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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
 
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Default Help deciding on ms3/ si, etc

Help deciding on ms3/ si, etc
I am in seriously looking for a new or late model fast, sub25K, reliable, good handling car!!
Strictly for hard DD....
The ms3 is a strong contender

I am concerned about economic situation- I like to drive hard but not insanely so- no redlines or hard starts from 0.

If i stay stock... how bullet proof is the drive train?

I tried an si, and it was so slow. But a stock turbo may not last nearly as long as the si.

I have even considered non turbo v6's ( hard to find a lite curb weight= quick )
and even the 300c chrysler!!! So many cars get just so so marks with reliability.
v6 camry is fairly quick but so unsports carlike.

The perfect car is really tough to find

What are your thoughts on reliable, tough, fast cars???

Thanks .
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
 
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out of all those cars with out a doubt ms3.
if your not modding, this is a good call.. keep the warranty.
i wouldnt worry about the drivetrain on the ms3. not to mention the clean feeling 6 speed transaxle.
si is slow. ms3 is fasta.
im not saying anything about a 300c... hideous car IMO.
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
 
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The SI is a piece of shit,my friend has one.I absolutely hate it.
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by danems6 View Post
out of all those cars with out a doubt ms3.
if your not modding, this is a good call.. keep the warranty.
i wouldnt worry about the drivetrain on the ms3. not to mention the clean feeling 6 speed transaxle.
si is slow. ms3 is fasta.
im not saying anything about a 300c... hideous car IMO.
OK, cool... ruling out the honda si and "hideous 300c"
camry se v6 then ?? Which car driven moderately hard in DD lasts longer- na v6 camry or turbo m3??
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
 
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The words "good handling" and "camry" should never be mentioned in the same sentence.
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:52 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by smakdown61 View Post
The words "good handling" and "camry" should never be mentioned in the same sentence.
It's ridiculous, isn't it? What is Toyo thinking?
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by jaco1234 View Post
Which car driven moderately hard in DD lasts longer- na v6 camry or turbo m3??
My grandma drives a camry. I'm not one for image or anything, but if you pulled up in a nice camry, I'd say "Hey, nice sedan". But that's me. I don't know much about the toyota, but I'm sure it'll last more miles.

I daily drive my MS3, and it puts a smile on my face every time. The toyota engine is less torquey, and in my honest opinion, torque means the most when you are talking about a fun daily commute.

It's all up to your personal tastes. You can't go wrong with the toyota. It's a nice car and a good company. You can't go wrong with the MS3 either. Isn't the world great?!

About not being comfortable with the economic situation, I feel that its a great time to buy a car if you afford it. Being able to afford it now means having 9-12 months of extra cash in a savings account in case of being laid off (that's rent/mortgage, car payment, insurance, property taxes, utilities, etc.) If you're going to foreclose, I'm gunna kick ya in the junk!
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 Old 02-19-2009, 12:58 PM   #8
 
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I've never driven an Si, but did take a look at a dyno graph on stock Si. ~115 lb-ft of torque at 3500 RPM then drops off until another VTEC induced spike of ~120 lb-ft of torque at 6500 RPM. So, if you spend a lot of time driving 'around town' you're either going to have to keep that thing in the RPM strastosphere or just deal with relatively low torque. On the flip side, the MS3 has 225 lb-ft (and up to 250 lb-ft) of torque from about 3000 RPM until around 5500 RPM; in other words twice the torque and in a more usable band for every day driving. Hell, the MS3 looks like it putting down more torque at 2500 RPM than an Si's max torque.

I'll admit, I sometimes miss winding out my SR20DE from my SE-R to its 7500 RPM redline. I am sure I'd enjoy winding out an Si engine to its 8000 RPM redline. However, winding out an engine stop light to stop light, stop sign to stop sign, on my way to get groceries, or on my 4 mile commute is going to get old real quick. This is one of my loves with the MS3 -- it just about qualifies for stump pulling torque!

The Camry V6 is definitely a sleeper; much more performance than most would ever imagine from a Camry. 0-60 times in the upper 5s, quarter mile times in the mid 14s. A Camry V6 could easily beat a stock MS3 owner off guard! Yet, like you said, it may not be sports car like enough to really enjoy. I may get criticized, but I would expect a Camry to outlast an MS3 if driven moderately hard, but in all reality, its a crap shoot with any car. You could buy the most reliable car model and have the engine pop after 5k miles. You could also buy the most unreliable car model and have it last 200k miles without issue. In the end, if you treat an MS3 well, give it regular oil changes, drive it smartly (avoiding high boost at low RPM) you're more than likely going to have a long life with it.

