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  1. #1
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Icon6 Time to buy a new hot hatch

    Well, I've kinda changed my mind about moving OS now, and feel the burning desire to get my arse into a hot hatch once again. So, today, I began the journey of finding the car to replace the GTi6 in my heart.

    First stop, Alfa Romeo to have a look at a slightly used GTV V6 or Twin Spark. I love Alfa dealers, they're so much fun to talk to. To have a saleman freely admit he lost his licence for 3 months back in September is just priceless. The 98 GTV V6 in the lot was in OK knick, and the salesman was more interested in showing me a '01 model that he thinks he'll pick up next week...once he convinces the current owner that a 147 GTA beckons! Seems fair, so I'll be back there soon to have a drive of one of those.

    Second stop, a Mini dealer to check out the Mini Cooper S and to see what the fuss was all about. Unfortunately, there were no Cooper S's available with 16" rims, so I had to drive it with the boom crash opera 17" rims. With three aboard, I took off down River Rd, Lane Cove for a thrash around some very familiar corners. I found the engine to be quite sluggish down low. I was caught out a number of times being off-boast with the supercharger and almost stalling it. As for it's cornering prowess, it was very direct and I think it'd take a bit to get used to how it handles. What it doesn't do is have a nice passive steering rear end to assist with the cornering. I stepped off through a corner to try and induce some rear end slide and there just wasn't anything there. I was left feeling like the car was quite sterile and although it cornered great, throw any bumps in there and it became a bit tiresome. If I get one, I'll have to option the Works engine mods to it. The salesman offered to put 16s on it and a drive of the Works Mini, but I just wasn't interested in the end. It did nothing for me. Also, the air conditioning in it was trully woeful. The car was in the shade before we drove it and it never cooled the car down significantly. That's a big no-no in my book.

    Third stop, was Continental Citroen where I wanted to test the Xsara VTS. Unfortunately, the dealer principle left it at home, so that was a pain. I popped into Rick Damelian and looked over a 03 spec VTS and was impressed with it. The intake is very similar to the Esscargo kit on the GTi6 now. The car is running multiplex, so has the COM2000 switchgear. The seats are now a fabirc rather than the old man velour which I, obviously, am not a fan of. It's running Michelin Pilot SX GTs which are a decent tyre, too. They didn't have any there to test drive, so I've asked them to bring one in so I can have a drive of it next week.

    I then popped up to Renault to look over a Clio Sport again. I'm yet to drive one of these beasts and today wasn't meant to be. Not enough staff on, so no chance to take one out. So I'll do that next week. Dave, with your mods, I know it's not really like the orginal Clio, but I'd love a drive next time we meet up.

    After that, typical, RD experience, I hopped back in the car and went over to Arncliffe to meet up with Dwyer and test a Focus ST170 again.

    I had a close look at the 206 GTI 180 again and didn't take it for a drive, but had a bit of a play around in it. The pedal placement is much better than the 206 GTI. I'm able to get my feet in there without much trouble at all, and those seats! Wow! I don't really need to drive one of these, if I want one, I'll just buy it without a need to drive it, I think.

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    I then headed up to Ford there and took the ST170 out again. This time, I felt it was a bit underpowered. I've driven this car before and thought it had plenty of grunt, but this time it was a bit lacking. The throttle was a bit gritty under foot, but it still pulled away nicely enough. I threw it around a few corners and th Contis sqeeled in protest, but it had heaps of feedback, unlike the bone jarring Mini. (Ok maybe not bone jarring, but I know which one I'd prefer to take the in laws in). . The exhaust note is still very special, and the box is pretty nice to use. The throttle is a normal cable, so it feels pretty nice under foot. The brakes were strong, but not as strong as the Mini. It's still up the top of my list at this point.

    I've still got a few more cars to actually drive, but thought you'd enjoy my comments, thus far.

    - Lincoln
    Last edited by GTI124; 19th January 2004 at 11:24 AM.
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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! MY 4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I love Alfa dealers, they're so much fun to talk to. To have a saleman freely admit he lost his licence for 3 months back in September is just priceless.
    I have to agree with you on this comment! I'd also like to point out that these guys (generally) are very very easy-going for a test-drive. Back when i had my mir-rice-age, i was beginning to look around at different euro cars i wanted to trade in for. I went to the Parramatta Alfa dealer and they basically gave me the keys, showed me the instruments & sequential gears, etc & said see ya when you get back! I was cheering! At this stage i was still around 18, 19 yrs old.

