For Weekend Driver/Fun Car - Your Advice?


#1

I have a 2011 Camaro RS convertible which I bought used two years ago. I drive only when the weather is nice, top down. Car drives like a dream and have enjoyed the look. Recently, though, quite by accident I saw a 2014 Honda Civic Si at a local dealer, and the electronics inside, design, and styling were incredible. I know the Camaro is retro-styled, but the new Civic made me feel as though I had a bulky, out of date car. The Civic is not a convertible, but I am debating on the real value of having one in my rainy area. Car payments, if I traded, would be about the same. I did not drive the Civic … yet. It’s a six speed, and I can drive one but not sure I would want to have to drive one for a weekend ride. I plan to drive the Honda if I become seriously interested in trading. Any thoughts from your experiences with either car? The Camaro has 18900 miles. Only the rims are scuffed up (rash) from the previous owner. The rest of car is very clean. The Honda is brand new. I appreciate your input. Don’t want to make a mistake.


#2

You are not comparing apples and oranges here. Comparing these cars is like comparing apples and hamsters.

A Camaro RS convertible is a great weekend, or any sunny day car. A Civic is an everyday “I need to get somewhere comfortably on little gas” kind of car. I wouldn’t put into the “weekend driver/fun” car category at all. The Civic may drive just fine on the weekends (like any other day) and it may be fun to row the 6 speed but that depends on how you feel when you get in the car and drive it. Test drive it, your feeling will answer the question better than we can.


#3

The fwd Civic will not match the driving experience of a good rwd car. But then, the rwd Camaro will not match the economy and practicality of a Civic…or it’s potential reliability. It would
D be real nice if you could keep both. But that’s $$$$$$$$$.


#4

Forget the Civic and look at a Mazda 3. It is much more fun to drive, in my opinion.


#5

I would keep the Camaro since you owe money on it. You may owe more than it is worth in trade. If so, you will have to pay the difference in cash or finance it. If you finance the difference, you will effectively be paying on two cars, not just the Civic.


#6

Admittedly, I have a little bias on this and prefer the Camaro.

There is something to keep in mind. Camaros have a tendency to depreciate and at some point in time the value starts to climb again. The second and third generation were pretty disposable at one point and are now becoming more collectible; especially depending upon the model.

I do not know the productions numbers and option package on your Camaro but odds are it’s comparatively low. Over time and kept in good condition the car could become more desireable and who knows; it could turn out to be one of a very few depenging upon options, paint, color of the top, etc.
Back in the day, if someone had said a '69 or '71 RS would be going for deep into the 5 and 6 figures they would have been carted off to a head shrinker… :slight_smile:


#7

You still owe on your Camaro and you’re bedazzled by a shiny new Civic? After you’ve had the Civic for a few years, will you be hopelessly bedazzled by a shiny new Huppmobile?

With this kind of logic, I hope you’re pursuing a career that pays well. The newness wears off quickly. Maintain you Camaro, get it paid for, save your cash, and when eventually the Camaro gets unreliable and really needs to be replaced, you’ll be able to get a shiny new cars then.


#8

Why not get a Mustang six and use it as a daily driver and have the best of both worlds.


#9

Your Camaro is still low mileage and you owe money on it. If money is irrelevant you can follow your impulses. Otherwise, be sensible and keep the Camaro at least a few more years. The Civic SI is a neat little car, with a bit of sportiness and Honda practicality, but it is more of an everyday car than a weekend fun ride (like a Camaro convertible.)

In a few years you can find another fun car. There is a new Miata coming out soon that should be excellent, if you’re not too tall, and an Alfa Romeo built on the same platform. There is also a new Mustang coming. Whenever you buy there will always be several appropriately fun cars to choose from. Meanwhile, enjoy your Camaro.


#10
"... the new Civic made me feel as though I had a bulky, out of date car."

You do. Try the Civic. You’ll like it.


#11

If a test drive shows it acceptable to you, trading to the Civic makes sense to me. You’ll get less depreciation on the Civic probably, so $$-wise it may well turn out to be a wash in the end. Certainly if the cost is the same, you might as well have the car you best prefer to drive.


#12

You should use the KELLY BLUE BOOK web site to have a fair idea of what value your Camaro would have as a trade in before you even look at anything. Their values are a little higher than the Black Book guide that the dealers use. I join someone else here that fun weekend car and Civic do not belong in the same sentence.


#13

Look at the Mazda Speed3, it’s much nicer than the Si


#14

“You still owe on your Camaro and you’re bedazzled by a shiny new Civic? After you’ve had the Civic for a few years, will you be hopelessly bedazzled by a shiny new Huppmobile? With this kind of logic, I hope you’re pursuing a career that pays well. The newness wears off quickly. Maintain you Camaro, get it paid for, save your cash, and when eventually the Camaro gets unreliable and really needs to be replaced, you’ll be able to get a shiny new car then.”

++++!

I am always amazed (actually…I am appalled) by people who think that it is “normal” to be perpetually in debt. Buying every car on credit adds THOUSANDS of dollars to one’s indebtedness over the years, and this indebtedness mounts up over time to the point where it may be impossible to get out from under that debt.

I am not holding myself up as an example for anyone else, but here is my story vis-a-vis car ownership:
When I secured my first job after college, I wanted to buy my first car–on credit.
My father–who may not have been highly educated, but was very wise when it came to financial matters, said–“I want you to drive my car to work for several years, so that you can save your money and be able to pay cash for your first car”.

Being a respectful and obedient kid, I did as he advised. and I managed to save enough money over my first two years of employment to be able to buy a beautiful brand-new '71 Charger SE-- for cash. By continuing to save and invest my money, I have been able to buy all of that Charger’s subsequent replacement vehicles over the next 40+ years for cash, and have saved a small fortune in loan interest payments as a result.

If the OP wants to get ahead in life in a financial sense, he should maintain his Camaro with great care, get as many years out of it as possible, save/invest his money, and then–hopefully–buy his next car for cash. There really is a way out of perpetual debt if you exercise some self-discipline.


#15

The Maxdaspeed3 is not currently being made, though cars built from the previous generation Mazda3 are available. I suspect there will be a new Mazdaspeed3 next year. Meanwhile, there are still the Subie turbos.


#16

Was watching Barrett-Jackson Saturday and saw lots of Camaro’s cross the stage. The early ones were so cute and sporty. I had a '69 RS convertible…it was a winter beater as I’d bought if from a woman who’d purchased it new, but had two unfortunate accidents within a week’s time which rendered it drivable, but banged up and did keep my 1970 Cougar XR-7 out of the Vermont salt. '67-'69 were my favorite years and then they became bigger and bigger and bigger. I read a review somewhere before they stopped production (for a few years) that said the Camaro and Firebird were exactly what a sports car should not be. When production began again I’d hoped they’d have kept the car smaller (like the new Mustang’s) but think it’s about the same size it grew to be. It’s probably fast off the line, but looks big and bulky. I’ve had a '06 Civic Hybrid and loved the way it handled…who’d have thunk a hybrid would be so much fun to drive. I think the Si would be too. Good luck with your decision.


#17

On trades like this, a lot of money disappears into various rat-holes…The dealer is going to make money on TWO cars instead of one…That’s just how the trade-in game is played…They sell you on the monthly payment, not how much money you still owe…