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#15506 - 09/07/03 03:29 PM Re: What do you drive?
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
Road and Track just did a comparision of the S2000 and the 350Z. The S2000 came out on top as more of a sports car, while the 350Z was more of a GT. It's in the August 2003 issue. Be worth a read. I don't think they've done a recent comparision of the Miata and S2000, but I can look through back issues if you'd really like to know.

Anyway, as a toy car, I'd go with the S2000. If you're going to be using it for more daily driving, I'd go with the Miata.

Ken
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#15507 - 09/07/03 05:16 PM Re: What do you drive?
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
ZeN, yes, this is a REAL question. And yeah, one of Miata's drawbacks for me is, when I seat in my best driving position, the clearance between the steering wheel and my laps is only barely enough for me to be able to put one of my hands through below the wheel.

psychobabble, you are right on the nail with my thoughts, comparing between these roadsters. Yes, the Honda is definitely MUCH faster, quicker, more accurate and more rigid, but as Edmunds correctly says, "it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow." But then again, I too am in the middle of the flat-land.

Peter, yup, the Honda's VTEC engine becomes a real beast when revved over 6000rpm, all the way up to screaming 9000rpm. The note is awesome, too.

Craig, your point well taken, but our old ('92) 325i is only worth $4K at best -- much cheaper than a good pre-owned Civic. Actually, I do like the idea of my 16-year-old learning to drive on a well-engineered, "safe" car with a highly responsive handling that does not isolate her from the road. I believe that the 325i is a very nice "practice car" indeed.

I've already excluded the Z4 after test driving -- it is overpriced as compared to its competitors such as the S2000 in my opinion (even from my biased viewpoint as a BMW owner), and most importantly, its exterior design just doesn't "click" on me.

Mike, thank God I have three daughters! LOL You know, girls are inherently wiser than boys when it comes to avoiding the unnecessary dangers etc (looking back my own teenage years). As for the looks, I like the Miata's simple, understated lines slightly better than the more high-tech look of the S2000; to my eyes, both are better looking than the Z4, Mercedes SLK, Audi TT, or Z350.

Saturn, Mercedes is out for me, too. I want a lighter-hearted, fun-to-drive car.

Ron, the 350Z Roadsters are just starting to appear in dealers' lots here in Dallas. They are all already sold before arriving in the dealers, so there is no way of test-driving them right now, yet. That said, I've seen one on a dealer's floor, and have to say that it is "too big" for my taste, both in physical size/weight and in visual massiveness.

Ken, I haven't read the R&T review, but would already agree that the Z is more of a convertible GT than a lightweight roadster.

----------

Anyway, this will be my daily commute car as well as my toy. Incidentally, which one would you pick with respect to the tolerability in a long, boring highway cruise, like an inter-city trip in Texas? I know that none of these cars are really suitable for those purposes, but which would be more "okay" than the other?

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#15508 - 09/07/03 08:27 PM Re: What do you drive?
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Personally I think the Z4 is the best looking two seater out right now.

If I were you, I'd take the Miata. I'm not sure the S2000 would be an enjoyable daily driver, especially with nothing but flat boring Texas highways.


_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#15509 - 09/08/03 01:43 AM Re: What do you drive?
ZeN Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 125
Loc: San Diego, CA
In the hope that I dont come off to you guys as a complete TOOL I need to clear things up. I posted another reply right after I saw psychobabble's post - stating a bit more clearly my feelings. Coming back to the thread, I realize my post went to where ever good posts go to die...

Anyway... my thoughts above are meant as humor, I DO realize there is more to autos than going fast. I have spent quite a few hours on the track in various cars, and most recently a Miata. My cousin races in the Spec Miata Challenge here in SoCal (their most recent race was actually this weekend up at Laguna Seca).

The Miata is a fantastic car, almost track ready "out of the box", and what it gives up in pure speed, it completely makes up for in the fun to drive and handling categories. On the flip side, the S2000 (I've never track driven this car, but I have spent some fun time behind the wheel of one on Palomar Mountian) is as fun to drive in almost every way. Yes it's a bit heavier, and yes, its not as balanced. But, it really makes up for both of those facts in its smoothness and "revhappyness". Its an absolute blast to keep this car above 6000 rpm flying around mild corners - it makes the most wonderful sound!

