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SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
12/24/10 10:00 a.m.

Whether or not the OP is upside down is completely irrelevant.

He already expressed the ability to switch to a WRX. If he can do that, he can buy a cheaper Miata or Honda.

I was just suggesting he consider downsizing.

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
12/24/10 10:04 a.m.
SVreX wrote: You didn't mention cost, but I'm betting you've got a car payment that you shouldn't have.

Amen, brother.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
12/24/10 10:08 a.m.

rotard:

"Fast, cheap, reliable- pick 2"

The OP never actually used the word fast. He mentioned autocross, fuel economy, handling, and performance. He also said he wanted something fun, cheap, reliable, with some room for aftermarket modifications.

Plus, he said it was annoying always having to drive the 8 near redline to get any kick.

The answer is Miata.

A $1200 Miata is every bit as capable of meeting ALL of those criteria with absolutely no modifications. Also has the potential to leave a lot in the bank.

What's wrong with that?

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
12/24/10 10:21 a.m.
SVreX wrote: rotard: "Fast, cheap, reliable- pick 2" The OP never actually used the word fast. He mentioned autocross, fuel economy, handling, and performance. He also said he wanted something fun, cheap, reliable, with some room for aftermarket modifications. Plus, he said it was annoying always having to drive the 8 near redline to get any kick. The answer is Miata. A $1200 Miata is every bit as capable of meeting ALL of those criteria with absolutely no modifications. Also has the potential to leave a lot in the bank. What's wrong with that?

I think that makes three people that I can just breeze through the post from and say "I agree with this guy!"

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
12/24/10 10:32 a.m.

A $1,200 Miata usually needs $1k worth of suspension work and another $1,000 worth of wheels and tires and $250 parts for timing belt and $500 parts for brakes and a soft top. Then some other broke kid will steal it and remove the wheels and tires for the $1k Miata he just bought on craigslist.

rotard
rotard New Reader
12/24/10 10:34 a.m.

I'm just saying that he will probably be disappointed with the results. The vast majority of projects end up not working properly, or being sold, especially in the this age bracket. I'm guessing that he doesn't have a driveway or garage for his car to sit in. If he's not happy with the Rx8's pep around town, he will be seriously disappointed in any Miata besides maybe a newer one. A modified WRX would provide everything he needs, plus room for a mountain bike or whatever. I seriously doubt that someone who is dissatisfied with an Rx8 and is interested in a WRX, is wanting an NA/NB or a Civic of any year.

psteav
psteav Reader
12/24/10 10:56 a.m.

OP:

You mentioned that part of what you don't like about the RX-8 is the fact that you have to drive it at 9/10ths on public roads to get it to come alive. I've had a couple of fast cars myself that I really liked but got rid of for that same reason.

A stock Miata, OTOH, is fun because you CAN drive it at 9/10ths on public roads (some of them, anyway) and while you may break the law, you're not into "E36 M3, I'm going to be on COPS this week" high-speed pursuit territory. That was one of the big things I loved about mine. I could beat the snot out of it, it would make all the right noises and feel like a race car, but I wouldn't even necessarily be speeding.

JtspellS
JtspellS Reader
12/24/10 11:02 a.m.

If you are looking to keep a payment get the WRX

If you are looking to keep a payment and have a better budget get a Speed 3/6

If you are looking to get rid of a payment, sell the RX8 and get an RS

Or just sell it and get a good set of hiking boots.

Vigo
Vigo Dork
12/24/10 12:35 p.m.
And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Im sorry but using average here i think is pointless. The average engineer is still a newb when it comes to cars, and the average person on a Formula SAE team, honestly... not really impressed there either. The majority of SAE teams seem to spend all their time with too many cooks in the kitchen over-thinking and under-sorting an almost useless vehicle that exactly 0 of them know how to actually drive. Street car experience is MUUUUCH more relevant to.. street cars.

I actually ran one car that i drove to college in the GRM challenge.. heh.

I think the smart thing to do BY FAR is listen to SVrex and GET OUT from under your car payment while you're in college. Unless of course you aint paying for it anyway.. what kind of work do you attend? I mean, what kind of classes do you do for a living?

EvanB
EvanB Dork
12/24/10 12:45 p.m.
rotard wrote: I seriously doubt that someone who is dissatisfied with an Rx8 and is interested in a WRX, is wanting an NA/NB or a Civic of any year.

I have a WRX and would love to have another Miata, I enjoyed my 91 much more than the WRX even though it wasn't near as fast.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
12/24/10 12:56 p.m.

A WRX is more capable of "Oh E36 M3!" fast, while a Miata is more capable of "Wohoo!" fast.

Translated to emoticons: A WRX is more capable of fast, while a Miata is more capable of fast.

Kiponator
Kiponator New Reader
12/24/10 2:04 p.m.

I don't follow the premise in the original post about RX-8s and autocross, they turn in some great times in their Stock scca class in the SFBay region unless I am mis-remembering...

other than tires what are the costs?

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
12/24/10 2:15 p.m.

I assumed that meant regular entry fees.

Which I translated to, "Dude, you really need to prioritize and get a car you can afford, then worry about the flashy one later".

But I've been know to read into things.

vincephan
vincephan New Reader
12/24/10 2:34 p.m.

To answer a few of your questions, the only reason why I considered a WRX first is because it's something I'm very used to and have been around for some time. I would like to test drive an E36 M3 because I think it's very similar to the RX8 in terms of response and handling while still having a bit more "kick". However, I hear that these things aren't necessarily very reliable.

