By on January 11, 2017

2016 Chevrolet SS blue

Mattias writes:

I’m doing my responsible midlife crisis thing, and I’m wanting a V8 sedan. My budget is around $40,000, and I’m looking at used examples of the Lexus IS-F, Cadillac CTS-V, and Chevy SS.

I’ve looked at ’15/’16 Chevy SS models (auto) because they have more room in the back for my family. I thought about the ’14s, but the ’15s have Brembos all around and MagneRide suspension, which seems to be a good choice for someone who wants to try HPDE. Unless there’s a killer deal to be had on ’14 and I can use the savings on upgrades, the ’15/’16 seems to be the better choice. There are few good deals available in California, but lots of cars with appeal and a good prices in the east.

How much work/hassle is it to buy from a dealer sight unseen? What if the car has factory warranty left? Is that generally a less risky proposition?

I’d love to find a gently used ’15 for around $30,000, but I’m not sure it can be done. Most are around $36,000, and I’ve seen a few new ’16s for $40,000. I’m not sure I want to save a few dollars and lose a year, and the ’16s have the “bi-modal” exhaust, which sounds like fun.

Congrats on your mildly responsible decision! Is there any chance that I could talk you into a Mustang instead? No? Okay, fine. Let’s discuss your viable options.

First of all, is there a reason you’re only considering the autotragic SS? I’ve driven the SS with the auto, and I think you might end up being slightly disappointed if you don’t go stick. Also, contrary to most vehicles on the road, I think there’s reason to believe a manual SS will hold its value better than an automatic.

But if you must go automatic, then I’d still look at the 2015+ models simply because of the upgraded suspension. I understand the desire to potentially save money on an older model and upgrade, but I trust GM to modify the suspension more than I trust you or your mechanic unless you or they are wizards of upgrades. The magnetic suspension is likely worlds better than you’d be able to do with any upgrades.

Now when it comes to SS deals, don’t worry about that buying used business. I think you’ll find plenty of dealers willing to take compelling offers on new models, especially now that GM has officially discontinued the SS.

A quick search on Cars.com found several 2015s still on the lot, many of which have been discounted $10,000 or more. Hell, there are still new ’14 models for sale in some places! I think you can do even better if you call up the dealer and do a little negotiation. If the car’s been there since the 2015 model year, I’m guessing the dealer would like it gone — that thing has racked up a helluva lot of taxes and floorplan interest. And if you’re buying new out-of-state, it’s even easier and better than buying used out of state. Just use your American Express for a deposit and go pick it up! Done.

As for the other two models you suggested, there’s nothing wrong with either of them, but I think a new, deeply discounted SS represents a much better value for the dollar. The IS-F hold residual value like crazy, to the point where eight-year-old examples with 100,000 miles still sell for well over $20k. If you’re really wanting to buy something and hop it up, a first gen CTS-V could be a lot of fun, but would also represent a significant amount of time and effort on your part to make it as livable as a new SS.

So what would Bark do? I’d haggle like hell on a ’15 stick shift SS. Actually, forget that. I’d buy a Mustang GT, and so should you. WTF do you need the extra two doors for, anyway? Go full on midlife crisis beastmode. Get a Grabber Blue Mustang with a black stripe. You’re only halfway to death once, after all!

[Image: General Motors]

Bark M. is a happy man because he always buys impractical cars in bright colors. If you’d like advice on doing the same, send him emails at [email protected], or follow him on the Twitters and Instagrams.

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100 Comments on “Ask Bark Brief: Midlife Crisis Sedan?...”


  • avatar

    I’m with Bark, but don’t underestimate a second-gen CTS-V, which can be had for $40k.

    Out of left field alternative: Look around for a leftover Hellcat Charger gathering dust in the showroom of a dealer who is tired of looking at it. You won’t get it for $40k, but you might get it for $50k or a little more. They’re all automatics, but that 8-speed isn’t too bad.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Huh? 35% off on Hellcats? This surprises me.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Hi, my budget is $40k. What do you suggest.

      I suggest something for >$50k.

      Makes sense internet- thanks.

      It doesn’t sound like you want a charger, but if you want one in that price range you can get a scatpak. Dodge teamed up with Bondurant so you can drive their car that acts like your car and not screw your car up.

