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Prospective Owner Questions


RiotNrrd
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I am considering buying a Soarer to replace my Saab 9000 Turbo. I know, it's a bit of a jump, but I bought the Saab because I could afford to insure it, which was not the case for anything else with the same power... Insurers hate young male drivers!

Anyway - I discarded the 2.5 TT - too much risk of buying something that has been thrashed by boy racers - and the 3.0 - not fun enough, and not cheap enough to make up for it - and so I am looking at 4.0 V8s.

While I wait for some insurance quotes, I have some more (barely) technical questions.

First of all, there don't seem to be many manual transmission cars about. Is this to be expected, or is it just a random thing at the moment?

Secondly, what should I expect in the way of insurance costs? Are we talking sit down and pour a stiff drink, or lie down with a cold compress and half a dozen pills?

And of course, I welcome your input on things to avoid at all costs. The main reason I am dumping the Saab in the first place (a year earlier than I had been hoping) is that maintenance costs are spiralling out of control, so I would rather tighten my belt a few notches now and avoid the bread-and-water rations in a year or so...

I will be contacting Powerhouse Garage in Camberley, as I work out that way and have read many good things. If anyone is in the Surrey area and wants to talk Soarers, I'll buy the drinks!

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Hmm - you would appear to be right, at least according to this review...

I really would rather have a manual, which brings the 2.5 TT back into play. I know purists prefer naturally aspirated cars, but I do like a turbo kick!

What should I look for that is Soarer-specific to be able to tell whether a candidate car has had enough TLC? I'm not asking about obvious things like tire wear, carpets and so on - can anyone point out something that I would otherwise miss that might make me decide one way or the other?

Also, what is the Switchable Sports Automatic transmission that I have seen on some advertised cars? Is this a sequential gearbox? Apologies if this seems obvious - the amount I know about automatic transmissions could fit on the back of a postcard, and still leave plenty of space for the address, the stamp, and "wish you were here".

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The 4.0Ltr V8 Soarer was not available with a manual gearbox.

The insurance is pretty much the same for either model (import loading & similar power outputs).

At 25+ you can insure a Soarer fully comp for around £500/600 a year

If you can live with mileage restriction (8000mls/yr) you can get Classic Car Insurance for about £300/yr

There is a list of Insurers and actual premuims in this post;

http://toyotaimportsforum.co.uk/forum/show...light=insurance

I am based in Ash, Hants if you want to get intouch and look at some Soarers (I got two on the driveway).

Yakuza - V8 GTL

Edited by ColinBarber
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Thanks for that link, London Bill - I will do some telephoning tomorrow and see what I come up with. So far I was quoted 1700 and nearly fell off my chair. OK, so I'm 24, but even so... I'll get back to you once I know what the results are.

On the downside, manual cars seem to go for twice the amount that autos do - sheer rarity value?

There are two considerations here - having driven a car identical to my current one, but with auto instead of manual, I was shocked at the performance drop, and the fuel efficiency was cut almost in half. This was with the same engine, turbo, everything, maintained by the same dealer. I'd have to be seriously impressed by an auto before I could consider it... Are yours both autos?

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All V8s are auto. Nearly all TTs are auto! You can find manual TTs, but they are pretty rare. The Soarer autobox is really good though. I wasn't convinced before, but now I've got used to the auto and very happy with it.

You should get insured for less than that. I'm 21 now and was paying that last year TPFT. This year i'm down to 1100!

At our age, the difference between V8 and TT would be quite a lot. You'd be lucky to get insured on a TT I reckon, and it would be a lot if you could.

The 'sports' setting on the autobox means that when you flick the switch, the box revs higher before changing up, up to redline if you are pushing it even slightly.

You are best taking a Soarer owner with you to look at cars before you buy. There are a few things to look out for. I should take up Bills offer. (I'm a bit far away, or I would)

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“Switchable Sports Automatic” raises the revs at which the ‘box changes up a gear. It may as well be renamed “have a lot of fun but watch the fuel gauge drop at a visible rate”. During my first week with my Soarer I got 10 (yes, ten) mpg. Colin at PowerHouse has just given the car a clean bill of health so that fuel rate must have been a result of my driving with my right foot welded to the floor and the Switchable Sports Automatic permanently on. Mind you, it was an absolute riot. I’ve never had so much fun.

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simonR

this is where the overdrive on theV8 comes into its own ,high speed cruising in overdrive on the auto box ,drops the revs and returns acceptable fuel consumption ,and for those quick moves off the lights

drop out the overdrive and click on the pwr switch and watch the cars behind grow small in your review mirror ,mainly because it suprises people that such a large/heavy car can be so quick off the mark

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I can’t say about the V8 Soarer, but if my LS400 (same engine) is anything to go by, you are both quite right. Lots of torque is good for cruising. I get reasonable mileage on a long run in the LS400, on Sunday I got 28mpg between Glasgow and Kent. I could have done better if I’d kept the speed legal, though.

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Are the manual TT's rare? Yes - I've heard it mentioned that there are less than a dozen manual TT's in the country. So hen's teeth and rocking horse poo and all that.

Do you pay a premium for the manual version? Again probably yes (if you can find one). I spent several months looking for a Soarer last year and of the 30 or so that came up for sale around that time only one was a manual. Some chaps here at LOC kindly checked it out for me as it was 200+ miles away, but unfortunately there were a few issues with it.

Is the manual TT quicker than the auto version? I think most people would say there's little or nothing in it. If you're not used to auto boxes, you'll love the Soarer (TT or V8) there's just endless & effortless acceleration.

Is the TT quicker than the 4L V8? All things being equal (like how well the car has been looked after for one thing) then I think a stock TT is marginally quicker.

MPG? If you're an 'enthusiastic' driver then as Bill says, plan on frequent visits to the gas station. :D

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Thanks to one and all - you are certainly a helpful and informative bunch! Things have not been moving forward due to me spending the last week flat on my back - I only get a cold once every 2 or 3 years, and then it makes up for lost time...

Tomorrow I shall start hitting the insurance companies, and see what they have for me - but based on other people's experience it should not be such an issue. I really want to start moving here, as my Saab does not fill me with confidence these days. It completely cut out while starting it a few days ago - no electricals at all! I have had other electrical faults, so I think it is not 100% healthy.

Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted. London Bill - PM sent.

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I decided to drop the Soarer :( I just cannot afford the insurance quotes!

The best I got was 1700 after a lot of grovelling on the phone, and that is still too much. That was from Adrian Flux too - I wonder what could cause the difference from o0O555O0o? I am living in Richmond, I will have 2 years no-claims (touch wood) by the time I want to get insured, I have had my license for 6 years, no points, endorsements or whatever.

If anyone is interested, I decided to go for an Alfa Romeo 156 V6 instead - the best quote was half the best Soarer quote, for a car that costs about the same amount.

I might try this again next time, and hopefully get more joy from insurers. Thank you all, especially London Bill and o0O555O0o.

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Unfortunately I think the Soarer is Group 20 (sure someone I rang for a quote told me that) so insurance will be high. It is possible to reduce your premium by keeping the mileage under say 6,000m a year - not much fun when it's such a tempting car to drive.

Good luck with the Alfa.

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