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small, fun to drive, inexpensive ?

Old 03-13-2008, 09:05 PM
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small, fun to drive, inexpensive ?

Since many of those on the site probably test drive cars now and again I figure you all would have some thoughts. What would be a fun car to buy?

Guideline for car might be as follows:
1. larger then a mx5 so far as seating goes
I always felt the top of the windshield was just too darn close to me, blocked the view of the traffic light and the darn seat would not go back another inch though other then that my 07 was fun. In the end though I just felt I was having to fit myself into a small box each time and as time went on I did not like that feeling.

2. fun to drive (stick or auto/stick combo)
Doesn't have to be something one can take to a track, just something that makes you feel like you are part of the car and enjoy driving and riding in it.

3. decent mpg
say a solid 20 or more in the city (and no not the 20mpg on the sticker must really get at least 20 mpg in the city).

4. reasonable price (new or used though if used not so old that you end up paying lots of money to have to repair things)
Say 25k or even much less like less then $20k

5. reliable

6. does not have to be a 2 door, 4 door or hatch back per say any of them would be ok though a drop more storage space then the mx5 would be nice.

Lets rule out a s2000 and mazda speed 3. Never rode in either but I'm guessing both lean more towards racing type cars rides then DD rides. Something like the old rx7 first gen would be great but of course they are so old and interiors I'm told so brittle if they were not redone. Never had a datsun 240z but I'm sure that was a blast to ride also. Wonder about sicons...they look like fun.

I'm not looking to buy nor trade in my rx8 but do wonder as I drive to work or around now and again what it is like to drive or own other cars that would fit the info listed above.

Last edited by motorups; 03-13-2008 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:31 PM
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Toyota Yaris 3 door hatch

there are already TRD parts for it to stiffen up the suspension, and with 105hp pulling *only* 2250lbs, it's actually got some pep. I test drove a friend's Yaris, it's definitely got a lively chassis with pretty communicative steering. A stiffer suspension and stickier wheel/tire upgrade and this car can be a really fun car to drive

did i mention this car gets 35mpg IN THE CITY??
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:39 PM
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The Toyota Yaris was rated one of the worst new cars. Quite unsafe too...

If you're going to go with an econobox, i'd recommend a Mini Cooper (S package if you want) or a Honda Fit Sport.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:38 PM
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civic si.....vdub fun for the $$$
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:45 AM
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I would drive the MS3 before you write it off. The ride is firm.....but not so bad it can't be a DD. I get 25mpg in mixed driving which is really good for a car with this much power. I've gotten as high as 31mpg on the hwy.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:15 PM
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MS3, GTI, Cooper S but be light on options, Civic SI, Impreza RS sedan...
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:02 PM
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GTI. Parents have one with the DSG and it's an awesome car. 'Fast enough', pretty decent handling, comfortable ride, nice interior, and the steering wheel is awesome. I wish Mazda would do something like that for the 8.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:01 AM
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honda fit should do. Nice little commuter car
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:21 AM
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Just went last weekend to pick up a 2008 chevy malibu, I wouldun't call it a "fun car" to drive. But the price is good, not sure on the exact numbers on MPG yet, haven't filled it up yet. We got the LS witch is the base model, it has a 4cyl. 2.4L, We test drove both the 4 cyl and 6cyl, and the 4cyl was just fine and this was coming from my mom that has been driving v8 Ford Explorer her whole life. They also have paddle shifters on the higher end models.

Has a HUGE interior, feels like your driving a top of the line car. The ride is really smooth, it takes bumpy roads like a champ. Also the trunk is really big.

Overall it great car for the price, when it comes down to a fun car. Well its no rx-8 but my brother and I took it out on a few twisting roads today where I like to take my 8 on the weekends. It handled it just fine

-We got the malibu for $18,400
-Won't call it a small car, its a full size sedan
-As far a reliability goes, this is our first GM car and the first year on the new model. So can't tell you much there
-As for daily driving, weekend trip with familly, trips to places like costco, and long drives. This car gets a A in my book

Here is the list of cars we test drove before we decided on the malibu

-mazda 6
-ford fusion
-ford focus
-chrysler 300
-toyota camry
-lexus is 250
-honda civic

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:42 PM
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I'll have to second the yaris hatch! came very close to buying one to alleviate my gas budget. test drive it and toss it around. you did mention "inexpensive" after all.
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