So I'm finally in the market to buy a car of my choice. My price range is around $10,000. I've been driving my parent's sedans for quite some time and I'm ready to drive something fun, preferably a convertible. But being young, I have lots to consider including insurance, gas prices, reliability, and maintenance costs. I'm going to keep this car pretty much all through med school and even probably some of residency, so I need it to be problem free.
I've wanted a Jeep Wrangler since I was a kid, but the gas mileage is turning me away from it. Honda S2000's and MR2 Spyders are badass and great on gas, but I'm afraid the insurance and maintenance will be too expensive, especially because they are not common. Mustangs/Camaros are common as hell, but are out due to their gas mileage and mechanical problems. Acura RSX's are pretty cool looking and I'm sure gas, insurance, and reliability/maintenance are all fairly reasonable. The only thing is, I would much rather prefer a convertible (but any car I would enjoy will do).
Since Wranglers, S2000's, and MR2 Spyders are out, I'm left with 2 very reliable convertibles: Solaras (the first model) and Miatas (the second generation). The Solara, although a convertible, doesn't seem very fun and seems geared more towards the older crowd. Miatas just seem too damn fun. They supposedly have a big following among car enthusiasts for being great handlers and track cars. I would love to put the top down and throw them around corners. But is the stigma for them being chick cars too big to ignore?
Does what you drive really play that much a part in how "manly" you look? Most of my friends are discouraging me from buying one because they are "chick cars", but I thought I'd ask you T-Men first. I'm not insecure or overly self-conscious, but I also don't want girls thinking I'm gay because of the car I drive, that's all. Also, any other car choices around that price you all know of that would fit my criteria? Thanks.