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Which car to get?

Hotlanta

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hey everyone, i am about to get a new car. i narrowed it down to 2 and it is between the bmw 325 convertible or the porsche boxster. I like them both and having a difficult time deciding. I am 23 and about to attend law school. so any suggestions and why would be appreciated. thanks
 

thejackal

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personally i would go for the boxster. i think the boxster would suit your age better.
 

GQ Lawyer

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If you are going to law school, then I would get a more practical car and hold off for the fun ones later. Having a Porche or a BMW sends the wrong message to your future potential law firms.
 

Joe G

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If you are going to law school, then I would get a more practical car and hold off for the fun ones later.  Having a Porche or a BMW sends the wrong message to your future potential law firms.
Interesting point. I'm actually moving back to America in about a month, planning to work for an NGO for a year before I go to law school. (Bad planning, lack of an LSAT testing site here in Vienna, and indecisiveness about if I should go poly-sci Ph.D. or JD means that I'll have to "waste" another year.) I'll be buying a car. I can't suffer mediocrity or wastefulness, so that excludes 99.9% of the cars (and all of the assorted work vehicles and SUV's) out there.

Can you think of anything understated and elegant but still fun and efficient (in the mould of the European Mercedes A-class LWB, Audi A2, or Alfa Romeo 147) on the US market? The Mini isn't well enough made (BMW knows design, but they ain't exactly Loro Piana when it comes to quality...), and the closest thing I could find by internet search is bigger than I really want (Infiniti G35).

Peace,

JG
 

GatorStyle

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Joe G:  Given your parameters, have you thought about Saab?  As most people either love or hate the somewhat funky Scandinavian styling of 'em, you probably need not read any further if you fall into the latter category.  But it's a quality vehicle, qualifies among the Euro-types you reference in your post, not too big or small (which I gather is important from your post), reasonably understated, un-flashy and unassuming, yet stylish and different from most of the cookie cutters on the road.  

My wife has a 9-3.  I'm a young lawyer, and I drive it to work occasionally; it's cool enough that I love to drive it and show it off, but not so spectacular that I offend the partners/my bosses who drive lesser vehicles.
 

Joe G

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GatorStyle: how old is the 9-3? How are the interior bits holding up? That's something that I would consider, even if the ignition is between the front seats.
I have driven a Saab before. Test drove a 9000 Aero in 1997 when I bought my undergrad car. Wonderful, wonderful seats, and surprisingly torquey for a blown four, but it fell aside in the Final Four. The Finalists back then were a 1985 Jaguar XJ-6 Series-3 Vanden Plas and a 1994 or 1995 Alfa Romeo 164. Both of those were much cheaper than the new Saab, and didn't give anything up to the Saab. The Alfa is truly a brilliant car, a front driver that handles sublimely (same platform as the Saab 9000, actually...), and looks the part outside, inside, and under the bonnet. I bought the Jag because it was cheaper and much better appointed, with the Wilton carpeting, real Connolly Bros. leather all over the interior (not just the "seating surfaces"), real burled walnut veneers....the modern Forduars you see, even the six figure ones, don't compare with the Series-3 you can buy for less than five grand US$ in terms of interior materials quality. Also, there's very little more awe-inspiring than seeing those two raised cam covers on that massive XK straight six. Top that off with it being cheaper and it being MUCH easier in North Carolina to find someone who will work on a Jag than on a newish Alfa, and it was kinda like Duke against South Podunk County State U -- no contest. That car served me brilliantly through four years of serious abuse, including one year's requisition by my younger sister when she started uni and the two cross-USA trips that necessated (I was on a junior year abroad), needing basically only copious quantities of petrol, regular replacement of the Mobil 1 in its sump, and two sets of new tyres. I offered to buy it from its current owner (who I thought was my friend...) at double my selling price, but he quite wisely for him demurred.... The other thing I'm worried about is that Saab is a GM product now. Small marques need to raid parts bins for various interior bits, and GM (be it Chevy or Opel/Vauxhall) has just about the lowest quality parts imaginable in its bins... Peace, JG
 

GatorStyle

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Joe G: The car is only a couple of years old, and no real problems to speak of yet, both inside and outside. I understand your concern about GM, but I think all of the American makers (and their parts) have improved markedly in recent years and - depending on how old the vehicle is, and how long you hold on to it - I think you'd be OK.
 

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