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My son (about to start his junior year in college) has a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with just over 129k miles on it. The engine is strong, but is getting a lot of timing chain rattle on a cold start. We were considering having the timing chains replaced (and associated gear) and had a price of $2500 from a trusted shop. When the shop tried to order the parts, it turns out Hyundai updated some parts that don't fit the OEM camshafts and so we'll need to get new camshafts and associated gear. The repair cost jumped up to $3800-4000.

That seems a lot to put into a 10 year old car. While the interior is in great shape, the 6 speed manual tranny has the characteristic GenCoupe 5th gear scrape and the trunk has a water leak I have NOT been able to track down and fix. When you add it all up, I'm not sure about putting any money into this or sell it and buy something else.

In that light, my son likes the idea of a Civic Si. If we start looking for one, are there years to look for?

And is there a sporty (not 2 seater like the Miata) sedan or 2 door Mazda that might be a consideration?

Curious as to what your thoughts may be.
 

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$4k. Wow! Seems like you could get a nice crate motor for not much more $$...

I personally would go for the Civic Si with a manual trans. Resale will stay good on those cars, relative to other cars anyway, especially if he keeps it stock.

Lots people seem happy with Mazda 323s, so wouldn't pass up a great deal on a used one, or a new Mazda3 hatchback.
 

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My son (about to start his junior year in college) has a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with just over 129k miles on it. The engine is strong, but is getting a lot of timing chain rattle on a cold start. We were considering having the timing chains replaced (and associated gear) and had a price of $2500 from a trusted shop. When the shop tried to order the parts, it turns out Hyundai updated some parts that don't fit the OEM camshafts and so we'll need to get new camshafts and associated gear. The repair cost jumped up to $3800-4000.

That seems a lot to put into a 10 year old car. While the interior is in great shape, the 6 speed manual tranny has the characteristic GenCoupe 5th gear scrape and the trunk has a water leak I have NOT been able to track down and fix. When you add it all up, I'm not sure about putting any money into this or sell it and buy something else.

In that light, my son likes the idea of a Civic Si. If we start looking for one, are there years to look for?

And is there a sporty (not 2 seater like the Miata) sedan or 2 door Mazda that might be a consideration?

Curious as to what your thoughts may be.
How about a Hyundai Veloster? I think you can still get a stick with those.

I've never driven one but the Veloster N looked interesting on paper at least.
 

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$4k. Wow! Seems like you could get a nice crate motor for not much more $$...

I personally would go for the Civic Si with a manual trans. Resale will stay good on those cars, relative to other cars anyway, especially if he keeps it stock.

Lots people seem happy with Mazda 323s, so wouldn't pass up a great deal on a used one, or a new Mazda3 hatchback.
While we bought the car right, with the other issues outstanding, I'm just not happy about putting more money into it without also getting those issues fixed (tranny scrape and the unsolvable trunk water leak). But yeah, I didn't think about a crate motor. Wonder if that's an option for the Hyundai Gen Coupes?

2017-2020 Civic Si
Are those the best years? I suspect the price will be a bit too high on them, but honestly haven't priced them yet.

$4k. Wow! Seems like you could get a nice crate motor for not much more $$...

I personally would go for the Civic Si with a manual trans. Resale will stay good on those cars, relative to other cars anyway, especially if he keeps it stock.

Lots people seem happy with Mazda 323s, so wouldn't pass up a great deal on a used one, or a new Mazda3 hatchback.
I think he's inclined to keep it stock. Might have to check out those Mazdas. But he's definitely mentioned the Si, but I'm concerned about finding one that's not ragged out.

How about a Hyundai Veloster? I think you can still get a stick with those.

I've never driven one but the Veloster N looked interesting on paper at least.
I don't think the Veloster has crossed his radar yet.

Golf GTI or Subaru
I kinda like the GTi but then again am a bit leary of VW. I don't have good vibes on them for some reason. That being said, I drove the snot out of a Beetlebug when I turned 16. It stood the test. But that was a long time ago. And what can you do with 40 HP anyway. ;)

Subaru. Have several family members with late model Subbies and they love them. STi is likely too pricey. Not a fan of the CVT models. So not sure what would be in his interest range there.
 
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Are those the best years? I suspect the price will be a bit too high on them, but honestly haven't priced them yet.

I think he's inclined to keep it stock. Might have to check out those Mazdas. But he's definitely mentioned the Si, but I'm concerned about finding one that's not ragged out.
In terms of performance, efficiency, safety, features, ride quality, and room - yes. I think they're the best looking as well, but that's subjective. I'm not seeing any reliability concerns with them. It's possible older generations may be reliable, but that's difficult to gauge accurately since I'd wager that the majority of vehicles in this category have been modified in some way that has a direct effect on reliability. I was looking for a used Si before I bought my 2017 and I simply couldn't find one that hadn't been molested.
 

