Author Topic: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?  (Read 12718 times)

Home Stretch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Age: 32
"Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« on: February 10, 2016, 02:56:57 PM »
My SO and I currently drive two super-efficient and reliable commuter cars that completely accommodate our daily driving needs.

Awesome, right? Well, the fact of the matter is, after sticking with my car for two years, I still can't stop regretting not buying a stick shift with some pep. I really, really like driving something that is a little bit fun. It adds a lot of joy to my daily life. This may seem weird if you aren't a "car person", but bear with me.

I don't give half a shit about "showing off" or driving something fancy, but I do like cars with a little extra pep.

Do any friendly Mustachians have some anecdotal advice on makes/models of cars that are fun to drive but not completely stupid (I'm looking at you, 12-year-old Audi).

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8091
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 03:07:28 PM »
Mazda miatas are affordable and zippy (don;'t actually go that fast, but feel fast). And parts are probably easy to come by. I think minis are supposed to be fun to drive but are likely more costly.

While I'm not really a car specialist I would love to have a miata for weekend trips one day.

Roboturner

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colo-RAD-o
  • No Snacks, Just Math
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 03:09:36 PM »
Ha! i was about to suggest the Mazda3 hatchback, zippy in a manual tranny! Can still haul things in the back! You can feel the road and it has plenty of pep in the 2 L engine (as opposed to the Honda Fit-which is also fun- but a bit underpowered at 1.5). I think they sell a 2.5 L and a turbo 2.3L too, but I've never driven those ones.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 03:13:26 PM by Roboturner »

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5628
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 03:13:21 PM »
Mazdaspeed3
Mazdaspeed6 if you want AWD
Miata
Toyota MR2 (anything of them)

Roboturner

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colo-RAD-o
  • No Snacks, Just Math
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 03:15:07 PM »
Miata's are completely worthless though - I think OP still wants to use his/her car rather than just drive it

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8091
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 03:17:12 PM »
Hm maybe the Fit is a good idea for usability. I have also always kind of loved the honda fit. I think I saw a demonstration where a potted tree went in the back once and this convinced me. Like, that could be my life! Carefree potted tree transportation whenever I want! YMMV.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5628
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 03:18:13 PM »
Miata's are completely worthless though - I think OP still wants to use his/her car rather than just drive it

Do you have anything to contribute?

Roboturner

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colo-RAD-o
  • No Snacks, Just Math
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 03:20:11 PM »
Miata's are completely worthless though - I think OP still wants to use his/her car rather than just drive it

Do you have anything to contribute?

Ha! i was about to suggest the Mazda3 hatchback, zippy in a manual tranny! Can still haul things in the back! You can feel the road and it has plenty of pep in the 2 L engine (as opposed to the Honda Fit-which is also fun- but a bit underpowered at 1.5). I think they sell a 2.5 L and a turbo 2.3L too, but I've never driven those ones.

Think we're pretty close on suggestions champ

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5628
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 03:25:46 PM »
Miata's are completely worthless though - I think OP still wants to use his/her car rather than just drive it

Do you have anything to contribute?

Ha! i was about to suggest the Mazda3 hatchback, zippy in a manual tranny! Can still haul things in the back! You can feel the road and it has plenty of pep in the 2 L engine (as opposed to the Honda Fit-which is also fun- but a bit underpowered at 1.5). I think they sell a 2.5 L and a turbo 2.3L too, but I've never driven those ones.

Think we're pretty close on suggestions champ
Hah, missed that. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with a Miata if someone wants a fun car.  I agree that the Fit would be underpowered if someone's looking for something with pep.

I really quite like the Mazdaspeed3. I found an incredible deal on a Speed6 so I got that instead, but I was looking for a while.

Another fun option, but you'd take a pretty hefty fuel economy hit, is a 2004+ Subaru Forester XT. They have the 2.5l turbocharged engine (the WRX didn't get the 2.5l until a couple of years later) and they're generally a fair amount cheaper than a WRX (and insurance is pretty cheap).

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2016, 03:30:53 PM »
Miata+small trailer. Did it for years as my only car. Was awesome.


