I feel like I’m in a rut. Automotively.

I’ve always driven at least moderately interesting cars in the past. My High-school car was at first my moms V6 Mazda MX-3, and then my own Fiero GT.

Somewhere along the way the Fiero died (150k miles), and I ended up with a Firebird Formula, not exactly by choice, but out of convenience. It was an OK car - loud and brutish, somewhat tossable. After college, as I got a real job, I sold the Firebird (roughly 150k miles) and bought an Audi A6 4.2L with the sports package.

Loved that car. Drove that until - you guessed it - 150k miles or so until it ate itself from the inside out (chain guides, valves, etc.). Now with kids and a family, I needed something more “sensible”, so I bought an Acura MDX SUV. On paper, this thing ticks every box - reliable, decent enough power, all the goodies, handles awesome for an SUV, more like a car even, and to a sensible person this should be fine.

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But this is me. I don’t want to be stuck with the sensible choice. And the MDX is nearing the 130k mark, so if past experiences are anything to go by, I have another 20k left with this thing before I either get the itch, or something drastic breaks.

This leaves me with choices. (And my wife has an 01 Monte Carlo that’s on its last leg. That thing needs to go. And I also still have the Fiero, but it’s... broken.)

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So choices.

I could get my wife something she wants, and stick it out with the MDX as long as it’ll go. Hopefully with this being a Honda product, a bit longer than 150k.

I could give the MDX to my wife, which she loves, and trade in her Monte Carlo for something for me, but what?

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Or, I could trade in both (all?) cars for something else, but that seems financially irresponsible.

Assuming the MDX stays, the second car should be something that can accommodate 2 adults, 2 kids and maybe a dog once in a while, even if that means the dog riding in the back seat between the two kids (no car seats anymore thankfully). It should be relable, no Germans. (She hated the Audi’s expensive maintenance). I will not buy anything with less than 6 cylinders. Nothing with a used Turbo. I need leather (dog and messy kids). I’d like built-in Nav. I don’t want anything older than 2007. All in a budget of about $10k-$12k, if not cheaper. I suppose I could use a grand of that to get the Fiero back on the road as the “fun” car (finish the engine swap I started a few years back), but I lack both time and space to do that right now..

So choices...

We’ve been looking at a V6 Accord Coupe, but those are hard to find with all the above requirements, plus it’s a bit boring. I like wagons, she hates wagons. I want something German, though I admit I shouldn’t probably own another German car at this point - she’s still bitter about the Audi. Most other Europeans have similar reliability problems or maintenance costs, think Volvo, Jaguar. Japanese cars, nothing in my budget interests me. I kind of like the 2009+ Maxima maybe, but maybe it’s also a bit boring. Something 2-door may be more interesting, but nothing fits the bill. I’m done with US cars for the time being. Too many reliability issues, even if they are on the cheaper side to fix.

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So choices..