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Cooley On Cars
Alternatives to a MiataCooley's picks if you don't want to do the obvious.
[MUSIC] Hey, folks. Brian Cooley here. Got an email from Asher A, who likes a Miata but he's not sure he wants a Miata. He says, I really like the Mazda MX-5 Miata. But is there another convertible or coupe with more horsepower and speed, but that's not as big as a Camaro Or a Mustang. This is a very interesting juncture you're looking for [UNKNOWN]. More power, that's easy. These are relatively modest powered cars Miatas. Not bigger, that's hard because most cars have gotten all gigunda lately. Take a look at this photo. One of my favorites that shows what a Porsche 911 used to look like, And what a Porsche 911 does look like. This trend toward mass is common across just about every car on the market, but it's really dramatic here, sports car versus itself later. So let's start with Porsche, and I know you're blanching at that sentence because you're thinking a 911 that basically starts at a hundred grand these days, but I'm thinking something different. I'm putting you into a nicely used Porsche Boxster generation one on 986, but get an S, 2004 to get the glass rear window and the glove box which, believe it or not, they didn't have for most of their initial year. This is one of the great handling fun, tossable small cars of life and a screaming deal. About the only Porsche that hasn't gone through the roof and value. You could pick this up cheap. If you do look for one of these, there's one caveat. Make sure you know about the IMS failure, the intermediate shaft failure. It's a bearing in the engine that when it goes, it takes the engine with it. Either buy one of these that's had the IMS bearing upgraded or budget $3,000 plus to do it yourself and take that out of the price. But more to your point, what's directly alternative to a Miata that isn't mid-engine like a Boxster? First thing that comes to mind of course is the Fiat 124, its cousin. It's basically a Miata, but they've got a turbo Fiat engine in there. The underpinnings are the same, the cabinet tis the same, the body is different, it's got those lovely italian lines and I've gotta tell you I was a sucker for it even though it's a little more relaxed of a car than a Miata. I thought it was a real fine machine and a nice take on the Miata-ness if you wanna go a different direction. I'm not crazy about the looks of the current Miata, maybe that was why I had a soft spot for it. Then you cross the aisle. To the stablemates that are also a pair of twins, the Subaru VRZ and the Toyota 86. Now the Toyota 86 used to be the Scion FRS. But then Scion went away. And they rescued it to the Toyota side. The Subaru VRZ, again, almost identical Underneath the skin, and of the skin, but you can get the Subi with a nice performance package you don't have available on the Toyota that a lot of buffs really like. It adds just a little bit here and there. Okay, now I've saved my personal best for last. What about a used Honda S2000? The S2000, which has been gone from the market for a number of years now, was always the king Of the Mazda Miata alternatives. It's like you went to school with a Miata. And you graduated to an S2000 back in the day. You gotta look for one of these carefully. A lot of them have been driven within an inch of their lives. Or you find the opposite a total cream puff if someone just didn't realize was basically a retail race car. I would go looking for any one of these, I'd love to go shopping with you, if you're in the area this would be the most fun weekend ever, this is a fun list to tackle. It's better than a lot of folk I have to advise to go look it, Fusion versus Accord. Keep those emails coming, I'm here to answer your questions about high tech cars and modern driving. It's Cooley at the roadshow.com.