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Car search/Best of Oppo update

Illustration for article titled Car search/Best of Oppo update

As the title implies, I'm looking for a car, details after the jump. As for the Best of Oppo, I'm hoping to return with it tomorrow; the internet has been out at home for almost 2 days now. I'm on my phone right now and a post as involved as the 'best of oppo' is simply not happening from here. I had yesterday's edition nearly assembled but am kind of stuck with it for now.


On to the car search. I have my e30 but that's my project and though it runs well enough is not on the road and is not something that I'd like to subject to Canadian winters anyway. As for the Mazda3 I've been driving, it is getting passed on to my brothers to drive so I am in need of a DD.

Now, the qualifucations:
- manual transmission required, not optional
- hatchback/wagon pretty strongly preferred, though not strictly required, see next point
- I also like small trucks
- fuel efficient
- not terribly slow (yes, I know that may interfere with the previous requirement, but to give you an idea, the 160 hp of the Mazda3 are enough Zoom Zoom for regular driving duty.)
- Budget of $5000 Canadian monies, though that's not firm.
- preferably under 10 years old
- under 200K km (120 K miles), the lower the better obviously, under 150k km (90k miles) preferred.


What I'm considering so far, starting with small trucks. Main contenders there are the Ranger, Chevy S-10 and Colorado (though these may stretch the budget). I like the Frontier and Tacoma as well but these seems to hold much more of their value and maintain higher prices for the mileage. With the trucks, the 4 cylinder engines ad 2wd are probably necessary to aid fuel efficiency. An extended cab is likely necessary to accommodate all 6'5" of me.

As for the cars, there are a few contenders. Civic SiR, Focus (SVT), Mazda 3 and 6, hatch and wagon respectively. Im not terribly interested in the Hyundai Accent or VW Golf that would fall in my price bracket. I'll consider the Suzuki Aerio but they're not very common. Also in consideration are the Impreza wagon as well as its SAAB brother from another mother. The Dodge Caliber might be in as well but I'm not a fan of the looks, nor do I think I've ever seen one with a stickshift.


Frankly, the leader is probably to get a[ nother] Mazda 3, I really like the way they drive and look, am already familiar with it, they fit my needs well (why I picked our current car in the first place) and they're pretty widely available with a manual.

So, any opinions, cars I've missed or forgotten? I'd love to hear them.

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