: Fun to drive cars that aren't fast...



I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-07-13, 02:24 AM
I was just thinking tonight, for as much fun as it is to floor the throttle in the Marauder and go sailing past a few cars at a time, high speeds aren't legal and it's expensive if caught.

What are some fun to drive cars that don't require a lot of horsepower or neck snapping acceleration to be a thrill?

Here's a few off the top of my head:

Honda Del Sol
Mini Cooper
Small engined BMW's (525i, 325i)

That's all I can think of now....I'm tired and it's late...

ben.gators
04-07-13, 04:00 AM
Miata?

ryannel2003
04-07-13, 04:03 AM
I'd like to qualify my 323i. Great in the corners but in the straights not so much.

Jesda
04-07-13, 06:33 AM
The Lotus Elan! A car that's even smaller and lighter than the Miata.

02603sec
04-07-13, 06:54 AM
Its no fun to drive with no power.

Vitaqueen
04-07-13, 08:13 AM
I once had a Chevy s-10 and it was a really cute and fun 5 speed. No power but fun.

cadillac kevin
04-07-13, 09:36 AM
I liked driving my 74 apollo. It was a very basic car, which made it fun to drive. 250 I-6, drum brakes, no power anything, and all the windows leaked really bad in the rain (you had to drive with a towel in your lap)

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 09:49 AM
As some of the cars in this thread suggest, for a street vehicle, you can make just about ANYTHING fun to drive - it's all about how you drive it. Pushing the limits of anything is always amusing (in fact, when just talking about driving on the street, I find less capable cars more fun when pushed to the limits). However, even a Miata or 3 series BMW aren't much fun if you are driving them "normally". Then they are just another car.

If you want excitement behind the wheel, you have to create it. The car doesn't inherently provide it.

96Fleetwood
04-07-13, 09:56 AM
This is bringing back memories from high school:

1st gen Mazda Miata

normally aspirated Porsche 944

Honda CRX

Toyota MR2 (1st and 2nd gen)

There are plenty more, but these are a few I was able to push to the limit and they all put a smile on my face :thumbsup:

thebigjimsho
04-07-13, 11:22 AM
BMW 2002.

:coffee:

Chris Cornett
04-07-13, 11:31 AM
I had a Ford Contour SVT that was a blast to drive with the gearing and a 7k redline.

Jesda
04-07-13, 12:38 PM
As some of the cars in this thread suggest, for a street vehicle, you can make just about ANYTHING fun to drive - it's all about how you drive it. Pushing the limits of anything is always amusing (in fact, when just talking about driving on the street, I find less capable cars more fun when pushed to the limits). However, even a Miata or 3 series BMW aren't much fun if you are driving them "normally". Then they are just another car.

If you want excitement behind the wheel, you have to create it. The car doesn't inherently provide it.

Even in routine driving, the Miata's slick shifter, light clutch, and lack of noise isolation is a hoot. You don't have to push it to enjoy it at all because it provides tons of feedback at low speeds.

96Fleetwood
04-07-13, 01:04 PM
BMW 2002.

:coffee:

Tii

:thumbsup:

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 01:47 PM
Even in routine driving, the Miata's slick shifter, light clutch, and lack of noise isolation is a hoot. You don't have to push it to enjoy it at all because it provides tons of feedback at low speeds. true, but perhaps we see this differently. I saw the main point as Chad asking for "thrill", which I see differently than "enjoy"... The driver creates the thrilling experience, in my opinion. My lowly Ford Escort had a light clutch, heavy steering, and didn't have much in the way of noise isolation, and always made it feel like you were going faster than you really were...but it wasn't an enjoyable car. It was very thrilling, however, depending on how I drove it, as the car's limits were easily achievable without a track or high speed.

truckinman
04-07-13, 02:06 PM
I actually enjoy our 05 Saturn ION level 3. It's got some sporty characteristics when driving it. Not really quick by any means, yet not to slow either, but just fun to drive.

