Partner wants a 'sports car'. Please recommend her one….

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  • Partner wants a 'sports car'. Please recommend her one….
  • Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    The delightful Ms S has expressed a desire to chop her Punto in for a sporty car whilst we’re both still continent enough to enjoy it.
    And who am I to argue?

    Doesn’t have to be a convertible, doesn’t have to only have two seats, but both an advantage in Ms S’s eyes.

    Has to be capable of long journeys in reasonable comfort, with enough luggage space for a weekend away.
    Ability to mount a bike rack an advantage, but we’ve got a Doblo for that
    Budget will be well under £10,000, probably about half that unless she sees something she really, really likes, in which case all bets are off.

    We both like MX5’s and S2000’s.
    Neither of us are THAT keen on BMW Z3’s, so they’re probably out.

    We’ve mates who’ve experienced the full horror of Alfa Spider/GTV ownership (replacement engines, court cases etc) so unfortunately they might be out too.

    It’ll have to do big miles and be kept for years, so million mile Boxters might not be the best suggestion as we don’t want to spend a fortune on servicing & don’t want it to get keyed whenever we park it up.

    What else should we be looking at?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    MX5 only, I suspect – they’re grrrrreat

    (I assume that when she says sporty she means “a bit” – sexist, I know but that’s what mine meant when she bought an MX5 20 years (?) ago)



    Audi TT 3.2v6 could be fun.
    BMW 330D/335D or other 3 litre+ variants with convertible, E46 is my preferred era of BM but whatever you can afford/like.
    Nissan 350Z.

    Just off the top of my head, more will be along shortly…


    +1 for the MX5 – lot of car for a £10k budget


    MX5, FTW. Probably the best little sports car on the market, reliable, long production time, so plenty of spares, a practical everyday car. And good looking, too. There’s a lovely black one on the forecourt of the car dealership next to where I work, and I must admit that I could easily be tempted if the money suddenly became available… 😀

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    I think how it makes her feel would rate much higher than the 0-60 time, if that’s what you mean 🙂 .

    Neither of us are speed freaks, but we want something enjoyable and fun.
    MGB’s are out. Bit slow. 😀

    Oh, must be able to handle speed bumps and crappy roads too.


    Ah just go the whole hog and get a Subaru Impreza. They are such a scream!

    Rachel (previously an owner of two…)


    La Ferrari?

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    I’m currently looking at last model Toyota MR2 roadsters, have test driven a couple and they seem really nice. Not scary quick but great handling, very good mpg for a sports car (38 combined). Toyota reliability, but not much of a load carrier. Actually a decent size load area behind the seats and a cubby hole up front, but not one for trips to IKEA or carrying bikes. Between three and five grand and you take your pick.


    This gorgeous race ready Lancia Fulvia...


    I know you say you don’t like the Z3 but my suggestion would be a Z4.
    Were reviewed on this weeks fifth gear as a great second hand buy


    I’d look at an S2000. Thought it was awesome, just a bit small for me

    +1 for the 350Z, and the S2000 is a good shout too.

    Infiniti G35 should you like the 350Z but want that little bit more refinement.

    MX5 are great but not the biggest for luggage, at least in mk1 & mk2 form.

    Mk2 MR2 are great, and have a very decent boot. Turbo version is ridiculously fast. They’re very comfortable too, for the type of car they are. Chav image though, unfortunately.

    Vauxhall VX220 can be had for under £10k, and they’re seemingly fantastic cars.

    Plenty of Merc SLKs about for under £10k. Could get a pre-dodgy period SL within budget too, and they’re only ever going to go up in value now.

    Boxster – 40 to 60k miles (thats not a million miles) for up to 10k, but look out for RMS issues

    S2000 could be a bargain, but are a little snappy in the wet

    If Z3 is out is a Z4?

    Fiat Barchetta for something a little different

    350z and TT as others have said

    Elise – cheap as chips to run a K-series car, but she might not find it comfortable, don’t be put of by reliability I’ve done 100k in a K-series with no real issues. I camped for a week in mine, but you have to get creative with packing.


    S2000 – howls like a ’90s touring car when you rev it, but chilled when pootling. Remarkably quiet on the motorway with the roof down too.


    The S2000 is a marvellous car – a real driver’s car. I really miss our’s despite it being terribly uncomfortable as a passenger (stiff suspension), noisy (couldn’t hear the stereo over the engine), and it had a tiny boot (enough for one overnight bag). Pre 2005 models don’t have traction control either (not many of them on the market for this reason!).

