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Car Boy Gets His New Ride


I couldn’t get the car I wanted. But I did pretty well.

After a few months of boring my wife and friends with my search for my next car, I settled for one.

I settled. I couldn’t find the car I wanted because it does not exist in any showroom yet.

As my previous posts told, I wanted a car costing less than $30,000, with all-wheel-drive, a manual transmission and fuel economy above 30 mpg. No go. Nobody sells it here in the U.S. Oh, by the way, I wanted to buy American if I could. I live in Michigan, and wanted to do a solid for the home-team.

I began making compromises. I tested a 2008 Ford Focus. But it only comes in a sedan and coupe, neither of which are pleasing designs. And no awd. I looked at a Ford Fusion awd. But no manual tranny. I looked at a Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrid. Hated the performance. And they were foreign brands. I looked at a the Subaru Impreza (don’t like the new design and foreign made,) Forester and Outback. Though my family has owned several Subarus, I was disappointed with the latest designs and fuel economy numbers.

In the end, I chose a car I really wanted regardless of the criteria. I chose a 2006 BMW 325 xiT with manual transmission (a hard car to find on www.cars.com). I had to go all the way to Boston to get it.

It’s not American made, but I granted myself a mulligan because I wrote a book about BMW, and had always wanted one. The fuel economy is so-so, but acceptable. I got about 30 mpg on the highway driving back from Boston to Michigan. In the end, I wasn’t satisfied. But as the buyer of what many feel is the finest car in the world, I can’t complain.

The four cars that will be top of my list in 2010 or 2011 when I shop again: The Chevy Volt plug-in, Volkswagen TDI. Honda Civic diesel, Subaru Impreza turbo-diesel. None of these cars are on sale yet. But I seriously hope some of them come with a manual transmission.


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