I'll start off with a somewhat unrelated but humorous story:

Yesterday during my lunch break I received a call from a number I did not recognize. It was a saleswoman from a Scion/Toyota dealer I went to a couple weeks ago (she's called multiple times since). She asked if I was still interested in the FR-S. I told her that it was a great car but upon further evaluation I was no longer interested because I needed something more practical...something that could fit, for example, my snowboard. She then piped up "what about a nice RAV4?" Before I knew it, I said "to be perfectly honest, outside of the FR-S I am not even remotely interested in anything Toyota has to offer."

Whoops...a little too forward but at least I won't be getting any more calls.

Now the real post:

I reached out to my insurance and the Subaru dealer yesterday to get accurate quotes from each. My insurance would only go up a couple bucks a month so I was pumped. Then I got the all-inclusive price breakdown for the rex...and I realized that I shouldn't do it. I can afford it, but such monthly payments as I was anticipating it would severely cut back on other areas of my life. It pains me (literally, the stress hurt my chest) but I need to move on.

The problem is that there are no cars in my price range that I am interested in. The Dart is the only one that may fit the bill (I'm hard capping $21k now, after tax, more on why shortly) but there are no MT ones in the area. I plan on swinging by Dodge today and taking an auto out for an extended drive and then making them track down a manual for me if I like it enough.

The reason for my shift in car focus is that I need to get out of my house. I figure that if I focus on a different price range I can have lower monthly payments (and possibly insurance) and then more money to move away.

I've asked in the past but to all you Dart owners out there, thoughts? Opinions? Input? To everyone else, what should I look at again? I honestly have just two weeks until my lease ends and I am vehicle-less. I want a MT, $20k max sticker, and somewhat fun. I may buy, even if I unload it in a few years for something better because you never know how you'll fall in love with something unexpected.