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

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
where your author considers many impractical used car suggestions part i

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]

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  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?