Right where do we start? He is concerned that his small Korean car is impractical, consumes to much fuel, isn't nimble enough and he is worried about brand name on his current car, how on earth do you propose anything that came out of America in the 1980s is going to help with any of that?
You've missed the point, having rear wheel drive in a light low power everyday car makes them more fun to throw around at low speeds, high speed behaviour isn't an issue, a typical old rear drive saloon will still be better behaved at speed and far less likely to loose control at speed than a short wheelbase front drive box. Rear drive is the best solution mechanically, front wheel drive cars are cheap to produce and allow easier packaging for overweight modern cars but are far harder and more expensive to work on than rear wheel drive cars which allow much easier servicing of engine, drivetrain and suspension components. Given the current economic situation and environmental paranoia it would be far better to build cheap rear drive cars that are built to keep on going forever at minimal cost and expertise. Instead we have a generation of cars that are have been produced with lots of features, far too much electronics, cosmetically high perceived quality trim that disintegrates as soon as you try and take it apart and lots of security fixings to try and stop any DIY work, not to mention the deliberate locking and control of the electronic systems. It just isn't possible to keep these cars on the road as old bangers and sadly most of them will make their way to scrap yards before their predecessors because of the costs involved in keeping them going.
It doesn't work like that, modifications are done on an individual basis and an engine swap and a young driver is a pretty scary prospect as far as an insurance company is concerned, if you're putting in a bigger engine that was actually fitted to your car you may be able to talk them into it (although finding a chassis number for it would be an easier option). Putting a totally different engine in will make them worried, putting a 2 litre engine into an old hatchback will just have you laughed out the door.
A very good suggestion, my dad's 1.6 Zetec is great fun to drive cruises effortlessly and has a good gear shift, pedal and steering feel for a modern car. The handling is very neutral and it was great fun on trackdays, easy to induce oversteer. My dad reckons it is the best handling front wheel drive he has ever driven, but we disagree on one thing, he reckons it could handle more power and is talking about getting a 2 litre, personally I think it is the relative total lack of power that makes it so fun to drive and giving it more power (and a heavier engine) would just turn it into a typical overpowered hot hatch which is just frustrating at low speeds and too fast to be fun on the road. Never heard there was a difference between the models though.
Don't even dream of it. Seriously. I drive one of those and it's deceptively fast. What I mean is that being a turbo it's midrange acceleration is very good, (as good as a lot of much more powerfull N/A cars), it makes it's peak torque right down at 2,500 revs and you'll find yourself approaching corners much faster than you think.
Like I said, because it's a refined car and not a rev happy engine it feels like it's going much slower than it is. You don't really feel like you're going quick till it's doing over a ton. Anything lower just feels like tickling it.
Edited to add - plus the owner of that one should be shot for fitting stupidly large wheels (19" ??)
If you haven't got a long commute and don't have to drive up and down the country on a daily basis then fuel consumption really isn't all that important, people often spend silly sums of money, even purchasing expensive brand new cars over second hand ones because along the way they have omitted the fact that fuel consumption is only one of many costs associated with vehicle ownership. To be honest fuel consumption wasn't a major worry for me, ironically I think my car gets better miles being thrashed on back roads or going round town than cruising down the motorway at 80, which gives plenty of excuse to take a more interesting route. It will take a long time for me to rack up the extra thousands that something more modern and economical would have cost to purchase, tax and insure. You're right about being able to pick up bargains though I've got a mate who drives a 7 series, bought for £100 running but in need of piston rings, after inexpensive tinkering he has got a lot of car in good condition for less than a shabby hatchback, if you can pay the fuel bill then it can be a lot more appealing than spending the money on a more conventional car IMO
1. BMW 320i. RWD, 2.0 Litre, good MPG, fun car, around £500...
2. BMW 318i. RWD, 1.8 litre, good mpg, fun car, around £250...
3. Mazda MX5. RWD, 1.6 litre (i think), actually very good mpg, too much fun XD but around £800 - £1500
Find me a quote for a 17 year old with a Fiesta with a 2 litre engine for less than other standard 2 litre hot hatches then (which will be orders of magnitude greater than an old Fiesta). Quite what you did I don't know but it is simply impossible to work out insurance groups based on engines, because the same engine can be used in a whole range of vehicles. Typically engine swaps for another standard engine that was put in the car originally (ie. Minis) will carry a premium slightly higher than the standard car with that engine, I've got a couple of mates who have done this, it is realistically insurable but a lot more than the original car. Putting an engine that any insurance broker will instantly recognise as being silly into a car, like a 2 litre Fiesta will not be taken so easily at the very best you may be able to convince them that it is only a similar risk to other 2 litre hot hatches, but even they are not realisitic propositions for young drivers.
You make it being impossible sound like gospel truth. If you're going to use the Fiesta example, do some research or something, the 2L Zetec which is a straight fit was only used in Mondeos of the same age.
I'm not saying dropping a new engine won't raise your premium, nor am I saying it's viable for a 17 year old. I'm saying you can do it, and people do do it.
It's Malaysian, and while practicality isn't that important, it does need 4 seats.
FWIW just done a "run". Its used 27.5 litres of fuel to drive 219.4 miles (figures gained from a full tank, then seeing how much fuel it took to fill up again). That means i'm running at 36.2 MPG - which, again, is better than what the manufacturers state (so far both stats about the car i've checked myself have been BS so Proton suck it seems), and i've been driving a little faster than usual this week - will try and see what granny driving does this week, then will see what cheaper fuel does the week after (atm running on Tesco Ultimate 99 - no idea if thats a good idea, though). Also put a shot o' Redex in the other day...
I have a confused.com profile set up with the ages fiddled so it'll tell me what the prices will be in August when I need to renew (with 7 months of passing my test, 1 years NCB, Pass Plus and being 18).
I've put 15,000 miles down, because atm I predict I will drive around 10,000 miles (well, i'm doing about 220-230 miles a week atm :X), will try a quote with 2,000 miles.
Out of interest - I know it's a little bit illegal, and I don't really want to - but how will they know?
EDIT - With 15,000 miles a year = £1,125.50, with 1,000 miles a year = £1,255.50. WTFunk!
Not illegal, but I mean that it's misleading and means if I make a claim they will just say "oh he did way over 2,500 miles therefore his insurance is void" and i'll be screwed - but not sure how they'd check...