Roboturner

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colo-RAD-o
  • No Snacks, Just Math
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2016, 03:32:15 PM »

Hah, missed that. Regardless, there's nothing wrong with a Miata if someone wants a fun car.  I agree that the Fit would be underpowered if someone's looking for something with pep.

I really quite like the Mazdaspeed3. I found an incredible deal on a Speed6 so I got that instead, but I was looking for a while.

Another fun option, but you'd take a pretty hefty fuel economy hit, is a 2004+ Subaru Forester XT. They have the 2.5l turbocharged engine (the WRX didn't get the 2.5l until a couple of years later) and they're generally a fair amount cheaper than a WRX (and insurance is pretty cheap).

I've always wanted to try out the speed3 - as I'm partial to hatchbacks, it just seems next-to-impossible to find a reasonably priced one. Wish they were priced closer to the speed6s ive seen around

Roboturner

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colo-RAD-o
  • No Snacks, Just Math
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2016, 03:36:18 PM »
I guess my thought is - I thought the base 2L Mazda3 had plenty, if OP is interested, you should start there and work up, they can get more expensive in a hurry.

Or apparently we have a strong Miata crowd......... so there's that. They have this super weird cult following, have a buddy who owns 2, just always seemed like a waste to me, the trailer is an interesting idea though haha.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 03:38:27 PM by Roboturner »

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4008
  • Age: 28
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 03:38:14 PM »
91-94 Suzuki Swift GT.

It's a Geo Metro, except fast.  Really fast.  Still gets you ~40MPG (vs 50MPG of a Metro).

yyc-phil

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • Location: Yellowknife NWT
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2016, 03:39:59 PM »
I once had a Civic Type-R 1998 made for the Japanese market, that was marketed as an Integra in North America. It was essentially a lightweight, very rigid, and superbly equipped version of the regular Honda Civic, with a 1.8-liter DOHC VTEC in-line 4-cylinder engine. I also had the regular Civic CX from the same year, with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Type-R was a real performance car and a blast to drive, but the regular Civic was still quite a fun and fast car, even with the standard engine and transmission, and very economical to own and maintain. Probably my favourite car.

sisto

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 976
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2016, 03:45:02 PM »
Toyota Corolla S. The sport model is the ultimate balance between fun/sportiness and mustacian car. It has a better transmission than a typical Corolla which gives it more pep, but with awesome mileage. I still love mine, I bought it brand new in November 2006.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2016, 03:47:05 PM »
Mazda Miata (1990-2005) -- cheap to buy, cheap to run, cheap to maintain. I own one and love it.

VW Golf/Jetta/Beetle TDI (1999-2005) -- TORQUE! 50% increase in engine power vs. stock for $400 in mods. Hybrid-like fuel economy; can run on biodiesel. Engine is bulletproof; rest of car is a VW. I own one; it's currently disassembled.

Honda S2000 -- extremely low depreciation, or possibly appreciation!

Honda CRX (1987-1991) -- cheap, reliable and fun, but good luck finding one in good condition

Honda Insight (1999-2006, not the shitty 4-door one) -- becoming cheap to buy now; best fuel economy of any car available with a manual transmission, ever.

Chevrolet Corvette (1997-2004) -- surprisingly fuel efficient (approaching 30 mpg highway); as reliable as a Chevy pickup truck; easy to find in good condition because they were often "sunday drive" cars for their first owner; not cheap, but nearing the bottom of their depreciation curve

"Hot hatches" (e.g. SVT Focus, Civic SI, Mazdaspeed3, etc.) are options, but IMO not usually the best because they're often either unreasonably priced or abused by their previous owner.

(By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, all the cars I recommended are at least 10 years old. That isn't a coincidence.)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 03:50:42 PM by Jack »

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 03:52:48 PM »
Mazda Miata (1990-2005) -- cheap to buy, cheap to run, cheap to maintain. I own one and love it.

VW Golf/Jetta/Beetle TDI (1999-2005) -- TORQUE! 50% increase in engine power vs. stock for $400 in mods. Hybrid-like fuel economy; can run on biodiesel. Engine is bulletproof; rest of car is a VW. I own one; it's currently disassembled.

