Two door convertibles: S2000, MR2 Spyder, etc.

09-15-2010, 08:00 PM
Hey all,

I'm new to the forums and I'm not really sure if this is in right section. I'm looking to buy a used car soon. I'm trying to find a nice sporty, small convertible that has great handling and is a joy to drive.

A little history on my car background. My first and only car is a 2004 Toyota MR2 Spyder. It was my dad's midlife crisis car that he found he didn't enjoy driving. It has a virtually nonexistent trunk and is sequential manual transmission (aka manual for people who want to be cool but don't know how to actually drive stick shift). My dad bought the car over ebay and found out almost immediately that he didn't like driving it. It was tiny and had poor rear visibility. It was noisy and the suspension was so stiff you could feel every dip in the road. On top of that, my dad didn't even really understand the concept of shifting gears. I had to explain to him how to do it. Originally, he was going to drive all the Mr2 while I got the 2003 Camry. Fortunately for me, he ended up keeping the Camry and gave me the MR2 without asking for a cent.

To be honest, at first I wasn't fond of the car. It was uncomfortable, especially in the bitter cold winters. It was distracting to drive, since I was unused to having to pay attention to the tachometer. However, I bonded strongly with my car over the next few months and when summer came by, I rolled down the top and fell in love with it. It was unbelievably fun to drive. It was cool (which was hugely important to me as a 17 year old). It also handled like a dream. It made you feel like you had absolute control over the car's every movement. I was absolutely thrilled to be the owner of a Toyota MR2 Spyder by then.

Sadly, my dad wants to sell the car again because he's moving to Michigan, where a tiny, RWD convertible would be the least practical thing in existence. However, having some money of my own now, I'm looking to recreate my past experience with my MR2. I really want another small, sporty car that gives me the same feeling of control and joy that I got from my MR2. My budget is around ten thousand, not willing to go too much over 12 grand. Lastly, I would like this car to be a real manual. I've never driven a full manual before, but I know exactly how to in theory. It'd be great to have a beginner friendly car. Things I've looked at so far include:

Mazda Miata - It's received a ton of praise about how it's fun yet practical. I just can't really dig the looks of the Miata before 2007 ish though.

Honda S2000 - Heard that driving this is a pleasure without equal. It lacks some practicality, but I'm used to that from my MR2.

Toyota MR2 Spyder - Yeah, though it's really impractical and has its flaws, I would certainly not be disappointed with another MR2. I love my car and would not object to another one.

Mercedes-Benz SLK class - Don't really know too much about these. Tbh, one of the biggest draws for me was the fact that I would be able to go around saying that I drive a Benz.

Any opinions or other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long disjointed post, I'm just not very experienced with cars and I figured that more information is better than less.

Tl;dr: I want a small, sporty car for around 10 grand.

Thanks guys.


Crap, maybe this should have gone in Car Buying Q&A.


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