tagReviews & EssaysI Need Help Buying A New Car

I Need Help Buying A New Car


Who knows about new cars? I need some advice. I need someone who can help me make a decision which model I should buy.

I want to buy a new car and I narrowed down my decision to a few models that I'd like. Only, I'm having a difficult time narrowing it down any further than the three models I've chosen. Trying to remove my emotions from the equation, trying to be more logical and sensible about my purchase, I've been going back and forth over the pros and the cons and they all are great cars.

I'd be happy with any of them. Only would I be happier with one over the other two? I don't want to make a wrong decision, but in my indecision, I'm not making any decision.

I know that I don't want a truck, sport utility vehicle or a van. I want a car. I don't want a diesel or a hybrid, nor do I want a four door sedan or a convertible. By negating all of those vehicles, that narrows my selection down by a lot.

I want a two door car. I like two door cars. I like the sportiness of them and how they look. Besides, I just don't need two extra doors.

My kids are grown. Most times I'm alone in the car, except for my dog, which leads me to another decision about the upholstery option later. Should I get the cloth or spend the extra money for the leather? Yet, we'll talk about that later in the story.

My girlfriend has her own car, a Mini Cooper S, which she loves. I'm not all that crazy about her car. Yeah, it's cute and it's fun to drive but, it was very expensive, nearly as much as a BMW 1 series. Much like the Mazdaspeed 3, the car has too much torque steer for my taste. When you stomp on the gas and light the turbo, you'd better be holding onto that steering wheel with two hands. It the way that it twists to the right or turns to the left, you'll be changing lanes, while hoping to God there's no one beside you, unless you have your hands on the steering wheel. Not to mention the car is so stiff that it loosens my fillings.

I've narrowed my decision down to three cars, Ford Mustang GT, Volkswagen GTI, and BMW 1 series. Three good but very different automobiles. What do you think? Which one would you buy and why? Or would you not buy any of these three cars and buy something else?

I like the Mustang because I've had four Mustang GT's before, a '67, an '85, a '90, and a 2000. Only, I heard Ford is replacing the 4.6 with a real 5.0 next year that makes a minimum of 365 horsepower and maybe as much as 425 horsepower to compete with the Camaro SS, instead of the present, anemic in comparison to the SS, 315 horsepower that it makes now.

By the way, even though I like the outside retro design of it, I ruled out the Camaro because I had a '96 Z28 and crashed it in a wall after only 4 months and 4,000 miles of ownership. Much like the Corvette and the Porsche 911's of old, the car doesn't give me any warning when I reach the limits, it just goes. The Mustang gives me plenty of feedback giving me plenty of warning before getting in trouble over my head. I always have time to react quick enough to catch the rear end before it slides out and the car spins out of control.

The Mustang GT with the options that I'd buy on the car brings the total up to a manufacturer's list price of around $36,000. I know that is about the average price of what cars cost today, but $36,000 seems to be a lot of money for a Mustang. I can't imagine springing for more than $50,000 on a GT500 or even more for those special Shelby models they have that cost as much as $80,000.

Then, there's the Volkswagen GTI, a car that's been on Car & Driver's top ten list of cars nearly every year, since the first one came out in '83 and Automobile Magazine named the GTI as their Car of the Year. Except for reliability problems, which both the Ford and the BMW have, I haven't read anything negative about the car. With the best interior and drivability and interior in its class, every time the GTI goes head to head with the Mazdaspeed3 and, even though it's out powered by the more powerful Mazda, it wins as the preferred car to own.

Only, my worries with the GTI is that I never owned a 4 cylinder car. I never owned a front wheel drive car. I've never owned a foreign car. All my cars have had American V8's with rear wheel drive.

Pretty much everything is standard on the VW, so much so that you can just buy a standard car at $24,000 and be happy. Only, I'd want some extras and those options raises the price of the car to $29,000, seven thousand dollars cheaper than the Mustang.

Then there's the BMW. If I had my druthers, I'd by the BMW 335i coupe, but I don't have an extra fifty plus thousand dollars to spend on a car. Even if I had that kind of money, I wouldn't by the x version. The four wheel drive not only cost more but makes the car heavier and slower. I'd rather just buy the rear wheel drive version and mount snow tires on it in the winter, as I did with my Mustang.

A fairly loaded BMW, so long as you control yourself from going overboard with the options is about the same price as the Mustang, $36,000.

So, let me explain my dilemma more in depth. I love the sound the Mustang makes when I stomp on the gas. There's nothing else like it short of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. The Mustang just feels right to me, too. It's a good fit for me, not too big and not too small. I wish it weighed a few hundred pounds less, more in line with a Corvette or the GTI, but they all make cars too heavy.

The interior of the Mustang is much improved, but the seats still suck, even on the GT500. The best fix is to remove the factory seats and install Recaro seats for a couple grand more, which is what I did with my old Mustang. Definitely, I'd stay with the 5-speed manual and get the track pack and that comes with the 19" wheels and Pirelli tires. Only, I'd have to go with the Mustang GT premium to get those options.

Even though the GTI only makes 200 horsepower, it's still quick enough to get you to sixty in the low 6's. It's not Mustang fast, but it's not Mustang stiffly uncomfortable with a live rear axle either. A convenient hatchback design, the GTI has one of the best interiors in the industry with two of the most comfortable seats that come standard in cloth. When you buy the Autobahn package that includes a sunroof for $2,800 and leather sport seats, which are even more comfortable than the standard. I figured with the dog and dog hair, leather is the way to go. Definitely, I'd stay with the six speed manual and go the extra money for the 18" wheels and summer performance tires. The only other options I'd buy are the upgraded headlights and the stereo upgrade. The Navigation package is too expensive at $1,800.

The thing that bothers me about the VW are the exterior colors, white, red, two shades of gray, and black. They have a new shade of gray, carbon steel gray for 2010, which is the color I'd probably buy, but I was wishing for something a bit more colorful, like yellow, orange, green or blue.

For about the same price as the Mustang GT, I can buy a loaded one series BMW. When you compare the two cars, even though they are apples and oranges, it's difficult not to chose the BMW, it's the benchmark by which all other cars aspire to and are measured. Plus, I can get the sports package with the BMW, which includes Recaro front seats. The interior of the car is just beautiful, too.

Also, instead of paying more to buy the car in the states, as I can with the BMW, I can order the VW GTI factory direct, take a trip to Germany, airfare and hotel included for one, drive the car around there for a week, and have them ship it home as part of the destination charge I'd have to pay anyway, even if I bought the car here. Not to mention the car is about 5% cheaper buying it from the factory than it would cost buying it from a dealer here. That 5% pays for my European vacation.

I'm leaning towards the GTI because of the gas mileage, too. Also, I like the fact that the GTI is a hatchback, and it's not much longer than the Mini Cooper. Well, I think I made my decision.

Hey, thanks an awful lot for your help. I couldn't have done it without your feedback. I'm so glad I ask you. I think I'm going to buy the VW GTI.

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byPositiveThinker© 27 comments/ 8337 views/ 1 favorites

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