vincephan
vincephan None
Dec. 24, 2010 1:19 a.m.

I'm currently the owner of a 2005 RX8. It's a great car, no doubt about it, however, I'm a college student on a budget and the gas mileage is starting the kill me. I've upgraded the exhaust system and was expecting a huge bump in performance and I didn't get what I was used to. (I grew up around a B5 Audi S4 and Subarus, go figure)

I bought the car with the intention of doing some autocross competitions with it, however, I quickly realized that it's extremely difficult to do without a lot of money. I know that from a strict performance standpoint, the RX8 is a much more proper sports car than the WRX but...

I'm falling out of love with the RX8. It's a little annoying to have to drive the RX8 to the limit just for it to move. The RX8's handling is wasted on the streets. Despite the fact it IS very fun to drive, I'm starting to think the WRX is a better car for me... however, I might be wrong.

Anyone with insight, PLEASE offer some input. Thank you.

nderwater HalfDork
Dec. 24, 2010 2:07 a.m.

I really don't think you're going to see significant cost savings in moving from an RX-8 to a WRX. I've you've driven a WRX and loved it and are looking for an excuse to buy one, go for it. But if you really are looking to slash your costs, you need to look for an inexpensive, reliable used car which you can pay for in cash and only keep liability coverage on. There's a bunch of competitive autocross cars which qualify.

vincephan
vincephan New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 2:23 a.m.

Hmm. If that's the case... mind listing a few? I want something fun, cheap, reliable, with some room for aftermarket modifications, nothing too old as well.

griffin729 HalfDork
Dec. 24, 2010 3:27 a.m.

Depends on your definition of old, but I hear 89-90 Civic Si's are both good DD's and somewhat competitive. Though if you want to stick in the Subaru family, a GC chassis Impreza can get decent mileage with proper maintenance and driving. I deliver pizzas in mine and get consistently around 25mpg in my RS.

mpolans New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 5:00 a.m.

I'll be the first to say it: Miata.

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 7:51 a.m.

I test drove some STi's when looking for an Rx8 replacement. There was more power, but it really wasn't as much fun to drive. You definitely feel much more connected with the Rx8. The unfortunate fact is that the Rx8 is pretty well-tuned from the factory, so you can only expect like 10whp by replacing the cat with a midpipe. That's about it for NA gains. If you're a college student, you should just keep the Rx8 and deal with the gas mileage issue. Have you changed your plugs and coils? A healthy Rx8 will get mileage similar to a WRX (20-22.) You won't save any money unless you sell the Rx8 outright and buy a cheaper, older car. You have an awesome college car; enjoy it.

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 7:54 a.m.

Also, if you're driving the Rx8 at it's limit, you're going way to fast on public roads. A miata was kind of a disappointment after driving the Rx8. If he's disappointed with an Rx8, he will probably really hate a miata for the same reasons. Gas mileage on a miata isn't exactly good, and you're taking a big step down in components and comfort.

ST_ZX2 Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 7:59 a.m.
griffin729 wrote: I hear 89-90 Civic Si's are both good DD's and somewhat competitive.

That's just one of those nasty interwebz rumors.

wbjones Dork
Dec. 24, 2010 7:59 a.m.
vincephan wrote: Hmm. If that's the case... mind listing a few? I want something fun, cheap, reliable, with some room for aftermarket modifications, nothing too old as well.

the answer here is always Miata... I'm not in that camp but they do fit your question .. my answer is Honda... like the Miata they're fun, cheap, ultra-reliable, lots of room for as much after-market mods as you can afford... + they'll get you MUCH better gas milage (mid 20's vs mid 30's)

paul
paul Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 8:03 a.m.

Go miata or civic si...

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 8:22 a.m.

Not to be a dick, but if he's wanting more performance, I'm not sure that a Civic or Miata is the answer.

Ignorant SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:23 a.m.

Yeah.. Get rid of fancy car..

Purchase old civic or subaru beater. Drive it into things, drive over things.. puke in it.

Save extra money for laterz.

SVreX SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:32 a.m.

Neither the RX-8 nor the WRX are great college cars on a budget.

For pure fun factor, you can have just as much fun in a lot of cars. Miata, Honda, Yugo.

For fuel economy, the WRX and the RX-8 are at the BOTTOM of the list. Their purchase price is pretty steep too.

You didn't mention cost, but I'm betting you've got a car payment that you shouldn't have.

Since you've fallen out of love with the RX-8, take the opportunity to start over. Sell it, and buy a fun (but probably not so cool) starter car for CASH. How about a CRX?

While you are enjoying the CRX, keep making the same payments you are now making into your SAVINGS account for your next car. Keep the money you save on gas and insurance (since you won't need collision) and enjoy an extra movie or pizza now and then with your friends.