I also fit better in the S2000 - its still not all that comfy, but its at least passable. I cant spend more than 30 minuets in the Miata (even as a passenger) unless the stock seat is replaced by a flush mounted Recaro.

FYI, I drive an Audi A4 as my daily, soon to be replaced by a Truck - I'm jumping into the Pro 7's class here in SoCal at the start of next season (February!!!).

There, I feel much less TOOL like

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#15510 - 09/08/03 09:31 AM Re: What do you drive?
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Sushi, Don't buy either one of those, you deserve to own a piece of true Americana. A 67 427 Corvette Roadster would be my choice. Followed by maybe a 69 Camaro Z28, or 70 Mustang Mach 1. If you want a toy, get a real car!!! There is something special about a big V8 motor rumbling along the boulevard.

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#15511 - 09/08/03 12:09 PM Re: What do you drive?
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
Dan,

Yeah, one of my friends does serious restorations of American classics as hobby. His garage at home is like a small factory. He currently drives a '60s Corvette Roadster, restored bumper-to-bumper completely new by himself (his online handle name is DocVette!). We know he is coming from 100 yard away because of the engine note.


ZeN,

Yeah, in my college and grad school years, I used to have some fun on the Tsukuba Circuit tracks, which happened to be just 20-minute drive from my school -- never really raced (I wasn’t that good) but had many practice runs with friends. Also nearby my school, there were beautiful winding roads on the Mount Tsukuba… Your post really reminded me how much I miss those things, living for 12 years here in the middle of the Texas flatland.

Anyway, this is a tough decision for me...

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#15512 - 09/08/03 12:20 PM Re: What do you drive?
jbzngowest Offline
devotee

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 388
Loc: Mid-south U.S.
I would go for the Honda. There's something to be said for the extra available horsepower when needed. Now if you compared it to the new RX8, I'm not sure which I'd choose.

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#15513 - 09/08/03 12:53 PM Re: What do you drive?
ZeN Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 125
Loc: San Diego, CA
Sushi,
Thats a good lookin track! Reminds me a bit of my most frequented track the largest difference being more straightaways on Buttonwillow... There has to be some cool tracks out there in the Flat lands that at the very least allow hot-lapping or "instruction" Get yer fix!

I keep trying to put myself into your position, but its very hard... I have no wife, no children, and wouldn't buy a convertable So keeping that in mind, I'm honestly starting to lean in a direction that you likely wont go... the 350Z Roadster. From what I can tell, it is MUCH more of a daily driver and while I havent sat in one, the hard top version is quite comfy.

Anyway just another (another) thought...

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#15514 - 09/08/03 03:47 PM Re: What do you drive?
psychobabble Offline
buff

Registered: 07/12/03
Posts: 41
Zen, I would have never taken offense by your comments. Sorry, was I the one supposed to be offended? And when I made my point about there being more to it than speed, I was commenting on the fact that when I was looking, I was looking for power/speed too, and was amazed at how much fun I had in the Miata.

sushi, if you are talking about a daily, long, highway commute, I would probably not go with the Miata, as much as I love it. If you've had it on the highway, you'll know its noisy as heck. That's part of the reason why I went with the Z3-Coupe before. It's 6-cyl was MUCH nicer on the highway and the non-convertable factor probably added to its smoothness on the highway. I don't remember how the S2000 was on the highway -- I was having too much fun reving it at the time.

And, as much as I REALLY appreciate both the styling and power of the 60's American muscle cars, I just have a personal preference for the light, nimble 'feel' you get in a small, lightweight roadster.

Have you considered a 60's Austin Healey? You should be able to get a nicely restored one for about 30k. It's only around 2500 lbs and also has a 6cyl (back before safety/emission controls ruined everything )with nice power (not Vette power, of course).

Or, why not go to the extreme and go with the Caterham 7? Six cyl., under 1500 lbs., 0-60 in under 4 seconds, all for less than 30k (life insurance extra). (http://www.britauto.net/)








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#15515 - 09/08/03 04:47 PM Re: What do you drive?
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Hey...get a Mini Cooper S!
_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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