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  1. #1
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    Need some suggestions for a next vehicle

    hey guys... hope you can help!

    i currently own a '97 toyota 4runner 4x4 auto (hence the username) only thing is, i just got a job that requires about 1.5 to 2 hours of total commute time per day, and at about 15 to 17 MPG, the gas costs are killing me.

    in a couple of months i'll be looking to buy a new ride, considering i'll be starting law school, which will add even more time to my daily commute and at that point i'll be working to pay for gas alone!

    i'd like to ideally get between 4k and 5k for the 4runner, and i'd throw an additional 4k-5k on top, so i'm looking for something below 10k

    must be:
    -able to haul my 2 29ers, plus possibly another bike (can be with roof/trunk racks)
    -available in manual transmission
    -prefferrably 4dr
    -peppy (not necessarily FAST, but with some decent power)
    -****RELIABLE****

    anyone have any suggestions?

    i was considering used element SC or scion XB but both are dreadfully slow. maybe a 4dr civic (also SLOW). also considered a used mazda protege 5 or mazda 3 hatch but i had 2 mazdaspeed peoteges in the past that both left a nasty taste in my mouth about mazda's.

    and lastly, what i really want is another GTI (had an 06, and also an 03 jetta) but reliability issues were immesurable. anyone have any input on the newer rabbit? i think the 06 4dr's can be had within my budget and if they are reliable that would be the ideal car!

    i don't mind doing a couple mods (Intake/Exhaust, etc.) to extract some horses considering i'm a closet mechanic (have done motor swaps, changed transmissions in parking lots, etc. let's just say there's nothing really mechanically i won't be willing to do myself)

  2. #2
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    did you look into the subaru impreza? good awd car, very reliable, pretty quick if you get the right one. you can find used for under 5k. if you want to go all out look into the STI model for around 20k but its only worth it if you are learning rally cross.

  3. #3
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    considered an older rex or even a newer RS (real slow?) lol

    as a former street racer i'd try to stay away from boost because i know that if i buy something turbocharged i'll be really tempted to mod and then i'll end up with 2 things. another parts bucket, and no ride to work

    but definitely high on my list is an impreza.

  4. #4
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    Have you thought about a motorcycle?

    Keep the 4Runner for bad weather, MTB transport, offroad fun (where do you live?).
    Pick up a sport bike (or cruiser). My choice would be a Honda 599; more upright and comfy for a couple hours a day than most sport bikes, faster and quicker handling than a cruiser) for that $4-5k that you were going to stack on top of the 4Runner sale.

    Best of everything. WAY faster than any car you'd buy, 50mpg easy, parking at law school should be a breeze, and therapeutic on the ride there/back.

    I don't have enough of your situation; maybe it's not realistic (ride your MTB near school, need to take someone with you, etc) but something to consider.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric1115
    Have you thought about a motorcycle?

    Keep the 4Runner for bad weather, MTB transport, offroad fun (where do you live?).
    Pick up a sport bike (or cruiser). My choice would be a Honda 599; more upright and comfy for a couple hours a day than most sport bikes, faster and quicker handling than a cruiser) for that $4-5k that you were going to stack on top of the 4Runner sale.

    Best of everything. WAY faster than any car you'd buy, 50mpg easy, parking at law school should be a breeze, and therapeutic on the ride there/back.

    I don't have enough of your situation; maybe it's not realistic (ride your MTB near school, need to take someone with you, etc) but something to consider.
    to answer both your questions, south florida

    1) no harsh weather
    2) drivers are crazy, would like a bike but enjoy living far too much.

    i'm coming closer to deciding between the mazda3 s and the rabbit 4dr. doesn't have to be those but something like that. i like the extra room and i love roof racks so either one of those or something the like would be what i'm aiming for. i owned an 06 GTI and also had an o6 Jetta 2.5 as a rental which i was VERY impressed with, so i'm leaning even more toward the rabbit 4dr

  6. #6
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    the element is cheap, spacious, and reliable.

    mileage is decent in the upper 20s.

    just keep in mind that any money spent on buying a new car can buy a LOT of gas for your current 'wasteful' truck before you even break even.
    how durable a bike or component is usually has a lot to do with how heavy and ugly it is.

