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mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/1/11 10:06 a.m.

I would not call the S54 roadster more complicated than a Turbocharged Miata. Aside from the VANOS, it is just a straight Six engine with throttlebodies.. VERY simple

nderwater
nderwater Dork
8/1/11 10:09 a.m.

Everything about a modern BMW is complicated and expensive to replace, from electronics to interior trim to body work ;)

kazoospec
kazoospec Reader
8/1/11 10:42 a.m.

If you are really thinking of spending $20K, PERSONALLY, I don't think I'd spend it on a Boxster. Knowing the service history is great, but from your post, you seem to know its got other maintenance issues coming down the pipe, and it sounds like the $20K is really pushing the envelope on what you're willing to spend. This equals ownership stress, in my opinion, which I think we'd all agree isn't what you're after in a third car. At least here in Michigan, 75%-80% of that would get you a very nice S2000 and leave you some $ left over for any unforeseen maintenance/tires/upgrades/etc.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/1/11 10:52 a.m.
nderwater wrote: Everything about a modern BMW is complicated and expensive to replace, from electronics to interior trim to body work ;)

again, that depends on how much you are willing to do yourself. Body work is body work.. it is ALL very expensive to farm out.

Interior bits can be found on ebay for cheap.

Electronics are cheaper than Vdubs (less goes wrong)

The engines, transmission, and diffs are bulletproof.. and if you do not mind getting your hands dirty to replace the few bushings.. so are the suspensions

nderwater
nderwater Dork
8/1/11 11:34 a.m.

I've owned 5 BMWs and 2 Miatas. Everything--and I mean everything--is simpler, cheaper and easier to DIY on the Miatas. In fact, my E36 M3 is sitting in my garage right now - why? because it requires maintenance and repair that's significantly more expensive than it would on my Miata. It's a fun car though, whenever the hammer's down.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/1/11 12:36 p.m.

yes.. but the question was asked what would be less maintance.. a turbo Miata or an S54 Roadster... all those extra spinning parts and tubes makes for a much more complicated car that requires more indepth maintance than a NA Straight 6.

And honestly, I DD a 318ti... aside from the time I ripped the exhaust off of the bottom of the car due to an unmarked foot deep drop off onto the shoulder of the highway.. it has never been off the road for more than a day or required more work than I could do myself.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Reader
8/1/11 12:46 p.m.

Another vote for the S2000, a friend bought one last year and it is an amazing car. It is beautiful, faster than a non-S 986 Boxster, comfortable, and has the reliability and ease of ownership of an Accord. The only car in this general class I'd rather drive is a an Elise.

That said, when I can afford a $20k 'fun' car it will be a Corvette.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
8/1/11 12:53 p.m.

Get the Boxster. Especially if you know the history. Enjoy.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
8/1/11 1:14 p.m.

In reply to ShadowSix:

i'd be worried about oil consumption on the F20/F22, and the fact that apparently they're really hard to rebuild correctly. i'd love one but that stuff would keep me up at night.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/1/11 1:17 p.m.
ShadowSix wrote: Another vote for the S2000, a friend bought one last year and it is an amazing car. It is beautiful, faster than a non-S 986 Boxster, comfortable, and has the reliability and ease of ownership of an Accord. The only car in this general class I'd rather drive is a an Elise. That said, when I can afford a $20k 'fun' car it will be a Corvette.

If I were to buy a modern roadster.. the S2000 would be at the top of the list

TorqueNut
TorqueNut New Reader
8/1/11 10:43 p.m.

As folks have suggested, I'm looking at alternative canidates. In my area, even 10 year old S2000's are going for $16-18K. I plan to check a few out tomorrow after work.

I did drive a Boxster this evening (my brother's car is in another state). Loved that engine sound

asterisk
asterisk New Reader
8/1/11 11:19 p.m.
TorqueNut wrote: In my area, even 10 year old S2000's are going for $16-18K.

I'm guessing that's the summer tax. In my area this winter '06s were just getting below 20k but now people are asking for +23k.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
8/2/11 12:25 a.m.
TorqueNut wrote: As folks have suggested, I'm looking at alternative canidates. In my area, even 10 year old S2000's are going for $16-18K. I plan to check a few out tomorrow after work. I did drive a Boxster this evening (my brother's car is in another state). Loved that engine sound

Just do it

M030
M030 HalfDork
8/2/11 5:51 a.m.

I'm in the car business and own a base model Boxster. Every time I drive a 99+ Miata, I wonder why I bother with the high maintenance (cost) Porsche. The Miata is more fun to drive and a whole lot cheaper to own.

TorqueNut
TorqueNut New Reader
8/2/11 9:32 a.m.
M030 wrote: I'm in the car business and own a base model Boxster. Every time I drive a 99+ Miata, I wonder why I bother with the high maintenance (cost) Porsche. The Miata is more fun to drive and a whole lot cheaper to own.

