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      09-02-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Drives: SLK55 AMG
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Honolulu, HI

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I literally tested every possible option this year when picking my next car. Obviously, I ended up choosing the 135, which is what I thought I wanted from the beginning. Get ready for a long list!

I'll try to keep the cars together in terms of categories

Volkswagen GTi - Drove this because I wanted to see an option that would save me money and hopefully still be fun.
I didn't like this car. The suspension was too stiff, the styling wasn't my style, and it just felt slow and boring. I didn't feel that I would enjoy owning it. It felt like an economy car, not a sports car.
Volvo C30 - The dealership was next to the VW dealership and I like the looks of the C30 better than the GTi
I honestly liked the C30 better than the GTi. The power is similar, but the C30 looks much better to my eyes. Being a Volvo, though, it was also quite boring. If I were looking for a commuter, I would easily choose the C30 over the GTi, but since I wanted a performance car, pass.
Mazda MX-5 - The definitive budget sports car
It was fun to drive for sure. Very confidence inspiring since it's so light and underpowered you can just toss it around without any fears. It's just too impractical and underpowered for me.

Chevrolet Camaro SS - Also cheaper than the 135i, but big American muscle
The interior was a complete turn off. The steering wheel felt weird, the gauges looked dumb, there was cheap glossy plastic everywhere and the windows were so tiny you couldn't see anything. The torque was nice and the car sounded good, but it was just way too heavy to be a fun car to drive.
Chevrolet Corvette C6 - I've always wanted to drive one...
I honestly loved the Corvette. You sit very low to the ground and the windshield is equally low and big. You could see the road well and everything, it felt like being in a race car. The engine is amazing, the power, the sound, the acceleration, the handling was good too. The interior was equally cheap, but in the Corvette, I didn't care. It was a great driving car. Had the price been a bit lower, I might have bought one.
Nissan 370z - Equal power to the 135, good reviews and good price
I liked the 370z, sort of. The 6MT that automatically rev matched downshifts was interesting. Even though I'm only 22, I was a bit scared of the attention a Japanese sports car would get. I don't like people pulling up next to me wanting to race. The noise inside was a bit loud for just cruising on the highway and the interior was hideous. Leasing a 370z was also terrible with their rates, bad enough that it made the G37s Coupe cheaper, so...
Infiniti G37s Coupe - 370z's more fancy sister, with a much better lease rate
This car was just plain boring. The interior was vanilla, the styling was vanilla, the drive was vanilla. Too much luxury, too little sportiness. It wasn't exciting to drive and the acceleration didn't feel very strong at all. Didn't like this car, the 370 drove better.
Mitsubishi Evo X MR Touring - Again, similar power, often praised handling
I wanted the MR Touring because I wanted the DCT transmission available only in the MR and spoiler delete option only with the Touring. That put the price tag at 40-42k. The handling was great. The salesman took me to an empty parking lot and told me to enjoy. It was a lot of fun to drive this car. The main downfall for this car is it's every day practicality. It took 3 lanes to do a u-turn. The turning radius was horrible. Also, while on the test drive, 2 different Subaru STi's pulled up next to me and tried to get me to race. Again, I don't want that kind of attention.
Porsche Cayman PDK - Amazing car. Period.
The steering was properly heavy with good road feel, the seats were good, the transmission was great and the car felt very good. Even though it wasn't a Cayman S (again, I'm 22, I can't afford a 70k Cayman S) I really liked this car. It was a bit slower than a 135, but the handling was great, the styling is good, and it's a Porsche. Problem is, the only one the local dealership had was a Macadamia Brown color on Beige interior... with no other cars coming in for 6+ months.

The top 3 cars for me were the 135, Cayman and C6 Corvette. Both the Cayman and Corvette were 10k+ more than the 135 and both were less practical. The 135 gave me the performance off the Cayman with back seats and a roof rack for my surfboard. The decision was a no brainer for me.
2007 SLK55 AMG - Black on Gray/Black - AMG 030 Performance Package

2011 135i - Traded
///M-Sport - Dual Clutch - Harman Kardon - Bluetooth - iPod - Shadowline Kidney Grill - 225/255 Star Specs - Hotchkis Front Sway

Last edited by MarkR171; 09-02-2010 at 04:25 PM.