So, which car?

TaylorWelden wrote:

I’m currently looking at new/newer used cars at the moment, and I’m left with no desirable options.

Drawing from the current “Ford new face - 2010 Ford Taurus & security question” thread, and Taylor’s comment, which car (or other vehicle), of any era, would you buy now?

Of interest to us as designers might (dare I say should) be why you would purchase it?

Depends really what situation i was in. I.e how much money and current lifestyle.

If i had to use a car on a daily basis like i do now, i would want one that can take the mileage, not guzzle gas looks quite cool and practical in regards to seat space as well as boot.

However if i was loaded and didnt use the car alot i would prefer something more luxurious and classic something like the 1967 Mustang Fastback

Yeah - if we’re going for “what would you buy of any era” (ie dreamcar) then it’d be the Ferrari F40 hands down. The last of the pinnacle turbo super cars. Ultra light no frills no safety performance machine. The F50 and Enzo lost this, and while there are plenty of modern supercars that do things very well, none have the allure and headturning ability that an F40 does.

But, if we’re talking about reality then I’ll go with what I actually drive:

'08 Acura TL Type S. Sporty handling, 6 speed manual, great design, goregous interior, great build quality, lots of high tech gadgets, 30+mpg highway, roomy enough to seat 5 adults without feeling like I’m driving a boat.

of late, quality and comfort have been of huge importance in cars. (though my admittedly low price cap has the biggest influence of all)
for those reasons, i like the new volkswagen gti. also, it has copious amounts of shiny buttons and a little get-up-and-go for those special occasions. this all tops off sweet handling and clean interior design.
i’ll admit i have a weak spot for that ford f-series. for more capability than i could ever actually use, and automatic points for being tough and extremely american. the desire is there, and that’s the question isn’t it? i would take a king ranch harley davidson edition f-250 over a lexus is350 any day of the week.
as for branching out into other eras, i recently discovered a really rare convertible that looks a little extreme and goofy. anyone hear of the dodge firearrow of the 50’s? it looks like it’s where the chrysler 300c came from. a nissan 280zx could be cool for a few minutes… the car talked for god’s sake. it had to have been cool.
other cool cars include those shark-nose bmw’s like the old 6-series, anything with a motor busting through the hood, the new 3-series coupe (holy mother of moses), '95 volvo 850’s (my first car and hands down the best car seats i’ve ever sat in) and past generation audi a8s. japanese cars never did if for me (though the 2 most recent accord coupe designs are pretty slick for being generic. even infiniti g’s and nissan z’s are too quirky and foreign to make me look twice. i’m caught up in new designs. just recently, lust won over reason and i can’t look at a sedan without wishing it were a coupe. cadillac cts?

There are a ton of somewhat reasonably priced cars I’d like to own.

Beetle Turbo (yes, still)
a Smokey and the Bandit type of Pontiac Trans Am
early 80’s IROC Comaro
Ferrari 308 (you can pick one up in the high 20k zone now… but sell it if anything breaks)
Mini Cooper S
BMW 3 series coupe (this current one is pretty hot)
BMW 2002
BMW Z4 coupe
Used Boxster
Fiero GT (saw one all hooked up yesterday)
Original Scion xB
Mazda Speed3
Original Lexus IS Wagon (yellow)
Original Lexus ES
Fiat x 1/9
Old Mercedes E class
Acura TL
Infinity GS
Nissan Z (pretty much any year)
Old Supra
Old Eclipse (I’d go with a 97/98 4 wheel drive GT)
Old MR2 (the super boxy ones)
Old Nissan NX (with the T-tops!)
Porsche 912 (had a 911 body with a VW motor, pretty cheap if you can find one)
60’s Boneville

I could go on, there are tons of cool cars out there well under 40g’s:
Take a look here:

in no particular order, and within a (somewhat) reasonable price range-

BMW 2002
BMW 3.0 CSi
BMW 635 CSi
1980’s BMW 318/325i
new BMW 1 series
1960’s 911 or 912
80’s 911
porsche cayman
1960’s mercedes 250
mercedes 190 SL (OK, a bit high on the price scale, i know)
any 60’s mercedes SE coupe (ie. 250 SE)
early 70’s mercedes SL (i.e 450/500SL)
80’s Volvo 240 (esp. GT 2 door version, perhaps it was the 242)
VW Karmann Ghia
Volvo P1800E
first gen TT
second gen TT
jag XKE
jag XJS
anything 50’s

plus i gotta include my most recent cars-
'69 Mercedes 250 (my last car)
new BMW 3 series coupe (my current ride)

ya, im biased i know to euro cars. never been one for domestic or japanese. just lack the soul, history, and consistency, IMHO.


ill cave on my euro centric view here and add the infinit G35. saw one today nicely prepped with good size rime and it looked pretty sweet.


The best for me at the moment would be a Saturn Astra 5 door. It’s reasonably efficient, has a hatch, decent suspension and looks good. On the downside, it doesn’t come with the cleaner, more efficient, but equally powerful 1.4L turbo that is the top of the line motor in Europe.

