I want a manual!

Labcoatguy

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You really need to decide what you want. Currently, you're comparing AWD luxury sedans, heavy RWD coupes, FWD hatches/wagons, convertible sports cars, and muscle cars. Each category has its ups and downs.

That said, I vote Miata :D I may be biased now but there was a time when I was wary of something so tiny and impractical. Then I drove one. Seriously, I don't think there's been a single time over the last 9 months or so that I've driven it and haven't smiled. The darn thing makes rush hour traffic fun.
It's also dead reliable, seriously cheap to service and buy parts for, really easy to work on, tons of aftermarket to suit your every need (well, except the need for passengers), gets good mileage, etc.

The one caveat that disqualifies both our roadsters is the "not buzzy at highway speeds" requirement. Mine's bad; yours is worse. Wankels are in another world when it comes to smoothness.

Bah Miatas are heavy. :p

Agreed :mrgreen:
 

thevictor390

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I admit I am all over the place, so I've narrowed my focus for now: RWD coupes. I'll start test driving this weekend.

I spend over an hour a day at 65-XX mph so as much as I love tiny cars, a buzzy roadster would eventually get annoying. I'll have to drive it again but I think the NC MX-5 was acceptable in this regard.

And yes, my Wankel is so smooth you can't even hear the engine over all the road and wind noise :unsure:
 

CAPT_Howdy

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As the owner of a 2010 Mustang GT, I would like to add my vote to those suggesting the Mustang.

Face it - a $20K budget will get you a nicer Mustang than just about any other RWD coupe.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go for a drive. All this talk about manuals has got my left foot all antsy.
 
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equiraptor

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I spend over an hour a day at 65-XX mph so as much as I love tiny cars, a buzzy roadster would eventually get annoying. I'll have to drive it again but I think the NC MX-5 was acceptable in this regard.
It's not buzzy. It's not quiet, but it's not "buzzy". If you're looking at an '06 through '08, it'll rev pretty high on the freeway, but in your price range you should be able to find '09 and newer with the 6-speed, which have different gear ratios and don't rev as high in 6th (6th in the '06 through '08 actually revs higher than 5th on the 5-speed). Gearing talk applies only to US/North America cars, FWIW. :)

Going against the grain here, I'm not fond of the Mustang. I've driven a few different years, including the '05 to '10 generation and a 2011. The driver feedback and responses to inputs from 'em just aren't what makes me grin. I have more fun in the Genesis Coupe (either V6 or I4 turbo). And before you say, "But the power," that's just not a draw for me. Raw acceleration in cars isn't a thrill anymore, and if I want tire spinning, the Miata does wonderfully.
 

Der Stig

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You can find E46, post-facelift 330i's and even M3s all day long at $20k.
 

rickhamilton620

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Forget those coupes, they're all flash but no sizzle. You sir, need something with class, elegance, and a look that screams "i've got it together:"

Spoiler Text: (Click here to toggle display)


Look at those sexy aluminum sport pedals and white faced gauges:



Talk about a epically cool ride!
 

Merc63

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:lol::lol::lol: Like what wonderful things? Full bolt-ons on a 3 valve net you like 20hp, that's not wonderful. It is a good choice though, but I'd rather have a GTO (except for the insurance that comes along with it).

After driving mine around on the street, even the stock hp is more than enough to get you into troouble everywhere in the country. It's fun, and a "mere" 20 hp more would be grin inducing itself. But you can get more than 20 hp with bolt ons easily, even before you get to a supercharger.
 

McRae

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Going against the grain here, I'm not fond of the Mustang. I've driven a few different years, including the '05 to '10 generation and a 2011. The driver feedback and responses to inputs from 'em just aren't what makes me grin. I have more fun in the Genesis Coupe (either V6 or I4 turbo). And before you say, "But the power," that's just not a draw for me. Raw acceleration in cars isn't a thrill anymore, and if I want tire spinning, the Miata does wonderfully.