  • avatar

    If you’re planning to do HPDE plan on spending substantially more on a brake upgrade. You’re going to find out really quickly that stopping 4,000 lbs of ‘Murican Metal is more than the stockers are even remotely up to the task of doing.

    Honestly, you should be looking at something else if you want to get into HPDE, like maybe an older M3.

    Or spend $20,000 on a street car and $20,000 on a track car. That’s the best solution.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “I’d buy a Mustang GT, and so should you. WTF do you need the extra two doors for, anyway? Go full on midlife crisis beastmode. Get a Grabber Blue Mustang with a black stripe. You’re only halfway to death once, after all!”

    Clearly the Bark who went all schoolmarm on me and everyone else who suggested a car that “broke the rules” on the last “Ask Bark” column got taken in the middle night by one of those body-snatcher eggs…

    (And I’d take the Mustang too. Make mine Competition Orange.)

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Why would any one purchase a car that looks like a last generation Cavalier on steroids is beyond me. Here in Atlanta, I have NEVER seen one of these. Good reason. They are ugly. And bet a dealer hasn’t either. Its not just about horsepower. If you are a 40s or close to that age person, you want refinement, not a Focus RS (ooops sorry where were we).

    You want V8? You want refinement? Get a BMW 5 or 7 series certified with V8 turbo. You be the envy of your neighborhood, and can enjoy speed while living a car that is refined, and full BMW warranty and stay away from Chevy dealer.

    If you want American, get a Charger with the HEMI. nuff said.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d opt for a Charger too, but the SS has a stealth factor that some people find appealing, and the interior is WAY better than any Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Yeah! That huge grille on the SS looks just like the grille-less Cavalier. They are clearly twins.

      Better to be the envy of your neighbors than to buy a car that won’t force you to refinance your house every 5 years to keep it on the road.

      I was just reading a lady’s complaint yesterday about her late model, well maintained, gently driven, bought-new 5-Series. At the incredibly high mileage of 50k, it only had a major oil leak, a malfunctioning display, and a bad transmission. A very reasonable and neighbor-envy-inducing $9,000 to fix it.

      She could buy a used car like an Accord or Civic with the same miles on it for the same price as keeping the BMW alive long enough to (hopefully, maybe) reach 100k.

      I’m not saying the SS will be perfect and reliable for all eternity, but it probably won’t require $9k to keep it going every 50k miles.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        JohnTarus-3.0, They give you a rental BMW for your certified BMW if service needed. If reliability is a concern, you get a certified warranty for 7 years and upto 100,000 miles above your mileage. But hey you like Chevy dealer mechanics working on a one off Australian thing with parts that are backordered and uber so good luck

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      That warranty is only mildly helpful when you can’t drive the car because it’s in the shop all the damn time. The last two generations of 7er are some of the most unreliable cars produced in the last few years, and that turbo V8 doesn’t have a good record in any car.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        dal20402, difference between BMW dealer in Atlanta and Chevy dealer, they give you BMW rental for free in warranty period for certified car

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          The other difference is that – as much as I don’t trust GM – the SS is about ten times less likely to *be* in the shop.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            Sigivald, contrary to GM, BMW certified is like a new car warranty. They take care of you, so up to 100,000 miles or six years from date and mileage of purchase you got it covered.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            All well and good, but who wants all the inconvenience of a car that has chronic problems even if you don’t pick up the tab. Or, even worse, a breakdown or two really makes for a happy day. Yeah, the BMW dealer will treat you much better than a garden variety Chevy store. But the best treatment is when you rarely have to go in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            baconator

            My experience with our GMC truck has been that it eats cheap-to-replace parts on a fairly regular basis. It’s had most of the “they all do that” problems mentioned in the Trailvoy forums: Instrument panel death, alternator, PS pump, faulty ignition switch, HVAC resistor pack, etc. Some of which actually leave you stranded.

            I stopped taking it to the dealer very very early on, after they tried to talk me into $700 repairs for $70 problems on two separate occasions. It *is* easy to work on myself and even OEM AC Delco, Delphi, or Moog parts are pretty cheap online.

            My BMW, by contrast, has only had one unscheduled repair visit in 20 years and 180k miles, when the alternator died at about 170k. Newer BMWs seem to be more troublesome, but, you know, #notallBMWs.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Yeah, I don’t agree with that. I’ve seen 2 or 3 of these on the street and I like the conservative looks. It is a nicely proportioned sedan and it looks vaguely more aggressive and expensive than typical without resorting to the tactics of the LED-festooned bad boy Charger.

