Annual fun DD recommendation thread - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-25-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 277
Total Cats: 9
Default Annual fun DD recommendation thread

It's been at least several days since we've had a DD recommendation thread so I thought I'd do my part to spread some automotive Christmas cheer.

I'm starting the search for a potential replacement for my 94 turbo miata that's newer, nicer and doesn't require as much attention and tinkering. I've gotten to the point where traveling for work, social life, and my other hobbies are out competing the miata for time, and an upcoming promotion will give me a fair amount of extra disposable income. That being said, I'm still kind of cheap, and am looking for the sweet spot in the cost/benefit curve. That means that I'd prefer to buy used, but new isn't out of the question for the right car. My requirements are fun, relatively reliable, not crazy expensive to maintain, fix and insure, presentable, ie not embarrassing to pick up a date in, and does not require extensive modification to meet my other requirements (I will likely have to move to DC or LA in a couple of years, so emissions compliance is also a requirement). Convertible is not a requirement, nor is practicality as I have a crew cab pickup as my other vehicle. Generally speaking, I prefer two doors/coupes, but I won't discount four doors. One wrinkle is that I have something of a block against buying anything but the "best" version of a particular car, but also don't want to buy a "best" version that looks just like the $15k cheaper entry level version. My budget tops out at ~$35k, but I'd really like to keep it under $30k, and mid to low 20's is even better. For reference, I'm a single engineer in my early 30s.

Here are some of the cars I've considered so far as well as my thoughts on them:
ND Miata: Test drove one earlier this summer and really liked it. The only things I didn't like was lack of power (this is miataTURBO after all) and excessive body roll. I don't really think the performance is worth $28k for a club, especially since it needs suspension mods and maybe some power adders right off the bat, but with the poor sales to date maybe Mazda will offer some incentives. It also looks like they're depreciating very quickly with some used examples in the low 20s. I can see the introduction of the RFs pushing used 2016s even further in the coming months. I'm tempted to wait and see how the transmissions handle the Edelbrock supercharger, while letting them depreciate more, but that can lead to perpetually waiting for the next best thing.

124: See above with the benefit a factory turbocharged engine and less attractive body. The ECU hasn't been cracked yet, but it sounds like 200 whp should eventually be doable with a piggyback if not a reflash. I'm not sure if Fiat's arrangement with Mazda will preclude this, but if their price follows the normal Fiat pattern these will be eventually be available at huge discounts.

FRS/86/BRZ: I've never driven one, but I've read all the same reviews as everyone else. Seems to offer good driving dynamics, but is also commonly called out for poor power and lackluster interior. I'm not a huge fan of the looks, but it's probably at least worth a test drive.

Cayman: This is probably my first choice, but I'm hesitant due to potential Porsche repair costs. The 06-08 Cayman S's are widely available for $20-$25k, but still have the infamous IMS (I understand the probability is low, but a $15k replacement engine is a scary thought). The 09-11 Cayman's without the IMS are much more difficult to find, and are a fair bit more expensive. I probably can't swing a 09+ S variant, but a base is a possibility. I have a feeling that I'd regret getting a base though. I've always wanted a Porsche, so maybe now is the time to do it while I'm still young-ish and without kids.

911: Pretty much same as above, except for the fact that an early 2000s 996 can be retrofitted with an improved IMS. They're also a little cheaper to buy than a Cayman, but I've read that their driving dynamics aren't as good and the interiors are very dated at this point.

Camaro: I hate the lack of visibility, but like the interior and love the drive train. I drove a previous gen SS and was floored by the acceleration, although I didn't like the huge size and mass. Several autorags have claimed that the V6 is actually the one to buy, but again, I don't know if I could bring myself to buying a non-SS and an SS is more than I'd like to spend. I have the benefit of being able to get the GM employee pricing (through a relative) which makes buying a new one a little less distasteful.

C6 Corvette: Probably the best bang for the buck. I'd probably try to find a Grand Sport, or potentially a Z06 with the heads already addressed. Are those worth the price bump over the base coupe? Only downside I see with the Corvette is cost of consumables and the "old man in a mid-life crisis" stigma.

Mustang: Similar thoughts as the Camaro. Supposedly very good, and I like the appearance, but I haven't driven one yet. Base GT is just within my budget. Downside is that everyone has a mustang and most people can't tell the difference between a GT350 and the rental spec V6.

BMW 135/235/335: A new M240 would be awesome, but that's not going to happen. There are plenty of used 335s and, to a lesser extent, 135s around though that could work. As I understand they're great drivers and easily tunable for significantly more hp. Older M3s are also pretty easy to find, but as I understand they can be extraordinarily expensive to maintain.

Lotus Elise: Probably the least practical option, but hits the small lightweight target right on the nose. Toyota powertrain is a big plus, but I've heard that they're very expensive to insure because almost any accident totals the composite tub.