Also, the Camry V6 is going to cost more than an MS3. From the Toyota website, a new Camry V6 starts around 27k. For 27k, you're looking at the sticker price of a fully loaded MS3 GT. So, in that case, you'd be looking at a used Camry or a new MS3. There are certain advantages to buying used... but why not just get a brand new, fully loaded MS3???

Just go buy an MS3.... save yourself the time of trying to decide.
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 Old 02-19-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by phantom6294 View Post
I've never driven an Si, but did take a look at a dyno graph on stock Si. ~115 lb-ft of torque at 3500 RPM then drops off until another VTEC induced spike of ~120 lb-ft of torque at 6500 RPM. So, if you spend a lot of time driving 'around town' you're either going to have to keep that thing in the RPM strastosphere or just deal with relatively low torque. On the flip side, the MS3 has 225 lb-ft (and up to 250 lb-ft) of torque from about 3000 RPM until around 5500 RPM; in other words twice the torque and in a more usable band for every day driving. Hell, the MS3 looks like it putting down more torque at 2500 RPM than an Si's max torque.

I'll admit, I sometimes miss winding out my SR20DE from my SE-R to its 7500 RPM redline. I am sure I'd enjoy winding out an Si engine to its 8000 RPM redline. However, winding out an engine stop light to stop light, stop sign to stop sign, on my way to get groceries, or on my 4 mile commute is going to get old real quick. This is one of my loves with the MS3 -- it just about qualifies for stump pulling torque!

The Camry V6 is definitely a sleeper; much more performance than most would ever imagine from a Camry. 0-60 times in the upper 5s, quarter mile times in the mid 14s. A Camry V6 could easily beat a stock MS3 owner off guard! Yet, like you said, it may not be sports car like enough to really enjoy. I may get criticized, but I would expect a Camry to outlast an MS3 if driven moderately hard, but in all reality, its a crap shoot with any car. You could buy the most reliable car model and have the engine pop after 5k miles. You could also buy the most unreliable car model and have it last 200k miles without issue. In the end, if you treat an MS3 well, give it regular oil changes, drive it smartly (avoiding high boost at low RPM) you're more than likely going to have a long life with it.

Also, the Camry V6 is going to cost more than an MS3. From the Toyota website, a new Camry V6 starts around 27k. For 27k, you're looking at the sticker price of a fully loaded MS3 GT. So, in that case, you'd be looking at a used Camry or a new MS3. There are certain advantages to buying used... but why not just get a brand new, fully loaded MS3???

Just go buy an MS3.... save yourself the time of trying to decide.
You make a lot of sense.

What protection is on the ms3 turbo- meaning- my sti does NOT need a turbo timer.
What protection is built into the mazda turbo???
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 Old 02-19-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by jaco1234 View Post
You make a lot of sense.

What protection is on the ms3 turbo- meaning- my sti does NOT need a turbo timer.
What protection is built into the mazda turbo???
The MS3's turbo is both oil and water cooled. There are plenty who have different views as to whether a cool down period is required, but I believe it is designed so that even after the car is turned off, coolant will continue to flow through the turbo allowing it to cool down. Common sense comes into play -- certainly don't go screaming down a highway in boost, slam on the brakes, pull into a driveway and shut the car down. Also, if you're out lapping the car at a track meet, some additional cool down with the car might be warranted. Yet, the idea that the car MUST idle for an extended period (1-5 minutes) after normal to spirited driving or otherwise the turbo will go bad is a bit extreme.
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 Old 02-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #11
 
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camry will most likely outlast the speed3. but a camry and a speed3 arent even in the same class, 2 very diff cars, totally diff power, ride, and look.

my choice in order.....

speed3
09 wrx
gti
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 Old 02-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #12
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You'll love yourself everyday for buying an MS3. I do.

The Camry is a good car, but that's it. No frills man, it's still just a family sedan.
The Camry is also on the top ten list for the most frequently stolen cars.

