Second car thoughts, convertible/sports. Cheap, fun, reliable, possible?

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  • Second car thoughts, convertible/sports. Cheap, fun, reliable, possible?
  • Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    We have an S-Max, main family car. We also have a Honda Stream, which is pretty well shagged, but fills in on occasional days when 2 cars are needed. If there was a car-club type thing in our town we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Second car will only do a few thousand a year, tops.

    Toying with the idea of a cheap coupe or convertible, between £1000 and £3000 Would be nice if it didn’t need a lot of looking after.

    MX-5 or what else, and if an MX-5, which one?


    S2000 (not for that money though)

    Premier Icon righog

    Alfa GTV or spider


    my dad recently invested in an mx-5 as a post retirement present. Considers it possibly the best purchase he’s ever made – literally smiling ear to ear every minute he’s in it. I wish we’d pushed him to buy one a couple of years earlier.

    he spent a bit more than your budget and went for the 2 litre, coupe-convertible. Little bit heavier, but very practical and the electric roof is ace!

    Mx5 is about the only thing that fits that criteria.


    MX-5 is nice but the engine is in the wrong place 😉

    This however…

    Can’t find a proper widow maker for that money though 🙁

    Premier Icon transporter13

    Toyota celica?


    Convertible = smiles.

    MX5s are great fun.

    Premier Icon madhouse

    Mx-5 is the obvious choice here, pretty much every model is loved by all.

    I think you’d struggle to find something as cheap, fun and reliable for the money.


    Volvo C70 T5 GT

    You can usually pick up a 1998/99 rag top with full history and under 100k for less than three grand. Monumentally reliable, 260bhp stock (can be chipped up to about 310bhp for around £300), obscenely comfortable, all the toys. Go like shit off a shovel when you stamp on the loud pedal. Dont expect more than 20mpg if you have a heavy right foot though.


    Wife’s got an mx5 56 plate and brilliant fun . The older ones are as much fun something like an 03 plate but I’m 5ft 11 and found the mk 2 a bit of a tight squeeze


    MX5= win win.

    I have been longing to get another, but I really need more than 2 seats…



    Elan M100 apart from the leaks.

    I’ve had a mk1 MX5 and two MR2 Turbos. The Toyota is much better build quality, but also a bit of a hooligan. I know to my cost that they’re pretty much unsaveable if the back end goes. MX5 was a bit agricultural but very satisfying to drive. Both are pretty much bomb-proof. I’d be hard pressed to choose between the two if it was my money. I think it would be the MR2 though, just. Handling’s all well and good, but there’s something about the forced-induction kick up the arse…

    Having said that, a turbo/supercharged MX5 might be just the ticket…


    Buy a classic and fix it up, the sense of achievement alone will be worth it an when it breaks you can fix it.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    mx5 is the only car I’ve ever missed.

    we had a mk2.5 1.8 sport. would have another in a shot if we didn’t need more than two seats.

    do it


    Had MX5’s and currently have an MR2. I can’t see us changing to Toyota for a while, its massive fun to drive an gets used all year. MX5’s are great fun but I personally feel like the Toyota is better built, even more fun to drive and more solid. It took a while to find a good one and the facelift 03 onwards are quite expensive but we found an enthusiast owned 52 that had been well looked after. It would put a massive smile on your face. Celica was mentioned above too, I have one of those too, a hugely underrated car, but not quite as exotic feeling as the MR2/MX5. For what I do for work I need a long boot space but height isn’t as important, I do few miles a d it fitted the bill. Servicing is a little more expensive with an MR2 over an MX5 as the engine can be harder to access. I love mine and it doesn’t have a midlife crisis my other cars a VAG/MPV image :p

    In terms of running costs both MX5 and MR2 have needed little work, both been very reliable. We had a 2.5 & 3.0 MX5 found the 2.5 to clog up round the sills and condition to be everything on ones of that vintage, get off eBay a hard top to preserve the hood as the 2.5 era ones seem to collect water and rot at the back. An MX5 specialist on the Wirral was really helpful and had good stock.


    Mercedes SLK. Very cheap when you go back to the 1999/2000 models.

    Mk1 MX5. Getting cheaper by the day and if you want one, now is definitely the time to buy. Get a pre-93 1.6 or post 93 1.8. Good ones start from about £1500, maybe less now. For £3k you’re looking at supercharged/turbo’d ones that have been well looked after!

    – sills
    – rear arches especially
    – water in boot and/or footwell
    – all electrics are ok

    Luckily, unless its absolutely knackered, they’re cheap to fix (I know – I’ve owned 3 and one was a total dog I bought for £500 and ended up splitting and selling for a lot more). Loads of cheap spares knocking about – MX%Nutz is the best forum I came across.

    As soon as I can I’m getting another. Standard, they’re not quick but they’re lovely little things.


    nissan 200SX s14.

    2.0 ltr Turbo, Coupe, RWD[/u], faster than people think!

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