Hey Oppo, help me find a car.

Illustration for article titled Hey Oppo, help me find a car.

In 2013, a series of unfortunate events, poor decisions, and the apparent ire of the known universe left my family with a lone, hellasick 5 speed 1995 Honda Racecar Civic to share between myself, my fiancé (unable to drive a manual), and our 2 year old son (also unable to drive a manual, though slightly more willing to learn). Living atop one of the higher hills of backwoods West Virginia, on a road that is maintained as well as Rick Ross's cholesterol level, this is less than ideal. Aside from the obvious "the only way I can move is by sliding into a horrific deathchasm" implications, this also prevents my better half(s) from going anywhere while unattended, which is pretty problematic when it comes to doctor's appointments, trips to the grocery store, and having a job.

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Like a somewhat-competent, almost-sober knight in scuffed armor, however, Tax Season is here to whisk us away from distress while vomiting uncontrollably or something (I'm not good with similes). Our benevolent Lord and Savior Uncle Sam has seen fit to bestow upon us an opportunity to purchase a new-to-us-and-maybe-Doc-Brown family transportation utensil, and I'm recruiting you, fellow Opponauts, to help us choose the right one. It'll be just like Doug Demuro's recent adventure, but without the entertainment, writing ability, or Ferraris!

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I have but a few simple(ish) guidelines:

-We have a budget of $3,000.

This is, unfortunately, non-negotiable. I'd love to plunk down a couple grand towards something a little less awful, but financing just isn't an option at this point.

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-It must be AWD.

Again, non-negotiable. Even a pretty capable FWD with snow tires is guaranteed to leave us stranded in our abysmal driveway at some point.

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-It must have 4 doors.

Because it's not impossible to baby in a coupe, but it's far from practical.

-It must be automatic.

This point brings me endless sadness, but it will primarily be my fiancé's car so I must comply.

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That's pretty much it for the hard requirements. As far as general suggestions:

-I live near Parkersburg, WV

I'm more than willing to travel, as long as it's a reasonable distance (no Cali cars plz)

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-Subarus are cool
The fiancé loves older Fozzies, and I can't really argue. I also have access to cheap Subie parts, so that's a plus too, but we're in no way tied to the brand.

-Truck No!

I like putting gas in giant SUVs and trucks about as well as I like things that I do not like at all. That said, I can't deny the usefulness of the two so I'd consider either if the right one is found.

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That's all, folks! I realize that cheap AWD cars is a pretty limited market, which is why I'm hoping you guys may be able to offer suggestions that I hadn't thought of or wouldn't have considered otherwise. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to scouring the $5,000 RWD 5sp Volvo listings that inevitably get thrown my way.

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