Help Me Out, Here!

So it’s time to start looking for a new vehicle. Sure, I get supplementary drives for about half the year, but my wife doesn’t get access to these. Besides, fun as they are, I can’t exactly take my kids skiing in a BMW Z4, Audi TT, or Mazda MX-5.

We’ve had a Ford Escape since 2003. They’re solid cars. I’m confident the V6 will last forever but the trannie’s slippy, the tires are balding, some asshole keyed the entire driver’s side, the cloth seats reek of Labrador Retriever breath and, well, it’s just time to start looking.

Everyone has a list of needs and wants. Here’s mine.

• I prefer being close to the ground and shifting gears manually, so that pretty much excludes SUVs, crossovers, vans and trucks.

• But I also do need space to take my kids skiing and the stinky dog to the chalet. So maybe – just maybe – we’re talking wagon or hatchback.

• These days it’s hard to find a lemon. (When you consider the number of parts, labour, technology, thinking and years of utility you draw from them, nearly all cars are simply brilliant value.) So I’m not ashamed to be seen driving a domestic. That said, I’m not a redneck opposed to foreign cars. I love them too.

• I like a bit of performance – but, like most armchair liberals, want to do right by the environment. (Tip: check out next week’s article re green driving.)

• I’m cheap.

I have a list but would love to hear your suggestions. Given these requirements, what do you think I should buy and why? Enter your suggestions below.

Image courtesy of aldenjewell.

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6 thoughts on “Help Me Out, Here!

  1. Well, a Audi A4 pretty much fits bill, except for the cheap part… (the wagon model – Avant – only comes in an automatic). They start at around $40k. I have a 2010 A4, and it’s a fantastic drive.

  2. Mazda 3 Sport if the cheap is the most important thing, however the Subaru Impreza feels more mechanical and lower down, with a great shifter, if you can part with a few dollars more.

  3. i recommend the blue 2004 Jeep Cherokee. they are really good on gas, and are blue (did I mention that?). they are alwo quite affordable these days. I know of one that you can pick up for about $8k.

  4. No particular order: Toyota Matrix, Mazda 3 Sport, Hyundai Elantra Touring, VW Golf Wagon TDI. A used Dodge Magnum.

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