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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. So we might be moving. Meaning, I lose the garage, I lose the ability to work on the car, and I have to sell the project car*

My mom dropped the bomb on me that I may be SOL on us keeping the house, long story short that leaves me forced to either get my Miata 100% real quick (Yeah, right) or get rid of both (move the project to a friend's already crowded garage for the time being).

So, I've been given a proposition. I can go, with my mom, to finance a new car.

Given this, as a possible idea, I've gone on a handful of test drives:

Mini '07 5 Speed

Inside Nice, good materials cloth or leather. Seats

fold flat, cargo area is a nice "pan" shape with hideaway cubbies on

either side. Rear seats should be VERY easy to remove as well, with seat

belts and all with them. Do not get 6 disc changer, as it removes hidden

cubby in dashboard. Sunroof also ate headroom, and wasn't able to be

completely covered.

Outside Masculine, not too small. Visible as well.

Wheels are decent, still 4 lug and stance is just right. Fender gap is

fine with sport suspension.

Performance Motor needs more, but variable valve timing was

good to have versus the anemic motor in the '06. Shifter is stiff, but

distance between gates is minimal, definitely could use a bigger, higher

knob or pool ball & extension.

Mini S '07 6 Speed

Inside Same as above, checker pattern in cloth is

standard. No sunroof made for much larger interior feel and NO

uncomfortable sun-heat while driving.

Outside Same as above, subtle aggressive details in the

grille and adding a hood scoop.

Performance Awesome. Torque all over the place, NEEDS LSD to

be drivable in the twisties. Run-flat all-season tires are decent.

Stiff, but communicate well enough and match the weight of the car

nicely.

Miata '07 6 Speed

Inside Leather was nice, slippery and seats were not

too supportive. Shifter was great (Reverse is a press-down). Top

operation was simple, one handed easy.

Outside Simple, clean, and fender gapped. Good classic

look top up or down.

Performance Agile, like the NA. Smooth like an NB. Good

power up from mid-range on up. Still no tire-cooker, though.

Mazda3 '07 5 Speed

Inside Nicely done. Nice materials. Good ergonomics,

minus short shifter. Seats are comfortable for long drives, not tight

for spirited driving. Huge room in rear, though.

Outside Well, it does look like a puddle of goo being a

5 door wagon.

Performance Agile, but gutless. Heavy, and the wagon moreso.

WRX TR '07 5 Speed

Inside Cloth, very supportive seat. Single DIN single

CD/Radio deck. Open, standard 2 din space for radio as well. Power

windows, power locks with standard alarm. Manual seats (very nice,

supportive seats) with adjustable headrests

Outside Subtle, but muscular. Bright red calipers. All

17x7 rims, with 215/45 tires, all seasons.

Performance TORQUE. Pulls even from 4th at 35mph. Smooth

ride with a lot of mechanical grip, even with stock alignment. Pushes

under hard cornering, doesn't respond to throttle-steer. Four piston

full floating in the front, and what looks like 2 piston full floating

rears as well.

Focus '07 5 Speed

Inside Decent. Rear seats fold flat with protection for

front seatbacks.

Outside Needs to be lowered, but it is what it is.

Performance

Dodge Caliber '07 5 Speed

Inside DO NOT GET R/T package. Adds grossly over-riced

color matched interior panels, two tone interior. Distraction at best,

disgusting at first glance. Otherwise, interior is on par with Dodge.

Lots of plastic, fake surfacing, hard lines and weirdly placed cubbies.

Utlity is in abundance, but materials don't seem too resistant to

scratches so that may not go very far.

Outside Ooooogly. Long plastic strips on either side

from A pillar/hood area meet in rear to make hatch-tail-esque spoiler.

Performance

Solstice '07 5 Speed

Inside Gross overuse of plastics. No trunk. Odd driver

seating position. Blind towards the rear with top up. Top procedures

absolutely horrible. Trunk disappears, literally, with top down. Awkward

underhood due to old school BMW reverse hood.

Outside Fat looking. Bucktooth grille. Sky is cool,

Solstice is drool.

Performance Funny clutch pedal, 2-3 gear gap, tight and

grip-loaded.