  7. #7
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    Impreza or Outback, are two very sound, practical choices for MTB passion. Good mileage, AWD and the ability to briskly climb, without being overtaken...are all pluses.

    Me, on the other hand....also came from that dreaded, Toyota 3VZE dog of a fuel pig. In fact, it was such an embarrassment, I disposed of it and went for straight, 300hp+ boost and now has a vehicle I can pass anybody, who delays our trail rides. Also, I no longer have to keep my vehicle within eye shot(never trust bike locks), as the bikes are now safely stored inside it. I have even pulled two Jeeps from deep, muddy puddles, scaled a 25% rutted grade and plowed through four inches of snow at 75mph. I'm not advocating you do what I did...but, I simply love my Audi allroad quattro. It may have a touch better mileage than the Hilux Pickup....but the trade-off in power and trailside utility was well worth it for me:

    1989 Toyota SR5 V6 - 13mpg, and barely lugged two riders/bikes up an 18% grade mountain road.


    2002 Audi allroad quattro - 17mpg, twin-turbo V6, 315hp chipped and passes like a Porsche Carrera.

    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 04-21-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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  8. #8
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    97-2001 Subaru RS are the best looking sub out there to me....

    get one of those

    You will not be mad!











    they also come in 4 door but the 2 door looks better

    Last edited by MyName1sMud; 04-21-2011 at 06:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    just find a nice 2.5 rs. Dont have to worry about turbo or anything like that but if you change your mind down the road it is possible to convert. beautiful car (much more sleek than the newer "bugeye"), super reliable, and not exactly slow.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoner12111
    just find a nice 2.5 rs. Dont have to worry about turbo or anything like that but if you change your mind down the road it is possible to convert. beautiful car (much more sleek than the newer "bugeye"), super reliable, and not exactly slow.
    exactly...

    Love them.

    Don't know why they changed the look from the above car that I posted.

  11. #11
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    i love the "GC" chassis suby's just looking for something maybe a bit newer. and they're REALLY hard to find in good shape.

    i'm leaning toward the mazda3 hatch, or even like an 02 maxima. but if i could find a nice impreza i would be all over it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoner12111
    just find a nice 2.5 rs. Dont have to worry about turbo or anything like that but if you change your mind down the road it is possible to convert. beautiful car (much more sleek than the newer "bugeye"), super reliable, and not exactly slow.
    lol i've installed a fair share of turbo kits, only problem with that is motors not meant for boost tend to granade themselves after a while unless you upgrade internals and use some crazy $3k+ standalone.

    and hey, i LOVE the bugeye, don't talk smack! lol

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner
    lol i've installed a fair share of turbo kits, only problem with that is motors not meant for boost tend to granade themselves after a while unless you upgrade internals and use some crazy $3k+ standalone.
    Hey, my Audi has 170k and I use boost ALL THE TIME. Must be the stock, iron block, coolant "after-run" feature and sodium filled valves...lol

    Yeah, I agree nothing beats the Impreza WRX STi wagon. I still miss mine...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Hey, my Audi has 170k and I use boost ALL THE TIME. Must be the stock, iron block, coolant "after-run" feature and sodium filled valves...lol