Agree. The Mustang GT I've driven was a '08 I think, and it wasn't much fun. Like driving around in a boat built in a shed in Phnom Penh. The V8-engine was nice, though.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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After driving mine around on the street, even the stock hp is more than enough to get you into troouble everywhere in the country. It's fun, and a "mere" 20 hp more would be grin inducing itself. But you can get more than 20 hp with bolt ons easily, even before you get to a supercharger.

I agree - my car has 15hp over yours and between that and the 3.73 rear end my car is very grin inducing. And it's not too shabby in the corners, either.
 

argatoga

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It seems I'll have to drive a Mustang, it's a polarizing vehicle :)

I owned a '97 and it was one of the most fun cars I've ever owned. If you plan on autocrossing or going to the track regularly then I'd suggest a Miata, but for everyday driving a Mustang would be more of a hoot.

For all those bitching about weight, a well sorted heavy car can be fun to drive. Hell even a heavy whale like a Miata can be as fun as my MG. :p
 

Cowboy

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It seems I'll have to drive a Mustang, it's a polarizing vehicle :)

Yes, a quadrilion times yes, you are a 21 year old, American born and raised heterosexual male with a wad of cash in his hand and no family responsibilities......you do the math. :mrgreen:
Get a Mustang and we will forget the whole wankerengine thing ever happende :p
 
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LeVeL

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After driving mine around on the street, even the stock hp is more than enough to get you into troouble everywhere in the country. It's fun, and a "mere" 20 hp more would be grin inducing itself. But you can get more than 20 hp with bolt ons easily, even before you get to a supercharger.
My 140hp is enough to get me into major trouble :p I do agree that the GTO's LS3 is easier to get power out of than the Mustang 4.6
That said, I do like the current-gen 'stang, which says a lot since I've never liked Ford.


Hell even a heavy whale like a Miata can be as fun as my MG. :p
I really dislike you right now :p Also, inbeforespectrerantaboutbikesbeingtehlightestest
 

edkwon

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In all seriousness, I can't stand the visibility in the Camaro. Feels like a bunker. Pontiac Solstice has the same problem despite being tiny.

Looks like I have my test drive work cut out for me:
Mustang
RX-8
Genesis Coupe
G35
Z4
MX-5
350Z
Civic Si

Despite being FWD, the 6 spd Si Coupe is a fantastic drive, drove my friend's car on a night out, great handling and acceleration. I guess the RWD counterpart would be an S2000 if you want to deal with the impracticalities like no storage or carrying capacity. Used 350Z would also be a nice cheaper candidate that is fun to drive. At your projected budget, stay away from any BMW, you'll hate the cost of maintenance and upkeep, especially if you don't have access to a garage or tools yourself.
 
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LeVeL

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^Good point, add the S2000 to that list. Parts are expensive though...
 

ninjacoco

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What, no one's mentioned this yet?



:p Coco WANTS.

TBH, it sounds like you love to wank...so why not keep wankin'? I like the RX-8. Shoot, I even know of a manual one in silver that's for sale...I think--if it hasn't sold yet.
 
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ninjacoco

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I need (yes, need) a manual, but have no monies to act on it. :( I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to stall my brains out when I finally do find a job/enough change in the couch cushions...which is why I'd really like a Miata. Parts are cheap. Everything is cheap. I wanted to punch a few Miata owners when they said what their tires cost compared to the Lulzcer's. Yep. Punch.

There's no backseat, but I'd like to keep the Lulzcer...just in case I destroy the Miata with awesome stupid.
 

LeVeL

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I wanted to punch a few Miata owners when they said what their tires cost compared to the Lulzcer's. Yep. Punch.
I laughed in my coworker's face when he told me that the tires for his S2000 were $300 apiece. I bought both my summer and my winter tires for about $360 a set, shipped :lol:
 

Viper007Bond

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I laughed in my coworker's face when he told me that the tires for his S2000 were $300 apiece.

You think that's bad? Tires for my Viper will be $1800 for a set of 4! :shock: ($500 each for the rears, $400 for the fronts)
 
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