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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my options are:

used 2003 Track 350Z, 19,900 miles. Very good condition, couple of chips, one very small ding. $24,200 out the door. I would be financing $20k for 72 months at a payment of $330. Upon payoff, car would be 9 model years old.

OR

Lease a 2005 Enthusiast (TCS only, no VDC, 17" wheels, regular brakes; otherwise same car) for 48 months @12k miles/year with first two payments deferred, $3k down, at a payment of $398/mo.

Which is smarter?
 

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umm......where is the M3?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, a few things have changed around here and the M3 is no longer an option.

I am leaning toward the lease; there are a few cars in town that match what I am looking for, so I might check them out next week. I also thought about the temptation to mod and hopefully that will be the case; I have found much more imprtant things to spend my money on lately, anyway.

Still need to check around a bit on what the cars should be going for and also decide if the VDC and 18: wheels are worth the bump up to the Performance model. Anyone have opinions on TCS vs. VDC?
 

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so....give it up must :) ..... baby or new house? :lol:
 

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Maybe the X-terra just misses a "FastR" garage buddy :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Um, it's complicated; let's just leave it at that.
 

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sounds good to me must. good luck with things. currently the finance is looking at getting a G35 or Z after the wedding.
 

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Does the enthusiast have the lsd?
If not, get the track. I had the touring which had the lsd and it is required, unless you don't drive very crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All of them excapt the Base have LSD.
 

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Must, I would say it comes down to mod or not to mod... As you know moding a leased car can be a headache... Also does the Z have a good reliability record that could influence my decision? is the older Z from a dealer as certified pre-owned with the extended warranty? But even with all other things considered for me it would come down to mod or not mod
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, for me, the decision to mod or not is based on my current lifestyle and monetary availability. I wouldn't do anything but a few bolt-ons, anyway (maybe only plenum), and possibly different rims and I don't have a problem doing that on a leased car.

The used Track had the advantage of having wheels I really like on the car, plus the Brembos, whick look very cool, but ultimately won't really make a bit of difference in day-to-day driving conditions. It is NOT from a certified program or dealership; it's a very small independent place, but there are still nine months on the factory 3/36 warranty. It DOES need new tires, so there's an added initial expense.

The new one, while having higher payments, is a comfort in that I would know exacttly how the car was treated from day one and I think they also tweaked a few small things from '03 to '05 that have resolved a few minor issues, but I don't think anything is all that big a deal. I should shop around at a few dealers and see if I can get an even better lease deal, I guess.

Now, back to my earlier question:
Any opinions on VDC vs. TCS only? The Enthusiast only has TCS; it's an additional $2k to go up to a Performance and get VDC as well as 18" wheels.
 

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The Z has enough power to spin the wheels easily. I turned the VDC off every time I drove. It will NOT allow any step out.
The 03 will also eat tires within 10 to 14k miles as they released the car factory with a toe out problem, that can't be fixed. Can't rotate the tires on a track either. Also, take the 03 for a test drive and listen for the rear end to creak/pop a little under medium accelleration from a roll. If it does, the rear axles may need replacing as the factory had a run of bad spindles in early 03. Both my axles needed replacing.
Not trying to put the Z down, it's a great car..... but I wished I had seriously looked at the S2000 after I had it for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info. I am aware of the toe angle issue on some '03s; I thought it was due to an out of spec connecting rod in the suspension that could be replaced. Anything in the suspension geometry can potentially be fixed, changed or corrected by swapping out parts.

None of the models of the 350Z can have the tires rotated; they are all staggered.

I'm trying to think back to when I had my G35c and what occurred and under what conditions I induced VDC. I think that other than in very slippery conditions (which I would not be driving the Z in, anyway), that the traction control would suffice in keeping things in check. I can't really recall any situation in th dry when I would have spun it out were it not for the VDC. I think I'll stick with the enthusiast on the lease option and perhaps pick up a set of Track or standard 18" wheels on Ebay. I'm just not sure I'll be happy with the handling on the 17" wheels and tires.

I've looked at just about every sports car even remotely in this price range, including the S2K and I'd take the Z over it any day just b/c of the torque. I just can't stand not having the grunt there at lower RPMs when you want it.
 

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Re: Help me buy a 350Z...

MustGoFastR said:
Which is smarter?
Financially it's smarter to buy the used one, 4 years down the road you've spent less money and still have something to show for your 20K - hopefully you can write off the interest - If current finances are stopping you getting a used M3, then it seems strange to put more money into a new 350Z with nothing at the end?

Sorry to be a pooper :(
 

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The new Z used to have a fair number of warts which Nissan by '05 model year presumably addressed.
Locking yourself into a six year commit on a used car with less than spectacular depreciation is a bad move.
The cost of replacing Brembos is likely to be pornographic.
The cost of replacing high-speed rubber would be in the $600-900 range.
When dealers offer factory-backed leases ( Nissan subvented leases aren't unheard of ) they often come with inflated residuals. Meaning that when the projected lease-end market value fails to materialize, manufacturer is the one taking a hit $$$ on the difference.
You can drive the living piss out of a leased car, then simply hand them back the keys and walk away.
I'd look for a 3/36 type of lease deal for this particular vehicle. The payments would be higher - with similiar downpayment - but you'd spared having to shell out twice for new tires, replacing brakes etc.. Your major expenses are likely to be limited to the cost of rubber and 30K mile service. Not to mention that you'd still be under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmm, service is a good point. Are there any stipulation as to how you maintain the car when leasing? I typically do all of my own service to save lots of money, so if it is a stipulation of the lease that all service must be performed at the required intervals by the dealer, then that could be a big deciding factor against the lease. Anyone know about this? I've never leased before.
 

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I don't see how a dealer can force you to service leased vehicle @ their facility which maybe charging $80/h labor rate. As long as the car has been looked after @ a legit establishment, that could be charging 1/2 that rate, for which you can present documented proof - you're in the clear. Mind you, this is needed to ensure that your arse is covered legally. Otherwise, if the dealer raises no issues - provided the vehicle remains mechanically sound - at the expiration of the lease, then who the **** is gonna even care who and when serviced it.
Couple years back I heard of some guy whose VR6 had crapped out on him due to shoddy VW supplier part. Unfortunatley for him, the guy - who was Mr. Handy - never set foot @ the dealership 'cause he did all the service work @ his home on weekends. Needles to say, VW blew him off faster than he could say - ouch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, i'm leaning real hard toward the '03 Track Z right now. It's underpriced by about $4k, I checked it out Saturday and it looks and drives great. I confirmed with a dealership that everything is cool as far as warranty is concerned. If all goes well, I'll be flying back up to Dallas tomorrow morning to get it. Wish me luck! 8)
 
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