It has come to that period in my life where I need to buy a car. I need something that is Jalop approved. My budget is around 14k, or a lease payment of around 225ish with a reasonable down payment (less than 2500).

I know that leasing cars is usually expensive, but the parents love leasing(and personally I loving driving a new car rather than an old one). I rather have 4 seats (actually that is a must). Also I want an automatic (shocking I know). And I want something that is somewhat reliable but fun. I know that E46 M3's or E36's might be suggested, but what is the reliability of those?

What are my options? Thanks for helping.