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Old 01-13-2013, 02:34 PM   #31
jdiaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drex_Army_RET View Post
My wife works for the DOD (Department of Defense) so we are supported by the U.S. Army. Under current SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) rules, we are issued the same plates that the local town uses. Italy has the same rule, all service members have the Italian tags. I have the same insurance provider (USAA) that I had in the states, they support Retired and Active service members around the world. I remember the days of the american vanity tags, not so anymore. When were you over here? I was stationed in Vicenza from 1990-94.
I was an engineer for a private company.....we lived in Monza in 2005, right down the block from the F1 track.

I had a one-year expat deal, so I got liability-only insurance thru ADAC and just rode on my US plate for a year.

I don't know what its like over there now, but the Italians were wonderful with us. And believe me, we didn't blend in at all.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:52 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post
I was an engineer for a private company.....we lived in Monza in 2005, right down the block from the F1 track.

I had a one-year expat deal, so I got liability-only insurance thru ADAC and just rode on my US plate for a year.

I don't know what its like over there now, but the Italians were wonderful with us. And believe me, we didn't blend in at all.
My wife has relatives in Milano. We have the same tags as our German neighbors on all our vehicles. I have lived in Europe for most of my life but it has all been supported by Uncle Sam.

My last tour we had our 2006 4runner over here. I was followed for miles by a French guy in an older model 4runner. He wanted to know where I had gotten my since they are no longer sold in Europe. I thought I was going to have to kick his ass! Nice guy though!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post
How do you handle a license plate and insurance? My USA vanity plate was a magnet on my bike when we lived in Italy.

What did it say



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Old 01-13-2013, 04:59 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by cogitate View Post
What did it say



I'll give you a hint:

:ymca
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #35
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I'll give you a hint:

:ymca
He rides a Vespa?





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Old 01-14-2013, 09:40 AM   #36
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I'd check out the Focus ST--haven't driven one yet, but it sounds like a hoot and is quite reasonably priced.

After that a 2.0T A3. Don't think a TDI would save you money given price differential, cost, shortness of trips, etc. The 2.0T is a sweet little engine, good torque, smooth, quiet, etc. Also easy to get more hp from it I've driven one as well as the VWs it's based on. All quite nice, but the A3 is def an upgrade from the VWs in terms of interior and styling.

I haven't driven a C30, but love that it doesn't have a crazy-high waste line. looks really nice to me. I think it's maybe based on the Ford Focus. I've known a couple of folks with them who were very happy.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:42 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
Buy a new Focus for what you'd pay for a year-old, used euro car.

order it however you want, around here you can get an SE with a manual, sport suspension and heated seats.
When the Focus first came out, I went playing with the 'order me one' page. IIRC it was a $25k Focus when I was done with what I wanted. (sport package, manual, heated seats, and some other goodies)

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:26 PM   #38
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Is Dealer support an issue for you? Being on the West coast you're looking at 800km or more to bring the car in or a ferry ride to Nova Scotia. I'm unaware of any independent shops out that way for euro cars (but I could be wrong). Focus ST or Mazdaspeed3 might be some alternatives worth looking at.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #39
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you're looking to replace your Honda with a VW or Volvo

If you like shitty customer service and random unfixable problems most definitely get the VW, and if you want slightly better customer service go with the Volvo!

I've owned too many VWs to even count and immediate family has owned an equal number, and the newer they are the worse they seem to be (Audi Included). My Father is back to a Honda after 15 years of new VWs and Audis.

I'm with others and say go look at a Focus or a Mazda. I've driven them and they are nice driving and handling cars. VW used to be the only option for a low cost drivers car, but those days are long over. Consumer Reports data backs up the Reliability of the Ford and Mazdas as well. Heck Mazda is even coming out with a Diesel that will make the VW TDI obsolete IMHO.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #40
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Thanks- 32mpg at what speed, loaded or not? I can't help but laugh- I must be getting old given that I wonder about a GTI and weight

Don't think that the Countryman is in our budget- trying to stay around 20k (prices for Canada).

Ko
that's with the cruise control set at 70 and just me in the car. Might drop to 31 with a passenger and if you get a roof rack subtract another 2mpg. Around the city, I'm a little heavy on the accelerator and average closer to 24mpg and having fun.

It's a fun car, if you treat it as a peppy daily driver with an interior that rivals the low end BMWs. I think a lot of the discontent from previous owners comes from people who either wanted one expecting a race carI(it's not) or wanting something that was boring and reliable as an old honda civic(it's not).

