QotW: What do you actually drive?

Self-described car enthusiasts on the internet love to tell car companies what kind of cars should be made. And if all of them really put their money where their keyboards are, the world would be flush with 400-horsepower manual sports cars that cost $25,000. That’s clearly not the case.

Personally, the car I drive the most is our 2018 Mazda CX-5, which we got used (in 2019; the previous owner traded it in after owning for just three months and it was a smoking deal) while my wife was pregnant. It’s got enough room for a car seat, stroller, diaper bags, and grandparents, while still exhibiting good enough handling that I don’t feel like I’m captaining an oversized shopping cart. I still have my fun cars that I rarely get to drive, especially with the lack of car events this past year. If you are in a position in life where you can daily your classic, consider me envious. Our plan is to trade it in for a new Mazda FR sedan when it comes out, so we can support good carmaking.

What do you actually drive?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What would you have bought if you were rich in 1990?

All the comments last week were pretty entertaining and we encourage you to read them all. The answers mostly fell into one of three categories. First up, the hoard-to-sell category, with dankan buying classic GT-Rs and waiting for them to hit the big time, or MikeRL411 buying all the vintage Datsun parts before Ghosn dumped them and cornering the market on OEM spares.

The second category consisted of people who would hoard many copies of the same car. BlitzPig wanted enough CRX Si hatchbacks to last a lifetime. Nigel, a container of R30 and two containers of spares. And Jim would get a full 3 percent of all the R32s sold in Australia so he could have multiple colors. We don’t know how you can be so happy driving the same car forever, but you probably have very happy spouses.

Lastly, there were the dream garage builders. Tim wanted to recreate the Justification for Higher Education poster but with an NSX, 964, 2000GT and 250 GTO. Ellis and
My_Fairlady_ZFG both had very well thought-out collections. and Negishi no Keibajo once again went with the Mitsubishi MU-2 (we will have to look into what makes this thing so desirable).

However, the winner this week was Chris, who gave a unique answer that was not motivated by money or material possessions. It was quite possibly the purest answer we’ve ever received, and for that we commend you.

I would order an Eunos Roadster with all the nice option parts that were available and soak up the atmosphere of the Eunos showroom. The best thing would be an extended road trip through Japan with a new Delica or Bongo. It’s about the experience. Imagine waking up early in the roof tent at Lake Ashi and have some Tamagoyaki and green tea.



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59 Responses to QotW: What do you actually drive?

  1. Lupus says:

    I’m true to ’90s japanese cars. They are the most reliable, but not outdated. I can still do most of maintance and repairs on my own. They have character and charm that more modern cars lack. I change my daily every few years. When I made my old Daihatsu a car worth preserving my 1st true daily car was a E11 Corolla wagon. After 2 years i steppe’d up to 3rd gen. Legacy wagon. After next 4 years i’ve decided to make another change and taste some luxury in a form of 2nd gen. Lexus GS powered by the venerable 2JZ. I’m planing to drive it for at least 2 years more and then try something new, mayby some off-roader like Pajero, mayby a comeback to Subaru via f.ex. Forester or something truely JDM, with steering on the left, like FTO or Stagea.

  2. For me – it’s Subaru all day. I do appreciate people’s viewpoints on their favourite cars, but I love Subarus.

    Subaru have done an awesome job with the boxer engine. I was gutted to send the end of such a seemingly short life of the flat-6, but hey, sign of the time with the rising of electric cars.

    For those that know their aircrafts, for the second time, I heard a Fletcher Ag Plane start up – it has a Lycomings O-720 (720 cubic inch – almost 12 Litre) Flat-8 engine. Sounded awesome !!

    Why-oh-why did Subaru not produce a Flat-8 engine ? That would have been the ultimate !

  3. CycoPablo says:

    When my twin-cam CRX was parked up, we needed a cheap daily. A 1994 Mitsubishi Lancer coupe did the trick. That was until two years and several attempts to get the carby idling smoothly later. Sold for slightly more than it cost!
    Fuel-injection was a must, so settled on an XD Elantra hatch. Okay, Korean, but they *really* did their homework in copying the top comparable Japanese cars from Honda and Toyota.
    Next, and soon, will most likely be something Japanese, if I can secure an early Jazz (Fit).