      The 7 series looks like a old stock broker’s car and isn’t going to turn heads. I’m guessing it isn’t that cheap to keep an SS running to high mileage, but compared to a 750i? From the owner of the SS that Bark reviewed:

      “He had owned both BMWs and Mercedes before, and ‘I will never buy one of those again. After my third ECU on my E Class, I decided I’d had enough.’”

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        30-mile fetch, in 2016 only about 3,000 Chevy SS were sold. A little less in 2015, and even less in 2014. So if you have seen a few, you have seen unicorns.

        In 2016 alone over 30,000 BMW 5 series were sold in USA. More in Canada. More across the world. To compare a 5 series V8 or same engine in 7 series to a Australian LS that very few American mechanics have worked on, is not being serious.

        Again, a certified BMW can be had with no repair bill up to 100,000 miles and six years, with tremendous service from a BMW dealer. But hey you may prefer dealing with Chevy dealers.

        This from a owner of a stingray, who knows what he is talking about when it comes to Chevy dealers service bays.

        • 0 avatar

          What makes this an “Australian” LS? This same motor is found in the Camaro and Corvette.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            One of a kind installation of a glorious last generation Vette engine. I bet most Chevy dealers have no idea what it is first time you take it there. It’s like a Jag with a LS engine except it’s even more rare.

            As someone owning a stingray, and having to deal with Chevy dealers I can share stories of what not to do buying a Vette.

            Don’t buy your new Vette from any Chevy dealer. Don’t buy from a Chevy dealer too far from your home. Your salesperson can be your proponent for that famous LT engine. They can recommend the best service adviser. Only few mechanics work Your Vette. The service manager will help you buying from that dealer. This is all for a car that is not that rare (Vette) and any Vette owner will attest to how dealing with Chevy dealer is the toughest part.

            Now take this Australian Chevy with its last generation Vette engine to get service by any mechanic. No one at Chevy cares for this rare Australian. No one treats it special. When I take my Chevy to the preferred adviser, they handle the Vette with special car. The love is everywhere. The cavalier on steroids is just strange

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The LS3 is pretty easy to work on and it has a huge knowledgebase. I’d probably just DIY it.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          My Stingray has only had scheduled service…oops I lied. Two recalls. That’s it…YMMV

          While I have a sample size of one dealership, the local Chevy store was not bad- not Lexus level for sure – but hardly Hyundai treatment.

          • 0 avatar
            pmirp1

            Golden2husky, my stingray is admiral blue, a garage queen, has not had any problems, zero, a 2016 with z51 and perf exhaust and Nav and Lt3. But at 250 miles I thought the exhaust noise wasn’t as aggressive as it was before even in track mode. I traded my 2004 bangle butt 530i for it.

            I called Hendricks Chevy dealer salesperson in Duluth georgia, who is great, got me in touch with service adviser that only handles stingrays sold at the dealer, who is great. She manages three Corvette only techs. They took the car in and checked and said nothing wrong. They kept overnight but not even outside they keep in service bays for customers that buy corvettes at that dealer. I asked for service manager, who next day sat with me, drove and showed me flaps open, and I am convinced I imagined things.

            The car is brilliant. I have the automatic, I have a 2014 manual Mustang GT and I have learnt I am not too young to shift fast enough any more. The 8 speed automatic is disorienting fast.

            I love that car. A brilliant GM car. Instead of these one of a kind Australians or German convertible buicks.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Nuff said indeed, because you’re talking out your arse.

  • avatar
    Brian Silvestro

    E90 M3 also fits the bill, and is probably cheaper these days too. And while I’d still get the manual, you can’t fault the dual-clutch over GM’s horrid 6-speed unit in the SS.

    If you have to get an auto, then go for the M car.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Bark- perhaps an automatic is required for a specific reason. I love manuals, and just a few years ago, 2 out of 3 of my vehicles were manuals (the third was parked with, you guessed it, a slowly failing automatic).

    But, due to my physical issues, its just not practical to own a manual as my only source of transportation.

    I realized this when one day, after driving my 1991 Tempo GLS 5-speed all day in stop-go traffic, I could not get out of the vehicle under my own power. My hands and face first went numb, then prickly as though I was being jabbed with a bunch of needles (pinched nerve I’m guessing). It was a horrible experience. I loved driving that car, at least my brain did. My body, not so much.