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In terms of performance, efficiency, safety, features, ride quality, and room - yes. I think they're the best looking as well, but that's subjective. I'm not seeing any reliability concerns with them. It's possible older generations may be reliable, but that's difficult to gauge accurately since I'd wager that the majority of vehicles in this category have been modified in some way that has a direct effect on reliability. I was looking for a used Si before I bought my 2017 and I simply couldn't find one that hadn't been molested.
And therein lies the rub. I would also like to find a stock Si, not something that's been modded.

Finding an unmodded car was a challenge several years ago when we were looking for an Acura RSX Type R/Type S. Test drove one that had been lowered, but it rubbed in just normal driving. Didn't have any problem finding a stock Genesis Coupe, other than the problem of finding them at all.
 
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Finding an unmodded car was a challenge several years ago when we were looking for an Acura RSX Type R/Type S. Test drove one that had been lowered, but it rubbed in just normal driving. Didn't have any problem finding a stock Genesis Coupe, other than the problem of finding them at all.
You've got that right about the Acura RSX Type S. My son bought an older one and the first thing he did was put coil overs on it. He got the ECU professionally mapped/tuned and now he has his sights on installing a turbocharger. He wants to use it for fun at the track. I figure it's his money. He has another vehicle for his daily driver.
 

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M son also had the 2010 Genesis coupe, it was a great car, I was very favorably impressed with its performance. I was sad to let it go. He traded on a Ralli-Art (version of Lancer).
 

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We test drove a 2015 Civic Si yesterday. I was underwhelmed with the experience. Getting back into the GenCoupe felt like a different, better world. I don't know how to describe it. But the GenCoupe has a much more substantial feel to it than the Si.

Granted, that's the first Si we drove. So I need to drive some more examples to give balance. But I had a new appreciation for the GenCoupe after driving the Si.

Question: does the Si come stock with a snarly exhaust? Or is that a mod installed by a previous owner? I did not care for that exhaust drone at all.

We may look for a newer GenCoupe after this experience. Not sure our direction at this point. But the Si, while it drove and shifted nicely, was just underwhelming in comparison.
 

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We test drove a 2015 Civic Si yesterday. I was underwhelmed with the experience. Getting back into the GenCoupe felt like a different, better world. I don't know how to describe it. But the GenCoupe has a much more substantial feel to it than the Si.

Granted, that's the first Si we drove. So I need to drive some more examples to give balance. But I had a new appreciation for the GenCoupe after driving the Si.

Question: does the Si come stock with a snarly exhaust? Or is that a mod installed by a previous owner? I did not care for that exhaust drone at all.

We may look for a newer GenCoupe after this experience. Not sure our direction at this point. But the Si, while it drove and shifted nicely, was just underwhelming in comparison.
The 10th Civic (2016-current) should feel like a more substantial vehicle than the 9th Civic.

The stock Si exhaust is only slightly louder than the non-Si exhaust and primarily in the low-frequency range. The only time I could even tell my 2017 Si's exhaust was different was at low speeds with the windows open or when idling in my garage.

You have to rev a 2015 Si to get much progress. The 2017 Si's turbo engine gives you the torque way down low.
 

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We test drove a 2015 Civic Si yesterday. I was underwhelmed with the experience. Getting back into the GenCoupe felt like a different, better world. I don't know how to describe it. But the GenCoupe has a much more substantial feel to it than the Si.

Granted, that's the first Si we drove. So I need to drive some more examples to give balance. But I had a new appreciation for the GenCoupe after driving the Si.

Question: does the Si come stock with a snarly exhaust? Or is that a mod installed by a previous owner? I did not care for that exhaust drone at all.

We may look for a newer GenCoupe after this experience. Not sure our direction at this point. But the Si, while it drove and shifted nicely, was just underwhelming in comparison.
You are looking at the wrong car, Speed. You need to get a WRX for your son. Rough ride, but they hold the road with the AWD. In all seriousness though, a BRZ would suit you fine.
Those Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ are pretty fun to drive.
 
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You are looking at the wrong car, Speed. You need to get a WRX for your son. Rough ride, but they hold the road with the AWD. In all seriousness though, a BRZ would suit you fine.
Those Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ are pretty fun to drive.
You may be right about the WRX, but I suspect the price will be wrong!

And the BRZ is simply too small to be practical. We'd prefer a 4 door sport sedan. We bumped up the price we'll consider paying. But haven't explored the Subie world enough to be intelligent yet.

And when you say WRX... is there only one Subaru that's a WRX? I looked briefly on auto trader and see WRX STi and Imprezza WRX. I'm a little confused about the offerings.

