1. Practicality. You'll get far more attention than you want. So in that sense, it's not practical. However, it has ABS and a real trunk, so it's kinda practical in that regard. Initial response - don't get a Viper.Digital said:Hello everyone!
I currently own a 2003 BMW M3 (equipped with SMG) and have been considering trading my car in for an '03 SRT-10 Viper. Although the M3 is an extremely practical car, and packs a decent punch, I just think the car just doesn't fulfill my desire for more power. All of the performance mods available (even the superchargers currently in R&D) are going to be priced between 10 to 25k, and even then, not give the car the same sort of raw power the SRT-10 viper has to offer.
Now, on to my questions that I suppose only current viper owners can answer.
1.) The M3 is very practical. It's a fast car and is more of a "sleeper" (cops don't really identify the car immediately as a fast car, that's not to say I speed, though I do drive "briskly" ). I get asked about my car a few times a week, so the "attention" isn't really all that intrusive. Do you find that you are constantly being asked about your car? Does it get in the way? Yeah, I like, attention, but I think the Viper might be asking for too much! From what I've been reading on the forums from other members, the SRT-10 isn't as immediately eye-catching as say the Generation II/I Vipers. I suppose by looking at pictures, the Gen II/I vipers look more radical.
2.) Daily drivability. I commute about 25 miles (each way) to and from work. Since I'm here in Northern VA, we can experience really hot summers, and sometimes brutal winters. Is the SRT Viper a practical daily driver? In my M3 I found it to be a challenge to drive it in icy conditions. I would imagine that the Viper is equally as challenging if not more so. Do any of you guys use your car as a daily driver during winter?
3.) Maintenance. Since I pile on a good 22,000/miles a year on my car, I can imagine the maintenance can be pricy. For BMW owners, the maintenance is included at no charge for 4 years/48,000 miles, and the M3 can be driven over 11,000 miles between oil changes. A set of new tires runs about 1200 bucks annually. What could I anticipate in terms if maintenance 1,2 and 3 years down the line if driven at that rate in terms of cost?
4.) Reliability. I'd imagine for the most part the Viper family of cars is reliable. Have any of you Viper owners have any serious issues with your car? If so, are the issues common?
5.) Comfort. I've read about serious complaints with Gen I/II viper owners that inside the cabin its nearly impossible to cool down on a hot day. Is the same true for SRT owners? Of course I'd imagine you'd keep your top down virtually any day it's sunny and not cold, but still, an AC that actually works is always a plus . I've never owned a roadster either. Does the roof make a lot of noise when the top is closed when driving at 60-70 mph?
Essentially I'd really like to own, at some point, a supercar that has a lot of power. I believe the SRT-10 Viper is that car, but I guess I just need some input to guide my decision.
Thank you all very much for your response!
2. Daily Driver duty - Do not drive the car in ice and snow. It has 13" wide rear tires. That's a recipe for disaster. It's OK in the rain, but again, the wide tires and uneven road surfaces willmake it more susceptible to hydroplaning. So no - don't get a Viper.
3. Maintenance. No free service with the Dodge. Car takes 10 quarts of Mobil 1 or the equivalent and should be changed every 3000-5000 miles depending on your driving - stop and go - probably 3K miles. Fluids and filter alone will be $65 for an oil change - dealer will charge you considerably more. Other maintenance is reasonable - it's not particularly high tech or uses exotic fluids - just a lot of them. if you are dependent on a dealer for your service - don't get a Viper*.
4. Reliability. Some 2003's had issues, but were covered under TSBs and recalls. 2004's seem to have more issues, strangely enough - diff bolts, cam bolts, etc. Dodge has a 7/70 powertrain warranty and with a good Viper Dealer, you should not have many issues. So - go ahead and get a Viper.
5. Comfort. The fact that this is even in your list - don't get a Viper.
Bottom line - unless you are a complete speed junkie and are willing to sacrifice creature comforts for kick ass performance you will not be happy. The Viper is no frills. You have to be so enthralled with the power and handling that you overlook a WHOLE BUNCH of daily driver nuisances.
It's not a car to have as an only car.
I predict that if you do buy, you'll have the car for sale in less than 6 months.
* - If you are near a good Viper friendly dealer with a GOOD Viper tech - like Woodhouse, Tator, D&E, etc. then you have no maintenance worries - otherwise, you'll be disapointed in how little the servicing dealer will know about your car and how you'll be treated.