    I will have another manual, but it won’t be a “daily” like my Taurus is. It’ll be something I can drive whenever I feel like it. A little Honda, or maybe a Mighty Max or another old-school SUV like my two door Isuzu Trooper.

    I will just have to make sure I keep at least one drivable automatic on hand for the rest of my (driving) life. As unfortunate as that is for someone who otherwise strongly prefers to shift for himself, such is life.

    About the Mustang, I think the way this man is justifying buying a V-8 RWD performance car instead of a damn Altima or something, is that it can *still* be used as a family car. A fast, unashamed performance car, but still practical. A Mustang blows that out of the water.

    Perhaps Adam can call Mr. Fields and have him throw together a four door version of the ‘Stang. Call it Fairlane. :)

    I say the OP buys a new SS and calls it a day. 2nd choice, FCA LX car.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    W221 S63 AMG.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Is it possible to do a used Quattroporte with some sort of DeMuro-style warranty?

    Asking for a friend.

  • avatar
    NoID

    This is coming entirely from my personal bias, but what’s excluding the Charger SRT or Scat Pack from your list? You can get into either of those for under $40k easy.

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      See my post below – none of us liked the interior very much. But, it may be time to revisit it. General rumblings I hear are that FCA products have more long-term issues, there’ve been some issues with the valves on various Hemi motors, etc.. Plus, it’s even heavier than the SS. Good for the strip, not so much in the turns..

  • avatar
    jack4x

    OP, I bought my 16 SS sight unseen and out of state. No issues. Most dealers that got stuck with one are very willing to deal, and since you’re looking for an A6, you wouldn’t care that all the manuals were snapped up last summer during the 20% off sale. I can’t recommend the car highly enough, there really isn’t much like it out there. The bi-modal exhaust is cool and sounds better than the more subdued 14-15 cars. The wheels and fascia also changed for 16 so if you have an aesthetic preference, that may help guide you. Good luck!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Why not consider a CPO’d Jaguar XJ-L with a V8 or supercharged V8? Or an Audi A8?

    I’ve driven the SS with the stick and it’s fantastic, but at sticker it’s just not a 49k car. It’s a car in the upper 30’s.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    You really should be looking at a Charger Scat Pack or SRT with the 8 speed auto. Its a GREAT transmission. I have a 6 Speed Challenger Scat Pack. I almost bought the 8 Speed though, it really is that good. I drove the latest Camaro SS with the 6 speed auto and though it sucked, so I cant see the SS being any better.

    Regarding buying a used car sight unseen, my advice is dont do it. 1 out of every 8 used cars from dealers I would look at are actually in acceptable condition. You have to look it over before buying.

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      When did they switch to the 8 speed? I was quite interested until I read about ’15+ (IIRC) Charger SRTS and Hellcats having only one source for front rotors – at $600+ each! Trying to doing a bit of track work with a colossus like that will chew through rotors.. Looks like the Scat Pack gets the cheaper brakes (yay, I guess??) which aren’t crazy. Not sure how to take that – way more affordable, but not as good stopping power for a really heavy car? Makes me a little wary..

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Interesting day for this topic, as I realized yesterday that we only have about a month left to order a new SS, ever, and spent a bunch of time talking myself out of ordering a new Royal Peacock Green manual (the money really needs to go to house projects).

    The auto in the SS isn’t a great transmission. It’s kind of dimwitted and has weirdly chosen ratios for the first two gears (first is too short, second is too tall). If you want an auto, I’d also have a look at Charger 392s with the eight-speed, although they are quite a bit heavier and don’t turn as well. But the auto SSes that sit on lots are very good deals. Too bad the manuals get snapped up so quick.

    Bark’s right that there’s no reason to get a first-gen CTS-V instead of a SS, and your budget is borderline at best for getting a good second-gen CTS-V. And, with respect to the IS-F, be aware that you’re not getting much (if any) more back seat room than you would find in a Mustang. That 2UR engine is the best-sounding of everything on your list, though.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      House can wait, SS manuals will be sought after in the future.

      Somehow its an investment, sort of, honey!

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      House projects? Are you Norm Abram?

