Which one would you get?

Submitted by flu on February 1, 2017 - 9:25pm
Subaru BRZ
22% (2 votes)
Mazda Miata
56% (5 votes)
Alfa Romeo 4C
11% (1 vote)
Both the BRZ and the Miata in lieu of the 4C
11% (1 vote)
Total votes: 9
Submitted by flu on February 1, 2017 - 9:41pm.

So, I think both my Audi and Miata are on their last leg. Time for a replacement...
My criteria.

1. Must be new (don't want to deal with sketchly maintained or trashed car in this category)
2. Must be a fun car
3. Must be light (relatively speaking) Ideally under 3000lbs.
4. Car is expected to see above average wear and tear from above average aggressive driving off public roads.
5. Must be a car that can be autocrossed, more of less aggressively
6. Must be a car that can see light track duty, for fun not competitively
7. Must not break the bank if I were to crash it (in a non-totaled way)
8. Must be a car in roughly 6-7 years a parent would feel comfortable handing the keys to a teen kid to drive wrto safety.
9. Reliability, reasonable. Doesn't have to be a civic/corolla reliable.

My gut says the 4C is out of the equation for reasons of #4, #5, #6,#9 , though it was a pretty cool car. And for reasons of #8, leaning towards the BRZ. Though, the miata i think would win the fun factor.

Miata and BRZ are roughly the same price, and the 4C is roughly the price of both the Miata + BRZ.

Contrary to popular belief. I hate car buying. It's like a commitment for a long time, something I have a problem doing. And fundamentally, I feel like being cheap. Which means no Porsche until after kid is in college. And of course, after this painful exercise, I'll probably end up cheapening out at the last minute and find a way to repair the Audi and Miata "for much less"...lol...

Submitted by ltsdd on February 1, 2017 - 10:34pm.

None?

Submitted by spdrun on February 1, 2017 - 10:55pm.

None? Miatas and BRZs are bad ass.

Submitted by moneymaker on February 2, 2017 - 10:43am.

Although I have a Miata MX-5 (and love it) change is good. I would recommend (without ever owning one) a used Porsche. Why? Saw a woman driving an older one that was in good shape on the freeway the other day and it just kinda stuck in my mind, now that is a smart woman, the only caveat is you must work on it yourself otherwise the repair bills would probably be outrageous.Don't see too many Subaru's driving around, my second choice would probably be a Mercedes 450SL, also older as they stopped making them for some reason, probably because change is good. Just realized the 450SL is over 3000 lbs., silver lining is might not have to smog it.

Submitted by AN on February 2, 2017 - 11:59am.

BRZ, it's essentially a Toyota, so it should be pretty reliable. The center of gravity is quite low due to the boxer engine. Good weight balance.

Submitted by Ribbles on February 2, 2017 - 3:42pm.

I voted MX-5 for sheer lightness.

There are alternative Porsche mechanics out there who are much cheaper than the dealer. Your resale will take a hit without dealer docs, but if it's a weekend car, you may have it forever, so no biggie. I'm playing the long game - waiting until used Cayman GT4's get down to $40k-ish. I might be waiting a long time.

Submitted by flu on February 2, 2017 - 4:09pm.

Yeah, GT4's were selling for $20 above MSRP, which was too rich for my blood for a car that I wanted to toss around. Nice car though.

Submitted by CafeMoto on February 2, 2017 - 10:04pm.

miata retractable fastback. -2 cents

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 5:37am.

CafeMoto wrote:
miata retractable fastback. -2 cents

It looks great from the pictures they show, but in person it's a little weird.. The best to describe it is looking at this picture from a specific angle...

Also, that's an extra 100lbs and starts around $31-2k, I just wish mazda came out with one with a fixed roof. I guess eventually, I'll end up tossing a supercharger on the (new) miata, and if I continue to lose weight, the extra 100 lbs won't matter *that* much.