    The CRX will run again, probably ten years after I parked it.

  4. エーイダン says:

    The only thing I drive at current is co-workers crazy.

  5. Nigel says:

    Now owning a 2014 5spd manual Nissan Versa Note.
    (No power door locks or windows).

  6. BlitzPig says:

    My daily is a 2013 Honda Accord Coupe V6 Manual EX-L Navi. I purchased it used in 2016. It had 22,000 miles on it. It cost me less than a new mid-level Civic, I suppose I got the deal because it is a manual, and the selling dealer couldn’t move the thing. Other than replacing the lackluster OE Goodyear tires with a set of Continental DWS-06, the only change I have made is to put a Progress Suspension 22mm rear anti-roll bar on the thing. Totally changed the character of the car. The grinding low speed understeer is gone and the car feels pretty nimble for a 3300 pound derivative of a family sedan. It’s as close as I could get to the Prelude I could not afford back in the day.

    The engine is a wonderment. Smooth, torquey, and yet when it hits the VTEC engagement point it turns into a screaming banshee and rockets to the redline. This is the quickest accelerating car I have ever owned. Downsides? Well like all Hondas from it’s model year and back, it is tragically under braked. Nothing you notice in everyday driving, but this thing wouldn’t go 5 laps at Mid Ohio without totally fading the miniscule front discs. Also around town it’s not exactly a fuel sipper, but I knew that going in. On the highway at 70~75 mph it will get 31 mpg, I can live with that.

    It’s a great car.

  7. jamal mansour says:

    Kenmeri all the way!!

  8. Kieron says:

    I don’t actually drive my Bluebird. 7 years of ownership and the only times it’s been moved is either on the back of a tow truck on inside a container.

    My current daily driver is a W205 Mercedes Benz C300 AMG Line Coupe that I’ve owned since 2017. As much as I love old cars, I also like to be able to get in my car with keyless entry, press a button to automatically adjust my seat and mirrors and drive comfortable and reliably where ever I choose to go.

  9. Ian G. says:

    My daily will be a future JNC. It’s a 2006 Honda Element EX-P in Atomic Blue. Bought it last Fall to replace my dying Silverado, it is the most versatile vehicle I’ve ever owned. Always had my eye on them because of the utility and I have gone camping in it. Its also a better way to transport bikes, 2 standing up with room for the dog. When I joined the Element forums, I apparently had a username I started in 2010 so this is true passion. K24 engine with 120K miles and it is reliable. My ’86 MR2 and ’02 MX-5 will just have to sit pretty in the garage because I love driving my daily way too much!

  10. Daniel says:

    I now drive a 1997 Isuzu Luv every day, at the limit of being classic. my first 3000 kilometers with it (1 year after I Buy the truck).
    Very reliable, good fuel economy and I am finding it easy to set it up on my own, at least the basic issues with. no carb issues being diesel and starting smoothly every day. with minimal power steering and air conditioning comfort. I have been solving the small work needs thanks to the truck very happy now.

    Maybe for mi work I have to travel to the end of the world (Ushuaia Argentina) from Córdoba or Buenos Aires o maybe to Neuquén close to the Cordillera de los Andes, in any case I want to do in the Isuzu.
    The worst scenary si go back to the garage and the next 6 month work in the Office in Córdoba. And My sister can use the truck yo go with my nephew and his bikes to the park un other part of the country.

  11. Lee L says:

    For the past 13 years I’ve driven my 2008 Yaris Hatchback. 3 door, 5 speed, 1.5

    Great, very reliable car that’s easy to work on. This winter the battery went kaput and we’ve had a lot more snow and ice than normal. I happened to get a great deal on a 2008 Chevy Colorado LT that I’ve been driving a lot until I stop being cheap and put a new battery in the Yaris.

    We also have a 2016 Hyundai Tucson that my wife drives, but I drive it on the weekend when we all go places.