370Z: Test drove one and was really underwhelmed. It was fairly quick, but felt very "insulated" and non-involving.

Those are my thoughts thus far. If you have any other ideas or have any comments on the options I've listed above I'm all ears. Thanks.
shooterschmidty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2016, 04:14 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 231
Total Cats: 14
Default

Focus ST!
Supe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2016, 05:36 PM   #3
Crumple Zone Tester
iTrader: (6)
 
mgeoffriau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Jackson, MS
Posts: 7,558
Total Cats: 400
Default

First gen Lexus IS-F?
mgeoffriau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
Synapse Dynamics
iTrader: (4)
 
MartinezA92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 1,613
Total Cats: 15
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterschmidty View Post
One wrinkle is that I have something of a block against buying anything but the "best" version of a particular car, but also don't want to buy a "best" version that looks just like the $15k cheaper entry level version.
This is the same reason I have an sti and regret ever buying a wrx.
I've also been looking at caymans even though I don't need a car and cant afford a cayman anyway, and I end up wanting a GT4 which is about triple your budget. I'm scared to drive any caymans because I might fall in love and start finding unrealistic ways to afford one. I did see a really detailed walkthrough on a Porsche forum of some guy replacing his IMS with the updated part on his cayman, if youre mechanically inclined. Didnt seem easy but definitely didn't seem impossible.

I would definitely try a focus ST and a Mustang GT. I drove a GT about a month ago and I liked it quite a bit even though it was an automatic. May pick one up if I ever get tired of my sti. 18psi has one he may share his thoughts on.
MartinezA92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2016, 10:08 PM   #5
Check out my part outs.
iTrader: (26)
 
thirdgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,565
Total Cats: 126
Default

I know this sounds like a very unmanly thing to do, but a friend of mine just got rid of his 2016 mustang gt trac pack, for a fiesta S/T. He hated having a high car payment, and a car that he's too ---- to drive in any weather, and he wanted a fun yet practical car.
Claims he has no regrets, and the fiesta s/t is the funnest daily driver he's had in a long time.
thirdgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2016, 10:10 PM   #6
Check out my part outs.
iTrader: (26)
 
thirdgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,565
Total Cats: 126
Default

Wow. I used the word a nal and it got edited.
I even used it as a behavior adjective, not a butt sex or homo reference.
thirdgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 12:00 AM   #7
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 277
Total Cats: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
First gen Lexus IS-F?
Interesting, I hadn't thought of that. I don't normally associate Lexus with "fun", but a cursory look looks like it has potential (and presumably Toyota reliability).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
I know this sounds like a very unmanly thing to do, but a friend of mine just got rid of his 2016 mustang gt trac pack, for a fiesta S/T. He hated having a high car payment, and a car that he's too ---- to drive in any weather, and he wanted a fun yet practical car.
Claims he has no regrets, and the fiesta s/t is the funnest daily driver he's had in a long time.
I'm pretty open minded, but I don't think I can do a fiesta. Too cutesy and even slower than an ND. I totally get the idea of not wanting a huge payment for a car that you're too afraid to drive or park. That's a big part of the reason I'm predominantly looking used, and I'm focusing on "fun" vs "fastest".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supe View Post
Focus ST!
I had a Focus ST as a rental car in Germany and really liked it! It's probably a little more practical and not as aspirational as I'm looking for, but if I was forced to own one vehicle, and it couldn't be a truck, I'd definitely get a FoST. My dirty desire is that Ford buys a large stake in Mazda again, they dismiss all of the Mazda powertrain engineers and stick the 2.0 L ecoboost in the miata.
shooterschmidty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 10:19 AM   #8
Elite Member
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 2,878
Total Cats: -7
Default

At the very top of your price range you could likely get a decent, higher mileage 997.2 911. In 2009 the 911 changed to a DI engine with no IMS bearing, also that is when they introduced the PDK. No IMS bearing means an even smaller chance of having to deal with a $15k repair bill.

If it was me, and the car was solely for my personal use, I would go for a 6-speed MT. I think some of the early PDKs had issues and I don't think the transmissions are especially serviceable. Like if you have PDK problems that means you need a whole new PDK transmission. 6-speed would alleviate those concerns, but you are looking at an expensive clutch job when it needs done.

Overall newer 911s are very durable and reliable, but it is a Porsche so maintenance and consumables will be expensive.

Coupe to impress the trackday bros and purists...cabriolet to pick up all the ladies.

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...7569/overview/

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...9155/overview/

Cars for Sale: Used 2010 Porsche 911 in Carrera, WESTMONT IL: 60559 Details - Convertible - Autotrader



The best part of a 6-7 year old 911 is that your average everyday person just assumes it's a $75k+ car and by owning one, you must be a baller.
Efini~FC3S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 12:12 PM   #9
Elite Member
 
codrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 3,124
Total Cats: 236
Default

Nissan G37? Audi S5?

