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My car wants seem to have taken another turn. Well, not really as this is a class I've looked at before, but now things are leaning more towards that direction. Not buying today or tomorrow, but I'm trying to improve my understanding of what to look out for. With the end of the 2020 Accord nigh, and the CT5-V Blackwing not yet existing (and out of budget anyway) this is effectively a review of what's been available in the last ~10 years or so.

Dream candidate is TCL's favourite rental car, the Chevy SS 6MT,


They're also just not depreciating. At all. Way out of budget when I'm looking at a dozen cars that are in the teens in pricing.

Class 1: Large family sedans -
Accord (basically all years) in K24 6MT, 6/6, or newer Sport 1.5t and 2.0t forms. Most to choose from here.
Legacy GT (2.5turbo + AWD) - EJ255 reliability issues?
Passat (up to, 2015? in the US with 1.8t but went longer than that in Canada to the 2016+ refresh models)

Class 2: Sportier, still largeish sedans -
Acura TL - I'd consider both the older 3.5 FWD models with Helical LSD that can be had under $10K, or the newer SH-AWD ugly ones
Buick Regal GS - 2.0 turbo, FWD but with some kind of trick anti-torque steer system
VW GLI - The 6th and 7th gen cars are still "compacts" but seem to have a pretty big backseat... maybe just less wide than the Passat. I really need to try one on for size

Class 3: RWD as God intended -
BMW 535i,550i - There are some out there. BMW made these in manual a long time after Audi dropped 6MTs from the A6. I kind of remember F10s not being well-reviewed though?
Cadillac CTS - The DI Manual 3.6 second-gen cars seem like the way to go, but extremely hard to find. Vs are in the teens still for the 1st-gens, 2nd-gen Vs are high-20s on up
Infiniti G35/G37 - Winner on paper until you see what people are asking for rare 6MTs

Class 3 is kind of what started me down this road, but I find these models are really hard to find (Cadillac), or overpriced (G35/G37 sedans), or feel like I'm gambling with my pocketbook (BMW). After reading this review,
https://www.caranddriver.com/review...ort-2008-infiniti-g35-sport-comparison-tests/
I soured a bit on the Cadillac, and got frustrated with the Infiniti availability and the fact that hands-down reviews preferred the E90 so much over everything ever thrown at it. E90 I feel would be too small for me though. I've driven a 2.0t B8 Audi A4, and refreshed my memory by sitting in a B8 Allroad yesterday, and it's just not quite as big as I'm looking for for when my dogs are in the car with my wife and I, or 3 adults + 1 dog. Hence me starting to look at "lesser" sedans in Class 1 that are larger. Class 2 seems like it splits the difference but I haven't been in a 3rd gen TL in 15 years and haven't been in the others.

So what am I missing? Anyone have any other ideas, and if you do, what class would you put them in? I'm trying to sample what I can on used car lots just to help narrow it down, but some of these are slim pickings, either far away or private-sale instead of dealer (which I don't mind doing once I know what I want, but it's a pain for test drives in the time of COVID). Don't want to try to buy a $5K TL that's 2-3 hours away but then hate it,



or get my heart set on a 550i or a turbo Subaru and then get "I told you so" on the repair bills,



Help wanted!
 

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2009-2012 (?) Acura TL 6MT Sh-awd ..I should of added.. this is such an ugly car lol

As you said 2018+ Accord Sport, this is a pretty large car in the second row and trunk... but fwd.
 

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G37 6MTs aren't overpriced

RWD, LSD, big brakes, sport seats, big NA motor that revs to 7.5 (8 with a tune), and of course seats 4, is Japanese reliable yadda yadda.... what else compares for similar money?

Writing those off but being enthusiastic about open diff FWD cars kind of feels like an insult honestly. If those kinds of details don't matter get the cheapest Accord 2.0T 6MT you can find. They are fast, reliable, cheap and have 3 pedals
 

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My car wants seem to have taken another turn. Well, not really as this is a class I've looked at before, but now things are leaning more towards that direction. Not buying today or tomorrow, but I'm trying to improve my understanding of what to look out for. With the end of the 2020 Accord nigh, and the CT5-V Blackwing not yet existing (and out of budget anyway) this is effectively a review of what's been available in the last ~10 years or so.

Dream candidate is TCL's favourite rental car, the Chevy SS 6MT.

They're also just not depreciating. At all. Way out of budget when I'm looking at a dozen cars that are in the teens in pricing.

*other options*

Help wanted!


Maybe not what you want to hear, but the SS truly has been everything I hoped it would be when I bought it new. It's not perfect, but it's about as close to my idea of it for what I want/need. I literally do smile each time I'm behind the wheel.

You know the pros, but here are some of my cons (if it helps): Infotainment is antiquated and merely adequate, heated seats are marginal, no heated steering wheel, and the seats could use slightly more bolstering. I'm obviously kind of reaching here. Probably the biggest real issue is parts availability. I haven't needed much yet, but the few things I've had under warranty had a long lead time. This echos others' experiences from what I've read. Also, my car wasn't ordered with a spare tire kit, so I pieced a factory setup together on my own the month I got it. Last time I looked, most of the unique parts of the kit are now NLA from GM.

