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What modern car is most comparable to a DSM? In other words what would you buy for a newer car?

Which car to get?


  • Total voters
    53

o0GuitarKid0o

Proven Member
1,040
108
Dec 12, 2013
Winnipeg ,MB, MB_Canada
The awnser is Mini van? :thumb:

Why not just bite your tounge and buy something pratical ? Cavaliers go for around 1500-2500 and there very reliable cars, then down the road you can save up for something you want like a camero instead of something Youll regret buying for 20,000 grand my buddie went out and bought the brz sti edition (45grand) and in a few years you will be able to get it for like 25 grand

Pretty much I bought my dsm because it's old and was unsaftied so i got it cheap I've only got 2200$ into this car (with purchase price of a whopping 800$) then I found tuners hah
 
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Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The awnser is Mini van? :thumb:

Why not just bite your tounge and buy something pratical ? Cavaliers go for around 1500-2500 and there very reliable cars, then down the road you can save up for something you want like a camero instead of something Youll regret buying for 20,000 grand my buddie went out and bought the brz sti edition (45grand) and in a few years you will be able to get it for like 25 grand

Pretty much I bought my dsm because it's old and was unsaftied so i got it cheap I've only got 2200$ into this car (with purchase price of a whopping 800$) then I found tuners hah

I already have a practical car, and IT is the one that I regret. I won't be getting something new till my lease is up, and I'll be damned if I get something slow after being stuck with this slow ass lease for another year without having my Talon to joyride in. The car I'm leasing is a Chevy Cruze 6spd with a 1.8l, its the only(out of like 10, most of which weren't performance oriented) car that I've felt was actually underpowered, not just slow. There's no need to save, when I can get a loan, nor am I in a position where I can save much atm, due to other obligations/priorities.
I appreciate the input, but that is not what I'm looking for right now at this stage in my life. Besides which, doing that is why I've had like 10+ cars. And why I got a lease after a tow truck driver totalled my DD and I didn't have time to car shop. I've spent way too much money over the years trying to keep broke ass cheap DD econocars going, I'd rather have a consistent monthly payment and warranty, that I can actually budget around. I've had way too many bad experiences trying to get cheap reliable cars, not unless I absolutely had to, would I do that again, and its more likely that I would try to get something fast, and it'd be even less reliable. If I had the money from all those cars, I'd already be driving one of the cars I'm thinking about getting right now...
 

Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I forgot about the Miata, it doesn't have the power I want, but its very light, the price is right, good looking, and drop top. Then again the Sky is all that with the power I want(well close and easy to get there anyway) Although I'm sure there will be 100x as many parts for the Miata.
I gotta have at least some manner of removable roof, never owned a full on vert, but had a couple moonroofs, used them all the time, love em. And had a Camaro with t-tops, those were great.
 
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dsmcrzy

Proven Member
1,621
319
Dec 20, 2009
Trenton, Ohio
How about a little outside the box... The R32 skylines are legal in the U.S. Now and go for 20-25k... Little much for a 25 year old car but that's what I would do if my DSM was totaled and I wanted to get into something. FD RX7s are around that price point for a very clean example.
 

19Eclipse90

DSM Wiseman
4,902
701
Sep 29, 2003
OKC, Oklahoma
Other possibilities you might consider...

Volkswagen GTI.
Volkswagen Golf R.
Volvo S60 T6.
 

Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
7,510
1,900
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
I haven't driven a new Mustang yet, but from what I've seen it's a heavy pig and the handling can't touch other options within the same segment/price range.
Look for track times around different tracks for the new GT's, it doesn't handle bad at all and weighs the same or less than a BMW M4 - and with the largest aftermarket of just about any car out there the sky is the limit. The toughest part is getting over the stigma associated with Mustangs.
You're selling yourself short by not considering an EVO X. Looks great, best seats in any car under $50k, quick, easily moddable, handling is amazing, practical, there's just something about them that is so much fun to drive. After all, you're asking what's most comparable to a DSM. What's closer than an AWD turbo 2.0 Mitsu? At least take one for a spin before going for a coupe.
The Evo X is a great option for performance and handling but some people really like coupes. They want something that looks like a true GT car, something that has a sleek and sporty feel that speaks to their soul, with a driving position that makes you feel like you're not driving a grocery getter - something that makes you feel good when you're walking up to it, when you get in it, before you even start driving it. It's all part of a fulfilling driving experience.

