You can see it very nicely in this graph of Horsepower vs. MPG over time . As much as I appreciate this, it's pretty retarded and obviously way out of step with the times. The auto industry seems really really slow to react. People have wanted more economy for 5 years now, but they have just kept churning up horsepower. Now that gas prices are falling back down, the industry is just about to start putting out more efficient cars.
Anyway, what this means is there are lots of ordinary cheap cars that are pretty damn good. For example, the Mazda 6 which is one of the most reliable cars you can buy, costs around $25k and has a 3.7L V6, 24 valves, 272 hp @ 6250 rpm. Not bad !
Another new cheap asian sporty car coming out is the Hyundai Genesis. I know a lot of people have bad associations with "Hyundai", but if you take the sensible position that "build quality" means it won't fall apart and break down when you drive it, then a Hyundai is actually a better built car than any of the supposedly well engineered German cars.
The Genesis has 306 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque from a 3.8-liter V6. It's RWD and is basically a direct compentitor to the Infinity G37 Coupe. But it costs $30k , vs. $40k for the Infinity (and around $50k for a comparable BMW). And actually the Genesis has much more low-end torque than either the G37 or a BMW 3, both of which need high RPMs to make power. (IMO a flat torque curve is much much better).
I also really like the styling of the Genesis. While the Germans seem to be racing each other towards rice-boy baroque over-decoration with unnecessary bangles and slashes, the Genesis has a sweet smooth simple styling, that's maybe a tad boring, but at this point the only choices in car styling is to pick the one that is least bad.
Check out the direct comparison of Hyundai Genesis vs. Infinity G37 .
Sadly the Genesis is only RWD, and while the G37 comes in AWD, only the automatic is available, and the manual is only RWD. It reminds me of the dumb Lexus models that only offer their better engine with automatics. WTF. I think a manual is crucial. Though a no-stall first gear would be nice for rush hour traffic.
It would be really useful to be able to see a history of eBay final sale prices. You can search for "Nissan GT-R" on eBay, but it's hard to tell from the current prices what the actual sale prices are. I'd like to see a chart of sale prices over time like NexTag does. I guess they intentionally hide that info, but it would be pretty easy to scrape if you had a bunch of spiders and a fat pipe.
BTW just looking at the ranking order of warranty reports is a bit deceptive. There's really a huge step :
Group A : < 10% very good # 1. Mazda - 8.04% # 2. Honda - 8.90% (! paradigm shift here !) Group B : not bad # 3. Toyota (*) - 15.78% # 4. Mitsubishi - 17.04% # 5. Kia - 17.39% # 6. Subaru - 18.46% # 7. Nissan - 18.86% # 8. Lexus - 20.05% Group C : not good , around 25% # 9. Mini - 21.90% # 10. Citroen - 25.98% # 11. Daewoo - 26.30% # 12. Hyundai - 26.36% # 13. Peugeot - 26.59% # 14. Ford - 26.76% # 15. Suzuki - 27.20% # 16. Porsche - 27.48% # 17. Fiat - 28.49% # 18. BMW - 28.64% Group D : very bad - 30% + # 19. Vauxhall - 28.77% # 20. Mercedes-Benz - 29.90% # 21. Rover - 30.12% # 22. Volvo - 31.28% # 23. Volkswagen - 31.44% # 24. Jaguar - 32.05% # 25. Skoda - 32.12% # 26. Chrysler - 34.90% # 27. Audi - 36.74% # 28. Seat - 36.87% # 29. Renault - 36.87% # 30. Alfa Romeo - 39.13% # 31. Saab - 41.59% # 32. Land Rover - 44.21% # 33. Jeep - 46.36%(* on Toyota because apparently Toyotas made in Japan are very good and would be in Group A, but Toyotas made in America are shit and bring down their average).