      The manual-transmission RWD V8 sedan dies FOREVER in 2017. You’ll have pently of time to drop cash into new countertops and shiplap in a few years when we are all in autonomous transport pods.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If I had never owned a G8 GXP, I’d be right with you, but I did own it so I’ve had the experience. I like the SS a lot but not quite enough to spend the money (although I agree it’s going to hold its value well).

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I did the cheap version of the SS and picked up a Pontiac G8 GT. Fraction of the cost for a majority of the horsepower. Yes its a automatic, but I’m tired of caring about that, and if I have to row gears I’ve got my old pickup.

  • avatar
    AVT

    A used Jaguar XJ (2011 to present) could work. Pick them up for mid 30’s all day, low miles and they still have warranty. If you really want the sporty side of one, get the R version or the supersport model. They both have fairly tight suspensions. And you still get 4 doors. It may not be a stick but the 6 speed zf auto is decent enough in manual mode in my experience. And the engine has the power to keep pace or beat the cars you listed.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Frankly–and I know it is sacrilege for some of us to even suggest it–I would look at the CTS-VSport instead of the CTS-V if you want an alternative to the SS. You step “down” to a turbo six but you get nearly identical acceleration and the used prices are far more in line with the SS.

    The performance and market position of the CTS-V is well above the SS. And it’s V8 is all kinds of turboed-up anyway, so some of that purity is already lost if that’s a consideration.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    How ’bout this one? 2013 M3 convertible, low miles.

    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/687092905/overview/

    Seems pretty mid-life-esque to me. Maybe the dealer would toss in a certification.

  • avatar
    ElAntonius

    “Go full on midlife crisis beastmode. Get a Grabber Blue Mustang with a black stripe. You’re only halfway to death once, after all!”

    Waitaminnit…I have a Grabber Blue Mustang with a Black Stripe…

    …crap.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Thanks for all the responses, everyone (it’s my question).

    Current daily driver is an ’05 Legacy GT wagon (auto) with some upgrades. Prior cars were all manuals. I do miss the manual, but the wife doesn’t like them much, but she may be coming around a little. As someone mentioned, SS manuals are rarer than hen’s teeth – everyone who wanted one got one last summer. And I should have too, but wasn’t ready to buy then.

    Bark: First, thanks for taking my question! Why not a Mustang? There’s literally NO rear legroom in that car at all when I get the seat semi-comfortable (and I didn’t find the seat comfortable for ME when I sat in it). Which means I can’t take the family with me, which means I’d pretty much ONLY get to drive my super fun car to/from work one day a week (most likely in traffic at least one way), and when I go to the track maybe once a month – similar story for the Focus ST/RS too – those seats are HUGE, leading to very little rear legroom. It’d be almost no different from renting a car for the track. Plus, the Legacy isn’t going to hold up forever, so I need to get something that can replace it for a while if/when it gives up the ghost. Also, that ’15 SS you linked has a “home of the no dicker price tag” right there. Doesn’t hurt to ask, I guess.

    Everyone else: Why the SS, not the Charger SRT? My family didn’t like the interior of the Charger we sat in (Hellcat, although I wouldn’t get that model) at all. Maybe the pre-15 seats are different? I didn’t find them particularly comfortable. The family liked the SS better than IS-F and CTS-V. Being able to take the car on family trips would be a plus.

    If I did get a manual, also looking at an STI, which maybe makes the most sense, given the familiarity with Subarus and the budget and the track aspirations..

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Chargers have a better performance “rep,” but the SS definitely has a far nicer interior. Personally, I’d pop for the Charger if we’re talking a true “midlife car,” but I don’t see how you’d go wrong with an SS either.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You sit more “on” FCA seats than “in” them, so yes, they are uncomfortable. That was one major disappointment I had with the Grand Cherokee, and it applies to the Charger as well.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      As a VE Zeta platform owner, I say get the SS. Just spread your search out nationwide, find a dealer who will play ball, and go there. If you can find a manual version, get it. Instant collectible. The VF Zeta addresses almost all of the shortcomings of the VE Zeta Pontiac G8 GXP. Front and rear Brembos, self-parking, HUD, navigation, 4G LTE Wifi in-car, collision avoidance, magnetic ride control, an interior that doesn’t scream 2003. The big fail is the very conservative styling – I think the G8 GXP was the right amount of aggression without being totally over the top.