I personally don't want 4 doors, and I don't like that the best performance car Mitsu has produced for many years is only available as a sedan (ditto Subaru). I hate the fact that the new Charger is a sedan. But that's just me. I can appreciate practicality, I'd love there to be sedan options for all the performance coupes. I just don't like that most everything we have to choose from these days are practical sedans with performance. In some ways this is a great time to be a car enthusiast, and in some ways it's not as cool as it was years ago.
 

Steve93Talon

Proven Member
1,605
138
Jan 20, 2005
Philly Burbs, Pennsylvania
Look for track times around different tracks for the new GT's, it doesn't handle bad at all and weighs the same or less than a BMW M4 - and with the largest aftermarket of just about any car out there the sky is the limit. The toughest part is getting over the stigma associated with Mustangs.

The Evo X is a great option for performance and handling but some people really like coupes. They want something that looks like a true GT car, something that has a sleek and sporty feel that speaks to their soul, with a driving position that makes you feel like you're not driving a grocery getter - something that makes you feel good when you're walking up to it, when you get in it, before you even start driving it. It's all part of a fulfilling driving experience.

I personally don't want 4 doors, and I don't like that the best performance car Mitsu has produced for many years is only available as a sedan (ditto Subaru). I hate the fact that the new Charger is a sedan. But that's just me. I can appreciate practicality, I'd love there to be sedan options for all the performance coupes. I just don't like that most everything we have to choose from these days are practical sedans with performance. In some ways this is a great time to be a car enthusiast, and in some ways it's not as cool as it was years ago.


I've seen the track times on the GT, I was mostly referring to the Ecoboost, however I still feel that it's too heavy in any form. I'm a former Fox body owner and I've always hated how bloated the car has gotten. The new ones were supposed to be lighter, but it didn't happen.

I get what you're saying about a coupe vs a sedan, however I'm coming at it from more of an all around daily drivable opinion. Would I love to have a C7? Maybe, but I'm not willing to daily a RWD car year round, with no trunk space, and no back seats. I'm also a longtime fan of the older EVOs and prefer the rally look to most of the RWD coupes out there.

Everything you said about how the car makes you "feel" applies to the X for me. I bought mine a year ago with a bad ACD pump, slipping clutch, and blown struts. I intended to fix it and flip it. A year later, I've sold my Civic daily and am still daily driving the EVO. It's that good. To each his own, but as I said at least drive one before you rule it out, especially if you're a DSMer at heart.
 

Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
7,510
1,900
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
I've seen the track times on the GT, I was mostly referring to the Ecoboost, however I still feel that it's too heavy in any form. I'm a former Fox body owner and I've always hated how bloated the car has gotten. The new ones were supposed to be lighter, but it didn't happen.

I get what you're saying about a coupe vs a sedan, however I'm coming at it from more of an all around daily drivable opinion. Would I love to have a C7? Maybe, but I'm not willing to daily a RWD car year round, with no trunk space, and no back seats. I'm also a longtime fan of the older EVOs and prefer the rally look to most of the RWD coupes out there.

Everything you said about how the car makes you "feel" applies to the X for me. I bought mine a year ago with a bad ACD pump, slipping clutch, and blown struts. I intended to fix it and flip it. A year later, I've sold my Civic daily and am still daily driving the EVO. It's that good. To each his own, but as I said at least drive one before you rule it out, especially if you're a DSMer at heart.
What car isn't bloated these days besides the Miata and the BRZ/FRS? Crash standards have made it tough for any cars to hit the 3,100-3,200 lbs range the DSM was in.

