As my Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon gets older and more and more stuff needs repair I am starting to consider selling it and buying another car to replace it. I would like it to be a wagon, but that's a set-in-stone requirement. A nice sedan would do. My requirements for a new car would be for it to baby, have a decent size trunk, and be fun to drive. Huge amounts of power not necessarily being a requirement, I know I could settle for a sedan with 180-horsepower.
So I took Jalopnik's advice and asked for a quote from a local BMW dealer for a BMW 320i equipped with the M-Sport Suspension, and manual transmission. I specced the car in Alpine White, with black leatherette interior, and the sport package. For options I put just the split fold down rear seat for the increased utility. I also asked for delivery at the BMW factory in Munich (two hours away from my home).
The asking price? $31,200. Sure, it's a sedan with 180 horsepower, but it's a perfectly balanced car, with good gas mileage, BMW's free maintenance, great driving dynamics, and high quality interior. Mini M3 it ain't, but it will be a family car, not a track machine.
I am also considering a Mercedes Benz CLA, and I am awaiting response from a Benz dealer, and I am also considering a VW Golf GTI, or Ford Focus ST (all USDM cars). Yes, all very different cars, but they fulfill my requirements.
But less than 32 grand for a brand new 3-series is a bargain! For this low price I might even add a few more options, like the the cold weather package and lighting package.