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New used car suggestions?

SomeGuy

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Having come to conclusion that I don't particularly want to deal with sleazy new cars salesman at the moment, I've decided that I'm going to look at newish used cars instead.

My current car is a '98 Mitsubishi Verada but, while very comfortable, is a petrol guzzler and too damn big.

I'm looking for something smaller than the car I have (dimension-wise); preferably a four-seater, even if it's a two-door; and it should look 'cool'. My definition of 'cool' is something like a last model Mazda MX5 or an RX8. Also, the oldest I'd like to go is a 1998, I figure if I'm upgrading I may as well get newer too.

Top of the list right now is the Toyota Celica which I think looks pretty sleek and can be had with low milage, only a few years old, and fairly cheap.
 

briancl

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U cars are different (different naming, costs, markets, mfg's, models), so it may be a bit difficult for us folks Stateside to make relevant suggestions. For example, I find any recent Celica neither sleek or cool. Some earlier 90's models had some appeal, but anything of recent is ugly and uncool. Of course, your country may get a different car than we do.
 

skalogre

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i own a 7th gen (2000) celica. Very nice machine. A lot lighter than prior models, good handling, good steering feedback and sharp styling. You can get lots of info @ newcelica.org (just avoid the occassional ricer
)
 

SomeGuy

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Thanks for the link skalogre. I signed up to OzCelica but it moves pretty slow and seems to have a pretty high concentration of ricers/hoons and horrendous spelling.

For example, I find any recent Celica neither sleek or cool. Some earlier 90's models had some appeal, but anything of recent is ugly and uncool. Of course, your country may get a different car than we do.
Going by Wikipaedia, it's pretty much the same car as you guys have there. Out of the four-seaters I've looked at so far, it's the best looking of the lot.
If there was a four-seater MX5, though, or if the RX8 didn't cost more used than a new MX5, there'd be no competition.
 

skalogre

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I was going to get a gen1 MX-5 myself (Miata over here until recently) but I could not fit my martial arts stuff in the boot. Same with gen2. The last Celica is an excellent all-rounder though, especially if you don't need to ferry around more than 1 other person
Oh, and there are Australian members on NC, too.
 

SGladwell

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If you're thinking NB (last generation) MX-5, I think you're on the right track. If you do go MX-5, first decide whether you want an NB1 or NB2/NB-FL.

The NB1 was made from 1998-2000. (Model year 1999 and 2000 in the US, but 1998-2000 elsewhere.) It has a more oval grille, nicer looking (IMO) but less effective headlights, smaller brakes except on the Sport (they say "Hard S" on the doorjamb) models, and generally 15" wheels in a pleasing convex 5-spoke that reminds me of 1990s Porsche wheels. In the US there was only a 1.8, but I think you guys had a 1.6, too. The US 1.8 runs on regular gas. Of NB1's, I think only the 10th Anniversary global special edition (blue with blue top and blue ultrasuede seat inserts) and maybe the 2000 special/limited editions (different for every country) had 6-speeds, but the difference between the 6MT and the 5MT is minimal.

The NB2/NB-FL (Face Lift) was made from model year 2001 until the NC. It has uglier (IMO) but more effective projector headlamps, a rounded trapezoid grille, taillights more like the original Miata's. Under the skin, the NB-FL is marginally stiffer, but also heavier. The engine is also improved in some respects. It has VVT, and while it makes no more peak horsepower there's more torque under the curve than on the old engine, and you can feel it at once. However, it also requires midgrade fuel, and I think NB-FL's get inferior fuel economy than NB1's. The stock wheels for the NB-FL are also lesser, being ugly flat swept 5-spokes. Base models have 15", but any upgraded model will have 16" wheels. In the US, the incredible big brake package was standard through the range from 2003, along with 16" wheels.

One key feature to look for is ABS. In America, at least, it is very rare on Miatas. Open the hood, and make sure you see a black box on the left side next to the firewall. If you see a large windscreen wiper fluid bottle, the car does not have ABS.

(Yes, I drive a Miata. An NB-FL, though I do not believe that biases the comparison above.)

One other consideration, though: did GM ever import the Opel Speedster into Australia? That car is basically a Lotus Elise with a sexier (IMO) body and a lesser engine. It's a better drive than even the MX-5, and only marginally lower utility. If GM residuals in Australia are similar to GM residuals in America, you may be able to pick one up very cheaply.
 

SomeGuy

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Having gone through the NewCelica forum a bit, and having also read a Jeremy Clarkson review of a Celica, it' still currently in the lead, over even the awesome Mazda MX5 simply because the Celica is a four-seater.

Around these parts at least, it's a pretty rare car to see and the ricers don't seem to have discovered them. Without the rear spoiler it's pretty sleek, IMO, too.
 

johnapril

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Nissan 200SX SE-R
 

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