Yasha adopted a second canine, and her two-door Mini Cooper is not splendid for 2 pups. She desires one thing with a bit extra space however doesn’t need something big. She can also be in search of one thing that’s moderately enjoyable and has a bias towards something with a CVT. What automobile ought to she purchase?
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Here is the state of affairs.
I adopted a canine two weeks in the past after years of wanting one however not with the ability to give them a great life whereas nonetheless being a practical grownup with a full time job. She doesn’t actually have a identify but however I already determined I want a brand new (to me) automobile for her! I presently have a 2016 Mini JCW 2-door handbook that I completely adore, however not having a second set of doorways is a ache with the brand new pup, and with the backseat now occupied, cargo area is much more at a premium! I do the entire work on my automobile, studying as I’m going, from suspension bushings and shock care, fluids, pads & rotors, engine mounts, and exhausts (plus after 2.5 years with a mini, I’ve develop into an interior-rattle-finding ninja). We simply moved to WI, and my accomplice is an opera singer so I do plenty of highway journeys to see her carry out.
I need one thing greater than the Mini however not too large. My want listing is – Leather inside, heated (did I point out WI?) entrance seats, a enjoyable powertrain (please no CVTs!), carplay (I can swing an aftermarket improve too), gas financial system. Flush roof rails could be nice for a roof rack, however I can all the time set up a hitch mount for a rear provider. I choose a hatch or a station wagon as I’m not an enormous fan of tall vehicles, however an excellent compact SUV with good cargo area could be nice, too! I’d additionally actually choose an AWD automobile.
The finances is as much as $30,000
Budget: as much as $30,000
Location: Madison, WI
Daily Driver: Yes
Wants: 4 doorways, small-ish, enjoyable
Doesn’t need: A CVT
Expert 1 – Tom McParland: The Devil You Know
Yasha, it’s possible you’ll not like every little thing that comes with proudly owning a Mini however you appear to benefit from the total driving expertise, dimension, and quirkyness of that model. So why not simply get the larger, barely extra sensible model of your Cooper? The Countryman affords 4-doors, out there AWD, and the zippiness you’d anticipate from driving a Mini.
It additionally has leatherette or full leather-based seating, roof rails already put in, respectable gas financial system, and all of the tech you may need from a premium English/German small automobile. Finding one with three pedals in all probability isn’t within the playing cards, however the BMW-sourced eight-speed computerized strikes by the gears very nicely.
There are a number of Mini Certified examples for below $30,000 with cheap miles, which ought to offer you loads of guarantee safety for the subsequent a number of years. Here is a really cool instance in metallic orange with solely 13,000 miles. This Countryman S goes to be a little bit down on energy in comparison with your JCW, however that may be remedied within the aftermarket with an ECU flash and some different upgrades.
Expert 2 – Andy Kalmowitz: Das Dogo
Yasha, my buddy. I’ve bought the right automobile for you. Sure, you may go together with one other Mini, however that’s outdated information. It’s time to look towards the longer term. It’s time to look towards Volkswagen. What you want is a Golf Alltrack. When I say it has completely every little thing you’re in search of, I actually do imply it.
Baked into this little bundle is all-wheel drive, 4 doorways, a handbook transmission, Apple CarPlay, leather-ish heated seats and sufficient room within the again you’ll contemplate getting a 3rd canine. There is actually nothing extra you may need out of a automobile. Sure, the 1.8-liter turbo 4 isn’t going to be essentially the most heart-stopping powerplant on the planet, however there’s loads to be carried out within the aftermarket that’ll repair that one little situation. I’m additionally optimistic you’re not going to be anxious about reliability. I imply, you’ve been driving a Mini for God’s sake.
As everyone knows, I’m an excellent swell man, and due to that truth, I’ve discovered the right Golf Alltrack for you. It’s bought a clear CarFax, and it’s situated not too removed from you. I don’t know. The midwest is huge. Anyway, the Golf has a little bit over 28,000 miles on the clock, and coincidentally it additionally prices a little bit over $28,000. That’s proper in your finances. You are welcome. Yasha, I don’t often make very rational selections on the subject of WCSYB, however this time, I do know I’m proper.
Expert 3 – José Rodríguez Jr.: The Ultimate Little Driving Machine
It’s a little-known indisputable fact that the fourth-generation BMW 3-Series is without doubt one of the greatest within the historic lineup of the sports activities sedan. Not solely due to its attractiveness and naturally-aspirated straight six, but additionally as a result of it was shut sufficient — chronologically talking — to the traditional BMWs of the golden period. You know? Back when BMWs have been nonetheless driver’s vehicles and earlier than mannequin bloat actually set in.
The 1999-2005 BMW 3-Series, in any other case referred to as the E46, is shut sufficient to the E30 and E36 that it could possibly nonetheless be known as a real compact sports activities sedan. And from what I collect, Yasha, it appears you need a automobile that’s each large and small. That’s why I like to recommend the nicest E46 yow will discover domestically or a bit past. Something like this handbook 2004 BMW 330xi, which prices lower than a 3rd of your finances at $7,500.
That’s fairly a bit of cash for a automobile that’s nearly 20 years outdated, however the factor about these BMWs is that, apart from some potential complications with VANOS, they’re not as unreliable as folks suppose. They’re extraordinarily enjoyable each day drivers, and get nice fuel mileage regardless of their efficiency. You’re not gonna be outracing fashionable sports activities vehicles within the all-wheel drive 330xi, but when efficiency is what you’re in search of, then I’d advocate monitoring down an E36 M3 sedan, although that’ll be tougher to seek out for below $30,000. People are getting hip to the strengths of the E36 and E46, for higher or worse — principally worse for these of us holding out hope for a enjoyable, small BMW.
Expert 4 – Collin Woodard: It’s Project Car Time
Reading what you’re in search of, it appears like what you’re in search of is a Subaru Crosstrek. It’s bought 4 doorways and may have loads of area on your canine, all-wheel drive and a better trip peak that would aid you within the winter and isn’t an enormous, cumbersome SUV. There’s just one draw back — it’s not precisely enjoyable to drive. That’s partly as a result of new Crosstreks are CVT-only but additionally as a result of the engine isn’t notably highly effective.
But don’t fear, I’ve an answer. All you must do is purchase a used handbook Crosstrek and WRX-swap it. You’ll have the right fun-to-drive winter-ready canine automobile. Should you truly do that? Probably not. But you realized all these wrenching expertise for a purpose. Don’t you wish to no less than give it a shot? Come on. You know you do.
It’s a loopy thought, particularly because you mentioned you additionally worth gas financial system, however hear me out. Here’s a 2014 first-generation Crosstrek not terribly removed from you that has a handbook and prices just below $12,000. That provides you an additional $18,000 to do the swap and add Apple CarPlay. Will that be sufficient to cowl it? Who is aware of. I actually don’t. I’m simply an fool giving out dangerous recommendation on the web. But come on. Don’t faux you’re not tempted no less than a little bit.