Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck is "Thiiiiis Close" for You?

You know what people used to say? “Close enough for government work” that’s what. That of course was back when the government actually, you know, worked. These days we have so many options in our daily lives that having to put up with something with even a single major flaw can be a deal breaker.
What we want to know today is which are the cars and trucks that have one thing wrong with them, or maybe a slew of tiny imperfections, that ruin for you an other wise desirable ride. What car or truck in your mind comes “thiiiiiis close.”
Image: Geekinthecockpit

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42 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck is "Thiiiiis Close" for You?”

  1. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    Well I go by the 3 strikes you’re out. The latest A3. No 5 door, no manual, and the price. So I got a TSX wagon. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Well, you can still get a 5-door A3, but only if you’re willing to deal with a plug-im hybrid (not bad, but it’s definitely on eco tires, and also doesn’t deal with the manual problem).

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Or move to another country. Mind you the 5-cyl RS3 isn’t available as a manual, just the 4-cyl S3, in Australia at least.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      The TSX wagon was close, but the lack of a manual was a deal breaker for me.

  2. Hillman_Hunter Avatar

    My Mk VI GTI is RUINED by undefeatable stability control. I can’t for the life of me figure out why a benign 200HP hatchback requires a joy-sucking electronic nanny. For thirty years I’ve been driving 300+HP RWD vehicles without any electronics and never had a prang. But VW somehow thinks the GTI is a 1976 911 Turbo waiting to kill its driver and everyone around it. The second you try to get playful and rotate it with a flick or a dab of left-foot braking, the car basically screeches to a halt. What should be a light, nimble, and playful little car instead behaves like my dad’s 1984 Buick Century. I’d set it on fire and drive the thing through VW headquarters front window if I could afford to.

  3. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Dodge Magnum (either R/T or SRT8). I could forgive the lack of a manual, if it had a better interior. I could forgive the crappy interior, if it had better towing capacity. I could forgive the lack of towing if it had a manual. 3 demerits which individually aren’t deal-breakers, but each becomes a deal-breaker in the presence of the other 2.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      Magnum RT with tow package was rated at 3800 lbs. That’s more than a similar vintage Ford Explorer (3500). CTSV wagon is only 1000 lbs How much were you needing to tow that nearly two tons is inadequate?
      SRT interior is a little less crappy than RT, but doesn’t tow as much.

      1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

        LeMons. 18 foot steel-deck trailer (~2000 lbs) + 1987 Jag (3500 lb, est.). My Trollblazer is rated at 6,600, and does a decent enough job.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      At least the Magnum has a trailer tow rating thanks to having the automatic.
      On the Challenger, Dodge only rates trailer towing for the V6/auto and 5.7 V8/auto. Manuals and SRT-powered cars have a tow rating of “not recommended”.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    First gen Miata. Great little car, cheap enough that I could probably get one as a toy. I don’t fit in it though.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      I’m lucky that I fit in a Miata, but having tried one step further with a Suzuki Cappucino, I feel your pain.

    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      I love ’em. I fit in ’em (if only barely).
      The catch? It’s actually not with the car, exactly, but where it sits in the mind of my missus — she’s declared it’s an old man’s car (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary), so I can’t have one until I’m over the hill.
      As much as this irrational prejudice of hers irritates me, one of the things we’ve agreed upon is that we’ll make all car decisions together — I have to have buy-in from her, and vice-versa. She finally got the Pilot she wanted, though, and it cost more than the last 4 vehicles (3 cars, 1 motorcycle) I purchased combined, even accounting for maintenance/repairs while owned. So, next car purchase is mine.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        I have a feeling that if I ever do get another fun old car, it will be an SUV of some sort (Scout, Land Rover Series II, Kaiser-Jeep Cherokee, etc.). My wife hates old cars, but thinks old SUVs are cool.

      2. cap'n fast Avatar
        cap’n fast

        i was going to be snide and remark something like the furniture will need renewed by then. i will refrain from that and offer condolences instead. advantage for you is i do not fold up enough to fit in even the latest generation. so, there shall be one out there waiting for you when you are ready.
        i had an MGB wire wheeled roadster until Miami happened. little old ladies peering thru the steering wheel and too short to fully depress the brake pedal caused me a lot of anxious moments while sitting at stop lights. happiness is surviving to be happy.;-)

    3. Fred Talmadge Avatar
      Fred Talmadge

      Speaking of fitting, was at the Chaparel museum in Midland TX this afternoon and they have a mockup you can try and sit in. I can fit a Miata just fine, but not this 2E

  5. GTXcellent Avatar

    2017 F250 Supercrew. 4wd. Gas. Lariat trim. Race red/Camel leather. Why yes, I have worn the corners on the sales brochure.
    Soooo close – the only problem? I just can’t justify spending that much money

    1. Victor Avatar

      Over 60 thousand?

      1. GTXcellent Avatar

        Surprisingly, the way I’d configure it, barely over $50k (well ok, I guess we’re closer to $55k. Really only about a grand more than a similar 1/2 ton other than all the incentives)
        Problem is that I have a more than capable F150 Supercrew that’s only 5 years old and only has 50-some odd thousand miles on it. I can’t rationalize any reason to do it – I’m waaaay too fiscally conservative (MiSSus GTXcellent prefers the term cheap) to make the buy with the only reason being “’cause I want it”

        1. Victor Avatar

          My first car was a Ford and there are two Fords in the driveway.

        2. outback_ute Avatar

          Nothing wrong with finding better uses for the money, even ‘just’ saving it.