The Kia Forte is actually a fun car to drive with a decent road feel.

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The 93 ford T-bird 3.8 I had in high school. That 3.8 V6 with 140 hp was TERRIBLY under powered, but with its quick light steering, made it possible to whip it around really fast. Lol

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Another I just thought of, although this one was kinda boarder line fast, my 03 Mitsubishi Eclipse GTS with its 5 speed manual. Handled great. And with 210 hp in that little car, made it kinda fast/quick too tho. Had it to 130 once and was still climbing.

Jesda
04-07-13, 02:21 PM
The E39 528i is quietly becoming known as the E39 to have for sporty driving. It isn't quick but rack and pinion steering and less weight make it quite a sport sedan if you get the manual.

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true, but perhaps we see this differently. I saw the main point as Chad asking for "thrill", which I see differently than "enjoy"... The driver creates the thrilling experience, in my opinion. My lowly Ford Escort had a light clutch, heavy steering, and didn't have much in the way of noise isolation, and always made it feel like you were going faster than you really were...but it wasn't an enjoyable car. It was very thrilling, however, depending on how I drove it, as the car's limits were easily achievable without a track or high speed.

You're over thinking this sh*t

HAZZARDJOHN
04-07-13, 02:40 PM
I drove a car once with a section of frame rusted out so that the front clip would turn with the steering wheel. That was thrilling and slow!

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 03:13 PM
You're over thinking this sh*t

You may consider ceasing the the weekends entailing the beanbag chair, cheetos, armpit sweat stains, and back-to-back Dr. Phil marathons. They aren't doing well for you. Your concern is of no value to me at this time.

orconn
04-07-13, 04:27 PM
^^^ Drew you really are an "asshat!" Fun to drive means it puts a smile on your face and a fondeness in your memory bank. If you have to have huge horsepower to get any "fun" out of driving or your definition requires your ass to pucker in fear ...... then I would suggest you are not a "driver" but merely a "pedal pusher" .... whose enjoyment of a car is tied to what will it do with an automatic transmission!

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 04:33 PM
^^^ Drew you really are an "asshat!"

Perhaps, but you could be overthinking that sh*t!


Fun to drive means it puts a smile on your face and a fondeness in your memory bank.

Oh yes, I concur, which is why I maintain that anything could fit the category. Small car, large car, slow car, fast car, pickup, farm tractor, garden tractor, bicycle...


If you have to have huge horsepower to get any "fun" out of driving or requires your ass to pucker in fear ...... then I would suggest you are not a "driver" but merely a "pedal pusher" ....

Yes! Once again, we agree! Your support is surprising

Cadillac Kid03
04-07-13, 04:45 PM
Drove my buddy's Mazda 3 with that stupid fake man/Auto trans a few weeks back. Pretty fun with only 150hp if that. The sound that little V4 put out was badass and i would not mind driving that and getting 32MPG.

orconn
04-07-13, 05:28 PM
Aside from a few 60's cars mentioned above the company that really made "fun to drive" inexpensive cars available to young enthusiasts was Volkswagen with their wonderful GTI variations of the humble Rabbit (later Golf). These cars, while only having 90 HP under the hood, made driving really fun with the very good 5 speed gear boxes, there precise un-powered steering, quick acceleration (while not fast by even the standards of the early eighties was quick and fun in these light well handling cars), combined with good handling for their day suspensions and topped off with supportive, yet comfortable driver's and passenger's seats and the ability to cruise all day well above the posted speed limits and fun for dicing it up in traffic and on the twisties! All of this combined to make one of the most "fun" to drive cars.

Our 1983 VW Scirocco (just a Rabbit/Golf) with a custom (yeah, right) body by Karmann was shear delight to drive, so much so that it was the car of choice for use on weekends, despite more luxurious and costly choices being available!

CadillacLuke24
04-07-13, 06:39 PM
I haven't driven many cars, so I don't have a lot of experience.

When I was ten driving the ol' Suburban around the block was a freaking blast.

