Everybody’s comments are great. Much appreciated.
Some of you think I am a lunatic for cross-shopping a Ford Focus and a BMW 1 Series. I thought I should give short reasons why these cars are on my list.
Ford Focus (2008: The new model has Synch, which ties in my cell-phone and iPod into the car. I’m not crazy about the styling. The truth is that while it still isn’t the Euro Focus, the manual tranny Focus is an under-appreciated fun driver at a great price. Good mpg.
Nissan Versa: Good price. Handy package. Six-speed manual is sweet. Taut suspension makes it a fun driver. Good mpg.
Honda Fit: Top drawer engine and tranny. Tight as a drum. Styling a little stodgy. Good mpg.
Saturn Astra: Haven’t driven it yet. But I like the styling. Mileage could be better.
Saturn Vue Green Line: Im not leaning toward hybrids, but I am considering them. I like this one more than the Ford Escape.
Honda Civic Hybrid: A long-shot for car boy. But it’s on the list.
VW GTI: Goes like stink. Awesomely fun to drive. But I have a slight disconnect betwen the styling, which says $18,500 to me, and the actual $24K+ price-tag.
VW Rabbit: Inexpensive. Taut driver. But who asked for a five-cylinder that hurt mpg? Oy. A car that small should get 40 mpg. I want a new Rabbit TDI…now!
BMW 325ix (2005 used). No defense needed. A sweet car. Among the very best But it doesn’t address my desire to make a fuel economy statement.
Ford Fusion (manual transmission): The manual tranny is the only possibility here. I’m probably considering it for hometown reasons.
Chevy HHR: I like the styling…sort of. Package is good. Price is good. Probably won’t happen.
Mazda3: Sweet driver. The dealer is not terribly convenient to me, though. That’s an issue.
MazdaSpeed3: See above. Only sweeter.
Hyundai Elantra: Long-shot. Good price and package, though.
Toyota Corolla: Call me Sensible Sam. Fuel economy and reliability is the issue here. Not a bad driiver with the manual either.
Volvo C30: Haven’t driven it yet, but I like what I read. Looks good. Not sure I’ll like it after I price it up with options.
Scion xD: Tight. Reliable. Good package.
Scion xB: See above.
VW Jetta TDI: MPG over 40 when it arrives. 40% less carbon output than gas equivalent. Great resale. A real statement. Doesn’t arrive until May. Dealer near me is so-so. VW reliability a serious issue.
BMW 1 Series: Cool. Very cool. Above my price, but I’m considering.
MINI Clubman: Very cool, and a real backseat. Dealer is too far away. That’s a problem for servicing.