I'll see what the dealers are asking for that... it's a 2017 model, so i suspect not as great deals. Suposedly, since I'm a mazdaspeed club racer, I'm eligible for S-plan price, which should keep the price near invoice.

On the 2016 models, they are currently selling a lot below invoice to clear for the 2017, and the only difference between 2016 and 2017 is the 2017 comes with blind spot detection, which I don't really care for.

I can get one from L.A. around $26.7k, and they are going to throw in 3 years of maintenance, which personally i would never pay myself, but hey if it's free, i don't mind a few free oil changes..And i need a cheaper car to toss around, in case it breaks. I'm trying to see if I can find a 2017 BRZ or Toyota 86 for around the same price. The only problem is the BRZ's 2017 models just started to trickle in, since the 2017 has been slightly redesigned.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 5:25am.

Not many people think I should get the alfa? Aw come on man, it's a pretty cool car...

https://www.alfaromeousa.com/cars/alfa-r...

Yeah i know...There are just certain things you aren't suppose to do......This would be one of them...

Submitted by svelte on February 3, 2017 - 6:10am.

flu wrote:
Not many people think I should get the alfa? Aw come on man, it's a pretty cool car...

https://www.alfaromeousa.com/cars/alfa-r...

Yeah i know...There are just certain things you aren't suppose to do......This would be one of them...

I'm voting for none of the above.

I think you should get the Fiat 124 Spider. Much more graceful lines than the Miata, which has too many curves in too little space. The Miata looks like the design was laid out on a much bigger car then the wheelbase and length were reduced giving an awkward appearance.

Fiat 124 vs Miata

Submitted by spdrun on February 3, 2017 - 6:33am.

Alfa has two pedals, Miata and BR-Z three. Then again, the Alfa has real (non-power, non cumpooter controlled steering).

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 8:17am.

svelte wrote:
flu wrote:
Not many people think I should get the alfa? Aw come on man, it's a pretty cool car...

https://www.alfaromeousa.com/cars/alfa-r...

Yeah i know...There are just certain things you aren't suppose to do......This would be one of them...

I'm voting for none of the above.

I think you should get the Fiat 124 Spider. Much more graceful lines than the Miata, which has too many curves in too little space. The Miata looks like the design was laid out on a much bigger car then the wheelbase and length were reduced giving an awkward appearance.

Fiat 124 vs Miata

I thought about that. But the things I don't like about the 124 is I'm not a fan of the turbo engine. And it's a heavier car by about 100lbs. Though it comes with slightly more power, it's actually slower. If the 124 Abarth was a real Abarth with a big power gain, then I would be over that.

I'm also concerned about fiat service availability. At least with a Alfa, plenty of they can be serviced at places were Maseratis are serviced in case fiat dealerships pull out.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 8:19am.

spdrun wrote:
Alfa has two pedals, Miata and BR-Z three. Then again, the Alfa has real (non-power, non cumpooter controlled steering).

yeah, i'm reading some of the stories about current 4C owners. Some had problems with the dual clutch transmission, mostly software errors. Then there's one guy waiting for like 6+months for a replacement windshield...

There's also a recommended "bolt tightening" service every 10k miles, where for $1000-1200, they go through every frame bolt and re-tighten everything. I guess you sort of need to do that with a carbon fiber based chassis.

The 4C is pretty quick, it's like a Lotus Elise, slightly more civilized.

Didn't I tell you? I was planning on getting a BRZ or Miata with two pedals....Just kidding....(shudders)...

Submitted by Ribbles on February 3, 2017 - 8:13am.

I think the top-up RF looks better than the soft top, except for certain angles as mentioned, and I'm okay with the weight gain, but I'm reading that those buttresses cause bad wind/pressure buffeting in the cabin over 40-50mph - like when you have only one window down in a sedan. That would make me pause, even though I would have the top up most of the time.

I like the Fiat too, but can't get past the cast iron block. I feel like I'd be throwing Mazda reliability out the window. I have a friend with the skyactiv 2.0, 150k miles with zero problems even with anger-inducing gaps between oil changes.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 8:18am.

