Which Secondhand Sport Car Is Worth It for The Money (for Weekend Drive)

my current situation
I have a mortgage of 250k left
Recently married
26 y/o
Geo engineer
I make 95k a year (with tax)

I got a 4x4 car/ute from work to drive to work and to site
I own a ford fiesta 2015

Misseus gave me permission to buy a sport(ish) car, nothing over 50k and have to be secondhand and it is going to be finance

I need advice which car to get, im not really good with cars but i know the basic, like type of engine

Im thinking maybe something like mustang, 370z or porsche cayman(2011ish)

I really wanna know what you guys think

*edit please keep the thread car related only..
thanks for the life advices everyone, but that isnt what i need it at the moment..
*edit i have deleted my comment regarding my life situation because i think that some people think that thats the reason why im buying a sport(ish) car.

*edit i have decided to get something for 20% of my annual income so around 20kish, a secondhand 370z or a miata. thanks for suggestion everyone..


  • +10

    buy a sport(ish) car

    You want it to actually be sporty with a decent engine or something that just looks sporty?

    • +2

      Something that just look sporty
      Im not really good with maintaining a car im a bit lazy
      I heard that its hard maintaining v8 engines

      • +38

        Toyota 86 looks sporty and is relatively cheap. Given it's a Toyota, it should be quite reliable as well so maintenance costs would be less than the euro cars.

        The current shape Audi TT coupes are quite nice. It's good enough to be both an every day car or just a weekend car. But being euro, it'll have higher maintenance costs.

        • I dont really like how the 86 look but it was recomended by friends and family just because its a toyota and a 4 cyl car
          At this stage i wont buy one but maybe some people who actualy own it can share some thoughts on the car

          Yes i been looking at the audi TT, the new facelift looks pretty agressive, its definitely on my book now

          • +18

            @lasolaso: Owned my 86 for 5 years now, amazing car to drive and alot of fun. Helps that its a RWD car. Low maintenance (havent heard of any issues). It isnt super powerful but plenty of places will stick a turbo/supercharger on it if your that way inclined (including Toyota dealerships here in WA). Plus well under budget for you at about 30k brand new with warranty. The 86 is my daily driver and everywhere i go i get out of the car with a smile on my face. It won alot of awards for a reason.

            The Porsche would be great but super expensive to own long term, especially if you dont take great car of your cars. Old porsches are head turners though and it takes more than a casual fan to be able to place how old it is.

            Nothing sport about a Mustang, not the greatest driving experience either.

            370z is a fun car, a bit more box like to drive but more power than 86. MX-5 another good option. Even a BMW Z4 - though again could get expensive long term

            • @Azrael169: Also, lot's of people track their 86 and they're quite capable at that and seems to withstand that ok.

            • +1


              Low maintenance (havent heard of any issues).

              Aren't the spark plugs in these nearly impossible to change without removing the engine?

          • @lasolaso:

            Yes i been looking at the audi TT, the new facelift looks pretty agressive, its definitely on my book now

            It's a really good car and still very practical. Power is good and still plenty of space inside. And it's not one of those common cars that every second person has. Don't buy it brand new though - let someone else suffer the initial depreciation.

          • @lasolaso:

            its a toyota and a 4 cyl car

            Subaru drivetrain.
            Okay if you're not servicing it yourself (I have a bad back).

          • @lasolaso:

            Im not really good with maintaining a car im a bit lazy

            Yes i been looking at the audi TT

            These two things don't go well together, and will eventually result in a LOT of pain (especially given the fact that you're financing!).

            If you're lazy with maintaining, you sports cars are not made for you. Anything that's really sporty is going to have a lot of precision engineering that relies on being serviced properly. This is especially true of European cars, but even the Japanese units cannot take abuse beyond a limit (sports cars).

        • +1

          looks sporty

          It is actually sporty. Not heaps of power, but in terms of handling and road feel, you can't deny that it's a sporty car.

          OP can get a recent model second hand MX-5 for much less than $50k.

          Again not a lot of power but very sporty.

          • @Bad Company:

            It is actually sporty. Not heaps of power, but in terms of handling and road feel, you can't deny that it's a sporty car.