    [/url] Honda S2000 GT by Legolam, on Flickr[/img]


    Mrs v10 has just had a Mk2.5 SVT and its a great laugh, was very cheap to buy, surprisingly cheap to insure too (£7 a month more than her 1.6 megane…) and much more involving to drive than the mk3s we tried. With your budget and mileage constraints your probably looking at mk3s though in which case there are some other alternatives. S2000 or a 3.0 Z4 would be where my money was going. For some serious fun you might be able to sneak into vx220 2.2s too if you stretch to 7-8k… Tidy rag top E46 M3 can be had for the same but probably one to avoid in terms of running costs 😆


    Mrs petrieboy had a TT roadster. Nice enough, but wind noise was tiresome on long motorway trips. Coupe would have been a better choice.

    If something “sporty looking convertible” is a possibility, Saab 93’s look spectacularly cheap?

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Audi S3 3 door would do it. Bikes and kit inside for a weekend away with the seats down. Bit gloomy inside but well screwed together.


    S2000 – mate has one, good car, screams a bit though.
    Z4 – mate has one, good car s’pecialy in deep maroon.
    TT 3.2’s are ace ( but don’t get one ) 😀


    New shape slk350 looks a hoot


    s2000 would be my choice, brilliant car, bullet proof reliable. cheapish to run.

    I owned one for 5 years, it was great.

    Avoid anything by the VAG group, they dont make sports cars, they are all tedious (I owned an audi s3 for 5 years also)

    Premier Icon unknown

    My suggestion would be a fiat barchetta, and not just because I have one for sale…

    Premier Icon igm

    We have a 11 year old MX5 that we got to go on honeymoon. Not super fast but lots of fun, not much grip relative to say an Elise but superb balance (ie very controlled slides). Enough room for a 3 week trip for two. Drove it for work one year and it was fine – even in the snow it was extremely predictable (and 5 mph tail out slides are just hilarious).

    Insurance under £200 fully comp and protected no claims.

    Sum total of work other than tyres and servicing – well there was a it of excess wind noise from some of the roof / window trim so Mazda changed it – probably a tenner if I’d had to do it.

    BMW 3 series coupe (E92) ?

    Not exactly a sports car but is more refined / handles better than most, can take 4 adults in comfort and also two bikes!

    Even my “little” 2.0L 320i is good for 0-60 in 8 seconds and 144mph should the opportunity arise.

    I imagine the straight six petrol or diesels are amazing ..

    .. Or a Z4?


    Mercedes SLK. You can pick up a brilliant 200 for £10k but my choice would be a 350. 350 is bloody quick, not too bad fuel consumption (28mpg combined(considering it’s a 3.5L)), good handling, gorgeous looks, and best of all it’s a Mercedes so it’ll last longer than you will! If that doesn’t float your boat then the 200 is brilliant. As a few of the other guys have said, S2000 is a good shout but be sure to take a look at Nissan as well.

    But, still… SLK :mrgreen:


    nissan 350z

    Premier Icon smokey_jo

    We have a TT, the 2.0 turbo is plenty rapid but not an engaging drive and the doors are very long and heavy. PITA to get in and out of, noisy not very comfortable and a bit claustrophobic.
    Just not fun. Boot is a reasonable size though and 35 mpg on the motorway.
    Can’t wait to get rid of it.


    Z4, end of!

    Premier Icon Tracey

    Kevin bought me a MX5 1.8IS as a supprise Christmas present in 1994, my suprise for him was that I was pregnant with Katie. When Abigale came along in 1998 I had to sell it, it broke my heart. Bought a MX6, then a 307cc and now have a 308cc, would go back to a MX5 once the girls have left the nest.


    How about a VW EOS ticks most of the boxes, a bit sporty but comfortable to drive and good for long journeys. We are looking at changing ours due to impending grandchild (PM me if you want any details, am in Hyde, welcome to have a drive 🙂 )


    Ford F150 lightning! Thread closed.


    BMW 330D/335D



    Had 2 MX5’s loved them but prefer the MR2 I have currently. For £5k you could get one of the last ones.


    If you look at MX5’s definitely test drive a Mk 2 and Mk 3. The Mk3 is not as good a car as the Mk 2.. I only drove a Mk2 after buying a new Mk3 🙁

    SLK’s are nice safe cars. 3.5 is a nice engine, reasonably quick, but not as quick as you would think. You can’t turn the traction control off either! Handles ok, but not only ok.

    Premier Icon Daffy

    BMW E46 M3 Convertible, You’d be able to get a 2003 for around 10K and the optional hard top can be fitted with a bike rack.


    Mk2 MR2 are great, and have a very decent boot. Turbo version is ridiculously fast. They’re very comfortable too, for the type of car they are

    That was very naughty of you. Please don’t make statements like that without giving people the full picture please. Tell them what the MK2 MR2 Turbo’s nickname is….

    Premier Icon Daffy

    Anyone that believes that a standard BMW 3 series is a sports car should be taken outside and shot!


    Go retro.

    You’ll get a very nice Mk1 Golf GTi … ticks your boxes

    Or a BMW 2002

    What fun!!

    .. I think both references were to the coupe/cabriolets which whilst not “sports” cars arguably handle a lot better then many that profess to be .

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