    Yeah, I agree nothing beats the Impreza WRX STi wagon. I still miss mine...
    should have specified, they were talking about the potential of adding a turbo kit in the future to a car that was originally normally aspirated. with a car4 like yours, built around the turbocharger, air fuel curves and components like the block, rods, pistons, and rings, are made to withstand boost. in cars that are normaly aspirtaed, and often higher compression, changes need to be made to the usually weaker components and compression, also an engine management system is needed to correct the air fuel ratios that were meant for a motor without forced induction

    to turbocharge a car properly one typically needs

    turbo
    wastegate (if not included or internal)
    manifold
    exhaust
    intercooler
    intercooler piping
    blowoff/recirc valve
    mos often a new MAF (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
    different intake
    forged rods
    forged pistons
    new rings
    crank and cam bearings (not necessary but might as well)
    engine management
    fuel mods (new pump, injectors, rail, etc)
    and more
    wideband o2 sensors and gauge
    other miscellaneous gauges (boost, oil pressure, exaust gas temp, etc)
    other miscellaneous parts (vac hose, couplings, zip ties/duct tape lol)
    as you can see this gets REALLY expensive if done properly.

  15. #15
    jrm
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    Or save your money

    and take transit or ride your bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    1989 Toyota SR5 V6 - 13mpg, and barely lugged two riders/bikes up an 18% grade mountain road.
    You sure about the mpg? I've got an 87 Nissan 2wd truck with the 3.0L v6 and I get low 20 mpg on the freeway, 15 in the city.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    and take transit or ride your bike.
    i have to be at work at 8:30 a.m. and it's an hour car ride, public transportation would take 3 hours, and riding my bike would take substantially longer

  18. #18
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    How much are you looking to spend? Since you have racks and hitches as options, you're options for cars are pretty much limitless.

    Personally, I drive a Subaru and I recommend them to everyone. I can fit 2 MTB's inside my Forester (with the front wheel off) and still have plenty of space for a weekend's worth of stuff. I got a rack for it now, too.

    I like what Kia and Hyundai are doing nowadays. They've come a LONG way in the past few years. I rented a new Sonata in Cali and Vegas when I was there last summer and thought it was an awesome car (no joke).
    --NC
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona_CT
    How much are you looking to spend? Since you have racks and hitches as options, you're options for cars are pretty much limitless.

    Personally, I drive a Subaru and I recommend them to everyone. I can fit 2 MTB's inside my Forester (with the front wheel off) and still have plenty of space for a weekend's worth of stuff. I got a rack for it now, too.

    I like what Kia and Hyundai are doing nowadays. They've come a LONG way in the past few years. I rented a new Sonata in Cali and Vegas when I was there last summer and thought it was an awesome car (no joke).
    i'm looking for under 10k, preferably around 8

    and to be honest, i'd LOVE a wrx (bugeye is fine) but from what i hear the reliability of the boxer motor is dismal. but mand i'd REALLY love a wrx lol.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner
    i'm looking for under 10k, preferably around 8

    and to be honest, i'd LOVE a wrx (bugeye is fine) but from what i hear the reliability of the boxer motor is dismal. but mand i'd REALLY love a wrx lol.
    If you know engines, the boxer just needs a bit more TLC... and oil, as with any Porsche-designed motor. Otherwise, it keeps getting better and better each successive year. My WRX STi Wagon had 220,000 miles before I hit that stupid deer at 90mph...
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner
    i'm looking for under 10k, preferably around 8

    and to be honest, i'd LOVE a wrx (bugeye is fine) but from what i hear the reliability of the boxer motor is dismal. but mand i'd REALLY love a wrx lol.
    If you got an n/a you'd be fine. My car is at 98k miles (mine since 32k) and the only thing I've had to replace is the ignition coil pack. Other than that just normal maintenance.

    The key is to find one that wasn't beaten by some kid. My car was owned by a soccer mom before me haha.

    What about a RAV4? Corolla? Maybe an older Fusion?
    --NC
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona_CT
    If you got an n/a you'd be fine. My car is at 98k miles (mine since 32k) and the only thing I've had to replace is the ignition coil pack. Other than that just normal maintenance.

    The key is to find one that wasn't beaten by some kid. My car was owned by a soccer mom before me haha.

