What fun “drivers” car that won’t lose (much) money?…
Legacys are nice but not sure they hold their value that well.
The r53 is interesting but things like this put me off.. £3k recently spent and its for sale for £3k.. hmm:
e has a Subaru Legacy 3.0 outback estate. Flat six, manual gearbox, go anywhere ( within reason) and few people know what it is.
Deffo an option, not truly sporty but with 245bhp a creamy smooth 3.0 flat 6 (that corners better than it should due to the low C0fG) they’re great cars. Loved mine, just didn’t love the impending big bills and the 25mpg at best fuel economy!!
Best thing about it was setting off from the lights in the pouring rain, 4 up… basically floor it and no loss of traction, nothing, just off into the distance 😀Posted 8 months ago
Only thing that puts me off and other v6 is that they aren’t very tuneable so it is what it is.. which is a pro and a con. Wonder if it’ll feel a bit like a heavier a3 3.2 v6 though? and slightly less traction than the quattro?Posted 8 months ago
Civic type R
Early MX5, slow but do go sideways quite easily if that’s your bag.
Leftfield suggestion, Westfield 7, who needs a roof or a heater or indeed any kind of creature comforts whatsoever:
will definitely hold value.Posted 8 months ago
350z tax is £280Posted 8 months ago
360z tax is £500
Audi S4, maybe out of budget
EP3 Type R – absolute hoot of a car to drive whilst still being reasonably practical
A friend had one, we used to commute Teesside to Reading in it and it would only just beat the google sat nav predicted arrival time.
We would stop for fish and chips at his mums in Castleford though 🤣
His was completely original and unmolested and seemed to go for years doing that commute weekly without anything other than consumables and a few warped disk’s.
A housemate had one of the supercharged mini’s, proper brake your neck acceleration and break your spine suspension. But then the roads around Reading are, and always have been appalling so that’s not a fair assessment. It also spent a lot of time being rebuilt at the garage despite not being thrashed. She was a sensible driver and inherited it as a hand-me-down form her mum who was a higher-up at the Mini plant.
Heart would say mini, it just feels mental. Head would say the Civic because you’ll get there and it was a normal comfy small car when you didn’t want to trouble every speed camera on the A1.Posted 8 months ago
Clio 172/182s seem to be on their way up at the moment. A few years back you could get a half decent one with MOT and belts done for around £1500. Now you’re looking closer to £2500-3000. Very silly, very fun, not entirely practical.Posted 8 months ago
In the time old tradition of suggesting cars you used to own or do own. I’ll suggest the 306 GTI6/Rallye. Great cars, creeping up in value now and will go the same way as the 205 IMO. Had 2, miss them both.Posted 8 months ago
Maybe get an Alfa GTV with the 3 litre V6 in it within budgetPosted 8 months ago
Just bought a Z4 in 3.0 litre trim. Lots on autotrader. Autotrader sub £5 z4Posted 8 months ago
I’ve owned a few cars that now fall into this category, not all similar to drive though so depends what you prefer. All of them already mentioned above.
Clio 172 – good ones hard to find but prices definitely bottomed out for the best examples.
Civic Type R EP3 – I preferred the Clio to drive, but it’d be the Honda I’d return to rather than a Clio.
Z4 3.0 – brilliant car, brilliant engine. Dynamically not the best but it’s fun to drive. Shouldn’t have any issues with leaks as long as the soft-top drains are clear (it’s an easy thing to check).
One I didn’t own but wish I had: BMW 130i. Again not supposed to be dynamically the best but a great engine in a small car. Pricing might’ve gone too high on those now though.Posted 8 months ago
Those Civics are ace. Had the 2.2l diesel for a few years. Mate had one too and reckoned there wasn’t that much difference performance wise from a TypeR. But I’m ready to be shot down on that
Not going to shoot you down, the EP3 typeR was more fun to drive and I loved. Also, had the 2.2 FN2(maybe) at the same time and it was no slouch, but turbo’d and cut-in always seemed to be mid corner for me. As a stop gap car it was ok, comfy for long trips, mostly reliable but had faults, I folded in one of the wing-mirrors when parked on a roadside once and the whole things snapped off. The pretrol cover release snapped, had to snap the outer cover off to release the actual cover and fuel up. Under tray was falling off, had a lot of gaffa tape used to hold it up as much as possible on the drive back from Chamonix once! Enginewise it just worked though and the space in the back was huge of course.
I now have a mk7 Golf GTI and a diesel Octy VRS (I felt I had to as a dog car). I still miss the Civic and V-tec everytime though.Posted 8 months ago
BMW 130i if you can find one in budget but check it’s been maintained (the handful of age related things that can add up quite quickly) – they’re not that expensive to run if you maintain them yourself and think of them as a sports car rather than a hatchback.