            You're right - I can't argue with that!

          • @Bad Company: I'm not sure they make a men's model though?

            • +1

              @mox: They do, but only for men who are secure in their masculinity.

            • @mox: What, are you too manly to drive 86's or MX-5's?

      • +13

        I heard that its hard maintaining v8 engines

        I've owned two Holden V8s and basically whoever told you that has no idea what they are talking about. Main difference is just they take more fluids, have extra spark plugs and in general burn more fuel. On the other hand, if you look after it well, it can easily outlast a smaller turbo engine. Note, any high performance car will eventually crop up with some sort of issue at times if you run the car hard all the time….

        If you do want to consider a V8, then a VF2 Commodore SS or a WN2 Caprice are very nice cars. Obviously the Caprice is moreso a quick and comfy cruiser as opposed to a sports car, but it still handles nicely for its size. The Caprices seem to be a decent chunk cheaper than the SS's and are very well kitted out for the money you buy them.

        The FG2 and FGX Falcon XR6T or G6ET are a very nice car too, although they have more quirks about them than a Commodore/Caprice.

        As other people have mentioned, the Kia Stinger, Hyundai i30n, etc are other options to consider.

        • what do you think of the first gen redline? is there major difference between the 1st and 2nd?

          • +1

            @lasolaso: If the VF1 Redline was all you can afford it's still a good car. Just factor in down the track getting a cam change, exhaust, intake and tune, which would put it past the stock LS3 of the VF2.

            VF2's main selling point is the LS3 engine, there was also the intake noise, exhaust, rear Brembos, suspension tweaks, etc.


            One thing I will say, is after owning a WN2 Caprice with a HUD (Redline also gets it), it will be hard for me to ever go to another car that doesn't have a HUD speedo. Makes life so much easier given the speed camera riddled nanny state we have become….

            Best thing you can do is to find some car dealers with the cars you are interested in and go test drive them. See then what you like the most!

    • +1

      Asking the real questions :)

  • +19

    Sorry to hear about the situation with your wife, have gone through the same myself.

    As to the car, I'd look for a sporty 4-door sedan. I've seen people who have gone for MX5's (for example), and hated the lack of boot space (absolutely can't use it for a weekend away, for example, which is the prime purpose of these sort of cars). Liberty Turbo?

    Good link to browse through
    I'm seeing Civic Type R and 370Z as the newest cars in that power/weight ratio

    • +1

      Did a quick google search on the liberty turbo, it looks good but i wouldnt be buying anything brand new.

      The mx5 is way too small for me, although im only 5ft9
      I know the cayman is small but its a porsche so it doesnt matter how small it is hahahaha

      Im looking for mid size sedan, preferably coupe with atleast v6 i guess

      • +1

        A cayman is not a sedan. It has 2 seats and 2 doors. Do you know what a sedan is?

      • Get a 2009 Subaru Liberty GT spec.B
        It looks great outside and feels very stylish inside. AWD. High Quality build, cheap parts. Decent performance.
        The rear seats don't fold, but boot-space is pretty good. If you want it also comes in Stationwagen form.
        One irritating thing is changing spark plugs (Boxer engine), and the CD player is a cvnt to replace.
        If you want one with more performance, you can easily tune it for better power, braking, suspension, and tyres.

        …otherwise, a 2014 Subaru WRX STi is just within your budget.

        There's also the option of replacing the Ford Fiesta with a VW Golf GTi or maybe a VW Golf R, so that it can double-duty as both your sports/thrill car and as well as your little eco city car.