I don't owe any money on the RX8 and no... the gas mileage is NOT making me broke but it would be nice to have a bit more money in my pocket from filing up less. And I DO have a garage to keep my car in, luckily.

I don't think a Miata would be as practical as I would want. Even though the WRX, E36, and RX8 all have pretty small rear-sears, they're still rear seats.

I don't want to jump into too much of an older car though. To be honest, the RX8's ergonomics have set my standard so an older Civic or a GC chassis Subaru will probably not cut it.

Keep the thread going though as all of your input is deeply appreciated.

Vigo
Vigo Dork
12/24/10 3:56 p.m.
I would like to test drive an E36 M3 because I think it's very similar to the RX8 in terms of response and handling while still having a bit more "kick". However, I hear that these things aren't necessarily very reliable.

That might be a good idea. I dont know that their reliability is any WORSE than an rx-8s, but the torque is definitely a step up, and the limit handling is probably a lot more similar than any remotely stockish WRX. Also, i think you could straight up trade for a VERY clean one, or buy an average one and have a bit left over.

vincephan
vincephan New Reader
12/24/10 7:35 p.m.

My friend test drove an E36 M3 before and said that he hated the seating position say that it was too high. Hopefully a few E36 owners can jump in here and testify.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
12/24/10 7:36 p.m.

Honestly, I'd just keep it until you graduate and get a job. At least you know what you have. Any other car can come with its own set of surprises. I felt the same way about my VW halfway through college. I wound up waiting it out and saving my money until I had a real job in my chosen career path.

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
12/24/10 9:03 p.m.

How tall is your friend? M3 seats are great, and adjustable, so that's likely a non-issue for you.

Here's some really bad advice if you're trying to save money (but what the hell): Go test drive an E46 M3. The start at under $15K these days and will make you want to leave your RX-8 in a bad part of town with the keys on the hood.

Osterkraut
Osterkraut Dork
12/25/10 12:25 a.m.

Here goes, the ultimate GRM college car solution:

  1. Inexpensive, fun, economical, reliable car. Hmmm... SVT Focus (or a Mazda Protege).
  2. Inexpensive, fun, economical, reliable motorcycle. Hmmm... SV650 (or a DRZ-400SM).

And there you go; money left over to take a girl out, a nice little respectable car to pick the girl up, and a motorcycle to get you the girl.

Or beer money and slampigs. Either way you're golden.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
12/25/10 12:44 a.m.
vincephan wrote: My friend test drove an E36 M3 before and said that he hated the seating position say that it was too high. Hopefully a few E36 owners can jump in here and testify.

I've driven a couple of European model E36 M3s and I didn't think the seat was too high, at least not after adjusting it down . These were coupes, though, it might be slightly different in the M3 sedan.

vincephan
vincephan New Reader
12/25/10 4:08 a.m.

Despite the fact I'm my own man (or I would like to think so), my mother would kill me if I bought a bike. Her bitching would be never-ending. That and I'll be introduced to a new world with a whole new learning curve.

YES! The E46 M3 is definitely up there in my list of cars I'd consider if I had MORE money and wanted to trade in the RX8. Unfortunately, I'm looking to do the opposite at this time.

As for the E36 M3's seating position. That'll be irrelevant once I throw in a bucket seat. I would need to test drive a very good example in order for me to make my final decision though.

JohnyHachi6
JohnyHachi6 New Reader
12/27/10 1:42 p.m.

I'd second the vote for a CRX.

My girlfriend has an RX-8 now that I drive a lot and like you said it's an awesome car, but totally wasted doing commuter duty around the city. I started racing with a CRX si and the car is almost as much fun to drive, very competitive in it's classes, it gets phenomenal gas mileage, parts are super cheap and it's really reliable, plus you can fit a full set of race tires in the back. When I had my CRX's I could regularly win my class at the auto-x on the weekend and get 40+ MPG in my commutes during the week - awesome car, just a shame it's FWD.

92dxman
92dxman HalfDork
12/27/10 1:49 p.m.

In reply to Osterkraut:

I think this guy is onto something with the SVT Focus. If you do some searching, you can pick these up for dirt cheap. Protege variants are very fun to drive as well (Protege 5, MP3 or Mazdaspeed Protege). 10k should buy you a very nice EP3 Civic si or RSX too..

HalfTrac, Lord of the FWD deathbox
HalfTrac, Lord of the FWD deathbox SuperDork
12/27/10 2:17 p.m.

I still don't understand the hate for the RX-8's "lack of power." Is it because the chassis is just THAT good that it could handle twice the power without blinking?

I've driven a couple of them, and at no point did they ever feel "slow" to me. They're mid/low 14s cars in the quarter, they aren't slow. Ironically, the other two cars being discussed here mainly, the E36 M3 and the WRX are pretty much a dead heat.

No, the RX8 doesn't pull like a freight train at 2000rpms. That's why you get a manual and shift your own gears. Everyone complaining that you have to drive it at 9/10s to keep up with traffic, i hope you're exaggerating mightily.

What kind of powerband do you all want? Cummins diesel powerband? (i jest, i jest) It's just really weird seeing people complain about the RX8's lack of power, and then suggest a Miata in the same thread.

But if the guy wants a WRX, there isn't much else that will scratch the itch, so just get one, so long as it's not going to ruin you financially.

rotard
rotard New Reader
12/27/10 3:45 p.m.

Hey, don't bring that pesky logic stuff in here.

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