Best car for my teenage son? Advice needed.

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Golf TDI or GT Stang for teenage son's first car?


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Don65Stang

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My son is 17 and about to get his license next week. He would already have his license but had the tendency to do stupid stuff so we held off for a year...good kid but doesn't think beyond the moment. For example, he showing off for a friend took the car when he was 14 and cruised the neighborhood with the friend one day after school while we were not home...left numerous burnout marks and did doughnuts in the backyard. (Yes, he didn't sit down for a while after that one!)

Anyway, knowing his tendency to be like me when I was 17...I drove way too fast and didn't think my actions through either, I'm wondering what car to let him have. The 2000 VW Golf diesel or the 93 Mustang GT.

My thoughts about each car:

Golf. Peppy due to the high torque diesel engine, gets 48-50 mpg, 5-speed (fun), not a bad looking car in really good condition, cheap insurance. Airbags in seats & steering wheel.

37750.jpg


93 GT. Cool car! Auto trans, sunroof, red (arrest me red color with black racing stripes => cop attention getter), fun to drive, fast, 16 mpg & pricey insurance. Steering wheel airbag only.

DSC_2581.jpg


Wife's thoughts:

Sell the 93 and give him the golf. She made a good point when said lots of teenage boys have died in fast Mustangs. Said it will be cheaper for him to own & operate. I'm leaning toward the Golf b/c I generally listen to my wife because she isn't ADD like I am and a happy wife = happy home & a happy hubby.

Son's thoughts: He likes both cars but really likes the Mustang.

Vote and give me your advice. Thanks!

 

Tnfastbk

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Well I just passed on a 2004 mustang for my 19 year old about three weeks ago. Due to the fact it is real wheel drive and she has to get to work being she lives on her own now. With all the snow we have had this winter. I decided to leave her in her Acura for now, and I'm glad I did she had a minor fender bender on Monday. No one hurt except for the Acura and her pride. But the Acura is a lot safer and the temptation is not as great. Just my 2 cents worth.

 

Don65Stang

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Oh yeah, he's most likely going to crash whatever he gets, again, if he's anything like me. Just sayin'. I had my share of crashes in highschool simply by showing off in front of my friends.



Well I just passed on a 2004 mustang for my 19 year old about three weeks ago. Due to the fact it is real wheel drive and she has to get to work being she lives on her own now. With all the snow we have had this winter. I decided to leave her in her Acura for now, and I'm glad I did she had a minor fender bender on Monday. No one hurt except for the Acura and her pride. But the Acura is a lot safer and the temptation is not as great. Just my 2 cents worth.
I'm glad is was just a minor one and she is ok. Even though it is smaller I think the Golf is still a pretty safe car...unless it is hit by a big bodied 71-73 Mustang, then it would be toast!

 
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you said it yourself " knowing he is like me when I was 17 " If he want's the stang fine. Just get some really tough rules on him that you "WILL NOT" compromise on. Any speeding ticket's he has to pay himself and if he doesn't have the money he can't drive until they are paid off. And don't give him the car. Sell it to him " at a low price of course " just to let him know that the cars are not cheap. "my dad did that for me and I understand it now" Driving a car is a responsibility not a luxury and the sooner your son understands that the better. You just got to stick by the rules you set for him and make sure he understands that cars are not toys "they can kill"

Maybe my post might seem harsh but this is your son's life that you are dealing with "not counting the other teenagers that will be in the car with him" So be straight forward with him. If he want's to drag race {only at the track with you there } he want's to do burn outs {get ready to pay for the ticket} same thing for speeding. AND NO DRINKING AND DRIVING.

Man I don't have any children and am not planning on having any hahahaha but I am sounding like a father. But I hope you take this post as it was meant to be. Not nagging but just concerned. no matter what car he gets {boy's will be boy's} But as long as he understands that cars are not toy's the choice doesn't matter. And you are the best person to be the judge of this situation.

 
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Hey, Don, sounds like you already have a good idea about the answer. As a high school principal, I get to hang out with 17-year-olds all day, every day. :)

I'm sure your son is a lot like you, so he's going to do the same stupid things you (and I) did when we were in high school. I agree with Eric (72Fastback) about the rules and such - good advice for someone who's not a father. I grew up in rural Montana, and we had a 1/4 mile strip painted on the two-lane blacktop just outside of town. There, we practiced driving without any real traffic and didn't go over 90 miles an hour very often. My first car was a 4-door Dodge Monaco with a 383 Police Intercept. I put glass packs on it and to me, it was a hot rod. Zero to 60 in 45 minutes, but it was loud andl I washed and waxed it twice a week, and all my carless friends thought it was awesome at the 1/4 mile. If I had crashed her, all the iron around me would have kept me pretty safe, I think.

When (and I'm pretty sure I'm safe in not saying "if") your son runs into something, or something runs into him, what kind of car would you prefer he be driving? Probably a tank, right? But realistically, is a Taurus or another large-bodied car a possibility? Would selling the 'Stang and getting a sporty 4-door be out of the question? I can't believe that I'm saying this after all the crazy, fun memories I have with cars in them, but at 17, I say let him get some experience under his belt, and then he can decide what HE wants to buy when he's a little older.

