Today, 04:04 PM
So I'm in the pretty early stages but I am considering buying a new (used) car. I bought my current car (2011 Camaro 2SS/RS/manual) when I graduated law school and I was 25 at the time. I'm now 30 and I have a 2 year old. So I think its time for something a little more mature, classy, and practical but I don't want to give up having a relatively fast, relatively sporty car.
My price range is around $36k. I do my own basic maintenance (oil, tranny/diff fluid, brake pads, spark plugs) and basic bolt on type work (air intake, headers) but on cars that are pretty easy to work on (Trucks, F-body's, my current car).
Below are my requirements outside of price and some general thoughts on how I will use the car:
4 doors and a decent backseat (for car seat) and trunk (golf bags, stroller).
It can't be slower than my current car (0-60 in around 4.6, low 13's 1/4). I will not modify the car so it must be at least that fast stock.
It must be fun to drive. For example: A Charger Hellcat would not be appropriate because although it is fast, its not fun to drive. I want a car that feels a little special.
USE: primarily a daily driver but I may occasionally take it to a track. That said, I'm not one of these guys who is obsessed with shaving 100ths of a second off my lap time. I just want to have fun and have a car that I can push without killing it or myself. If tracked, I would probably not take it past 7.5/10ths of its potential.
It must be somewhat classy but not super flashy. I want a car that is nice to be in and I would be proud to walk up to and get in on a daily basis. Ideally it would be a car that a normal person wouldn't think twice about but someone like us (abnormal people) would look at and be like "nice." The car is for me to enjoy driving, not to attract attention.
It must be reliable and reasonable to fix or have fixed when something does break. It must also be reasonable to maintain. I understand that most "nice" cars will be more expensive to maintain than my Camaro but it has to be within reason.
RWD is preferred but I'd be willing to do AWD if the AWD is fun and tossable. Manual is preferred but I would do flappy paddle if it is a great box, a good deal, and not unreliable.
Right now my two front runners are a 09-14 CTS-V and an E90 M3. My concern with the Caddy is that although its fast, I worry that its heavy and not that fun to drive. My concern with the M3 is reliability and maintenance.
Any feedback or tips on my front runners is welcome as is advice on other options (supported with reasoning).