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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to sell my Taurus SHO (but keeping the Elise of course) to get something a bit nicer as a daily driver. Three cars I've been looking at are the '07-08 Jaguar XKR, '03-05 Mercedes SL55 and '05-07 Porsche 997 Carrera S. I like different things about each car.

Which one would you get out of these three? Are there any other sport GTs in the $40-60K range that would be a better option than the three I am looking at? Looking forward to hearing your opinions....
 

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DD gotta look at repair costs. 997 year range your looking at has intermediate shaft bearing issues.You can drop 1-2k and upgrade the bearing with LN engineerings improved bearing. I did that then had a stuck lifter a few months later (not related) $4k repair bill! I fixed and sold it and now have an exige S.. Other then that what an amazing car. But I would keep the lotus because the repair costs were just out right scary. The whole time it was getting diagnosed I was just worried I blew the motor which was $20k.... Again I am happy in lotus land


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I have never driven any of the above ... but if I were forced to pick one, I would pick the SL55.

I've always thought they were beautiful, and that AMG power would be a good thing.
 

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That range is really diverse from performance sedans to sports car coupe/roadsters.

I had a '08 SL55 for a demo for a few months, great fun car, gets lots of looks but it is super cramped inside. I don't know if you've ever driven them or if you are 5'4" but after an hour in it I felt I needed a Chiropractor. I really wish it had more room though b/c it's a great car. The C63 is a great Sedan alternative, I switched out the M5 for it.

My GF's parents (I think her mom just came to make sure her dad didn't come home with with 5 different cars) were actually looking at a new XKR, I don't know how much difference there is between the '08 but I really did like the car. It's more of a luxury inspired car than others in it's range imo.

Porsche is not my cup of tea, but alot of people swear by them. I just don't like the fact that it's been the same design for 50+ years throughout every model. Not an attention getter like the other 2.

M5, one of the few BMW's that Ive driven that I wouldn't mind. M3 and all the series cars are the typical BMW. But they really did a good job. M6 is ugly. I had an 08 M5 as a demo, what you have to watch out for is the sequential gearbox, they are notorious for going bad. Think Maserati CambioCorsa gear box. On the bright side they are now going with the dual clutch, the new Z4 has it as well.

Maserati GranSport LE, I had an 06 for a while, loved it. It got soo much attention, it was the Rosso Bologna (Red) which helps. Great driving car, the Cambio gear box takes a little to get used to and I used the auto mode a lot more than i thought i would. The Skyhook suspension did an amazing job, you could go into a turn crazy wild and it would fix everything for you. :) Saved my ass a few times.

- Well thats my 2cents, Hope it helps. Get out there and drive them.

Good luck with the search,
-Chris
 

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I love(d) my 911s. They are a standard in quality. I drove one for 14 years before getting the Evora as my new DD.

The XKR is a great machine and rides really smooth and I would take that over the SL55 any day. Sure the SL55 probably has more power to the pavement but it doesn't feel quite as nice.

My feelings.

I would probably get the Jag.
 

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All great cars. The SL55 is murder on repairs and especially insurance. Love it though. The perfect blend of Muscle and techno-wizardry.

I'd personally go with an XFR (I know you asked about XKR) as I feel it is the perfect street car foil to the Lotus. And... properly British to boot.

Happy to chat, I've driven all three vehicles relatively extensively (having not only tested them as press cars, but also have friends with them).
 

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those cars will all be expensive to keep. 911 is certainly the most sporty and my favorite on the list.

If it were me Id probably look for a prestine low milage e46 m3 for 22k. I cant imagine needing a nicer car really. It looks great, the handling strikes a great balance between sport and comfort and the engine revs s sweetly.

It could potentially be costly to maintain as well though, but significantly cheaper tham the others. The total cost of ownership would probably be half of the others and it is truly a fantastic everyday car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your responses, definitely a wealth of knowledge on this board. :cool:

After looking into the SL55 more, I think I'm going to take it off my list. I've driven an '03 and was very impressed with the acceleration and the fit and finish. However, there are enough people who seem to have had quality problems and the costs of ownership seem much higher relative to the other cars.