    Nothing too exciting, but I have some other cars in the works for the future. I’ll probably be working remotely as long as I stay at my current company so “DD” isn’t really a thing for me anymore and I no longer really “need” to have a car that gets 40+ MPG

  12. dankan says:

    Just a 2020 Corolla for now. It is still plentiful, but becoming an increasingly rare sight as Canadians buy ALL the cross-overs. But it carries 3 adult-sized people and a large dog in comfort, any time, any where, without using a ton of gas. It’s my third Corolla as a daily, and it has been fun to see how the car has changed over the generations. Beyond the profusion of screens and “infotainment,” there have also been some interesting improvements in the use of space, and fit-and-finish, so kaizen isn’t dead, in the little things.

    My favourite thing though, is sometimes in traffic, I can be in a line of other Corollas from different generations. So there will be a little mobile family tree, showing the evolution better than Darwin could have wished. It may be silly, but I get a kick out of it.

  13. Long Beach Mike says:

    Daily is an Infiniti M35. Wonderful car with bulletproof mechanicals but it is slowly falling apart cosmetically. Still, I can’t find anything comparable and newer for under 20k that I would enjoy driving more than this comfortable and practical sedan that out-handles any 3 series that lacks an M badge. I have an NB Miata in LS trim that feeds my need for a more involving driving experience when I want to exercise my left foot and row my own gears..

  14. Gilles says:

    I bought a 2004 Matrix new that I still drive every day.

  15. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Can’t say that it handles all of my daily driver needs but my 1986 Suzuki Samurai Tin Top with a 1.6 16 Valve gets a LOT of use. (Did you know that you can actually stuff 8′ lumber inside?) My partner drives a 1993 Mazda Miata with a hard top when she’s not stealing my Samurai.

  16. Dimitry Mochkin says:

    I’ve always dreamt of storing something nice and old into the garage, and pulling it out to go for a drive/track/you name it, but for now my daily horse is a 2014 Honda Fit (Canada only year of the GE chassis).
    A bit old, with an almost permanent engine light – who would’ve thought that Chinese-assembled Hondas will have their own proprietary temperature sensors with bad wiring?
    Whilst I spent most of last summer hooning new to me 200tw tires (AD08R leggo) – upcoming season’s plan is to take to as many track events and autocross cone destruction days as possible. It helps that I just became the second shooter for Ontario Time Attack series – so free track time! That drivermod is not going to build itself!
    Don’t even get me started on the glory that are the Fit Magic Seats – that thing hauled more stuff into our new house than should be possible by the little junkbox that that car is.

  17. Rapp says:

    I’ve got my 2015 FRS, its my only car and its been great at for the last 3 years. Bought as a CPO car in 2018 with 10k miles on it. Now I’m at 48k and I love it even more than I did when I bought. Coming from 16 years of AWD and mostly turbo subarus it was a change and I’m so glad I did. It was between this and an ND miata and without doubt I made the right choice for me. The ND would have been just a tad too impractical. But with 12+ hour road trips and track days and just driving to the store I’ve loved every bit of it.

  18. MikeRL411 says:

    My daily drivers are my 1967 RL411 and my 1997 J30T. I don’t have garage queens. If it’s not driven it rots. Both were “original buyer” vehicles.
    The Infiniti was used by Nissan corporate and I was the first buyer. Proof is on the service work orders which list the car history from manufacture to current service date.

    The 67 SSS was used as the dealer’s demo and I bought it after a horrible winter during which it sat on the lot covered with snow and then the 510 came out. Good bargaining position!

  19. Ernie says:

    I’d like to think my daily will be a future JNC, especially with all the current hype around the GR Yaris, but chances are it won’t. That’s right, friends, I drive a 2007 Toyota Yaris base model. The first year the Yaris was offered in the US. I bought it new off the lot thinking I’d have it for a couple years, at most, before trading for something else. Thirteen years later and…yeah. To be fair, I think I’ve done well with it. Seibon Carbon bits, RPF1’s, Bilstein inside…it actually gets a bit of love on the streets and I picked up a certificate at the last Toyotafest. Still, the mighty 1NZFE and it’s volatile 106hp is probably not going to end up on any classic JDM lists. Nonetheless, there is a fun, active community around these cars and here in 2021, 2007 is just old enough to give me some mild warm and fuzzies. For anyone interested, you can check my furious machine out at instagram.com/vaderhelmet

  20. Scotty G says:

    I have two relatively old JNCs (1980 Dodge D-50 Sport, 1988 Subaru GL EV – yes, a battery-powered GL sedan with a 5-speed), but I rarely drive them. The normal drivers are a Prius, Cayenne Turbo, and Audi TT. Not too creative or JNC’y, eh?