Your choice though. Good luck. Choose wisely.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 03:51 AM   #13
 
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The Camry is a good car, but boring. The Si has had transmission issues. Not sure if they have completely solved that problem yet. Out of those choices, the MS3 would be the most fun.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 04:17 AM   #14
 
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ms3 i know about 5 guys with si's down here, all slower then poop

camry....id be pissed cuz u see one like everywhere..i mean lik eeverywhere... everyone and their grandma has one literally.. same applies to civics.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 08:01 AM   #15
 
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owned 3 SI's....1989,2004,2006...traded in the 06 after 1 test drive in the Speed3...need i say more....keep the Speed stock or slightly bolted and you will enjoy it....the only other cars you may want to check out in this price range is the Cobalt Turbo new, a used STI 2008, or a used R32...yea i no the R32 is a chunker...but i like the car and although its a paddle shifter and a bit chinky i still like it....you can get a used 08 certified for a good price...i would not rule out slightly used..but all in all the Speed3 is much more fun and much faster than the Si....
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 Old 02-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #16
 
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i was in exactly your situation in november...i have owned noting but honda's. first car was a 95 civic coupe, 2nd car was 1999 integra gsr, 3rd was a 2000 civic si. so i was petty loyal to honda's. which is why i was really considering the new civic si. that was until read up on the MS3...and my honda world collapsed...lol...i did weigh everything out, test drove both cars, numerous articles and reviews, and it all boiled down to the MS3.

and i do agree with ldokrantz, u can check out the new Cobalt Turbo, a used STI or evo, or a used R32. i would have went for a used sti or evo for the price range but i decided to go brand new instead.

well thats my experience...goodluck on u decision bro
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 Old 02-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #17
 
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What kind of numbers can I hope for in CA? Buying new??
I want the most stripped car ( least expensive ) I can get.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 08:58 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by jaco1234 View Post
What kind of numbers can I hope for in CA? Buying new??
I want the most stripped car ( least expensive ) I can get.
According to mazdausa.com, the sticker price for a 'bare bones' MS3 Sport is $23,410. With the slow down in new car purchases and if you have several dealerships to choose from, I imagine you can get it cheaper.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 09:00 AM   #19
 
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I paid 21,500 for my brand new 08.5 sport back in August '08.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 09:43 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by DaleNixon View Post
I paid 21,500 for my brand new 08.5 sport back in August '08.
Nice- thanks for the update
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 Old 02-20-2009, 11:13 AM   #21
 
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i would imagine if you play hardball you can get the sport for 20 grand or 21.5....it's a tough market and a good time to buy. Look for a dealer that has more than a couple on his lot, they will be more willing to give a lower price.
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 Old 02-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #22
 
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I owned an SI myself and loved the thing but when you get a Speed 3 you forget about the SI real quick. SI is a good car and looks good but for me it was a little loud for how slow it was. Its a good quick car but your gonna have to be down shifting constantly if your cruising around in 6th. Nice interior and the SI and i like the double cluster gauge. Some say its wierd but you get used to it. Honda's trannys are practically bullletproof and if you put an AM turbo on it you can see 260 whp easy with a good tune.

Now the SI is good and all but I say the SPeed 3 hands down.

Honestly if you can get the speed 3 go for that and its even better if you can keep yourself for modding. These cars are quick off the lot and unless you have felt 300 whp and up your gonna be satisfied. Speeds MPG's are not the best but I drive 70/30 with mostly Highway. Fill up the car just as much as I did with the SI. Stop and go is another story. If i dirve more street I have to fill up my car maybe a day or two before I normally do.

Fuck it just get the speed 3, Camry's are nice but it cant compare if your looking for a good/quick/good handling car without having to get a turbo to keep up or get a supsension work done for 1000 just to handle good.

Speed has it all off the lot and you get a turbo covered under warranty. Getting an SI and slapping a turbo on it in the first year is dumb IMHO.

Another thing to keep in mind is I worked the Mazda dealer down from sticker on a brandd new 09 off the truck. I couldnt talk the SI dealer down more than 200 off sticker. I ended up getting a faster/better car for about 1500 cheaper than the SI I was getting quoted. When I bought the SI I paid 21k for it before taxes and the brand new 09 speed 3 was 20500 for me without extras.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 12:21 PM   #23
 
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I want to list some cars I think you should at least look into before buying. Of course I want you / think you should get an MS3, but everyone should consider the options, right?

There are two cars I wished I had looked into and test driven when I was shopping (1.5 years ago) : the VW GTI and the Mini Cooper S. Both these cars are similar size, price, FWD, and turbocharged like the MS3. The GTI is a good contender, but the Cooper's less powerful and I'd have probably not gone with the Cooper.