    • +6

      The thing is with civic it doesnt matter if its the type R my wife said it just look like any other civic lol..
      Currently looking at the kia stinger

      • +2

        stinger/mustang/vf commo

      • +8

        Lol have you seen the newest civic type r?
        I don't know anyone else who could possibly think they look just like any other civic!
        Pretty polarizing looks imo..
        Not for me but i definitely wouldn't say bland

    • +2

      mx5 boots arent that bad? Definitely a bit small, but I had one for a few years and never felt the boot was too small for something like a weekend trip. It's only when you want it to be a golfing trip or something, that you get into trouble

      • …only when you want it to be a golfing trip or something, that you get into trouble

        kicking out the passenger might help! ;)

      • Drove the new shape MX5 Roadster with the hard top, definitely couldn't fit a suitcase in the boot. Old owners flipped it after about 18 months as they couldn't use it for weekends away

        • +1

          Ah yea forgot about the hardtop. I had an old soft top, folded up real small without much room to spare

          • @crentist: I have the ND MX5 soft-top.
            Plenty of room in the boot for a couple of weekend bags.
            I'm 5'11'' and have plenty of room in the driver's seat. Not so much space in the passenger seat due to the sub being at the footwell.

      • I'm a current owner of the ND RF (hard top) for a few years now and I'm 5 Ft 9.

        I have zero issues with headroom until I have to wear a helmet on track days. There is a bit of contact with the roof here and there when it starts to get bumpy.

        With regards to the MX-5 boot, it's definitely enough for a weekend trip for two with a bit of groceries in it, but you will be confined to using soft bags only (duffel, etc). Not even those aircraft cabin luggage bags will fit inside.

        The limitation of the boot is mainly due to the shape of the boot opening. There's an inside joke on the American forums that you can't fit a large sized American pizza box in the boot (which is true).

  • +3

    Mustang. The 370 is nice but not as much space as a mustang inside and the ride on the 370 is harsh, like race track car harsh.

    As for the Cayman. Nice, but wow, servicing costs on a Porsche compared to a Ford or a Nissan, youch.

    Just remember, only buy a manual Mustang and never rev it over 4000RPM.

    Also consider something like a Kia Stinger. Sure, it’s a 4 door, but they are nice. Test drove one recently, and it really was impressive. It’s hard to think that the same company that makes the Cerato also make the Stinger.

    Oh, and don’t finance sports cars. They are already going into devaluation nose dives, so you don’t want to add interest on top of that.

    • +1

      Or this

      Depends which camp you belong to

      Hazard a guess that the Redline would hold value better over the first 3-5yrs over the Mustang. I being part of a glut of cars now in the market, the other being 1 of the last of it's type :)

      But I'm biased :)

      • Yeah, I was going to suggest a VF SS Redline, but they are getting harder to find in good condition… Hell, Holden might even still have some new/old stock laying around…

        Another suggestion is one of the new crop of Sports hatchbacks. Something like a i30N or one of those French Megane shitbox things. An RS Focus would be a nice sports car. Friend has an older one of them and jebus h christ that thing scares me.

        Or a hybrid Corolla… or… a Fiat 500 Abarth… That would actually be cool.

        • +1

          Would the focus be better than mustang?

          • +2

            @lasolaso: Depends on what you want it for. Poser status, get a Mustang. Fun to drive and exciting, get a Focus.

            Something totally impractical, get the Mustang. Something that can double up as a hatchback, get the Focus.

            If you want something that does both of these, seriously, go out and have a look at a Stinger in the flesh. It looks like a shark. It’s a bit bigger than a Focus but with the stance of something like a Mustang. Long warranty and cheaper to service than a Porsche.

            Do not touch the Porsche. If you can’t afford a new Porsche, you certainly can’t afford a 8yo used one.

            The 370 is small inside. Like really small. It handles like it’s on rails, but unfortunately, it comes at the cost of refinement. An excellent track day car, not a comfortable cruising car. But, then again, it’s also about 1/2 the price of an equivalent Mustang.

        • +3

          I hear only those who know nothing about cars buy Fiat 500s. True?

        • vf are a dime a dozen, depreciating minimally (currently), use heaps of fuel. redline isnt worth extra cost.

      • I didnt thought of that lol, hardly seen any redline on the road anymore
        Would they hold price like the monaro?

        • Not like the monaro I don't think, but at least should hold ok (ie shouldn't plummet)

          The good thing is, once you're done with it being a powerful car it can just be a good daily.

