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Mustang, 370Z, IS350F, 86 or MX-5?

I’ve only ever driven a Toyota Corolla in my 20 years as a driver. I had a 1980 model for seven years then a new 2003 model, which I still drive. Now I’m ready to upgrade to a fun car with a bit of power. I’d looked at a Ford Mustang and a Chevrolet Camaro but, sadly, the Camaro won’t be imported. Friends suggested I look at the Nissan 370Z, Lexus IS350F, Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5. I don’t want something small like a Mini, or big like an SUV or a convertible. I’ve $30,000-$40,000 to spend and it can be new or second-hand.

If you don’t want a convertible, which rules out the MX-5 as my easy first pick, then the 86 is the car for driving enjoyment on a reasonable budget. But don’t overlook its Subaru twin, the BRZ, which is my choice of the two. Both get The Tick, having shared our Car of the Year award.