Other cars I did look into but did not buy:
Subaru WRX (very strong contender)
Civic SI (kinda liked it too)
Chevy Cobalt SS (wanted to like, just couldn't)
Scion TC (don't bother; no power)

The top runners in my mind (looking for price/power/fun ratio) are MS3, WRX, GTI, SI, in that order.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #24
 
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mini poopers are fun cars.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 02:11 PM   #25
 
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Take a look at

1. A Cobalt SS (turbo). Being from GM, you can probably get one well below list. Sure it's a Cobalt, but it's fast and the drivetrain should hold up well - GM was confident enough to put in launch control and no-lift shift on a car they know will be driven hard. It's the fastest fwd car around the Nurburgring. Resale value won't be great, but if you're keeping it for 150K that's not an issue.

2. 09 WRX. Improved for 09, has Subaru's excellent AWD. If you plan on serious mods (it sounds like you don't) there's vastly more aftermarket support for a WRX vs an MS3.

3. MS3. Good in its own way, drive one and see what you think. It's got a better interior and far better style than the Cobalt. Being a hatchback makes it viable as an only car.

4. Camry - Much larger than the above, an entirely different sort of car. It is meant to be unobtrusive and practical, not fun. No turbo lag and quicker than it looks - when you start normally, without a launch it will beat many turbo cars. Check the 5-60 times in C/D. Its also softly suspended and has the stabiltiy and traction control cut in too soon. Resale value will be better than the Chevy or Mazda.
If you want something to last 300K miles, here's your car. If you want sporty, forget it.

You need to spend some time driving each of the cars you consider, a lot of it comes down to personal preference.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 02:18 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by TurboGhost View Post
Much larger than the above, an entirely different sort of car. It is meant to be unobtrusive and practical, not fun. No turbo lag and quicker than it looks - when you start normally, without a launch it will beat many turbo cars. Check the 5-60 times in C/D. Its also softly suspended and has the stabiltiy and traction control cut in too soon. Resale value will be better than the Chevy or Mazda.
If you want something to last 300K miles, here's your car. If you want sporty, forget it.

I understand that the ms3 is a great car STOCK but its not the best and to all of you who thinks a camry is slow check out the numbers the v6 pulls better times than this car. Check motor trend and C/D dont get it tangled a twisted that car is quick.
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Originally Posted by oskinosmee View Post
I understand that the ms3 is a great car STOCK but its not the best and to all of you who thinks a camry is slow check out the numbers the v6 pulls better times than this car. Check motor trend and C/D dont get it tangled a twisted that car is quick.
Originally Posted by phantom6294 View Post
The Camry V6 is definitely a sleeper; much more performance than most would ever imagine from a Camry. 0-60 times in the upper 5s, quarter mile times in the mid 14s. A Camry V6 could easily beat a stock MS3 owner off guard!
As mentioned, the Camry V6 should definitely not be taken lightly. The pure numbers, the MS3 has a few ticks of an advantage, but in reality, it becomes a driver's race. The Camry being automatic, will probably be more consistent. So, any stock MS3 owner should be sure to not to miss a shift.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 03:39 PM   #28
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You honestly gotta be a really shitty shifter to be beaten by a V6 Camry. I've encountered and raced many (Well, 3-5) and none stood a chance in hell and I'm stock. Most of the articles I've read has the Camry at like 6.5 secs and the MS3 at 5.4-5.9 which is a huge margin. The New V6 Accord would be a better match as it's 0-60 times range from 5.9-6.3 or so from what I've read.
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 Old 02-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by ms3077 View Post
You honestly gotta be a really shitty shifter to be beaten by a V6 Camry. I've encountered and raced many (Well, 3-5) and none stood a chance in hell and I'm stock. Most of the articles I've read has the Camry at like 6.5 secs and the MS3 at 5.4-5.9 which is a huge margin. The New V6 Accord would be a better match as it's 0-60 times range from 5.9-6.3 or so from what I've read.
Take a better look and shit most ms3 drivers wont see sub 6 seconds to 60 stock anyway.
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 Old 02-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #30
 
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Originally Posted by oskinosmee View Post
Take a better look and shit most ms3 drivers wont see sub 6 seconds to 60 stock anyway.
those dont count
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 Old 02-23-2009, 04:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by oskinosmee View Post
Take a better look and shit most ms3 drivers wont see sub 6 seconds to 60 stock anyway.
Perhaps, but I don't consider myself above avg and I still smoke the SHIT out of them. The only way I can see losing to a V6 Camry is 1: Something isn't right with the car 2: Shifting like grandma; or 3: Miss a shift entirely.

