Author Topic: Keeping an eye for a used fun car  (Read 5295 times)

FastStache

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Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« on: July 08, 2013, 07:33:16 AM »
I currently own a 2003 Ford Mustang V6. It's fun to drive and has about 120K miles on it.

I am not looking to get it replaced anytime soon if I don't have to. If it drives until it reaches 250K, then that is great.

But, I'd like to keep a look out for a Mustachian/Fun used car in case it needs some major repairs.

I do have a preference to buy American, but I'm not tied to it.

Criteria
Manual Transmission
30+ HW mpg
Fun to drive
Can be small, but needs a back sear in case I need to transport the baby
Relatively cheap insurance (probably covered by being an older car)

Thinking
Mini Cooper
Another V6 Mustang

Zoe

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 08:58:55 AM »
We sold my supercharged Thunderbird (manual) and my husband's v6 Mustang (auto) to speed up our getting out of debt. We bought a Lincoln Town Car :/ It's super comfortable, but man, I missed driving a fun car. So I started looking for "my" car. I finally found a '92 Honda Prelude. 5 speed & a sunroof. This is my first non American car, but it is a blast to drive! Gas mileage is high 20's/low 30's. Super cheap insurance and of course, it was cheap to purchase.

ketchup

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 10:29:07 AM »
1987-88 Chevy Sprint Turbo.  If you can find one, amazing fast and fun, accelerates faster than the Corvette of the same year.  You can play with the boost too to basically double the hoursepower if that's your thing.  Oh, and it still gets like 40MPG driven gently.  I used to have the version of this car tuned for efficiency instead of power and it got me 53MPG and even with its 46hp it was super fun to drive.

Zelda01

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 09:32:50 PM »
FastStache

Is your Mustang your main car, or do you have another you drive for everyday use?  That's cool you have 120k miles.  Have you had any major repairs so far?

I think that 2011 was the first model year where Mustang V6s got over 30 MPG on the highway.   What is your MPG, just out of curiosity?  I can get 31-32 mpg on the highway, but have to be in 6th gear, and sometimes I will get 34 mpg on long trips.

The nice thing about the 2011s+ is that they can be both the daily car (decent mpg) and the fun car (305hp).  The increase in insurance over my last car was surprisingly not as much as I thought it would be.

I'm not trying to talk you into another Mustang, but just giving you some information.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 09:35:17 PM by Zelda01 »

FastStache

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 10:04:10 PM »
FastStache

Is your Mustang your main car, or do you have another you drive for everyday use?  That's cool you have 120k miles.  Have you had any major repairs so far?

I think that 2011 was the first model year where Mustang V6s got over 30 MPG on the highway.   What is your MPG, just out of curiosity?  I can get 31-32 mpg on the highway, but have to be in 6th gear, and sometimes I will get 34 mpg on long trips.

The nice thing about the 2011s+ is that they can be both the daily car (decent mpg) and the fun car (305hp).  The increase in insurance over my last car was surprisingly not as much as I thought it would be.

I'm not trying to talk you into another Mustang, but just giving you some information.


The biggest repair has been getting the clutch replaced.  I can get 24-26 out of it and that's not driving too cautiously.  I do mostly highway driving.

If this thing can give me three years then a 2011 may not be a bad idea. The extra 6th gear would really help with gas mileage.

Left

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 10:57:33 PM »
I know you wanted American cars, but two foreign cars that I'm fond of are the subaru impreza and mazda rx-8. The rx-8 is a rotary engine and has to be taken care of differently. They last if maintained correctly and a lot of the engine failures you hear about is because they aren't being taken care of/driven like how they are made to be.

the dodge charger is pretty fun too from what I can tell, I've only ridden in one

Micheal

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 11:47:17 PM »
Just hit up Craigs list.  My 89 olds gets pretty good millage about 35mpg on the highway mid 20s in city.  Ford Taurus' aren't bad either, but the engine is actually made by Toyota.  You could always get an older car and fix it up for fun and sell it on and get an other one.

