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Dieselstation Car Forums > Parking Lot > Compare & Contrast
DakianDelomast
IRC sparked another interesting debate and I came up with a small idea. Its sort of like my top 10 list but its more specific I guess. Anyways, I'm going to make a small list here and I want you guys to rank them. Its quite simple really, they're cars that were available in North America and are available at a somewhat reasonable price, nothing going beyond 30K. Also rules are 2 doors, and RWD, manual, and I set the cut off date between 1990 and 2000 so the S2000 just barely eeks in. All cars are assumed to be speced as nice as you can get for 30k.

If you don't want to get in the nit picky then just don't list some things. Just be assumed that they're at the collective bottom of your list. Of course throw everything into consideration. Value, economy, modability anything that is important to you. I think I've hit all the pegs and if I'm missing any cars that are in my criterea please don't hesistate to include them.

Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 240SX
Toyota MR-2 Turbo
Toyota Supra
Lexus SC300
Mazda RX-7
Mazda Miata
Honda NSX
Honda S2000
Porsche Boxster
Porsche 928
Porsche 944
Porsche 911
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
BMW M3
Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac Firebird
Dodge Viper
Ford Mustang

My list will be in a seperate post naturally.
DakianDelomast
Mazda RX-7
Mazda Miata
Toyota MR-2
Dodge Viper
Lexus SC300
Porsche 911
Porsche Boxster
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
Toyota Supra
Porsche 944
Nissan 300ZX
Nissan 240SX
BMW M3
Porsche 928
Ford Mustang
Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Camaro
Honda S2000
Honda NSX
clarkma5
Top

Porsche 911
Honda NSX
Honda S2000
Porsche Boxster
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
Mazda Miata
Nissan 300ZX
Porsche 944
Toyota MR-2 Turbo
BMW M3
Porsche 928
Mazda RX-7
Dodge Viper
Chevrolet Corvette
Nissan 240SX
Ford Mustang
Toyota Supra
Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac Firebird
Lexus SC300

Bottom

Obviously with that many choices there is some wiggle room, but that's how I rank them here and now.
Mazdaspeed
Mazda RX-7
Mazda Miata
Honda NSX
Toyota Supra
Porsche 911
BMW M3
Porsche Boxter
Toyota MR2
BMW M coupe/roadster
Dodge Viper
Nissan 300ZX
Honda S2000
Chevy Corvette
Porsche 944
Nissan 240SX
Ford Mustang
Chevy Camaro
Porsche 928

in reality i'd put the porsche 911 on top, but its always been ground breaking... not just in the 90's.

the FD rx7 was in my opinion the pinnacle of rotaries, the miata is a legend in itself, and the supra showed that stupid fast speed doesnt only come in big V8's
moe
Porsche 911
Honda NSX
Mazda RX7
Boxster
M3
S2k
Porsche 928
Porsche 944
M Coupe/Roadster
'Vette
Viper
Miata
300ZX

I'd take the E39 M5 over all of them though...but it doesn't have 2 doors.
Phix
Honda NSX
Porsche Boxster
Toyota MR2 Turbo
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
BMW M3
Honda S2000
Mazda RX-7
Mazda Miata
Porsche 911
Porsche 944
Porsche 928
Nissan 240SX

I didn't bother with the dumbestics or some of the really fatty cars.
PBB
Rather than attempt the tedious and uninspired task of individually ranking these cars, I chose to group them into categories and give a brief explanation why. Order in each category is completely arbitrary unless noted otherwise.

Best
  • Mazda RX-7 – Excellent donor chassis for some good ol’ fashioned pushrod-swapping sacrilege. Sexy FD series preferred for desecration.
  • BMW M Coupe – Glorious engine, quirky good looks and a chassis that can tango if you spend a little on dance lessons, aka. suspension mods. 315 bhp version in dark blue please. A courteous “No, Thank You.” to the roadster variant.


Good
  • Pontiac Firebird – Has been a top contender in the show-room stock class of SCCA road racing for years. Huge power on the cheap with a surprisingly capable chassis, a bit on the heavy side though. LSx-powered 4th gen only.
  • Nissan 300ZX – Still looks contemporary a decade and a half later, the Z32 TT is my front-engined RWD turbo 90’s car of choice. 2+2 version need not apply.
  • Mazda Miata – ITBs sound like a great time, pun intended. NA 1.8L please.
  • Ford Mustang - For drag racing on the cheap, very few cars can match the potential of the 5.0 ‘Stang. For road racing potential, see Firebird. Notchback preferred. Wonderful noises emitted from the SBF are a big bonus.
  • Toyota MR-2 – Midengine chariot for the common man, I’d go for a SW20 packing a V8 swap of the Rover flavor.
  • Honda S2000 – Convertible. Not a fan. Main selling point is a tiny engine with VTEC. Not a fan. Gimmicky cramped interior with stupid gauges and a start button (redundant, see gimmicky interior.) Not a fan. Gets in the Good category because I know if I drove one, I’d like it, a lot. Would never willingly buy one though.
  • Chevrolet Corvette – Low rent interior, and leaf springs be damned, 30 grand will buy a 405 hp torque monster that can walk over some fine machinery at the track while retaining excellent street manners. (Edit: The cutoff year for this list is 2000 and the 405 bhp Z06 debuted in 2002. Oh well, that’s the 30K Vette I’d buy, in Electron Blue.)
  • BMW M3 - The raw E30 chassis would be such a fun car to swap in a P-ported 20B. Minus massive points for expensive and limited parts and Elitist (that’s asshole with a capital E) owner base. E36 is simply a noncontender for my affection for reasons intangible. Bottom of the good list.