The Ecoboost Mustang and the last model year Evo both weigh in at around 3,500 lbs stock - though the Mustang jumps up over 3,700 with the V8. The Evo still handles better out of the box for sure though. For those who are fans of the rally sedan look they're perfect. But for those who like the look of coupes it would have been awesome to have a coupe version of the Evo available, same can be said for the WRX STi.
 

Cooper-97gst

Proven Member
230
10
Dec 14, 2010
San Fernando, California
Well I don't know about you guys, but I put my dsm in the same category as my 70 nova, in this day and age they're not meant to be a daily. I put about 4000 miles in my gsx last year, 1000 on my gst spyder and 1500 on my 70 nova. For as old as these cars I'm suprised they're still turning heads! If your broke, you have to be realistic with yourself and get what's best for your current situation. You said your broke and your credit is not "the best"... if I were you I would be steering towards the cheapest honda civic I could find in till I could afford a toy. I'm fortunate to have a small business that allows me to devote extra income to my hobbies. I have a 2013 ram rt and a 2010 ranger as a daily. I'm going to sell the spyder as well to make room for a pre 69 beetle.
 

Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
How about a little outside the box... The R32 skylines are legal in the U.S. Now and go for 20-25k... Little much for a 25 year old car but that's what I would do if my DSM was totaled and I wanted to get into something. FD RX7s are around that price point for a very clean example.

Find me the bank that will loan 25k on a 25 year old car....And its way too much money, especially when I could find a 3kgt with similar features for a fraction of the price. Plus I could never live with right hand drive.

The Evo X is a great option for performance and handling but some people really like coupes. They want something that looks like a true GT car, something that has a sleek and sporty feel that speaks to their soul, with a driving position that makes you feel like you're not driving a grocery getter - something that makes you feel good when you're walking up to it, when you get in it, before you even start driving it. It's all part of a fulfilling driving experience.

Also, totally agree:
I personally don't want 4 doors, and I don't like that the best performance car Mitsu has produced for many years is only available as a sedan (ditto Subaru).

Thank you for summing it up, sedans and hatchbacks just don't have any soul to me, they're basically the gingers of the performance car world as far as I'm concerned.....At least 1 person understands why I'm vehemently against the WRX/STI, Raliart/EVO, Focus RS. I know that all 3 are excellent cars, but they are all a little bit out of my reach at new prices, and all the used examples are way too high mileage for what people are asking. And lastly, they just aren't coupes.....And while we're on the subject, I think its why I'm drawn to the Saturn Sky so much, there's just something about it that I'm drawn to, more than any of these other choices, even more than the vette, which until recently is what I had been heavily leaning towards. And even though its faster, has a lot more aftermarket support, and the legendary ls1, and not bad looking, there is just something about the Sky, ever since I worked on a Solstice I've been thinking about maybe getting one, but until recently was thinking I wouldn't due to lack of parts/aftermarket support. Though it turns out there is a bit more than I realized.

What car isn't bloated these days besides the Miata and the BRZ/FRS? Crash standards have made it tough for any cars to hit the 3,100-3,200 lbs range the DSM was in.

Also very true, although the sky/solstice come in right around 3k from what I recall, and the vettes are around 3300. The muscle cars are all big bloated pigs though....



You said your broke and your credit is not "the best"...
I didn't say I was broke, I just don't really have money in savings, and am on a budget, I can make monthly payments on a loan, thats not an issue, its a fixed # that I can budget around. I can't budget around some 20 year old project car that breaks down every other week, possibly catastrophically. Ie. my talon spun a rod bearing after driving it for a total of about a week..., and needed a new clutch/flywheel right before that. There's a reason I had $10k+ into that car and only about 1k miles on it after about 3-4 years of ownership, and that reason is that most of the time I owned it, it was in pieces in my mother's garage getting repaired. Also, as mentioned I currently have a leased vehicle, I won't get a new one till my lease is up, I'm already making payments on a vehicle, I'll just be having to pay a bit more to get something I actually like.

