nate_birner New Reader
9/30/23 11:32 a.m.

When I opened my gym, I sold my toy at the time (FC Turbo II) and got something a little more practical - a 2012 Ram Express.

Now with a couple kids, and no longer needing the bed space, I'm looking to get into something more appropriate. But I'm struggling to find something "just right" and am hoping the Grassroots Motorsports mastermind might be able to get my creative juices flowing. 

Here's my criteria:

I have a budget all-in of about $12k, but might be able to stretch that out closer to 14-15 at MOST

4 seats is required. 4 doors would be nice. A hatchback or wagon would be best (but not required)

It will be daily driven.

I'm ok with a project or something old, but will have to be built to be aesthetically pleasing and reliable enough to avoid constant tinkering, all for under that 12-15k mark

Maybe it goes without saying, but must have a stick and not be miserable to drive

It will be exclusively a street car, and on the street I tend to give more weight to having power over exquisite handling. Would love another v8, but a manual v8 wagon under 15k sounds like a pipe dream

WRX or Speed3 seem like the obvious choices and it might be where I land, but I'm pushing 40 and man... just would love something a little less "boy racer"

So I pass the mic to you good people. What would you be shopping for?

SoonToBeDatsun240ZGuy MegaDork
9/30/23 11:42 a.m.

As new as you can purchase.  It's a daily driver with the family - it needs to start every single day.

Stick shift Accord


Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/23 12:15 p.m.

Wagon, V8, and stick can only mean one thing - Audi S4 Avant!

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/23 12:53 p.m.

K swap an RX8 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/23 1:33 p.m.
Javelin said:

Wagon, V8, and stick can only mean one thing - Audi S4 Avant!

Do not overlook the CTS-V wagon. Although that may be difficult to find in budget.

Appleseed MegaDork
9/30/23 1:55 p.m.

Kia Rondo. If you know, you know.

1988RedT2 MegaDork
9/30/23 2:39 p.m.
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/23 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Aren't V wagons in the $40K range?

DarkMonohue GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/30/23 10:01 p.m.

They built stick-shift Mazda 5s. They're not abundant, but they exist. And even the automatic ones aren't a bad drive.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/30/23 11:02 p.m.

Legacy spec b wagon?

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/30/23 11:15 p.m.

E39 540i

GaryC83 Reader
10/1/23 4:21 a.m.

Was going to say e39 540 wagon but beaten to it. Theyre exquisite cars. Really. I've owned a few E39'S. Would buy another wagon in a heart beat. Zero hesitation.


Jetta GLI

Dodge Magnum, Durango, Grand Cherokee, Explorer, Trail Blazer, all have offered V8s, but good luck finding a V8/manual.  

Brotus7 Dork
10/1/23 8:21 a.m.

I also suggest finding the cleanest E39 wagon you can find. GTIs also makes for a great drivers car.

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners