Show cars having specific features?

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Any number of sites let you list selection criterion like year, cost, body style and major features (transmission type, etc.), but I was wondering if anyone knew of a web site that would let you get REALLY
specific about features before presenting you with a list of cars for consideration.
Like: I want a car with a sunroof, 6M, seats four, 4-wheel ABS disc, alloys, and gets 30mpg highway.
Anyone remember seeing web site that might do this?
Thanks. +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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Not specifically, here's where a certain element of "background awareness" enters the fray. Here's where you do your legwork, probably using a filtering system on fuel consumption first and then working your way up the list of priorities.
But you know, things like wheels are very easily added after you buy the machine. Alloys don't interest me much from an aesthetics perspective, lightening the unsprung weight is useful, so I wasn't at all bothered by this Accord running on steels.
As for wanting X forward gears, here a more important point is the nature of the gearing and power delivery. Well spaced ratios designed with the power delivery of the engine in mind is much, much more effective than six ratios in a 'box taken from a parts bin.
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wrote:

Prior to further research, my working assumption would be that whoever put a six-speed into a car knew what they were doing. Beyond that, of course, you are correct.
I still think it would be great to see "all six speeds", for example, or only those cars where side air bags could at least be added as part of some option group.
Right now I don't know any way of getting to some of information other than by wading thru page after page of specs on different cars / options! +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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On Sun, 30 Apr 2006 13:51:24 -0400, Charles Lasitter

I remember seeing places that listed much of what you said in the comparison data, but you had to pick a vehicle to do it. of course, its often worth just a playaround, and to know what basic vehicle type you're after. 6-speeds aren't that common, though, well, I haven't seen many. V70's have 6 speed in their R, but thats not so good milage wise.
I'm not sure you'll really find a car with all that, since you want 'sports' features (the 4Wheel disc, 6M) and then you want what is an economy feature (the 30mpg) - I doubt you'll get both. If you do, let me know.

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I was absolutely floored by what I turned up on searching with "6M" as a keyword on Sunday. It turns out that a number of Volkwagen models come jam-packed with features and performance at very attractive prices.
VW has several models with 6M standard, and combined with a Turbo i4 that makes nearly the same torque as the J30 V6 but at 1800 RPM, I should think it would take off like a kick in the pants! +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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wrote:

It's a lazy engine and VAG build quality is nothing like it used to be. So, buy at your own peril.
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wrote:

This may well all be true, but they're offering a 4/50k warranty vs Honda's 3/36. And here's what really gets me:
All for 2006, VW offers:
Jetta GLI 4Dr/Sdn 2.0L Turbo 6M GTI 2dr Htcbk 2.0L Turbo 6M Passat VE 4Dr/Sdn 2.0L Turbo 6M Jetta 2.0T 4Dr/Sdn 2.0L Turbo 6M
And they all have these safety features standard:
Emergency Brake Assist Traction Control Stability Control Electronic Brakeforce Distribution DRL ABS w/4-wheel disk Alloys on all but the Passat
And you can't get this 4cyl/6M combination from Honda, even normally aspirated, unless you go with a +$10k Acura TSX. Getting the 6M and safety features in an Accord means you have to get a V6 EX and shell out enough to have me looking at entirely different cars.
The only 6M you can get from Toyota is a Corolla TSX, and safety / performance items like stability / traction control aren't even available as options.
I just think an unfortunate number of auto makers has missed out on this combination of performance, safety and fun-to-drive (6M) characteristics, at the very least in an attractive price range. +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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On Mon, 01 May 2006 09:50:47 -0400, Charles Lasitter

