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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys talk me out of it.

I have an opportunity to buy my fiancee's Fiat 500L, which I'll probably let my son drive and then take his older Honda CRV. Here's what's got me interested.

There's an S2000 on the Subaru lot year 2000 89K miles, but looks in great shape. Has been minimally blacked out and debadged, and has awesome aftermarket wheels.

So the wheeler-dealer in me thinks, trade the WRX in for the S2000. (WRX has 40K miles.) Then I have a summer car that I don't have to drive too many miles and a winter car (CRV).

I did exactly the same thing about 5 years ago when I got my Z4--also paid about $15K for 80K miles. But it was only 8 years old at the time.

I haven't test-driven it or gotten inside it, but the pics look pristine. The only kicker is the price. $15K. Supposedly these have been appreciating in price recently as they approach collector status. They are also highly thought of for their performance and handling...0-60 in 5.7 seconds, which was pretty awesome in 2000.

Anyway, I probably won't do it, just mulling it around. Unfortunately, I would have to get rid of the WRX, but will look again with the 2020 redesign (trade in the CRV).
 

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I don’t know anyone who bought an s2000 and thought “man I wish I didn’t do this”.

There are a ton of high mileage ones out there and under 100k on the clock wouldn’t even make me stop to think. I would just get a good look at the underbody. I’m seeing more damaged ones being rebuilt off the books to retain value.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Haha it's a little old lady who did no modding or tracking...

I know the sales guy very well (sold me my WRX), and I trust he won't steer me wrong. I may test it on Friday.

I'm having a hard time finding anything bad about this car on the internet, which makes me a little nervous, but we'll see how she looks/rides in person.

The pricing seems solid. I can't find any decent S2000's with less than 100K miles for much less than this.

Coincidentally, a colleague told me about his aunt's Miata hardtop convertible that she may be selling, so maybe this will be a possibility as well. It has less than 20K miles on it.
 

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S2000s are great cars for a weekender. You rev the piss out of them and they handle fantastically.

Just definitely a weekend thing considering the space is nil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am planning to look at a 2015 Miata Club (hardtop convertible) and the 2000 Honda S-2000.

I am really keen on the Miata right now--low mileage, not a whole lot more than the Honda, but much better appointed and would feel more comfortable driving year-round except in snow (will have an older CRV for that).
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I test drove the Miata Club today. It was nice, and I flirted with making a deal with them, but in the end decided to hold off. It was in great condition inside and out and drove as I thought it would. A little subdued compared to the WRX, but not surprising. The hardtop was super-cool. The seat was not especially comfortable for me, and the dated interior and lack of a decent entertainment center (no Bluetooth?!?) was disappointing.

What did catch my attention though was the 2018 Miatas. I sat in one and found it to be much more comfortable with a more refined interior than the 2015. Of course, at least $10,000 more...

What I realized today though was that I have bought cars virtually all of my life. Many times when I sell or trade in, despite a reasonable down-payment and owning the car for awhile, I have virtually no equity. (Yes I know, put a lot down, short term of loan, pay extra if you can...) And the hefty Nebraska vehicle tax with purchase penalizes buying more than leasing (you amortize the tax with leasing).

So I have been thinking of leasing a new Miata for virtually the same monthly payment as buying, much less money down, and a better initial tax/registration situation. And in 3 years I can turn it over and move on or buy it if I want.

So unless something dramatic comes up, I may be rocking a 2018 DGM Miata Club by the end of the week.

Oh, did I mention I'm buying my fiancee's 2013 Fiat 500L as a winter car? It's complicated...

Oh, and I'm not really liking the S2000 anymore. The fairly high mileage (90K miles) and lack of amenities in a daily driver 9-10 months of the year is probably too big a cross to bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you truly understand how a leased vehicle works?
LOL I'm not a financial illiterate...

Of course, but if one doesn't pay a lot up front on a loan and sells/trades the car in a couple of years, there's no benefit to buying--might as well have leased the car. The average length of a car loan these days is over 60 months. Therefore most people will not be above water after 2 or 3 years.

I have bought probably 20+ cars over the years and have only leased once. Generally I buy to keep it a long time, but in the last few years for one reason or another (including car being stolen and totaled) I have had to get a new car more frequently.

If I got a convertible, I'm not sure I would keep it more than 3 years, therefore to me leasing makes some sense.

Anyway, don't want to go further down that rabbithole, but what do you think of the cars? Any thoughts on '00 S2000, '15 Miata hardtop or '18 Miata ragtop?
 

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Doctor Jeff said:
LOL I'm not a financial illiterate...

Of course, but if one doesn't pay a lot up front on a loan and sells/trades the car in a couple of years, there's no benefit to buying--might as well have leased the car. The average length of a car loan these days is over 60 months. Therefore most people will not be above water after 2 or 3 years.

I have bought probably 20+ cars over the years and have only leased once. Generally I buy to keep it a long time, but in the last few years for one reason or another (including car being stolen and totaled) I have had to get a new car more frequently.

If I got a convertible, I'm not sure I would keep it more than 3 years, therefore to me leasing makes some sense.

Anyway, don't want to go further down that rabbithole, but what do you think of the cars? Any thoughts on '00 S2000, '15 Miata hardtop or '18 Miata ragtop?
A lease can be beneficial to the consumer, if they're looking to turn over vehicles in a manner that maintains them under bumper-to-bumper warranty. It's a contract between lending company and the consumer that you pay $XXX/monthly to use the vehicle. At the end of the lease, they expect the vehicle will be worth $XX,XXX; that's your buyout.

If the vehicle is worth about what they expected at the start of your lease, turn the vehicle over to them (let THEM get what the vehicle "should be worth"), and initiate another lease/purchase. If the vehicle TANKS in value (e.g., VW DieselGate), the manufacturer is on the hook, not the buyer (although, I think there was some incentive for the VW DieselGate scandal I referenced earlier), but the concept is the same.

I leased both my Subaru and my Tacoma. At the lease expiration on the Subaru, my vehicle was worth significantly more money than my buyout (~$5K); I'd have been an idiot to trade the vehicle in. I expect the same (vehicle is worth more than the buyout, albeit maybe not $5K) with my Tacoma.

As long as you're comfortable making a car payment, a lease is a good option if you want the security of a vehicle that you will only have to pay for standard maintenance (on my Tacoma, all maintenance was covered until this month).

I don't believe the lease-refinance plan is a good one for people who are looking to keep their payment down (e.g., lease a vehicle with intention of buying it down the road), but in some instances, you can still maintain positive equity. I also don't necessarily adhere to adage that buying property is always advantageous vs renting.


I have a fun car that I can modify as I see fit, and break/fix accordingly. I have another vehicle that is under warranty, so I don't have to worry about covering expenses. I like that plan.
 

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Only one thought on the S2000 . . . even if the mileage is relatively low it's still an 18 year old car. Me, I would have no issues if it was purely for play, but I wouldn't want it to be my daily commuter (even if it is a Honda with their legendary reliability.) That said, I like the looks of all of your choices . . . Miata, WRX and S2000.
 

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s2000 all day.

Handling is superb. With some suspension mods, you'd be hard pressed to find much that can beat it on the track (not drag)

Cheap parts, Honda is extremely easy to work on, and you can make them pretty fast with a couple thousand.

The only downside is this model is an AP1, I would go with AP2. (model 2004+) Faster, better interior, better suspension, better body style, more rare. 240 BHP in a chassis that is 2700lb's.
 
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