captainawesome

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 05:04:21 AM »
I never thought I'd say this 6 years ago, but my Mazda 3s (the one with the 2.3l engine) is a pretty fun to drive car.  Mind you, I owned a 04 Mach 1, an 06 GTO, 08 Lexus IS, and even though this doesn't have the same throw you to the back of your seat driving, it's light, its fun to drive fast around on ramps, and I get anywhere between 29-35 combined driving depending on my commute.  Best part, it's pretty cheap to maintain. I also hear Fit sports are fairly fun to drive with a manual, but I can't attest to that.

Eric

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 09:17:32 AM »

I do have a preference to buy American, but I'm not tied to it.

How do you even know what an American car is?  That's a serious question.  Is a Ford made in Mexico considered American?  What about a Honda made in Ohio?  Is it just the where the CEO lives or where the car is built or what's the criteria used?

Forcus

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 10:37:39 AM »
Ford Focus ZX3 or ZX5 (though a sedan or wagon will also work). The 2.0 DOHC Zetec (2000-2005) is cheap and easy to work on, and reliable. Not a ton of power (130 HP) but torquey enough to be entertaining. 2003-2004 PZEV Focii had a 2.3L DOHC Duratec that can make 200 WHP without a whole lot of mods (nothing internal). Hard to find though. 2005-2007 all Focii had 2.0L DOHC Duratec which is just a slightly smaller version of the 2.3L and can still make good power. 2005-06 (maybe 07) Focus ST had the 2.3L DOHC Duratec, same as the comments above for the 03-04.

Mazda 3 not bad either. Similar chassis to the above, had 2.0 / 2.3 / 2.5L versions of the DOHC Duratec above. Better brakes, generally bigger wheels / tires but also a little heavier.

MINI Cooper not bad either but does not age very well, parts are BMW expensive, dealers can be far away (no standalone MINI dealers, and only some BMW dealerships handle them).

If you are looking at newer, Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta, are also good choices.

prodarwin

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 10:45:51 AM »
Hmm.  30+ MPG HWY eliminates almost anything RWD that isn't fairly new, unless you are using anecdotal numbers and not EPA numbers.

Are you willing to do any work on the car to enhance it's fun-to-drive factor?

acanthurus

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 12:22:48 PM »
I've known too many people who owned MINI's and had to get rid of them due to unexpected and significant repair costs. I've heard they are difficult to work on and so on top of parts the labor charges can add up (just what I was told by friends).

I do have one friend with an older MINI and his has been fine, but the other three folks I know with them (one landlord, the wife of a best friend, and my doctor's wife) all sold theirs due to too frequent and costly repair issues. The one friend with the MINI that's been fine absolutely loves it though. None attempted doing their own maintenance.

I had a friend with an RX-8 and he loved it, only sold it because he got a good deal on a used Cayenne Turbo and needed something with more space. RX-8s are not known for good mileage though, and you may want to research required engine maintenance and/or reliability of the rotary.

I think a used V6 mustang with the newer engine (2011+?) in a few years could be a good idea. Repair parts cost should be very very cheap since they are all over the place and I can't imagine they would be hard to work on, and domestic sports cars should get some nice depreciation in their first few years.
 

FastStache

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Re: Keeping an eye for a used fun car
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 01:43:24 PM »

I do have a preference to buy American, but I'm not tied to it.

How do you even know what an American car is?  That's a serious question.  Is a Ford made in Mexico considered American?  What about a Honda made in Ohio?  Is it just the where the CEO lives or where the car is built or what's the criteria used?

To me it's a company based in the US and uses mostly American engineering. 
Hmm.  30+ MPG HWY eliminates almost anything RWD that isn't fairly new, unless you are using anecdotal numbers and not EPA numbers.

Are you willing to do any work on the car to enhance it's fun-to-drive factor?

I would be willing to do some work on the car to enhance its fun to drive factor.