If buying used, I'd hesitate from buying from a dealer without a good warranty. Some people who buy VWs and GTIs in particular do really stupid shit to them in the name of looking cool and fuck their cars up pretty bad. Then they either trade them in to the dealer or give them back at the end of their lease period with the stupid suspension, engine mods and 20" wheels removed and making it look stock even though it spent the last 2 years scraping every speed bump in the city and burning up valves.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
Not the TDI. There's a reason so many of them come with heated seats. I can't speak specifically for the current version, but on my '05 on a 15 degree morning it was usually 3 miles of driving on steep hills (more load and quicker heat generation) before the temperature gauge even started to move. The efficiency of the TDI combined with the lower heat value of diesel fuel in general makes for a long warm up. 10 km is 6 miles - neither the engine, nor the cabin, nor the driver are going to get up to operating temperature on a cold morning

I have a 2011 Golf TDI. It's not nearly as cold where I live as it probably is where you are, but on a 30F morning, my temp gauge is at normal after 3 miles of stop and go across town driving. The heated seats put out serious warmth within the first block, and there's some kind of electric heater in the vent system because it will start blowing warm air within a few blocks. So commuting may not be all that awful even in colder weather.

That said, the miles I drive have been dropping and I'd probably be better served with a GTI. The diesel torque is nice, but it's a car that shines on long drives more than short trips. For the driving you describe, I'd stick with a gas engine, honestly.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:41 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Dukeryder View Post
you're looking to replace your Honda with a VW or Volvo

If you like shitty customer service and random unfixable problems most definitely get the VW, and if you want slightly better customer service go with the Volvo!

I've owned too many VWs to even count and immediate family has owned an equal number, and the newer they are the worse they seem to be (Audi Included). My Father is back to a Honda after 15 years of new VWs and Audis.

I'm with others and say go look at a Focus or a Mazda. I've driven them and they are nice driving and handling cars. VW used to be the only option for a low cost drivers car, but those days are long over. Consumer Reports data backs up the Reliability of the Ford and Mazdas as well. Heck Mazda is even coming out with a Diesel that will make the VW TDI obsolete IMHO.
Would you like my laundry list of Honda problems and it seems new Hondas, Toyotas, and Subarus all are sucking compared to their older models while most of the other brands are getting more reliable. So now is the time to get whatever you want cause any of them could shit the bed. And don't forget the extended warranty
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:07 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by jdiaz View Post
Not sure how tall you and your wife are, but the GTI/Jetta rear seat is not a slam dunk for a baby seat if you are tall.
At 5'7" we're not taing much space from the rear seats

Quote:
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I'd check out the Focus ST--haven't driven one yet, but it sounds like a hoot and is quite reasonably priced.

After that a 2.0T A3. Don't think a TDI would save you money given price differential, cost, shortness of trips, etc. The 2.0T is a sweet little engine, good torque, smooth, quiet, etc. Also easy to get more hp from it I've driven one as well as the VWs it's based on. All quite nice, but the A3 is def an upgrade from the VWs in terms of interior and styling.

I haven't driven a C30, but love that it doesn't have a crazy-high waste line. looks really nice to me. I think it's maybe based on the Ford Focus. I've known a couple of folks with them who were very happy.
The ST is not bad, will look into leasing options cause we're not buying a new one. I don't know about others, but I don't think the car are made to last 10 years anymore- plus right now there's no new car in NA I'd like to own for 10 years.

Yes, the Audi is more upscale, it's on the list as well- but they're harder to get by than the other options.

We'll get back with impressions from test driving the C30.

Ko
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:14 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Dukeryder View Post
you're looking to replace your Honda with a VW or Volvo

If you like shitty customer service and random unfixable problems most definitely get the VW, and if you want slightly better customer service go with the Volvo!
Too bad the Mazda doesn't have the diesel here NOW...

And, Hondas are not the cat's meow either... take the one that just got crashed- driver airbag mulfunctioned. It deployed but just partially somehow- was supposed to deploy given location of impact and speed, but it did not. There are several accounts of this issue, but of course every owner is stupid and Honda knows better.

Having said that, I am looking at other cars simply because there's no Honda that fits our lifestyle. I had various brands, none of them was perfect.

What I'd like to find out is people's experience with those models, or something similar.

Ko
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #45
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And don't forget the extended warranty
with the market the way it is right now, it seems easier to get that included in the price one way or another. I used to laugh at people buying this, but these days I am seriously considering it.

Ko
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