Favorite coup/conv. under $35K?

This Chrysler crossfire just looks sweet! Anyone driven it? Not too dear either @ $34K, not cheap, but not crazy expensive either. Six-speed clutcless manual standard. In about two years I am going to be looking for a new car, and one of these might be the ticket…

I also saw the new RX-8 today in a parking lot, and it looks nice too, but a bit too fast, too furious, if you know what I mean.

So, if you were looking for a two door touring coupe for <$35K, what would you be considering?

Honda S2000

My vote goes to the RX-8. Not as beutiful as the last RX-7, but easily the better car.

A used Porsche 911 series. They look great, and they drive great. They’re not very practical, but I’ve never had so much fun in a car. I miss my 911SC. :frowning: Thirty-five kilobucks should get you a decent Carrera.

The stunningly gorgeous Nissan 350z that will be sitting in my garage in a few weeks. :smiley:

Even less practical than the 911, and probably not available in the US, but fun anyway is the Caterham

My last two cars have been Chrysler Sebring convertibles. They offered the most backseat and trunk room. They also hold the road like a dream. I’ve been really pleased. I haven’t seen the Crossfires before though.

Coupe: RX-8, definitely.
Convertible: S2000

Coupe: Have to agree with Johnny L.A. on the 911. Pick up a nice C4. My brother got an '89 for $25K.
Convertible: Porsche Boxster S

Hey guys, thanks for the responses so far, and keep them coming.

I’m 6’5", how’s the headroom in there?

Much as I would love a Porsche, maintaining it scares me. I also don’t want to be spending $25K for a car that is 14 years old. Yikes!

Zoe - how has you experience been with Chrysler? Have the cars held together?

I’ve heard some bad things about Chryslers (and Sebrings in particular). I’m sure many are good, but you’re also at good risk of getting a lemon (this from an independent car dealer, motorpool manager and a Mopar warehouse lackey).

I definitely dig the S2000. If you want something with a back seat, the Toyota Solara would be a reliable, though more staid option.

MR2 Spyder would also be in the running, and a little less expensive than the Honda.

Rhum Runner, here are the 350z’s scecifications. Just click on “dimensions” at the top to see headroom, legroom, etc. My boyfriend (who’s 6’2") feels perfectly comfortable in there. Little ole 5’3" me thinks the car is very roomy.

It’s true that maintenance can be a bear. On the other hand, the 911 boxer engine is very strong and reliable. I heard of one guy who decided to see how long it would last without major maintenance. He blew it up on a hill-climb competition. At 350,000 miles. Not bad for a car that is raced.

Fourteen years is too old? Consider that most of the General Aviation fleet is 30 years old, and that these aircraft are still providing reliable service. Also consider that the Porsche 911 has been around since 1964 (the first prototypes were called 901s) and that they were improved – and are still being improved – over all that time. Pay more for a well-maintained car, and you’ll have a very nice car whose styling won’t get tired and will be a blast to drive.

Comparing used cars to used airplanes isn’t really fair. Cars have to drive over pavement that beats them to death. Airplanes fly through smooth air. Airplanes get constant inspections, and any corrosion is removed before it does anything. Cars drive through salted roads. And cars are generally much, much more complex.

If you want a nice coupe, and find the 350Z a little less than useful or too extreme, have a look at an Infiniti G35. This is basically a ‘luxury’ 350Z, built on the same chassis, using the same motor, but with a back seat and upscale Infiniti appointments. They’re getting fantastic reviews.

And, while not a coupe, if you’re looking for a $30,000-ish performance car, you really shouldn’t overlook the Subaru Impreza STi or the Mitsubishi Evo. Both of them have four doors, but are the highest performance cars of all mentioned so far. They’ll both happily run with Audis and BMW’s almost twice their price.

Speaking of Audi and BMW… If I were in the market right now, I’d give some serious consideration to a slightly used Audi S4 or a BMW M3. Get a 3 year old M3 coupe, and you’ll have a fantastic car. And because you’re buying used and BMW’s tend to hold their value better than other cars, this is a MUCH cheaper option than buying new.

I’m very happy with my 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, which has a turbo-charged engine and all-wheel drive.


$35K will get you into a new BMW 325ci, or, if you willing to go for a two year old, you can get a much zippier BMW 540i. Then people will start being mean to you in traffic.

See, personally I wouldn’t give this a second thought. Over the years, my brother and I have owned a host of Porsches (the Carerra 4 being the pinnacle so far for us) along with a number of Japanese, American, and other German cars. We’re not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but we enjoy sports cars and sacrifice other “normal” hobbies to support it. So obviously, we’ve bought the Porsches well-used and well over a decade old. YMMV (no pun intended), but they have been the most reliable cars to own of any we’ve had so far. And compared to some of the Japanese cars we’ve had, are surprisingly less expensive to maintain. I will add that we do some of our own work, so I’m not gonna say anyone could have the same pleasurable experience. But Johnny L.A. is right. The modern 911 boxer engine is legendary for it’s reliability and long life. Keep the oil changed and the valves adjusted regularly, along with regular maintenance that you’d give any car, and the things will entertain you for a LONG time. Just my opinion based on experience.

A little off the topic, but speaking of Porsches…

As I said, I loved my 911SC. But I’m an odd bird. I also liked my 924, which everyone else hated. Personally I think that if it had been sold under the VW or Audi label as originally planned, it woul have gone down as one of the great sports cars. It had exceptional balance, and was a lot of fun – and was economical – to drive. But it was up against the 800 pound gorilla, the 911. Often the “little brother” does not perform as well as his bigger sibling. People forget this, and slam the 924 by comparing it to the 911. But the 924 was not just “not a bad car”, it stood well on its own merits.

All that said, I’m fond of the other VW Porsche – the 914. A VW engine, poor engine cooling, not a lot of luggage space; but it was dead sexy. I’d love to have a 1973 model. I liked them when I was a kid, and I saw a “new” one recently on an episode of UFO (I have the set). They’re really inexpensive. $2,500 for one in decent condition. And they’re starting to become recognized as a “classic”.

Of course, given a choice between that and a 911/993 or a 911/996… :smiley:

But for now, I’ll keep having my 1966 MGB restored. Nearly a year since I bought the hulk, and I’m still waiting.

The 924S is one of my brother’s cars. It was my daily driver for years until I went back to school and sold it to him. Superb little car. And I own a '74 914 that is awaiting the tender loving care of a full restoration. It was also a daily driver and my first autocrosser. It was probably one of the best little cars I ever owned. It started leaking and burning way too much oil at the 180K mile mark, and has been parked for a couple of years.

As for the 993 v. 996 … from a styling point of view, the 993 is my pick. Otherwise the 996.

And, as difficult as it may be, don’t give in to the urge to purchase any Porsche in Guards Red. The absolute worst color to maintain. Fades horribly. Ugh! :rolleyes: Unfortunately we learned that the hard way … most of ours are none other than Guards Red (except the 914s).

I hated the styling of the 996 when it came out. But it’s grown on me. I agree that the 993 is better looking. Those voluptuous fenders! There’s something about the classic lines of the 911 from 1965 through to the 911/993 (I don’t remember when it came out) though. The earlier ones especially were great with their spartan interiors. (I took out the clunky/chunky door panels of my 911SC and replaced them with RSR doors with only a handle and a nylon strap.)

My 911 was white. They look great in white. If I ever get a 914 though, I do want it in red. That’s the best colour for a 914.

The Infiniti G35 Coupe .