Fun sporty cars for under $10K with good mpg

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I have been looking into a "commuter" that gets good mpg and is $10K or so. Things like a VW Jetta, Golf, Honda Civic, etc. After driving a few I have realized they are all boring as hell! Now I'm thinking maybe a fun older sporty car that I can drive 10K a year or so, is cheap and easy to work on, and gets 20mpg or better. I really need something with a back seat so I can haul a few people occasionally. I am 100% open to suggestions, but here is the list I'm considering for now: Classic Mini Cooper, Datsun 510, BMW 2002, Mazda RX2, RX3 or RX4, 1991-1994 Nissan Sentra SER? Thoughts?
 
I left one more consideration off the list: 84-91 BMW E30 325is.
 
If it's going to be a commuter i would think you'd want something "relatively" new. Depends on the length and type of commute you have i guys.

Of the ones mentioned above, i'd think E30 - I6, RWD, still a good interior for the age.

I know i mentioned it in your other thread, but for a fun commuter, the Cooper S looks appealing. The older ones can be had for 10k..ish. Considering they get 29/36 mpg, the extra economy might justify the extra expense. The only issue i have is FWD.
 
get the acura integra GSR those are big enough and they have plenty of power for a 4 banger. Also get the reliability of Acura/Honda which is hard to beat.

Helped my neighbor build an integra to road race in. Thing beats vettes Z06 around portland international by a second/lap
 
95-98 Nissan 240sx or an 89-93 with a turbo engine swap. The 240sx community is great and there are a growing number being modified and tuned. I have a '93 that is really fun to drive and gets 25mpg with mixed city and highway.
 
Its not on your list but maybe try a 2003ish mercury cougar. Youd be amazed, ive driven one with theDOHC V6. governs out at 150 w/comp, 180 w/o comp (gear wise). Running it like a pissed off weed-eater it got about 23mpg. Running around normally i believe we got 32ish.

The car is really fun, weve jumped it, drifted on the off ramp, and kept the same drift most of the way back down the on ramp...
 
Get a Subaru WRX STI ..... you know you want one :cheers:

Would love an STI, but I don't want too spend $20-$25K for a 4 year old one! Most of them I have seen have been driven pretty hard.
 
95-98 Nissan 240sx or an 89-93 with a turbo engine swap. The 240sx community is great and there are a growing number being modified and tuned. I have a '93 that is really fun to drive and gets 25mpg with mixed city and highway.

The 240's are pretty sweet when built up. Are there some good forums like "Mud" I can checkout?
 
If you are looking to drive on the freeway at 75+ mph, I'd say all these are out...

"Classic Mini Cooper, Datsun 510, BMW 2002, Mazda RX2, RX3 or RX4"

Not that they can't do it but they do not do it comfortably nor quietly. I've driven those all. I'd suggest E36 M3, '95+ 240sx, '02+ mini cooper, '00+ GTI 1.8T chipped, or a '02+ Lexus IS300 (though it'll barely meet your MPG requirement). However, the back seats in the MINI and 240 are next to useless.
 
nicoclub.com is pretty sweet. Zilvia.net is good as well.

I have owned an R33 skyline GTS-T as well. They might not be toyotas but nissans are good cars.

Thanks! I would love a Skyline, but it seems like you can build a pretty sweet 240SX for $10K. :steer:
 
Just keep painting your 100 and be done with it. :flipoff2:
 
I have been looking into a "commuter" that gets good mpg and is $10K or so. Things like a VW Jetta, Golf, Honda Civic, etc. After driving a few I have realized they are all boring as hell! Now I'm thinking maybe a fun older sporty car that I can drive 10K a year or so, is cheap and easy to work on, and gets 20mpg or better. I really need something with a back seat so I can haul a few people occasionally. I am 100% open to suggestions, but here is the list I'm considering for now: Classic Mini Cooper, Datsun 510, BMW 2002, Mazda RX2, RX3 or RX4, 1991-1994 Nissan Sentra SER? Thoughts?

There's only one: a Porsche 944, '86 or newer (which has the modern dash and not the old style 924). You can find a great one for under $10K. I've owned my '86 for about 18 years and outside of a water pump, AC compressor, and normal maintenance including timing belt, it's trouble-free. This is a real Porsche, with a Porsche made engine, not an Audi-engined 924. Mine is going to be for sale some time this summer because I bought a '97 Carrera 911 the 911 gets the garage!

Pete
 
There's only one: a Porsche 944, '86 or newer (which has the modern dash and not the old style 924). You can find a great one for under $10K. I've owned my '86 for about 18 years and outside of a water pump, AC compressor, and normal maintenance including timing belt, it's trouble-free. This is a real Porsche, with a Porsche made engine, not an Audi-engined 924. Mine is going to be for sale some time this summer because I bought a '97 Carrera 911 the 911 gets the garage!

Pete

Is yours a standard 944, 944S, Turbo? What kind of gas mileage are you getting? I had an 87 standard 944 for a few years and really enjoyed it. The only problem I had was I blew through a clutch which cost like $1,600!
 
Is yours a standard 944, 944S, Turbo? What kind of gas mileage are you getting? I had an 87 standard 944 for a few years and really enjoyed it. The only problem I had was I blew through a clutch which cost like $1,600!

I've got a standard 944, '86 with about 85K miles and the original clutch that still works fine, but I'm the only one who drives it since I got it used in '91 with 25K miles, and I know how to drive a stick! Three or four years ago I had to have the clutch master and slave replaced (I was out of town and had it done at an independent shop) and they didn't get the adjustment right so it slipped when hot. I thought I needed a new clutch too and the price I was quoted was right at what you paid, but I had my regular mechanic readjust it and it has been fine since.

The 944S is a little more expensive but not worth it in my opinion. It has a 16 valve motor which puts out a bit more hp than the 8 valve but at a higher rpm so it isn't really isn't all that usable hp on the street. For the best bang for the buck, the 944 Turbo S is where it's at or I believe the regular 944 Turbo from '89 onward is the same as the earlier Turbo S. These cars are of course quite a bit more $ than the 944 but perform with the 911s of the same vintage.

I get a steady 25+ mpg on the interstate at 70-75mph and have gotten as much as 28+. I couldn't say what I get in town as I haven't checked it and haven't driven much in town but my guess would be about 20+.
 
Now I'm back to thinking about a GTI. I would rather have rwd, but the GTI's are pretty sweet. I like the 2003 20th Anniversary model. I've seen a few nice ones for $10-$12K. I had an 83 GTI in college back in the late 80's/early 90's that I tried very hard to kill. It was pretty beaten when I got it, but I would rev it as high as it would go in 1st gear and it would not die! It was usually a quart low on oile and I changed it about every 10-12K. Freaking bulletproof!

A 1997ish M3 would be nice, but I'm afraid of maintenance and insurance costs?

I'm in no major rush, so I guess I'll keep looking.
 
My poor old GTI was totaled over the weekend. Hit by a drunk driver on the freeway, spun around a few times and hit/broke the railing, teetered on the edge of a 40 ft drop. My brother and his GF came out mostly unharmed. GTI held up pretty well considering the impact but it is totaled. Overall, I think it's a pretty safe car for it's class.
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