number of gears doesn't mean 'fun to drive'. one of the most fun cars i ever drove, was a 70's mini cooper. only 4 gears. my cousin, and her husband had a pair of golfs, on the other hand, a gti for her, and a vr6 for him, both rather boring and lazy cars. Father had a golf too, an 89, was forever breaking down, even with only 30k miles on it. Exhausts dropping off, went through 5 alternators (including one that half-melted, and would only charge at idle-speeds)
Its endemic of VAG these days to cut corners. Anyone who's been following VW for the last 15 years will know how the build quality has dropped. They're resting on their laurels as the only major non-luxury european manufacture in north america, well, they're resting everywhere, but its not hurting them in the US.
Passat's heavy for the 2lT, and the golf's getting too heavy for it to. its something like twice as heavy as the old golfs (what you'd know as the rabbit)
Remember as well, that the warentee is good, but only if you only plan on keeping the car for its duration. VW parts can be as pricey as BMW or volvo ones, and from experiance, needs them more often.

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There are very good reasons for this. One is that VAG's quality control is lacking. Honda are one of the few manufacturers making money on selling cars. The VAG are not...

And most of these are frightfully dull to drive.

How exactly is having alloy wheels a safety feature? They can be added afterwards if wanted.

Which compared to the VAGs is an inspired drive.
The latest crop of VWs are better than before, but you'd be delusional if you bought a Golf or Passat thinking that it's a European tight handler. The 2.0 litre mark four Golf GTI (_not_ the current one) is a raggy bunch of bones on a twisty road such that my mildly fettled Ka would show it up when called for. It may be great having nearly twice the power of the Ka but with what appeared to be twice the weight and half the linear grip...

Yes, but you'd be getting a wholly better short and long term ownership proposition.

Ya like, dude, drop this perception that the more forward gears the better.

Nooo! Having lots of forward ratios can mean a few things such as:
* The power band is so narrow that it needs lots of ratios. * The fuel consumption is artificially flattered by an overly long bunch of top ratios, so you need third for any gradient up or down. * They fit the X speed manual 'box to the top of the range model and got a bargain deal on the rest * They reckon people want more forward gears.
It does not mean that the car is more fun. As I alluded to elsewhere, the quality and thought of the transmission is relevant. How many gears, that's mostly academic. It's not unheard of for a given range of cars to get a certain transmission that works well with, say, the turbodiesel or the GTI. This 'box and final drive is used on all cars, thus, the cooking model petrol engines end up having way too long gearing such that one may only use sixth on the flat.
You also have to consider how good the 'box is to use.
All up, my advice is to get over this "6M" hangup and go some leg work. Picking the right machine based on technical specifications is all well and good but you're setting yourself up for some major disappointment.
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wrote:

I drove the 6M Passat today, and I was very favorably impressed.
I like the transmission. Very tight, short throws compared to the Honda 5M.
And there were a number of features Edmunds forgot to mention, like limited slip differential, which I also like.
It also has a trip computer that I REALLY like, giving you your fuel economy RIGHT NOW, a compass, and external temperature display.
The feature list on my Honda LX is pitiful by comparison.
I have no doubt as the the reliability of my Honda. I'm just saying that we deserve more of the standard features that everyone else gets to take for granted. +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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These are not safety features. They're distractions. You may crash whilst noticing you're returning 34.6 to the gallon.

Reliability comes as standard.

I agree to a point, but that point, well it depends. We bought an older '99 machine because it had the three specification things I absolutely required (cruise control, ABS, air conditioning) and the one thing it couldn't do without (reliability). Everything else is nice to have.
The most accurate fuel computer still shows "--.-" when you're broken down because of a missing coil back. Or the reverse light switch.
<shrugs> Thousands buy VWs year after year. Thousands don't need to replace their Ford / Honda / Nissan / Toyota year after year...
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wrote:

Wait. I think Hondas are great cars, but how does it follow that their reliability == the manufacturer gives you a shorter warranty?
And a 12 year warranty against rust thru versus five?

