The quest to dump my 2012 Ford Fusion continues. I’ve had a few suggestions come along, but I honestly am so overwhelmed with the different possibilities here. Basic (slightly flexible) requirements are: 

  • Around $10k but definitely can’t go over $15k.
  • Has a back seat.
  • Preferably a 4 door, but a 2 door with big enough back seat to get two forward-facing car seats in will work too. This would only be for short trips in town, maybe twice a month. If we go on any long trips or anywhere with the whole family, we take the wife’s Odyssey.  
  • Somewhat equivalent MPG to a 2012 Ford Fusion SEL.
  • Manual or dual clutch. I’d accept an automatic for a truck/suv though.
  • Somewhat sporty. I’m not doing any track days or anything right now (though the ability to do that would be a plus). I just want the drive to and from work to be a little more enjoyable.
  • Comfortable to drive
  • I’d also like to have something with a good factory stereo with bluetooth if at all possible.

Advertisement

I’ve looked at a bunch of different cars, but I haven’t been able to test drive anything since there aren’t really any examples for sale locally. I’ll most likely have to travel to test-drive and purchase anything like this. Some cars I’ve considered:

  • Subaru Legacy GT
  • Mazdaspeed 6
  • Mercedes E55 AMG
  • BMW 540i (E39)
  • Volvo XC90 V8
  • Volvo S80 V8 (no option for manual or dual-clutch, but man that V8 sounds nice with an exhaust)
  • Mazdaspeed 3
  • Ford Focus ST (this would have to be an early year, pretty base trim)
  • Ford Fiesta ST (same as the Focus, would have to be an early year base trim)
  • Acura TL Type S
  • VW Golf GTI
  • Subaru Baja XT
  • Lexus GS350 (no option besides auto, but I would swap that out)
  • Lexus GS430 (no option for manual or dual-clutch, but the V8 sounds would make up for it) 
  • Audi S4 (B5 or B6)
  • Subaru WRX
  • BMW 330i (E46)
  • BMW 335i (E90/E91)
  • VW Jetta Sportwagen
  • VW CC 3.6
  • Volvo S60R or V70R

As you can see, it’s quite a long list, and I’m very scatter-brained. With the exception of the S60R, I haven’t driven any of these.

Advertisement

And I’m sorry for the long post here. I just don’t know where else to go find such a variety of opinions on a wide range of cars. Oppo is the perfect place for that. The point of this post is basically me trying to whittle down the list based on experiences/knowledge from people who know more about these cars than I do. Then, once I narrow down the list to just a few options, I’ll go out and try and find one to test drive.

So Oppo, what do you recommend? Have a missed anything that I should add to the list?