    (Mini comments) I was caught out a number of times being off-boast with the supercharger and almost stalling it. As for it's cornering prowess, it was very direct and I think it'd take a bit to get used to how it handles. What it doesn't do is have a nice passive steering rear end to assist with the cornering....
    I also took one of these for a test drive mid-'03, for the same purpose as you...to see what all the fuss is about. Erin & I honestly didn't like it. The windy-whingeing sounding moan that the engine lets off is enough to drive anyone insane. It sounded like a wind-up matchbox car - in reverse. Don't like that at all. Shitty boot space (i.e.none) and very dodgey acoustics in the cabin. We were driving along, and Erin slapped my leg, and you could hear it echo thru the car... it felt like we were in a small cave - with a steering wheel. Considering that if you were to do the same in my car (or anything else for that matter) the interior would simply soak up the noise, and not echo back at you.

    So overall, no - i wasn't impressed at all with the mini. Overpriced echoing-matchbox car.

    I then popped up to Renault to look over a Clio Sport again. I'm yet to drive one of these beasts and today wasn't meant to be. Not enough staff on, so no chance to take one out. So I'll do that next week. Dave, with your mods, I know it's not really like the orginal Clio, but I'd love a drive next time we meet up.
    Now, here's a car you can't go wrong with! (I'm not biased! )

    Well you're more than welcome to have a spin in it some time lincoln. And hey - if you're willing to lend a hand we could possibly do a drive both with the 17's and then with the stock 15's...make a day of it...!


    I've still got a few more cars to actually drive, but thought you'd enjoy my comments, thus far.
    Can i suggest a couple?

    If you want to wait...(?) RenaultSport Megane

    Or...a Smart Roadster - it's quite a fun lil' machine, even though it's not quite as quick off the mark as most hot hatches. I drove it last Monday, and it wasn't too bad.
    Hey even if you're not going to buy one, go take a look at it. They're at Zetland Mercedes. Speak with Georgina. Oh, and one of the other salespeople for smart had a black clio sport! It kinda rang bells in my head not to trade in on the smart!

    Otherwise - what else did u want to drive??
    Last edited by MY 4; 17th January 2004 at 08:12 PM.
    ~Dave Power` [MY 4] :

    "#PW33RR" --- > "PW33RR" 2009 Mazda6 MXR-CD, 2.2L Turbo Diesel - More torque than the last! Geesssuz[/COLOR] HOT
    "#ZEG01F" --- > 2006 VW Golf 2.0L TDI - The torque machine SOLD
    "MY 4" --------------- > 2002 Monaco Blue RenaultSport Clio MkII SOLD
    "XES11V" ---------- > 1999 Mitsubishi Mirage STOLEN

  3. #3
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    You have a big fat leg that echos and you blame the car??? Oh, now THAT is priceless! Anyway, I can't complain about the boot, have you looked at the boot of a GTV?

    Re: Megane, can't wait that long. Gotta get one now!
    Re: Smart, I'll have to go and check it out.
    Re: Other cars? MX5 is on the list too, am kinda considering hiring one for a weekend though, so I can really experience it. 406 Coupe is on there too...just because it's so beautiful
    - Lincoln

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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    Re: Other cars? MX5 is on the list too, am kinda considering hiring one for a weekend though, so I can really experience it.
    Do it! Book one for the megacruise. I have.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! MY 4's Avatar
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    Hahaah, very very clever! you DORK!

    MX5? Hmm, yeah not bad..always used to like them more than i do now tho.

    406 Coupe? NOW YOU'RE TALKIN'!

    Those things are DAMN SEXY!!!
    ~Dave Power` [MY 4] :

    "#PW33RR" --- > "PW33RR" 2009 Mazda6 MXR-CD, 2.2L Turbo Diesel - More torque than the last! Geesssuz[/COLOR] HOT
    "#ZEG01F" --- > 2006 VW Golf 2.0L TDI - The torque machine SOLD
    "MY 4" --------------- > 2002 Monaco Blue RenaultSport Clio MkII SOLD
    "XES11V" ---------- > 1999 Mitsubishi Mirage STOLEN

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Dr. 306's Avatar
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    What's youre price range? Tell us that, and a few hundred pages after we've all had our say this thread might come to an end...