Beware the M Sport suspension is terrible though and the front wheels are a defunct size so there are only a couple of options now.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve not had a proper go in Focus ST, only a brief ride but it didn’t feel as much fun as an ep3. Once you get the civic up past 5k revs it’s fantastic and nothing with forced induction can beat it IMO. I sold mine on about 170k miles and it was still going strong having done plenty of track days. I only ever broke down once when the bearing on the top pulley of the aux belt gave up and I still managed to nurse it to the Honda garage.
I did test drive a 172 cup before buying the civic but it was much smaller and very cheap inside in comparison.Posted 8 months ago
I had a 182 cup. It has been fastidiously maintained, all belts done, and was great to drive when it worked. But it broke so much. More than any car I’ve ever owned.(and I’ve got an rx7, so that’s saying a lot) When it was good, it was like a cut price version of my wife’s dc2, but it was also a fraction as reliable. I sold it when the clutch separated from the center spigot on the way to the garage to get the clutch looked at.
I’d really take some convincing that they were a good bet.
We’re on our 4th mx5 now, and it’s every bit as good as the first. Brilliant little things. If love to try a mini as well.Posted 8 months ago
I had a 182 cup. It has been fastidiously maintained, all belts done, and was great to drive when it worked. But it broke so much. More than any car I’ve ever owned.
I had an incredibly rare “standard” (Cup spoiler added of course). I absolutely loved that car. Keep telling myself that if i had the chance I’d have another in a heartbeat, and then I go through the list of issues…… then i also remember that even the newest ones are over 16 years old now. Then I’m just sad that there’s nothing like them around nowPosted 8 months ago
If after an R53, don’t just pick one at random on eBay – have a look on the forums/FB groups. The R53 Group on FB is really, really good – the best car community I’ve come across. Then theres loads of people (on there too) who specialise in nothing but decent Minis.Posted 8 months ago
Can’t do a mx5 – too slow and too small,
Small-ish, but not that slow, and on anything other than a motorway or dual carriageway, they can keep in front of most things due to the handling.
You could, of course, get a Mazda/Ford/Jaguar 3.0 V6 from a Mazda 6 or Jag S-Type stuffed in the front, with a decent remap, it should be more than quick enough. There’s always the utterly mental nuclear option of a 6.2ltr Chevy V8 crammed into the engine bay – might exceed the budget by a tad, though… 🤣Posted 8 months ago
A Chevy V8 improves most things (I know, I’ve got one) but not gonna happen for the £5k budget.
Cheap way into a V8 like mine was when Vauxhall Monaros started from £7k, but those days are gone.Posted 8 months ago
Toyota Corolla T-Sport or the Celica equivalent.
190bhp or thereabouts with variable valve thingies…..Posted 8 months ago
BMW 130i, 3L straight 6, 260bhp rear wheel drive, revs to just shy of 7,000 rpm. Car isn’t much bigger than a Fiesta, but you can get 2 full fat 29ers with the wheels off, they sound pretty good too.Posted 8 months ago
I’m in a similar situation.
Sold a Panda 100 to @Rich_s which I really regret and went to an Abarth which was ok, but the one I had wasn’t the best. Recently sold a 2.5 Focus ST which was really comfy and handled really well, but a little on the wide side for really narrow lanes and truly crap in the car park.
Currently considering an EP3, FN2 or Clio RS 197, however I may also pick up another Panda 100 as they can be found pretty cheap. Also thought about a Twingo 133 or a Mito Cloverleaf.Posted 8 months ago
Still miss my 130i though probably rose tinted glasses are affecting me. You would need nearer £7k to get a decent one these days I think. I sold mine 7 years ago and it is still worth what I sold it for 😭 z4 coupe is a good alternative to consider though might also be a bit much to get a good one.
Prior to that I had a MK4 golf v5 which was good fun and a sleeper with the later 170hp 2.3. Don’t see many around these days same with the 2000 Seat Ibiza Cupra I had before that. To be fair that made a BMW seem like a soft riding car!Posted 8 months ago
We’ve a Panda 100 too. Whilst they can be picked up cheaply, I don’t think they are an investment type car, even if they are fun go-kart wardrobes.
197 Cup is more civilized and quicker with wider following to have good residuals.
Some form of Caterham 7, but I’m yet to find a cheap one. Can’t imagine many Elise’s being within budget anymore as they started to pick up a few years ago.Posted 8 months ago
If the BMW 130i or Z4 3.0 are considerations, take a look at the 125i coupe. Same engine, detuned, but a £300 remap gives you the 50odd bhp back and it basically becomes a 130i coupe (or convertible if you want)Posted 8 months ago
Great engine and only common weak spot is the water pump. Like everything else at the moment they seem to be at least holding their value if not going up.