It's not that I don't want another project car, in truth I do, I love to tinker, its barely been 2 months since my accident and I'm already jonesing for it. But its just not something I can do right now, financially or otherwise.
 

Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
7,510
1,900
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
The only thing I'd say about the Sky/Solstice is that it was such a short run for that platform, I'd be a little hesitant. Maybe not so much the reliability, but I can't imagine there will be a ton of aftermarket parts available for them over the long term. I love the V8 conversions in those cars but I think the FRS/BRZ would be a good candidate for an LS swap too (Google Vorshlag V8 swap in FT86) with more aftermarket support all around.
 

Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hmm, in truth I do oh so love the BRZ/FRS, but its hard to justify that kind of money for 151 ft/lbs of tq at a rather lofty RPM. And when you compare it to the WRX it really is hard to see why it costs more than a car with more features(AWD, 4 doors, turbo) And in order to get the power I want would require rebuilding the engine, not something that makes sense on a brand new car. But what you said about the sky/solstice, IS the reason for my hesitance. Because I do know that it was such a short run, and that parts are somewhat scarce. Idk why GM didn't transfer them to another brand, like GMC or cadillac maybe....not the first time they killed an awesome car with awesome potential before its time though.(Look at the fiero 1990 prototype)
There certainly is a HUGE aftermarket for the BRZ/FRS, I think it might even be surpassing the mustang. Truth is I feel like its a 20k-25k car, not a 25k-30k car. If Subie or toyota would just give in and slap a turbo on like everybody and their mother wants them to, then it would almost certainly be the car I would buy, I would probably even overlook the fact that its overpriced. Although one more caveat I have about it is the lack of a hole in the roof, I don't think they come with moonroofs even, and I would want a moonroof at a minimum, it'd be awesome if they made a targa top. And lastly, the c5 vette does everything I want from the BRZ/FRS that its not doing right now. Ie. the power I want and a removable roof, for less money. There is less aftermarket though, and it wouldn't be a brand new guaranteed to be unmolestered car.
 

Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I'm aware of them, but I figured they were out of my price range. After your mention of it I did look them up out of curiosity, and turns out I probably could afford one, but the cost of replacement parts is probably scary, or aftermarket for that matter.....I remember this kid I used to work (mommy and daddy had money) paid like $700 just for projector headlights with a black background for his audi, an A4 if I remember correctly.
Honestly I wish I could just own them all! If I were rich I would own and modify/build so many cars.....But here are my thoughts on each of the options:

I'm still really torn about what to get, there just isn't any one car thats everything I want, within my price range. WRX/STI and Raliart/EVO have the awd turbo power, and moddaibility I like, but just would not tug at my heart strings while gazing upon one in my driveway the way a sexy coupe would....But unfortunately, these and the Focus RS, and recently mentioned Audi TT are the only AWD options. Focus RS is also in this lot for being a hatchback, I will say that I like its appearance far better than the Evo X, or the new WRX, but its still no coupe....

BRZ lacks the power I want(less than the talon stock even, and its really bad when you realize that 200hp only comes with 151 ft lb of torque at a lofty RPM, and it really is overpriced when you compare it to what you get for almost the same price of the WRX, and no moonroof/targa/droptop, I really like the open air on a nice windy country road in the crisp fall air...its just not the same in a hardtop...The other problem with the BRZ is its competitor, the Miata, its about 500 lbs lighter despite being a droptop, and while on paper the BRZ might look more powerful/faster, with its much more even hp/tq difference(155hp, 148tq) and that lighter weight, when you average the tq with the hp, the miata actually has better power to weight ratio(I think the Miata did also get assigned lower 0-60 and 1/4 times by the car magazines if I remember correctly, reflecting my point about the real world power to weight ratios of the two cars), also you can make any car more powerful, but making a car light without ruining it is a DD friendly car is pretty difficult. The Miata has also been around a lot longer, its been refined and improved upon through real world R&D over many years. And lastly, they are priced about the same, and much like the WRX does, the Miata makes the BRZ look overpriced.

