carmudgeons.com  

Go Back   carmudgeons.com > Automotive Forums > Car Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2014, 02:13 PM   #1
lupinsea
Jeeped
 
lupinsea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: Modified Jeep Tj and '07 Miata
Location: Seattle
Posts: 10,214
Thoughs on Cheap Sporty Cars (thread break)

So as not to clog up the Corvette vs 911 discussionin this thread, I figured I'd break this response out into it's own thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lemming View Post
to be fair, GM threw the gauntlet down by saying that they used the 911 continuously as a benchmark throughout C7 testing --so, whatever qualms we have about the money, they started the discussion long before anyone else did.

for the cars you listed, i'd be curious as to your feedback as well as that in print.

As for some of the cars on my list? I'm rather biased toward the Miata and don't have seat time with the other cars. I don't just randomly go out on test drives unless I'm actually in the market and I'm not in the market and won't be for a while. Too much of a hassle dealing with dealership BS just to go out on a random test drive.

So these thoughts are based on bench driving and impressions I've developed based on reading I've done.

That being said, I like sports / sporty car. Preferably something more basic and light. High HP numbers aren't as important to me as whether or not a car is fun to drive (did I mention I drive a Maita?) even though, all else being equal, sure, moar power is good! I also prefer a more compact platform as they feel more nimble (at least in my head if no where else).

My wife really dislikes our Miata. It "works" within our family line up now but . . . it's a small car that only seats 2 people reducing it's usefulness. 97%+ of the time it's not an issue. But on occasion it'd be nice to pick up my wife and son without having to swap cars around. So, it's replacement down the road might be something with a bit more practicality (4 seats).


Miata (a starting point)
Had one before (NB) and really liked it but for two issue: cowl shake and it needed a little more power. The NC fixes my two issues. It has about 20-25% more power / torque and it's accessible a little lower in the RPM range making the car better suited for the street. And the chassis is ~47% stiffer . . . which after two years I've not noticed the cowl shake. Suffice to say, after two years and 30,000 miles of driving it, I'm still LOVING my NC Miata. It puts a big grin on my face when I get into it and I can do that a fair amount in daily driving (that whole driving a slow car fast thing). I don't want to give it up.

BUT

I'm also VERY much looking forward to see what Mazda comes up with for the ND Maita. Even though I'm probably 5+ years out from getting a replacement car. Good thing I love what I have.

BRZ / FR-S
Very intrigued by these cars as they are right up my alley. Enough power to have fun. Good suspension / chassis design. And they look really good, too. Oh, and RWD. The back seat . . . would be handy at times. Yet when I sat in one at the dealership (as we were Forester shopping) my reaction to being inside one was "meh." Actually, the more I see the interior, the more it looks shitty. Not saying that the Miata is all that special but it seems much nicer to me (hard plastics and all) than the BRZ / FR-S. And acceleration wise . . . it's effectively the same as the Miata.

WRX
Interested in this as it's close to an STi power wise but much cheaper, has AWD, available with a stick, in a 5-door hatch back form factor which I dig for the practicality, and looks kind of cool with sub-6 second acceleration 0-60. After getting our Forester and seeing what that's like it's gotten me more interested in Subaru as a brand. But, damn, the car seems huge (after coming from a Miata). not sure I could get used to that even though everything is relative.

Focus ST
I'm really liking this a lot. I think it's one of the best looking hatches on the market right now. The styling looks fantastic. And it's great to see Ford making something very competitive in this segment. But it's FWD which I've never liked. I'd prefer RWD, AWD, or 4WD depending on application. Maybe the FWD characteristics in the FoST aren't noticeable . . . Anyways, the drivetrain layout is a main thing that tamps down my interest in this car.

Fiesta ST
Lighter hatch back with a turbo engine? Sweet. This sounds like the beesknees right now but I don't like the styling nearly as much as the Focus. If I was getting a Ford hot hatch it'd be the FoST, probably.

Mazdaspeed3
Love Mazda and many of their cars. So I'm drawn to the Speed3 which I think is a really good deal on paper. . . but it's FWD only. So I have the same hang-ups on the Mazdaspeed3 as I do with the FoST and FiST.

GTI
I'm not that familiar with VW's line up but the GTI looks interesting. Their R32 or R20 or which ever definitely piques my interest much more but . . . . damn if those cars aren't pricey. Like the WRX vs STi I'm not sure it's worth the extra coin to go up to the higher performance model. But I'm also not crazy about FWD.