Bad
  • Dodge Viper – The only Vipers consistently being sold for sub-$30k are the 94-95 RT-10 roadsters. Not a fan of those at all, I much prefer the 2nd gen GTS. Masochistic trivia about the early RT-10s: the plastic side windows don’t roll up and down, they ‘re removable and snap into place. Top of the Bad list, so close to good.
  • Chevrolet Camaro – If I’m going to build an F-Body, it’s going to be a flamin’ pigeon. (That means Pontiac Firebird, you city folk.)
  • Porsche 944 – Expensive to maintain and not worth the image and experience of driving a 20 year old Porsche. I’d much rather buy an FC RX-7 instead. See above for what to do with said RX-7.
  • Porsche 928 – See 944.
  • Lexus SC300 – A much classier alternative to the Supra, the SC still holds very little appeal to me. A bit of a porker, it’s slow NA and with a turbo, well, see Supra.
  • Honda NSX – Perfection in engineering takes a wrong turn into Soullessville. Is it possible to turn a supercar into the generic equivalent of a Civic? NSX says “yes.” Is it possible that the NSX isn’t even a supercar? MR2, FD RX7 and Supra say “maybe.”
  • Porsche 911 - I have zero interest in air-cooled Porsches, the only 911s available at this budget. Are they excellent performance cars? Yes, I won't deny they are. Is there something wrong with people who don't adore them? Possibly. Absolute bottom of the Bad list.


I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead In One Of These
  • Toyota Supra – The Mk III is about the ugliest car of the early 90’s and the Mk IVs are yawn-inducing dyno-queens. Engine swaps are cool though, the more outrageous* the better.
  • Nissan 240SX – D is for Drifting. D is also for Dumbshit ricer. This is not a coincidence. Apologies in advance to the half-dozen 240 owners on Planet Earth who didn’t buy their phat-tite ’40 to hook it up and kick dat shit sideways on the local elementary school zone touge‡, yo.
  • Porsche Boxster – My irrational hatred for modern droptops shines through. Convertible Porsches are for poofty hairdressers, Carrera GT exempted, of course. The Cayman is infinitely cooler.

    *Turns fanboys into screeching poo-flinging monkeys.
    ‡Public road where idiots crash their cars attracting undue police attention and giving a bad name to car enthusiasts in general.


Missing from the initial list
The last year of the Mitsubishi Starion + Dodge/Eagle/Plymouth Conquest was 1990 so it barely qualifies. Subtle but definite difference in fender shape makes the Starion a much more attractive car to me than the Mk III Supra. USDM Starions had an uninspiring turboed SOHC 2.6L, making this car an obvious candidate for a 20B rotary swap. Obvious to at least one person.
PBB
QUOTE(Phix @ Jan 29 2007, 08:38 AM) *
I didn't bother with the dumbestics or some of the really fatty cars.

Worse than leaf.
That's all that can be said, worse than leaf...
leif
There we go...let the flaming begin.

Porsche 911
Mazda RX-7
BMW M3
Porsche Boxster
Porsche 928
Honda NSX
Mazda Miata
Toyota MR-2 Turbo
Nissan 300ZX
Lexus SC300
Porsche 944
Toyota Supra
Honda S2000
Chevrolet Corvette
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
Dodge Viper
Ford Mustang
Nissan 240SX
Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac Firebird
Phix
QUOTE(PBB @ Jan 29 2007, 09:10 AM) *
Worse than leaf.
That's all that can be said, worse than leaf...

