Reader Question: Four Door Quick-ish Car

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Brian asks: I’ve come to know you through the Tom Woods show. I have an ’08 BMW 335xi that I got for a decent price a few years ago. It has about 138k miles now. I love to drive it. Very fun, and fast. Now I’m learning the downsides of owning a luxury German sports car out of warranty. Seems like every month something expensive breaks. I usually do the repairs myself, but I’m getting tired of all the money, downtime and attention this car is requiring.

I have 2 kids, so I don’t think I could get away with a car missing a back seat. I prefer a manual transmission, because I like to actually drive the car. I’ve also developed a hatred of front wheel drive cars. They feel all wrong to me. The only options I seem to have are the Pontiac G8 GXPs and Cadillac CTS-Vs.  (I’m ignoring Jaguar, Benz, BMW, and Audi because I’m scared of the maintenance and upkeep costs). What is your opinion of the Subaru WRX? Anything else you think I should be looking at?

My reply: I think the WRX is a superb car and in several ways, superior to the STi! It has the longer lived 2.0 engine (the current/recent STi uses the not-as-hardy 2.5 liter engine) and doesn’t have the gaudy wing and air scoop that chum the waters for cops. It is plenty quick as it comes and can easily be made more so, if you desire. The chief downside to this car is that it uses a shocking amount of gas in real-world driving, given the size of its engine. Part of this is due to AWD (which adds weight) but Subarus are just thirsty by nature.

I have another option for you: A VW Golf GTI. Not only four doors, but hatchbacked – so even more useful as a family car. And very fun to drive. I realize it is FWD – but I strongly recommend a test drive.

Keep in mind the WRX is also based on a FWD layout, but its handling/cornering prowess haven’t been gimped by that!

If RWD is a must-have, try and find a Chevy SS sedan. Not many people even know this car exists. It is the G8 in Chevy clothes – with the Corvette’s V8 (6.2 liters, 415 hp) and four doors. And it was sold with a manual transmission, too.

The final year was 2017.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. For a year now I’ve been trying to identify that spotlight-mounted piggymobile I used to spot preying on rush hour traffic in I’m sure it was the Chevy SS. Thanks for bringing that to light, hard to warn fellow motorists about an unmarked model no one’s even heard of.

    • Hi Moose,

      There may be a few armed government workers using the SS but not many. The car is low production and I don’t think GM made a “police” version. That said, if one was asset forfeitured it could have been put to such use as an “unmarked unit.”

      • Moose, I bet what you’re seeing is a Chevy Caprice (also made down under). Only sold new (2011-2015 model years) in the USA to police fleets (they can be gotten used though). But they are V8 powered and rear drive.

        • Yeah I mean I got close enough to see it didn’t have the Caprice emblem on the rear, pretty positive it was the SS since it was early and my brain wasn’t registering that two letters could make up a model name hah.


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