Honda S2000 -- extremely low depreciation, or possibly appreciation!

Honda CRX (1987-1991) -- cheap, reliable and fun, but good luck finding one in good condition

Honda Insight (1999-2006, not the shitty 4-door one) -- becoming cheap to buy now; best fuel economy of any car available with a manual transmission, ever.

Chevrolet Corvette (1997-2004) -- surprisingly fuel efficient (approaching 30 mpg highway); as reliable as a Chevy pickup truck; easy to find in good condition because they were often "sunday drive" cars for their first owner; not cheap, but nearing the bottom of their depreciation curve

"Hot hatches" (e.g. SVT Focus, Civic SI, Mazdaspeed3, etc.) are options, but IMO not usually the best because they're often either unreasonably priced or abused by their previous owner.

(By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, all the cars I recommended are at least 10 years old. That isn't a coincidence.)

ORLY?

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 03:59:47 PM »
Honda S2000 -- extremely low depreciation, or possibly appreciation!

(By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, all the cars I recommended are at least 10 years old. That isn't a coincidence.)
ORLY?

Excuse me; I forgot that they kept making the S2k until 2009. Regardless, a mustachian should probably prefer an older (cheaper) one unless he finds a particularly good deal.

Besides, the newer ones are really "S2200s" anyway.

: P
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 04:02:52 PM by Jack »

mmuhlenkamp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: Texas
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2016, 04:06:23 PM »
I really enjoy my 2010 Hyundai Accent, though it's fuel economy isn't as good you would think (caps out at 32 mpg). I felt it was a good buy at the time though (I did buy new) and it felt much zippier than the manual transmission Honda Fit I test drove. I've since upgraded my wheels to 15"+ so just a bit wider and better tires than it originally came with. It's a great little car and it's a fun yellow color so I feel it's fairly mustachian while still being fun :)

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2016, 04:34:48 PM »
I really enjoy my 2010 Hyundai Accent, though it's fuel economy isn't as good you would think (caps out at 32 mpg). I felt it was a good buy at the time though (I did buy new) and it felt much zippier than the manual transmission Honda Fit I test drove. I've since upgraded my wheels to 15"+ so just a bit wider and better tires than it originally came with. It's a great little car and it's a fun yellow color so I feel it's fairly mustachian while still being fun :)

I had a 2003 Hyundai Accent GT and liked it. The TDI and Miata I have now are both definitely more fun, but the Accent was more practical than either. It doesn't seem like it should be, but the cargo area of an Accent is much larger than the cargo area of a Beetle. One thing that's worth noting is that the 1999-2005 Accent had an independent rear suspension whereas the newer ones have an (inferior) torsion beam instead.

Home Stretch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Age: 32
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2016, 06:19:01 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Mazdas have always been interesting to me. I actually test drove a few before I bought my current car and unfortunately all of the specific ones I found had just been poorly taken care of. I'll have to take another look - I particularly like the Mazda3 Hatchbacks.

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2016, 06:24:22 PM »
Ha! i was about to suggest the Mazda3 hatchback, zippy in a manual tranny! Can still haul things in the back! You can feel the road and it has plenty of pep in the 2 L engine (as opposed to the Honda Fit-which is also fun- but a bit underpowered at 1.5). I think they sell a 2.5 L and a turbo 2.3L too, but I've never driven those ones.
+1 to Mazda3 hatchbacks, 2012 or newer with skyactiv technology, 2 liter or 2.5 liter.

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2016, 06:26:30 PM »
I chose to buy an electric bike instead of a car, and am going carless, but if I hadn't, I'd probably buy a used 2014 Mazda3 hatchback manual with a 2.5L skyactiv engine. In 2012 they introduced skyactiv technology, which is very efficient and also fairly zippy, in 2014 they changed a lot and I like the 2014 body style better, they also started making 2.5L skyactiv models in 2014

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2016, 06:33:03 PM »
I should also add that a Kia Forte is basically a cheaper version of the mazda3, it's slightly lower quality in most areas, but it's quite a bit cheaper too.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3331
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2016, 06:50:39 PM »
Miata comes immediately to mind.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1768
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2016, 07:15:36 PM »
I had a mazdaspeed3 for a while. Zippy car. Holy torque steer, however.

