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View Poll Results: What Car Should I Buy For Under $25,000.00? Vote Here!
2005 Scion tC 4 6.45%
2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 8 12.90%
2005 Mazda3 s 12 19.35%
2005 Acura RSX Type-S 38 61.29%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Nov 27, 2004, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default What Car Should I Buy For Under $25,000.00?, Please Help Me Decide!

*UPDATE #2* Removed all coupes (2005 Scion tC & 2005 Acura RSX Type-S) and 2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLI due to reports on bad reliability. I retract my statement on hating American cars as I found Dodge's 2005 Neon SRT-4.

*UPDATE #1* Removed 2005 Honda Civic Sedan EX & replaced it with a 2005 Scion tC.


*****Can a mod please edit my poll choices as I have change the cars. Thanks in advance!*****

I have narrowed it down to 2 cars. I like Sport Compact Cars that are Import s or Domestic sedans and are under $25,000.00. *DELETED* I hate American cars even though I am American. *DELETED* I picked these two cars because of their insurance rates, gas mileage, True Cost to Own, being able to add options and not going over my buget, reliability, etc. I did my research at Edmunds.com and I am quite knowledgeable about cars but I have never bought one before. I will be deploying to Iraq in September of 2005 on a MEU and as a Lance Corporal I should come back from my seven month float with about $12,000.00. I built the cars with all the options from the manufactor that I liked. Check out the cars and vote and post your comments and/or suggestions! Thanks in advance! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

NOTICE : I live in America!

Listed By Highest Price To Lowest Price.

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2005 Mazda3 s

Price: $23,700.00
Horsepower: 160 hp 2.3L DOHC 4 Cylinder
Torque: 150 lb-ft
Redline: 6500 RPM
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic FWD
Top speed : 118 mph (electronically limited)
0-60 mph : 7.5 sec.(manual), 8.0 sec.(auto)
0-Ľ mile : 15.7 sec @ 89.0 mph (manual)
60-0 braking distance : 125 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.86 g
Wheels: 17-inch Alloy
Gas Mileage: 24mpg City/29mpg Highway
True Cost to Own (5 Years): N/A
Edmunds Editor's Rating: 8.4
Edmunds Consumer's Rating: 9.3

Exterior



Interior



Engine


Other


Quote:
What Edmunds.com Says
Good looks, strong engines and sharp handling add up to an economy car that feels anything but cheap.

Pros
Fun-to-drive character, stylish interior design, strong engines, hatchback utility.

Cons
Ride might be too stiff for some, a few ergonomic quirks, tight rear legroom.

What's New for 2005
All new for 2004, the Mazda 3 receives only minor changes for 2005. The four-door "i" model gets a new 15-inch wheel cover design, and Sirius Satellite Radio is now available on all models.
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2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4

Price: $22,740.00
Horsepower: 230 hp 2.4L DOHC 4 Cylinder
Torque: 250 lb-ft
Redline: 5100 RPM
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual FWD
Top speed : 153 mph
0-60 mph : 5.6 sec.
0-Ľ mile : 14.2 sec @ 102.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 120 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.85 g
Wheels: 17 inch Aluminum
Gas Mileage: 22mpg City/30mpg Highway
True Cost to Own (5 Years): N/A
Edmunds Editor's Rating: 7.5
Edmunds Consumer's Rating: 8.9

Exterior



Interior


Engine


Quote:
What Edmunds.com Says
A ridiculously fast econobox with the suspension to back it up, the SRT-4 is undeniably the most performance you can buy for $20K.

Pros
More power than a $20K car has any business having, near perfect suspension tuning, throaty exhaust snarl, serious seat bolstering.

Cons
Lacks refinement, some low-grade interior components.

What's New for 2005
A new option this year is the Kicker/SRT Livin' Loud audio system that included a six-disc CD changer, two one-inch Neodymium tweeters, two 75-watt 5.5-inch full-range speakers, two 90-watt 6x9 coaxials and a 10-inch 100-watt SVC amplified subwoofer.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 11:32 AM   #2
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i can't decide between the scion and the mazda
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 11:58 AM   #3
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isn't it obvious (Acura)
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:01 PM   #4
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I voted for the RSX, but I think the Scion would give it a run for its money.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinke Masta
isn't it obvious (Acura)
I dunno. I'd knock the Jetta out of the list for the reliability concerns. Out of the rest, it's all going to come down to taste. I drive a '04 Mazda3 sedan with the 2.3L and I'm quite impressed with it. I guess, see which one fits you best.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:13 PM   #6
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I had 2 jettas in the past, used. Great choice I ever made.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:17 PM   #7
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man get a four door, your up in the 20s dont be sadled with a tiny sh!tbox were you have to scoot your seat back to let your peeps in. If the acura was really fast i would say go for it but it isnt. Plus its going to get slower the more fat americans you pile in it with its spindly torque numbers.

