car totaled... what should i get next?


Gold Member
ok, so i own a 2000 volkswagen gti.
last monday, some girl pulled out of a parallel parking spot into traffic, into me.
it looked like it was only a small "fender bender" but it bent the frame, and hurt the suspension under the passenger side front wheel. the damage is estimated at over $4200!!!
the lady at the collision center said that if anything else is wrong (very likely) that the girl's insurance company will probably total it...

i both love and hate my v-dub.

i like how it is small, quick, and tight, and that being so small, i can still haul ALL of my drums and a little more.
i also like that it is a car and i decent on mileage... so, much fun to drive, even though its an automatic.

i hate that it is lowered... in alabama of all places (bad tax plans, bad roads...)
i hate how much money i have spent fixing this car. older german cars are hell.
having a turbo, i wish it were a stick.

my criteria are as follows:

kinda low miles
good mpg
fun, tight drive
good drive on imperfect roads
cargo space, cargo space, cargo space...
id also rather have a reliable, no fuss 1997 car, than a nicer, hard to own 02.

what do yall think?
im really liking the subaru outback. anyone have one?
any other suggestions?


Senior Member
Bummer man, sorry about your loss. I used have a 2001 GTI VR6 when the company I work for was owned by Audi. What a fun car.I used to get a big discount and only leased VW/Audis for about 20K miles so I never had to deal with the repairs. I have heard the long term reliability with the German cars is suspect.

You may want to consider the Mazda 3 hatchback. I have that now and can compare the two.

Both have about the same amount of space and I can haul a 5 piece kit with a 22" bass drum in either. The seats fold down easier in the Mazda so that is more conveniant.

To me the Mazda has a better suspension. A little tighter and sportier. The GTI I had always seemed to have too much body roll.

I liked the VR6 in my GTI better due to the high torque off the line. The 1.8t was good too, but too much turbo lag for me. The 2.3l in the Mazda I have now is good too. Nice mix of acceleration and good gas mileage. I get about 30 mpg with the Mazda. The VR6 used to guzzle it.

I like the interior better on the GTI, but both are decent.

I have/had manual transmissions in both. They were about the same if I remember correctly. Both a little rubbery but overall pretty good and got the job done.
Keep in mind, I'm comparing my old 2001 GTI to the 2007 Mazda 3 hatch I have now. VW changed the GTI in 04 I think. And Mazda will be coming out with a redesigned Mazda 3 this year. The newer GTI I drove felt much more solid than my Mazda and my old GTI. But also, most people compare the GTI to the Mazdaspeed 3, which is much faster than the new GTI. The VR6 is gone now and only a 2.0T is available in the GTI.

Overall though, if you liked the GTI, you probably would like the base Mazda 3 too and like that it is more reliable and cheaper. Very similar cars. I like VW alot, but it seems that Mazda gives you more bang for the buck. I'll be comparing the 2 again when I go for my next vehicle for sure. btw, I have over 30k on my Mazda without a single problem and I know 2 other people who have Mazda 3s with well over 80k with very few problems.


Senior Member
well, sorry about the wreck man. glad to hear that you're ok.

if you want to stick with the german thing, you can pick up and early 2000s BMW 3 or 5 series for pretty cheap that has all the luxury you could want but still has the get up and go when you want it.

if you want to go with some american muscle, late 90s early 2000s camaros, firebirds, mustangs, go pretty cheap as well.

if gas mileage is a concern, i'd say grab a honda accord, v6 model around 2003. they are going to cost you more but great gas mileage, very "luxurious" interior depending on what trim level you get, and the v6 models will sraight get it (if ya know what i mean). I personally own an 03 Accord EX rockin the 4 banger. It's not the quickest (little heavy for a 4 cylinder), but with the exception of routine maintenance i have not once had to take it into the shop to fix anything, and i've put about 120k miles on it.(it hauls my entire drum set, with my sound system in the back with no issues) my cousin has an 01 2dr civic that can have the exact same said about it as my accord, cept that it's much lighter with a better 4 banger in it, so it's VERY quick. and of course the gas mileage is awesome. not as much room for drums, but still solid.

if 4wd is your taste, the subaru outback is a very solid option as you've already noted. Lancers are also top of the line, but going to cost you quite a bit regardless of the year.

hope it helps, i'm not really a gear head so this is about all of the personal experience advice i can give you lol. for the most part i think they all meet your requirements, but hey it's up to you (i would say to go with the accord =D)


Platinum Member
Sucks about the wreck! I'd recommend a small Japanese or Korean car. I own a Honda Element and a Hyundai Accent - both are amazingly reliable, tough, and have required absolutely *no* repairs.

You just can't go wrong w/ (most) Asian cars - it's simply the best bang for your buck. Sadly, American engineering in this field has fallen far behind, which is why they've been punished so badly in the marketplace.

Good luck.


Platinum Member
sorry to hear that tb..

Humvee? I hear they are giving them away for free in LA?

Nothing much happens to Hondas either..


With Zam on this. Buy Asian, particularly Japanese. A Honda Civic or Jazz (if they sell them in the States) might be on the market for you (the older Jazz is a better model) the VTEC engine is utterly bullet proof and the cars are great fun to drive.


Silver Member
Get a small SUV or crossover. Ford escape, mazda tribute, dodge durango, Kia Sportage, Jeep Liberty. The cargo space is more than a car and the ground clearance is what you need according to your post.
Glad you're ok! I have an '05 Scion XB. Little box car, gets 32 mph, lots and lots of space, put a water heater in it, wine frig, holds 5. Very good car. Also, cops don't even look at it, because it's a box.. but it'll go 100! New Scion's don't get as good a mileage.
I had an Element too, great car! Wish I still did.


Silver Member
I'd suggest a Honda FIT. 30-33 mpg. It takes less than $30 to fill my tank! Backseats fold down flat so you can most definitely fit a midsize drum kit in the back. I have one that has an Ipod plug so if you have an Ipod that's a really nice bonus. Great handling. I got mine (2007) used for under $16K!


Gold Member
TB glad to hear that you are fine after that incident. Me personally if you want a good cargo car the Honda element is nice. My sister in law has one and I drove it and really liked it. Good luck in the search.