One of my favorite cars I had was a 2004 mustang GT. I had that for a long time and had around 80k+ mi when I solid it and t was incredibly reliable. Can get one of those now for similar to some others here. The sound of the v8 was beautiful with my aftermarket exhaust.

SunshineAZ

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: SE Arizona
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2016, 07:27:29 PM »
Another Miata fan.  I've owned 3 Miatas since 1990, although not currently because of living in a rural area with bad roads, but I love them and think they are the most fun for your buck. I already plan on buying another one if we ever move to someplace with better roads. 

And every Miata I had was totally reliable and low maintenance.  Oh, and they are super easy to wash.  :)  The only down side is if you are really tall or if you have a long torso, my DH barely fit in it. 

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3011
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2016, 07:28:24 PM »
Scions - especially now that they're folding them back into being regular ol' Toyotas. We have a first gen Xa, and it is a great car. They're all fun to drive and should be inexpensive to own and service.

Migs

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Age: 34
  • Location: DFW
  • That'll do, pig. That'll do.
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2016, 08:13:34 PM »
+1 for the Miata & S2000

Another suggestion would be a Nissan 240sx - might be hard to find one that hasn't been wrecked or modded out.

I like the suggestion of hot hatches as well.

obstinate

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 893
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2016, 11:13:52 PM »
Used minis. Any light car with >~110 hp/ton is going to start to be getting into the fun territory. Manual transmission is a must.

obstinate

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 893
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2016, 11:16:33 PM »
Toyota Corolla S. The sport model is the ultimate balance between fun/sportiness and mustacian car. It has a better transmission than a typical Corolla which gives it more pep, but with awesome mileage. I still love mine, I bought it brand new in November 2006.
I don't think any of the machinery is different. It only has a different throttle response curve (and you can get it in six speed manual). IMO, it's a scam.

green daisy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2016, 11:39:22 PM »
I have a Mazda3 hatchback and I love it!  I have a boring automatic though... Still fun to drive and very zippy!  I can fit tons of stuff in the back.  Most recently I fit a large taboggan. 

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3000
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2016, 11:42:17 PM »
Honda CRX (1987-1991) -- cheap, reliable and fun, but good luck finding one in good condition

One of the best cars ever, affordable, super fun to drive, probably gets better gas mileage than a lot of cars on the road today.
You can't help but get good gas mileage when you weight less than 2000 lbs. You may not want to get in an accident while driving one, but that's good advice with any car.

Actually on that note: if you want something fun to drive that is affordable, why not a motorcycle?

Bonus Honda CRX in excellent condition video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q4CXkHZCeQ

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2016, 05:45:49 AM »
bmw Z3. I personally wouldn't get the 1.9 4 cyclinder when there are so many inline 6s available. Even though its a bimmer they really are not much more, if any, than a miata of similar age and miles, especially considering what you are getting.

I drive a 2000 Z3 2.8L to work. Its a lot of fun and not too bad on maintenance, so far. I regularly see them on craiglist for $5k and under $4k ever couple of months. Usually a 1999 with 150k miles, etc.

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2016, 06:36:35 AM »
I have been really tempted to buy an S2000 for some time now.  The reality is that I ride my bicycles more than I ever drove the hot rods, and the bicycles offer tons of health and cost savings benefits.  So I build, buy and sell lots of bicycles and have two unfinished car projects.  :-)

One of my goals for the next year or two is to free up enough cash to waste put into building a really nice car project, instead of a compromised el cheapo (my tendency).

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2016, 08:25:28 AM »
BOOM! personally I would get the last one, good engine, not too many miles, my preference for interior/exterior color.

http://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5434531667.html

http://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/5431386634.html

http://hickory.craigslist.org/cto/5419309719.html

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2016, 08:31:10 AM »
bmw Z3. I personally wouldn't get the 1.9 4 cyclinder when there are so many inline 6s available. Even though its a bimmer they really are not much more, if any, than a miata of similar age and miles, especially considering what you are getting.

