Whether you dream of a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Subaru WRX, almost every enthusiast has their fantasy set of wheels. For some, they’re classic used cars; for others, they’re brand-new. That’s why people pay what seems like exorbitant sums for a machine that, logically, doesn’t seem worth it. But, as some Reddit users discovered, not every dream car lives up to its reputation.
The dream car failures
Recently, Reddit user u/TVR_Speed_12 asked the r/Cars sub-Reddit which, if any users had bought dream cars and subsequently regretted their decisions.
One of the most upvoted answers, given by u/achoowin, was the Subaru WRX. This user bought one because they wanted “something fun, fast, and reliable.” Unfortunately, as Motor Trend noted about the latest model, the ride was extremely harsh. And worse, u/achoowin describes their Subaru WRX as a “rolling headache” in terms of reliability.
The earliest Subaru WRXs, especially 2004-2007 models, are noted to be fairly reliable. However, the most recent model was the only Subaru to not receive a Consumer Reports recommendation, due to poor reliability scores. u/achoowin doesn’t mention specific issues, but other users reported suffering knock issues, and shifters popping out of 1st gear. Which is a shame, because as an enthusiast vehicle, the Subaru WRX is a lot of fun.
The user who responded with the RX-7, u/Teknicsrx7, clarified that the FD does have plenty of positive points. Reportedly, many passers-by thought it was newer than it really was. And in terms of handling, it genuinely delivered as a sports car.
However, as with other rotaries, the FD RX-7 requires a patient and careful hand. It can’t be shut off when it’s cold, for example, and it must be regularly run to redline to prevent carbon buildup. In addition, while the FD’s twin sequential turbochargers let its 1.3-liter engine develop 252 hp, they put out significant heat. So much heat, the catalytic converter can melt, and numerous engine components can fail. To quote u/Teknicsrx7, it’s not “really a ‘just hop in it and cruise’ type of car.”
Those with minor flaws
However, other Reddit users noted their dream cars weren’t flawed so much as not perfect fits.
For example, u/Caeser had no issues with their Lexus IS-F’s performance or reliability. With a 416-hp 5.0-liter V8, Lexus’ M3 rival can go 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. And in terms of reliability, the IS-F’s average repair costs are 1/3rd that of the M3’s, according to Edmunds.
However, the performance was precisely u/Caesar’s problem. They preferred driving a slow car quickly, rather than a fast car slowly, and were “always deadly afraid of losing [their] license.” That’s why test drives are so important—they can help uncover what you like and dislike about a vehicle. And if a dealer doesn’t offer extended test drives, Turo makes an excellent alternative.
Later in the thread, user u/Sinbound86 mentions the Honda S2000 as another imperfect fit dream car. Again, not because it was unreliable, nor due to a lack of performance. It was because u/Sinbound86 couldn’t fit inside comfortably. Given that the S2000 is only about 1” wider and taller than an NB Miata, understandably, some individuals may find it a bit cramped.
However, other Reddit users report that not only can tall individuals fit comfortably, but it’s also possible to drop the seats slightly to give more headroom. And once that happens, the Honda S2000 does have a lot to offer as a fun, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car. The 2000-2003 AP1 2.0-liter engines make 240 hp, more than any stock Miata, and redline at 9000 RPM. The later AP2s had a lower redline but made more torque and horsepower. Little wonder these cars are rising in value.
The dream cars worth praising
But, while some dream cars don’t live up to the fantasy, others genuinely do.
The former FD RX-7 owner, user u/Teknicsrx7 recently got themselves a 2015 Nissan GT-R specifically because it was almost the exact opposite of the FD. As of this writing, they’ve owned it for 3 months, and it still puts a smile on their face.
u/Teknicsrx7 specifically brings up the GT-R’s dual-clutch automatic as “the most manual feeling auto” they’ve ever experienced. But in normal traffic, it’s just as smooth and un-problematic as any other automatic. True, the GT-R doesn’t ride terribly comfortably, even in Comfort Mode.
However, by 2015, the Japanese supercar’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 was upgraded by 480 hp and 430 lb-ft to 545 hp and 463 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. That means a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds, quicker than a contemporary Porsche 911 Turbo, Car and Driver reports.
Speaking of the Porsche 911, that was another dream car that didn’t let its owners down. Whether the user owned a 996-gen Turbo, or a 997 GT3, they all came away with positive impressions. There’s a reason why Motor Authority considers it one of the best cars on sale today.
And the 911 isn’t the only Porsche that lived up to its reputation. Boxster and Cayman owners also found a lot to love about their cars. Seemingly as soon as they drove them, they were smitten.
Ultimately, the best dream cars aren’t about performance. The reason why people spend $50,000 on a 90s Civic Si or $300k on a 240Z isn’t raw numbers. It’s about the emotions those cars create. And if your dream car does that, it’ll always be worth it.
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