Plus, I've read somewhere about an owner revolt/suit about bad Subaru engines... but only know enough to be dangerous.
 

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The 10th Civic (2016-current) should feel like a more substantial vehicle than the 9th Civic.

The stock Si exhaust is only slightly louder than the non-Si exhaust and primarily in the low-frequency range. The only time I could even tell my 2017 Si's exhaust was different was at low speeds with the windows open or when idling in my garage.

You have to rev a 2015 Si to get much progress. The 2017 Si's turbo engine gives you the torque way down low.
This makes me think the car at least had an exhaust mod. I simply couldn't stand the drone of that exhaust. It was getting on my nerves on a short test drive!

We let it rev some after it got warmed up. Smooth shifting and clutching. But it was a big let down after getting out of that 3.8L V6 in the GenCoupe with 306 HP. Gotta admit that was a hard act to follow. But I didn't expect it to feel so different in a negative way. I really don't know how to describe it. But it made the no-buy decision pretty easy. So there's that. But it also told us we need to drive several more examples to get a solid baseline feel for the car.

Honestly, I'm not sure how interested either one of us are in the Si now.

I wish I could get my son interested in a sporty Mazda of some flavor. But apparently he doesn't care for the looks. Shrug. In my old age, while looks are important, I like to consider the pedigree too. ;) I still think Mazda builds the car to beat these days... if only they made one appropriate for him. (he doesn't care for hatchbacks).

Here's a snippet from a Google search on the WRX (what engines to avoid):
"
Subaru 2.5-L Turbo Four Cylinder
Owners of 2009-14 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models have launched a class-action lawsuit, alleging the pistons and PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) systems in the high-performance 2.5-L turbocharged engines may overheat or malfunction, requiring a king's ransom in repairs.Apr 16, 2018 "

And this:
 

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My son (about to start his junior year in college) has a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with just over 129k miles on it. The engine is strong, but is getting a lot of timing chain rattle on a cold start. We were considering having the timing chains replaced (and associated gear) and had a price of $2500 from a trusted shop. When the shop tried to order the parts, it turns out Hyundai updated some parts that don't fit the OEM camshafts and so we'll need to get new camshafts and associated gear. The repair cost jumped up to $3800-4000.

That seems a lot to put into a 10 year old car. While the interior is in great shape, the 6 speed manual tranny has the characteristic GenCoupe 5th gear scrape and the trunk has a water leak I have NOT been able to track down and fix. When you add it all up, I'm not sure about putting any money into this or sell it and buy something else.

In that light, my son likes the idea of a Civic Si. If we start looking for one, are there years to look for?

And is there a sporty (not 2 seater like the Miata) sedan or 2 door Mazda that might be a consideration?

Curious as to what your thoughts may be.
I can’t believe no one mentioned it. I am a Honda guy from outboards to generators. I test drove the si and sport and it stunk. I drove a Corolla, before you say what !!! Drive a 2020 6 speed. It’s not a beast but it’s a 2.0 looks good and there is no way you will buy any civic after one test drive. I am telling you. You will be amazed, it’s sitting in my driveway since March and still want a reason to run to the store, it is fun. It’s my first Toyota also. I had a 03 civic since new and loved it but sold it to my nephew after I drove the Corolla.
not easy to find a stick but you will find one. The Subaru was my next choice but it’s more cash not good on gas and I had no reason to try after I test drove the ricer.
good luck
 

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There must be some way to sway your son toward the Mazda and still make him think it was his idea in the first place.

Here's a snippet from a Google search on the WRX (what engines to avoid):
"
Subaru 2.5-L Turbo Four Cylinder
Owners of 2009-14 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models have launched a class-action lawsuit, alleging the pistons and PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) systems in the high-performance 2.5-L turbocharged engines may overheat or malfunction, requiring a king's ransom in repairs.Apr 16, 2018 "

And this:
I don't imagine that article would ever find it's way to the WRX forum. My sons both have had WRX's (2015 and 2016) and they have not had any problems, but they don't have a ton of miles (40K and 15K respectively).
 
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I can’t believe no one mentioned it. I am a Honda guy from outboards to generators. I test drove the si and sport and it stunk. I drove a Corolla, before you say what !!! Drive a 2020 6 speed. It’s not a beast but it’s a 2.0 looks good and there is no way you will buy any civic after one test drive. I am telling you. You will be amazed, it’s sitting in my driveway since March and still want a reason to run to the store, it is fun. It’s my first Toyota also. I had a 03 civic since new and loved it but sold it to my nephew after I drove the Corolla.
not easy to find a stick but you will find one. The Subaru was my next choice but it’s more cash not good on gas and I had no reason to try after I test drove the ricer.
good luck
There's an option I didn't know existed. Hope there are earlier models than 2020 though.
 
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