Just my 2 cents,

Doc

 

droptop73

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Much good advice here. Given the options I would recommend the Golf. Both cars can reach lethal speeds, the Golf will take MUCH longer to get there.

The only thing I fear in life is something serious happening to one of my children or grand children.

 

RocketFoot

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Tough choice! As a Dad myself, I want to spoil me kids with the coolest stuff I can afford to give them! LOL...but on the other hand, a powerful car may be asking for trouble. I guess it all depends on knowing your kid. If you think he will listen to your rules then the Stang could be a go!

 
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Thats a tough one since the mustang is right there and nice at that. I did all the crazy stuff when I was a teenager as well so when my son got his license I thought he would do the same so I got him a toyota truck, it was the slowest thing on the planet. I was surprised, I havent seen any clues of crazy stuff.

He drove it for a year then he sold it and purchsed a 2001 GT so far he has been good with only one ticket in 2 years for going too fast in a 30 mph zone. But i have been taking him to the track since before he drove and now I race with him regularly and he is pretty good about saving speed for the track.

Is there any way to hide that mustang for at least a year so he can practice with the Golf.

Or you can give the Mustang but upgrade the ignition to one with a hidden rev limiter.

Or sell the Fox and later get a newer Mustang with ABS/Traction control and Airbags.

Just some ideas,

 

OLE PONY

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Three of my children have Mustangs that they started driving in their teens. I struggled with the same feelings with each child. I also talked to a police officer and in his experience he had more problems with teens in their ricers than in Mustangs. He said they all can go fast and just the fact the Mustang can get there a little faster did not make much difference. His bottom line was to have strict rules for driving.

I did decide NOT to let my son have my 98 GT Convertible because it was a convertible and it would be a killer in a roll over accident. I sold it and found a great buy on a 2001 GT Bullitt. The surprising thing was the GT Bullitt insurance was lower than a 2001 GT. The agent said it was probably because of the bigger brakes and lower suspension. My step son got a used 2004 Mach 1 we also found for a great price. He drove a Celica for about a year, then graduated to the Mach. My daughter moved back in with me last year after having enough of my ex, so not being able to afford another car, I let her have my occassional driven 2004 Mach 1. She loves it and smiles every time she drives it. My oldest daughter drives an Alero. Each of them has had at least one ticket, but not for dragging or anything dramatic. Just stupid violations like 32 in a 25 and such. So, knock on wood, no major issues with teenagers driving Mustangs. The two youngest (Mach 1 drivers) turn 20 later this year, and the Bullitt driver will be 21 this summer.

Although my name is on all the Mustang titles, my daily driver is now a 97 Ford Windstar with 201,000 miles on it and of course I have my 73 Convertible for special occassions.

Good luck with your decision!

 
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I would first have your son put his left foot, foot only, on that bathroom scale. Then put his right foot. Record the weights. If the two weigh the same, then I'd buy a v-8 mustang. Any year will do. If the right one weighs more than the left one, I'd go with a four cyclinder.

Either way, if I'm the owner and it's on my insurance, I'd probably put a black box on it. You know the ones that can record where the car is and how fast it's going. I'm an ol' Regan guy....trust, but verify.

 
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Man Don, I'm not there yet... I have 10 years to think that over (son is 6). I've been thinking that I need to get the Mach done, have a little fun, and get rid of it before he's driving. But, there is also a trust factor that could be really cool to share and instill in them at that age. We all survived that age, of course I inherited a 72 Buick 4 door that was indestructible to learn on. Drove it till 95 when I bought my own.

Like you said, maybe the $$ for insurance and gas is a good teaching opportunity as well. Good luck with the decision. Oh, by the way, how is the gas mileage on your new VW Jetta?

 
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Don let your son have the mustang. But make sure he knows how you and your wife feel. Make rules and stick to them. I had a friend Tony when i was a kid. Tony had a very fast 69 428cj cougar that he loved and a 1980 pinto/ bobcat that was 2.3 auto. A gutless good on gas car that he died in when he rolled it. Tony respected the power of the 428 and always had the bobcat flat on floor. Don make sure your son respects the 5.0 Mike

 

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If he likes the mustang then here is what i would do ! cover it and store it in the garage, buy him an 87 escort gt ( cause they look similar ) and tell him " if you dont wreck, prove your not stupid in a car, prove you can take care of it, pay your own gas and insurance ( reason for him to work and earn money even if its just chores around the house or mowing lawns ), and prove that that lump three feet above you a** ACTUALLY contains some brains, then and only then can you start driving the stang !!! LOL..... but wait that defeats the whole airbag issue ? disregard previous statements !!! :)

 

Don65Stang

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All good advice. I posted this same question verbatim on the VW TDI site and the VMF site to see if / how the answers would be skewed.