(MSRP $23,790)

(MSRP $21,990)

(MSRP $22,950)

(MSRP $23,590)
and a 2006 Accord V6/6M EX: = 9.4 Edmunds Consumer Rating (MSRP $27,300)
And from Consumer Reports:
"The Volkswagen Passat was our top-rated family sedan from 1998 to 2004. Based on the previous-generation Audi A4 and A6, it provided an inviting blend of comfort, roominess, interior craftsmanship, and handling. The Passat was a family sedan that was fun to drive. But inconsistent reliability was its Achilles' heel.
So there are reliability issues, but CR is not alone is liking the Passat.

Compared to what? Not my Accord LX.
And they all have these safety features standard:

Familiar with "moment of inertia" as it applies to centrifugal force? By replacing the steel wheels and the tires on my LX, I cut 5-6 lbs off my Accord's unsprung weight on each corner. The result, among other things, is a shorter stopping distance, because it's easier to stop a wheel from lower mass from turning.

For +$10k, I should hope so.

I was comparing the VW models to a Camry and the Accord LX that I now drive. Anything further is a straw man. But since you brought it up:
Again from Consumer Reports:
"The GTI is comfortable, well finished, powerful, and fun to drive. Based on the Jetta and redesigned Golf, this hatchback can be an alternative to a sports sedan, with capable handling; a relatively comfortable ride; a well-crafted interior; and a surprisingly roomy back seat. A four-door version arrives in June 2006.
"THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
"Handling is agile, and body lean is controlled. The steering is quick, well-weighted, and has good feedback. Emergency handling was stable and forgiving, posting an impressive speed through our avoidance maneuver.
"Around the track it was well controlled and entertaining with well calibrated stability control. The ride is firm but steady and compliant. The GTI is fairly quiet inside. The 200-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine is smooth and powerful and got 25 mpg in mixed driving, but it required premium fuel.
"The standard six-speed manual transmission has appropriate ratios and we found it easy to shift. Volkswagen's quick shifting DSG automatic transmission is optional. Braking distances were short, but the pedal sometimes felt touchy."
I don't get "it really sucked" from reading this.
And: It goes 0-60 in six seconds.

Can you quantify this for me?

This wasn't my idea. I happened to notice that they showed up in lots of "driver oriented" cars.

Indicated by a turbo engine making peak torque at 1800 RPM?

All up, my advice is to get over this "6M" hangup and go some leg work. Picking the right machine based on technical specifications is all well and good but you're setting yourself up for some major disappointment
I've been doing nothing but "leg work". If I've overlooking other obvious choices that represent a value for the money, then enlighten me. If major driving magazines think this engine / tranny combo sucks, I'm all ears.
+-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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Charles Lasitter wrote:

i guess hyundai must be the best, since they offer a 10yr/100k mile warranty!
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On Mon, 01 May 2006 18:59:14 -0400, Charles Lasitter

If they had the same warentee, what would you go for?
You have to love marketing, they can take a major drawback with their vehicle, and turn it into what many people consider a major plus point.
Its not that 'the longer warentee is best', its simply 'our car is unreliable, so we'll extend the warentees so that people will ignore eliability, because the manufacturer will pay for some of it
THAT is why there are ones of differing length. An unreliable car is still an unreliable car, no matter who pays for the repairs, its still broken down in the first placeI don't know about you, but I'd rather have a car that breaks down 3x less, than one where they'll pay the repairs 3x longer. I mentioned previously about my fathers golf, that melted an alternator - when we found out, it was 2am, we were in the middle of nowhere, it was the end of november, and the battery was flat. at that point, I couldn't care less WHO paid for the repairs, I was more concerned with not freezing, whilst I tried to attract attention, so I couldget help to get me and my passengers back in time to get to our jobs.
think about things properly, and not how marketing want you to think.
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snip

You are 100% correct. Don't look at it like buying the one with the longest warranty is the best idea. Look at it as if vehicles weren't sold with a warranty. Then which one would you buy. my 2 cents
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Charles Lasitter wrote:

Because most buyers do not consider the warranty an issue with Honda (or Toyota).

The very LAST place you want to go for a sense of how much fun a car is to drive is Consumer Reports.