The second choice would be to wait for the new Fiesta, if Ford brings the 5-door, which looks doubtful right now. Killer interior, 6 speed flappy paddle shifter like a VW GTi, but smaller and lighter therefore, more efficient.

Personally, if I had the cash, I would back up one of these with a Miata for summer.

Something I find indefensible is how automakers are not giving the NA market economical engines. Forget diesels, the Astra has engines 25% smaller in Europe, same for the Golf and Focus. 25% smaller, means 25% less fuel. In a commuter car, all that power is wasted idling in traffic jams.

Another indefensible act is how BMW is offering standard stop-start on nearly all it’s models in europe, including the Mini. This is like hybrid cars and stops the engine at traffic lights. BMW is basically saying they don’t give a rats @$$ about polluting 2-3% more in the US. It makes me feel that more legislation is the answer.

Lastly is VW. They’ve offered the fabulous turbo-supercharged 1.4L TSI engine in europe since the Golf redesign 3 years ago. It has all the power for the 5 cyl. they sell in NA, but something like 30% less emissions and using 30% less fuel.

I’m not buying European if they are going to dump ancient or wasteful technology on America.

I’m rocking this right now ('04 SAAB 93ARC Convertible in Lime-Yellow):

Why? Isn’t it obvious??

my list of cars (within reason):
91 Acura NSX
01 Acura ITR
93 FD RX7
93 MarkIV Supra
98 Kouki S14
01 RS4
02 E55 AMG
99-03 E36/E46 M3
07 335Ci
06 350Z (currently own)
02 Boxter-S
05 STi
88 635CSi
90s Carrera C4
85 AE86
Hartge BMWs

umm, no… am im missing something? you like yellow? are swedish? :wink:


How about …

SPORT (first gen. miata)


UTILITY (round headlight Jeep wrangler)

May be possible to get both for under $10K.

1989 Porsche 959
Previously mentioned Smokey and the Bandit Edition Trans Am
1961 Ferrari 250GT California.
Its so choice… if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

I suppose for the same reasons that the Swedes feel the need to make a convertible in the first place. In that color.

I’ve always liked Saabs. So quirky. I drove a 9-3 turbo though…it felt so slow. Maybe it was the automatic transmission or maybe it was turbo lag. In either case, I can’t justify that much money for it new. It is a great deal on the used market though. Very quiet, great ergonomics, comfortable seats and enough little design details to keep a designer happy.

Note the waffle style air con vents & the “night panel” display which shuts off every light in the car except for the lights on the speedo. Very cool.

I’ve always liked Saabs

Also a huge fan of the ignition between the front seats. Its such a strange place to put it, but thats what makes it so great. I’m glad since the GM takeover, they haven’t lost the little quirks that made Saab’s so cool.

you mean the americans, right? :wink: saab is GM.

I do really like some of the older, more quirky saabs, but aside from the odd spot for the ignition, the new ones are too normal and too GM for me, personally. from 100ft away at 100km/h can you tell it’s a saab? at least (i think) they are still made in sweden and not the US!


Also a huge fan of the ignition between the front seats. Its such a strange place to put it, but thats what makes it so great. I’m glad since the GM takeover, they haven’t lost the little quirks that made Saab’s so cool.

“1969: Saab believes this is a safer position in case of an accident. The driver’s knee often jerks upward in a collision; the compact and dense ignition module on the steering column of many other cars has shattered many kneecaps. Saabs have bolstered dashboards for both front seat occupants. Also, the floor-mounted position yields more space, allowing modern Saabs to have a metal bar that rotates over and up into the ignition when the key is turned to the “Lock” position. This makes Saabs very challenging to hotwire. Ergonomically, the ignition’s location next to the parking brake lever, gearshift, and seatbelt, saves time as all motions associated with startup fall right at hand and become second nature. Last of all, the ignition is located on the floor because, in the airplanes that inspired Saab automobiles, the throttle controls were all located on the floor.”

One of my favorite innovations from the classic 900 series; owned two of them. The question is… why would you think about putting the ignition anywhere else?

I have been closely watching the 9-3 SportCombi…

the Turbo X is equipped with a standard 2.8-liter, V6, 280-horsepower, turbo engine. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

Still built in the cold country.

GM has been trying to idle the Trollhättan, Sweden plant since buying Saab (decades?). The 9-3 is based on the same platform as the Chevy Malibu and Opel Vectra. GM builds the 9-3 and Vectra on the same line in Sweden. They say they will build the Vectra elsewhere in the next generation and rumours of shutting Trollhättan have started again. From what I hear, the government won’t let GM idle the factory without billions in compensation.

The new 9-3 with AWD is pretty hot. It’s able to actively send the torque to individual wheels, rather than waiting for slip. From what I’ve read it takes the 9-3 from an OK handling car to an above average one.

The 9-3 combi is hot too. I took a look at it last year. However, Saab is to renew their whole range over the next 3-4 years, so why buy a decade old 9-3 when you can wait and get a brand new one soon?

OK,OK, it’s not a SAAB thread.

I’ve been taking a liking to old 70’s Hondas and Datsuns… you see a lot out here because of the no rust, closer to Japan thing…