    You've gotta go Froggy!
    '99 306 XSi Black Metallic

  7. #7
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. 306
    What's youre price range? Tell us that, and a few hundred pages after we've all had our say this thread might come to an end...

    You've gotta go Froggy!
    $30-$40K.

    And, no, I don't have to go Froggy! I'm not that blindly faithful, I think one of the things that is so good about AF is that we can apprecaite other well made cars.
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    $30-$40K.

    And, no, I don't have to go Froggy! I'm not that blindly faithful, I think one of the things that is so good about AF is that we can apprecaite other well made cars.

    i'm just so glad to see that you haven't even thought about a 307
    hot hatch and 307 in the same breath jsut doesn't sound right
    you would be hard pressed getting a 406 coupe in the price bracket won't you ?
    i'd go the mini but they are a little small
    i'd go french or italian
    keep us all up to date with your adventures into the hot hatch market
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  9. #9
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    No 307 takes my fancy! You're right! Plus, I have a 307 XSI in the house anyway, so no need to go buying another one!

    406 Coupe can be had in the mid $30s. Damon Beck has one in automatic for $34K or so. To be honest, I'd have to get an awesome deal to get myself in one. It's just not hot enough.

    Re: Mini, I'd be looking at around $49K with the works upgrades, and then there's the suspenson...

    Re: GTV V6, I don't think that's going to happen. Insurance is phenomenal, around double what the other cars are. $3800 per year.
    - Lincoln

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  10. #10
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i could only have a coupe if it was a manual
    they are great looking cars though
    take one for a drive and let us know your thoughts on them
    3 x '78 604 SL

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  11. #11
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    If I can find a manual one, I'll definately take it for a spin.

    A few hours later and I'm thinking the Xsara VTS is getting to be darn good value. Trip computer, cruise control, climate control, sill strips, fogs, cloth interior, what appears to be a better intake system...all for $32,990 on the road...before negotiations.
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts TroyO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    A few hours later and I'm thinking the Xsara VTS is getting to be darn good value. Trip computer, cruise control, climate control, sill strips, fogs, cloth interior, what appears to be a better intake system...all for $32,990 on the road...before negotiations.
    Go for it, you know want one. Seriously, they are good value. They have had that $33k drive away deal for a while though. The VTS is supposedly less inclined to lift off oversteer on the limit than the GTi6, but I don't really know, I have never driven the GTi6 myself to compare. Take one for a spin before making any judgement. It tends to be a car which is too often ignored. I think it is a good drive, but I would have a gripe about anything on VTS, it would be gearshift tends be a bit stiff at times.

    Have you had a look at the Alfa 147 Twin Spark. It's more really a warm hatch than hot, and may be hitting on your upper price limit, but they are supposed to be a good drive.

    Troy.

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! Mitch Mi16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MY 4
    406 Coupe? NOW YOU'RE TALKIN'!

    Those things are DAMN SEXY!!!

    I agree with you there Dave....
    THE MAD PUGGA

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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    .....Lincon, i don't know why you havn't considered a good late gti6? You know plenty about them, and it will be trully YOUR OWN!...... have you also thought about a Civic VTi-R or a genuine DC2 integra typerR, well in your price range, and they are true hot-hatch cars....
    Despite all the rice flack, hondas are simple and honest, better built than a pug and parts are very comparable, the insurance on the TypeR is a tad high though. You will get a good one for $33-$35 and spend the rest on a CD upgrade and R compound tyres.....-chris

    ps, Just get a 205 do a mi-16 convo and get $10K suspention/brakes/tyres!!! come on you woos...lol
    ... ptui!

  15. #15
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Yes. I've heard the VTS is softer than the GTi6, and not quite as involving. I'm not a huge fan of the movement that you get inthe drivers seat. The back tends to not be that secure and it moves slightly if you rock back into the chair. I've noticed this on every Xsara Coupe I've sat in.

