talking from personal experience on this one; parts are hideously expensive.

    The Infiniti G37 or 37x is excellent in either sedan or coupe. As reliable as the sunrise and as sporty as any Bimmer.

    I'm partial to Mustangs, especially the Shelbys, but there is a new one coming next year and I try to avoid getting the last year of a model if possible. Still, it's hard to beat the bang-for-buck factor and chicks love 'Stangs.

    There are tons of others to consider: Subie WRX, Mits Lancer Ralliart (or Evo if you want to swing for the fences), Volvo C30, etc. The good news is that no one is really building bad cars anymore. I can't in good conscious recommend anything by Toyota if only because I consider them soul-less appliances and the company as the anti-christ. Other than that, they're good cars.

    speedy
    Last edited by topspeed; 10-09-2008 at 01:47 PM.

  22. #22
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed reply Speedy, although I think you've now given me more options than when I started.

    I'm not sure I'mswinging for the fences with this one. I keep having the nagging feeling that I would be better served by getting something utilitarian and inexpensive for winter abd hauling out the big guns for a summer toy. Again, just that many more options. I'm going to look at a Passat and an Escape next week.

    Oh, and to answer your questions...1) 25-30k although if I go with my two car plan I would probably prefer to keep it around 15-20 and just pay it off. I'm not sure how excited I am about multiple payments in this economic climate; 2)Not really although I do own five foot tall speakers; 3)highway; 4) I like the spinners the best but twisties are goo...oh...wait...um ...moderately.

    Keep in mind, regarding that dollar amount, I prefer to buy used. I have a hard time validating purchasing something that loses tewnty percent a you drive it off the lot. A couple few years old with roughly thirty k miles is good with me. I would also add that I'm really a "car guy" nor do I run in those circles so it's not really a status thing other than for...well... spinners and twisties, as it were. I don't mind spending less.

    I played with some Miami Vice-style bad guy toys yesterday that despite being out of my comfort zone as far as age goes still were a lot of fun. You just hear so any horror stories...


    (these are dealer pictures but are of the actual cars in which I did my Tony Montana/Pablo Escobar schtick)

    Car mavens, buffs, afficianados....-.0011.jpgCar mavens, buffs, afficianados....-.002.jpg

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    Look at you cock-a-roach!
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  23. #23
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    Oh good Lord! Another Itsbroke Imslo flyby.

    This time, I'm going to make YOU wait. Check back with me tomorrow around 1800 hrs after I've drank two maybe three really good beers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash victim
    The new Camaro is almost out and is amazing. The RS comes with a 302hp V6 while the SS comes with a 422hp LS3 V8 straight outta the Vette. I don't know if you can wait 'till January, but it would be worth considering if you can.
    FINALLY! You got one right.

    Yeah, check back with me tomorrow.

  24. #24
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Uhh, you do realize MB isn't even ranked in the Top 10 in reliability, right? You must like living on the edge or your best friend is a Benz mechanic. Actually, if you pull the trigger on a used S class, don't worry...you'll be fast friends soon enough.

    Why do you want a big 'ol sedan anyway? You're single! Get a used Boxster or 993.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I'll second most of Topspeeds recommendations

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