  21. Jim Simpson says:

    My daily driver for the last 15 years is a 5 speed Toyota Sera, comfortable and reliable, wishing I had bought a Toyota 2000gt but at least I still have my Mazda Cosmo 110s

  22. Banpei says:

    It depends on your definition of actually driving! 😉

    I’ve daily driven my 1982 Toyota Carina for seven years, so when I bought a brand new blue Honda Civic Sport FK2 in 2013 I hunted down a decent garage for the Carina to retire in. In the meanwhile a Trueno AE86 joined the Carina as fun to drive. For the past seven years I’ve driven the Honda Civic daily, but ever since the first Corona lockdown things have changed.

    The AE86 was put in winter storage end of 2019. Due to Covid restrictions and family conditions I haven’t been able to pick it up yet. Meanwhile I don’t get to drive the Civic more than just a few grocery runs. The Carina is still parked in a nearby garage and I do take it out every now and then for a drive. In other words: I’ve almost driven more kilometers in the Carina during the few (p)leasure drives than in the Civic. So which of these cars actually is my “daily” today?

  23. Dave Patten says:

    I vintage race a ’72 Datsun 510, hill climb a ’71 510 and club race an ’82 Mazda RX7.

    My daily driver is a 2014 Ford Transit Connect mini van.

    I’m not sure what my daily driver selection means, maybe its my “Old Yankee” conservatism exposing itself.

  24. Marwin says:

    My daily for the last 9 years (and counting) is my 2005 Hyundai Accent. I bought it just as a cheap winter car to keep my ’83 Mitsubishi Galant off the salty winter roads. Although I’ve used the car for more than just daily driving: That little Hyundai has seen 4 different race tracks, all but one at least a few times. The legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife and Spa Francorchamps, but also the TT Assen track and the Zandvoort circuit. It has seen thousands of kilometers of German Autobahn and windy roads in the Eifel region, trying to keep up with much faster cars.

    This way I learned the little 1.3L 4 cylinder engine is able to just get the car over 200km/h (GPS-speed), if you have the patience. I’ve also learned the ABS light comes on if you go over 195km/h. I assume the ABS system isn’t programmed for those speeds, as the factory listed top speed is a humble 173km/h.

    I’ve driven it from 80.000km to 216.000km (and counting). It’s been through heat waves of 40 degrees centigrade, colds of -15 degrees centigrade, every year through rain, snow, salt and mud. Over paths that left Subarus scraping their underside. I’ve hauled bicycles, firewood, multiple sets of tyres and even a 2,6m long workdesk with it, In all instances the doors and trunk could close completely, the toolkit I always keep in the back has helped about a dozen car owners get their cars repaired to continue (and the Accent never needed it, barring one flat tyre). Despite all that unusual driving for a car that is often seen as more boring than a Corolla, the Accent never let me down. Apart from normal maintenance and the occasional replacement of wear items like tyres, brake parts and a single wheel bearing, there has been just one notable part replacement: The oil pan appears to be quite prone to rust. Just a minor issue, considering a new oil pan costs less than 15 euros.

    I joined a “winterbeater-test” hosted by a Dutch classic car magazine a few months ago, in which they did a number of tests to find the best winter beater for classic car drivers. Here is the most noteworthy quote translated: “The car that actually surprises the most and only loses because of it’s dullness, is the budget-friendly and trouble-free Hyundai”

    It has proven to be the perfect daily when reliability and low cost of ownership are top priorities. And I know I’m going to keep it next to my classics. Even when/if the daily driving will be taken over by a more comfortable/luxurious car, should my financial situation provide for that.

  25. Speedie says:

    My daily is a 2010 Mazda3 Grand Touring Hatchback with the 2.5l and a six speed manual. It just turned 151K miles last week. My weekend car is a 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3. So as not to be a total Mazda household my wife drives a 2012 Mini Cooper S.

  26. cesariojpn says:

    Lexus IS300, the official car of “I chose that car with fake revving engine sounds first in Need For Speed: Most Wanted 2005.”

