I daily drove my '93 Miata w/ no issues. They have what? 110hp on a good day? I never felt "unsafe" while merging on to the highway. Cruised around at 70mpg usually got around 30mpgs.
All depends on your priorities.
I had an 06 WRX that, when driven easily, was averaging 20mpg on my commute and had me filling up every 2.5 days. At between $40-45 a tank, that got old fast. It was fun to drive, but it was costing me about $500 a month or more on gas.
Sold it after 6 weeks and got an 09 Civic with an auto. Yes its boring, yes its slow, but it handles highway trips fine (where almost all my commute is anyways) and the gas savings alone makes it worth it for a dd where I'm not utilizing the WRXs power or handling capabilities.
Trust me, many times the M is in the mid-teens when it comes to mpg.
1980 911 SC - Black on Red
Chronicles of my '80 SC: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsc...y-80-911-sc-91
I went from 355/385 to 160/146 on my DD.
18 mpg combined to 33 mpg combined. Plenty of grunt for my commute.
My last several cars have been between 200-250hp. My current GTI is around 220 and it's plenty for DD duties. It's the first new car I've had and I really like having the creature comforts. Having NAV and bluetooth makes it a nice place to be slogging back and forth to work. The fact that it only uses 3/4 of a tank every two weeks is nice.
There's a big difference between what you really need and what you like or want. I owned a VW Fox with 81 hp, a mkII Jetta with 85 hp (likely much less when I had it!), and a largish peugeot wagon with 96 hp. None of the car were a powerhouse and none had much torque. They got me around just fine. Was it fun pushing these cars? Mildly, but none were particularly gratifying because they all sounded like they were going to blow up over 4k rpms.
As I've gotten older, I've owned faster and faster cars, all of which had more power and torque than I needed. But I can tell you they were much more fun to push hard than the weak cars I owned before. I think a better question would be what you think are the characteristics that make a car fun.
Edit: I wouldn't trade power/tq for economy, unless there was some financial/practical reason I needed to do so. Though some of the bigger V6 TDI motors out there are a ton of fun!
Last edited by 6cylVWguy; 05-09-2012 at 04:31 PM.
although the hyundai has more power here, it wasn't as fun to drive as the E30. So no regrets whatsoever, my life has improved considerably since. The society felt more livable. i can merge safely. I didn't have to deal with a lack of power. And while we're at it, even my sex life got beter. All in all, i felt like i was dying when i owned the M3. It was one of those pain that i wouldn't wish upon my enemy.
Mk1 VW with a turbo'd ABA has been the best DD for me. At 1,900lbs and 300+lbs/torque in street trim it moves around nicely. I get about 30mpg average and as 36mpg on the highway. It's a good combo of being frugal while still putting some fear into you.
ABA Swap How To
'83 Rabbit GTI ABA Turbo 11.94 @ 126mph