          And I do love remote start lol but you need an automatic for that one :)

    • Noted

      I was thinking of getting the money from the mortgage, so i would only be paying 3.4 interest

      • +1

        money from the mortgage, so i would only be paying 3.4 interest

        Not saying not to do it, but be careful when you do this. It only works out better if you pay it off within the 5 years or so that you would normally pay off a car loan. If you pay it off over the 20-30 year life of the mortgage, it will end up costing way more than a regular car loan that has a higher interest rate. The interest rate might be lower this way, but you're paying it over many more years. Discipline is key here.

        • +2

          i put all my money on my house, we estimated about 7 - 8 years till we finnish the mortgage, even less with the current situation

          • @lasolaso: Good on you. Now is a great time to hit the mortgage as hard as you can with the interest rates so low. Get it paid off as they will eventually go back to 7 - 8% that they averaged for the last 30 years and you would have saved $$$ :)

    • +1

      Why not rev a mustang over 4000rpm?

      • +4

        Don't know. You will have to ask @SlavOz…

    • +1 for the rev limited mustang. This is the option if you don't know how to drive and just want to say you have a V8 mustang.

      • Or if you want to follow the law and the manufacturers gear shifting guidelines. But @pegaxs probably knows better than both of those put together.

        • Live your life a bit. Even my nanny wouldn't abide by shifting guidelines let alone read them.

          • +1

            @nub: Go on YouTube and search for "Mustang fails". It's become an internet sensation due to the amount of footage showing how easy it is for Mustang's to lose control and wreak havoc. This was the main reason that the 4,000RPM comment was made in the first place. Accidents happen a lot for an obvious reason - a V8, 5-lite engine is dangerously powerful.

            There's no point to make about "living life" by compromising the safety of yourself and others. My Mustang is a weekend hobby car so if I want to thump it to the limit I'll take it to the track where it is legal and the proper safety precautions have been made. Respect to your nanny but I'd rather trust the word of mechanical engineers and the wider driving community on this one. Cheers.

            • @SlavOz: I think historically, this was also attributed to the older Mustangs having a terrible suspension setup (in addition to low quality drivers)

            • @SlavOz: Where it's legal? You openly admit to speeding here.


              And reving past 4k doesn't make you automatically break speed limits and endanger others.

              Not knowing how to handle a car definitely does, as does speeding which you do and openly admit to.

              • @nub: Where did I admit to speeding?
                Besides, there's a big difference between 'speeding' (which could technically be as little as 5kmh over the limit), and acting recklessly by thrashing a V8 car.

                Doesn't sound like you've ever driven one for long enough anyway, as you'd know that hitting over 4000RPM puts your torque at high levels where speed is picked up almost instantaneously, and unless you're in 1st gear or on the motorway, you're almost always garuanteed to break the speed limit.

                5000RPM in second gear is at least 80km/h an hour. Most regular roads don't go above that anyway. So like I said, if you want to be following the law and the manufacturers guidelines, you shouldn't be going over 4000RPM unless you're on a race track, even if the divinely enlightened Ozbargainers think they know better.

            • @SlavOz: If you take the Mustang to the track, will you follow manufacturer guidelines and not go above 4k RPM?

              • @nub: No. If I'm not trying to beat a time or have fun, there is no need and can be dangerous off the track.

    • As for the Cayman. Nice, but wow, servicing costs on a Porsche compared to a Ford or a Nissan, youch.

      He could just drive it into the ground and try and flog it off 18 months later to some other OZBer that starts threads such as this.

  • Thoughts on the srt 8 grand cherokees?

    • +45

      Yeah, shitbox. If it has Jeep badges on it, avoid.

      • +1


        Whatabout lexus rx ? 2016++

        • I know they are suvs but they look kinda sportish hahaha

        • +1

          i love the look of the rc350s. i think they have a rep for being a bit… soft, but i take that to mean as being perfect for daily driving. Not sure about the sevice/reliability costs for of them, but lexus generally have a good rep.

        • Is this for you or your wife?

          • @This Guy: Sounds like wife may have taken over part of this decision.

            Seriously; what is our obsession with SUVs? The dynamics are shit, they’re expensive (compared to their smaller counterparts), heavy (more fuel) and everyone has one (maybe that’s the key?).

