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Fuel-efficient commuter fun drive

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

skramper

I prefer a manual transmission and like the car to be fun enough to drive to make the commute tolerable.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Handling / Audio & nav systems

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 60000
Maximum age: 7 years

Maximum price: US $ 10000

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Response from LectroFuel

6:50 pm July 25, 2017

Your best bet is probably a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata. I owned a 1994 Miata and it might be my favorite car I've owned. It has a great manual transmission and is fun to drive. Nothing ever went wrong with the car until someone rear-ended me and totaled it. It's not the most practical choice because the truck is small and it seats two very snug.

Also, a Civic Si could be a good fit, particularly a 2010 or 2011 because the Civics after were cheap and chintzy. The Si is fun and pretty quick. It might be more comfortable than the Miata.

It'll be hard to find a manual transmission car for under $10k that isn't a former rental car or Nissan Versa, Ford Focus, Kia Rio, etc. I'd get an older car with an automatic because they will be more comfortable, have more features, and drive better overall.

My #1 choice is one that is out of your mileage and year requirements. Consider a 2008 Acura TL for its comfort, powerful 258hp V6 engine, rock-solid reliability, and agile handling. It's definitely more fun than a typical Camry or Civic. You could easily get 200k+ miles out of this car.

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Acura TL
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Honda Civic

Response from NormT

9:37 am July 26, 2017

Look at a Chevrolet HHR SS with LSD (limited slip differential) if you want some utility with a 2.0T turbocharged four with 260 hp, is offrred with a 280 horsepower and 340 lb -ft of torque. Also comes with Brembo brakes.

For convertible fun look at a Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky. Either offered with 175 horsepower 2.4l or a 260 hp 2.0T. The 2.0T is also offered with an upgrade of 290 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque.

The torque of 340 lb-ft output exceeds almost all small cuv's from the HHR SS and any sport compact car and the just about convertibles this side of a Porsche Boxter. The 40 mpg on the highway not matched by any car at any price.

I've had a Saturn Sky for 8 years now and only put a new battery in it besides fluid changes.

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Chevrolet HHR
Pontiac Solstice
Saturn SKY
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