For me its between the MAZDA and the VW (and I hate VW) but bolth of those seem like more car for the money.

screw the 2doors, you can thank me later.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fO Che -USA-
man get a four door, your up in the 20s dont be sadled with a tiny sh!tbox were you have to scoot your seat back to let your peeps in. If the acura was really fast i would say go for it but it isnt. Plus its going to get slower the more fat americans you pile in it with its spindly torque numbers.

For me its between the MAZDA and the VW (and I hate VW) but bolth of those seem like more car for the money.

screw the 2doors, you can thank me later.
You know, your right. I'm going to start looking for sedans now and not coupes. I'll get a coupe when it's only a two seater sports car and extremely fast over 300hp. I'm going to update the cars now. Thanks!
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:38 PM   #9
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Of all those choices, I would personally go with a Scion tC (which is nowhere near $25,000, BTW).

However, have you considered getting a used car? For $25,000, you could buy yourself a sport compact that would run circles around those cars. Mustang Cobra, Corvette, 3000GT, Supra, 300ZX, MR2, RX-7 are all well under $25,000 if you're willing to buy one a few years old.

Also, if you're buying a sport compact with the intention of modding it, keep in mind that new cars have will have fewer performance parts to choose from.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextbillgates
Of all those choices, I would personally go with a Scion tC (which is nowhere near $25,000, BTW).

However, have you considered getting a used car? For $25,000, you could buy yourself a sport compact that would run circles around those cars. Mustang Cobra, Corvette, 3000GT, Supra, 300ZX, MR2, RX-7 are all well under $25,000 if you're willing to buy one a few years old.

Also, if you're buying a sport compact with the intention of modding it, keep in mind that new cars have will have fewer performance parts to choose from.
You'd be hard pressed to find a good condition Supra for under 25k unless you are talking about an MKIII. I think he should play it smart and worry about his future and get a 4 seater, not a sports car for now. If he does go sports car, go with a REAL sports car like an MKIV Supra, or a third generation RX-7, not these cheap ripoffs with barely 200 horsepower.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:44 PM   #11
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man before i even clicked on the thread in my head "if i had a 25k i would get a tricked out vw jetta gli "

so thats my answer....
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:45 PM   #12
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You should get a BMW 325i.
None of the other cars mentioned can come close to it in it's construction and reliablity. MSRP is like 28,5 so just haggle them down to your range.

Last edited by ATIuser72 : Nov 27, 2004 at 12:48 PM.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alientank
You'd be hard pressed to find a good condition Supra for under 25k unless you are talking about an MKIII.
There are several in my area that are in fairly good condition, and I live in Southern California. If he lived in an area where sport imports weren't as popular, like the midwest, he'd find plenty of Supras for $25K.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:51 PM   #14
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i would stick to toyota, european cars arent as reliable according to a recent study

"Luxury automakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar ended up at the wrong end of Consumer Reports' list for predicted reliability for 2005 models. So did luxury wannabe Volkswagen.

Twenty of the 38 models tagged as "least reliable" by the magazine come from European automakers. Among them: the Mercedes S, E and C-Class; BMW 7 and 5 Series; Porsche Cayenne; and Volkswagen Touareg."

U.S. automakers had 13 models on the list.

Asian automakers dominated the "most reliable" list, with 16 of the 32 models coming from Toyota Motor Corp. Two U.S. vehicles made the "most reliable" list - the Pontiac Grand Prix and now-discontinued Buick Regal.

No European models made the cut."

DALE JEWETT | Automotive News
Posted Date: 11/17/04
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:57 PM   #15
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May I suggest an alternative?

I think the TSX would suit you better than any of those cars. It handles well, still has some good get-up-and-go (0-100kph is about 7,5 seconds). It has very nice fit and finish and is quite comfy. It also has...four doors. This may not matter now, but it will probably matter soon.

Between those cars, though, I'm not sure. I don't really like Mazda powertrains as I find them to be unreliable in the long haul (both the valvetrain and the transmission). I'm not really a big fan of the 3, although, it is a bit sturdier than the Protegé. The 6 is okay, but you still have to deal with the mazda powertrain and I think it's outclassed by a few other cars. Handling, though, is quite nice on them. The Jetta is comfier than the 3, and it has power. I like the power delivery of the Jetta better than the 3. However, it doesn't handle as well.

