I registered on this forum specifically to post this, so be gentle. It's my first time.
I'm an idiot when it comes to cars. My wife would say I'm an idiot of a lot more than that but that's not important now. What is important is that I'm a middle aged (er, perhaps older than that), slowly-spreading man who lives in SW FL. This is an area commonly referred to as God's Waiting Room. I'm young compared to most that are here. My oldest is off at college. My late-in-life child has a while to go.
I've been mainly driving SUVs for 20 years now. It's time for something a bit more fun. While I wouldn't call this a midlife crisis, let's call it just time to let my (few remaining) hair down and have a bit o' fun behind the wheel before my reaction time descends into something that can be measured by the minute hand of a watch.
The problem is that I don't know what I want to buy. I wound up here after looking at VWs and figured this was as good of a place as any to ask. Again, I'm in SW FL and our bad weather consists of a 115 MPH hurricane but I don't plan on driving to the golf course on that day so AWD isn't much of a concern here. Air conditioning, however, is quite necessary. I've looked at a few cars lately but can't quite decide. I'm also willing to buy a used one, but I would purchase it from a dealer with hopefully a warranty because again I don't know a damn thing about them besides pointing them in a straight line and hitting the pedal on the right.
Here's what I've looked at (new) but again I'm willing to consider used. I do strongly want something reliable as being broken down on the side of the road and fending off the alligators isn't a sport that I want to engage in for any length of time.
Something a fat old man can get in and out of without a forklift
Wife drives a Camry, so me buying a $50k car won't fly. The car price isn't the problem but the divorce attorney might bankrupt me. So $35 out the door, hard capped.
Subaru WRX - I had one a few years ago. Well, my wife had one but she'd let me drive it on occasion but I had to give her my man card to do it. It could make a trip to the supermarket fun. Great punch as I remember. Now though the interior looks like hell and the exterior is not much better. I haven't been impressed with the styling the last few years. The interior being black (FL thing) isn't good either. The gas mileage stinks. I really truly liked driving this car. I just don't want to look at it.
VW GTI - This is what brought me to this site. The exterior doesn't impress at all. It's a Golf. The interior is better but it's still not great (and another all black interior). In my limited test drive it didn't seem to have the punch that the WRX had. Or maybe I'm remembering that wrong. I almost bought one of these last year. Last May a local dealer still had a 2016 GTI Autobahn edition on the lot. That was a car sitting on the lot for a year and a half at that point. I test drove it and liked it. According to KBB the retail (dealer) price of that model was about $27,500k. I wanted to get it for $25k but would have gone as high as $28k. The dealer’s best offer was $30k. Their excuse was that it was “rare and worth a premium”. I replied that if it was worth a premium it would not have been on the lot for 19 months and that if it were on the lot when the 18s came out they would not be able to get rid of it as new. It was still on the lot when the 2018s came out. Idiots. I'd go to a different dealership.
Buick Regal - I travel a lot and rented one of these recently. I was really surprised. It was fun to drive, had lots of punch and a nice interior. Kind of a small back seat though and I know very little about these. Besides, it's a Buick and I'm an older guy. I can't have my midlife crisis in a Buick, can I?
Dodge Challenger - Another rental and I was surprised by this. It had great punch but corners like a dog. It also has really bad gas mileage and I get concerned about the reliability ratings. The other thing that bothers me is that there's a $40k spread on these cars.
Those are the ones that I've driven but I have a gut feeling there's something else out there, so I'm all ears.
Thank you for your assistance and I'll be back...assuming that the moderators approve my registration here.