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Which cheap fast daily driver?

My budget is somewhere around $5000, maybe could go up to 8-10 thousand for something really nice.

I want a car that will be easy and cheap to maintain, have a spacious (I’m 6’4 with long legs) and pleasant interior, and go fast (would like 0-60 under 6.5 and top speed above 140 or 130 mph). It can have 2 or more seats. I don’t know if everything is possible in my budget, but I have to ask.

I know a Miata is a common recommendation, but I’d like something that goes maybe a bit faster, if possible. Maybe a Porsche Boxster, but is it reliable? I was thinking about a corvette, chevy camaro, or pontiac firebird, but I don’t want something that I will not be happy driving day to day.



Good luck, any of those cars under $10,000 isn’t worth buying

Unless you just happen to find a bitter ex-wife selling her ex-husbands cheap because she can.


And just where do you think that speed will be useful without a ride in a Black and White vehicle and your vehicle being impounded . Also do your parents agree with these requirements ?


There are plenty of cars out there in that price range, have an inspection done, My daughter got a 2015 soul, 10.5k with 28k 8 months ago, she loves it. Florida car, I was worried it had been flooded, examined it and all looked good. 90 day warranty from seller, CEL went off they fixed it. Still going good. It is green, oh well! Be sure you are not going to have to worry about timing belts, tires, trans fluid change and brakes right off the bat

I would only drive that fast on a track. Anyway, I’ve decided that I would be better off getting a Miata or a Toyota Spyder. Which would you choose? Also, can they be had in good condition for $5000?

Any $5000 performance car is not going to be super reliable. It will have high miles and require more repair than a $10k car. That said, either a Mazda or a Toyota will be pretty decent, even at that price.

You wanna go fast, you gotta pay for that!


I don’t know that race track and reliable should be used in the same sentence.


Unless you are a proficient mechanic… your parameters wont easily all align at once on any one vehicle …then again. Most BMW’s would fit that bill…say from around 05’ on up?

Anything with a Turbo could be made to rise to that challenge I suppose.

Then again… getting back to my original point, you will need some skills behind the wrench to really pull off this experiment. I mean…I’ve done it quite a few times, but I’m not what you would call a newbie or a beginner in this arena. You would NOT want to over estimate your “tuning” ability here… its your life you are playing with, and that’s no joke. I know people with more skills than I that are not around anymore so…

Please be careful and remember you dont need to go fast to have fun…

Try extending the steering column on a crappy truck…sit on the roof and drive down a twisty road… see how fast you need to go before you get smile or get scared, I bet its under 40mph…lol Just an example. A slow car driven to its limit will provide huge entertainment without breaking the bank or the speed of sound… Savvy?

Would you say that a Miata or Toyota spyder is somewhat reliable? Also, I could take something less reliable if it was easy and cheap to fix.

YES ABSOLUTELY… A Miata… no doubt about it. People absolutely love taking those to tracks and modifying them…etc… The whole 9 yards really. You cant go wrong really… Look into it…theres a huge following.

Either vehicle you mentioned… But more so the Miata insofar as support in racing etc… The Toy is fine also…

Good, Fast, or Cheap. For your budget you can pick maybe two, but you’re probably only going to get one.

You might be able to get clapped out New Edge Mustang for $5k-$7k Or maybe a mid 90’s LT1 F-Body. I doubt if you’ll get a roadworthy Boxster for your budget.

Can I get a good Miata or Toyota spyder in my budget?

Have you even looked at any used vehicle web sites in your area ? Have you even physically looked at anything ? You are 6’ 4 so you need to see what is comfortable . Also with your budget how are going to afford track days plus the safety equipment that the track operators might want you to have .

Yes you can. But I don’t know how comfortable you’d be.

Right now I haven’t physically been in anything, but am just asking around to see what I can expect and set my expectations before I actually go somewhere. I just want something fun to drive, and can forget going to the track right now, but would like to have the possibility if an opportunity arises. That’s why I’m thinking Miata or toyota spyder.

Be very glad I’m not your father!


When I’m looking for a car that’s easy and cheap to maintain, comfortable and spacious, I look for a used Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, or Dodge Caravan. These are great cars, but not suitable for racing. Besides, it’s best to let a car accelerate slowly, so the transmission can shift through all the gears. Doing so will prolong the life of your transmission, and increase fuel economy.

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Around here you’re going to want to sped closer to $7,000 to get a reasonably decent Miata. There are exceptions but be prepared to run into title issues.

They are very fun to drive and reliable as long as you maintain them. Due to the popularity as a race car aftermarket parts support is very good as well. I’m in the market for one some day soon, mainly as a fun driver with possible track time. Once I have the instruction the local track requires before they’ll let you out on your own.

Miata + 6’ 4” = AGONY

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Fast, cheap and reliable is an oxymoron…add a competitive track car, 6’4" and comfortable to the equation and it’s darn near impossible. So start by setting your priorities.

All the things that make a track car competitive seem to be the opposite of what makes a daily driver comfortable and the associated costs will quickly exceed your limit so start by eliminating that from your list. And any “Sports Car” at that price range is going to be either too small or too expensive so scratch that out too.

That leaves something like the “Hot Hatchbacks”. Fun to drive, reliable, reasonably comfortable and you may find a decent one in your price rage. And the plus is that if you feel the “Need For Speed”, several of these are quite competitive in Autocross and Hill Climbs at much lower cost.