    To keep in character, I also have the NFS Underground 2, Most Wanted, and Carbon soundtracks on tap in the radio.

  27. Mike P says:

    My current daily driver is a Subaru Forrester or a Scion Xb (my fourth one), with an 87 Suzuki Samarai (with 17k miles) in the garage and a 67 Datsun 520 pickup project in the driveway (anybody want it?). Ten years ago my daily was a 79 Celica Hatchback which I only sold because I got tired of no AC!

  28. rayz says:

    1970 510 & 1970 240z original owner

  29. emuman says:

    I have my RX-8 (Rexy) for 14 years now, we have a 2013 NC Miata (Nancy), but the car we put most miles on is a 1993 Mazda 323 (Maja). I actual enjoy to drive Maja even with the other two more direct and sporty cars in comparison. Sometimes the older ones may not look fancy, but have their strengths.

    • speedie says:

      I like the older models as they are more analog and usually have much more character (or quirks if you prefer). I loved my old 76 Celica GT even though it was not the fastest, prettiest (it had a lot of rust), or best handling car I ever owned. It was just a fun car.

  30. mel says:

    atm a Miyata (bicycle)

  31. Yuri says:

    Because my wife and I recently bought a house in a hilly area without much parking, I only have enough room for one daily and one vintage J-tin, and even then, I have to street park the daily. My AE86 GTS, 91 Supra, and two-tone S13 are all in storage, while my S30Z is tucked in the garage next to my wife’s Tesla Model Y Performance.

    I believe that whenever a company releases a car that I feel really strongly about, I should support them and buy it new. To date, I’ve only owned two brand new cars, the first was a Mitsubishi Evo VIII I bought new in 2004, and the other is my current daily, a 2018 BRZ tS.
    I chose my BRZ with the knowledge that I want to be the original owner of a classic Japanese car down the road, so I waited for what I thought would be the ultimate ZC6/ZN6, and then when the production numbers for each color were released, I chose the rarest. I am now the proud original owner of BRZ tS #160/500, one of only 104 built in Crystal Black Silica.
    To become classic Japanese cars, they must be new Japanese cars first, and who hasn’t thought about what it would have been like to be the original owners of one of our cars, going into a dealership and picking out or ordering it, and all the excitement that entailed?

    I got my Evo (unfortunately sold a long time ago) and BRZ because I wanted to experience that myself.

  32. Alan says:

    2006 Outback XT 5Mt w/ Spec B suspension, STI brakes, Group N motor/trans/diff mounts, STI uppipe, divorced downpipe, protune, 18″ OZ Prodrive P1s, big rear sway bar, lots of other neat little tricks.

    The car sits about as low as a Legacy GT wagon (but with the Outback’s sexy flares and fogs), and has a stock-quiet exhaust – I’ve literally done full-bore acceleration away from stoplights and been totally ignored by hiding cops, which is something for a car that will pull 60 in about 4 seconds flat.

    It hauls kids, dogs, greasy junkyard project car engine blocks, home improvement hauls, groceries, and ass. It’s safe, comfortable, out-handles and pulls buddies’ top-tier sports cars in the canyons, passes Porsches on track days, and even retains pretty decent off-road chops, for what it is. I maintain it carefully, and despite being hard-driven and pushing 150k miles, it never breaks.

    15 MPG on premium is the only real downside. I’ll never sell it.

  33. F31Roger says:

    I drive my Blue M30 (it’s my daily), 2014 Sienna and Previa too.

    Sienna and Previa are great for the family.

    My vert is in Canada and in 2019, I drove it from Seattle to Vancouver BC where my in laws live. I took my family out and they loved the top down. It was the daily in Vancouver for the summer.

  34. Steve says:

    I daily a 2016 FRS, use my ’88 Toyota PU for Home Depot duty, and on weekends take out my ’04 IS300. All M/T, of course.