I drive a 2000 Z3 2.8L to work. Its a lot of fun and not too bad on maintenance, so far. I regularly see them on craiglist for $5k and under $4k ever couple of months. Usually a 1999 with 150k miles, etc.

I'll disagree with this, having owned (and my dad still owning it) an E30 (of which the Z3 is 50%) and E34. The Miata is quite plainly a much better car. Much better driving, handling, much higher interior quality (although not as luxurious), and it will have much better resale. Not to mention the maintenance is easier and cheaper. My Miata was 10 4 times the car that the Z3's I drove were, with the exception of the one with $10,000 worth of autocross parts thrown at it.

I'll probably own a Z3 or Z4 coupe some day. But that isn't because it is better than a Miata in almost any way, it is because they look like teh secks.

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1702
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2016, 08:41:03 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Mazdas have always been interesting to me. I actually test drove a few before I bought my current car and unfortunately all of the specific ones I found had just been poorly taken care of. I'll have to take another look - I particularly like the Mazda3 Hatchbacks.
I'm on my 5th Mazda, hard to go wrong: 3, Miata, 6, Speeds, etc.
Depends what your definition of 'sport' is.
All of them are available with nice responsive 5/6spd manuals, excellent driver feedback, love the corners, etc.
Only some of them (Speed versions) are 'fast'.
I personally have found it's often more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. Slower cars let you enjoy the envelope more.
We really enjoyed the '02 Protege5 Wagon for 12yrs, 140k trouble-free miles. 0-60 in 10+ seconds, so sloooow.... but fun :)

Late model Mazda 3 wagon is a sweet combination of usability, fun, and efficiency. And not terribly slow either.

(I have a cherry '09 RX8 as the fun car, but can't recommend it unless you are cool with 17mpg on premium and the possibility of the engine blowing up any moment. I drive 1-2k miles a year on it and accept the downsides for the fun factor)

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5628
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2016, 08:43:37 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Mazdas have always been interesting to me. I actually test drove a few before I bought my current car and unfortunately all of the specific ones I found had just been poorly taken care of. I'll have to take another look - I particularly like the Mazda3 Hatchbacks.
I'm on my 5th Mazda, hard to go wrong: 3, Miata, 6, Speeds, etc.
Depends what your definition of 'sport' is.
All of them are available with nice responsive 5/6spd manuals, excellent driver feedback, love the corners, etc.
Only some of them (Speed versions) are 'fast'.
I personally have found it's often more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. Slower cars let you enjoy the envelope more.
We really enjoyed the '02 Protege5 Wagon for 12yrs, 140k trouble-free miles. 0-60 in 10+ seconds, so sloooow.... but fun :)

Late model Mazda 3 wagon is a sweet combination of usability, fun, and efficiency. And not terribly slow either.

(I have a cherry '09 RX8 as the fun car, but can't recommend it unless you are cool with 17mpg on premium and the possibility of the engine blowing up any moment. I drive 1-2k miles a year on it and accept the downsides for the fun factor)

I agree with that for racing (autocross, track, etc).  For street driving I prefer something with enough punch that I can have fun on an onramp.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2016, 08:50:10 AM »
I'm on my 5th Mazda, hard to go wrong: 3, Miata, 6, Speeds, etc.

Even the 5 (the tiny minivan), for that matter! I remember going to a "Zoom-zoom Live" event about a decade ago, where my friends and I were able to drive the 3, 5, and 6 back-to-back. We unanimously agreed that the 5 was our favorite.

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2016, 10:49:02 AM »
I'm on my 5th Mazda, hard to go wrong: 3, Miata, 6, Speeds, etc.

Even the 5 (the tiny minivan), for that matter! I remember going to a "Zoom-zoom Live" event about a decade ago, where my friends and I were able to drive the 3, 5, and 6 back-to-back. We unanimously agreed that the 5 was our favorite.
I'm not sure if it's as fun, but the CX-5 is much more efficient and similar size, and it has the skyactiv technology that I've fallen in love with

Migs

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Age: 34
  • Location: DFW
  • That'll do, pig. That'll do.
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2016, 11:01:13 AM »
I agree with that for racing (autocross, track, etc).  For street driving I prefer something with enough punch that I can have fun on an onramp.