The C5, it really can't be argued that its the most bang for the buck, 350hp and about as much tq, in a car weighing ~3350 lbs, has a targa top, many years of refinement/improvements, good aftermarket support(Although really everything in my poll save for the Sky has pretty good aftermarket support). The 2 main drawbacks I can think of are build quality and typical GM cheap parts bin interior of the area, along with lacking some of the newer luxuries(although most of those can be added relatively easily); but more so its age, even the newest c5 is a decade old now, and most cars at that age have at least some issues.
350Z similar to the c5, albeit I think it might be a little difficult to work on as the engine bay looked pretty tight to me when I saw the hood up on one, can't really speak much to the quality as I haven't been around them much, but again the biggest issue is age, newer than the c5, but still a little bit old, and aging.

RX8, also age, but more so because it doesn't have a newer version to keep it in people's memory, which I think helps as far as support of the car, as it drives interest for older models. Much like the c5, I really want a c7, but I can't afford one, so I look to the older c5. But there is no RX9 to spark interest in the RX8 to people who can't afford the hot new one, and thus drive support/demand for it and associated parts. Also, I know nothing about wankels beyond the basic principals, and the thought of having to work on or fix one scares me. Plus they have terribad gas mileage.

Genesis, I genuinely feel that the car is a little bit bigger and heavier than it should be for what it is, and based on most of the reviews I've read or watched, it usually seems to get beat out by its competitors. Also they dropped the 2.0l turbo, so Idk how much support that will have down the road, I'm curious if anybody has twin turboed that 3.8 though. But I think the biggest mark I have against it is that to me it seems to be a lesser 350z with 2 additional seats, or a lesser g35 perhaps, its priced about the same, but I just don't think its as good as a 350z from the reviews I've watched.

Sky, as much as I like them, I know that parts availability would always be an uphill battle, there just weren't enough cars made to create a solid market/demand sadly, other than for the engine because its shared with other vehicles or at least in one version or another. But the actualy Kappa platform was just very short lived. And as much as I like it, for pretty much the same price I know the corvette is a much more logical choice, more power, more practicality, more proven, more parts.

MX-5, I'm actually really starting to think about one, especially over a BRZ. It's great handling, great priced, If I bought one it would be the new one, which doesn't have an aftermarket yet, but its a pretty safe bet that it will have no lack of support. I can't think of another modern driver's car that can touch it in the weight department, especially for a convertible. My main mark against it is that 155hp out of a 2.0 litre engine in 2015, in a car often referred to as a sports car, is a bit weak, I mean come on, if honda squeezed 247hp and 161 ft lbs of tq out of a 2.0l a decade and a half ago why can't mazda at least manage 180-200. And thats with a CR of 13:1 apparently WTF?? And it also wants 91 octane....I'm willing to pay for 91 octane in an engine pushing 100+hp per litre, but its really hard to justify 91 octane for 155hp out of a 2.0. My 2003 hyundai elantra had 140hp out of a 2.0, and didn't have direct injection or run 13.1 CR and require premium fuel....Honestly, there is no reason they couldn't do better, really. And most of this can be applied to the BRZ too, but to a lesser extent. The hayabusa engine is another prime example of whats capable in a modern 4 cylinder, idk what type of fuel they required, but Suzuki squeezed more power out of that 1.3L than madzda is out of this 2.0....again, a decade and a half ago, I mean I'm not expecting them to match what are some of the highest output per displacement engines ever made, but 155???? Comeon...Even subaru who mostly makes old people cars they occasionally turbocharge for us young folk managed to get 200, if they can make that stride mazda has no excuse.
I kind of ranted about this a bit, but I really feel like they did what subaru did by letting a great car down with such a comparatively by (modern standards) weak engine.
 

RipperXX

Proven Member
5,794
161
Feb 23, 2003
Royston, Georgia
Most like a DSM... thats a hard one. But of the cars on your list imo it's an easy call. Vett, affordable, reliable, fun, aftermarket is not only there, but will always be there, and the list goes on.