Of course the most important safety feature in any car has to do with the driver.
Brake assist, traction control, stability control: unless these features can be turned off, they do not lend themselves to spirited driving. How often have you felt deprived of these features in your Accord since you put those Pirelli tires on?
DRLs: turn on your headlights.
ABS w/4-wheel disk: I like this setup too, so I spent the extra $$ for an EX (vs. your less expensive LX).
Alloys: also standard on the EX.

A six speed does not equate with fun to drive. Everything else being equal, I'd take a 5-speed with LSD over a 6-speed with open differential, any day.

Ever notice how Consumer Reports never publishes lap times?

So last year's BMWs weren't driver oriented because they lack this year's 6-speed?

Oh, a truck engine. Sorry, cheap shot. Audi/VW philosophy was summed up by an Audi executive years ago who said something like "people buy horsepower but they drive torque." I don't disagree but it kinda negates the requirement for a 6-speed other than for fuel economy.

All the safety features you seek will probably make it into the next Accord as standard equipment. Yeah, VW has them now but VW has to add stuff to make their unreliable, expensive-to-fix cars more attractive.
Re. VW's engine/tranny, see the AutoWeek GTI vs Si article; http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060501/FREE/60419006&SearchIDs243433541060
No, the VW power train does not suck but it is very different than the Honda. [Note: the new GTI does not include a LSD.]
Ever consider you might be happier buying a car designed to entertain rather than buying a grocery getter that has been modified to provide more fun than its boring brother-in-arms?
Yeah, I know. They don't sell those fun cars for $20K. Well, guess what? Time to forget the past and pay up! Trade in that Accord for a 2007 G35 next spring. OK, just kidding. I'd never suggest anything but a Honda here in ramh.
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On 3 May 2006 07:01:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I also included Edmunds user ratings, but if you like, here's Motor Trend's early take ...
http://tinyurl.com/ee67y
"After a first drive of the new 2006 Passat, there's every reason it should face the challenge for best-selling midsizer from anywhere. This is a mature, fully textured driver's car, appealing on every level."

Of course. But I'll talk all the help I can get!

Depending on the implementation, traction control is a performance feature and stability control can be an overly restrictive safety feature.

I love these tires, and they do seem to fit well even if they're a tad wider than an "officially" supported size. Great stopping power. We had a mild winter here, and I'd like the traction control for when we're not so lucky.

Do they really pull 110w vs 25w for the DRL? Some have said this eats into fuel economy.

Had I to do it all over again, I would surely go that way.

There's the rub though. You get 16" tires and alloys with the EX, but you're still stuck with the rubber that Honda picks for you and the stock Honda alloys. By carefully picking the replacement tires and wheels, I dropped over five pounds unsprung mass on each corner.

Want an S2000? It's gonna be a manual, and it only comes in the 6x flavor.
Want a TSX Manual? It only comes in a six speed.
Want the EX with a V6 and manual?
That means you get six forward gears.
I think Honda is trying to tell me something.

That will make me a happy camper. I see no reason we sould be second class citizens in the features department compared to Toyota and VW.

I've read the review, and have to cry FOUL!!
They stuck the GTI with the ContiProContact Grand Touring All-Season, which suck huge monkey nuts compared to the Ultra High Performance Summer Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2s on the Honda.
Checking in at TireRack, it seems that they did this test comparing the Honda wearing ultra performance tires that scored fifth out of a category of 46, versus the Continental tires which could only muster sixth out of 17 in a much lower performing tire category.
The results would have tilted much more favorably in the GTI's direction with equivalent tires.

This is a failing that the Passat does not suffer. And what is interesting about the Passat/Jetta/GTI treo is that they weigh in within about 100 pounds of one another, while looking quite different.