            I see childless couples and even single people buying these for no practical reason. A wagon will give you the same room with the dynamics of a proper sedan, less the weight, and (subjectively) far better looking.

            I get it, I get it; “I like being high up. It’s safer.” I think this obsession has manifested itself into paranoia.

    • +2

      Nice design, but reliability seems to suck!

    • +2

      Family member had one, was fun to drive and nice to be inside. Car never had any issues, went in for all services/recalls etc. Time came to sell, and I was tasked with selling it since family member moved overseas for work at short notice. Sold car after a few months. Buyer calls about a month later to tell me his horror story and Jeep wanted ~$12k for new engine. Would have been under warranty if not sold due to "extended warranty", alas…

      Just like Euro's - nice to own while under warranty. Then get the hell away from it.

  • +2

    You can get a 2017 V8 Mustang for 40,000. Pretty fun to drive

  • +6

    Rented a Boxster for a weekend overseas in some mountain roads, was great fun. Top down, blasting through winding roads, can't beat it. Though I haven't tried the other cars on your list, or very powerful cars in general.

    Having said that, I used to have an mx5, and the Porsche felt kinda the same, but with more power. Which was absolutely awesome when you could use it, not so much at the regular driving speeds you'd be doing if you're worried about getting a ticket. Then it feels like it's being held back, and loses some fun. I imagine that goes for many powerful cars, if you're constantly watching the speed.

    I'd suggest considering 'slow car fast'. Something like an mx5 or 86 that has good driving dynamics with a weaker engine. You get to really put your foot down and feel like you are racing a bit, without much concern for speeding. I think many people with powerful cars misunderstand how much faster a weaker car can feel at slower speeds.

    But that's more useful for regular driving, making the runaround more fun. For a weekend car, more power helps make the car a bit more comfortable, which helps on the longer drives

    • ill keep that in mind, as of now im looking for something bigger than 86s/mx5.. something like mid size sedan

    • I've always wondered about this, so thanks for sharing!

      It makes sense, too, because a human body can't sense speed - only acceleration. So I guess as long as you can take off from lights and corner quickly, that should give enough of a thrill.

      • +1

        That's pretty much the conclusion I've come to. The worst is crap cars that feel like disconnected tinboxes, and nicer cars that insulate you from the drive too much. But not all crap cars feel like tinboxes.

        Case in point, I used to prefer driving my crappy old Toyota Echo over my mums newer BMW, because the BMW had a bit of pedal lag and barely felt like it was moving until you got to around 80, but got there too easily. So I'd be constantly speeding without realising. While the Echo had enough torque to feel engaging around town (but struggled over 80 and up hills). Great to fling around corners too.
        These days mum has a newer Yaris (updated Echo) and it has that tinbox kinda feel.

        Also the gf used to think cars had to be nice and new (her Golf was awesome) until she saw that my old junk broke down less than hers, and bought herself an old Daihatsu. Somehow this tiny little 3cyl 1L econobox is one of the most fun things I've driven. It's so basic and light that it responds well, and you feel everything that it's doing. Funny thing is, every time I drive it I end up going way under the speed limit without realising because it feels faster than it is.

        Slow car fast, heaps of fun, and is why I have a near spotless driving record

        • I used to prefer driving my crappy old Toyota Echo

          I've owned/driven a number of cars over the years from old 90s s***boxes to Mercs/Audi's and I have to say, my mid-2000's Echo was always the most engaging to drive in the city. Its loud when you get to 80kms and over and yes, hills are a big problem, but driving it was fun, and it just goes and costs nothing to run.

          For luxury and freeway drives, the Merc was probably the best because it was comfortable/quiet with enough pep in it. The Audi was fun if you want to test the limits.

        • Agree. I used to have a blast driving my stock 91 corolla. Had enough power and handling was good enough to be fun to drive as hard as the speed limit would allow. Driving a thumping great V8 was fun too, but too quick to get you into trouble - with the law or the local landscape.

    • ooh - any tips on where you rented Boxster from and what the prices were. Would love to do a similar trip in the Alps.

