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A fun daily driver (on the cheap side)?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by GG, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    What does everyone suggest for a fun daily driver? Not looking to spend over $20k. Don't really drive that much, have no need to trunk space, no real requirements other than a manual transmission (or SMG but I'm not looking at M3's). Oh - I hate cars that are divas.. you know, ones that cost an arm and a leg just to maintain. I've been there once and never going back. I'd like something I can drive without worrying that I'll break it.

    This is what I've come up with so far:

    - Mini Cooper S. Nice and fun, FWD is a turn-off however.
    - S2000. I love open-air driving, but the stigma associated with this car is really bad.
    - G35C. Not a fan at all, but it's cheap, reliable, and has 300hp.

    What am I missing?
     
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  3. Gran Drewismo

    Gran Drewismo F1 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2005
    3,662
    Idaho
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    Andrew
    What's the stigma associated with a S2000?
     
  4. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    #3 GG, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Asian. Ricer. You have to remember, I live in Vancouver. It's almost a prerequisite that you need to look like this guy if you own a Honda...
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  5. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    641
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    Krish
    Just get a s14 240sx. Cheap to maintain (Last three years of owning mine cost me $475.83 Canadian). Brilliant Fun. Very easy to modify. Not a bad looker.

    The s2000 is great but it could potentially cost you big. The stuff in that car is not neccessarily inexpensive. And most of their owners driving them abuse it quite a lot without maintaining the car as well as they should.

    G35 is ok but its more of a luxury car. It is heavy and well it does have a good exhaust note with a nice set of x pipes and cat back. But I don't find them as much fun as my 240 in the mountains.

    If you really want an awesome open top car. Get an MX-5 Miata. I know oh its all hairdressers car blah blah blah. But just drive one. Then you will see just how much fun that car is. It has a peppy engine and weighs less than a shoe. Good combination. Also an inexpensive funmobile.

    So open top is your thing. Just buy a miata. Hard top? S14 240sx is the way to go.
     
  6. Ferrarista3

    Ferrarista3 F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2007
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    Carlo
    Porsche Boxters are also very fun little cars.
     
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  8. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
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    Krish
    you can get a boxter for 20k? One thats in good shape?
     
  9. Ferrarista3

    Ferrarista3 F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2007
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    #7 Ferrarista3, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    Probably.

    Here in Europe you can find MANY 4/5 year old Boxters around 20K Euros. Cars are almost always cheaper in the US, and therefore I would think so...

    You can also probably have an early 996 911 for around 20K.
     
  10. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    I'd like something a little newer... 2004 and up. And I'm over the JDM thing. The S2000 just appeals to me because it looks great, has a great engine/tranny, and is a hoot to drive. I used to have a '95 MX-5 that was modded (bought it that way - coilovers, 15" Panasports... the car was gorgeous I wish I had pics) and I got that out of my system really quickly. When I say I want something fun, I mean I want something slightly engaging to drive. I like cars with quirks - I used to own a restored '75 2002, I love the brutalness of Wranglers, yadda yadda yadda.

    Boxster? No thanks. I said I want something reliable and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to own :)

    Maybe I could find an '88 or '89 Carrera with the G50 transmission. Just thinking out loud here...
     
  11. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    641
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    Krish
    Oh not to my knowledge. Which cars are cheaper here? Wait I stand corrected on the boxter. Holy depreciation Batman thats bad. I thought those Porches depreciated slowly.

    But no the 911 is going a bit far above that. not by much, but a tiny bit around 24-27 for a good one.

    I dunno man boxters have those irritating omlette headlights that always make me hungry.

    I guess that boxter is an option as well. But I do know the s14 240sx, and the Mazda miata is a cheaper car to insure. And repairs and maintenance work is less pricey. And DIY work in the Jap pair is easier.

    Conclusion. If you want an awesome open top mid engine piece of awesomness that reminds you of omlettes and makes you hungry get a boxter.
     
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  13. Ferrarista3

    Ferrarista3 F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2007
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    #10 Ferrarista3, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    Almost every car in the US is cheaper than its equivalent in Europe (partly due to the weak $$).

    This is also true for new cars.

    E.g. The new Porsche 997 Turbo's MSRP in Italy is $219K...in the the US it's $132K.

    Quite a difference...
     
  14. thirteendog

    thirteendog Formula 3

    Mar 6, 2008
    1,503
    Nashville, TN
    Chrylser Crossfire SRT6, and if you want an open top get the roadster version. These cars are an incredible value.
     
  15. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    Okay, perhaps I forgot to add that I am like 80% car-nut/20% car-snob. There is no way I would ever own a Chrysler Crossfire. Value or no value. Cars like this don't appeal to me. Anyone can mash the go-pedal and drive fast.
     
  16. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    641
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    Krish
    #13 ztunelover, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    Alfa 3rd or 4th gen spider. Engaging to drive. Boatload of quirks. If you have the time to do the work yourself, really not that expensive.

    And why does everyone think JDM things when I talk about a 240sx? It doesnt even have the silvia engine in it, not like ever to have it any ways.
     
