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Talk me out of this car
Old 10-22-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
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Talk me out of this car

My snakebit, elderly BMW tried to commit suicide again. It has since been patched together at no small expense, but my husband wants to send it off to the automobile rainbow bridge. I looked at the various overpriced and tedious options, before deciding that the best replacement for my little ragtop was -- obviously -- a Mazda Miata. If you had an arthritic left knee and arthritic ankles and feet, would you be sensible and buy an automatic or would you choose something that was more fun? Or should I just buy some old lady, square sedan?
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:19 PM   #2
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I would try to find an automatic with paddle shifters... you'll get the best of both worlds given your knee, ankles and feet... and today's modern automatics with paddle shifters are very responsive.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:23 PM   #3
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My snakebit, elderly BMW tried to commit suicide again. It has since been patched together at no small expense, but my husband wants to send it off to the automobile rainbow bridge. I looked at the various overpriced and tedious options, before deciding that the best replacement for my little ragtop was -- obviously -- a Mazda Miata. If you had an arthritic left knee and arthritic ankles and feet, would you be sensible and buy an automatic or would you choose something that was more fun? Or should I just buy some old lady, square sedan?
Do they offer a "tiptronic" type automatic? I too LOVE a manual transmission, but between the traffic here in the ATL area and my DW who flat out refuses to learn how to drive a manual, I have found this to be a good alternative. My G37 has a 'manual mode' that is damn sporty and it will let you DESTROY the engine if you want to (there is no rev limiter when up -or- downshifting). It also has a 'sport drive' auto mode that allows the shifting to be very aggressive without going over the redline.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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My snakebit, elderly BMW tried to commit suicide again. It has since been patched together at no small expense, but my husband wants to send it off to the automobile rainbow bridge. I looked at the various overpriced and tedious options, before deciding that the best replacement for my little ragtop was -- obviously -- a Mazda Miata. If you had an arthritic left knee and arthritic ankles and feet, would you be sensible and buy an automatic or would you choose something that was more fun? Or should I just buy some old lady, square sedan?
I would go on a test drive and see how it felt. Try to imagine feeling that way, day in and day out. That might help you to decide.

F and I are in our 60's. His arthritis is pretty bad, and although mine is not so bad I do have a lot of the so-called "aches and pains of aging". We were shocked at how hard it was to get into and out of his rental car (when his Murano was in the shop). We discovered that compact cars are no longer as appealing to us as they were before that. But we never would have realized that, had we not actually got into and out of his compact rental car.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:24 PM   #5
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With an arthritic left knee I would face the gritty reality and get an automatic. At least you'll be able to drive it. At some point working that clutch pedal is going to hurt more than the car is fun to drive.

And depending on the degree of pain in the other arthritic parts, how long are you going to be able to drive a Miata at all? Perhaps it is Buick time for you....
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:32 PM   #6
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One of my sisters had a Miata many years ago.... she said she would hate it as a daily driver...

Her daily driver was a Camry....


But, to answer your question.... I would go auto with any new car.... I had an Acura TL with 6 speed... as a weekend car it was great... loved it... as a daily driver it was great.... loved it... but there were more than a few times when I was in traffic I wished for an auto...
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:38 PM   #7
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And depending on the degree of pain in the other arthritic parts, how long are you going to be able to drive a Miata at all? Perhaps it is Buick time for you....
Hey! Buick today isn't the Buick you remember. How about one of these? (2016 Buick Cascada)
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
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I knew that remark would bring you out of the woodwork.
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:45 PM   #9
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An automatic with a good sound system!

Recently had a Chevy Cruze rental. Plenty of room inside, but I had to scrunch down to get in. Needed a frickin' helmet...

Can't imagine crawling into and out of a Miata or Vette in my old age...
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:56 PM   #10
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A Miata is a great car for San Diego if you don't need much trunk space. If you have a garage and can keep the top down much of the time, it is very easy to get in and out of. With the top up, it's a lot more work. I have an old one with a manual top and like it because I can easily drop it before getting in, though I would like the power retractable hard top for noise, weather, and security. Looks like that's not on the new 2016s though, at least not yet.