Based on the back of this thread, I’m the new owner of a 2006 63,000 mile Mini Cooper s. Paid £4k for it. Insurance is pretty cheap. Was serviced in November and MOT until next October.Posted 8 months ago
Only done about 20 miles so far, good car to drive, feels like fun. Quite noisy though, but my main car is a nearly new Mercedes GLC Coupe. The clutch is heavy, but my Merc is auto so probably forgot what a clutch feels like. It does notice every hole on the road and every sleeping policeman has to be taken with care.
But it’s fun. Only plan to use it as a station car, so hopefully won’t cost me too much in repairs. Don’t think I’d use it for long journeys, but as a town run around it seems ideal.
I have no idea about cars so took a huge leap of faith by just buying it after a 15 minute test drive.
The cars had decent servicing, mainly independent and 63,000 miles appears to be genuine.
My wife’s Cooper S had the heaviest clutch of any car I’ve driven including the TVR Chimaera I had.
I would check and keep your eye on oil usage – some of them drink oil like you wouldn’t believe.Posted 8 months ago
Cheers TheGingerOne.Posted 8 months ago
I also had a Chimera back in the day, lovely car…..and strangely hassle free for the few years I had it.
Good choice. I had a 2012 Cooper S before my Monaro, only sold because I needed bigger rear seats for the kids. Clutch was average I thought although mine had the newer N18 engine (think yours will be the earlier N14, so possibly other drivetrain differences). Hugely entertaining and demonstrates you don’t need to be going fast to have fun.
It does notice every hole on the road
The standard alloy is 16” but almost every initial buyer added the Chili pack which includes 17” alloys. I downsized from 17″ to original/OEM 16” alloys which are the biggest that fit over the front brakes and binned the runflat tyres for normal tyres at the same time – big improvement in ride comfort over potholes etc, and bonus of being 5kg lighter per wheel/tyre combo (20kg overall unsprung weight saving, because racecar).Posted 8 months ago
IF wOOdster has an early R56 MCS, as suggested keep a close eye on oil level and consumption, listen out for chain ‘rattle’ at cold start up, this is the indicator of the timing chain/tensioner failure onset that is prone for these cars, if you have an early R56 it will be the N14 engine, which unfortunately is worst in this respect than the N18, I know this from experience from my FJCW which was an N14 engine 58 plate, sublime as it was, but the timing chain/tensioner is a notable failure point and both N14/N18 are direct injection and depending on mileage will coke up exhibited by flat spots/stutter on acceleration.Posted 8 months ago
Megane 225. Should get a reasonable one in budget (although probably not with any Cup bits for that money). Plenty quick enough and brilliant handling.Posted 8 months ago
Mk1 TT, has to be. Genuine design classic. Get a good one and you won’t lose money. Not long bought a non-spoiler APX-engined ’98 225 Quattro in Denim Blue on its original dealer plates for £750. For the money I can’t think of anything I’d rather own.Posted 8 months ago
Had a 3.0 z4, was the least reliable car I’ve owned. Replaced the steering column twice, shitty electric power steering with the binding motor and broken position sensor. Failed belt tensioner, faulty alarm. I definitely got a Friday car.Posted 8 months ago
But that rear end with the fat tyres and the sound of it after I fitted a BMC CDA intake made it a real love/hate relationship.
I had the removable hard top too which was nice and weren’t too expensive to pick up on eBay.
Very often got hot hatches trying to race at the lights, could fend off most things. Went sideways around roundabouts, rwd with no weight in the rear and a heavy 6 pot in the front.
Also have the two stages of switching off traction control, with it on it could actually get some power down, first step would let it slip and slide a bit but stepped in before you did something dangerous, second step just disabled everything and let you decide how long you stayed on the road 😂
MX5’s need the suspension geometry setting up – the tolerance from the factory is huge. Our mk2.5 was sublime when it was sorted.
No mention of Suzuki swift sports? (also Ignis Sport) Friend has a Swift and it’s a revvy manic little thing. Old ones rust though.Posted 8 months ago
If you do buy a TT, steer clear of the Mk2 VR6 version. As much as it is a lovely car with a very pleasing engine noise, the VED will make you a pauper and they are understeery as hell.
Not sure what I would get if I had 5 grand. Right now (in the cold and dark winter) it would be an engine swapped Volvo 245, but come spring/summer, I’d be investing that in a Ducati 1098. Unless I found out I needed a van again, then I’d buy a T3 pickup.Posted 8 months ago
Our daughter bought a 1992 MX5 at the start of lockdown to do up herself using her grandads garage and the facilities now he cant use them. She has done most of the work herself, repairing stuff, replacing stuff, powder coating stuff and is a credit to her.Posted 8 months ago
It has the 1.6 engine which felt a bit underpowered but recently paid for a turbo upgrade and tuning from DWR performance in Chesterfield.
Its a bit quicker now
If woodster’s Cooper S is an 06 then it’ll be an R53 so not the ticking time bomb N14 turbo (I think – don’t think I’ve ever seen an R56 S on anything older than an 07?Posted 8 months ago
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