Where have all the affordable fun to drive cars gone?

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Apr 22, 2018
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MA
I love my Tundra and my wife loves her RX 350 but neither is any fun to drive. I started thinking about maybe getting a small, sporty, preferably manual, fun-to-drive car for putzing around town. Now I'm 6'5" and 275lbs and so my size must also be factored in but I have happily driven a 2014 Mazda3 (without a moon or sunroof) and a 2013 Audi S5 with plenty of room so I'm not freakishly large. Off to Google I went and there really aren't any cars that fit these criteria.

Mazda Miata - too small
Subaru WRX - maybe but a kid's car
Subaru BRZ/86 - maybe but I'd have to sit in one to see how it fits
Nissan Z - ehhh....it's a Nissan
Toyota Supra - a little too much car for what I'm looking for and do I fit?

Is there something I'm not thinking of and missing? I'm thinking $30K, $35k, maybe $40K if it really fits the bill. Can be used too. Doesn't have to have a ton of power just a manual and be fun to drive. It really is a sad time for affordable fun-to-drive cars.
 

Astro14

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Volvo V70R wagon. Made 2004-2007. Find a nice clean one, with a six speed manual. Fits people your size. Starting to go up in value now…

Something like this one

 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
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15,238
Location
Indiana
Volvo V70R wagon. Made 2004-2007. Find a nice clean one, with a six speed manual. Fits people your size. Starting to go up in value now…

Something like this one

Before we bought our Yoda there was one just like this for 6500 or so.

I’d go to jail so we passed.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
14,929
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
They've all gone the way to le$$ affordable SUVs. 🚘

No more "HOT HATCHES" 🚗

And performance cars🏎️ are too expensive.

I still have a fondness for the little econobox. 🚕 There are a few remaining from KIA/Hyundai & Chevrolet but the remaining ones are gone.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2022
Messages
43
I love my Tundra and my wife loves her RX 350 but neither is any fun to drive. I started thinking about maybe getting a small, sporty, preferably manual, fun-to-drive car for putzing around town. Now I'm 6'5" and 275lbs and so my size must also be factored in but I have happily driven a 2014 Mazda3 (without a moon or sunroof) and a 2013 Audi S5 with plenty of room so I'm not freakishly large. Off to Google I went and there really aren't any cars that fit these criteria.

Mazda Miata - too small
Subaru WRX - maybe but a kid's car
Subaru BRZ/86 - maybe but I'd have to sit in one to see how it fits
Nissan Z - ehhh....it's a Nissan
Toyota Supra - a little too much car for what I'm looking for and do I fit?

Is there something I'm not thinking of and missing? I'm thinking $30K, $35k, maybe $40K if it really fits the bill. Can be used too. Doesn't have to have a ton of power just a manual and be fun to drive. It really is a sad time for affordable fun-to-drive cars.
I am 70 and bought a wrx in June. Love the car! I am still a kid. Love rowing the 6sp with sti shifter
 
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,587
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
I love my Tundra and my wife loves her RX 350 but neither is any fun to drive. I started thinking about maybe getting a small, sporty, preferably manual, fun-to-drive car for putzing around town. Now I'm 6'5" and 275lbs and so my size must also be factored in but I have happily driven a 2014 Mazda3 (without a moon or sunroof) and a 2013 Audi S5 with plenty of room so I'm not freakishly large. Off to Google I went and there really aren't any cars that fit these criteria.

Mazda Miata - too small
Subaru WRX - maybe but a kid's car
Subaru BRZ/86 - maybe but I'd have to sit in one to see how it fits
Nissan Z - ehhh....it's a Nissan
Toyota Supra - a little too much car for what I'm looking for and do I fit?

Is there something I'm not thinking of and missing? I'm thinking $30K, $35k, maybe $40K if it really fits the bill. Can be used too. Doesn't have to have a ton of power just a manual and be fun to drive. It really is a sad time for affordable fun-to-drive cars.
Gone to salvage yards everyone, When will they ever learn?
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Location
Kevil,Ky
The fun to drive ones are at my house. Most fun to drive in order 1, 1975 VW Westfalia with 70's stickers on the windows. You better be dressed right if you go anywhere cause somebody will be taking your picture with it. Can't get smile off my face driving it. 2. 1965 VW Beetle imported from England. We have owned this car for 26 years and all my sons learned to drive a stick in it. Its totally stock looking but has a larger motor. 3. 1987 VW Cabriolet with 5 speed. This with the top down is a great little driver and conversation piece. 4. My 1986 VW Vanagon Westfalia Wolfsburg. Don't take it very many places anymore but used to travel the country in this one. It makes me smile.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
484
Location
Minnesota
What happened to the 2 door models also. How about a 2 door civic/integra with a manual? The Gr86 manual and the MX-5 Club are the ones that we are looking at now. Both are a tough get.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,310
Location
A Barrier Island
This was my 'go to' fun to drive car. Best time you can have while still wearing your shorts.

BMW.jpg
1973 BMW 2002tii just like mine.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
8,701
Location
South Carolina
....It really is a sad time for affordable fun-to-drive cars.
I think if interest rates keep climbing and stay at the average historic levels those cars will come back to market.
Cheap credit has made expensive high profit cars affordable because the payment is the same due to low rates. Never mind the STUPID long plan terms.
No different than the housing market. (which is now considering 45 year mortgages)
Cheap credit = high prices, expensive credit = low prices, payment is the same.

(when I was young, decades ago, I was one the first owners of a Honda CRX, god I LOVED that car)
Yes, fun is the word, somehow people will go into a huge debt load for a throw away car that will go 0 to 60 in 4 to 6 seconds with a top speed of around 140 MPH, for what? $50,000 and maybe lose your license to drive?
To me, that price range = no fun factor for the majority of the population.
 
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