So, my son just bought his first car. It’s pretty great. It’s a 2002 WRX. He bought it from a friend of mine, who’s a mechanic. The car, while is has some surface rust at the rear 1/4 panels, is mechanically perfect. It’s had the notorious head gasket work done, new timing belt, new coils and wires, new winter rubber and new summer rubber, two sets of rims... My son is as happy as a pig in a sty.
He’s let me drive it twice. It’s incredibly well-mannered below 4500 rpm. It’s quick as a jackrabbit above that. I was surprised by the driving position. You are basically strapped into a rally car. It’s not cramped, but you can’t sit relaxed in it unless you have the arms of a gorilla or you insist on leaning the seat way back.
For an 18 year-old car, it’s still impressive. For a kid’s (he’s 19 but hasn’t owned his own car before) first car, it’s everything.