Sporty Car Recommendations for $10-15k Budget

I'm a young male looking for something fun and sporty with a $10-15k budget. Some examples of my taste are Nissan 350Z, BMW 320i or 323i, Nissan Skyline V35. Also open to something like Subaru WRX or 86/BRZ.

I do like the BMWs but have been told that these are generally expensive in maintenance due to parts.

I only know Auto but would like to learn Manual so open to either options. I expect to keep for 2-3 years.

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.

Comments

  • +48 votes

    Older mx5

  • +82 votes

    Sporty car or BMW 320i - pick one

    • +24 votes

      dont know why you got negged for this. 320i is like driving a tank with a 1.6l NA engine lol.

      •  

        Maybe the M sport package will make it sportier…in that case OP, make sure you get the M sport package.

      •  

        Had a 2007 one. It was a tank indeed. Don't recommend

    • +1 vote

      I was thinking the same thing. Definitely the odd one out.

    • +4 votes

      As someone who has driven both a 323i and 320i, and owned a latter, I agree, choose one. The 320i is way too underpowered to be a "sporty" car.

      • +8 votes

        335i or nothing

      • +2 votes

        Oops, the "latter" should've been the 323i, that is the more powerful 6 cylinder.

        But as striker said above, 335i would be the cream, twin turbo, if you can deal with the mechanical headache. I pretty much became a mechanic because of my car.

  • +28 votes

    get an mx5. very fun even without racking up speeding tickets

    • +2 votes

      OP's gf's mum would probably approve of the MX-5 =)

      Nothing wrong with the car and quality itself. Previously, I tried so hard for so long to put it down for consideration, but after all these years, I've failed to find any masculinity whatsoever in that car. Is it just me that finds that it looks really girly?

      • +1 vote

        No, it definitely attracts the girls. Personally I've never seen this as a downside.

        Unfortunately for OP the original shape models are now increasing in price and it's unlikely you'll get a mint example within budget but if you don't mind something that looks a little tired and worn then it's certainly doable or you can possibly get a newer NC for the money. You're not going to win any TLGP but they are fun to drive on the right roads and are actually a sports car as opposed to a sporty car which is just a marketing term.

        • +1 vote

          No, it definitely attracts the girls. Personally I've never seen this as a downside.

          There's never a downside if you're young and girls are attracted haha. A nice car was and is still a bonus these days!

          Do you think they're attracted to the actual car (ie, I really like that car and wish that I could have one) or to the type of guy who drives that car (whatever that personality might be)…?

      • +3 votes

        Older blokes aren't gonna realise that the MX5 doesn't have any pull these days - it hasn't for a while. DW, you're not going crazy!

        • +8 votes

          Older blokes aren't gonna realise that the MX5 doesn't have any pull these days.

          I can't remember it ever have any pull. haha. I imagine a girl driving it or a guy who walks around with slacks and a cardigan tied around his shoulder/neck parking and getting out to buy his coffee.

          I'm in my late 30s now, but back in my more "youthful" days, it was WRXs, Lancer Evos, Supras, FTOs, Skylines Preludes, that gained all the attention and girls. Pretty much all the "riced up" cars.

          (If you had a BM or anything alike, it was assumed that they were driving their parents car!)

          • +1 vote

            @bobbified: Early 30s agreeing with ya - I just didn't want to be too mean, lmao.

          • +12 votes

            @bobbified:

            but back in my more "youthful" days, it was WRXs, Lancer Evos, Supras, FTOs, Skylines Preludes, that gained all the attention and girls.

            Really, the only people that care about those cars are other dudes into cars. Younger girls generally either like: you, or the fact that you actually have a car, or the fact that you have a slightly nicer car than a bomb, have money to spend on a rice rocket, therefore might have money to spend on other things, thus be more fun.

            Never known a girl to reminisce and go "oh yeah, I just dated that guy because he drove a Supra".

            Cars certainly become less important once you own one.

            •  

              @serpserpserp:

              Younger girls generally either like: you, or the fact that you actually have a car, or the fact that you have a slightly nicer car than a bomb,

              I actually think the girls were attracted to the "bad boys", eg. those in Fast and Furious. Fast cars, cash, anything.

              Never known a girl to reminisce and go "oh yeah, I just dated that guy because he drove a Supra".

              Probably not "date" because he drove a Supra, but the Supra might've brought her attention to him.

          • -3 votes

            @bobbified: Nah guys laughed at those ricer cars. They were all into manly boys driving V8s / commodores etc. Which girls liked ricer cars lol.

            • +2 votes

              @Bryanalves:

              Which girls liked ricer cars lol.

              Have you seen the fast and the Furious? Where do think the idea for the movie came from?

              There's really no comparison to the Commodores and Falcons you speak of. It becomes quite inconvenient to have to pick up pieces of your car as you accelerate away, doesn't it? Those cars just seem to fall apart and get just weren't worth spending money on. 😝

        • +1 vote

          The latest one has a power to weight similar to a hot hatch. But it's a car that you just can't explain. The total package is more than the sum of its parts.

      • +7 votes

        Maybe true, but I think the people you impress most with a masculine car are other guys. What often gets overlooked about a girly car is that girls like them.

