The last year I’ve been using a Nissan Xterra as my daily driver thinking that I’d be satisfied driving a truck as my daily driver as long as I had a project/sports car to drive on an occasional basis. Well, I’m feeling like I was wrong. I hate driving the thing, other than for camping or snow, where it’s awesome. Every day driving through DC traffic to get back and forth to work and road trips— not so much. I need to get the boat fixed up before towing is a concern, and I’m just not that worried about snow in this area— in fact it wouldn’t be so terrible to have an excuse not to commute and work from home in the winter.

I’ve got to pass safety inspection this week— had a leak in the exhaust/muffler; got that in the mail this week to replace tomorrow, CEL light popped on soon after— hopefully that’s just due to the lack of backpressure. I’ve already done the plugs, all fluid changes, etc, so shouldn’t be anything major...

Thinking I’m going to pass the inspection and put it up for sale, pick up something that’s somewhat enjoyable to drive on a daily basis. What does Oppo think I should get? I promised the wife I wouldn’t spend a lot or get a large loan while we’re saving for a house (otherwise I’d be getting a NSX or First Gen Viper) so my constraints are pretty strict:

Under $7K

RWD, AWD, or world class handling if it’s FWD

Fun to drive

Available in a manual

Reliable

Liveable (comfort)

I’ve got a few thoughts....

I could go back to an E30...

I could get something unique like a GT-4 or MR2

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I could get a stupid, terrible car with a V8 that might be some fun in a straight line and could fill some of the truck duties I’m giving up...

I could get a FWD econo-car to save money

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No idea if all these things I posted pictures of are still in that price range— just seems like they would be. What says Oppo?!?