    I really envy the posters above who still have/drive their first gen Yarises. I had a 2011 that was totalled in 2015 at 140k trouble-free miles. I still miss that car. Sure, so-so handling and short on power but it was a helluvalotta fun, in it’s own way. I liked it so much I still think about buying another used one even though I don’t buy used cars. Those posts above even reminded me to check Craigslist…

  35. Socarboy says:

    Daily: 2009 Nissan Frontier King Cab 5-speed manual RWD 176K miles, picked it up last year for $5500 and had to put another $2500 into it to make it a great driver. My new “weekender” picked up earlier this month a 2011 Toyota Avalon Limited with 90K miles. Bare bones basic during the week and posh luxury on the weekend

  36. Lachlan says:

    I live in Australia and there are no manual (petrol) station wagons available on the market, and the only JDM wagons were Subarus (been there, done that) or sad base model Lancers or similar. I want manual, petrol and fast, and if I want Japanese made, too, then I’m completely out of luck.

    I daily a 2005 Mini Cooper S (manual) which has had some minor “tweaking,” and my wife drives a 2014 Renault Megane GT220 (manual) wagon. There’s also the occasional long-term lend of a 2001 Mazda MX5 (manual) when I ask my dad nicely!

    If Toyota release the GR Corolla wagon that has been suggested I’ll be the first in line!

  37. RotorNutcase says:

    Jan of the Brady Bunch: Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! It’s always about Marsha!!!
    Me: Mazda, Mazda, Mazda, Mazda…

    Before retiring, alternated 50 mile R/T commutes between my ’88 RX-7 convertible and ’04 RX-8 Sport (both with M/T & original engines). Since the -7 only had about 5k miles when purchased, I amuse myself by keeping the odometer for both at similar mileages. Currently they’re at 76k miles.

    Oh… the other “Mazda, Mazda” are a ’16 CX-5 Touring (replaced a ’03 MPV) and a ’75 REPU.

  38. Madis says:

    my 1998 capella wagon, but since the hardcore body repair is not finished still ( new subframe, not finished sanding and painting) i drive my 1993 mazda b2200, but that needs bodywork badly and a new frame, not gonna go to pass inspection this year anymore.. so i have two options left after that, 69 luce 1500 2.0ma efi that burns oil so much it kills lambda sensors and 89 fc3s t2 that im converting to v mount setup- still needs new ecu and fuel fittings.. if i cant make it before summer i have to ride my piaggio nrg i guess..

  39. Greyfox says:

    My daily driver is a Manual 1993 NX Coupe with the SR20DE in Dark blue pearl. Bought it a few years ago from an old Italian couple, they kept it in mostly mint, all original condition, including the original tires! They claimed they won it from a Nissan dealership in some kind of raffle. It only had a little over 25,000 kms on it since they drove it occasionally. Got it under 4 grand AUD.

    About a year ago I passed a towtruck carrying an NX-R (NX-2000) to be scrapped. It had the original NX-R Alloys on it, so I called up the towtruck company and made a deal to get the wheels. Got them blasted and powder coated in a gold color to try and match the gold pinstripe on the body.

    So I got the ‘restored’ NX-R wheels on it with some decent sporty tires, some useful dark tint, and a sports exhaust (Kept the original muffler as a spare part though), but since I got the car in such original condition I don’t want to do any irreversible modding to it. It still has the original Nissan Radio and tape-deck too. I like to take it up in the hills when the weather is good and drive on all the twisty back roads and listen to that SR20DE rumble… Fun Times…

  40. Andrew H says:

    I love the response rate to this question. Such a great community of enthusiasts!

    Seeing how I work for a Toyota dealership, my daily drive is a new Corolla Hybrid sedan. But I’m currently teaching my 2yo daughter; “This is daddy’s new car (pointing to the Corolla), but this is daddy’s FAVOURITE CAR (pointing to my 1989 Toyota Crown station wagon currently in pieces in the garage)”.

  41. Ben E. says:

    I currently daily drive my 95 Corolla wagon. On winter steelies. Summer time it wears A60 Supra wheels. On most trips we drive my girfriends 2005 Echo hatch. Both cars have roof racks laden with kiacks and bikes. In the summer we cruise in our A70 Supra Sport roof. In the garage I currently pick at restoring my RA64 Celica. For summer hauling and offroad I run a 1990 F150 4×4 rebuilt and customized by me. And I also have a 2002 F150 for winter trucking purposes. I haven’t quite gotten into classic Toyota trucks because they are too crammed for me. But for the cars I don’t picture myself ever not driving an older Toyota. They just can’t be beat for reliability and simplicity! And they are fun to collect.