My advice, if you like what the SS is about and that's really what you want, try to get the SS. It don't think it will disappoint. '15-17 are your years for manuals, with '16-17 being the Series 2-ish cars with the face lifted nose and hood vents, red Brembos and bimodal exhaust. All three years have MRC and four piston Brembos all around. '15's will still have the polished Alcoa forged wheels if that's your thing. I think '15's still have a CD player and aux input too.

Edit: It seems like right now prices are stronger than usual (by stronger, I mean kind of crazy). If you're not in a rush though, I think you'd be able to score a decent deal. They're holding their value yes, but I think this latest surge is temporary.


 

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G37 6MTs aren't overpriced

RWD, LSD, big brakes, sport seats, big NA motor that revs to 7.5 (8 with a tune), and of tons of lift off oversteer, is Japanese reliable yadda yadda.... what else compares for similar money?

Writing those off but being enthusiastic about open diff FWD cars kind of feels like an insult honestly. If those kinds of details don't matter get the cheapest Accord 2.0T 6MT you can find. They are fast, reliable, cheap and have 3 pedals
FTFY
 

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Legacy GT (2.5turbo + AWD) - EJ255 reliability issues?
Passat (up to, 2015? in the US with 1.8t but went longer than that in Canada to the 2016+ refresh models)
Funny to compare these two, and think that the Subaru would be the less reliable of the two. My parents neighbour had a B6 wagon, and spent so much time/money on it, that he gave up and bought a Kia Sedona instead.

Sure, the EJ255 is not bulletproof, but if you don't mod it and you do basic maintenance, it'll be fine. Same can't really be said for that generation Passat, with everything from leaky sunroofs down to oil sludge/camshaft/timing chain tensioner issues...
 

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As far as driving goes, the SS is more of a 550i than an actual 550i. If you can get past price and the 'rental car' status doesn't bother you I don't see how you could do better for what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
6MT through 2011
(lol)
The beige is just

:laugh:

Funny to compare these two, and think that the Subaru would be the less reliable of the two. My parents neighbour had a B6 wagon, and spent so much time/money on it, that he gave up and bought a Kia Sedona instead.

Sure, the EJ255 is not bulletproof, but if you don't mod it and you do basic maintenance, it'll be fine. Same can't really be said for that generation Passat, with everything from leaky sunroofs down to oil sludge/camshaft/timing chain tensioner issues...
My first EJ25 (DOHC non-turbo) had the dreaded head gasket failure. Which is one thing... it's not like it grenaded, but I recall it needing new heads instead of just the gasket. $$$ when you're a broke-ass student. My second had a connecting rod bearing failure that needed a new short block and rebuild. Between the experiences and the known STI/LGT issues with the EJ255, I'm just not sure how comfortable I should be.

What's wrong with the EA888 motors though? I thought those were pretty good. I was more worried about the GLI and potential clutch issues and such than I was about the Passat.

550i is a POS that will fall apart
7 series but same engine
Does not surprise me. My boss's 750Li was a moneypit.

B8 S4 with manual
E90 335i with manual + leftover budget for maintenance (weak spots are all well known at this point)


...but really I think you should just stretch for an SS
I'm hearing you guys on the SS, really I am and I do appreciate the feedback. Unless there's cheaper ones more than 500miles from me though, the prices I've seen are equivalent to buying a G37S and a TL 6MT and a gently used Passat or Accord :laugh:
2nd-gen CTS-V seems like a cheaper option?
 

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You really should get the SS.

If you think of the total cost once you’re done with it, it will be significantly cheaper than all of the other options on your list. (Unless your jurisdiction taxes you yearly on vehicles)
 

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Push for the SS. It's the car you really want and the low depreciation will help you if/when the time comes to sell. If only there was a TCLer who knew these cars well and had access to the used inventory of a dealership chain with a Chevrolet franchise...
 

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If you're looking at a G37 but not a 335i, I'm not sure why. interior volume is more equal there IIRC (with the 5er being bigger than both).

I've driven a lot of the cars on your list and owned a 4th gen TL, so lemme know if you have any specific questions :wave:
edit: here is my similar, albeit more specific thread.
 

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Definitely don't buy my almost 500 hp SS. It's all NA power, passes CA smog, and aside from more noise from the titanium valve springs, you would think it was stock. Awful, awful car that has 72k miles on it, and books for $2k less than I paid for it. :laugh::laugh:

So that's the rub. You can buy a cheaper manual sedan, but unless you're me and murder tires all of the time, an SS will have a lower total cost of ownership, unless they all of a sudden start depreciating like crazy. You'll spend more to get it now, but it'll sell for more later, and it'll be more fun to drive than any of the other cars mentioned in this thread.

But buy an Accord because it's cheaper. I hear they're almost as fun to drive when you have the cruise control on while on a straight freeway.

Or look at an ATS, but the back seat is tiny.
 
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