Here are the links if anyone is interested...was hoping to get some biased and non biased advice - and I did. LOL

VW TDI advice

VMF advice

I don't know what we're going to do yet. My son was showing me craigslist adds for a 4x4 ranger pickup today. He said he wants a car he can take in the woods hunting. Maybe he's on to something there. :idea: The ranger was $2800 btw.

 
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Thanks for posting the links to the poll on the other sites. I especially liked this one:

"A 74 Buick Electra. It's not fast. It's got 7 feet of metal in every direction. Insurance will be dirt cheap, and It'll sleep 6 comfortably." :D

Interesting to note that the Mustang came in last on both sites.

I REALLY like the idea of the Ranger - didn't even think about that one. My daily driver is an '02 automatic and I love it. Great gas mileage (about 24 on the interstate) and the pickup comes in handy all the time. I bought a used topper for $300 and the wifey and I have slept in it many tiimes while travelling and camping in Montana. I vote Ranger.

Doc

 
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My son is 17 and about to get his license next week. He would already have his license but had the tendency to do stupid stuff so we held off for a year...good kid but doesn't think beyond the moment. For example, he showing off for a friend took the car when he was 14 and cruised the neighborhood with the friend one day after school while we were not home...left numerous burnout marks and did doughnuts in the backyard. (Yes, he didn't sit down for a while after that one!)

Anyway, knowing his tendency to be like me when I was 17...I drove way too fast and didn't think my actions through either, I'm wondering what car to let him have. The 2000 VW Golf diesel or the 93 Mustang GT.

My thoughts about each car:

Golf. Peppy due to the high torque diesel engine, gets 48-50 mpg, 5-speed (fun), not a bad looking car in really good condition, cheap insurance. Airbags in seats & steering wheel.

37750.jpg


93 GT. Cool car! Auto trans, sunroof, red (arrest me red color with black racing stripes => cop attention getter), fun to drive, fast, 16 mpg & pricey insurance. Steering wheel airbag only.

DSC_2581.jpg


Wife's thoughts:

Sell the 93 and give him the golf. She made a good point when said lots of teenage boys have died in fast Mustangs. Said it will be cheaper for him to own & operate. I'm leaning toward the Golf b/c I generally listen to my wife because she isn't ADD like I am and a happy wife = happy home & a happy hubby.

Son's thoughts: He likes both cars but really likes the Mustang.

Vote and give me your advice. Thanks!
really good point... these kids drive like we did. MINE? she'll get a 64 Pontiac Catalina:D:D:D

So get the Golf! Mine will probably inherit the 99 Honda Accord (but it IS a v6) so I'm really not REAL happy about that. However she shows some interest in Dads hobby and likes older trucks. I'm thinking 6cyl pickup with a gear swap and an AOD will get her pretty close to the same gas milage.

 
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Don very interesting post. I will chime in although it is a little late.

I have four children driving on my docket. The older two (24, 22) have graduated to their own rides. My daughter to a Kia Soul, my son to a 95 Nissan 4X4. The third still use the rides I passed on to him: a 1971 Maverick with 91 Mustang 5.0 5 speed and a 1971 F-250 with 360. He plans to look at a Celica tomorrow because he needs better gas mileage. The fourth is still at home and shares our rides. I also passed rides on to my oldest two: a 1967 F-250 Highboy 4X4 to the first and a 1963 F-100 4X4 to the second. Although both used my 1995 Escort wagon as daily transportation. My daughter both wrecked it and blew the motor. They were both told this is all you get, when its gone you best have prepared to replace it on your own. When my daughter finally did the Escort in she bought her own car (not the Kia, another cheapie). I then put a new motor in the Escort fixed the wreck and passed it on to my son with the same admonition. Last week with 250K he traded for the 95 Nissan. Only my daughter has had accident and ticket problems - go figure. Anyway Don, have fun figuring it all out.

 

Don65Stang

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Yeah, still trying to figure it out. I'm considering letting him use the golf while holding back the mustang until he's done with college...at that point I'll give him the 93gt under the 2 following conditions. 1. No accidents or speeding tickets & 2. Graduate college.

Maybe that's too long term for his brain and maybe that's not a big enough carrot. Who knows. He does seem to want a 4x4 pickup, like a cheap ranger.

 
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Don

I voted that you give him neither! The reason I'm saying that is, the quickest way to respect the machine is to buy it yourself. My son is 15 and the other day I almost spit my beer in his face( because I was laughing so much) He figures that as soon as he turns 16 he will get either my 08 Bullitt or my 73 Vert....wrong on both counts. I had originally thought that I would buy him a cheap reliable car, in my neck of the woods that means he will get either a small pickup or a VW, cheapest on insurance! He's a good kid but I want to make sure that he spends some of his money on both the car and the insurance that way he will think twice about that stupid thing he's going to do. Lets face it it's not a matter of will he do something stupid but when, we've all been there. Keep the 93 and give it to him as a grad present or the next special thing that comes along.

Just my 2 cents worth!

Ken

 
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