Racing through the twisties north of town in the DeVille is a lot of fun too.

Cruisin' down the highway with the cruise set at 65, enjoying the scenery and the glass smooth ride is fun too.

If I had to pick a fun car, my mom's VW bug would be a fun slower car. Handles really well.

greencadillacmatt
04-07-13, 06:50 PM
I loved my little '97 Cavalier 4-door. It had the 2.4 Dual Quad, made only 150 HP, and felt like a little go-cart. It was a blast, despite the fact that it was NOT a fast car by any means. It was fun in the winter too, since it had a hand brake instead of a foot brake. It was just so chuckable around snowy streets and corners.

Also, the '92 Bronco I had has been the second most fun vehicle I've ever owned. Second only to my Challenger, and I enjoyed them in completely different ways. The Bronco was big, had a stupid-loud glasspack exhaust on it, and it sat up high with chunky tires. It had the 351 V8 which was torquey, but not fast at all. You could even take the top off of it, which was a riot in the summer. I hope to have another one some day.

Jesda
04-07-13, 08:01 PM
You may consider ceasing the the weekends entailing the beanbag chair, cheetos, armpit sweat stains, and back-to-back Dr. Phil marathons. They aren't doing well for you. Your concern is of no value to me at this time.

You're butthurt over -that-? Really?


You're more sensitive than a touch screen.

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Drove my buddy's Mazda 3 with that stupid fake man/Auto trans a few weeks back. Pretty fun with only 150hp if that. The sound that little V4 put out was badass and i would not mind driving that and getting 32MPG.

Add to that list the 5-speed Mazda MX6 and Ford Probe GT. Light and lively with slick shifters and quick reflexes. I believe my 626 (same chassis as MX6) had only 120hp. Thanks to its small size and low weight it felt gutsier than it was and carved corners beautifully. It even cruised interstates with ease.

truckinman
04-07-13, 08:27 PM
Drove my buddy's Mazda 3 with that stupid fake man/Auto trans a few weeks back. Pretty fun with only 150hp if that. The sound that little V4 put out was badass and i would not mind driving that and getting 32MPG.

I test drove a 2011 Mazda 3 2.5 S with the 6 speed true manual. And that was EXTREMELY fun to drive. I think that one was rated at nearly 170 hp. First gear was very torque. But LOTS of torque steer all thru first bc of it. But it truest was a "not so fast" drivers car. Almost bought it I liked it so much. This was just a few months back too.

Hoosier Daddy
04-07-13, 08:29 PM
You're butthurt over -that-? Really?

You're more sensitive than a touch screen.
No need to drag CUE into this.

Stingroo
04-07-13, 08:38 PM
RE: 626

The '93 929 we had was also a fun to drive car for its size. Many memories of pushing that thing at 120-130mph and it felt quite planted for what it was. The 18" wheels/tires from an RX8 probably helped a bit, though.

It was also pretty torquey for a V6. Easy to break loose (they're RWD) and quicker than you might think. There was this section of road by our house that led to the highway with plenty of twisties, and I always enjoyed going that way in that car.

I miss it, but the hard-to-find and expensive parts eventually killed it. It was easy to work on, though (surprisingly).

cadillac kevin
04-07-13, 08:54 PM
Another fun car I had was my 91 cutlass custom cruiser (ciera wagon). with the 3300 it did 0-60 in 7.5-8 second range, and it handled pretty well (suspension was firm in corners, and the car felt well planted and not at all floaty at higher speeds). I pushed it really hard on some curvy roads and never had problems with the back end losing traction/ walking out like alot of fwd cars. It was a great sleeper for eating ricers. No one expected a blue and woodgrain wagon with wire hubcaps to keep up with their jap "hot rod" (much less blow its doors off)

Cadillac Kid03
04-07-13, 08:59 PM
I test drove a 2011 Mazda 3 2.5 S with the 6 speed true manual. And that was EXTREMELY fun to drive. I think that one was rated at nearly 170 hp. First gear was very torque. But LOTS of torque steer all thru first bc of it. But it truest was a "not so fast" drivers car. Almost bought it I liked it so much. This was just a few months back too.Ah you drove the S model his was i don't know but had the skyactiv motor. Pretty nice little car and he was going too trade his in note his is a 2012 5K miles for a 06 Volvo SUV with 79K i laughed all the way home about it.

