I've owned a few fun cars over the last decade and a WRX was one of them. Frankly, I think it's a terrific car for what it is. Terrific handling, great traction, and reasonably comfortable without breaking out of the compact mold. What it isn't is overly efficient - primarily because power has a way of corrupting one's sensibilities. My slushbox version regularly got in the low to mid 20's. 30 MPG simply was not a reality for me in that car and would be tricky to obtain even if you are focused on it.
I'll also put it out there that if you want something faster, DO NOT waste your time or money on a new WRX. It's simply no contest to the STi or the Evo, even if you dump that price difference into a WRX. It's also worth noting that anybody with the know-how to build something, can build on a used platform that spanks the crap out of both a stock Evo and STi for half the cost.
But any direction you head down those roads, stellar fuel economy is not to be expected.
Non S-type Cooper would be fun to drive because of the good handling, but the acceleration would not be super. The S-type would not get great mileage.
The current generation S isn't too bad actually. They switched from boosting the S engine with a supercharger over to a turbo not long ago. With a hard top and manual trans, you're looking at 29/36 for the S, vs. 32/40 for the base model. But using the same testing scale, a '91 CRX automatic only gets 25/31, and I know for a fact that you can hit over 40 mpg highway with that setup.
i think i'm falling in love with this little 99 subaru impreza awd 2.5 but i think i would go to far into making it a little track devil
with whats in my garage at home it would be vastly different than anything i have built before
svo: roommate down at school has a car similar to what you are describing 420 at the front wheels and is really just a race car. its fun and does way better in mpg compared to both of my old cars although he runs 24 pounds of boost and has over 11k in the motor alone.
snax: sad but true guy on my local forum just posted his vr4 clicking off a 9 second pass while breaking a transaxle and he built his for under 15k i wouldn't want any of that in a stock sti
i've narrowed it down a little bit: reasonable used s2000 20k and do nothing too it
sti: somehow find a used sti that hasn't been abused
i thought this would be fun a 96 impala ss but swap the auto for a 6-speed and the ole lt1 for a ls1 which gives me overdrive and some power for fun and room for a party
and the mini's i'm a 6 foot 1 and 225 pound fullback for my university its seems a bit tight does it have room for the bigger people in the u.s.
heard the new mazdaspeed 3 is quicker than a sti and way down in price and ideas what the FE would be in this little sleeper
i think by fun he means being able to smoke the pants off other cars when he steps on it.
i say go get a muscle car! who cares what other people think. when they give you a dirty look rev the engine its how its works! lol im kidding
anyone can buy a fast car but not anyone can build one.
heres an idea that id love to do someday: pick up a cheap s-10 drop a 350 in it (or LS1, get the fun of fuel injection) and have fun driving that thing! find a 6 speed manual or 5 speed and then fun has a whole new meaning. and if its properly tuned and add a few MPG saving things on it you could see mid 20's MPG with it since its a light truck with a boatload of power...its a good sleeper truck.
i seem to remember that gm came out with a performance s10 with a turbo 6cyl called the cyclone back in the early to mid-nineties i think they are collector items but it would be perfect for what i want
i would go with the a used sti if i had that amount of cash. in a sti was some of my best times ive ever had in a car. 160 top outs all the time, insane all wheel burn out/cookies and all 4 wheels off the ground jumps. i just feel bad for the dude who got that car.
I wanna know how students get 20k to blow on sports cars?
Oh yeah- football.
its the nature of the beast dude. If when don't live on campus we get money each month for rent.(its way beyond what a apt. rent should be) i don't know how this works but i don't complain.
i'm not a dumb jock though i'm majoring in economics finishing football this fall and going to work. its not my fault where i come from and what i'm doing people everyday go to school for free, for all kinds of different things