      I’m extremely happy with my Pontiac G8 GT, the poor car never had a chance. Introduced in February 2008 as a limited run for the 2008 model year, just as the 2009’s starting showing up the economy collapsed. Pontiac was no more about 8 months later. We never got the ST (Ute) and never got the Sportwagon. Le sigh.

      The biggest difference between the Zeta based Camaro and the Zeta G8 and the VF Zeta SS, is the G8 and the SS can be driven normally and not feel like punishment. But just like the Camaro, if you go beyond 6/10ths, it is an utter blast to drive. The balance is almost perfect, just a hint of controlled oversteer. Stabilitrak is very unobtrusive, and doesn’t engage until the fun stops being fun.

      If the Chevy bowties are a negative to you, for about $500 you can “Holdenize” your SS and no one will know what the heck it is, but they’ll think it is amazing. As for the near Malibu look, at the end of the day I see that as kind of a plus. It definitely flies under the radar. The LS3 engine at this point is as reliable as a boat anchor, has huge aftermarket support, and a long list of low cost improvements to increase power. The Tremec manual is also as reliable as a boat anchor, and the GM 6-speed automatic is completely sorted out. One negative is GM has tuned the transmission for fuel economy, so shifts are looooooooooooooong.

      The stock engine tune is also very conservative, a CIA and 91-octane tune will produce a 30 to 35 HP/torque bump (before any of the B&B wail BS, I have the dyno slips to back that statement up – Superchips 91 Octane tune and Volant CAI with cover removed – and yes that is DA adjusted SAE gains). A tune will also crisp up the shifts. Heck for the $280 to $300 the handheld tuner is worth every feckin’ penny.

      Get the SS — it will put a big grin on your face.

    • 0 avatar
      lost10mm

      STI is a viable alternative if this mattias fella can overlook 4 missing cylinders. Researching STIs myself and am really digging the current body style. Only wish Subaru would up the power on that EJ motor OR put a more modern, upgraded version of the regular WRX’s FA boxer.

  • avatar
    Opus

    Left field suggestion:
    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/679245327/overview/

  • avatar
    Pantherlove

    OR
    https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/679928563/overview/

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      Wow, they’ve gotten that low? I actually dropped a deposit on a model 3. Not sure how I’d get that home, though (I’m on the other coast), and I’d forever be wishing I got the P90D.. Plus, not sure how they handle track days..

      • 0 avatar
        Pantherlove

        I think the biggest drawback is the car will sometimes go into a lower power mode during hard track driving due to the batteries heating up, then will return to normal when they cool down, though I have no first hand experience.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Sedan for a mid-life crises? That just don’t sound right. Mine was a Elva Courier. In the end I made some money on it, unlike any of the cars you are describing. Also girls were generally scared of it, which made my wife ok with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I’ve found also that sports cars generally intimidate women in some way.

      I got quite the unexpected reaction when I told my brother I was flying down to Los Angeles to pick up a [used] Porsche Cayman. I was 26 at the time, and he asked me if I was having a mid-life crisis.

  • avatar

    I’m barreling headfirst into my midlife crisis, so wanting any type of four-door doesn’t appeal to me (I don’t like sedans anyways, but yeah).

    Now that the ’18 F-Type is out and I’m in love, I’ll either lease a new one, or wait a few years and pick one up for the price of a loaded-ish Accord.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m more of a Charger Scat Pack than a Chevy SS kind of guy…if I want to use a 4-door to make a midlife crisis statement, it should make as much of a statement as possible. Of all the ‘Murican V8s, the Chrysler Hemi makes the most old-school muscle car exhaust noise.

    That said, personally I’d prefer a 2-door for midlife mitigation, plus a 4-door for practical duty. New or late-model CPO WRX + an older, well-maintained used Boxster.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Suggestions:
    1. Last gen BMW M3 Sedan V8 with 6mt
    2. Chevrolet SS 6mt
    3. CTS-V 6mt
    4. Acura TL SH-AWD 6mt :-)

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’ve found the IS-F to be disappointing, in my short experience driving more than one example. It’s cramped, rides like a buckboard, and doesn’t handle or go nearly as well as a same-era CTS-V, C63 AMG or M3. The 5.0-liter V8 does sound sweet, though.

  • avatar
    Crancast

    If the scratch you are itching is really HPDE and midlife fun, Bark had the best answer with the Mustang. Given that you haven stated in the comments you are family shopping this midlife thing, you are going even more on the practical side. I trend towards practical above all.