      • I rented it privately as a resident in Japan with a local license. So while it was a 15 year old Porsche, it was also extremely cheap (under $100/day!!), but unfortunately not a holiday option, unless there's a less restricted version in Europe.

        The Australian version would be something like drivemycar or carnextdoor. You might be able to find something for a local spin

  • +2

    Fiat X1/9

    • Or a Triumph TR7.

  • -1

    Mustang. Or what I did, I bought a 2009 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG. It was my dream car for a long while and like you, put it through a novated lease even though I had the cash for tax purposes. It's bloody amazing. It's worth the money for the enjoyment I get out of it. I made sure I bought one that had the preventative maintenance done and now I over service, cheap insurance I say. There's still room for something very expensive needing attention, but that's part of the game.

    Could always hire a Mustang from Hertz every now and again and only have to pay for the hire plus fuel. I did that a few times before buying my C63. And it was fun not giving a s**t about the car and how you treated it :)

    • how long have you had the c63 for? any issues? what are the maintanance like on those? do they chew up more oil than any other v8s?

      • +1

        Budget for rear tyres, often.

      • I've had it for 6 months now. Loved every minute and no regrets.

        No issues. I order my parts from FCP Euro or Pelican parts and I've got the next 4 services worth of stuff ready. If I need power steering or sensors, I'll order if it needs. I've got a second car I can commute with and wait. My uncle is also MB trained back in the day and is an independent mechanic now. He didn't steer me away from the car.

        They have a known problem (but over worried about, 5% have a rare issue) with corroding headbolts pre facelift and cam adjusters and buckets. Previous owner had these problems redone with the updated parts prior to me buying.

        I waited for exactly the right car to pop up. Black on black, pre facelift but with preventative maintainence done.

    • There was a batch of the earlier C63 prone to snap engine bolts. Did you look into that before purchase?
      I'm looking at the 2012 ish model with preferably the performance pack.
      Any tips can you give me as it's blatantly obvious if you buy a dud, you'll have to visit a bank manager often.

  • +8

    Golf R

    • +1

    • Go to a dealer for a test drive then find a 2nd hand one would be my suggestion.

    • +1

      2nd hand Golf R and enough change to get it tuned/upgraded to do 0-100 in under 3s

  • +13

    As the Americans like to say "The answer is always Miata" even though today it's called the MX-5, everywhere.

    As reliable as a wood fired stove, can be purchased used, demo or brand new in any spec all under $50k, you'd struggle to spend $50k honestly.

    Have had a brand new ND for 3 years, best car I've ever owned, it's so good there's nothing on the market that could come close.

    It's the perfect sports car, I think I can safely say it's the best too selling more than 1 million units in 30 years, for contrast it took the 911 over 50 years to move that many cars.

    • +15

      They actually say:


    • +1

      thanks man, love seeing these comments from people who actually owned the vehicle! great stuff

    • +2

      +1 for MX5, got one myself specifically to fill the fun weekender sports car role (albeit a much older one)

      If you appreciate the driving experience it can't be beat for that purpose.

      For the OPs budget he could even get something like a RF or 30AE

      • keen to see skyactiv-X in them

    • +2

      I'm so jealous dude. When I had the choice, I didn't choose the ND. I chose to get a Brz simply because I could put a childseat in the back. If not for this reason, I'd have chosen the ND no doubt.

    • +1

      I have a soft top ND as well!

      When the roof is down on a nice road, the phrase Hakuna Matata always enters my mind.

  • +1

    Sorry to hear about the circumstances.

    This is my list in no order:

    Mustang GT
    HSV Gen F malooo or clubsport
    SSV redline ute or sedan
    XR8 Falcon
    RS3 sedan

    To me the 370z is ok but not quite powerful enough, the cayanne is capable but its compromised by being an SUV.

    • i dont like the previous gen of rs3, but i do like the newer ones is just that they cost and arm and a leg xD

  • -2

    Sorry to hear about what happened. Very understanding wife who lets you spend over 50% of your annual salary (pretax dollars) on a depreciating asset

    • +1

      The cost of raising a child to adulthood would have been about 6 times of the purchase price of the vehicle.

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