Evan currently drives a brown Audi wagon, but like many of us he can’t seem to stay focused on owning the same car for a while. He’s looking to change it up with something faster that can sacrifice some practicality but still has all-weather versatility. What car should he buy?
(Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. )
Here is the scenario:
When it comes to cars I have a short attention span. After 2.5 years, I am selling my 2011 A4 Avant (in Teak Metallic Brown). I purchased the Avant based on its looks and the uniqueness of the brown color. I am ready to move on to something with more performance. Although I love the silhouette of a wagon, I am in my 30s and without a child, so I do not need the space that it affords. I have driven the Tesla Model 3 and enjoyed it, but I don’t know that I’m really sold on the Tesla. Since I like to change things up I will probably lease something in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
I want something with performance, room for four (does not need to be comfortable), and all-wheel drive. I would like something unique, but not a deal-breaker. I don’t drive stick but willing to learn, though I would probably prefer an automatic. The one thing I do not want is another Audi.
Budget: $40,000 - $50,000
Daily Driver: Yes
Location: Denver, CO
Wants: AWD, performance, room for four
Doesn’t want: Another Audi
Expert 1: Tom McParland - A Sports Sedan From A Surprising Source
There are so many cool cars out there! It’s hard to stay committed to one model when you want to try other things. The brown 2011 Avant certainly is a neat ride, but I can see how you may want to part with it before it becomes problematic. You mentioned getting something a bit different, and I think Hyundai’s nascent luxury division Genesis has your answer.
The all-new G70 is a great value and a pretty damn good driver’s car. It reminded the Jalopnik staff of the BMWs that we knew from years ago. As a sedan, it has room for four, but it’s still compact and tossable. If you want more power, you can certainly go with the 3.3-liter V6, but the turbo four-cylinder model may actually be a bit more fun—and would likely fall within your budget.
Here is a 2.0T Advanced trim. It comes with a ton of luxury and tech to make your commute a bit easier.
Expert 2: Raphael Orlove - I’m Just Following The Formula
While I haven’t driven the G70, I will say I did spend an afternoon in a similar Stinger and, well, it’s a very, very charming car. However, I feel like I can find something a bit closer to your needs.
After all, you’re a 30-something, with no kids, but you want room for four, and all-wheel drive, and the car doesn’t have to be cushy, and you want it for about $45,000. That, friend, is a Porsche 911 Carrera 4.
Now, it just so happens that one of thee four-seat, AWD sports cars is for sale near you, at right in your price range, and with a fantastic color. Looks minty, as well, and I’m not talking about the paint.
I don’t expect it will go down in value (that’s not something that air-cooled Porsches seem to do these days) but it will have enough space for you, friends for short trips, or long ones with a budding family or a couple dogs. Whatever you want, my dude, the Carrera is there for you.
Expert 3: Kristen Lee — Sport Sedans Are My Shit
I was also present for that afternoon in the Kia Stinger, and I think that’s your best bet here. The Stinger, with its hatch design, is funky and unique. You don’t see many of them on the road, which is a shame because they are great cars.
Don’t let the brand snobbery get you; the Stinger is pretty great at what it does, which is offer a fun driving experience for less money than what you’d get with something German. You can have it with a 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive. Power comes to a very respectable 365 horsepower.
The back seats are definitely usable but rather limited in headroom. But if you aren’t regularly transporting people back there, then what’s the issue? Plus, the hatch design of the trunk means you have more usable storage space, which is always a plus.
A Stinger with the big motor and AWD starts right around $50,000. Buuuuuuut you could definitely find yourself a sweet deal if you looked around a bit.
Expert 4: Patrick George — Time To Learn To Drive Stick
You live in Colorado. You enjoy AWD. You don’t need something super practical, but let’s face it—if you can have some fun and haul groceries or the occasional friends, why the hell not? And you’re a 30-something enthusiast who seems to have not owned a stick shift car before.
I say it’s time to start, and start by going hard. Get a Subaru WRX STI.
The current WRX STI is old. It’s been around for more than five years now. Its 2.5-liter, 310 horsepower turbo boxer four is, I think, now old enough to buy its own beer. But it’ll still throw down with the best of them, and can teach a lot of newer performance cars how to dance. There’s something charming to me about a car in 2019 that still has hydraulic steering, a direct and mechanical-feeling six-speed manual and noticeable turbo lag.
So what if you’ve never owned a stick shift car before? You’re an enthusiast. You’ll figure it out. Buy the Subaru and drive it. You’ll have it down in two weeks, at most. That’s what I did with my first manual car—a WRX.
There’s tons of these in your price range in Colorado (most will be around $40,000) but if you want something a bit more unique, you could try and find one of the rare special editions Subaru’s put out in recent years. I don’t know how successful you’ll be there, but even the “regular” WRX STI will be a blast, no matter what kind of weather you’re up against.