The Lotus Cars Community banner

Which DD car should I get?

  • Mini Cooper S

    Votes: 50 45.9%
  • Mazdaspeed 3

    Votes: 38 34.9%
  • Cobalt SS

    Votes: 12 11.0%
  • other

    Votes: 9 8.3%

  • Total voters
    109
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been looking for a car to use as a daily driver. My price range is 20-23.5k. Originally I was set on a MCS but after calling and emailing every dealer around, the best I could get was 25k with options I didn't even want. Since I haven't been able to find an MCS that fit my price range I am now looking at other cars.

The infamous Cobalt SS that was recently advertised in a car mag to be an equal if not greater performer than the Elise SC, seems to be the best value of performance to dollar spent. Resale value, however, can't be expected to compare to that of the Mini.

The mazdaspeed 3, on the other hand, seems to be well received on this board. I'm not to sure on the resale value of this car.

I am going to assume that insurance will be cheapest on the MCS, followed by the speed 3, leaving the SS with the highest cost to insure. Is this about right?

It seems like one question I'm asking myself is whether the ~2k price hike on the MCS is worth the stability of its high resale value?

So, LotusTalk, which car should I get as my new daily driver.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,752 Posts
I picked up a Saturn Astra, which is a rebadged Opel (GM of Germany). Lotus tuned Ecotec engine,fun to drive and gets about 37 mpg. They are offering deep discounts now on the 08's. Some models are going for a little over 14k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
I don't have the 2008 ISO symbols available, but I'd say they'll all be in the same ballpark regarding insurance. My rationale is that the Mini is likely the most expensive to repair, the MS3 is pretty much the fastest, and the SS is more within the reach of and appeals to the younger set. So, pretty much a three-way tie, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
Mazdaspeed 3 are great cars! I think a motortrend article I read the reviewer said the ms3 had TOO MUCH horsepower lol

Great brakes and suspension
Lots of room
Decent gas mileage
Tunable if you ever get the itch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
OK. I had a couple of minutes and I quoted all three vehicles on an existing client. There was less than a 10% difference amongst the three. The Mini was the least, followed by the Cobalt SS (2008, as 2009 was not available), and the MS3 was most. In this particular instance with this client, the spread was on the order of $10/month here in Tampa. So, like I said, they're all in the same ballpark.

IMO, I don't let the insurance rates on a particular vehicle make my decision for me. If it factors in that heavily, I'm probably reaching too far to get the car in the first place.

All of these are decent choices. I never went through with it since my Elise broke a rocker arm; but I was weighing the MCS, the MS3, and the GTI as a DD. I had pretty much decided on the GTI as I already had a really small car, which made the Mini somewhat redundant, and I was unimpressed with the interior of the MS3, so you may want to add that to your list. Plus, VW's whoring them out for the most part on their leases and availability is not a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I'm really happy with my Mini Cooper S, you can custom order it with the options you want, which you may as well do since most mini dealers don't negotiate anyhow. The Mini definitely handles better than the other two, and has enough power and torque for me. If I didn't get the mini, my second choice would be the Mazdaspeed 3, although I've heard of a few reliability issues with those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
i am in a similar dilemma.

i expected to love the cooper s but didn't (handling/power were great but the interior styling and minimal storage were deal killers).

i drove the mazdaspeed 3 and absolutely loved it. too big a car for san francisco though. i'm likely getting a honda fit instead, as long as i can keep the VW GTI hankering at bay.

it's nice to have so many choices!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Of the three as a daily - I'd get the MS3. My brother has one and he loves it. Pretty much under the radar but a good solid fun car for daily thrashing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
874 Posts
Get the MCS. Whats another 1.5K?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
The MS3 is by far the most practical of the three...if you are thinking "daily driver" that should be fairly important. And it doesn't hurt that it's fast.

The speed differentials between the three will be hard to discern without a stopwatch.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,318 Posts
I'll be in the same boat once it's time to replace my 300zx.

MS3 definitely seems to have the room for surfboards on top or inside. not sure if a mountain bike would fit inside (with the front wheel off).
but it definitely has more room than the Mini.

think I'd take a Mini over a Cobalt SS. they just look more appealing and have character.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I'll be in the same boat once it's time to replace my 300zx.

MS3 definitely seems to have the room for surfboards on top or inside. not sure if a mountain bike would fit inside (with the front wheel off).
but it definitely has more room than the Mini.

think I'd take a Mini over a Cobalt SS. they just look more appealing and have character.
The space factor is what is really drawing me to the MS3. My current car has a similar design (hatchback with foldable rear seats). I do a lot of diving and I don't think I could fit all my dive stuff and my speargun in a Mini. When I went to check the Mini out, I was disappointed by the overall build quality (one of them had glue seeping out of the door. -poke-) and the complete lack of space. It's like they wanted to make both room for rear passengers and room for luggage but it's clear that they have accomplished neither.

The regular cobalt's are in fact the WORST car I have ever driven. The main thing that bothers me about them is there steering response, or lack there of. I haven't test driven the SS yet but I sure hope they have improved the steering over that of the base Cobalt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
the last gen of the coopers aren't suppose to be built as well as the previous gen.

I would go take them for a spin & see what you think & don't forget to stop by the VW dealership.

Are you only considering new or would you go used?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
the last gen of the coopers aren't suppose to be built as well as the previous gen.

I would go take them for a spin & see what you think & don't forget to stop by the VW dealership.

Are you only considering new or would you go used?
Most dealerships won't allow me to test drive there cars because their insurance doesn't cover me. I did, however, ride in the MCS with a salesperson. The car was decent driving from what I could.

Used Mini's are generally pretty close in pricing to new Mini's. That's really the main reason I would want the new car.

I'm not to sure about WV. I told my mom about the GTI after several people on here recommended it and she flipped. In fact, she's not to thrilled that I am actually wanting to get any of these cars. So, it seems, at least for now, that any VW is out of the question.

She wants to get a BMW 328i sedan. Does anyone think the BMW is worth the price over the MS3?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
the last gen of the coopers aren't suppose to be built as well as the previous gen.
I think you may have that backwards, the newest minis are supposed to be more well built than the last gen, since the latest ones are the first ones to be completely manufactured by BMW.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top