The collective “wisdom” of scores of forums have decreed that Volkswagen and Audi products are invariably cursed by permanently lit Check Engine Lights. Some have joked that the CEL is by far, the most reliable component on any VAG vehicle, and that Meatloaf was 20 years early with his “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”
I’m a longtime TTAC reader and I was hoping you guys could give me a bit of advice about an upcoming car purchase. I recently graduated college, and with no debt to pay off and a fairly good income I’m looking to get myself a second car. My current car is a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis in incredible shape with around 130k miles on it, It currently has some minor powertrain and suspension mods as well. I have no plan on getting rid of this car, as it has quite a bit of useful life left in it and is extremely practical. I’d like to keep it as a winter car/possible project car, and the residual value of it (~3kish) is low enough that it doesn’t make sense to trade in. However, having wanted a sports car since I started driving, I’d like to go ahead and get one now that I’m in a position to do so.
My (possibly strange) requirements are as follows:
1. It must be fun and engaging to drive
2. It must be blue
3. It should be a convertible, preferably a 2 seater (I’m open to a fixed roof car as well, but would prefer a convertible)
4. Must be either a manual transmission or a dual clutch
5. I would prefer that it be a rear wheel drive vehicle
6. Fuel economy is a non-issue so long as it gets above 20 mpg highway
7. I don’t mind some maintainance, but I would like something thats fairly reliable and not TOO expensive to maintain (I don’t expect panther-like reliability but, for example, $1500 spark plug changes on a Boxster would be a bit much)
I can spend a max of $30-32k on it, but ideally I’d like to keep it ~$25k. I’ve looked at a new Miata, Mustang GT (Convertible is rather pricey), and the Genesis coupe (it’s not a convertible but I liked the looks and interior enough that I’d consider it). I’ve also given some thought to the following (newer, low mileage) used cars: Honda S2000 , Mazda Miata, Porsche boxster(mentioned above), BMW Z4, and a co-worker of mine also mentioned that I might consider a C5 corvette as well. I think they’re all great cars, and each has its own strong/weak points. The S2000 and the Miata are probably the most serious contenders, but I’m trying to keep my eyes open. I’m torn as to what I should get, and I’m also wondering if there’s any cars that I missed that are worth looking at.
Please let me know what you guys think, I’d love to hear back from you on this.
I’d like your take on a replacement form my 2003 Honda Accord coupe. It has a 4 cylinder and a 5 speed and has been a pretty good car. But I miss rear wheel drive. In my younger days, I’ll be 60 next year, I had a Porsche 912, a Cortina GT, various Volvos and VWs before I ended up with pick up trucks before the current Honda.
I like the Honda, I just wish it was a bit lighter and rear wheel drive. What are my options these days for a RWD car that doesn’t break the bank, gets decent fuel mileage and is dependable? I’ve been thinking a used Miata or S2000, but would prefer a coupe. I’m not really into BMW’s for various reasons. What do you two think?
As a replacement for the Honda I’d spend $15,000 to $25,000.
Chief Engineer for GM’s Corvette program Tadge Juechter probably didn’t blow any minds by pointing out that car magazines have reached the point where lying (or at least printing disingenuous information) in order to goose interest in their upcoming issues has become standard procedure. He sure did get a chuckle out of the assembled Corvette nuts though. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath for a V6 (or mid-engine, or hybrid) Corvette… no matter what Automobile Magazine might tell you.
UPDATE: Automobile Magazine fires back after the jump. (Read More…)