You will also have an increased fun factor watching your bank account grow.

By the time you wear out the CRX (or Miata, or other), you will be able to afford to buy your next fun buggy for CASH.

That is, of course, if you EVAR get tired of the CRX!

SVreX SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:36 a.m.
rotard wrote: Not to be a dick, but if he's wanting more performance, I'm not sure that a Civic or Miata is the answer.

I don't see that.

He said the performance of the 8 is wasted on the street, and that he's falling out of love with it. He also said he wanted after market upgrade potential. Both the Civic and the Miata fit this.

There have been plenty of Hondas and Miatas at the Challenge that would tear up the average 8 or Rex from a strict performance standpoint.

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 8:36 a.m.

IF he took out a loan on the Rx8, he's probably upside down, and will not be able to get what he owes on it. The value of these things have tanked. I bought my 06 in Dec. 2008 with 17k miles on it for $15k. He might be able to get $10k for his 05.

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 8:41 a.m.
SVreX wrote:
rotard wrote: Not to be a dick, but if he's wanting more performance, I'm not sure that a Civic or Miata is the answer.

I don't see that.

He said the performance of the 8 is wasted on the street, and that he's falling out of love with it. He also said he wanted after market upgrade potential. Both the Civic and the Miata fit this.

There have been plenty of Hondas and Miatas at the Challenge that would tear up the average 8 or Rex from a strict performance standpoint.

And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Ignorant SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:47 a.m.
rotard wrote: And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Go to Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or any school with a SAE mini baja or Formula team..

you don't give these kids enough credit.

MrJoshua SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:50 a.m.

A Miata with a small turbo and megasquirt.

Dec. 24, 2010 8:52 a.m.

Fun, cheap, reliable, good gas mileage and with aftermarket modifications available.... Well it is hard to beat the cars people have already said (Civic and Miata). It is difficult to find a non-hacked to E36 M3 Civic though. I would say an EK Si would be a good starting point. Although I would pull all the SI badges if I had one (hopefully thieves wouldn't notice then). If you want more power then the Civic or Miata, there is the Neon SRT-4 (if you are determined to go with something newer).

Dec. 24, 2010 8:53 a.m.
Ignorant wrote:
rotard wrote: And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Go to Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or any school with a SAE mini baja or Formula team..

you don't give these kids enough credit.

If I can build a Formula SAE car, anyone can.

Woody SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 8:57 a.m.

How many miles on the RX8?

Are you looking for a new or used WRX?

rotard New Reader
Dec. 24, 2010 9:31 a.m.
Ignorant wrote:
rotard wrote: And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Go to Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or any school with a SAE mini baja or Formula team..

you don't give these kids enough credit.

I said average college student. That's also a team of kids working on one car. I know that when I was in college, it would have been hard to get back and forth to work or class (once i moved off campus) if my car was down for days at a time. Fast, cheap, or reliable; pick two. The fact of the matter is that he already has an Rx8. If he owes money on it, I don't think he will be able to sell it to cover his loan. If he doesn't owe money on it, he could sell it and buy a cheaper car, but will probably be disappointed by the difference in performance and niceness. It's really hard to go from a car like the Rx8 to a Civic, at least in my experience.

SVreX SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 9:54 a.m.
Ignorant wrote:
rotard wrote: And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Go to Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or any school with a SAE mini baja or Formula team..

you don't give these kids enough credit.

Last time I checked it was college students that won this year.

The point was there is plenty of easy aftermarket. If you can't make a Miata or Honda go fast, you're reading the wrong board.

SVreX SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2010 9:57 a.m.

You don't have to build a Challenge winner to have a fun car from a Miata or CRX. They are pretty competent out of the box.

Dec. 24, 2010 9:57 a.m.
rotard wrote:
Ignorant wrote:
rotard wrote: And your average college student has the skill, time, and money to make a challenge level Honda or Miata? Reliably? The challenge and challenge cars are awesome, but let's look at reality here.

Go to Georgia Tech or Texas A&M or any school with a SAE mini baja or Formula team..

you don't give these kids enough credit.

I said average college student. That's also a team of kids working on one car. I know that when I was in college, it would have been hard to get back and forth to work or class (once i moved off campus) if my car was down for days at a time. Fast, cheap, or reliable; pick two. The fact of the matter is that he already has an Rx8. If he owes money on it, I don't think he will be able to sell it to cover his loan. If he doesn't owe money on it, he could sell it and buy a cheaper car, but will probably be disappointed by the difference in performance and niceness. It's really hard to go from a car like the Rx8 to a Civic, at least in my experience.

I know one guy at my school that did the challenge without a team. Also I know anyone who turbo'ed his Miata for cheap and drives it everyday without a problem.

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