General Question

LunaFemme's avatar

What is a pratical car that is fun to drive and cost around $20K?

Asked by LunaFemme (1090points) April 9th, 2008

I currently drive a 2005 Mazda Miata. My lease is coming to an end and I need to make a decisions about what to do. My husband—who is 6’ 2” and can’t sit in my car unless the top is down—has requested that I get a more “practical” car. (Practical is defined as something that can carry more than 1 person comfortably and has a trunk that will hold more than my rollerblades.) What is important to me is fun to drive and something small’ish. I don’t like big cars. Any ideas?? I don’t even know where to begin.

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17 Answers

glial's avatar

I too prefer smaller cars. 2008 Honda Civic Si Sedan. Gonna cost you a little more than 20K, around 23–24, depending on Navigation or not.

Lot of fun, decent gas mileage (around 30 on the highway). Don’t know if you like shifting, but they are 6-speed manual only.

Randy's avatar

I have a 06 scion tc and I love it! Go for the five speed, its so much more fun. The tc gets good gas milage, ( I get about 27mpg) good get up for a 2.4, and it looks real good also. A new one is somewhere around 20K. I gave 12 and some change for mine, but it was used and two years old.

eambos's avatar

I agree with glial. I saw a sport version of the civic that looked like as nice as any I’d seen, and its base price was only 19.7 grand. It was a sedan, but there was also a coupe version, possibly less exspensive.

annaott22's avatar

I have a 2007 PT cruser convertible turbo. cost was about 17,000 and its great on gas

jcs007's avatar

How about a Mini Cooper S? I heard that those are fun to drive. Or if you want more space, you could go for the new Mini Clubman.

Bigtechdude's avatar

Check out the smart car. I don’t know the web page google smartcar

Seesul's avatar

Another vote for the Civic. We are so happy with them we bought 2. Great all around record. If that’s too small, look at the new Accord. We also have one of those and it’s fantastic. A bit more, but well worth it. We get compliments on it all the time.

nikipedia's avatar

Mazda3!!! I hated my Civic. Sorry guys above.

digitaljesus's avatar

If he bought a Miata, take a test drive in a 3000gt VR-4, I’m 6’4, and I fit in it just fine, drove a Miata for a couple weeks, you’ll like it a lot more. 320HP, AWD (great in the rain), looks amazing, and I bought mine, a 1992 in amazing condition for $8500, and tons of room in the hatch with rear seats that fold down, search on, don’t buy from a dealer whatever you do. Do your homework, ask a ton of questions, and you’ll do fine.

CameraObscura's avatar

Before you ditch the Miata, realize that there are maybe two new cars under $50K that are as fun to drive as the Miata. The Honda S2000 and the Porsche Boxster. Unfortunately, both are two-seat convertibles. Point being, if you get rid of it, you’re going to be let down by the “fun to drive” factor you have with the Miata regardless of what you get. There are practical, simple and cheap solutions to your husband’s height problem such as purchasing lower aftermarket seat rails and removing some cushioning from the seat (although you obviously won’t want to do that with a leaser). I’m 6’1” and I’ve driven a Miata with no problems but maybe I’m just leggy LOL.

If you really want something different, I’d go with the Honda Civic Si. Reliable, decently quick, handle well for a front wheel drive car, blah blah blah.

syntak's avatar

go out and get yourself a 1997 Mazda RX7 or a 2004–2005 RX8. Best money youll spend.

heyu1021's avatar

The new Nissan Altima coupes are very nice. They’re a direct relative of the Infiniti G coupe.

I suggest you check out the Altima or Accord coupes.

Maverick's avatar

Smartcar, fer sure. Smartest car around.

row4food's avatar

I second @Randy.

I drive an ‘07 Scion tC, 5 speed. So much fun to drive, paid about 17 for it new. It comes standard with the panoramic sunroof, AC, power everything, AUX input, outdoor temperature, full fold down rear seats… all the features I would have had to pay (a lot) extra for on the Mazda 3 and Honda Civics I looked at.

I just moved to an apartment and I fit a verrrrry surprising amount of stuff in there. Made way less trips than I had estimated.

And it comes backed with the Toyota guarantee and service…Camry engine in there… (slash, I drive too fast ;-) )

The only place your husband wont be able to sit is in the back seat, my salesman had some trouble when I took it for a test drive =P It’s a hatchback and the back window slopes down.

The ONLY thing I would change is to add a rear windshield wiper, and maybe a better radio.

LunaFemme's avatar

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!!

@jcs007 – I LOVE the mini cooper but my husband says its another death trap. He wants me in something a wee bit larger for a little protection in case of an accident. Shesh, you would think he feels I’m a bad driver. {{giggles}}
@Randy & @Row—I hadn’t even heard of this car. It sounds like it has possibilities…
@heyu—I like the look of the Altima but does it have any pep??
@Camera – How do you fit? My husband can only sit in it if the top is down. I’m trying to get zen about losing the “fun to drive” factor. {{heavy sigh}}
@anna—Is your PT turbo peppy?? I test drove one a few years ago and it wasn’t very quick on the up take.

Thanx again flutherers.

sdeutsch's avatar

I have a VW Golf, which I absolutely love – they’re fun to drive and very safe, and my 6’-4” tall friend fits comfortably in the front seat (although, we have to put someone small in the backseat behind him!) And it’s small enough that it’s really easy to parallel park – and I can fit into the tiniest of parking spaces…

It’s also got a ton of space in the trunk – with the back seats folded down, I managed to pack my entire apartment into it (minus furniture) for a move across the country…

Baloo72's avatar

My vote goes for the ‘08 Civic Si (I prefer the coupes but that’s just me). I haven’t driven all that many cars, but I have a blast every time I get in mine. It has plenty of trunk space for me (more than my ‘95 mustang, haha) and my tall friends don’t complain about being cramped. The gas mileage for a sporty car is awesome too – I usually get an average of around 27 (city and highway) when driving normally.

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