Small sportscar for travelling around Europe

Discussion in 'Car Comparisons' started by ging, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. The weather in August is always shit in the UK, so next year I plan to buy a small sized sports car and travel around Europe in it. Not 100% sure on where I will go yet, but im thinking of heading across Holland/Belgium and onto Germany, have a blast round the Nuerburgring, through Munich, then through Switzerland, down the Stelvio Pass into Italy and visit Modena, and then onto Monaco and Nice before finally heading back to the UK.

    The question for now is, what car to take? It has to be a convertible, it has to be sporty, and good or at least reasonable at long distances, but also has to be economical, realiable and cheap - I have about £3000 to play with. Of course, in an ideal world I would buy a TVR chimaera, however that car does not satisfy my last 3 requirements (and I dont have 10 grand spare <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/sad.gif"></A>)

    So I think I have narrowed it down to the following:

    1. Mazda MX5 1.6i, 110-115 bhp, 0-60 8.5s, 118 mph
    + excellent handling
    + reliable
    - too obvious a choice

    2. Fiat Barchetta 1.8, 130 bhp, 0-60 8.7s, 118 mph
    + LHD, so suitable for continental driving
    + beautiful car with PASSION
    - relibility
    - FWD so handling isnt as great

    3. Alfa Romeo Spyder 2.0 TS, 152 bhp, 0-60 9.4s, 122 mph
    + It's an alfa
    + probably the best at longer distances
    - reliability
    - handling not fantastic (FWD)

    4. MGF or TF 1.8i/vvc, 118-143 bhp, 0-60 8.7-7.6s, 123-126 mph
    + Super cheap at the moment
    + british
    + mid engined
    - reliability
    - no dealer network/ spares could be difficult to come across

    5. Toyota MR2 1.8, 132 bhp, 0-60 8.0s, 131 mph
    + mid engined
    + good handling
    - all have high milage
    - not much room for luggage

    Also, what time of year is best for buying such a car? I have heard they are much cheaper to buy in autumn/winter, is this true? is it worth doing?

    And also do you have any suggestions for other cars?

  2. oh shit i didnt make a results option. #$%#.
  3. I don't have alot of experience with most of those cars on that list but I can vouch for the Miata. just have whatever you buy checked out before you buy it.
  4. See I voted MR2. The photo and information you provided is that of a lesser car, a MR-S.

    Get a MR2 son
  5. My mind says MX-5 but my heart says GTV. Didn't vote yet.
  6. ?

    you mean like one of those ancient MR2s you drive?
  7. also, do you get better prices for these cars in winter rather than spring/summer?
  8. If you are going around Europe , i would get something with some space for luggage. Ive taken my Megane around Europe a couple of times, i would have loved to have a convertible, but it just wouldnt have the room for your stuff. If i was going to get something from that list, it would be the MX5, but with a tire in the boot, they have literally no room for bags. Personally If i was touring, i would get one of those old school SL mercedes (like 1970s/80s) Because they have room for stuff and will be reliable, plus depreciation will be nill. Also, factor in fuel, you would not believe how much gas cruising at 110mph for 3 hrs sucks up in a small engine.

    Also, in regards to Ferries, there are 2 ways of getting to the mainland. Depending on where you live in the UK and where you are going, depends on what is cheaper. If you travel down to dover, you can get a ferry for £20 including car, that lands in Dunkirk. But you can also get a ferry from Hull for about £180 return, which lands in rotterdam. It sounds like an easy choice, but i did the figures when i was driving to Berlin last year, and for where i lived in the UK it actually worked out cheaper in fuel to drive to Hull and pay £180 because it cut 1000miles out of my journey to Berlin, also reduced my driving time from 20+hrs down to 6.
  9. Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
  10. #11 ging, Aug 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    could always get somethng like this to afford some more stowage room:

    My mum has an mx-5 actually, and i reckon you can easily fit in soft luggage in the boot, a holdall for example.

    an old school merc could be cool, but i think slightly out of my price range in terms of price and insurance. Also not too sure on reliability of such an old car either, even though those old mercs are supposedly bulletproof.

    Good shout on the ferries though, I will have to look into that a bit as I live nearly the furthest you can get from Hull in the UK, but still could be the cheaper option
  11. after doing some maths to calculate fuel consumption/looking at google maps/looking at p&o ferry prices, it actually still looks about £100 cheaper to go from Dover as opposed to Hull, though Hull means about 30 less miles to drive and I get to see Holland

  12. #13 burner, Aug 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    One thing you have to watch for when you are driving is motorway tolls/zone discs. When you go to Germany, you have to buy a greenzone disc, its like £40, and lasts all year. They have overhead sensors on the freeways as soon as you enter the country. You apply a month before and they will send it to your hotel in Germany or your house in England for an extra charge. I got done for freeway tolls in Czech republic, there were no signs, it was electric gates above the roads. After a few hundred kms, we started getting followed by cops who pulled over my parents (who were in a german hire car) and made them pay fines of a few hundred £ for my car and their car.

    If you live the furthest away from Hull, then its not worth driving up there, it will only cost you £20 for crossing from dover, you might also be able to get a discount ticket on the eurostar, but i doubt it will be anywhere near £20.

    I think the MX5 is the best idea if you can fit your gear in it, i know i couldnt fit my gear in it, if you are going with someone else, no chance.
  13. Bear in mind that Hull is a shithole and it's a nicer drive going down to Dover than up to Hull.

    Anyways, I'd pick the MX-5.

    Best all rounder, reliable, fun to drive, decent to look at and probably decent on petrol.
  14. None of those.
  15. Hull is a shithole, but its not like dover is any better. Going through North Yorkshire on the way to Hull is nice, and depending where you live at least going to Hull avoids the M25, and 1000 miles of French, Belgian and German/Dutch Freeways.
  17. Dunno what prices are like in Yurop, but could you not get a C4 corvette or an old BMW 3 series? They are very cheap here in Uhmerikuh.
  18. 1. No one drives corvettes in Europe

    2. Petrol is stupid expensive in Europe, a corvette would cost thousands to do a massive road trip in.
  19. from this list, the MX-5, but also try z3
  20. actually a z3 is an excellent idea, i was thinking of buying one of those.
  21. what then, smart arse?
  22. same applies to you
  23. yeah did have a look at z3s actually, but they all seem to have super high milage in my price range, like 100,000+

    i dunno, could be an issue
  24. Actually i had a look on autotrader and there are some low mileage ones in your price range. Also high mileage on a bmw would be pretty fine, and the 2.8 will have some go for the ring too.

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