Not trying to knock on the Camry (It's indeed a nice overall car), but really it's not that fast.
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 Old 02-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #32
 
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Drive the cars for a small trip if you can. A small test drive doesn't do much.
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 Old 02-23-2009, 09:26 PM   #33
 
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Get the V6 Camry, and slam the shit out of it. I saw one the other day that was lowered with nice tint and aftermarket exhaust. It was the first time I thought a Camry looked hot.
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 Old 02-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #34
 
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Wow Id never get a camery to drive hard as a DD and then race...

I drive 30k miles a year for work, PLUS I race the ms3 in the summer. MS3 or a cobalt SS were my top two choices. I wanted 4 doors though incase I needed to haul some stuff. I beat the shit out of my car daily and it has 30k miles with no mechanical issues yet. I do autox in the summers and road tours (400 miles of crazy twisties in a day), after a race I just let it idle a few min otherwise the car when off if its too hot will keep the fans going. I dont regret this purchase one bit and I'd get it again. I went and looked at the si...uhh yuck slow and over priced. Raced on the other day on snow tires and smoked the hell out of it. How can you beat a sub 25k car that can go from grocery getting to race track stock and still get 30+ mpg on the hwy.. its a f'ing all around BA car. Oh yeah...and it can haul lots o woman
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 Old 02-23-2009, 11:33 PM   #35
 
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Both cars are sleepers... just find a cool car salesman and ask if you can drive the shit out of the cars during the test drive and then you'll know what you want.
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 Old 02-24-2009, 05:42 PM   #36
 
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Camry....all the old old farts at the senior citizens complex drive them...a good car but,,,,the only one i like was Cobb's turbo in house tuned Camry...suspension, exhaust, DP, yea they did a nice job on the car and fast...featured in Modified Mag a few months back..
sat in the Cobalt SS coupe and the new sedan this weekend....nice cars but nowhere near as polished on the interior as the Speed3..not as comfortable and the coupe screamed boy racer...but it is a good car. The WRX sedan was nice though....worth a look
Also keep in mind the Si is being re-designed for 2010....if Honda had the balls they should put the turbo from the Acura RDX in the car...2.4 liter and tweak it a bit with exhaust, intake, etc...stock it would be 250 hp/tq,,,tweaked 275 maybe and torque as well....Come on Honda....do it....i would buy one...i also saw 2010 concept pictures of the 2010...pretty cool. A stock Turbo Si would be a big big big seller IMO.
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 Old 02-24-2009, 06:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by lidokrantz View Post
Camry....all the old old farts at the senior citizens complex drive them...a good car but,,,,the only one i like was Cobb's turbo in house tuned Camry...suspension, exhaust, DP, yea they did a nice job on the car and fast...featured in Modified Mag a few months back..
sat in the Cobalt SS coupe and the new sedan this weekend....nice cars but nowhere near as polished on the interior as the Speed3..not as comfortable and the coupe screamed boy racer...but it is a good car. The WRX sedan was nice though....worth a look
Also keep in mind the Si is being re-designed for 2010....if Honda had the balls they should put the turbo from the Acura RDX in the car...2.4 liter and tweak it a bit with exhaust, intake, etc...stock it would be 250 hp/tq,,,tweaked 275 maybe and torque as well....Come on Honda....do it....i would buy one...i also saw 2010 concept pictures of the 2010...pretty cool. A stock Turbo Si would be a big big big seller IMO.

Honda is more about MPG/ realibility so I doubt they'll be a factory turbo'ed si although it'd be nice for sure. Then you got to think about today's economy...But yeah, I agree if they gave the SI more balls it would be one hell of a ride on the cheap.
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 Old 02-25-2009, 07:36 AM   #38
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I agree, the Civic Si has gone from the top of the list of sport compacts to the bottom.
They are not competing with HP, performance, or price.
Put the turbo motor they have in the Si, then put the 2.0 motor in the Fit.

mmmmm, Fit Si with 200HP.
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 Old 02-28-2009, 09:18 AM   #39
 
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The SI revs like a mother fucker, and is smooth as shit doing so.

That said, you will miss the torque of the MS3, trust me.

It's like night and day driving those cars back to back. It feels like you have a fully bolted Speed3, then rip it down back to stock. It's that drastic.
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 Old 02-28-2009, 09:38 AM   #40
 
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As much as people make fun of it, it really is awesome when vtec kicks in if you have an intake and can hear it. It sounds like the engine is going to fly out of the bay and rip your head off. brrrrrrrrrrr, 5300+ rpm, BRRRAAAAAAAAA.
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