  42. Nthuzis1 says:

    Daily? ’02 bugeye WRX wagon…manual! In the words of Newman from Seinfeld…”THE HUMANITY!

  43. Kevinx says:

    ’08 Impreza hatch. Just a base model so nothing flashy but since most Imprezas I see around town are WRXs mine is oddly unique. No space for a JNC at the moment but I do have a ’78 Honda Twinstar motorcycle that runs.

  44. Dan Richardson says:

    My winter daily is a 2017 Mazda 3 GT hatch. Looks great, handles great, great on gas, fairly quick, every option you could want and affordable. I can’t think of anything I’d change about it.

    Summer daily is 2007 Carrera 2 cabriolet. I never understood the whole Porsche thing until I got one. I get it now. It’s a sports car that doesn’t ask you to make compromises. So easy to live with day to day.

    Those two fulfill my needs so much that the rest have just become side projects (‘86 Mr2, ‘88 Supercharged Mr2, ‘04 RX8 and an ‘O5 9-2x Aero).

    • speedie says:

      Totally agree on the Mazda3. I put Nokian Hakkapeliitta snows on my 2010 GT hatch and nothing stops it from getting where I want to go. Just an overall great car.

  45. Chris says:

    I live in a 4 season climate in a mountainous area so 4WD is a priority this time of year for me. I replaced my rotted out 95 F150 with a 2010 Rav4 Limited for my winter car, but during the summer I normally daily my 90 Camry DX. Occasionally on a nice day, I will drive my 88 Camry LE V6.

  46. My daily is an ’03 Silverado with an 8′ bed (special order in this age of four-door trucks with 4′ beds) for hauling motorcycles. When the weather cooperates, I commute to work on my ’06 Yamaha FZ6 or ’14 TW200. The ’73 CB350F is still unfinished and the ’95 Triumph Thunderbird is reserved for relaxing backroads cruising. Once the new seat belts, brake lines, and exhaust are done on the ’74 Dart Swinger, it will be added to the rotation.

    That’s when I’m not driving the museum’s cars, of course. Included in that are about 30 JDM classics, plus the ’15 Honda S660 and the ’14 N-ONE that I bought new 6 years ago.

  47. KevinH says:

    The duty of “Daily Driver” is truly split between my 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth and my 1979 Toyota Corona Wagon. Occasionally I drive our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. I have nothing against minivans, quite the contrary; I love minivans and believe minivans are the answer 95% of the time to the 5+ member family vehicular conundrum. I also despise most modern day (90’s and up, lol) SUVs.
    I enjoy engagement and driving spiritedly all the time. I purchased the 500 for those reasons, I modified my J-Tin for those reasons, and I bought the Pacifica for those reasons (most engaging minivan at that time).
    I put my money where my mouth was/is and bought a dumb hot hatch when I needed a new daily. I went for pops, bangs, angry exhaust notes, a third pedal, and fun over resale value, high seating position, or ho-hum practicality. Also I never go offroad and, like most of America, I drive on paved roads… no need for “offroad capability” or “Trail Rating”. I will continue to put my money where my mouth is with our next purchase, we need another family vehicle built in the last decade (my partner’s rules) and I guarantee it to be a fun sedan or wagon even if I have to get a PRNDL.

  48. MrBill says:

    I had to give up driving my street-tuned ’92 240sx coupe several years ago when my children outgrew the back seat. I moved from that to an ’03 Y34 Infiniti M45, then a brief stint in an ’08 C300 4MATIC before giving that to my wife. I now daily a manual ’05 G35 sedan that is receiving a steady dose of care and tuning. It’s about to receive some fully-adjustable suspension pieces to replace some very worn factory bits. Coilovers and control-arms galore!

  49. Chris says:

    In addition to my hobby car, Eunos Roadster S Special, I’ve been driving an 2004 Alfa 156 Sportwagon for 9 years. With currently almost 260,000 km, it is very reliable. I catch myself checking on other dailys but I can’t part with the car. The design just turns me on. Coming from an Alfa family and loving JNC. That’s a good mix for me, even if I often catch myself looking for an old JNC as a daily.