I stand by my list. :o

Of course, I was joking with the 'dumbestics' comment. If you want it in more "politically correct" way then let me just say that I don't "prefer them" to the alternatives.
Mr b00st
1) Nissan 300ZX (Z32) Biturbo - still gorgeous, still capable, still has a huge aftermarket, still tasteful.
2) BMW M3 (E36) 3.2L - fantastic steering feel, lusty six, room for four, dependable, just a great all around car
3) BMW M Coupe - Germany's take on the Hot Rod was pretty fucking sweet.
4) Mazda FD RX-7 - except for the occasional engine failure, the RX7 was supposed to be a mighty good car to drive - light, high revving, grippy, lots of grunt - why not?
5) Toyota MR-2 Turbo - seems like a very appealing concept - a bulletproof motor stuck in a capable mid engine chassis. Crank the boost!
6) Honda (Acura) NSX - perhaps soulless, but it gives you the performance and precision of a high end sports car with the reliability and driveability of an accord. And have you heard one with a free flow exhaust Holy crap.
7) Nissan 240SX - obviously the KA would have to go. I think a mildly built SR20 would turn this into a real fun car for not a whole ton of cash. I've driven an S13 notchback and it's just a hoot - very precise steering, balanced, sit real low to the ground... just a fun car. I can imagine what it'd be like with some revs, boost, and a good stick shift.
8) Mazda Miata - i don't like convertibles - except for the Miata, which is an absolute delight to drive. 1.8L NA with 5 speed and LSD please. Or the 1.6 if i'm adding boost.
9) Ford mustang - but has to be a Fox body (not SN94, the 88-93 model) LX 5.0 hatch or a '93 SVT Cobra. No fucking modular. the 302 just sounds awesome. I just like these; i think you're either a Mustang man or an F-body man; i like mustangs, have no love for F-bods.
10) Corvette - Plastic fantastic; not really a Corvette fan but i am aware of the performance advantages they have. Just not my cup of tea, so to speak.
11) Porsche 928 - i've always thought these were so cool. not really a sports car but the SC300 is less of one so; whatever.
12) Honda S2000 - i don't like convertibles.
13) Porsche 911 - come on. I'm not 70.
14) Porsche 944 - waste of money
15) Toyota Supra MKIV Turbo - ugly, heavy, overplayed, and did i mention ugly? And that interior is just shit. Ugh. Don't like the Supra. I actually like the 3000GT VR-4 better.
16) Porsche Boxster - i don't like convertibles, especially slow ones.
17) Lexus SC300 - not a sports car. not pretty. stick shifts in these are few and far between in the US.
18) Dodge Viper - not a fan of early vipers. not enough car for too much money; i'm a realistic person i guess; i just think these are silly.
19) Camaro - I hate F-bodies.
20) Screaming Chicken - but if i'm getting an F body why would i want one covered in goofy scoops and stickers?
infinity
I'm going to go with PBB's approach of categorizing since there are so many choices/wiggle room. Order is also insignificant within each category.
With that said -

The Greats:
Porsche 911
Nissan 300ZX
BMW M3
Mazda Miata

The Goods:
Chevrolet Corvette
BMW M Roadster/Coupe
Honda S2000
Honda NSX
Dodge Viper
Mazda RX-7

The Average:
Porsche Boxster
Porsche 944
Toyota MR-2 Turbo
Ford Mustang
Toyota Supra

The Crap:
Nissan 240SX
Porsche 928
Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac Firebird
Lexus SC300
marcos_eirik
Well here's my list, I'm not that well into second hand values in the US, but I don't think they are that far off. There are some cars included that were not sold in the US, though... Didn't include such as the Porsche 944, as that's basically an 80s car.

The great:
Porsche 968 CS - Autocar's "Best handling car of the year" twice, not without a reason and it was cheaper than the standard one.
Corvette (C5) - Iffy interior aside, great performance for a reasonable price.
Porsche 928 GT/GTS - There was never been a better compromise of luxury and performance.
TVR Griffith 500 - The car that took TVR to a new level of performance in the 90s.
Mazda RX-7 - Third generation was a superb car.

The Good:
Porsche 968 (the rest of the range) - Starting feeling a little long in the tooth.
Porsche 911 - Should be under "Great" but at this price level you can't get a 90s Turbo or Carrera RS.
Honda NSX - Was so good it put the pressure on Ferrari to make the F355 what it turned out to be.
Mazda MX5 - The great car that kick started the Roadster revelation.
Corvette (C4) - A good performance car over all, but the C5 is so much better so here it is.
Porsche Boxster - Superbly balanced car, if not rather weakly powered.
Toyota Supra MKIV - A good car with great tuning potential, but heavy and has a silly image.
Nissan 200SX - Well balanced car with bucketloads of fun in it.
BMW M-Roadster/Coupe - Great car both of them.
Toyota MR2 - Well balanced, mid engined. Not that exciting.

The average/not that good:
Dodge Viper - The early cars that can be bougt at this price level aren't that good.
Ford Mustang - The earlyest aside, I just dont care much for the generations before the present one.
Pontiac Firebird - Okay it's got a V8, but I don't care much for the rest of it.
Chevrolet Camaro - See above...

The rubbish:
Mitsubishi 3000GT - Stuffing a car with technology isnt't always that good.
Lexsus SC300 - About as interesting as watching paint dry...
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