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  #1  
Old 07-12-2006, 11:21 PM
autocrosser autocrosser is offline
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best used sports car for under US$15k

Greetings All,

I just moved to Penang, Malaysia and my employer has given me US$15,000 to buy a car. I get duty-free status here, which means I can import a car without paying any duty or import tax. So, I plan to import a car from Japan, which basically means Japanese makes plus Mercedes and BMW, both of which are common in the Japan export market. Good used cars are quite cheap on the Japanese market because of the cost involved in getting used cars through the Shaken (national safety inspection). It's simpler for Japanese people to get rid of a 5 year old car and a buy a new one than to keep spending money on the Shaken.

My idea of a good car is something fast (duh) and agile with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It needs to have a backseat of some type for my 7 yr old daughter, but a 2+2 will work just fine. Some kind of trunk or hatch space would be useful also (i.e. no MR2s or Miatas). Here is a list of the cars I have seen in good shape within my price range:

1997-98 Alfa Romeo 147 Selespeed
1996-00 BMW 323i, 325i
1996-00 Honda Integra R (same as Acura Integra Type R in North America)
1992-96 Mazda RX7 (Japan models have tiny rear jumpseats)
1995-98 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III to Evo V
1995-99 Mitsubishi FTO MIVEC
1991-95 Mitsubishi GTO (3000GT VR-4 in North America and Europe)
1989-93 Nissan Skyline GT-R
1993-99 Nissan Skyline GTS-T and GTS25-T Type M
1994-99 Nissan Silvia K or R-Spec (Turbo)
1992-97 Nissan Silvia 180SX Turbo R
1990-96 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
1998-02 Subaru Impreza WRX
1998-00 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
1998-01 Subaru Legacy B4 RSK
1994-95 Toyota Celica WRC Turbo AWD
1999-01 Toyota Celica
1993-97 Toyota Supra RZ (Twin Turbo)
1998-00 Toyota Altezza (Lexus IS300 in North America, IS200 in Europe)
1991-97 Toyota Soarer Twin Turbo (Lexus SC300 in North America)

As you can imagine, choices like those can make your head spin! If anyone has experience with those cars, in terms of reliability, all-around performance, maintenance, etc., I'd be grateful if you could share them. Insurance prices aren't really an issue as insurance is dirt cheap in Malaysia. Gas in Malaysia costs only US$2.00 a gallon (and that's for 97 octane!) so fuel consumption isn't a big issue either.

There are probably quite a few other cars I'm missing. Please suggest any others you can think of, but remeber that a lot of manufacturers will not be available here (American cars, VWs, Volvos). We do get French cars (Citroen, Peugeot, Renault) here but I'm not a big fan of those. We get quite a few Alfa Romeos but I don't much about the brand.

Thanks!!!
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2006, 11:59 PM
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2ndclasscitizen 2ndclasscitizen is offline
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Welcome to UCP! I think if you need to use the backseat then the EVO or WRX will be your best bet, though if you want something with decent ride for normal driving, the EVO models in your price range may be too hard. I reckon those will be your best bet, along with the Legacy B4 Wagon.
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:08 AM
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either the Altezza, all the Subarus, or a 325i would do just fine. Or if your daughter wants to be cool, get any Skyline, RX-7, Soarer, Celica, any Mitsubishi, and 300ZX TT
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:51 AM
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Gardin Gardin is offline
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If I had to choose between these cars, these two would probobly be the best choise.
1996-00 Honda Integra R (same as Acura Integra Type R in North America)
1998-00 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Personally I like the Alfa Romeo's best, but not the selespeed, just too much trouble, go for the regular gearshift....
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:41 AM
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r32 gt-r if you want power and its cheap to mod
r32 gts-t if you like to drift
altezza if you want style and performance
or wrx 02 with rims , sports exhaust and a bov it makes a awesome sound (vroooooomchuchhhhhhvroooooooom)
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:51 AM
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'00 STi ftw.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:36 AM
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I agree with Gardin, the Alfa Romeo is my favourite, but avoid the stupid Selespeed gearbox. The BMW comes a close second.
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Last edited by Ferrer; 07-13-2006 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:56 AM
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I'd go for the RX-7 or the Supra... but no moding please, they are great as they are.
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:20 AM
Boomer4ES Boomer4ES is offline
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You might also check out the Honda Prelude. I personally think these cars look amazing, and they definitely have a bit of a kick (maybe not as much as you're looking for?). The so-called rear seat may also be too small to suit your needs, but I just thought I'd suggest it.
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:43 AM
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My top three

1) BMW
2) Subaru Impreza (close second)/Legacy B4
3) Honda Integra/rx-7

good luck finding the car
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2006, 07:28 AM
quattro_20v quattro_20v is offline
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I'd buy and Audi S2 for that. RS2 is still more then that.
And these days you can get a 2nd hand evo for that (dont know which one, not the newer ones)
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:30 AM
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Would it seem to biased if I suggested an NB MX-5 1.8 Sport?
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McReis
Would it seem to biased if I suggested an NB MX-5 1.8 Sport?
Yes...
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henk4
Yes...
Then should I advise him to buy a big boat handling french car?
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McReis
Then should I advise him to buy a big boat handling french car?
no...
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