Interesting.... I just drove my Miata for the first time in a month, and with the Boxster test drive still fresh in my mind I was ready to toss the keys into the bushes and walk home from work because of how stiff the suspension is on this car. Time to also investigate suspension changes (FCM, Flyin Miata, etc).

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
8/2/11 10:08 a.m.

There is a lot of Miata kool-aid in this thread but if you drove the Boxster at all you already know which way you are going on this.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
8/2/11 11:15 a.m.
ShadowSix wrote: Another vote for the S2000, a friend bought one last year and it is an amazing car. It is beautiful, faster than a non-S 986 Boxster, comfortable, and has the reliability and ease of ownership of an Accord. The only car in this general class I'd rather drive is a an Elise. That said, when I can afford a $20k 'fun' car it will be a Corvette.

The S2000 just isn't any fun as a DD. A backroads, week-end, fun car? Sure. But getting hammered off of every stop light by minivans and Tahoes, gets old very quickly.

20k? performance 2 seater? Corvette by a country mile.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
8/2/11 11:17 a.m.
forzav12 wrote:
ShadowSix wrote: Another vote for the S2000, a friend bought one last year and it is an amazing car. It is beautiful, faster than a non-S 986 Boxster, comfortable, and has the reliability and ease of ownership of an Accord. The only car in this general class I'd rather drive is a an Elise. That said, when I can afford a $20k 'fun' car it will be a Corvette.

The S2000 just isn't any fun as a DD. A backroads, week-end, fun car? Sure. But getting hammered off of every stop light by minivans and Tahoes, gets old very quickly.

20k? performance 2 seater? Corvette by a country mile.

Having driven a few of these.... i always find these statements to be wildly exaggerated. Even though you aren't in peak power driving around town, you'll find yourself accelerating faster than most anyone else in traffic driving sanely if you shift at 4000rpms, which is nothing for this motor. Torque by gearing.

Yeah, you shift a lot, but that's fun, right?

nderwater
nderwater Dork
8/2/11 11:44 a.m.

Ditto that. I was never hammered by anything but the occasional sports car - in my NA Miata. An S2000 is quicker than an RX-8, and much quicker than a stock Miata, so why the hate?

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
8/2/11 11:48 a.m.
nderwater wrote: Ditto that. I was never hammered by anything but the occasional sports car - in my NA Miata. An S2000 is quicker than an RX-8, and much quicker than a stock Miata, so why the hate?

Which brings me to another musing.... RX8 vs. S2000 stock vs, stock is pretty much a driver's race. Yet people won't stop crying about how the RX8 is ridiculously slow, but rarely do you hear the same about the S2000.

It's all about perception and how it clouds judgement.

An S2000 shifting right before Vtec engages is still faster than any stock miata (save MSM) going balls out, i think. Pretty interesting, if you ask me.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 HalfDork
8/2/11 11:50 a.m.

In reply to TorqueNut:

I put stiffer (lower) springs and mazdaspeed shocks on my 99 miata and I loved the ride.

As I imagine that Seattle roads can not be any worse then Cleveland Ohio roads, you either must have something wrong with your car or you are more sensitive. If your shocks came on the car then they are 12 years old and may be the problem. Go test drive another NB Miata and see how the ride feels, you may just need new shocks to fall back in love with your Miata.

nderwater
nderwater Dork
8/2/11 11:57 a.m.

I've got 350 lb / 275 lb springs on my '99 Miata (roughly 3x the stock rates) and the ride is firm, but still acceptable for a daily driver. Unless the OP really wants another car, I'd recommend he save a ton of cash and just get a set of Koni's for his current car.

Vigo
Vigo Dork
8/2/11 12:04 p.m.
people won't stop crying about how the RX8 is ridiculously slow, but rarely do you hear the same about the S2000.

Yeah, it's amazing how the difference between good enough and too damn slow is 3-5mph trap. The S2000 is noticeably faster than the rx8 over a long run but most people racing from a light would let out before getting there.

I think the main problem with the rx8 speed is that it followed the FD rx-7. Nobody would want to follow that act.

dculberson
dculberson HalfDork
8/2/11 2:39 p.m.

I was very happy with the ride quality and handling of my '99 Miata after I swapped out the factory shocks for a set of KYB AGX adjustable shocks. I left them all the way soft. Rode great, handled great for a daily driver.

You'll probably have to replace the sway bar end links - after over 10 years of being exposed to rain and salt they're too frozen for the chintzy attachment method to loosen them up. I cut mine off and used aftermarket links.

The base model shocks wear out surprisingly fast, ie less than 40k miles, but your sport suspension has Bilsteins so they're probably not completely shot. Just too firm for comfort.

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