Where Your Author Considers Many Impractical Used Car Suggestions (Part I)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today’s article is a follow up to the one from about a week ago, wherein I outlined my current used car shopping idea: something fairly impractical with two doors. The article racked up 195 comments thus far, and I’ve read them all and taken notes.

Let’s get down to your suggestions. First up are the cars I won’t be considering.

The comments on that initial article ran the gamut from helpful to unhelpful and participatory to triggered, just like you’d expect on The Internet. All suggested cars on the list below have been eliminated from consideration, with one slim maybe in the mix. In the order I noted them:

  • Jaguar XK8/XK
  • Infiniti G37
  • Ford Mustang GT
  • Audi TT
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Saturn Sky
  • Mercedes C-Class
  • Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ
  • Minis
  • Buick Cascada
  • Toyota Solara
  • Saabs / 9-3

Of this list, there are a few cars I’d file under the Not For Me heading. These include the G37, Mustang, Challenger, Sky, various Minis, Cascada, Solara, and Saabs.

The G37 coupe and convertible are good looking, their styling has aged pretty well, they’re reliable, and they’re in the budget even in convertible format. But after years of ownership of a VQ35-equipped M35x, I’m sort of done with that VQ paint mixer engine noise, Infiniti’s dated interiors, and poor local dealership service experiences. With these go any 350z and 370Z ideas, too.

Mustang and Challenger deserve a mention together. Both are decent enough cars (I like the Mustang more) and are plentiful on the used market and affordable. The Mustang GT was the single most suggested vehicle in the comments. And while I like it for what it is, I can’t see myself as a Mustang driver. Same goes for the Challenger, a car with which I’ve had hundreds of miles of first-hand experience. The Challenger’s looks don’t appeal to me like they did when they were new in 2008, and though it’s comfortable the pontoon boat handling isn’t really what I’m after. The Challenger’s poor rear visibility is also an aspect I recall not enjoying.

The Saturn Sky is an interesting idea, as the better-looking alternative to the Pontiac Solstice. Overall, I’m not particularly interested in a soft-top convertible as this vehicle will always be parked outside in Ohio. While the exterior of the Sky still looks good today in my opinion, the interior is absolutely appalling in every way. Next!

I’ll mention Minis in with the Buick Cascada. I couldn’t tell you how many different Mini models are available today, because I’ve never been interested in the brand. I do know the brand has drifted pretty far from the original idea of the Mini two-door, which was played out after its modern rebirth by about 2008. The Buick Cascada was yet another Opel failure from GM and was like the second coming of a 1999 Chrysler Sebring: rental fodder and Floridian transport. No thanks.

Solara and Saab go together because they start with S. I see many people in Solaras here in Ohio, top-down and living their best life. I’m sure they’re affordable and reliable, but it’s not anything I’d ever want to own. I never liked the Solara’s looks after the first generation, and the first-gen coupes were used up long ago. Saabs are good-looking, and the convertible 9-3 was popular for quite some time. But it was soft top only, there weren’t any coupes, and I’m not willing to search for ever-scarcer Saab parts and their requisite dedicated specialist mechanic.

The other cars on the list above are in the I Like, But There Are Problems category. Within are the XK, TT, C-Class, and the 86/BRZ. I’ve always liked Jaguars, and the XK8 and XK both look great today (former more so than latter). The XK8 coupe sold about a third as many examples as the convertible, and the ones for sale come with disclaimers that always say “needs xyz” or “just spent $4,900 fixing abc.” They’re also at least 15 years old now. Newer XKs are out of budget unless they’re high miles, and that seems like a bad idea too. Whenever I visit the interior of the late 2000s XK, it always looks more dated than I remembered.

The TT started looking cool in its gen-two format in 2006, but I’m not giving VAG any more money at this time. I’ve also owned an old Audi more than once, and they always grabbed onto the old wallet fairly quickly. The C-Class coupe has the same issue as the TT, in that I absolutely do not like the W204 generation that ran through the 2014 model year (2015 for coupe; there was no 2016 coupe). The new generation coupe (W205) from 2017 looks very sharp and has an excellent interior, but is pretty scarce within budget. It’s a maybe at this point.

The Scion/Toyota FR-S/86 and Subaru BRZ surprised me when I went looking. Even the earliest Scion examples are nearly out of budget, and they’ve seemingly all been stanced, crashed, or on their seventh owner by now. They also offered only a black interior. Newer examples are too expensive and have held their value much better than I’d expect.

There you have it, full detail on my thought process on all these eliminated vehicles. The singular maybe on the C-Class moves it to the Yes, Good Idea list we’ll discuss next time.

[Images: Ford, GM, Toyota, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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