    What about a RAV4? Corolla? Maybe an older Fusion?
    i'd like something a bit quicker.

    i have 3 cars i'm leaning toward, all very different

    the wrx is still one (if i can find a low milage one in good shape)
    an RSX type S (ultra reliable, and i can put racks on it)
    or a maxima 3.5 (the 2002 model)

  23. #23
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    Jetta Sportwagen TDI, jusr my 2 cents

  24. #24
    jrm
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    Holy job housing balance

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner
    i have to be at work at 8:30 a.m. and it's an hour car ride, public transportation would take 3 hours, and riding my bike would take substantially longer
    and increased transportation cost in the form of debt. Id consider moving closer to the job.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    and increased transportation cost in the form of debt. Id consider moving closer to the job.
    just signed a lease 2 months ago. i still don't see how that's a more feasible option than getting a new vehicle... i get about 16 mpg right now and whatever car i get will be close to double that, therefore i'll be saving about half of what i pay now for gas, and that's just back and forth from work. what if i want to take a road trip? drove to tenessee in my truck in february and it costed me almost $400 in gas alone round trip. i think getting a more economical car will definitely save me quite a bit in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duc.Man
    Jetta Sportwagen TDI, jusr my 2 cents
    i'd love a TDI

  26. #26
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    Just called a friend to ask him if he knew anyone selling anything nice and it turns out he's selling his GTI, it's an MKIV and i did pretty much all the work on it myself. 101k miles and in GREAT shape and he wants $4,400! gotta get my truck sold now.

    that's the GTI there, behind my old cannondale and my old mazdaspeed protege

  27. #27
    jrm
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    I take it your 4runners

    not stock to get that kinda mileage? do you drive fast? that will kill 4runner mileage fast.I have a 00' 4x4 limited with a small lift with 265/75/16s and my mileage hovers around 18 to 20 mpg. Have you changed plugs-wires, o2 sensor, fuel and air filters?

    Its just i think the immediate savings in gas between the 4runner and this new car will be short lived b/c youll be driving the new car further and more frequently.

  28. #28
    RIS
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    You already have a vehicle that meets your needs.

    $10,000 will buy a chitload of gas.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    not stock to get that kinda mileage? do you drive fast? that will kill 4runner mileage fast.I have a 00' 4x4 limited with a small lift with 265/75/16s and my mileage hovers around 18 to 20 mpg. Have you changed plugs-wires, o2 sensor, fuel and air filters?

    Its just i think the immediate savings in gas between the 4runner and this new car will be short lived b/c youll be driving the new car further and more frequently.

    i get around 18. basically on a full tank i get about 225 to 250 miles. bone stock, it's just old.

    so the GTI story has developed. i'll know today if i'll be able to get it. if i do it will b e an even steven with no money over the top, so essentially i'll get exactly what i need for the price of tax.

    @RIS

    i was factoring the 4.5k or so i woul dget for my truck into the 10k and to be honest was looking for cars closer to 8... so the original idea was to sell the 4runner for like 4.5 or 5 and put about 3k on top. i don't just have 10k laying around

    the thing is, this truck completely exceeds my needs. i don't need the 4x4 because i rarely travel with my truck any more and live in south florida and there is absolutely no reason to have the 4x4, i don't even have dogs any more so the only thing i need a vehicle for is commuting and biking, along with the occasional short road trip. so i think the GTI will be a perfect even trade.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    You already have a vehicle that meets your needs.

    $10,000 will buy a chitload of gas.
    Agreed, the payoff wont be for YEARS, And if you are heading to law school the last thing you want is a car payment.

    even if your commute is 120mi/day at 15mpg your fuel costs are $32/day

    if you double your mpg (to 30) your gas costs are $16/day

    If the new car is $10K, thats 625 days of commutting, 5 days a week 50 weeks a year thats 2.5 years before you will break even in gas costs. By then you will be in law school and wont be wanting another payment (as if tuition and books arent enough already)

    Ive struggled with upgrading my 12 year old SUV to something more economical, but i really dont drive that much (being a college student) so the payoff would take a decade. Plus i ride my bike more

  31. #31
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    Pull the trigger....