EChas3
04-07-13, 09:52 PM
About half a century ago, my Grandad put me in his lap to steer his '55 Chevy pickup. I might have been 6 years old. We drove about 20 miles per hour. What could have been more fun for either of us?

basscatt
04-07-13, 10:05 PM
kit car - based off the 1980 Pinto -

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRUL9ruMvvkqgCvh4OifHmvixdLIHaFP Q-1jUwDRg1RNE7flG4JFw

truckinman
04-07-13, 10:30 PM
Ah you drove the S model his was i don't know but had the skyactiv motor. Pretty nice little car and he was going too trade his in note his is a 2012 5K miles for a 06 Volvo SUV with 79K i laughed all the way home about it.

Oh yea I forgot to mention it was the S model. Fully loaded to. Nav, Bose, keyless start. The works

rodnok01
04-07-13, 10:36 PM
YUGO baby.. what other car can you wreck & be out 200 bucks? Guy at work had one, it was like a slightly bigger gokart. I'd use the park brake and slide that little bastard all over. he was stupid enough to let me borrow it.

Cadillac Kid03
04-07-13, 10:36 PM
Oh yea I forgot to mention it was the S model. Fully loaded to. Nav, Bose, keyless start. The worksSounds like a nice car man his has the Bose system no Navi, Keyless start but has a sunroof in pearl white. Great car even tho i bust his balls about driving a Mazda.

gdwriter
04-07-13, 10:42 PM
No need to drag CUE into this.Dammit; you beat me to it.

Jesda
04-07-13, 10:46 PM
YUGO baby.. what other car can you wreck & be out 200 bucks? Guy at work had one, it was like a slightly bigger gokart. I'd use the park brake and slide that little bastard all over. he was stupid enough to let me borrow it.

Sounds like the older Corollas (pre-1998). They had independent suspension, weighed nothing, and tracked straight and true down the highway. You could hoon and thrash them day in and day out without worry.

If you weren't too concerned with fuel economy, it could turn a routine commute into a slow-poke road rally. :)

basscatt
04-07-13, 10:50 PM
YUGO baby.. what other car can you wreck & be out 200 bucks? Guy at work had one, it was like a slightly bigger gokart. I'd use the park brake and slide that little bastard all over. he was stupid enough to let me borrow it.
--------------------------
driftin' with a yugo - yee-ha

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7IH3EesV_Yn8cjpqbm9GPxEUxgzfPr 3TGIiqXKCcP389QNkeJ

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 11:00 PM
You're butthurt over -that-? Really?


You're more sensitive than a touch screen. Totally - just a delicate little flower, so go easy on me bro

Jesda
04-07-13, 11:15 PM
Totally - just a delicate little flower, so go easy on me bro

You seem upset.

Calm down.

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--------------------------
driftin' with a yugo - yee-ha

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7IH3EesV_Yn8cjpqbm9GPxEUxgzfPr 3TGIiqXKCcP389QNkeJ

Supposedly, the later versions sold in the EU and Russia/Asia got better and better over time. Top Gear's Tiff Needell even called the power delivery "adequate"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehntlCm8go

rodnok01
04-07-13, 11:44 PM
The only car better to beat relentlessly was a rental I got in AZ years ago. Some little hoopie POS that I could adjust the pass mirror manually without reaching :)
I wish I could remember what it was but if the pass didn't lean out the window when sliding though a right turn it felt like it would roll. Suspension was stiff as hell, tried my best to bottom it out with no success. Gravel lots were a blast during lunch. Think we wore the brakes out in a month, too bad it was an auto trans. Even being such a POS it had good handling and quick off the line and would go almost 70 on the eway.

truckinman
04-07-13, 11:49 PM
Sounds like a nice car man his has the Bose system no Navi, Keyless start but has a sunroof in pearl white. Great car even tho i bust his balls about driving a Mazda.

