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Red-Headed Head Turner with Attitude

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/25/2015 James Green

I bought a used 2010 SRT-8 Manual 6-speed from Carmax. I have always driven manual transmission cars, but my last car was a BMW 7 series automatic. Due to a unique window in our family cycle, this was the perfect time for a mid-life crisis. Managed to convince the wife about how practical a 2-door muscle car would be for our family with two young kids, ages 11 and 7. Due to several years of not driving a manual I was a little mainly concerned about two things with this car - 1. That it did not have a hand-brake, and 2. That it did not have parking sensors or camera and some reviewers had talked about blind spots. Well, lo and behold, within a few days of buying the car, I was very comfortable with this car. The automatic brake assist feature (which can be turned on or off in user settings) in this car is a BLESSING, given that it does not have a hand-brake. I have been used to driving manual cars with a hand brake so that when you are on an incline, you can engage the hand brake and release it as you gradually accelerate. With the SRT-8, it has a foot brake and there is no way to release that gradually. Well, the brake assist feature holds the brakes for a few seconds when you are on an incline or decline, which gives you ample time to move your right foot off the brake to the accelerator. The car stays perfectly stationary while you switch pedals. That feeling inspires confidence, as I encounter many garages where the incline is easily 10 to 15 degrees. The second good thing was that the blind spots are not a big deal. I have as good visibility as with my previous BMW, however, as a driver you always have to remember your blind spots. Overall, this car has been driving perfectly. I have put about 14,000 trouble free miles and this car has not missed a beat. I recently had a sensor issue, but it was covered under Carmax's excellent extended care warranty. In contrast, I had SO MANY issues with my prior BMW 7-series as that car was loaded with technical doo-hickeys that were so sensitive that at times when I really accelerated, the BMW would almost choke and start showing engine failure messages and what not. With the SRT-8, I can peel off and the engine just delivers to your commands. The car is very drivable in the city, and the maneuverability is excellent. I think it turns better than my wife's Mazda 6. The keyless start, touchscreen radio, etc are great convenience features. I get a lot of compliments from people, which I never did when I drove my BMW. The best part is drifting while turning corners. By the way, it took me some time to note the message engraved on the driver's side mirror - 'Objects in the window are losing.' Recently I replaced the original Good Year tires after they wore out at about 24,000 miles in spirited driving conditions. I found out that my car has staggered tires with 245/45/20 in the front and 255/45/20 in the rear. Interestingly, someone at the dealership had rotated the wheels so that the wider tires were in the front and slimmer tires in the back! After I put on new Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 tires, and having switched to the correct front and rear sizes, the car is now riding like a dream! What a difference the new tires and correct positioning has made. Earlier the car used to vibrate in 6th gear, which was obviously the result of wrong sizes in the front and back. Now with the new tires, the car feels like new and I am very pleased with the ride. This is still a great car, and I still keep receiving compliments or envious looks.

Average Rating : 5

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