    Two thoughts not mentioned above, and I know they have nothing to do with what you asked for – V8 sedan. FoRS – Golf R-line – hot hatch that passes the family test. Given the comments about comparing interiors on the sedan side, that might not work. So, if you wait a bit to scratch that midlife itch, the up coming Kia Stinger GT. Interior should be fantastic, performance should be up there. HPDE – no idea. But it will be a good reminder of your midlife performance sedan thingy and I do not think the SS will be that a few years down the road.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Since we’re in the same current car; I have to ask you to please let us know what you end up in and how it works out. No member of my family finds the back seat of the Charger acceptable. The IS-F is too cramped side to side inside for my shoulders. I liked the harmony of its controls, feedback, and interior, it was just cramped feeling. I haven’t had a chance to sit in or drive an SS or V yet.

    • 0 avatar
      hp12c

      Listen to this man. I have a 2005 LGT wagon also and its back seat is surprisingly spacious, something you are not going to find on every RWD sedan – the Charger is a perfect example of big car with a small back seat. I’ve been thinking of RWD V-8 sedans also and think the LWB previous-gen Jaguar SuperV8 is the cat’s meow (get it?). Budget a repair fund equal to the purchase price and you’re good to go!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Any 2015 SS still sitting on a dealer lot is likely from the idiot dealers who were putting $10K ADM on the SS in the first place. Now stuck with a 2 model year old boat anchor, $10K isn’t even enough discount and they likely aren’t playing ball.

    I remember back in 1987 I found a dealer with 2 1985 Ford EXP turbo coupes, new, still on their lot. Me and a buddy went up there to negotiate thinking they might make a good autocross/track toy on the cheap. Nothing doing, they basically wanted full sticker – well no d’uh on why they are sitting there morons.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    I picked up a 2016 SS 6MT last year as my responsible mid-life crisis car. Like the OP, I wanted to take the family with me — which means three across in the backseat. It’s remarkably roomy back there.

    I had to have the manual which means slim pickings, but last summer I had about 6 to choose from within ~150 miles. One of them is still unsold (jungle green!). If you’re open to the auto you can really score a deal on these — I was offered one for 35K last July.

    I don’t think pictures really do the SS justice. It has a lot more presence in person. And of course, when you hear it there’s no mistaking it for a Malibu. The exhaust “crack!” on the 1-2 shift under modest to hard acceleration (in “loud mode”, as my kids call it) is intoxicating. That’ll turn heads if the exterior doesn’t. And second gear at WOT is crazy fun if you can find a place to open it up.

    For me the appeal is that it’s a not a Mustang, a Camaro, a Charger, or a BMW. As much as I objectively appreciate those I can’t see myself in any of them. The WTF factor is certainly part of the appeal of the SS- I’ve had a guy get out of his car in traffic and chase me down on foot to ask me what I was driving. At the end of 2017 there will be about 10,000 of these things in the States. I’ve seen exactly two others in the wild.

    I think the SS is a great overall package. Big but not too heavy: three across backseat with a four body trunk. Adjustable suspension and exhaust, strong brakes, V8, RWD and a stick. And you can see out of it.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    There is no vehicle better than a dual cab Colorado diesel 4×4 to bring out the hunter gatherer instincts.

    Go fishing, camping and drinking beer with your grandkids, boating, to the beach.

    It will hold its value whilst giving you that badly sought after macho midlife jolt.

    In retirement you can use it to go to Lowes to buy that bag of mulch and a dozen 2″ nails.

    It will give more enjoyment and is practical for years more than a SS, ‘stang or Vette.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    There is always the 2013-14 Chrysler 300 SRT.Priced in the $30-35k range. It has Brembo’s all around plus the seats are a cut above the base or 300C.

  • avatar
    lost10mm

    I was lusting after an SS myself. But researching the issues G8 and GTO owners have getting the simplest repair parts for their discontinued Aussie Holdens, it makes me wanna rethink the choice. To top it off, I can only imagine pissed off Holden workers leaving a piece of their mind in the last run of SSes just to spite GM. But boy that LS3 is a beast, auto or manual, the LS3 is what puts it over IMO. Chargers are a nice alternative, I just fear the constant lack of quality I keep reading about FCA products. GM and Ford consistently rank higher amongst domestic brands. Plus, for some godawful reason FCA makes modding their cars a PITA with their locked ecu.


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