I drove its bigger brother too. The Mazda 6 S with the V6. That was a truly fast car tho. Lol. Something like 273 hp or so. But was an auto so I liked the 3 I drove more.

bigm57ict
04-08-13, 12:22 PM
It seems like most people here are still tying "fun" to performance.

To me, another type of "fun" car to drive would be a '70's Land Yacht. I've owned a few, and to me, it's fun to drive around in a large car with that huge, square hood out in front, stand-up hood ornament leading the way. Effortless power steering, and suspension that floats down the road, completely isolating you from all bumps and vibrations.

Something like this:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7031/6789011843_d3534c8c4c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/that_chrysler_guy/6789011843/)
1976 Lincoln Continental (http://www.flickr.com/photos/that_chrysler_guy/6789011843/) by That Hartford Guy (http://www.flickr.com/people/that_chrysler_guy/), on Flickr

cadillac kevin
04-08-13, 12:35 PM
I got to drive a 76 gran ville...I much prefer the downsized GM cars...better build quality and easier to drive. The gran ville was like piloting a car the size of a tour bus. It did have effortless power though, which is quite nice. I think if the car had been in better shape, I would have enjoyed driving it more.

Stoneage_Caddy
04-08-13, 06:57 PM
The old Neon ACR was great , im sure they are all dead now
Dodge Shadows were fun , never drove the 3.0 v6 with the 5 speed tho (plymouth called it a duster) , just drove the snot out of the turbos
the 1991 era Sentra SER was about the best fun tho , the 91-96 G20 was great too , but it had this snap oversteer issue at the limit , odd for a FWD car
and ANY late 80s early 90 golf

Im having a great time with my little frontier tho .... im sure it has an engine , just not sure what it does , i think it just makes noise....but its small , doesnt care if its on pavement or not, and has a place to put my nighthawk if it breaks down ....I leave a old motorcycle tire in the bed and that holds a 24 pack of beer dead still for the ride home ....as with a passenger there is no room inside the cab for such nonsense....

Its simple motoring at its best , no frills , nothing to break , overbuilt and underpowered ....just wish it had cruise controll

Jesda
04-08-13, 07:17 PM
Personally I wouldn't call an old domestic luxury car fun but I could call it highly pleasing and enjoyable.


But everyone gets their kicks in their own way. :)

Aron9000
04-08-13, 07:57 PM
Acura RSX with the base engine. I never knew a FWD car could handle that well, the steering is so direct and immediate, it doesn't understeer like a pig, the engine makes cool noises, and the shifter is just perfect. Only downsides is the road noise and the ride is especially brutal. The base motor has 160hp, I've never driven the Type S with the 200hp, rev it to the moon motor. Power felt more than adequate for the base car, I'm not sure if the extra 40hp would be worth tripling your insurance premium with the type S(yes certain model Hondas cost just as much as a v8 fbody for young drivers)

truckinman
04-08-13, 08:27 PM
Acura RSX with the base engine. I never knew a FWD car could handle that well, the steering is so direct and immediate, it doesn't understeer like a pig, the engine makes cool noises, and the shifter is just perfect. Only downsides is the road noise and the ride is especially brutal. The base motor has 160hp, I've never driven the Type S with the 200hp, rev it to the moon motor. Power felt more than adequate for the base car, I'm not sure if the extra 40hp would be worth tripling your insurance premium with the type S(yes certain model Hondas cost just as much as a v8 fbody for young drivers)

40 hp in a car that light is a pretty significant gain. I've heard the S is pretty damn quick.

thebigjimsho
04-09-13, 11:52 AM
true, but perhaps we see this differently. I saw the main point as Chad asking for "thrill", which I see differently than "enjoy"... The driver creates the thrilling experience, in my opinion. My lowly Ford Escort had a light clutch, heavy steering, and didn't have much in the way of noise isolation, and always made it feel like you were going faster than you really were...but it wasn't an enjoyable car. It was very thrilling, however, depending on how I drove it, as the car's limits were easily achievable without a track or high speed.

