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Old 05-23-2003, 18:42   #1 (permalink)
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So what else could you buy (Part 2)

As promised after the earlier comparison So what else could you buy??
here is the review of the price based contenders to the FPV GT. For the purpose of clarity I've kept the price range fairly narrow with a band either side of the GT pricing. Some of the vehicles included may not be natural competitors but buyers in this market segment are often making "lifestyle" purchasing decisions and thus the included list covers that spectrum.

Specs are:
Price, capacity, power, torque, weight, kg/kw, 0-100 and 400 metre times and resale percentage.

FPV GT
$59,850. 5.4 V8 / 290 kw / 520 Nm / 1825 kg / 6.29 / 6.2 / 14.2 / -
A large, heavy, family sedan based grand tourer in the style of the legendary vehicles that came before it. Somewhat sparsely equipped and let down by it's rather obese weight it still offers a lot of metal for the money.

Alfa Romeo 156 V6
$57,500, 2.5 V6, 162 kw / 270 Nm / 1355 kg / 8.36 / 7.0 / 15.2 / 60
A stylish looking vehicle with a sweet revving (and sounding) engine that stirs the soul. Build quality verges on the amateur and it's a size smaller than the GT but it has reasonable resale value and excellent handling on good surfaces.

Audi A4 1.8T
$59,600, 1.8 T4, 110 kw, 210 Nm, 1455 kg, 13.22 / 9.1 / 15.8 / 57
Stylish and well equipped the Audi suffers from having the A3's sweet turbo engine tossed into a body that is nearly 300 kg heavier and performance disappears out the window. Beautifully built and well equipped it just doesn't cut the performance cake and you need to shell out a lot more money for the V6 version to get decent performance.

BMW 325ti
$63,500, 2.5 I6, 141 kw, 245 Nm, 1425 kg, 10.1 , 8.4, 16.1, 66
For many people this is the affordable BMW but weight and power tell against it in the performance stakes. Still they are well built and have excellent resale value and the BMW badge doesn't lack for street cred in some circles.

Citreon C5 V6 Exclusive
$56,990, 3.0 V6, 157kw, 279 Nm, 1520 kg, 9.68, 8.8, 15.9, 60
Odd looking but well built this is another Euro where weight and capacity tell the (sad) performance tale. They do stand out from the crowd however and have the little peculiarities that lead people to love them - the mainstream motorist mostly continues to ignore them and it's surprising that the resale is that good.

Ford Mustang Cobra
$59,990, 4.6 V8, 240 kw, 430 Nm, 1605 kg, 6.68, 6.2, 14.3, 55
At the more realistic pricing quoted, the coupe has the performance to match the GT and no lack of street cred to go with that performance. Nowehere near as roomy or well built as the local product it has an exhaust note that is more reminiscent of the original GTs than the current one and a redline approaching 8000 rpm. It also comes with 70's interior styling, enough rear seat room for 2 pygmies and the build quality of a Lada which no doubt helps account for the resale value.

Holden Monaro CV8
$58,750, 5.7 V8, 235 kw, 465 Nm, 1645 kg, 7.0, 6.4, 14.4, 65
Despite only having two doors this is a roomy four seater with the performance and street cred to match the GT. Arguably the best looking of the Monaros, without the HSV tack-on plastic bits, this is a car that still turns heads. Excellent resale and reasonable build quality make this a serious contender on the shopping list in this bracket.

HSV Clubsport
$58,700, 5.7 V8, 260 kw, 475 Nm, 1670 kg, 6.42, 6.1, 14.2, 65
The natural enemy of the GT in philosophy and price. The strong resale is the result of a loyal fan base and is likely to be the main difference between the two vehicles besides the individual brand loyalty. As a personal opinion the CV8 is the better buy.

Jaguar X-Type 2.1 SE
$59,750, 2.1 V6, 117 kw, 200 Nm, 1485 kg, 12.69, 10.6, 17.6, 61
Whilst providing a comfortable environment for four passengers and the legendary Jaguar badge there is far more Ford DNA in this vehicle than Jaguar and it is easy to write it off as a cynical marketing exercise. However it is well built, has reasonable resale value but the bottom line performance from the puny engine is killed by the weight. Far better to save the extra pennies for the 3.0 version.

Lexus IS200
$53,490, 2.0 I6, 114 kw, 195 Nm, 1395 kg, 12.23, 10.0, 17.1, 64
Stylish, well equipped and well built but not even vaguely in the performance hunt. Strong resale helps to ease the pain.

Mazda MX5 SP
$55,540, 1.8 T4, 150 kw, 280 Nm, 1119 kg, 7.46, 6.3, 14.4, 71
Like the Mustang it really only seats two but the performance from the turbo equipped 1.8 turns this into the car it always should have been. Equipped with all the right bits this is a bit of a bargain in the segment and has the strongest resale value as well.

MG ZT T-190
$59,990, 2.5 V6, 140 kw, 245 Nm, 1485 Kg, 10.6, 8.4, 16.1, 62
Another two door "sporty" but one that looks like poor value next to the Mazda SP. Killed (again) by excessive weight there is enough chrome mesh and fibreglass on this version of the MG to build a fleet of GTs.