Ribbles wrote:
I think the top-up RF looks better than the soft top, except for certain angles as mentioned, and I'm okay with the weight gain, but I'm reading that those buttresses cause bad wind/pressure buffeting in the cabin over 40-50mph - like when you have only one window down in a sedan. That would make me pause, even though I would have the top up most of the time.

I like the Fiat too, but can't get past the cast iron block. I feel like I'd be throwing Mazda reliability out the window. I have a friend with the skyactiv 2.0, 150k miles with zero problems even with anger-inducing gaps between oil changes.

I was thinking the same thing.... I would be willing to put up with the fiat turbo if the power gains actually made the car go faster. But it doesn't, unless it's after market tuned, which I'm not sure I would want to do on a fiat product :)

I admit that I agree with svelte, though. The finish of the 124 just looks better. it reminds me of an NB miata.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 8:28am.

.

Submitted by TeCKis300 on February 3, 2017 - 11:55am.

I know you said no Porsche, but I also know you're motivated by logic, value, and excitement. I second what someone else has already suggested above by going with a used Boxster.

You've already done a miata and entry level sports sedan. A new miata, or car in that class, will just be more of the same. What's the fun in that.

A lightly used Boxster, is typically in immaculate condition with all dealer docs. Because that's how the clientele treats their prized toy. They are mature, and have disposable income, meaning they do all maintenance proactively, and drive it with respect. Likely gently cause while old guys think they want to drive fast, will generally just cruise. It's completely different than the typical owner of a used low end miata or brz for example.

A used Porche only means they've just been broken in and hugely discounted. Weekend drivers, sitting in a nice covered garage depreciating.

They are also pretty reliable. You can see this for yourself with the tons of older boxsters running around with faded headlights. These are the result of second owners using and commuting them just like any normal Honda/Toyota. They will do the dead without compliant.

Don't worry about saving this car for your child. Get them another beater if you love it. Or sell it in the future, as it won't have loss much of any value since you'd be at the gentle part of the depreciation curve.

They also hold up better for track days as they are designed for the job. You'll have access to the camaraderie of like minded (and age) people for autox and track days. That, for just about the same cost of entry as your proposed new toys, is real value.

You can find tons of late 2000, early 2010s in the 25-35k range. And cheaper still if you don't mind older.

I already have an expensive / expensive to maintain high end Porsche. Looking for an early 2000 beater / track toy that I don't mind wading up. You can find these all day long for ~10k, some in really great condition.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 11:58am.

If I were to go Porsche, it would be a caymen. The concern I have with both the caymen and the boxsteris the proned intermediate driveshaft failures.

If it was just a daily commute car, probably dont need to worry about that.

But for the abuse that I would put it through, that would be concerning.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 12:05pm.

So here's the rough insurance quotes I got from my agent, assuming multicar discount and 5000 miles on this car as an "occasional use" car, all with a $500 collision deductible and $250 comprehensive deductible, unless otherwise noted.

6 month insurance premium 5000 miles/year $500 collision deductible, $250 comprehensive deductible, unless otherwise noted

2016 Miata: $396.98
2017 Miata RF: $443.78
2017 BRZ: $500 (I guess many people crash these)
2016 Alfa Romeo 4C: $1364, plus $1000 collision deductible + $500 comp ded + mileage limited to 3000 miles/year Ouch....

I guess the 4C's carbon fiber body is partly to blame for the much higher cost. What's surprising in the BRZ ended up being more than the Miatas, and I thought two seaters were insured higher than 4 seaters (or 2+2)

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 1:50pm.

Ok, here's the weird part

Insurance quotes for:

5. Toyota 86 (same as the BRZ): $522

6. Fiat 124: $400

Submitted by TeCKis300 on February 3, 2017 - 5:48pm.

The intermediate shaft issue is a lot of hubbub about nothing. In practice, it affected relatively few cars. And there are well known upgrades/maintenance items to make it a non-issue. I will say prices reflect the general and unfounded fear of that specific issue. More value for the informed buyer IMO. Sure, I like the Cayman too, but value.

