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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So once again, I have returned to the "convertible, but seats 4" well. Skip to the bottom if you don't care about context.

Wife and I went on something of a date night last weekend and we decided to take the boxster. Given that we live in a sprawling metroplex and have friends all over said, that meant a fair # of highway miles with the top up. This revealed several of the 986's critical weaknesses:

it's quite loud.
It's hot(? like the whole thing, every compartment, pretty much all the time once it's up to temp. might be great for cooler climates. not so much in 90 degree+ TX).
the ride is busy all the time and at this point, feels like an "old" car.

To the car's credit, it did all the things it was asked to do, got us there and back in otherwise relative comfort. HVAC is killer. Still at the end of it all, we probably won't reach for the keys again in a similar situation. To add injury to insult, my old man ass is less and less comfortable in the seats over longer drives. All of the above is relegating the car to a smaller and smaller subset of our driving needs. Namely, only I drive it, and just when I need to run some errands by myself and can take the top down the whole trip. For that? chef's kiss but it does make the eye wander.


CONTEXT OVER

Wander to what you might ask? I think I've compiled a list of requirements for the eventual replacement and now I'm trying to see, as always, if there's anything I've missed. they are:
-manuel
-convertible
-seats 4, two of which are kids but getting larger
-probably sporty/fast? At least something with a unique character; no sebring convertible or whatever
-~45k budget

so what's out there that fits the bill?!

F83 M4: probably the frontrunner as of right now. pre-lci cars are in budget with decent miles, but they're also nearing 8 years old so I'd want one well within budget, or wait until the refreshed ones get into that range. Finding one in an actual color, with stick, and exec package (gotta have those neck warmers!) will be a challenge. It's also dangerously close to other cars we've had in the past but, eh. They're heavy, and don't get the cooler seats from the F80/82
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JLU sport: Safest money wise. Again, something I've had before with the JKU and liked a good bit. Not sporty at all, but has character. 4 doors, so easier to get the parasites in and out of. Kind of a pain to switch "modes" so that would make it less likely to get driven on a whim, but probably not too much. All the cool spec jeeps don't come in manual, which makes me sad but I get it. Wife doesn't want kids in there with no doors so that means either half doors or tube doors or something to placate her, so extra $. well within budget.
(yes I know that's a rubi, wanna fight about it?)
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Could get a bronco too, but I don't want to play availability games, etc.

Pony cars: They're out there! Mustang is probably out as I don't like the MT82 and wife can't get into a decent driving position in one, but I'd still look especially if someone told me you can get the tremec in some ragtop car. I want to try a flavor of camaro as well. These are kind of the dark horse (pun intended) as I know the least about them. V8 performance and noises are nice. What varieties of camaros came with the topless option? Could I get a 1LE convertible? I'm talking 6th gen only here. Looking at them screams "mid life crisis dad" to me more than the others but... if the shoe fits right?
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I think all flavor of 911 is out. I like but don't love them, and can't stomach paying the premium at this point. Rear seat room is only barely passable in the cabs.

So did I miss anything? Anyone want to champion one of these over another? Should I just leave my dumb family at home and drive by myself all the time?
 

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If a purple Bimmer is an option, it's the only option. 馃い
 

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the jeep is probably the best option, if you want everyone who might be riding to be relatively comfortable.

jeep really captured the "need a 4door "family"" car that is actually fun and not completely useless" demographic by adding doors to the wrangler when they did.
 

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I do love this genre of car, even though neither my wife or I are "top down" people.

I think you're definitely right in dismissing something like a 911, and being lukewarm to the pony car options as well. There's a very big difference in rear seat space among 4-seat convertibles. Many are "vestigial" seats, and if you're actually planning on using them you're probably better off aiming for the roomier choices. I'm thinking (without experience in the current generations) that the F83 may actually have more space than the Camaro, despite the Camaro's exterior size.

If you really did want the extra room they did make the 6-series cab in manuel up to a certain point. Even the second generation. Pretty cool machine,
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(auto pictured, this is the rear seat photo)
 

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If a busy ride and noise were complaints, then I don't see how the Jeep could be an option.
 

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The Cadillac landyacht reminded me of another option, although it would require you to waive your four-person requirement. It's a hardtop so the interior should be much more comfortable:
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I just recently went through this even though I don't have kids yet. If you're trying to cruise across the metroplex in comfort the Jeep doesn't cut it. It's loud on the highway even with the roof in place. Additionally, the Camaro has no rollover protection for the rear seat occupants so I'd nix that as well.

I loved the F83 M4 when I test drove it but ended up waiving the manual requirement and settling into a Mercedes convertible. If you're in an area of Texas with smooth roads the M4's ride quality should be fine. It does get brittle over rough surfaces though.

The Cadillac landyacht reminded me of another option, although it would require you to waive your four-person requirement. It's a hardtop so the interior should be much more comfortable: View attachment 224437
Those weren't land yachts, there's a Corvette under there. They actually rode and handled quite well but had a unbelievably cheap and cheesy interior. My grandpa had an XLR-V at one point.
 
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Those weren't land yachts, there's a Corvette under there. They actually rode and handled quite well but had a unbelievably cheap and cheesy interior. My grandpa had an XLR-V at one point.
Wasn't the land yacht that made me think of it, it was Cadillac.(y)
 

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I鈥檒l never talk anyone out of a Jeep but if long highway miles are your use case, Jeep isn鈥檛 the best call.

However one killer app for the Jeep is Safari mode; you take doors and side windows off but leave the top up as a shade, that is fantastic in the heat.

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Needs to be DONKed

edit: The Murano
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
However one killer app for the Jeep is Safari mode; you take doors and side windows off but leave the top up as a shade, that is fantastic in the heat.
Safari mode is great, and I wish the JKs had it at the time. If they were more plentiful I'd probably seek out a 4xe just to try. Leasing sucks in TX though, and I really want at least one manual in the garage.
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If a busy ride and noise were complaints, then I don't see how the Jeep could be an option.
It's night and day. the jeep isn't a luxury car or anything, but it's noticeably quieter/smoother/more docile on the highway. This isn't something I'd likely be taking road trips in, but even a 20 mile one way trip in the 986s is a higher BP event than I feel like it should be.
 

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I鈥檒l be honest, it鈥檚 a crapshoot whether my S2000 or my Jeep is the better highway car. My commute (2 days a week) is about 35 miles one way, and I basically split it between the two. I have never done it top down in the Jeep, but I do it top down in the S. The highway manners at 80mph are definitely better in the S, but the S is louder, and much more cramped.
 
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