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dj5000000 New Reader
9/8/10 12:05 a.m.

I've been driving my share of boring vehicles for awhile now and am looking forward to something a little more exciting. I really prefer RWD 80's/90's japanese cars (turbo2 rx7) but I am trying to think of something different I haven't considered before.

With that said, what are some cars on the lighter side of 2,000 lbs that would not necessarily make a bad daily driver?

Miata (of course!)



First Gen Celica


Mitsubishi Starion ESI-r

in the FWD camp:


80's Civic...

Help me out here!

ditchdigger HalfDork
9/8/10 12:45 a.m.

I daily drive a sub 1400lb fiat. Of course I am in a VERY small minority.

Did the last 15 odd years behind the wheels of a metric E36 M3load of 70's VW rabbits and not one of them weighed in over 1900lbs.

Jay Dork
9/8/10 12:48 a.m.

Starions are not light. Well, the early narrow-bodies might be but the ESi-R is around 3000 lbs.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
9/8/10 12:53 a.m.

Mk. 1 MR2s weigh anywhere between 2300 and 2600 pounds, depending on whether they are hardtop, removable sunroof, or T-top (called T-bar in MR2 speak). Most are sunroof cars, so figure on 2400 lbs.

dj5000000 New Reader
9/8/10 1:11 a.m.

This is why I've come to you guys to inform me of the sub 2k models! Everything I've previously owned and enjoy hovers around 2,500 lbs rather even 2,000.

MrBenjamonkey Reader
9/8/10 2:30 a.m.

Early Corollas. The 3tc and 2tc powered Yotas are very cool, handle well and are great for hooning. Decent potential out of the stock motors and you can swap AE86 stuff on them. They're also simple and tough.

Osterkraut Dork
9/8/10 6:20 a.m.

FC isn't exactly a lightweight either. 2800lbs, toward the end.

What's a MINI weigh?

integraguy Dork
9/8/10 6:54 a.m.

If you could find one, a Fiesta is quite light, tho not sure it would make for a good daily driver. Same for a VW Scirocco....there was one on the Memphis CL just 1 or 2 weeks ago.

TJ SuperDork
9/8/10 7:21 a.m.

A BMW 2002 isn't too much over 2,000#. I'm guessing under 2,500# easily. Easy daily driver and fun car.

Obligatory hotlinked picture:

erohslc Reader
9/8/10 7:25 a.m.

Any Spitfire.

Powar GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/8/10 8:03 a.m.

Every car listed in this thread is light and awesome (except maybe the Mitsu).

Buy the nicest, least rusty one you can find.

zomby woof
zomby woof Dork
9/8/10 8:24 a.m.

You forgot what is probably the lightest of all the modern-ish cars.

cghstang Reader
9/8/10 8:27 a.m.

Geo Metro/Suzuki Swift

My '97 hatch was around 1800lbs as I recall.

bravenrace Dork
9/8/10 8:38 a.m.

In reply to dj5000000:

If you can find a nice one, a pre-80's civic. TVR 2500M's are right around 2k, and the Vixen is under 2k. Not sure how good of a dd it would be, but it would be as good better than a Spitfire.

ReverendDexter Dork
9/8/10 8:44 a.m.

First gen Celicas are a little heavier than you're thinking, somewhere between 2500 and 2800 depending on year and bodystyle.

If you're looking at that range, S13 240SXs are ~2700 lbs and S14s are only about 50 lbs more (despite looking MUCH heavier).

ditchdigger HalfDork
9/8/10 8:57 a.m.
integraguy wrote: If you could find one, a Fiesta is quite light, tho not sure it would make for a good daily driver. Same for a VW Scirocco....there was one on the Memphis CL just 1 or 2 weeks ago.

Slippery slope for sciroccos.

First gen nice and light. under 2k for most early ones

Second gen got up to 2400lbs

And with the extra body kit and other bits the 16V cars were in the 2600lb range.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
9/8/10 8:57 a.m.

I think I could DD an Elise if I could clearance the spoiler just enough to clear most speed bumps.

I currently DD a 90 911 C2 that I've stripped the sound deadner out of and added a little lightness to the decklid, exhaust and AC but its still a heavyweight in this thread at 2500lbs.

ditchdigger HalfDork
9/8/10 9:10 a.m.

A series 2 Fiat 850 coupe hovers just in the 1600lb area. The Defroster sucks but the heater system will bake you in the winter. Sedans are in the 1400's

It might be rough to daily a 600 but those are around 1250lbs

alfadriver Dork
9/8/10 9:16 a.m.

One question- lightness for what point? to be light?

While all of them are fun to drive just because they are light, most of them will be beaten by heavier cars for fuel economy. Even the CRX Si was only in the mid 30's. A modern Focus or Civic will equal that.

the MR's and Miatas are not exactly fuel sipping cars.

If the point is to be light and have fun, go for it. If the point is fuel economy, there may be better choices.

wcelliot Reader
9/8/10 9:19 a.m.

A Fiesta can make for a decent daily driver, but a CRX would be hard to beat all around... just a few years newer but a huge jump forward in comfort and practicality IMO.


zomby woof
zomby woof Dork
9/8/10 9:23 a.m.

My GT is about 1700 lbs. Stock is 1900. The Metro's, and base model Swifts are lighter. As far as performance is concerned, it makes a difference. It makes a BIG difference, so while I'm working on the power, I look at everything that can be removed, or substituted for something lighter. My rallycrosser 98 Swift is stripped, and moves pretty good. My son's is the same car, but not stripped. The difference is huge. I get 52 mpg (44 US) with my GT, when I drive it somewhat sensibly..

iceracer Dork
9/8/10 9:25 a.m.

SAAB 96. My wife had a '78 I think, Fiesta. She liked it but she wanted somethink a little better. Traded in for a Dodge K car. Loved it.

zomby woof
zomby woof Dork
9/8/10 9:40 a.m.

2001 Swift 1.3 16V. My son paid $800 with 60k on it. 1800 lbs. I mention this car, because I don't think anybody knows they exist.

mndsm Dork
9/8/10 9:47 a.m.

MINI I wanna say is 2700-2800lbs. Piggy little bastards.

RossD Dork
9/8/10 10:02 a.m.

'70 Capri with the 1600cc kent engine weighs 2135 lbs, and my '77 with the 2.3L weighs 2611 lbs (both per the old GRM article). My capri probably is around 2500 lbs now and I'm trying to get it back to a DD.

If you want a light weight DD, build a Locost. There are sub 1000 lb cars with Busa engines.

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