Try an Escort LXe of '92/'93 vintage. That was a very fun car with throttle off oversteer from the factory...[COLOR="Silver"]

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The Pod, aka Suzuki Swift GTI...

thebigjimsho
04-09-13, 01:10 PM
Tii

:thumbsup:

I'd rather a ti to be honest...

Kev
04-09-13, 01:31 PM
I've found a lot of cars and trucks 'fun' to drive (maybe not thrilling, but fun) that aren't fast or powerful, until I had to drive them all the time. Then they'd become old and tedious.

My first car, '67 VW Bug, was fun. It was easy to drive, handled decently around town. Had a distinct sound with the stock mufflers.

Any of the early Mazdas with rotary engines were fun to drive, especially with their ability to rev up to 8K and beyond without hurting the engine. (no power up there, but they would wind up like nobody's business!)

Most of the mid 60's American full size cars had a certain quality to them, a feel that is missing in contemporary models. Looking back, they were fun and enjoyable to drive in a classic sense.

Driving large deisel powered trucks with 2 speed differentials are fun unless you have to do it for a living!

I remember test driving one of the first VW Rabbits, it was very nimble and accelerated nicely for a little 4 banger.

My ugly old '64/65/68 short bed, step side Chevy pickup with 327, M-21 and Naugahyde bench seat was a lot of fun to drive! Especially before the seat belt laws. I'd grease the seat up with ArmorAll, my girlfriend would get in the passenger side, I'd whip the wheel to the right and back making her slide right up next to me! (that was a lot of fun!) :D

Jesda
04-09-13, 06:41 PM
I always thought the Escort wagons were a hoot, even when equipped with automatics. The hatchbacks were lighter and nimbler but there was something amusing about beating on an eager car with tons of cargo volume.


[I was 16. It was a rental. I won't say anything beyond that.]



Small older pickups are always a blast, especially with manual transmissions. There's something pleasingly agricultural about their stoutness and lack of noise and road isolation.

truckinman
04-09-13, 07:51 PM
I always thought the Escort wagons were a hoot, even when equipped with automatics. The hatchbacks were lighter and nimbler but there was something amusing about beating on an eager car with tons of cargo volume.



Small older pickups are always a blast, especially with manual transmissions. There's something pleasingly agricultural about their stoutness and lack of noise and road isolation.

I agree bout the small older trucks. My work has a 98 S10 4 cyl 5 spd short bed that they let me drive when I'm up there having my semi worked on, and it's actually pretty fun. Slow as HELL but fun to fly thru the gears in.

Aron9000
04-09-13, 08:53 PM
The 2wd Toyota trucks are fun to slide around and bang gears in. They don't handle worth a crap with 14" tires and 60%+ of the weight in the front, but they're small and light. The small and light factor makes them a riot to slide around in when it snows, as sliding around in a 5000+lb truck, well its a lot harder to stop and control a slide than a 2500lb truck.

orconn
04-09-13, 09:27 PM
I have written about my "fun" experience driving a 1960 Ford Falcon pickup with a three speed manual up Angeles Crest Highway. Memories of that clapped out little pickup truck still put a smile on my face!

Stoneage_Caddy
04-10-13, 11:09 PM
what could be more fun then a falcon pickup ?
im sure not any miata could match that ....a little 260 v8 and a 4 speed would make one hell of a burnout machine

well at least i dont feel as crazy that i love my little truck ...its no deville , but it makes me smile just looking at its crosseyed face ...it tried so hard to grow up to be a titan but broccoli was just too damned gross