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I'm not into driving, but what's the best/fun toy car that can be had for $15-18K?

Zeze

Lifer
Mar 4, 2011
10,563
666
126
I'm entertaining the idea of spoiling myself...

An old M3? All my life I drove Mazda & Hyundai. I care little about cars, for what you have to pay.

What's your recommendation on the best car the budget can buy for a fun zippy/powerful drive?
 
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highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
42,220
4,726
136
Manual. The '90 Prelude I had was a blast. Drove it like I stole it.:D

Then I went to a Tacoma....agile is not a descriptor.
 

T_Yamamoto

Lifer
Jul 6, 2011
14,999
772
126
Would you like to hype up more? Must be manual or auto? I like manual but am lazy... (drove 100k of '03 Mazda 6i manual, zippy) unless manual's all worth it.
Must be manual. Miata can be had for $5k, spend the rest on making it a track beast.

15-18k can get you a lot of cars but if aren't willing to work on it yourself, it'll be $$$.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,008
1,512
126
I clicked here to say miata...I'm late to the game. RWD convertible....the older ones had a 1.8L 4-banger that was ample power if you drive stick. My dad bought a 1995 that was red. I had an opportunity to drive it around Bristol Motor Speedway about 20 years ago....that was a blast. I opened it up on a 30+ degree banked turn.
 

Zeze

Lifer
Mar 4, 2011
10,563
666
126
Isn't performance driving kind of useless unless everyone is taking it to tracks every weekend.

I think I'd just get a speeding ticket sooner or later.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
42,220
4,726
136
Isn't performance driving kind of useless unless everyone is taking it to tracks every weekend.

I think I'd just get a speeding ticket sooner or later.
What's your recommendation on the best car the budget can buy for a fun zippy/powerful drive?
Sounds like you need a golf cart.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
63,074
16,574
136
Get an 80s Buick Grand National. Looks like a crappy grandpa car. Comfy like a nice grandma car. Drives like a bat out of hell.
 

Blackjack200

Lifer
May 28, 2007
15,994
1,679
126
Isn't performance driving kind of useless unless everyone is taking it to tracks every weekend.

I think I'd just get a speeding ticket sooner or later.
What's fun to you? I like shifting gears, so my only car is a stick shift. If I didn't like it, it would be an automatic. The Miata is popular because it's lightweight and relatively low power, so you can rev the engine and shift aggressively and get that "performance driving" feeling without really going that fast, and for a lot of people that's fun. If you want something to push you back in the seat when you accelerate at a stoplight, I would go for a used Mustang or Camaro, that's what they're good at.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
52,415
4,769
126
Yep, my Miata is a 1.6, not much power, but I feel like I can actually make use of what it does have.
More fun than my Firebird was.
 

BudAshes

Lifer
Jul 20, 2003
13,215
2,205
136
121
Why would you spoil yourself with something you don't care about? Spend it on something like a jet ski, a new pool/hottub, a vacation, strippers/blow etc. Whatever floats your boat. Buying a 20k sports car is just going to be a headache if it's not a Miata, and a Miata is pretty lame for a midlife crisis car.
 

Zeze

Lifer
Mar 4, 2011
10,563
666
126
Why would you spoil yourself with something you don't care about? Spend it on something like a jet ski, a new pool/hottub, a vacation, strippers/blow etc. Whatever floats your boat. Buying a 20k sports car is just going to be a headache if it's not a Miata, and a Miata is pretty lame for a midlife crisis car.
I see what you're saying. Starting a new hobby is good too. My current hobbies like photography, etc, I don't feel I need to spent $$ there.

I mean I already know how to drive.
 

z1ggy

Diamond Member
May 17, 2008
9,945
56
91
The best zippy vehicle is always a motorcycle.

You can get ded pretty quick though and I wouldn't advise doing it anywhere near cars, trees or stuff that won't move when you hit it.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,149
3,194
126
I'm entertaining the idea of spoiling myself...

An old M3? All my life I drove Mazda & Hyundai. I care little about cars, for what you have to pay.

What's your recommendation on the best car the budget can buy for a fun zippy/powerful drive?
1. Will it be a third car? Do you need to drive it in winter, and does it snow where you live?

2. Do you want stick-shift or automatic?

3. Do you want a convertible? T-top? Sunroof?

4. Do you want something fun to drive, cool to look at, or both?

5. Do you plan on modifying it down the road with upgrades?

6. Do you plan on doing the maintenance & upgrade work yourself, or paying someone to do it?
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,149
3,194
126
The best zippy vehicle is always a motorcycle.

You can get ded pretty quick though and I wouldn't advise doing it anywhere near cars, trees or stuff that won't move when you hit it.
I really want a Ural...modern(ish) sidecar motorcycle with a vintage design. The 2019 design refresh includes fully-interchangeable wheels (all three wheels & spare now use the same hub). $17k with everything. I'd love to take a month off work & just travel the country with it!

2019-ural-gear-up-sahara-5.jpg

ural.jpg
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
106,511
21,601
146
used miata.

I'm probably the only person that knows the right answer.

oh or an S2000.
 

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