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I haven't been on here in a while so I figure I give it a shot I'm looking for a turbocharged small car with decent gas mileage. most important point have a car with good gas milage. My need to be economical in important however i am not dead. I need some nuts built in to any car i get. Been looking at mazdaspeed, gsx mits, honda si and a few others. I have heard that wrx has a fatal flaw in the trans. That is all i have learned. Please give your opinion. I have 10-12k to spend. The tbird is going non-op for a resto. Wbat would you get
 

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Mazdaspeed is a nice choice. I wouldn't go with Mitsubishi because who knows how long they will hold out in the US. The rest are kind of meh. for me.
 

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I don't know of any major issues with the wrx trans, and in fact my dad has one and he loves it, but if gas mileage is a concern, the the wrx is not what you want. Straight highway, you won't get better than mid-20s out of it. I don't know if you can find one in budget, but what about a newer v6 mustang? 300hp, rwd, and 30+ mpg is hard to argue with.
 

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I had an '08-10 Chevy Cobalt SS. It got great gas mileage, had 260 hp. and 260 lb. of torque, and a mechanical differential. It was an awesome car, very fast, and you should be able to find an '08 for that price. On the other hand, the interiors aren't nice at all (except the custom factory sport seats), and their values drop like a rock.
 

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skip the turbo and get a fusion SEL. great gas milage in city and on the highway and it's roomy/techy and comfortable.
 

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I like the chevy hhr ss.
 

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If you like the WRX but are worried about trans rumors, why not get an STI? You could touch one for $10-12k most likely. Fun, power, reliability, practicality, and damn near unstoppable.
 

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Have you taken a look at the Hyundais recently? Ever since they started up a US design center, the cars actually look decent (vs. cheap knockoffs of Mercs/Honda Accords/etc) and their interiors are pretty decent as well (I'd say better than a large part of the domestic small car mkt).

Also, their 2.0T theta engine is world class -- 274HP, direct injection, turbocharged, AND will even run on regular octane gas (87 here in CA). Not the best feeling steering out there (electric, which contributed to some issues with the first batch of sonatas) but pretty decent MPG b/c of the engine+6speed automatic (35mpg Hwy). This new design has been out for a few years now so you should be able to get the some as off-lease now.

My only other advice is that friends don't let friends buy VW/Audis.. Take it from a longtime audi owner -- these stupid cars just aren't designed for servicing. While you can get a cherry B5 (99-02 twinturbo V6) S4 for $10K, you'll be spending serious $$$ to fix lots of stupid things on it. While a GTI with a 2.0T turbo might sound like a good idea, most of my friends who didn't heed my advice encountered the pile of problems. Hell, half the little stuff that broke on the car is Bosch and this contributed to me NOT buying a BOSCH dishwasher ;)

-g
 

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Take a look at the VW GTIs as well. If you want great gas mileage, then also look for a VW Golf TDI (2 or 4 door) with the manual trans. I actually have a 2010 VW Jetta Sportwagen with the 2.0t TDI and I love it. It is not quick off the line, but great once it gets rolling (lots of torque). I have the DCT (dual clutch transmission) rather than the manual, but it is still pretty fun to drive. Should get you 40+ mpg depending on your drive (city vs. highway). The increase fuel mileage more than offsets the small increase in fuel cost. The older ones can be picked up in your price range, and the engines will run for 300k+ miles easily. Just my $0.02.

-Kevin M
 

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My only other advice is that friends don't let friends buy VW/Audis.. Take it from a longtime audi owner -- these stupid cars just aren't designed for servicing.
I'd have to disagree with that..maybe the older ones yes, but I just recently started doing the maintenace on the wife's A4, and the design and implementation of the systems on the car is brilliant. Granted it's not the cheapest to maintain being German and all, but the car is built more solid and smarter than any other car I've ever worked on.
 
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