Mustang
Bwahahaha. Doubt this would ever happen but . . . the new Mustang I find really interesting. I like the design work even if it's not more EVOS-like as I'd been really hoping for. Given how the FoST and FiST turned out, I'm very curious to see how Ford tuned the Mustang's chassis with the switch to IRS. Oh, and V8. Fuck, if there isn't something magical sounding about American V8's. It's like . . . simply perfection in nation . . . as if that's how an engine should sound. But I'm not sure I'd pony up for a V8. Our car budgets are much more modest these days (despite higher earning that we have in the past with the prospect of reduced day care costs in the next year or two). It's just not where we want to sink a lot of our money these day. Even me.

Genesis Coupe
Sounds good on paper but it leaves me cold and is almost never on my mind. Not sure why I even thought about it now. But it can be had with a 300 hp V6, seats 4, stick, and has ok handling. Styling isn't horrible but more just blah. I don't really like blah.

Upcoming
Very much interested to see what comes out on the market in a few years. Kia's Stinger GT 4 REALLY got my attension. I love the styling, very sleak and elegant. And it's along the same lines as the BRZ / FR-S in terms of cheap(ish) RWD sports car. More please.

Nissan had a retro Datsun-like thing that look pretty good. . . modern E30-ish that seemed like it'd be sporty and seat four. I don't normally like sedan formats (if it's not a sports car, might as well have the practicality of a hatch). But it looked good.
__________________
.


"Jeep is the only true American sports car*" - Enzo Ferrari

* Or something to that effect.
lupinsea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
clyde
Chief title editor
 
clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
BRZ / FR-S
Very intrigued by these cars as they are right up my alley. Enough power to have fun. Good suspension / chassis design. And they look really good, too. Oh, and RWD. The back seat . . . would be handy at times. Yet when I sat in one at the dealership (as we were Forester shopping) my reaction to being inside one was "meh." Actually, the more I see the interior, the more it looks shitty. Not saying that the Miata is all that special but it seems much nicer to me (hard plastics and all) than the BRZ / FR-S. And acceleration wise . . . it's effectively the same as the Miata.

WRX
Interested in this as it's close to an STi power wise but much cheaper, has AWD, available with a stick, in a 5-door hatch back form factor which I dig for the practicality, and looks kind of cool with sub-6 second acceleration 0-60. After getting our Forester and seeing what that's like it's gotten me more interested in Subaru as a brand. But, damn, the car seems huge (after coming from a Miata). not sure I could get used to that even though everything is relative.

Focus ST
I'm really liking this a lot. I think it's one of the best looking hatches on the market right now. The styling looks fantastic. And it's great to see Ford making something very competitive in this segment. But it's FWD which I've never liked. I'd prefer RWD, AWD, or 4WD depending on application. Maybe the FWD characteristics in the FoST aren't noticeable . . . Anyways, the drivetrain layout is a main thing that tamps down my interest in this car.

Fiesta ST
Lighter hatch back with a turbo engine? Sweet. This sounds like the beesknees right now but I don't like the styling nearly as much as the Focus. If I was getting a Ford hot hatch it'd be the FoST, probably.
Um, the FoST never lets you forget it's FWD. That said, you can drive in anger like no other FWD out there (except maybe the FiST which sounds like it's similar, but I haven't driven one).

I never thought of the WRX as fun in any way...just fast and cheap. STi faster and reasonable, but not cheap.

The Toybaru is something that really interests me and strikes me on paper as what I'd imagine a closed late gen Miata would be....lots of fun and quick enough, but not enough power to be really fun and fast. Very similar to the RX-8. Like the RX-8 needed RX-7like turbo power, the Toybaru needs STi-like turbo power, too, to really scratch the itch.

But after a year and a couple weeks and not quite 12k miles, the FoST is still really good cheap fucking fun.
__________________
OH NOES!!!!!1 MY CAR HAS T3H UND3R5T33R5555!!!!!!1oneone!!!!11

Team WTF?!
What are you gonna do?
clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
lemming
Eastern Promises
 
lemming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: Blue Pig
Posts: 13,585
After almost 5? 6? Years with the NC, I have to say I find it to be incredibly enjoyable. I hate the stock springs but the car is extremely well built and the engine is well designed.