Nissan 350Z Touring
$59,990, 3.5 V6, 206 kw, 353 Nm, 1463, 7.1, 6.8, 14.6, 65
The spiritual successor to the 240 and 260Z models, this is a sweet looking and hard charging contender that is worth consideration. Well built, well equipped and with a strong predicted resale value it cannot be ignored.

Peugeot 406 SV
$53,800, 3.0 V6, 157 kw, 285 Nm, 1455 kg, 9.26, 7.6, 15.7, 66
Another stylish and well built Euro that fails to excite when the gas pedal is floored. Strong resale and a sweet chassis let down by average build quality and too many kilos.

Renault Laguna Privilege LX
$57,990, 3.0 V6, 152 kw, 285 Nm, 1431 kg, 9.41, 8.8, 15.5, 55
Read the Peugeot entry above as these vehicles share the engine and chassis basics - except you can add poor resale for the Renault.

Rover 75 Club
$55,450, 2.5 V6, 130 kw, 240 Nm, 1500 kg, 11.54, 8.7, 16.4, 62
Sharing an engine with the MG above but in a slightly lower state of tune AND with a little more weight to carry it's not hard to see why the performance is leisurely. Cramped for the exterior dimensions and with average build quality this is probably one for the Rover enthusiast only.

Saab 9-3 Vector
$56,900, 2.0 T4, 129 kw, 265 Nm, 1395 kg, 10.81, 9.2, 16.7, 63
Despite having more power and less weight than some of its competition, the performance leaves you at risk from hard driven Barinas (almost). Well built, safe and comfortable this is one best saved for the golden years.

Subara WRX STi
$56,630, 2.0 T4, 195 kw, 343 Nm, 1470 kg, 7.54, 5.9, 14.0, 65
Now that the STi pricing has dropped out of the clouds this is a bit of a performance bargain. Capable of carrying 4 in reasonable comfort, there is no doubt that the performance is capable of blowing away both the local hero cars whilst using less fuel to do it. Not as relaxed a cruiser as the FPV and HSV products it is still a worthy contender with strong resale.

Subaru Legacy B4
$55,130, 2.0 T4, 190 kw, 320 Nm, 1495 kg, 7.86, 6.8, 15.0, 65
With a bit of extra space and comfort over the STi and performance that is within shouting distance of the GT this is another vehicle that is a worthy contender. With a new model due out soon that promises more power and better peformance it should make the shopping short list at least.

Volkswagen Passat V6 4Motion S
$59,800, 2.8 V6, 140 Kw, 260 Nm, 1614 Kg, 11.53, 8.4, 15.6, 60
Another Euro that shouldn't be ignored. A little too heavy as a result of the AWD chassis but beautifully built and sure footed, its in-gear performance goes some of the way to making up for the average 400m time.

Volvo S40 T
$56,950, 2.0 T4, 147 kw, 300 Nm, 1321 kg, 8.98, 8.8, 15.0, 60
On paper, the strong power numbers when coupled with the relatively light weight should equate to excellent performance. The fact that they don't is something of a disappointment as this is a sweet looking vehicle (for a Volvo) that is well equipped and has an enviable safety reputation.

Some food for thought.
Russ

Last edited by russellw; 11-04-2003 at 21:17.
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Old 05-23-2003, 18:54   #2 (permalink)
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Very good comparison there russellw. It seems for the european cars you pay a lot for the luxuries and quality but lose out on performance. It comes down to I guess what you really look for in a car. IMHO i would go one of the aussies or the stang. I am more for a rough as guts car (ok too far on that, our cars have improved a lot in quality) with the perfromance behind it.
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Old 05-23-2003, 19:38   #3 (permalink)
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Great review there Russ.

Personally out of the cars that rivel in the GP in price, I would only consider a Monaro CV8 or the 350Z.

The Eurocars do nothing for meas they're under powered for a $60k car. I refuse to pay $60k to get a car that has less power than my XR6. Just my opinion anways.
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Old 05-24-2003, 00:23   #4 (permalink)
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What about the RX8?
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Old 05-24-2003, 00:31   #5 (permalink)
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Old 05-24-2003, 01:05   #6 (permalink)
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i think i would go the wrx sti...(such good value), B4 is a bit grandpa for my liking...if i wanted a coupe it would definatly be the nissan...i was behind a black one yesterday and OMG its so classy
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Old 05-24-2003, 05:45   #7 (permalink)
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Dont forget the T3 Russ
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Old 05-24-2003, 06:16   #8 (permalink)
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B4 for me! But then if i actually had that kind of money, I would just buy the GT!
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Old 05-25-2003, 09:02   #9 (permalink)
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B4 or 350Z would be the alternates for me.

I found out at the motor show that im way too fat for the mx5 :D

Im also pretty sure i could spec an XR6 turbo up to 60 g's

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Old 05-27-2003, 02:25   #10 (permalink)
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You forgot the Bora 4Motion and 4Motion Sport. Smaller, lighter and more fun then the Passat. Plus 150Kw with less then 1500kg. And a 6 speed manual instead of the 5 speed auto.
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