  50. Clifton says:

    My daily is an ‘05 Lexus LX470 despite the slightly scary 17.8 litres/100km consumption. Its so smooth and comfortable, nice and high with excellent visibility and swallows speed bumps in its stride. And of course the classic V8 character. I had used my ‘01 WRX bugeye as a DD for some years, but the Lexus was so nice it had to go!

    I do sometimes use my ‘11 C63 6.2 V8, this definitely would be wasted as a daily driver, so I keep it for open road trips where it can stretch its legs. So I’ve ended up with two V8’s and am very happy with that.

  51. Tom Westmacott says:

    I had a ’94 180SX as my only car from 2008, followed by my ’96 RX-7 in 2012 which remained my only car until late 2019, when I gave in and got something newer, heavier and more comfortable alongside it as a daily. Which was initially a 350Z HR, but the limited luggage space made me realise that it was silly having two sports cars, and sent me looking for a fast estate.

    If Lexus had produced an IS-F SportCross, that would have been perfect, but in the absence of that I now have a 2007 Merc C55 AMG wagon as a daily. It complements the RX-7 well as it’s more comfortable and practical for longer trips, both have balanced engines that rev smoothly and both have plenty of power and torque; yet as soon as I jump back in the Mazda I almost laugh out loud at how immediate and exciting it is by contrast to the Merc. So as a good daily that also sharpens my appreciation of my weekend car, it really hits the spot.

  52. My_Fairlady_ZFG says:

    I drive a 1993 Mercedes Benz e300 W124 sedan turbo diesel. Its my first car. It’s an automatic, but I have a 5 speed for it out of a 190e. However, I’m going to hold off on the swap until the automatic transmission goes. When I bought it, reverse was basically non existent (and it hasn’t come back) but the grant has surprisingly held up like a champ. I like it a lot. It’s a fun, practical, classic looking, room for friends car. And it’s been very very reliable.
    If all goes according to plan, my 240Z will join in the dailying fun this spring or summer. That’s my goal.
    Who know, 1977 Celica fastback might too

  53. Bob says:

    2007 Honda Element EX with a row-your-own box that I bought new and still under 100K miles.
    Was trying to decide to sell or keep. Think I’ll keep it and doing some cosmetic work, wheels and a sound system upgrade. It won’t take much to be immaculate again.
    I was looking at a Kia Sportage SX Turbo. 240 HP, very loaded, good warranty and not a bad looking litter ute.
    But I think I’ll keep the old girl, but opinions are welcome.

  54. Hello fellow JNC lovers,

    I love the response this article triggered. You’re a great bunch of people, love reading everybodys reply.

    Two years ago I abandonded dailying what we call youngtimers in Germany (cars 20-30 years old, before they become historic vehicles at age 30), for a company discount long term rental scheme.

    1st was a 2019 Mazda Miata RF with the 2.0 184hp engine and 6-speed manual.
    2nd was a 2019 Mazda 6 Wagon with the Diesel engine and 6-speed automatic.
    3rd was a 2020 Ford Focus ST-Line wagon with 1.5 three cylinder and 8-speed automatic.
    4th is a 2020 Ford Focus ST wagon with a six speed manual.
    5th will be a 2021 Ford Focus ST wagon with double clutch transmission (stick n/a anymore).

    I still keep my old cars and enjoy them during the summer season, w/o salt on the roads. However, as I drive a lot during the nights, matrix LED headlights are a must-have for me now. It is active safety if you can see wildlie etc way earlier than with old school bulbs. Plus it has a way longer range/reach, which is important at 200+ on the Autobahn.

    Just for fun, I created a list with pictures of all the cars I had (some of them are still in my shed):


    Japanese cars are well represented in my car history that started in 1996 with a BMW 02.

    Best regards

    PS: Having to buy a “disposable” winter car (end of Oct to end of March) every year for the last ten or so years really bumped up the numbers significantly, trying to save the good ones from salt and rust.

  55. Retro Mike says:

    Daily driver is a 2016 Q50 Red Sport
    J-tin is a 2 owner 1990 300ZX TT
    and both cars have nissan 3.0 V6 twin turbo!

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