  17. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2007
    72,950
    not sure about cost re: USD to CDN exchange rates, but here's a few ideas:

    VW GTi
    WRX or Legacy GT
    EVO
    Civic Si
    E36 or E46 M3
    E34 or E39 M5
    S4/S6
    Jag XJR
    Corvette
    Mustang
    350 Z
    M Roadster/Coupe
    AMG Mercedes- C36/C43/E55
     
  18. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    641
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    Krish
    AMG? Haa. Those may be 20g but they cost an arm, leg, and a left nut to maintain lol.

    Corvettes are all right if they are the c5 or newer. Mustangs are not that fun to me. Their steering is overboosted, and too light. It's a heavy car, but you can't tell anything from the steering. And the car is utterly bamboozled by the slightest bump on the pavement when going around a turn.

    350z would be too non quirky. If he is 20% car snob I doubt the Nissan badge does the Z any favours.

    The M roadster/coupe is a good one. Good call on that one.

    He doesnt want an m3, older m5s are getting pricey to keep running.

    Civic SI or VW GTI sends power to the wrong set of wheels.

    WRX or legacy GT is a decent choice. Should have thought of that one.

    Jag xjr see AMG. Those grandfather clocks are awesome but pricey.

    EVO. Too much of a btich to get into Canada, and the X hasn't depreciated that much.

    S4 or S6. Twin gods of understeer. I really don't see the point in those cars. Failed attempt to make a m3 and m5 rival.
     
  19. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    Interesting list, for sure. I don't really like Japanese cars. The S2000, G35, and maybe the IS350 are the only ones I would really consider. And FWIW, the exchange rate right now makes it totally worth it to fly down to Texas, buy a car, and drive it back to Canada. Even after tax and duty, you'd be way ahead.
     
  20. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 1, 2004
    1,814
    Golden, Colorado
    I have to vote for the S2000, we have had ours now for 3 years and love the car more every time we take it out. Dead reliable, a ton of fun to drive, service is cheap, well built and stunning looks. The stereotype certainly does not exist here in Denver as far as I can tell. We have taken on several Ferrari club drives when the F355 was in for maintenance and got nothing but compliments from the rest of the members. I cannot think of a more fun car for the money.
     
  21. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2007
    72,950
    what is a "dash stroker"? :)

    FWIW I had an E36 M3 and it was a great car, very reliable, and one of the last of the uncomplicated BMW's so it shouldn't be a maintenance nightmare.

    interesting on the exchange rate, do you have to do anything to the car to convert from US to Canada spec (new speedo, etc)?
     
  22. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    #19 GG, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    AP1 or AP2? Color?

    I'd kill for GPW on red. White on tan looks revolting in my opinion.

    FWIW, the S2000 has been on my mind for a year now. Gorgeous, reliable, convertible... hard to top in my opinion.
     
  23. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 1, 2004
    1,814
    Golden, Colorado
    #20 05011994, Nov 20, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    2005 Silver with red/black interior. I forgot to mention, the shifter is sublime, on a tight twisty moutain road, this car is just too much fun. You should check out the Top Gear comparison of the S2000, Boxter and Z4 to see if it is for you.
     
  24. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    Dash stroker aka someone who cares about the quality and layout of a car's interior. So the C5 Vette is like my worst nightmare basically. It's bad enough to make me overlook the performance, which to be honest I'm not crazy about. I like a capable car, but I don't need THAT much power.

    The E36 M3 was my late elementry/early high-school dream car until I saw the E46. I still have a soft-spot for the E36, but finding an unmolested example is next to impossible.

    But yes, our dollar is pretty strong right now. Assuming your car is allowed to be imported into Canada, you don't have to do anything other than pass an inspection and pay a fee. I don't even think converting the speedo is necessary, but I don't know for sure.

    Ideally I'd like to find a car in Dallas or Houston. I have clients down there so I could be killing 3 birds with one stone - buy a car, meet my clients, and have a nice drive home.
     
  25. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    A nice used GTi, Speed3, A3, EVO or WRX can all be bought in for under $20k.
     
  26. Blue@Heart

    Blue@Heart F1 Rookie

    Jun 20, 2006
    3,734
    Yellowknife, NWT
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    David
    THIS.....

    If you want nice and new, but anything even close to sporty for 20K in canada you're going down market to FWD Hot hatches....

    Sorry but that's just the case, IMHO you're bashing all the options and wondering why there's nothing left. On your budget you HAVE to compromise, do you want something quirky, different and cool for 20k? then it's gonna be older. If you want something newish it's not gonna be sporty or an anywhere near decent RWD car (the mustang blows hairy donkey balls in anything other then a straight line).
     
  27. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    I'll be buying south of the border. $20k USD. My bad.
     
  28. ztunelover

    ztunelover Formula Junior

    Oct 1, 2009
    641
    Calgary, AB
    Full Name:
    Krish
    If that is the case go for the e36 or the m coupe/roadster. It's got electric seats that do a whole crapton of unneccesary stuff, all mature interior, leather, decently powerful engine, good suspension. Does not weigh as much as the moon.

    The s2000 is buyer beware. These are high rev engine and pletny of VTEC YO guys have got one, so make sure it isn't badly abused.
     

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