I spent this past weekend, and this evening shopping for a new car. I've been looking for a car in the $25-30K range. Here are my observations so far:
2005 Ford Mustang GT:
I went to look for this first. It's the closest equivalent to my Camaro Z28 in features and price. I've more or less given up on this due to lack of availability.
- 300 horsepower!
- good stereo
- attractive car
- Very hard to find. Limited supply right now.
- Because of limited supply, dealers are charging $2-3K premium over MSRP. This pushes the cost of the car to the $30K range.
- No steering wheel controls for the stereo
- Premium gas. This gas is very expensive these days
- No ABS brakes
I liked everything about this car. Cost, features, looks - everything. I came very close to buying one this weekend. When I went back for a 2nd look however, I noticed the terrible rear visibility. It's worse than my Camaro, which isn't very good to begin with. This was the deal breaker for me. I was really dissapointed in this. Had it not been for that, I would have bought one and been happy.
- Good price - $25K
- Stereo has both CD and cassette
- Stereo supports both XM and Sirius satellite radio. First car I've seen that supports both standard.
- attractive interior
- Poor rear visibility
Not sure about this one. Fairly good price, but limited availability means the potential for premiums over MSRP to get it, plus the delay in ordering one. They are so rare right now, I couldn't even look at one with the features I want. I'm not buying a car I've never seen!
- Attractive interior
- Stereo has CD and cassette
- Steering wheel controls for stereo (plus A/C and cruise control)
- 280 horsepower standard
- Full size spare
- Roomy interior
- No standard traction control. 280 HP with no traction control is not a good idea.
- No folding rear seats - only a small pass-through hole
- Top of the interior of the trunk is not covered. It's just bare metal with a couple of speakers sticking out. Looks odd
Another car I really liked. The price is the deal killer for me, though.
- 270 HP
- Excellent acceleration
- Bright Xeon headlights
- Stereo controls on steering wheel
- XM satellite radio standard
- Bluetooth cell phone interface standard
- Leather seats standard. Harder to maintain and more expensive
- Expensive. Cheapest I could find was $31,900
Still to go: Honda Accord V6. I'm trying to figure out what other cars I can look at...