So I’m in the midst of considering a replacement for my Volvo. While I’m gonna try to go a few more months without a car payment, I’m impulsive so I’ve already started shopping.

#1 2005 Subaru Forester XT (Manual): First, let me tell you this dealer is the most overpriced place in the world, as seen here and here (rebuilt title). I know, I know - it’s Boulder: everyone and their mother drives a Subaru. Demand is high - but definitely not this high. Overall, I really enjoyed driving this thing. The interior had a lot more hand plastic than I hoped, it didn’t have a trip computer, and the leather was super hard, but I liked not having to worry about speed bumps or potholes. In a sense, you feel like you’re driving an SUV because of the roofline and height, yet it’s really fast and feels somewhat planted like a car. Something I like is that the shifter shakes during idle...my car doesn’t do that and for some reason I like that. However, I feel like an Outback XT would be a better option - better quality interior and not as tall.

This one in specific was in pretty good shape, despite having 4 past owners and an accident. One thing the dealer did that wasn’t good was that they replaced the rear bumper with one from a Forester X. It started out black plastic, and they literally just painted over it with silver paint. Even in the pics it’s bubbling. In person it’s already peeled in a few areas. I’ll keep the car on my short list, but not this specific one. Especially for $13580.

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#2012 Volkswagen Golf R: I liked the R because it’s similar to my R...not just in name. It’s a somewhat rare, AWD, european car that has traction control that doesn’t turn off, and comes in a weird shade of blue. I took advantage of getting one transferred to my local Carmax from a Carmax back in Maryland for free (Carmax offers free nationwide shipping for AWD cars to Denver Area). It’s a red 2-door - two things I don’t want, but this one just so happened to be my old neighbors, so I figure I’d move it across the country.

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I wasn’t that impressed. It didn’t feel that much quicker than GTI’s I’ve driven in the past. Also, I thought it would come with power seats. I really don’t have that much to say because it wasn’t all that eventful. The VW shifted beautifully and the clutch was so much more compliant than my R’s. The car, itself was a lot quieter and more comfortable than I thought. All along, I always assumed it was a meaner GTI when it just so happened to be a more composed one...yet that’s pretty much the same as the S60R compared to an S60.

Next Look: 2012 Wrangler Sahara