    Re: 147, I drove them a couple times when they were first released. I'm not a fan. Suspension is to soft, engine isn't powerful enough. But the biggest thing is that it felt like a Golf/307. It's not nearly as involving as I would like. I will be consdiering a Twin Spark GTV though.

    Chris, I actually don't want a GTi6 again. I'm ready for a change too. I don't want to go through the heartache of getting a used GTi6 into the shape that I want it to be in. I'm after something new or very near new. It's been 4 years since the last one was sold now.

    Re: VTiR, too old. DC2 Integra? Hmm...I find it very hard to look at Japanese cars nowadays. Insurance isn't that bad, it'd just be finding a good example of one.

    Re: 205 and heavily modding any car. I'm in the market for a 3 year lease. If I was to do up a car, I'd just do up the Micra
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    Fellow Frogger! Dr. 306's Avatar
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    I wasn't being serious. Buy what you want.

    Hey my plans to have an M3 one day...
    '99 306 XSi Black Metallic

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    i've driven a GTi180 and an ST170 and to be honest - there's no competition. The engine and the improvements inside the 180 just make it an awesome car. The pedal placement is much much much better, and the brakes feel great too.

    i loved the 406 coupe when i drove it - but it lacks something. it's so refined and quiet - i really couldnt hear the engine which i kinda missed. but it pulls pretty well - it's a quick car.

    i'm not in the market for a new car for another 2 years or so (novated lease...) but if i was, the GTi180 would be a no brainer at this stage. I want to take a Clio Sport for a spin first though...
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    Fellow Frogger! Mitch Mi16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMc
    i loved the 406 coupe when i drove it - but it lacks something. it's so refined and quiet - i really couldnt hear the engine which i kinda missed. but it pulls pretty well - it's a quick car.

    Sounds like a nice complementing Sports Exhaust would have be be first on the list..

    Or maybe even a 5 Inch Milo can... hahahahaha
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    no...i'd put it down to plenty of soundproofing. great note to the car outside - just can hear it inside. (completely opposite to the GTi/GTi180...)
    Bart - "Gee Homer you sure do suck tonight"
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    Fellow Frogger! Mitch Mi16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMc
    no...i'd put it down to plenty of soundproofing. great note to the car outside - just can hear it inside. (completely opposite to the GTi/GTi180...)

    Oh ok, i obviously misread your post.... Must be the lack of sleep...
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  21. #21
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    So much to choose from in that price range, bummer about the Mini, i drove the base model and did'nt think it was that bad, but i did'nt get the chance to give it a blast as the salesman was sitting next to me, i noted that reverse was very easy to engage and enquired if like some manufacturers they had put a syncro on reverse, his reply "what's a syncro", mmmm.. yes
    Astra turbos are supposed to be a nice car, there is also some of the imported cars you could buy in that price range, I would get a drive in a Clio and see what ya think, the GTi180 despite what journos say is supposed to be a very nice car, but there is the time to order it and wait for it to arrive. The 406 with a nice set of rims would be truly awesome car, the best looking coupe in my books.
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    Fellow Frogger! BW205's Avatar
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    the 406 V6 Coupe is perfect as it is!!

    If you can get one that is metallic blue....yum!!!

    Cheers
    Billy
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BW205
    the 406 V6 Coupe is perfect as it is!!

    If you can get one that is metallic blue....yum!!!

    Cheers
    Billy
    i like the coupe in the chalky yellow colour they came in
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Time to buy a new hot hatch-406c.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    Well, I've kinda changed my mind about moving OS now, and feel the burning desire to get my arse into a hot hatch once again.
    Gee, it's not because of that thread about the Focus SVT

    Lucky lad, buying cars is such a fun experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I love Alfa dealers, they're so much fun to talk to. To have a saleman freely admit he lost his licence for 3 months back in September is just priceless.
    It's always a pleasure dealing with people who have passion for their product, not some career hack who just wanted to change from real estate

    I remember one Peugeot salesman cheering me down the part of the Yarra Boulevard to go harder With all these 50 signs everywhere, head ruled over heart

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    Also, the air conditioning in it was trully woeful. The car was in the shade before we drove it and it never cooled the car down significantly. That's a bit no-no in my book.
    The Astra is quite disappointing in this respect. Are you planning to try an Astra SRI/turbo? Would be interesting to hear your comments, especially in relation to the Focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I then headed up to Ford there and took the ST170 out again. This time, I felt it was a bit underpowered.
    Pity we never got the Focus RS (although it would probably struggle with price in this market). Pity it's no longer being built.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I've driven this car before and thought it had plenty of grunt, but this time it was a bit lacking.
    How many kays did this one have on the clock, or do you think your reference point and hence perception were affected by what else you drove on the day?

