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Questions About Fun Cars

Illustration for article titled Questions About Fun Cars
Photo: Car and Driver

Hey, Friends! Pre-pandemic, I drove a 2017 V6 Mustang convertible around Oahu, which opened my eyes to the lovely world of open-air sports cars and has me considering saving up to grab one of my own. However, I have never owned a car with more than 200HP, RWD, or 4WD, and life is too short to drive around in sensible cars. Or is it?

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However, I don’t even know where to start in my quest to find a fun car. Two things to consider:

  • I drive a loaded 2015 Mazda3s hatch with a stick. I love the car to no ends, but at the end of the day, it is an economy car (albeit with more fun factor than it has any right to have)
  • I prefer newer cars, even if it means I must cancel my Jalopnik Gold membership, effective immediately
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The Dilemma

Here is a non-exhaustive list of musings about fun cars that come to mind:

  • Do I stick with the V6 convertible, or would I benefit from getting the more powerful V8 version?
  • What about other sporty cars, like a WRX/Si, or a luxury sport like a BMW 2 or 4 series?
  • How does the drivetrain affect my enjoyment (ie: RWD vs FWD)?
  • Would I get to use that extra power enough for it to be worth it? Speed limits exist, after all. Or, would I need to consider taking it to a track to really get enjoyment out of it?
  • Would I be happy with the trade-off of power for handlings, such as with a Miata or Toyubaru?
  • What about off-roading - is that more of a niche situation that would require I find some offroad paths to really get enjoyment out of the car?
  • Or finally, my Mazda3 drives quite nicely, and given my previous concern that I may not even be able to use that reserve power anyway, is it plenty powerful enough that I wouldn’t get enough enjoyment out of any of those other offerings?

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