Good morning/afternoon Oppofriends. I’m looking into possibly replacing my daily driver, a very bland Nissan Cube. After having my C5 for almost two months now, it’s become difficult to live with my lowly Nissan everyday. Hoping to get some advice, maybe look at some cars that I hadn’t previously considered.

On the plus side, I can’t really complain too much about the car. It has never broken down on me, only little items have needed fixing/replacing, and it got me from Florida to California with all my worldly belongings piled from floor to ceiling and no issues. It’s also a 6-speed manual, which is neat. It’s also super practical for my life, in that it has tons of interior space, but a compact exterior with a tiny turning radius (I live in an urban setting). It only has ~85,000 miles on it, so there should be plenty of life left if I decide to hang on to it.

However, there are a fair share of negatives too. There’s the lack of power, the tall and unaerodynamic body, the spongy suspension, lack of steering feel, seats with no support, and it’s just no fun to drive. Despite being an economy car with only 122 hp, it gets pretty underwhelming gas mileage, averaging about 25mpg combined (thanks in large part to being shaped like a refrigerator box).

To replace it, I’m not going to need a sports car, but at least something I won’t be miserable with. I do have a few criteria though.

  • Cost: Under $6,000
  • Mileage: Under 125,000 miles
  • Body style: Wagon, sedan, hatchback, possibly an SUV
  • Year: Preferably mid ‘90's or later
  • Other: I don’t want something too ordinary (Camry, Accord, etc). Manual transmission is nice, but not required. Cruise control is a great option, mostly for my daily commute. I would prefer not to buy a money pit, if it can be helped. Enough room for two people, a dog, and all the necessary accouterments to go camping or vacationing for a long weekend. AWD is nice for Tahoe trips, but totally optional.
  • Cars I’m at least considering: Cadillac CTS, Mini Cooper S, VW Golf, Volvo S60, Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-2X, Subaru Legacy, Infiniti G35, Audi A4, Mazda 6 wagon, Mercedes E-Class wagon, Saab 9-5 wagon, Isuzu Vehicross (because, why not).

Advertisement

There must be some great choices out there that I’m missing. So let me know! Alternatively, feel free to tell me I’m being stupid and should just keep my Cube.

For your troubles, here are a bunch of Citroen 2CV’s doing their best impressions of race cars.