I'm not in that big a hurry to go chasing after VWs until they get back some of the quality control they turned loose with the 2004 model. But who knows? Maybe they'll iron out some kinks with the 2007 models ... +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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On Wed, 03 May 2006 17:56:43 -0400, Charles Lasitter

Compared to the usual standards in US cars, where cornering is generally something to be endured rather than enjoyed, they would say that.
I remember reading a review of the MG-ZT-280 a few years back, it said something like "This car isn't available in America, which is a shame, since it would be a top seller there. It has the power and drivetrain from the [new] mustang, but it also knows how to actually go around a corner" Shame Mg went bust really.

Try lessosn, they work much better than any box of gadgets (and thats from someone that designs gadgets)

TRaction control is the OPPOSITE of a performance feature. have a look at somewhere like top gear - they run the cars around a lap from a standing start, cars where the traction control can't be turned off do poorly, because they can't be turned off.

So does having the radio on, your dashboard lights up above minimum,
the 85W difference is slightly over 0.1HP (1Hp = 746W) its a HUGE deal. Secondly, use the FIRST stop, instead of the second stop. remember, those little orange lights you have across the front?
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Charles Lasitter wrote:

I must have missed the part where they describe the Passat as particularly sporty.

Deamers. Camry may move 500,000 units of their 2007s.

Perhaps you might consider winter tires rather than traction control?

Don't turn on your stereo or open a window if max. mpg is what you are after. How many mpgs are those high performance tires stealing from you? During an hour's drive how many seconds at 75 mph (vs. 65 mph cruising) would burn the equivalent additional fuel required by having your lights on for an hour? Nonsensical, isn't it?

Stuck? If you don't like OEMs on the EX, replace them, just like you did on the LX. Depending upon the weight of the OEM alloys you could use them for your summer or winter wheels.

That their engines lack torque?

This is true.

Maybe. 400 lb. is a lot of weight to work around.

No, the Passat has some sort of electronic control that doesn't sound like a mechanical LSD to me.

You are implying that prior to 2004 VWs had good quality. I'm not sure you'll find much to support that. And you fail to mention the notoriously bad VW dealerships.
The average transaction price of the 2007 Passat will probably be close to that of the 2007 Infiniti G35. Why would you even consider the Passat? Ditto the low end of the BMW 3-Series and Lexus IS 250. Any of these RWD sedans would be tons more fun than the Passat. The G35 will certainly be faster with something in excess of 300 HP.
Oh yeah. This is a Honda group. Sorry.
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On 5 May 2006 09:41:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've been looking at a some of the Green Diamond tires. Their embedded friction material goes all the way thru, as opposed to half way for the other similar offerings.

Now this is a good question. It was very hard for me to tell at first since the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S P225/55WR-16 turns 808 revs per mile compared to the stock Michelin Energy MXV4 S8 at 816 revs per mile. So between that and loss you'd normally expect from a wider / performance tire, it seemed like one mpg or so.
I offset some of the loss by running the current tires at a higher PSI in hopes of getting a better rolling resistance. I think it has helped.

As reported everywhere, slowing down saves at lot of gas at highway speeds. I do some driving on the local interstates and slowing down from 74 to 60-65 made a definite difference.

When comparing the specs of two different GTI models, I have to wonder where all the extra weight come from?
2006 Volkswagen GTI 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Gross Weight: 4340 lbs. Compact Coupe / Germany http://tinyurl.com/evg49
2006 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T 2dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M) Gross Weight: 3836 lbs. Compact Coupe / Brazil http://tinyurl.com/zlm67

The MSRP of the various Passat "value" packages are very affordable. MSRP is $22,950:
http://tinyurl.com/gb2kp
For the 2006 Infinity G35, MSRP is $33,800. Looks like a lovely car, but I don't have the extra $11k.
http://tinyurl.com/gry6o
I've tried to be as specific as I can, providing URLs to back up any assertion that I make. If you're going to attack what I write, try responding with more than just your opinion.
Otherwise I'll need some citations that reference your status as a world renowned expert on cars if you expect me to accept your point of view as compelling. +-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing/Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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