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    and the box is pretty nice to use.
    I think you'll like the shifter in the Fiesta - very nice, easy short shift.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    It's still up the top of my list at this point.
    I could understand that. If you think about it, it's really the only spiritual succesor to the 306 GTi-6 on the market today. Clio, 206, Mini, et al are all smaller cars. The Focus is the same size of car, whose chassis is it's real selling point. Similar power levels to the GTi-6 too.

    I'd find it easier to live with the Focus day to day, the superminis are a little too small for me. I'd like to have little more room inside and metal around me. Out of interest, I'd like to try the Mazda 3 to see how it compares to the Focus. I do get the impression that it's less fun than the Focus and its 2.3 probably doesn't have enough power for you (0-100km/h is 8.5s).

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    406 Coupe is on there too...just because it's so beautiful
    Sounds just like my hairdresser, everytime I have my hair cut he's always going on about how beautiful the 406 Coupe is. Well it is He wants to move on from his 306 XSi, wished it'd behave like his wife's Suby.

    As you've said though, the Coupe is a bit of a different experience to everything else mentioned here. A bit more refined, a lot bigger, a lot more luxurious, etc. It's a different type of car.

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
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  25. #25
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Pugsy, I don't give a toss that a dealer is with me on a test drive. I drive it like I'm going to own it. I don't hammer it right away, I give it a chance to warm up, but I won't hold back given a corner or a nice straight. I've made many a salesman go quiet, but they've all been understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    The Astra is quite disappointing in this respect. Are you planning to try an Astra SRI/turbo? Would be interesting to hear your comments, especially in relation to the Focus.
    I will never buy a Holden, but you can be rest assured that given negotiations on a Ford I will be mentioning the thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    How many kays did this one have on the clock, or do you think your reference point and hence perception were affected by what else you drove on the day?
    This one had 3600kms, the first one we drove had 300kms on it. It could've been the warmer conditions on Saturday, compared to the weather of 6 months ago. Eg, Cooper S has a decent number of kw in a car that doesn't weigh that much (1100kgs), but it felt sluggish even high up in the rev range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    I think you'll like the shifter in the Fiesta - very nice, easy short shift.
    Well a ST170 engine in the Fiesta would be nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    I could understand that. If you think about it, it's really the only spiritual succesor to the 306 GTi-6 on the market today. Clio, 206, Mini, et al are all smaller cars. The Focus is the same size of car, whose chassis is it's real selling point. Similar power levels to the GTi-6 too.

    I'd find it easier to live with the Focus day to day, the superminis are a little too small for me. I'd like to have little more room inside and metal around me. Out of interest, I'd like to try the Mazda 3 to see how it compares to the Focus. I do get the impression that it's less fun than the Focus and its 2.3 probably doesn't have enough power for you (0-100km/h is 8.5s).
    Yeah, I think of it in the same way. Xsara VTS is up there, obviously, being of the engine and underpinnings. Just has the multiplex wiring and COM200 stalks! Ewww. I will try the Mazda3.

    You're right about the supermini thing, I do feel a bit like this. But I am ready to go inpractical, ie, GTV and MX5.

    When I was at the Alfa dealer, he had a 2000 156 Twin Spark Selespeed with the touring car body kit and 17"s. The owner had his car keyed and didn't want a car that had been resprayed. So he got a 147 GTA to replace it (some people have too much money). Since 2000, he put on just 11,000kms on it! In the last 4 months or so he has a whole 500kms on his GTA. The Salesman was kinda disgusted at this, I must say! Anyway, for $32,950, it's worth consdering, as it's in sensational condition. I know it's not the same size are but... gotta rule out everything.
    Last edited by GTI124; 19th January 2004 at 12:23 AM.
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