----

Basically, I'm fishing for opinions, things I may have missed about the cars, and other cars I ought to try out. Obviously, insurance is part of this decision but it's all covered with each car. Money will be provided through a bank loan, so technically full coverage is "not required" (already worked out at the bank).

Really what I'm after is not needing to buy more parts aside from the car itself to make the car a year-round vehicle. I'm loving the WRX for this, as it's the strongest car and it comes on all seasons, unlike the Cooper S. The FF cars would work as well, they're just not quite the same.


Anyway! Input?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They didn't let me test drive it, but from what I drove of the 3 it'd be cool... But to be honest I'd rather have the Mini S or the WRX TR (stripper WRX). The Mazdaspeed 3 just didn't speak to me much at all
 

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I'd take a look at the Scion tC. I think the looks are on par with most other coupes.
 

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I second the Mazdaspeed3. I have the regular 3 and while good, it can be gutless. Still, I've used it at HPDEs and it's done fine, even stock. The Speed3 would really address that shortcoming but I'm sticking with the 3 for now as a daily since it takes regular unleaded.
 

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low mileage Mazdaspeed Miata?

I dunno man I would love to get my hands on an NC but you brought up plenty of more practical cars..

What about the Honda Fit? Or the new Si?

Im not looking up prices of all these cars you listed so its just a shot in the dark if these are in your price range.
 

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I've owned 2 MINIs and can tell you just about anything you need to know about them. I had NO desire to buy an 07... clowny interior, super high stance, aluminum block instead of the super tough and very moddable cast iron of previous years and of course, the fun little gremlins that always came as an unwanted option in mine.

My 04 did not have LSD and was a monster in the twisties... my modded and LSD equipped 06 was a force to be reckoned with. Too bad the fun was outweighed by the headaches.
 

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wrx's are awesome cars, you just have to make sure your looking for a four door. If you go for a four door Id go with the wrx
 

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The newest Mini's look horrid compared to the older ones. The Supercharged Mini S' are great cars, very fun to drive, but alas, still FF.

New MX-5 is nothing compared to an NA Miata in terms of performance. I think I would only buy a new MX-5 for how good it can look once modded.

I test drove an S2000 the other day and was sorely disappointed. Even tough the S2K is dimensionally larger, the interior felt more cramped. And below 7000rpm the Honda felt about as quick as my Miata. The S2000 rev's over 9,000rpm, that's lovely, but it sucks that you have to rev the crap out of it just to get out of your own way. I didn't really like the shifter, either.
 

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I'd get an Evo. That and an Elise (much more expensive) are the only cars that can match my miata's autocross times street tire vs. street tire. The evo would be tons of fun and it has plennnnty of room for everything and anything you need to carry (compared to a miata).
-Ryan
 

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Matt theres a 2004 MSM miata on craigslist, less than 3000 original miles
 

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Matt theres a 2004 MSM miata on craigslist, less than 3000 original miles
I 2nd the vote for MSM...I, myself, just got one less than a week ago: 2004, w/ 10,700 miles on it...extremely well kept.

I am very happy w/ my purchase, although I'm sure I'll miss the NA dearly when I sell it in the next week or two.

The thing about MSM is that its basically a complete package, ready to roll. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, as I'm sure I will find lots of room for that once I spend enough time w/ the car.

But, compared to spending lots of money & effort to fix up my NA...this thing already has good, strong motor...beefed up 6-spd trans...beefed up Bosch LSD...Bilstein suspension (that feels better than the Tein HA's I have on the NA).

About the only things I can think of to really do is change wheels, change downpipe/cat for better turbo response, upgrade intercooler, different muffler for looks & sound...that's it.

Add to that, the fact that MSM is truly a limited edition model...and not just because its got special paint or other appearance trim. Its the only factory TURBO-charged Miata sold in U.S.

Get a MSM...I think you'll be happy!

^-^
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
freedomgli said:
No GTI on your list?
GTI? I honestly don't like the look of it, and VW reliability has been a sore spot in my circle of friends. One actually totalled her Golf when her brakes failed. Not to say she's auto-stupid, but she'd complain if there was a faded pedal or her dad would notice a lot of fluid missing.