I wouldn't see this car being displaced but for a pre-owned 981 or 991.

There are very few cars built this lightweight but also retaining structural integrity. For example, my R56 would be in pieces by now. And until Subaru moves to twin scroll turbocharging, the softness off the line makes those cars up appealing to me.
__________________


lemming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
Jeff_DML
Old Fart
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: turbo
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemming View Post
After almost 5? 6? Years with the NC, I have to say I find it to be incredibly enjoyable. I hate the stock springs but the car is extremely well built and the engine is well designed.

I wouldn't see this car being displaced but for a pre-owned 981 or 991.

There are very few cars built this lightweight but also retaining structural integrity. For example, my R56 would be in pieces by now. And until Subaru moves to twin scroll turbocharging, the softness off the line makes those cars up appealing to me.
the new wrx is twin scroll.
Jeff_DML is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 06:03 PM   #5
lemming
Eastern Promises
 
lemming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: Blue Pig
Posts: 13,585
Worth revisiting, again.
__________________


lemming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 06:20 PM   #6
ZBB
Relic
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: A very fast golf cart
Location: The Valley of the Sun
Posts: 10,859
Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
Nissan had a retro Datsun-like thing that look pretty good. . . modern E30-ish that seemed like it'd be sporty and seat four. I don't normally like sedan formats (if it's not a sports car, might as well have the practicality of a hatch). But it looked good.
I've heard from a good source that this will go to production...
__________________
ZBB
ZBB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
bren
lawn boy
 
bren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: e46m3, f25x3,C5 Z06, C4 Vette, 06 CTD Ram, and a trailer
Location: Maryland
Posts: 13,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBB View Post
I've heard from a good source that this will go to production...
Yeah, like the cover of the new Autoweek.
bren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
lemming
Eastern Promises
 
lemming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Carmudgeonly Ride: Blue Pig
Posts: 13,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by bren View Post
Yeah, like the cover of the new Autoweek.

LOL
__________________


lemming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #9
equ
Alphanumeric
 
equ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: 981S/e46M/F10
Posts: 7,169
Have you driven the BRZ? That's what seals the deal with that car. A cayman it is not, but I did feel a bit of kinship. Much sweeter than a miata IMHO, much more like an rx-8 (with better mpg's!). Back seat is there but access is an issue. Cabin is small and dark, like a cave. But again, practicality is not what this car is about. It just has a minimum of it.

The outgoing 11-14 wrx's are excellent cars, better to drive than Sti's of same vintage, IMHO. Even 09-10's get the good engine, but the 11-14 get slightly different suspension and Sti-like fenders. The update looks good but so far is sedan only and displacement drops from 2.5 to 2.0. Interior may have improved a good amount, I haven't seen it yet. But the 2015+ is going to be a $30k car for some years anyway.

GTI is a good car, but not nearly as fun as the two above.

No comment on FoST, I personally don't like high hp FWD cars. I would like a Fiesta/Focus St or a MCS Cooper Works if I had four other cars, but not as my only 'fun' car. The driving experience is like walking an eager pup tugging at the leash... (I'll say that without having driven the recent Ford's, but I imagine the FWD+power has predictable results). They'd make great commuters.
equ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 09:08 AM   #10
clyde
Chief title editor
 
clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 22,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by equ View Post
The [high-powered FWD] driving experience is like walking an eager pup tugging at the leash... (I'll say that without having driven the recent Ford's, but I imagine the FWD+power has predictable results). They'd make great commuters.
That's a friggin fantastic analogy! Especially for the FoST in urban commuting duty. On smooth roads, it's not nearly as sketchy and unpredictable or FWD torque steerey like so many cars of the past. On uneven, broken, rutted, and oddly cambered roads that you find in urban environments and a bit of the suburbs, that same stuff makes the car do weird things. You can't stomp it in traffic without paying attention.

But man, I really like that eager puppy on a leash visual. So much truth.
__________________
OH NOES!!!!!1 MY CAR HAS T3H UND3R5T33R5555!!!!!!1oneone!!!!11

Team WTF?!
What are you gonna do?
clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Man, one thing for sure: these cars ain't cheap... Eugie Baange Car Talk 3 11-12-2003 06:02 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Forums 2003-2008, 'Mudgeon Enterprises - Site hosting by AYN & Associates, LLC