As I had previously mentioned, I’ve found myself in the market for a new vehicle. I’ve started to more or less narrow things down and I’ve come up with the top three vehicles that I think would be rather nice, while still being practical and relatively easy on the wallet (both in insurance and fuel)...

2016 Mazda 6 i Sport

Okay, so it’s not the shiniest one, and it doesn’t have all the fancy gadgets, but for the money it’s a great looking car with good features. As sacrilege as this sounds, I’m leaning toward the automatic (which I read is decent fun in sport mode) if for no other reason than the manual sports a gutted info-tainment package, and the manual Touring model is pretty impossible to find.

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2016 Optima LX Turbo

This one interested me a lot once I started to look at it. Having had a Kia before, the peace of mind of the warranty is nice. Engine/Trans combo looks fun as well. 1.6T w/ 7 speed DCT sounds like it’ll be a nice combo, and will probably be what we see on the standard LX in a year or so. Again, not the shiniest, but it will do the job well. Depending on the angle though, those wheels just look too damn small.

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2016 Golf Sportwagen S

Because wagon... though no longer diesel... and not available in brown... and also not manual (dons flame-suit). In all seriousness, the engine is supposedly fantastic, and a wagon is definitely the best alternative to a small SUV or crossover. Interior is a little sparse, but I could live with it.

SO that’s it I guess. Any thoughts on those would be great...

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A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHES

I mean, who doesn’t want a truck?

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I certainly want one, but finding a cheap enough LT crew cab is going to be hard. Then pulling it into my garage is going to be hard. I mean, if I drive one and decide I can’t live without it then okay. Otherwise I’ll use my brain.