    OP....get the GTi, you only live once. I am also commuting to school and is faced with selling my 300hp Audi twin-turbo...for an econobox too. But, I don't think it's gonna happen simply because I am willing to PAY for those smiles per mile.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    Agreed, the payoff wont be for YEARS, And if you are heading to law school the last thing you want is a car payment.

    even if your commute is 120mi/day at 15mpg your fuel costs are $32/day

    if you double your mpg (to 30) your gas costs are $16/day

    If the new car is $10K, thats 625 days of commutting, 5 days a week 50 weeks a year thats 2.5 years before you will break even in gas costs. By then you will be in law school and wont be wanting another payment (as if tuition and books arent enough already)

    Ive struggled with upgrading my 12 year old SUV to something more economical, but i really dont drive that much (being a college student) so the payoff would take a decade. Plus i ride my bike more
    well hopefull if all goes well today i'll be selling my truck for 4500 and buying a GTI for 4400!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    OP....get the GTi, you only live once. I am also commuting to school and is faced with selling my 300hp Audi twin-turbo...for an econobox too. But, I don't think it's gonna happen simply because I am willing to PAY for those smiles per mile.
    that's the thing... NO smiles in the 4runner. it's slow, and handles like a superyacht, there's no fun to be had except for the couple times a year i go to TN with my lady or the like. and that crap's expensive too


    i'm really hoping the sale goes through today and i get 4500 for my truck so i can pick up the GTI

  33. #33
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    Agreed, the payoff wont be for YEARS, And if you are heading to law school the last thing you want is a car payment.

    even if your commute is 120mi/day at 15mpg your fuel costs are $32/day

    if you double your mpg (to 30) your gas costs are $16/day

    If the new car is $10K, thats 625 days of commutting, 5 days a week 50 weeks a year thats 2.5 years before you will break even in gas costs. By then you will be in law school and wont be wanting another payment (as if tuition and books arent enough already)

    Ive struggled with upgrading my 12 year old SUV to something more economical, but i really dont drive that much (being a college student) so the payoff would take a decade. Plus i ride my bike more

    Yup.

    And for a young male college student, I'm guessing that insurance on a GTI is going to cost a lot more than it does for the Toyota.

    I still think that the least expensive car to buy is the one that you already own.

  34. #34
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    Forget the GTI and get this one from VW. Better mileage, looks and strong as hell

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxR-MvH7se0&sns=fb
    CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhop
    Forget the GTI and get this one from VW. Better mileage, looks and strong as hell

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxR-MvH7se0&sns=fb
    hahahahahahaha..... man that's funny.

    ok i'm gonna try to convince everyone here about the GTI with one line

    "it's got full yakima roof racks with fairing and 2 bike carriers!"

    see what i did there?

  36. #36
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    For some reason, this RS4 Avant just does something to me...

    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    For some reason, this RS4 Avant just does something to me...

    me too... mostly in the crotchal region. the GTI is reflex silver too

    i should have it tomorrow!

  38. #38
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    another pic, i have to buy the roof racks from him with my next check, but very excited to be back in econobox territory!

  39. #39
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    Nice. Here is my buddy's GTi...with Audi A8 "fat five" 18" alloys. I wanted a set of them for my allroad...but I cannot find them anywhere for under $1000(rims only):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need some suggestions for a next vehicle-kreuzer9.jpg  

    Need some suggestions for a next vehicle-kreuzer11.jpg  

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  40. #40
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    couple companies make replicas i believe. i'll poke around vortex late rand see if i can find anything

  41. #41
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    No Dice

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner
    couple companies make replicas i believe. i'll poke around vortex late rand see if i can find anything
    Naw, tried already. The OEM A8 wheels were made by Ronal, in Germany and has long been out of production. I'm gonna try every online Audi/VW boneyard soon.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoNin9r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,701
    I might have a set of stock montes soon

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