PAW47 said:
I'd take a look at the Scion tC. I think the looks are on par with most other coupes.
The TC I sat in was alright, but it didn't quite speak to me as any of the other cars did. I'll give it another go outside of rush hour, though.

arcana said:
Did you test drive the Saturn Sky?
Actually, I didn't. Can't seem to remember passing by a Saturn dealership, either. Although... if it has the same top as the solstice I have a choice of backpack OR passenger with the top down.

slutz4 said:
how was the s2k? :mrgreen:
The S2K would be a nightmare insurance wise, but I drove it anyway :twisted: I was so sucked in to the cockpit that I couldn't hang elbow, and it was quite a bit less "fun" than the Miata except on the highway. Very, very stable... But I'd be afraid to drive in the rain and park farther than 30 feet away out of eyesight, heh.

SSW said:
I second the Mazdaspeed3. I have the regular 3 and while good, it can be gutless. Still, I've used it at HPDEs and it's done fine, even stock. The Speed3 would really address that shortcoming but I'm sticking with the 3 for now as a daily since it takes regular unleaded.
I wasn't quite taken by the interior, although it's the same all the flashy red stitching and what not was kind of a turn off. I do love the idea of 300HP, but it's still a FF car. Useful as all hell... I just have to see the powerband/gearing plays out before I drop (Er, get loaned...) all the money, first.

boogie van said:
low mileage Mazdaspeed Miata?

I dunno man I would love to get my hands on an NC but you brought up plenty of more practical cars..

What about the Honda Fit? Or the new Si?

Im not looking up prices of all these cars you listed so its just a shot in the dark if these are in your price range.
I looked for MSMs, but dealers around these parts want a premium for NA Miatas to begin with! Private owners are cooled, but they don't offer warranties or any of that stuff my co-signer (mommmmy) wants to add on.

I'm going sometime tomorrow morning to try a Fit and a Civic, but my expectations for the Fit are low, and the SI are high.

JennB said:
I've owned 2 MINIs and can tell you just about anything you need to know about them. I had NO desire to buy an 07... clowny interior, super high stance, aluminum block instead of the super tough and very moddable cast iron of previous years and of course, the fun little gremlins that always came as an unwanted option in mine.

My 04 did not have LSD and was a monster in the twisties... my modded and LSD equipped 06 was a force to be reckoned with. Too bad the fun was outweighed by the headaches.
Between the 4 Minis I drove, I knew it had to have an LSD... But I know it's a BMW at heart so I do expect problems. Not looking to mod one aside from tires (damn Run-Flats...), so the dealer warranty would take care of the gremlins. Good to know the 06 S is better than the 07 S, though! To be honest, they looked basically the same to me minus the HUGE speedometer in the 07 (As if it wasn't big to begin with...).

The Minis did feel "tossable" but very well put together in that it didn't literally feel like I was just throwing the car. Might be a fault of the FF layout, however.

Sean Jay! said:
JDMAflac said:
Supercharged mini or the wrx for me
slutz4 said:
wrx's are awesome cars, you just have to make sure your looking for a four door. If you go for a four door Id go with the wrx
...It looks like I'm gunning for the WRX TR. Basically a stripper WRX sedan. Same motor, suspension, brakes, etc... Just no leather, CD Changer, auto-climate control... Still much nicer than my NA! Also the AWD matched with all-seasons it looks like it won't be too bad for me to drive this year-round... WOT 2nd gear commuting, anyone?

LUV2TURN said:
New MX-5 is nothing compared to an NA Miata in terms of performance. I think I would only buy a new MX-5 for how good it can look once modded.

I test drove an S2000 the other day and was sorely disappointed. Even tough the S2K is dimensionally larger, the interior felt more cramped. And below 7000rpm the Honda felt about as quick as my Miata. The S2000 rev's over 9,000rpm, that's lovely, but it sucks that you have to rev the crap out of it just to get out of your own way. I didn't really like the shifter, either.
It's hard to feel that given my 95 NA's lack of torque, but I can see what you mean. Definitely agree about the S2K as well, and ~6500/7000-9000 RPM does take time to get to, and isn't the easiest part of the range to stay in during traffic... Heh.


Looks like I'm stuck on the Subbie, but on the upside I can always make the meets? :?

Anyway, I tried posting this during class but it didn't go through. Hopefully it does now.
 

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