As I said, though, I'd prefer the TSX to any of them. It's better in just about every way. You could also look at the Legacy GT or WRX, but the WRX won't be as refined or comfy and, really, neither will the Legacy. Both are faster, though, if that matters to you. They also both have AWD as opposed to FWD, which may or may not matter to you. The TSX is quite nimble, though, so it may be perfectly adequate in that respect.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 12:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinke Masta
isn't it obvious (Acura)
++
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:05 PM   #17
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2005 Suburu WRX

From that list, RSX though
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:07 PM   #18
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Having owned an Acura for the last ~10 years making the car a total of 14 years old I gotta say that it doesn't act or feel like a high end car. Problems when we bought it, aka a ~$3000 bill for a car with 11k miles on it. After that every 6 or 7 years the same amount.

Also my family owns a Jetta, one with that wacky engine type, and it's been a pretty good car. Biggest problem there is that any work under the hood pretty much has to be taken to a VW dealer or a hardcore import car mechanic as the way the engine is set up (gotta remove the engine to get to the alternator or something like that). Aside that there are a couple furry critter chewing points you gotta watch out for or atleast in the model my parents have.

If it were me, I'd go for the Scion.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:19 PM   #19
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I'm going to update the cars now and retract my statement of hating American cars! I found Dodge's 2005 Neon SRT-4 and it looks very good. What do you guys think? Check out the first post as I have updated the cars, pictures and added more specs.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeHack
I'm going to update the cars now and retract my statement of hating American cars! I found Dodge's 2005 Neon SRT-4 and it looks very good. What do you guys think? Check out the first post as I have updated the cars, pictures and added more specs.
The SRT-4 is quite powerful and fast, but the handling isn't particularly impressive and the fit and finish (and ergonomics) leave quite a bit to be desired IMHO. You may enjoy the speed, though *shrug*.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:33 PM   #21
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srt 4 is still a neon

but its hard to find a car with that much power in that price range

Last edited by Hypeman : Nov 27, 2004 at 01:37 PM.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypeman
srt 4 = short term fun, long term disaster

but its hard to find a car with that much power in that price range
Really, its an unreliable car also? God Damn! Why can't there be a perfect car. Hmm, maybe I should also research used cars also.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:39 PM   #23
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I like Acura, but I don't think the RSX is a nice looking car. it's too...small and compacted or something. i just don't like the look of it.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:45 PM   #24
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I don't like the look of the RSX at all either. But from a quality stand point, the Acura is far and away the best built vehicle given your choices.

No offense to anyone, but IMO the Dodge Neon SRT-4 is a total joke.

Get a Prius instead
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:46 PM   #25
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Acura is probably the best choice out of them all. Like filb said, the TSX is a really nice car. With Acura you get reliable Honda engine with more aggressive performance and ergonomics/style, cant go wrong, but it does seem like the TSX is a little out of your budget. Its up to you if its worth it, but it is to me

My neighbored has one and its quite awesome.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 01:47 PM   #26
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i vote for scion
or a dodge ram.
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 02:38 PM   #27
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Cool

I can't comment on the mazda3 but if it's anything like my 6 then I gotta say give it a test ride.


Those prices you quoted seemed really high. They might be normal for your area though. This is the place near me that I got mine (just outside boston). It's probably not too helpful to you, but it give you an idea of what some dealers are actually charging.
http://www.quirkcars.com/specials/mazda/ad.htm


Not a fan of the jetta, drove one once, wasn't too impressed. Everyone I've met that has one can't stand it after a year. I can't comment on the other cars though never been in either of them.

Your best bet would be to do a google search for fan sites with forums like these... the people who own the cars can give you a good idea as to if the car is any good or not.


good luck with your purchase.
later....
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 02:39 PM   #28
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I am partial to Volkswagen. I almost bought the Jetta, but opted for the Golf GLS. Love my GOLF.

Jim
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Old Nov 27, 2004, 02:42 PM   #29
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Get a K-car j/k

But seriously you will be happier with a 4-door, I like the subaru but the WRX package is going to be a little more costly to insure. Have you thought about getting a cheaper car something you wont have to pay for aslong. I know this will be unpopular but Kia's have a 10 year 100 thousand mile warranty just a suggestion.

if it were between a honda or toyota i would choose the Toy every time just a stigma i have. but hay no one has suggested a mitsubishi and those are supposed to have good warranties too.

good luck in your search
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fO Che -USA- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 27, 2004, 02:53 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by fO Che -USA-
Get a K-car j/k

But seriously you will be happier with a 4-door, I like the subaru but the WRX package is going to be a little more costly to insure. Have you thought about getting a cheaper car something you wont have to pay for aslong. I know this will be unpopular but Kia's have a 10 year 100 thousand mile warranty just a suggestion.

if it were between a honda or toyota i would choose the Toy every time just a stigma i have. but hay no one has suggested a mitsubishi and those are supposed to have good warranties too.

good luck in your search
The manufacturers that offer a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty (Kia, Hyndai, Mitsubishi, Saturn, others?) are also the manufacturers with a less than steller record on reliability.

Just something to keep in mind.
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