My daily driver Mazda 6 bit the big one last weekend when its water pump tensioner pulley bearing seized and the pulley and belt retired themselves from service. I don’t currently have the time or facility to figure out just how much damage was caused by the subsequent overheating, so I had to find a replacement daily quickly. I considered new cars, and I test drove a Focus ST (it was awesome) and and Accord Sport with the 6 speed manual (it was fine) but I decided to spend half as much money and go used.

I found this 09 328i with sport suspension, navigation, and the all-important 6-speed at a dealer about an hour from home. It’s pretty much fantastic in every way, and now my wife and I are “that couple” with two Bimmers - she drives an 07 X3.

Booya:

It’s no 335, but I could only find lux package automatics within a reasonable distance, and frankly, the simplicity of the non turbo engine (and the fact that the X3 has the same one) is attractive. It’s not slow by any measure, but it’s not going to impress anyone with its power. Again, daily driver for me and the kids!