I think the S2000 fits the bill here... It still feels fast when driving slow, but can feel downright scary if you get on the gas pedal. Bf has one, and it has been a blast to drive.

neo von retorch

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3357
  • Location: SE PA
    • Fi@retorch - personal finance tracking
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2016, 11:47:16 AM »
I'm on my second first-generation Fit. As mentioned above, they are a small "slow" car that you can drive very fast. I wouldn't go newer than the 2008 though, as I found the 2009-2014 to be less enjoyable to drive. I also had a CX-5 for a while - as SUVs go, it's certainly interesting! But there are more affordable options out there.

I actually went another route, less Mustachian. In addition to the Fit, I have a Nissan 350Z. It's a 2006 with under 40k on it - I bought it from my credit union's very high quality repossession auction. This is a car I plan to baby and enjoy for many, many, many years. Shaving a few miles off the Fit usage also means that thing should last me a very long time. Overall, it adds about $400 / year to my car insurance to have that extra car. That's $10k extra I need to save for my FIRE nest egg.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2016, 01:52:48 PM »
So I've owned (all manual transmission)

1984 Honda CRX (twice)
1995 Civic Si
2005 Mazda3 hatch
2009 Honda Fit
2012 Honda CR-Z

The Fit was a snooze, the rest were fun cars. 

The Mazda was the most powerful, I think the CR-Z is most refined, and gets 38-43 mpg.

The CRX is a rollerskat on wheels and doesn't feel very safe.  The civic was the best overall, but I think in good condition they are worth $$$ to the fast and furious crowd.

A newer manual transmission Civic coupe might be a good choice.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2016, 01:53:32 PM »
Used electric cars, if you're going for acceleration and you commute with them primarily?

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1171
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2016, 02:34:26 PM »
The CRX is a rollerskat on wheels and doesn't feel very safe.

"Rollerskate on wheels" is an odd expression. (What rollerskates don't have wheels?) Does this mean the steering's not very good or something else?

mtn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2016, 02:44:43 PM »
The CRX is a rollerskat on wheels and doesn't feel very safe.

"Rollerskate on wheels" is an odd expression. (What rollerskates don't have wheels?) Does this mean the steering's not very good or something else?

Steering is wonderful. Awesome. Perfect even. The car has about as much protection as a rollerskate, and is about as big as one too.

Home Stretch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Age: 32
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2016, 03:26:02 PM »
I actually went another route, less Mustachian. In addition to the Fit, I have a Nissan 350Z.

Hah, this is interesting because before I bought my current "boring commuter" car, my daily driver was a used 350Z. I loved many things about that car, and I often regret selling it, but I don't miss the horrific rear visibility, 18mpg (of premium gas) around town, and the cost of tires. I did love the short-throw shifter and the 290hp though... And that stock exhaust note!

Anyway, I'm looking for something slightly more reasonable this time around. Annoyingly, I keep running into very affordable (initial purchase-wise) BMWs. But I KNOW I shouldn't buy one because they are maintenance nightmares.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5628
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2016, 03:37:57 PM »
I actually went another route, less Mustachian. In addition to the Fit, I have a Nissan 350Z.

Hah, this is interesting because before I bought my current "boring commuter" car, my daily driver was a used 350Z. I loved many things about that car, and I often regret selling it, but I don't miss the horrific rear visibility, 18mpg (of premium gas) around town, and the cost of tires. I did love the short-throw shifter and the 290hp though... And that stock exhaust note!

Anyway, I'm looking for something slightly more reasonable this time around. Annoyingly, I keep running into very affordable (initial purchase-wise) BMWs. But I KNOW I shouldn't buy one because they are maintenance nightmares.

If you do your own work, some of the less complicated BMWs probably wouldn't be too bad.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3163
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2016, 04:36:27 PM »
The CRX is a rollerskat on wheels and doesn't feel very safe.

"Rollerskate on wheels" is an odd expression. (What rollerskates don't have wheels?) Does this mean the steering's not very good or something else?

You're right, I should have said "tin can on wheels" or maybe "rollerskate with two seats".  Phone typing in a boring meeting. :)