--Ian
codrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 03:57 PM   #10
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 277
Total Cats: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinezA92 View Post
This is the same reason I have an sti and regret ever buying a wrx.
I've also been looking at caymans even though I don't need a car and cant afford a cayman anyway, and I end up wanting a GT4 which is about triple your budget. I'm scared to drive any caymans because I might fall in love and start finding unrealistic ways to afford one. I did see a really detailed walkthrough on a Porsche forum of some guy replacing his IMS with the updated part on his cayman, if youre mechanically inclined. Didnt seem easy but definitely didn't seem impossible.
I drove a Cayman GTS at the Porsche museum and loved it. I think I'd be more than fine with "just" an S and not a GT4, but they're tough to find for a test drive in my area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Nissan G37? Audi S5?
I drove a friend's G37 and I wasn't very impressed. Power was ok, but I really didn't care for the clutch throw and engagement. No way do I want anything to do with an out of warranty Audi, or Mercedes for that matter. Maybe if the carmax warranties were still cheap.
shooterschmidty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 04:17 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NorthWest NJ
Posts: 855
Total Cats: 34
Default

8th gen Buick Riviera.
x_25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 04:41 PM   #12
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,308
Total Cats: 73
Default

I bought a 2010 335i sedan back in June. Last year of the twin turbo n54 that the JB4 can take max advantage of, first year of the face lift and upgraded infotainment. No regrets thus far. With the plug in tune it's fast and fun, comfortable seats, plenty of space.

Friend of mine has a Fiesta ST with a cobb access port and a front mount and absolutely loves it. Not nearly as fast as the 335i But destroys it in a corner.
Schuyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 07:50 PM   #13
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 715
Total Cats: 29
Default

I have a 2011 335i sedan. Intercooler, piping, intake and Cobb access port tuned to about 370/380 whp/wtq.
installed some Motion Control singled adjustable dampers and it is a fast and comfortable daily driver. Love it so far.

greddygalant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 09:40 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 979
Total Cats: 8
Default

I just picked up a 2012 E63 amg as a daily (then again my commute is 5 miles), what about an m5? Don't sleep on a nice cts-v either, it's everything your c6 corvette choice could be, but with 4 doors and a supercharger!
airbrush1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2016, 10:56 PM   #15
Moderator
iTrader: (10)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 13,901
Total Cats: 1,104
Default

Buick Reatta. /thread
sixshooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 09:38 AM   #16
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Downmented's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 440
Total Cats: 54
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterschmidty View Post
No way do I want anything to do with an out of warranty Audi, or Mercedes for that matter. Maybe if the carmax warranties were still cheap.
Doesnt want an out of warranty VW product, but considering out of warranty Porsches, seems legit.

My vote is hands down a CTS-V, 2009+, best bang for the buck as far as power+ luxury is concerned. Comes in wagon, sedan, coupe, very mod friendly. I would personally never get a Focus ST, FWD and direct injection can go F itself.

My daily right now is a 2012 Golf R and I love it, currently looking at a 2013+ S4 or a 2011+ C63 AMG.
Downmented is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 01:49 PM   #17
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,308
Total Cats: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Downmented View Post
... and direct injection can go F itself.

My daily right now is a 2012 Golf R and I love it.
Doesn't that car use the new 2.0 TFSI motor?
Schuyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 01:56 PM   #18
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Downmented's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 440
Total Cats: 54
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schuyler View Post
Doesn't that car use the new 2.0 TFSI motor?
It does, its their "high output" motor with a K04, vs the k03 that comes standard on all GLI/ GTI. Unfortunately it also has direct injection :/
Downmented is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 02:07 PM   #19
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33,675
Total Cats: 2,078
Default

With your budget, and your "criteria", I would never be able to choose a car. I mean, there are SO many choices when you don't need 4 doors/4 seats, when you don't need great fuel economy, when you don't need daily driver, and on and on and on. There's basically a car from every major auto maker that would "meet your needs" and there are over a dozen really really nice cars that I'd never be able to choose between.

Good luck is all I can say lol

With my 35k I chose a 15 Mustang GT. My needs are: must have 4 seats, must be reliable, must be very mod-friendly and relatively cheap to mod and maintain, must be comfy and quiet and at least semi-fast. I think I did ok.

If I didn't need 4 seats I'd have a c6z06 in my garage right now. But I'm not sad and I didn't "settle" either, no ragrets.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2016, 02:23 PM   #20
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33,675
Total Cats: 2,078
Default

BTW: your lineup in OP is all over the place. I think before you even start thinking about any particular car, you should at least narrow down what type of car you want/need. What type of driving you'll do. There's a big difference between carving canyons in or beating the snot out of a minimalistic high revving 4 banger and stretching the legs of a 450hp comfy GT cruiser.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:03 AM.