I know if and when I move on from this platform, future ability to aquire parts, OEM and aftermarket will be a huge deciding factor. Project cars cost to much to end up in a situation where you can't source parts for shit after dumping piles of cash into the car over a decade.
 

CrackedDSM

Proven Member
1,588
318
Dec 17, 2009
Roanoke, Virginia
Honestly I'd have to say the closest thing is new the AWD Focus that's coming out. Other than that, DSMs were the last of a dying breed. Nothing else that's new is like them. Back in that era we had the Turbo MR2s, Escort Turbos, RX7 turbo II/FD, etc. These days since everyone is rushing to have more and more damn cryin' ass children, they don't make awesome 2 door cars. It's either Mazda Miata sized n/a 2-door, or a four door turbo AWD.
 

rrussell

Proven Member
399
54
Jan 7, 2008
coeur d' alene, Idaho
To the OP I feel your pain. I went down this road a few times also and its hard to find something new that would be a two door AWD and have decent power out of the box.

I love the thought of winter is coming and I can play in the snow with my Talon again. With my Blizzaks the Talon is one of the funnest cars I have driven in the snow.

The only new car that looks like a replacement for a DSM AWD is the new Focus AWD and I have a feeling the price is going to be a little more then I would want to spend? If I was in your shoes I would just save the money that would be going towards the payments and insurance and by another DSM? It shouldn't take to long. I do know the prices are starting to go up on the DSM's though. In my area they starting to get hard to find. Seems like even the older folk are starting to see the potential of these cars and are now buying them. So IMO I think the DSM is going to be a good investment in the not so far off future?
 

Talyn

Proven Member
446
19
Jun 10, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Most like a DSM... thats a hard one. But of the cars on your list imo it's an easy call. Vett, affordable, reliable, fun, aftermarket is not only there, but will always be there, and the list goes on.

I know if and when I move on from this platform, future ability to aquire parts, OEM and aftermarket will be a huge deciding factor. Project cars cost to much to end up in a situation where you can't source parts for sh** after dumping piles of cash into the car over a decade.

For that reason I actually was trying to sell my DSM when it got totaled....And I was also planning to buy a c5 vette when my lease is up, but I still haven't decided for sure on what car to get, I guess maybe I need to drive them all to be sure of which one to get..I had a broken piece of trim on my door, that held the window switch panel in place, I had been trying to get a replacement for almost as long as I had the car. Nobody made a new one, and every time I asked someone parting out a car they ignored me, it was quite frustrating and annoying, since the window switches would fall down into the hole making it hard to put my windows up and down. And it wasn't the only broken thing that I couldn't fix due to parts availability either.
As to getting another DSM, part of me wants to, because it does seem to be the only car that does everything I want, other than its big brother the 3KGT. Problem is I'm not at a place in life right now where I can start another project car. I need something 100% or very close to reliable which means made within the past decade at least and loan mileage, with a consistent payment I can budget. And to reiterate, I can't save for a car, I really, really, really can not save up to buy a project car, and then have it suck up all my money. I just absolutely can not do that in my life right, I know you all mean well, but some of you guys don't seem to understand that I just can't do that again right now in my current life situation due to more important financial obligations, and I don't have the time to commit to that either.

But maybe I can get myself a sleek RWD coupe when my lease is up, and then get one of the AWD box on wheels afterwards for practicality or vice versa.
 

Mauispyder

Proven Member
481
78
Jan 20, 2015
Kula, Hawaii
If new and reliable was a big factor I'd probably try to put aside the stigma and at least test drive a 2015 mustang ecoboost, if RWD isn't a deal breaker. It'd be tough for me since I pass about 100 camaro and mustang convertibles full of tourists going up the mountain while I go down to work. On the plus side new cars are easier to get loans for, and I've read that ford is selling a tuning solution for the new mustang already that will push the 300 stock HP higher.
 
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