I can't speak to what the automatic is like on the new Miata. On the old ones you were missing out if you couldn't shift it yourself, but I imagine it's a lot better now.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:05 PM   #11
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A new Miata....the ONE that was written up as the totally revamped and sexy Miata, the 2016? I'd buy it in a flash if DW was in agreement. She would be, but I'd have to sell the current ride, which may be difficult at the moment.

Automatics are OK (I'm being nice here), but the car demands a 5 (or 6?) speed manual. I'm not sure you can get it with a paddle shift option or a DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), which would be a better option than a true automatic.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:15 PM   #12
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Something else to keep in mind is that they are low slung. Getting in and out with a bad knee might prove difficult.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:18 PM   #13
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get a Subaru outback or forester - off the ground easy in/out and I'm pretty sure you can get them with paddle shifters - turbo prefered
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:21 PM   #14
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Something else to keep in mind is that they are low slung. Getting in and out with a bad knee might prove difficult.

+1. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of my corvette even with semi good knees. If you suspect that you may have any type of a comfort issue with the Miata, then get something else. And definitely with an automatic.


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Old 10-22-2015, 05:30 PM   #15
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+1. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of my corvette even with semi good knees. If you suspect that you may have any type of a comfort issue with the Miata, then get something else. And definitely with an automatic.


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Ron, I suggest you look into why people get new knees.

(Hint: one of the reasons is so they can still get in and out of their Corvette.)
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:37 PM   #16
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Ron, I suggest you look into why people get new knees.



(Hint: one of the reasons is so they can still get in and out of their Corvette.)
Good point! I should look into it. I've worn the stitching loose on the top of the seat where I grab it to catapult myself out. Maybe the new knees will cost less than the new seat. A buddy of mine bought a little sports car about 6 months ago followed by a new knee. Probably needed the knee to keep the car.


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Old 10-22-2015, 05:44 PM   #17
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My snakebit, elderly BMW tried to commit suicide again. ... best replacement for my little ragtop was -- should I just buy some old lady, square sedan?
E30? My gal just got rid of her '89 325i with a huge amount of anguish and I relegated my 326k+ mile E39 to work truck status. We went to a 2008 328it which is really tied to the road and has some fun bits, but isn't the car those were. Much more a fall into the car and scramble to get out. We tried to buy new, but there aren't many sticks out there, or automatics which aren't slushy CVTs (gag. yuck.). Frankly, in the $35k and less new car price I didn't drive anything that felt good. (Maybe the new VW GTI my gal lit the tires on in front of the VW showroom - I was so proud of her!)
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:57 PM   #18
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Just sold my 328 BMW Conv. because I was having trouble getting in and out. I suggest a higher up car or a small sporty SUV. Much easier getting in and out and handle extremely well.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #19
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I went with the automatic with manual shifting ("tiptronic") for my last car, a Porsche. One less thing to worry about, but I always shift manually since me and the automatic don't see eye to eye very often. BMW should have a nice dual-clutch setup that you could use without a clutch. The Miata has a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters, but I don't know how it behaves. DW's Mini Cooper S works nicely with the turbo engine and the automatic. The auto lets the turbo wind up a bit faster, with no danger of stalling at low RPM where the turbo engine is pretty wimpy. And it has manual shift paddles. It drives nicely when paddle shifted, but takes a while to downshift (and wind up the turbo) if you punch it in full automatic, which is fairly annoying.

While shifting is fun, no purpose-built race cars use anything like the standard production car manual shifters. In fact, the dual-clutch transmissions, are often faster than the manual shift option in the same car. As long as you can select the gear you want, you're in good shape.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:14 PM   #20
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I have a 2008 MX-5 Miata that has been a blast to drive. Can't imagine having one with an automatic - what's the point? I know DW enjoys driving it about as much as I do.


I would think getting in and out would be the biggest concern since it has light clutch pedal effort.


The car is great on curvy two-lane roads but less enjoyable for long freeway travel and stop-and-go traffic.
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