Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mid Week Match-Up: Fun Car For Evan

Welcome back to DT's Mid Week Match-Up, the contest where the contestants don't even get a cheap name badge.  Today's request comes from Evan who writes:

The issue: my wife needs a car. We sold her Saturn Vue a few months ago, good riddance. As a recent breast cancer survivor about to celebrate her 50th birthday she wants something that doesn’t scream “mommy car” like our 2012 Sienna and isn’t as…old as my 1989 Saab 900T convertible.

Her qualifications: small, fun, looks good.

My qualifications: must be fun (and affordable) to own, not just fun to drive. I’ve had plenty of the latter. E46 330ci sounds about right, but there are two Viggen convertibles nearby. I really like the Infiniti G35 6sp, sedan or coupe. Love the 500 Abarth! She likes the Z3. Regular gas. MT preferred but not necessary if the car in question isn’t available with one. As much as I hate to do it, I might have to consider selling the Saab to reduce costs and free up garage space. If that happens, my wife will demand a convertible. Is Miata the answer?

Budget: <$10k, less than $5k would be great!

I’m in southern Oregon; car must generally be located between the Bay Area and Seattle.

What can you guys find?


  1. NC generation Miatas are starting to sell for under 10K nowdays. Here's a 2006 GT in Beaverton for 9k.

  2. Saturn Sky - 73k miles, $8300 - won't see one at every stoplight - nice interior - Opel underneath - keep your relationship with your Saturn mechanic
    [image src="" width="400px"/]
    [image src="" width="400px"/]

    1. Only problem with these is that they are very tight insid whent the top is up.

    2. It's a coupe, not a wagon!

  3. Honda S2000
    Under $10k
    Clean title
    On the west coast

  4. Although the e46 can have a few small issues that are really fun to drive.
    [image src="" width="400px"/]

  5. I was about to post Z3, when I saw your comment, so now I have to say...
    Definitely consider a well-maintained and -preserved Z3 and consider obtaining a hard-top if it does not already have one. Great fun, quick, nicely balanced, and easier to work on than most newer BMWs. I've not driven Miatas, but lots of guys who have driven both tell me the Z3 is every bit the classic roadster experience, even the 4-cyl ones.
    My wife got up earlier than I did today and has my Z3 on what may be the last warm sunny day of the season. I'm stuck at home with a less enticing car but, I gotta say: she looks good in it.

  6. The answer is always Miata. Period.


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