Help me choose some new wheels.
I drive 300 miles per week on roads that would give a veteran PTSD flashbacks of Baghdad, but with less sand and more potholes. Yes that's right I live in Southeast Michigan. I'm a 6'3" man who is "Farah" sized and is looking for a new daily. I am a 20 year old college student who works close to 40 hours a week while going to school part time and participating on a local race team with my spare time. I currently daily a 2005 Crown Vic grandparent special and I want to kick off the training wheels and get something more fun. Also have daily driven an NA Miata for a few weeks and can say that they are definitely out based on size and comfort the only option on that front would be an NC and I wouldn't hold your breath based on the prices.
- under $4500
- around 19 mpg because it's what I get now and am worried about when gas prices spike again, don't lie to yourself you know its coming too. Keep in mind that is with regular gas their is a penalty for premium and diesel so they would have to be more efficient to offset the fuel cost. I can swing around $50 a week in fuel.
- Should be comfortable for me (again tall bigger guy) as I am in it for 2-3 hours most days during the week
- Durable and Reliable (doesn't need to be perfect but I work for minimum wage and don't have a lot of cash, that said I am no stranger to working on cars and am willing to work on my own ride just not every weekend)
- Seat should be comfortable with some form of support (no bench basically) and should be able to recline in vehicle
- I live in the rust belt so a vehicle that isn't prone to horrible rust issues but am willing to travel within reason to buy said vehicle.
- RWD (have always had it or 4wd and I'm not worried about winter) but bonus points for being better in terrible weather so AWD or 4WD good as well and if I like it enough will do FWD.
- Electric windows and locks but not a deal-breaker
- Not to have to do bodywork
- Easier to work on the better as I will be doing most of the repairs in my garage
- Number of seats (as long as there is 2 I should be fine)
- leather vs cloth seating
- Doesn't have to be a car as I like trucks and SUVs but keep in mind the mpgs
Random X factors
- I like quirky cars
- I'm more of a muscle car guy but am open to options
- I like the car to be fun to drive and enjoy cornering
- I love a car I can beat on, where I can hit rough and bumpy roads at full steam and barely feel it, floor it from every light and corner hard when I want to have fun.
- I would like to autocross or rallycross it but that is not a disqualifier for vehicles as a good daily is more important than just that.
I'm more than happy to answer questions and appreciate your responses.
What say you OPPO?