My experience with the XKR has been with the '00 and '05, not the current generation which I'm looking into. My company was developing software and using these cars as test vehicles at the time, so I have a good amount of experience with the gen 1 XKR. Very comfortable, stylish, nice ride, great stereo, and enough power. I can only assume that the newer XKR is even better in every aspect. My only real complaint was a lack of steering feel, which I hope has improved.

I've driven a 996, but not a 997. I enjoyed the 996 and have heard that the 997 is a much better car every way around, especially in interior quality. Much more light and nimble of a car than the XKR, but the ride was harsher and the interior was not as nice as the XKR. Maybe that has changed over the generations. One of the reasons I am selling the Taurus SHO is that the car feels way to heavy and large at 4500 lbs. The XKR would be a small improvement over this, but the 997 would be night and day.

I guess having trouble deciding between the two is not the worst problem in the world to have.

Which car do you guys think looks better, the 997 or the '07 XKR?
 

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XKR has more street presence to me, 911's are everywhere. As Jeremy Clarkson likes to say, VW bug with running shoes. What about a Cayman S? Cheaper, lighter, better handling, good enough power and resolves the IMS issue if you get the 09+ (and most 1st gens are fine)
 

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I love the 911 - I truly do but I think the Jag is still a better option for what you want.

Go drive both - let your butt make the decision and enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
XKR has more street presence to me, 911's are everywhere. As Jeremy Clarkson likes to say, VW bug with running shoes. What about a Cayman S? Cheaper, lighter, better handling, good enough power and resolves the IMS issue if you get the 09+ (and most 1st gens are fine)
Interesting you say that, I've been looking into Caymans a bit recently. They seem to be very nice cars, but I wonder if I'd regret not having stepped up to the 911 if I got the Cayman. Nevertheless, an '09+ Cayman S would be worth a test drive.

I'll definitely test drive an '07+ XKR soon, I think it's taken the number one spot on my list. I've been seeing nice low mileage examples in the $40-50k range. The exclusivity the XKR has is a big plus (I've seen numerous 911s in my area, but have yet to see an XKR driving around).
 

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I dont think a 911 is really a step up from a well optioned cayman s or r.

If you really arnt adverse to potential high maintenance costs you could go 996tt. They are more stout than the regular 996 engines.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To update this thread, daily driver number two has finally been picked out.

I took long test drives in the 997, XKR and SL55. First off, they are all great vehicles and I don't think a person could go wrong with any of them. At the end of the day, the looks, speed and hardtop convertible option of the SL55 won me over. I ended up picking up a clean, low-mileage '03 and have been extremely happy with it so far.

The Elise was a blast for me to drive, and the SL55 is very fun too. Just in a different way. They are probably as different as any pair of two seat sports cars can get. One is 1900 lbs and extremely agile, the other is 4300 lbs and pulls like an airplane taking off. Both are great cars. Here's my SL:





 

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nice SL, the hardtop convertible must be very convenient. In your sig, it looks like you sold the elise? The mustang and SL shoved the elise out, how come, just curious
 

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Discussion Starter #18
nice SL, the hardtop convertible must be very convenient. In your sig, it looks like you sold the elise? The mustang and SL shoved the elise out, how come, just curious
The main reason I sold the Elise was just due to the fact that the SL and Mustang have more practicality and daily driveability. For the last few years, the Mustang (with snow tires equipped) has been my winter driver and can take almost any winter day. The SL55 gets some attention, but not nearly as much as the Elise and the storage space, bose stereo, cruise control, comfort make it ideal for a daily driver as well as a sports car.

That said, I already have some regrets about selling the Elise. Nothing I've had was as thrilling to drive and I'm starting to miss it a lot lately. My only complaint with the Elise was that I wish it had a little more low and torque, but I know that issue can be fixed with forced induction. I've already decided that another Lotus will be in my future, either an Elise SC, Exige S or Exige S240.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The SHO was nice, but just not that enjoyable to drive after awhile. The main reason is that it was too big, long and heavy. Ironically, the SL55 is the same weight as the Taurus SHO and may even be a few pounds heavier. The SL55 feels like a much, much lighter car. A lot of it is due to the fact that it has smaller proportions, much more power and engineered in a way that you would not feel the weight as much. I really miss my Elise, but I don't miss my Taurus SHO at all...

Why did you decide to get rid of the SHO? If I may ask.
 
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