I think you may find the insurance surprisingly reasonable on Porsches as well, because they are owned by again, more mature buyers. On the flip side, and you may not care, but if you owned a BRZ, your peers might just lump and profile you as immature.

Just my opinion (which is prob < .0001 cents). Your personal happiness is what's important.

Submitted by svelte on February 3, 2017 - 5:54pm.

Yeah, get what makes you happy man.

To hell with what we think. It's your money!

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 7:28pm.

TeCKis300 wrote:
The intermediate shaft issue is a lot of hubbub about nothing. In practice, it affected relatively few cars. And there are well known upgrades/maintenance items to make it a non-issue. I will say prices reflect the general and unfounded fear of that specific issue. More value for the informed buyer IMO. Sure, I like the Cayman too, but value.

I think you may find the insurance surprisingly reasonable on Porsches as well, because they are owned by again, more mature buyers. On the flip side, and you may not care, but if you owned a BRZ, your peers might just lump and profile you as immature.

Just my opinion (which is prob < .0001 cents). Your personal happiness is what's important.

Oh, I'm totally immature..... lol.

Ok, so then the IMS issue really isn't an issue? I did not know that.

At once upon a time, I did price out a new 911s right before I bought a rental property. The insurance on that thing was actually less than the insurance on the 4c. It was around $2400/year i think.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 7:21pm.

svelte wrote:
Yeah, get what makes you happy man.

To hell with what we think. It's your money!

Well thanks. I do appreciate everyone weighing in, because all of these cars I like. I just wanted to see if there was anything I'm missing.

Submitted by spdrun on February 3, 2017 - 7:51pm.

On the flip side, and you may not care, but if you owned a BRZ, your peers might just lump and profile you as immature.

If you care what your peers think, might as well get a trophy wife instead :)

Submitted by TeCKis300 on February 3, 2017 - 7:58pm.

flu wrote:
Oh, I'm totally immature..... lol.

Ok, so then the IMS issue really isn't an issue? I did not know that.

At once upon a time, I did price out a new 911s right before I bought a rental property. The insurance on that thing was actually less than the insurance on the 4c. It was around $2400/year i think.

I didn't mean you were immature, and it's probably the wrong word. Sorry about that. Right or wrong, there is some truth in how people are perceived by what they drive. With niche cars, that perception can be annoying if you can't identify with it.

The Porsche market is so very broad. And certainly a new 911 will be $$$$ to insure. I was talking about a used one in your target price range. Those would have insurance comparable or less than the cars you're considering. And will most definitely depreciate less over the same years.

Submitted by flu on February 3, 2017 - 8:13pm.

TeCKis300 wrote:
flu wrote:
Oh, I'm totally immature..... lol.

Ok, so then the IMS issue really isn't an issue? I did not know that.

At once upon a time, I did price out a new 911s right before I bought a rental property. The insurance on that thing was actually less than the insurance on the 4c. It was around $2400/year i think.

I didn't mean you were immature, and it's probably the wrong word. Sorry about that. Right or wrong, there is some truth in how people are perceived by what they drive. With niche cars, that perception can be annoying if you can't identify with it.

The Porsche market is so very broad. And certainly a new 911 will be $$$$ to insure. I was talking about a used one in your target price range. Those would have insurance comparable or less than the cars you're considering. And will most definitely depreciate less over the same years.

You didn't offend me at all. I was just saying I would fit right in with the immature crowd. You got that right the first time. Heh heh.

Porsches seem pretty hard to work on...Except the air cooled ones. And the air cooled ones are very expensive. Or maybe I am wrong.

Submitted by spdrun on February 3, 2017 - 8:21pm.

There haven't been air-cooled Porsches for 40 years. That's right. 40. Not 20.

The "air cooled Porsches" of the 70s, 80s, and 90s were actually oil cooled and they made a water cooling system seem simple and leak-free.