Author Topic: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?  (Read 12753 times)

lukebuz

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2016, 07:26:09 PM »
Another Miata vote here.  Been my primary car for 4 years now.  Through Iowa winters (with snow tires) no problem!  Feels "safer" to drive on the narrow twisty roads on my work commute (though god forbid a head-on collision with a jacked up truck crossing the center line)...

v8rx7guy

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2016, 08:53:11 PM »
S2000 over the miata in my opinion... but you'll pay 2-3X.  S2000's have held their value excellently, they are actually quick as compared to a miata which is rather slow.  The miata is the most raced car in north america, they do great even in stock form in autocross.  The S2000 though is just a great car all around, and you won't hear all of the "jokes" that are associated with miatas.

JAYSLOL

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2016, 10:01:02 PM »
I've never owned a Toyota Matrix, although i am on the lookout for a good used one and have driven quite a few of them.  You can get the first generation with 170hp and a 6speed manual in the sporty version which is not too bad. 

hoping2retire35

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2016, 06:23:08 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.

He said he wanted pep. thats what an inline 6 has, and lots of it.

neo von retorch

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2016, 06:29:55 AM »
I've been getting 22.5 mpg with the Z, and this one is 300 HP ;) But I haven't touched the tires, despite them being mismatched (3 brands in 4 tires! one downside of auction) - another reason I'm keeping the miles low. They are much more expensive miles!

I've driven a lot of cars and I'll still contend that the 2007-2008 Fit is one of the most fun, while still being ridiculously practical. It helps if you have windy back roads where you can go-kart around them at what seems like very high speeds but actually aren't :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 08:44:52 AM by neogodless »

mtn

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2016, 08:02:03 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.

He said he wanted pep. thats what an inline 6 has, and lots of it.

I wouldn't say that a Z3 has more pep than a Miata. Don't get me wrong--I love Bimmer I6's (I've had 2 of them) but the Miata is a better car in just about any discussion except a drag race.


Cwadda

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2016, 01:56:48 PM »
I have a Mazda3 sedan 2.3L and it's fast, reliable, and affordable. I love the car. Would recommend.

hoping2retire35

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2016, 02:23:10 PM »
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.

He said he wanted pep. thats what an inline 6 has, and lots of it.

I wouldn't say that a Z3 has more pep than a Miata. Don't get me wrong--I love Bimmer I6's (I've had 2 of them) but the Miata is a better car in just about any discussion except a drag race.
or merging

mtn

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2016, 02:26:03 PM »
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.

He said he wanted pep. thats what an inline 6 has, and lots of it.

I wouldn't say that a Z3 has more pep than a Miata. Don't get me wrong--I love Bimmer I6's (I've had 2 of them) but the Miata is a better car in just about any discussion except a drag race.
or merging

Nah, Miata is fine. I'd even argue better because on a short curved ramp it will have a faster speed at the exit.

FunkyStickman

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2016, 02:35:07 PM »
I'll throw in a vote for cheap & fun: an '04-'07 Saturn Ion Redline, 210HP and fast enough to get you in trouble. Same car was made as a Chevy Cobalt SS.

Granted, they're GM products, so build quality is spotty, but the driving experience is excellent. The Cobalt SS turbo set the Nurburgring record for production FWD cars when it was new. It really handles well.

Blue Book value is less than $5K for the Saturn.

Jack

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2016, 04:25:30 PM »
I wouldn't say that a Z3 has more pep than a Miata. Don't get me wrong--I love Bimmer I6's (I've had 2 of them) but the Miata is a better car in just about any discussion except a drag race.
or merging

If you have trouble merging in a Miata you need to quit coming to a complete stop at the end of the on-ramp and starting up again in third gear. And also realize that the redline is higher than 3000 RPM.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2016, 06:11:43 PM »
I'd say one of the warmer hatches sounds like the go. Mazda3 SP23 (or whatever the warmed up, non-MPS version is where you are), etc.

Same practicality as a normal version, but a bit nicer suspension and often more power.

I still miss my old Peugeot 306 XSi, that car had the best steering of any car I've owned.

snappytom

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2016, 10:59:23 AM »
I agree with The Lone Mainer that driving something a little fun adds a lot of joy to the daily life.  Being a "car person" too, I value driving a stick shift as it adds a connection to the machine.

Lots of great ideas in the responses.  Mazda's are great cars and the company places a value on the driving experience.  I had a Miata and loved it, but after a few years it was just too small as a DD.  Fun to drive and you learn how to "drive a slow car fast" as they are not really that powerful.  A Mazda 3 would be a good value and fun to drive with a stick, adds the extra space and provides "anonymity" on the road that a car like a Miata may not.

As others mentioned ... if you turn your own wrenches then getting something a bit nicer can be very mustachian.

Your original post mentions a 12 year old Audi (yea ... probably not a good idea).....but they can be great cars and bought for cheap once they are 6+ years old ...it all depends on condition and history. 
I am currently driving a 2008 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro with a 6 speed.  Bought last year with 110k miles from a private party with all maintenance records.  Base sedan with factory sport suspension that is invisible in a crowd but really has some zip and comfort. 

