If you're going with a VW stay away from naturally aspirated if you want to go faster. I mean, you will go faster with mods, but HP gained per dollar spent on mods is a lot lower than with a forced induction engines. Forced induction and high displacement engines give you much more out of mods and tuning that 4-6 cylinder N/A engines. Trust me, been there, done that, never going back unless I have a weekend car to have fun in (or unless it's an M3)
^^^ That does not look good!! ^^^ Then again, neither does the Honda...
Don't know exactly where you are in upstate NY, but in general, this is one of the worst areas in the country for salt. They just use an enormous amount of it on the roads so any car driven in winter here will have rust everywhere. I wouldn't touch an older Mazda around here - 5 year old ones are known to have rusted through fender wells. I also don't drive anything remotely special through the winter here. Even a single winter will mark the car for life.
How about a Volvo C30? They are probably a little bit out of your price range, but they are unique, available with a manual and a T5 motor, are good in the snow, and Volvo's rust less than almost any other brand.
1987 Mercedes 190E 16v Cosworth
1997 Volvo 855 T5
2010 Volvo XC90
2013 Prius Plug-In
I average 24-26 mpg driving 50/50 city/hwy. It really does lack torque down low though, but the sound at 6K makes up for that
Last edited by Armour; 10-12-2012 at 08:36 PM.