  6. nanoop Avatar

    I have a Janus-headed perspective on the 911, and this is probably valid for a Cayman, too. It’s really good, from what I can tell from 15min in a 997/2.
    Let’s put aside the price tag, but I would really like a proper stripper with the base engine. Manual seats and windows, simple 1din stereo, six gears on the floor. I understand that the entry version is more like a quick S-class and that’s where the margin is, but a version with a few dozen fewer functions and features and buttons, with room for improvement further down the road would be perfect for me.
    Think of today’s 912.

  7. JayP Avatar

    Here you guys are!
    Dodge Challenger V6 6 speed manual. I’d own one if that were happening.
    Or a Charger RT 6 speed or even a Chrysler 300 Hemi manual.
    I’d have those.
    Or an slant 6 Challenger with the automatic.
    That’d work too.

  8. crank_case Avatar

    BMW 3 series compact – if only it had an LSD from the factory, and perhaps a slightly better capacity to power ratio (not so much an issue in the US where capacity doesn’t affect taxation)

    1. salguod Avatar

      Some E36 models in the US came with the LSD. Alas, mine didn’t.

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    The Nissan Frontier King Cab. It’s the right size, and I’ve always found it attractive looking. I wish they still sold a stripper 4×4 version, with the base 4-cyl and 5 speed, for maybe $24K. At that price, I’d be interested.
    But nowadays, you can’t get a manual with 4×4. You can’t get the four-banger with 4×4 either, and fuel economy with the V6 is dismal. Overall, it ends up being waaay too much money for a vehicle that hasn’t been updated in forever. The uber-cheap interior always makes used ones look worn and trashy, and Nissan can’t seem to bring their build quality quite up to par with their competitors.

    1. JayP Avatar

      This will be exactly how the new Ranger will be spec’d.
      I’d like 4×4, ecoboost 4 manual on a stripper extended cab.
      Like that’ll ever happen.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Here you go, but you can only get them as a diesel. Ford Australia has dropped the 2.5 petrol engine they had in entry 4×2 versions a few years ago.

    2. njhoon Avatar

      That is what I DD, an 06 LE. Way back in 06 when I was buying it, you could get the SE 4×4 with a manual, my dealer even had one on the lot but alas I was too late. It is a love hate thing, some aspects I love but there is a lot I hate. I will give the V6 and drivetrain props, I have had it seemingly stuck but it pulled through, at the risk of grenading the front diff

  10. Tiller188 Avatar

    At least on paper (have yet to see one in the metal, and of course I’ve never driven one), the new Alfa Giulia. I love the way it looks, it’s plenty quick, and all in all it seemed like a logical evolution from my current WRX to something similarly sporty/capable but more upscale/”adult” (although minus the AWD). Plus, hey, it’s an Alfa. It’s expensive, but I’m getting older and building up some savings; I could maybe be convinced that it would be worth it.
    …and then they decided not to bring the manual to the USA. I know, I know, I understand the marketing case and the business decision based on the expected take rate, but still…it’s an Alfa Romeo, and more than that, one representing Alfa Romeo’s triumphant, sporting-but-still-kinda-practical return to the US (not counting the 8C and 4C here considering their rarity and purity of purpose). What kind of people do you think are going to be most interested in this car, Alfa? (Or, for that matter, even be familiar with the name “Alfa Romeo”…)

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      I’m a bit confused on this, there was plenty of talk about a manual trans for different versions of the car, but now it is actually going on sale it appears that only the automatic is available? This is the case not only in Australia but also the UK. I suppose they may have only done a LHD manual transmission but surely it would go to the US (‘home’ of the M5 manual) if there was one.
      Note that the 4C only comes with a DCT, as do Ferrari, so perhaps they just decided it was all too hard do do a manual trans for the 16 people who would buy it.

      1. crank_case Avatar

        Pretty much – there are no three pedal ferraris so it kinda makes some sense, plus apparently the manual isnt that good a manual, where the auto is a great auto. Its not a 60s Giulia, but I wouldnt let it put you off.

      2. Tiller188 Avatar

        Well, nuts, that’s discouraging. I thought it was just that the manual was not coming to the US market, not that it had been axed. Oh well.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          I didn’t check any of the continental Europe markets, so it is not impossible

  11. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c2a8f8d21a13551f502e03fadb9f3089c130ea2ce44047d86fcb49b429ba9b9.jpg This is going to be unpopular but that’s the point. It just needed a proper V8. Oh and a manual would have been nice as well. Let’s face it though the V8 was what killed it.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Whatever proper V8s Mopar had around 2000 would’ve done dick all to categorically improve it (since they were ancient and wheezy), all they would’ve done was make it sound V8-y

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        To be fair, the sound is the important factor

        1. Tiller188 Avatar

          That and the bragging rights, but I have to agree there — even if it wasn’t making any more power, a V8 would have avoided a lot of disappointed doubletakes under the hood.

    2. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar

      I’m sort of with you on this… I would buy a Prowler if you could mate a manual to the V6, but you can’t, because the frame was designed around a longitudinal-FWD transaxle relocated to the rear.

    1. Alff Avatar

      The reverse rake is a dealbreaker for me.

  12. Maymar Avatar

    Right sized, reasonably priced, now I just have to trust the idea of long-term VW ownership if I want one for my next DD.

  13. outback_ute Avatar

    Mine is the 2005-08 Ford Falcon RTV ute, which is the raised (200mm ground clearance), locking diff version, a newer model of my ute. One thing I don’t like about this generation Falcon is the shape of the roof – the steep A-pillar and large amount of tumblehome make the top of the windscreen too close to my head. In my opinion of course, which is what counts if I’m buying!
    Unfortunately the next-gen ute didn’t have an RTV version, and the front suspension & crossmember changed so it isn’t an easy swap.

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