Being a car guy I will probably drive it for a few years and move on to something else that brings joy to the driving experience.  The key for me is to buy them on the cheap and maintain them myself.  That is half the fun, but the driving experience is my primary motivation.


v8rx7guy

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2016, 11:36:51 AM »
Id also pretty strongly consider a 1999-2002 corvette if you have a few more dollars. The LS1 is an awesome motor, the cars are quick and handle well, easy maintenance and get close to 30 mpg on the highway. You can get one for $15k pretty easily.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2016, 01:28:59 PM »
Agree, the Mazda3 is super fun to drive. We haven't owned one, but we looked into buying it.

Don't overlook diesel! We have a jetta TDI. The torque of a diesel makes it feel very zippy and fun. Bonus points that no one wants manuals and there's the diesel scandal right now, and we got a GREAT deal on our new-to-us TDI in December. I've heard that the Golf TDIs are even more fun to drive.

JLee

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2016, 01:45:46 PM »
I wouldn't say that a Z3 has more pep than a Miata. Don't get me wrong--I love Bimmer I6's (I've had 2 of them) but the Miata is a better car in just about any discussion except a drag race.
or merging

If you have trouble merging in a Miata you need to quit coming to a complete stop at the end of the on-ramp and starting up again in third gear. And also realize that the redline is higher than 3000 RPM.

Heh here in NJ there are sometimes stop signs at the end of on ramps.  It was quite an adjustment coming from the land of long, wide onramps out west.

gooki

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2016, 03:53:49 PM »
We just got a second car. We've been holding off for a lot of years. It won't get used all the often, mostly for emergencies and family road trips.

Ended up finding a 2004 Mazda 6 wagon, 2.3l, 5 speed manual a few cities over for a cheap price ($2000 USD). Picked it up this weekend and drove the 400km home.

For a front wheel drive it's a very sporty drive. Great steering, nice slightly firm suspension.

Good amount of power (enough to have fun, but not enough to kill myself). I had no problem executing several overtaking maneuvers on my way home. Also has great engine note when you floor it, but is quiet when you are just cruising.

Fuel efficiency was pretty good. 7.0 liters per 100 km on my trip home.

Interior quality is OK, the plastics are nothing special, but the suede trim on the seats seems to hold up well, and feels nice. Seat comfort is on par with my old E34 BWM 5 Serries. The interior seems to improve on newer models 2006 plus. Road noise in the cabin area is slightly louder than I'd like, but perfectly acceptable.

Exterior quality is great, looks nice, factory alloy wheels are good enough. The front/rear bumpers seem to wear more easily than other cars I've owned.

Reliability, well I can't speak from personal experience but it already has 379,000 km on the clock (hence the cheap price). So obviously they can be reliable vehicles. Has a cam chain not belt, so replacement shouldn't be necessary here. Also Mazda parts don't seem to be hard to come by, and are priced well. Also plenty of room in the engine bay to work on the vehicle.

The alternative option was a Audi s4 Wagon, but I wasn't keen on buying a money pit for 2.5x the price.

All up something like this would fit the bill if you need a larger car, if you wanted something smaller then I'd go drive a Mazda 3.

For reference my previous car ownership includes BMW 5, Nissan Silvia (x2), Nissan Wingroad, Subaru Impreza, Lada Niva, and a Fiat Uno.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 03:59:47 PM by gooki »

RetiredAt63

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2016, 06:41:23 PM »
I am on my second Mazda, this one is a 2010 Mazda3 2.5l hatchback (dual exhaust, wow).  Peppy, not so sport-car that it messes up my conservative driving, but when I need it to move, it moves.  Other cars (rentals like my Ford Focus Titanium last week) feel mushy. I'm over 200,000 km already and expect another 5 years out of it.  Regular gasoline, not a guzzler if you obey the speed limit (expensive gas prices are a good incentive, I really noticed the difference between 100 k/h and 118 k/h). I know, the zoom-zoom car that teachers drive - my dealership told me this and I believe it, I saw so many on campus when I was teaching university.   And the hatchback means I can carry so much, so it is practical too.

Ebrat

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Re: "Fun" cars that aren't completely idiotic?
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2016, 07:23:53 AM »
I am on my second Mazda, this one is a 2010 Mazda3 2.5l hatchback (dual exhaust, wow).  Peppy, not so sport-car that it messes up my conservative driving, but when I need it to move, it moves.  Other cars (rentals like my Ford Focus Titanium last week) feel mushy. I'm over 200,000 km already and expect another 5 years out of it.  Regular gasoline, not a guzzler if you obey the speed limit (expensive gas prices are a good incentive, I really noticed the difference between 100 k/h and 118 k/h). I know, the zoom-zoom car that teachers drive - my dealership told me this and I believe it, I saw so many on campus when I was teaching university.   And the hatchback means I can carry so much, so it is practical too.

I have a 2011 Mazda3 sedan with 2.5 L engine and manual transmission.  I love it for all of the reasons above (except the hatchback, which would've been nice).  Not very Mustachian because I bought it new and it has leather seats and stuff, but I knew that if I bought a nice one I would enjoy it and keep it for much longer.  After 5 years, it still feels brand new, and I love it just as much as I did when I bought it.  Very fun to drive.