What fun car for around 1 million

So if you had around 1 million (+/-) to spend on a car, and was looking for something that will be fun to drive, whilst big enough for a family of 3 what would you go for ?? :ponder:

I was first thinking of a Golf TSi 1.4, then I thought well 300K more I could get a GTi… but you loose a lot driving VW out of the showroom… part of me says go for it other part says that’s a lot of cash, so maybe a new Focus TDCi, Civic or a Lancer iO… choices choices…

Other thing is in the VW store they only seem to offer 4.5% in store while many places are offering 0% or a little above… I guess when your cars are in demand you can… of course can get funds from many sources… audi store was offering 0% shame the A3 is a tad out of my price range…

Whilst l like the smell of a new car, maybe should be looking for something 18~24mths old…

At least two people here have bought Impreza WRXs for exactly $1m (I think) and seem very happy with their purchase. I bought an A3 but mainly for the wife. It’s a very nice car but not as fun to drive as the Impreza and targetting a completely different market. If you want something in the middle I think you would be quite happy with the Golf. Don’t buy a Lancer, you will feel pangs of regret every time you see any of the other cars mentioned here.

Mazda 3 2.5s, 5 door, 849,000NT

Its a very nice drive, under a million, very practical and can come with five doors. I love the chassis on the Mazda as well as the overall design. Uses lots of environmentally friendly plastics so best kept in indoor car parks when not using it.

Over a million I would look at the Mazda 6 which is also very nice and even smarter inside. You’ll need a few more hundred thousand to begin to think about one though. My advice as always is to at least consider the relative unreliability of Euro performance cars if you have any down on your list already.

I did think about the WRX, only downside is I believe it is only available in a manual transmission… been here so long gotten used to an auto.

Mazda3 is an interesting thought, rode in one while I was in the US last… but that front grill… now if they had the speed3… i was also told by a local mechanic that mazda are known for poor quality… not sure if that is just bad info ?

[quote=“nivek”]I did think about the WRX, only downside is I believe it is only available in a manual transmission… been here so long gotten used to an auto.

Mazda3 is an interesting thought, rode in one while I was in the US last… but that front grill… now if they had the speed3… I was also told by a local mechanic that mazda are known for poor quality… not sure if that is just bad info ?[/quote]

If you want the strongest quality in a super fast car, then it can only be Subaru. Mazda are fine for their budget range. The sports models are best used and abused within four years. Watch out for leaky dampers and the driver’s side door lock as well as power steering hose leaks. There are so many suspension rubbers that I lost count, so watch out for older cars especially that have gained a bit of slack in the system. The poor quality that people such as myself might refer to is generally the biodegradable plastics which are best kept from the sun and heat as with any other vehicles sharing the same pointless compounds.
I can’t understand how any car’s components built to degrade within ten years is good for the environment exactly. Its more of a factor with Mazda than some other Japanese models as many components are shared with goodie-two-shoes Ford who really care for the environment and at the same time don’t mind if they sell one or two more spares than anyone else.
It wouldn’t put me off a Mazda 3 though. I think they are a great drive with great practicality that can’t be had for their price range in another vehicle in Taiwan. Unreliable? Perhaps only compared to some other Japanese brands.

Interesting, my mum has had 2 mazdas (a 323 familia and an MX5) The Familia lasted over 10 years and the MX5 is now about 5 years old. They were both great, solid little cars and incredibly reliable.

I haven’t owned Subarus although my brother in law swears by them. I always find them to be a bit tinny and all that speed in a WRX makes me think they would be like paper in a smash?

[quote=“Edgar Allen”]Interesting, my mum has had 2 mazdas (a 323 familia and an MX5) The Familia lasted over 10 years and the MX5 is now about 5 years old. They were both great, solid little cars and incredibly reliable.

I haven’t owned Subarus although my brother in law swears by them. I always find them to be a bit tinny and all that speed in a WRX makes me think they would be like paper in a smash?[/quote]

Firstly the Mazda you refer to was produced long before they started caring about pleasing some tree huggers who know nothing about the environment so that won’t have issues with bio plastics.
Secondly the common reference to the thickness of a car’s steel or aluminium even, or the sound of its doors when closing or how ‘rigid’ it feels has nothing at all to do with crash protection.