        They are obviously fun looking cars, just like a BMW is an obviously a nice car, or a Hummer is an obviously try-hard car. I don't think most people really care about cars beyond those obvious impressions. It just means that instead of trying to show off how masculine you are, you make girls think you might be fun. And having owned an mx-5 previously, a spin around with the top down makes anyone happy, and I never got a girly comment.

        Might be different among your crowd, and the girls you might encounter. But as long as you're confident in your masculinity you don't need a car to do all the talking for you.

        •  

          And having owned an mx-5 previously

          Sorry if I hit a nerve! haha 🤣

          • +5 votes

            @bobbified: Haha not really. Funnily enough, the worst I ever heard when I had the car is comments like yours, where other guys think they're alright but feel hesitant to own one because they worry that the image of the car would make them look bad. Never anything phrased as an insult, or directed towards me beyond asking if I share that feeling. So it always kinda came off more as a comment on their own insecurity. And a bit of a shame because they're missing out on a great car

            Personally I kinda liked the girliness of it. They still get attention but look pretty friendly, and it seems more obvious that I bought it just for fun, and not because I wanted to show off. So it brings out more friendly responses from people. And they don't automatically think you're quite as much of a (profanity) when you weave through traffic or do a 25km/h drift through some backstreet roundabout

      •  

        So you need a car to be your penis extension? Not secure enough in your manhood to that you need a car to project masculinity?

        • +1 vote

          So you need a car to be your penis extension?

          When you're at the late high school or beginning of uni phase, anything that helps the penis go places is good. You can't deny that having a nice car attracts attention and helps that cause.

          Like it or not, people will always cast judgement based on what they see.

      •  

        It's only a problem for those who have a problem with their sexuality and feel the need to overcompensate. What do you drive?

        • +1 vote

          What do you drive?

          I ended up with a WRX back when I was younger. It was my biggest purchase in my late teens/early 20s and was my pride and joy.

          These days I still like cars, but I focus my cash on other things.

  • +4 votes

    Personally I would go with the WRX/BRZ. Older mx5s are hairdresser cars.

    •  

      I don't think BRZ's have reached 15k yet. Maybe the ratted out ones have.

    • +5 votes

      Real wheel drive, 2 seater, NA, manual = sports car. The ND mx-5 runs rings around the BRZ/86.

      • -12 votes

        Never said it wasn't a sports car, only that it was a sports car for 'hairdressers'

      • +1 vote

        Around a curvy track which suits both cars, they are ridiculously close. Motortrend runs them around a track at the streets of willow circuit the ND2 mx5 gets 1:29.91 and the 86 gets 1:30.36. These were on different days though so not perfectly comparable, but illustrates there isn't a huge deal between them.

      •  

        Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ is where it's at.

        Handling, reliability, fuel consumption and most importantly FUN to drive!

        Not the quickest off the mark at the lights, but take it around some windy roads and it'll put a massive smile on your face.

      •  

        Not really, it's less practical, quite a bit more expensive, the 1.5 is even slower and the amount of body roll makes you feel like you're in a camry. Have driven both, mx-5 is the perfect sports car for an old person, some one who wants a sporty car but doesn't want their ass broken on a long trip

    •  

      Never understood the hairdresser thing. Hairdressers would never have the top down.

      It's funny, to me the current 'modern' poser / midlife crisis car would squarely be the GT86 / BRZ. The newest MX5 doesn't really have a stigma by comparison.

    •  

      Slowwwwwww

  • +29 votes

    98 camry.

  • +4 votes

    Are you on P Plates? If so you can cross out the v35,350z. The BMW's you mentioned aren't really 'sports' cars, they're just sedans that are a bit stiffer and might go a bit quicker. In your price range you'd be looking at a previous gen miata which really can't hold a candle in any way to the 86/BRZ. Having driven both the new ND Miata and the 86, I still preferred the 86. You should be able to get a 12/13 model with around 90,000kms for around $15k

    • +5 votes

      Not Miata in this market, MX5

    • +1 vote

      Similar thoughts from me. The 86 / BRZ would be the best choice. New(ish), cheaper to repair than the BMW, non-turbo and therefore P plate approved, and they look pretty decent.

    •  

      Thanks mate, yes from my post it's probably obvious I don't know about cars, just going mainly off general impression. I have a full licence though so don't need to worry about the turbo aspect.

  • +10 votes

    Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart.

  • +2 votes

    V8 Commodore/HSV or XR6T/FPV Typhoon

    Cheap power, but comfortable. Engines will go for years without issues

    Or instead of the MX5 suggestions, get an MR2. Though the auto box is permanently semi-automatic, there's no D. You don't want the D though do you?

  • +2 votes

    Golf GTi. Watch out for specific DSG models, though

  • +2 votes

    Integra Type R or S. Pretty fun and sporty for the money.

  •  

    I am in a similar position, looking something sporty but not too pricey. Have driven golf GTI, WRX and Focus ST, all were okay, but the gold and the Focus felt far more conventional than sporty. The Subaru was sporty but felt very cheap inside unfortunately.

    370z? Almost within your range and might be with a bit of negotiation. Find 86/ BRZ are far too common.
    The main drawback with 370z is only 2 seats. Otherwise, an MX5 would be a good choice.

    Its a tough bill to fill!

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