Some rulers just don't have much political clout, yet still enjoy delusions of grandeur. Colonial Brits called such dangerously pathetic autocrats "tin-pot dictators," for the Victorian-era's version of the tin can. What sub-$40,000 car would a tin-pot dictator drive?
For this exercise, imagine a tyrant who's either extremely practical, or who just can't amass a fortune enough on the backs of his people to get a proper custom-built Ferrari or Rolls-Royce station wagon or massively fortified parade car. He wants a showroom-fresh model to satisfy his lust for shiny new things. Which new offering under 40 grand will fit with his (or her, naturally) unique personality and circumstances.
(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)