My [Prius] car’s shell is comparatively light compared to most family cars out there. It has a weedy aluminium bonnet and hatch and yet is has proven greater crash protection that the majority of even Germans and Swedish motors which are quite a lot heavier.

For a greater idea of real crash protection you can always visit the Euro NCAP site and check each individual crash tested model out for stats. You may however wish to bare in mind that Taiwan produced vehicles are not ranked and neither always offer the same amount of protection in the form off accessories and/or including airbags.

Popped down to the MZ dealer this afternoon, they only had the MZ3 2.0 so took that for a spin around the block… not too shabby, and the interior is surprisingly fairly well equipt… may go try a 2.5S tomorrow, though I guess would only really get to appreciate that on the highway…

As I see it the extra 100K buys you an extra 16bhp, DSC, steerable headlights, and 17" wheels… however I noticed that many of the boyracers are driving around in the 2.0 rather than the 2.5 ? any reason for this or just a wrong observation. Is it because more tuner bits are available for it ?

Also as far as resell value say 2~3yrs down the road would the 2.5S hold its price better, or is 2.0 vs. 2.5S gonna be much the same. Plus would anyone know if MZ tw is planning to bring in the MZ-speed3 at some point ? I assume that would be a big negative to the value of the 2.5S longer term.

I doubt they would bring in the speed-3 but I could be wrong. Too many options typically results in cars standing around. Also production has mostly shifted to Taiwan now with even the five doors being built here this year. I doubt they would start a production line and the lineup of models is already enough to reduce demand for Japanese models further. And a manual box? There would be very few people interested in one of those and most of them would be the erm… well you know sort.

Mazda 2.0S will certainly be the most popular and would suffer less in residual value over term. Less of a height to fall from in the price department. Also surprisingly many people are put off a car such as the 2.5 over the 2.0 simply because of a difference of five thousand NT per year in tax. Not like that can buy you that many tankfuls of fuel anyway. It used to be the reason people would purchase the more fuel thirsty 2.0 Cefiro over the 3.0 engine. :neutral:

The 2.0 has a complete slush box though, but its changes are at least quicker than other manufacturers such as Toyota for example. I quite like the 2.0s. I had sourced one recently. A dream of a car. Only four months old and 480,000NT. Bargain! Of course it sold in about five minutes though, so don’t get your hopes up.

Mazda 3… boring :doh:

not to mention wrong wheel drive.

not to mention wrong wheel drive.[/quote]

Its safe wheel drive. Wrong wheel drive in Taiwan would certainly be in the rear. Personally unless on a track, I would go four or front. You’ll often only get one chance to slide the back out just a little bit too far on a Taiwan twisty bit. :no-no:

I just came back from laughing at a few Northern Brits who have most recently had a bit of a ‘more money than sense’ episode. It seems in these recent few years and during the climbs in property values, a few of them seem to have decided to purchase Audi A7s, A8s, BMW M3s and some pretty Mercedes. At least those four car owners must have all been celebrating the fact that they had made it in life at the end of December when they had all decided to club together at the bottom of the Carter Bar road approaching Scotland at a ditch. I couldn’t quite make out there faces as I was driving up the steep hill leading to the Scotland sign in my dad’s 1.6 Honda Civic at the time. We even got out to take some pictures at the top, not that there was much to see but snow though.
Still I don’t think he’ll have snow issues in Taiwan!

[quote=“Edgar Allen”]
I haven’t owned Subarus although my brother in law swears by them. I always find them to be a bit tinny and all that speed in a WRX makes me think they would be like paper in a smash?[/quote]
You’ll find that all current Subaru models and the majority of older ones have a 5-star NCAP safety rating. Take another look. Subaru have really upped their game with their interiors and noise / vibration control. Too bad the prices have climbed so much to match. :unamused:

You are correct that the WRX is only available with a manual transmission. Some markets also get an Impreza S-GT, which is basically a WRX with a slightly detuned engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Back in the old days of Taching and the first imported GC8 and GF8 Impreza GTs, Taching actually imported one unit with an automatic transmission. It sat on the lot for well over a year and even deep discounts wouldn’t move it. They finally converted it to manual to sell it. Subaru of Taiwan have learned from this and they will, I am sure, never import an automatic turbo Impreza ever again.
Have you looked at the 2010 Legacy GT? 265ps, huge torque from 2,000rpm, auto transmission. It’s a bit big for my liking but it might work for you. Sticker price is IIRC NT$1.4m.

I doubt Mazda will ever import the MS3 here and I honestly wouldn’t even look at one if they did. Torque-steer galore. Quality is … Mazda, so figure on it being a disposable car you thrash for a few years and then take a huge hit on in terms of depreciation.

If you are looking for an automatic car with big power and million NT$ price I think you have very limited choices. I know Sulavaca doesn’t like Euros too much but you could consider a Golf GTi or R32 if you are willing to put up with some downtime and expensive service/repair bills. I was looking for an R32 until I figured out that the only manuals are the older MkIVs, and all of the MkV units imported are autos. It’s also a bit short on cargo space for my needs.

Even if you could consider manuals, used WRX models are as rare as rocking-horse poop and no new WRX models are being imported this year. There might possibly be a leftover 2008 WRX sedan hanging around at a dealer somewhere. An STi is NT$1.7m and AFAIK they are all sold for this year anyway.
Maybe a Focus ST could fit the bill? It also has torque-steer issues but you are going to find this problem in any lightweight, big torque, FWD vehicle. Probably the best bang for the buck in the cheap thrills category and that gorgeous Volvo 5-cyl motor is hard to pass up.

That Mazda could in no way compete with a good old Scoobie anyway. They would be pissing in the wind trying to sell that one. And yes, the torque steer really starts to show its head rather a lot the more power is put through that front wheel arrangement. Its just noticeable on the 2.0l already, but within acceptable limits. You can also easily see how it affects the tyres with uneven wear between the two which is largely unparalleled on any other car I tend to see. You can be replacing one when the other still has 70% of its tread left.

VW Gti, GTi R32, Impreza WRX (and Sti), Focus RS of various older and newer years can be found in Taiwan. That’s the easy part. Finding any of these cars that are for sale by a responsible and caring owner are next to nil. (The guys who take good care of their cars don’t sell). You’ll have to look hard and inspect any potential vehicle end to end as thoroughly as possible. And even with the highest scrutiny, there’s always something that slips through the cracks. There’s usually a good (negative) reason for these guys to sell their cars. Think along the lines of ‘about to blow up’ type of reason.

Good luck with your search. Be patient and only pull the trigger when you are certain.

I won’t comment on my next vehicle…Just think, BIG.

I think most cars around this level are similar in terms of reliability, wherever they are made. And honestly, I think Subaru Taichung are gouging on their service charges as much or even more than their German counterparts. Got a near $40k bill to change the timing belt and a couple of hoses on the wagon for fuck’s sake. And they wanted to charge me $4000-something for a battery that even Ah Huang would only dare sell for $3000 (bought it through Audi for $2400 BTW). I don’t have anything against Subaru but we just have to remember that car dealers are car dealers and none are more trustworthy than the other.

I think most cars around this level are similar in terms of reliability, wherever they are made. And honestly, I think Subaru Taichung are gouging on their service charges as much or even more than their German counterparts. Got a near $40k bill to change the timing belt and a couple of hoses on the wagon for fuck’s sake. And they wanted to charge me $4000-something for a battery that even Ah Huang would only dare sell for $3000 (bought it through Audi for $2400 BTW). I don’t have anything against Subaru but we just have to remember that car dealers are car dealers and none are more trustworthy than the other.[/quote]

Timing belts should take around two hours to fit, but often get serviced at about the same time the plugs need changing and the oils and brakes are all serviced too. Was that price not a total price for a complete service? If not, then even I am surprised.
Just a timing belt in the U.K. on your vehicle would have cost about 150~200 pounds including the anti freeze.
Batteries range in price considerably here depending on the type and place of production. NT$3,500 is a typical price for a basic battery and average quality.

Still. The higher prices of some Subaru specific components are nearly always negated by the fact that they almost never go wrong in my experience. The only expensive things to generally watch out for are gearbox bearings and syncros, clutches and flywheels, and of course the most major service intervals which require belt, oils, and spark plugs all in one go. They don’t come too often though.

On my 02 WRX nothing broke down except licence plate bulb. I sold it at 109500 miles and the only things was broken the aftermarket parts I installed on it. and that is after probably 10-15 track days, couple of rally crosses and ice racing on the lake.I don’t know about Toyota quality but Subie is the best from my experience.

And from my experience too.