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Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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Default New car decision: NA Miata or AP1 S2000. Discuss.

Looking at buying another daily driver as my '01 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro has just ticked over 200K and has been a never ending pain in my *** to repair over the past year or so... Wanting something reliable that is fun to drive and could be taken out auto-xing on occasion. Either of the cars in question would be only receiving basic bolt-ons as reliability is my number one concern this time around. For the Miata, I would be looking to spend $3-5K on the car which will put me in the late-1.6L or early-1.8L range for a decent specimen. I can pay for this outright and wouldn't be making payments on anything. For the AP1 S2000, I would be looking to spend $10-12K for it. This would involve taking out a loan for it. Not a big fan of making payments on things, but I could be convinced with enough reasons to own this car versus the other. So there you have it, discuss which you would choose and why keeping in mind that cost to maintain and reliability are very important.

Disclaimer: I know this is a Miata forum, but I would love some honest answers on this as car nuts.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:13 PM   #2
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For a DD?
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #3
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Sports cars make poor DD's
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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Yes, this would be for a DD... Either would be WAY better than my A4. Trust me...
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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If those are the two only options, NA for cash. No loans on depreciating assets.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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I'd opt for whatever is newer and nicer.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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m3.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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If those are the two only options, NA for cash. No loans on depreciating assets.
My sentiments exactly... But in this case, I am weighing that versus not doing so.

The main reason I am between these two are that I had driven my NA for quite a few years before tearing it down to build a track car. I know how to keep them running even when something is messed up and know how to fix it when it doesn't run. For the S2000, I have always wanted one since they came out as it was a way to get into a nice Honda platform without buying an NSX and crying everytime the timing belt needs to be changed due to repair costs.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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An AP1 makes a great daily. It's like a Miata that gets right after 6k in stead of falling on it's face. The only catch is that (good) parts for them are insane. People still think they're NSXs, or something.

Personally, I'd spend that 10-12k on a $3000 (really nice) Miata, a $3000 Chevy pickup truck to drag your stupid Audi around, and 4-6k in bad *** Miata parts.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
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Completely disagree.
S2k's are terrible dailys. No power or torque down low, not that great of gas mileage, and not much roomier (if AT ALL) than a miata. I was a huge fanboi and wanted one for ever til my friend got one and let me drive it a few weeks. I was severely disappointed. He was as well since he traded it in for an STi only 2 months later.

if you want a daily I'd get a miata.

Now if you said you wanted a great track car or weekend canyon carver, I'd say get the S2k
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:54 PM   #11
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S2k's are terrible dailys. (...) and not much roomier (if AT ALL) than a miata.
Less, in fact.

A friend of mine has an S2K, and I clearly remember the first time I got into it, being amazed at how much more cramped it felt than an NA.


To chpmnsws6's point, I see nothing wrong with a sports car as a DD. I have owned nothing but Miatas and motorcycles since 2004, and I don't consider this to be a problem. With a bit of ingenuity, I have used the Miata to transport a water heater, a lawnmover, a small sofa, a mattress set, lots of pipe and lumber, an engine hoist (unassembled), and 6' wide sections of countertop.

Now granted, I don't have kids, and that may be a consideration for some. But if the car is just for you, I see no problems here.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Completely disagree.
S2k's are terrible dailys. No power or torque down low, not that great of gas mileage, and not much roomier (if AT ALL) than a miata. I was a huge fanboi and wanted one for ever til my friend got one and let me drive it a few weeks. I was severely disappointed. He was as well since he traded it in for an STi only 2 months later.

if you want a daily I'd get a miata.

Now if you said you wanted a great track car or weekend canyon carver, I'd say get the S2k
Unless you weigh 300 lbs, an S2000 has plenty of room. And mine moved itself JUST fine, and got better mileage than any Miata I've ever owned.

It still wouldn't make a better Daily than a Miata with 6k in go-fast. It kicks the guts right out of a stock Miata, though. I'd be MISERABLE in a stock Miata every day.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:08 PM   #13
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The one we drove got a consistent 20-22mpg city while my miata had no problem getting 30's while n/a and 26-28 while boosted.

I'm 5'9 and 200lbs, and every single person that drove both cars back to back will tell you the S feels more cramped. This is not just MY opinion. It has a much wider center console and MUCH larger transmission tunnel robbing you of a ton of interior width. The footwells are damn near impossible to move your feet side to side in. All of this makes it a lot less comfy in daily driving.

Track and spirited driving is a different story.

I guess we'll just agree to disagree.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by thagr81 us View Post
My sentiments exactly... But in this case, I am weighing that versus not doing so.

The main reason I am between these two are that I had driven my NA for quite a few years before tearing it down to build a track car. I know how to keep them running even when something is messed up and know how to fix it when it doesn't run. For the S2000, I have always wanted one since they came out as it was a way to get into a nice Honda platform without buying an NSX and crying everytime the timing belt needs to be changed due to repair costs.
Maybe split the difference and get an NB. You still know how to work on it, still in the Sub-$5K range, looks a bit more modern and as far as I'm concerned, a better DD. I've had four NA's and 2 NB's and prefer the NB.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #15
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When you say "daily driver" do you mean "only car?" I own a non-turbo NA and an AP1 S2000. The Miata has been my only car at times and I daily drove it for a while. The S2000 is currently my daily driver.

I am glad I bought it and got to have the longer-term experience with it, but I don't see me keeping it forever. It's much "nicer" inside - though I can't say it's significantly more or less cramped than a Miata. It's much faster than a Miata but it doesn't always feel faster unless you are wringing it out past 6k RPM all the time. That's not an issue on-track, but can be a bother around town.

The fact that extracting more significant horsepower is pretty expensive has helped deter me from spending money on modifications which has helped prevent the "my daily driver has become another project car" scenario.

I would not say it is any way significantly more practical than a Miata for commuting in terms of space or fuel economy. I get lousy fuel economy for the power with a really short range. I am lucky to get 200 miles per tank which is ~18-19 MPG. I automatically discount fuel economy in any car I drive, but I saw that kind of MPG in my Evo8 and C5 Corvette which were both significantly faster.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:49 PM   #16
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I DD my turbo Miata. Love it. 100% reliable so far.

Of course, I have other vehicles at my disposal for when I need to haul a water heater (LOL).

I think the fact that you've already owned and wrenched on a Miata swings it. Anybody who is even halfway handy with a wrench can keep a Miata on the road.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #17
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By daily driver I mean it will be the car I drive the most to and from work. I plan to keep my Audi A4 and work on repairing some of the things on it a little at a time instead of with one lump sum. Just weighing the pros and cons of these two options currently.

For the record, I\'m 5\'7\", 150 lbs, and have no kids or plans to have them anytime soon. So space is not a concern here...

Last edited by thagr81 us; 10-26-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #18
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I DD my miata everyday this summer since March... parked it this Oct once the rain started coming. Doesn't mena I dont have a slightly more comfortable DDer, which I plan to upgrade one of these days.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #19
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Brain, that is why I am keeping my Audi A4 around for when we get ice down here as we all know SC never gets more than 6 in of snow at one time... Ice is a different story however.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:05 PM   #20
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By daily driver I mean it will be the car I drive the most to and from work. I plan to keep my Audi A4 and work on repairing some of the things on it a little at a time instead of with one lump sum. Just weighing the pros and cons of these two options currently.
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