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Best AWD Performance Wagon under $40k
First of all, I know the A3 is classified as a hatch, but the line between a 5 door hatch, particularly one with a relatively straight roof line, and a wagon gets pretty fuzzy. Also, given the price of the A3, its competitors are wagons like the Volvo and the BMW.
I've driven the A3 and the V50. The A3, to me, is much more of a "driver's car" that has more versatility than you would associate with that kind of car. The thing is just fun to drive, has excellent cargo space for its size and has some all weather capabilities. Cars like these, for me, are a balance of performance and utility. The A3's bias is toward performance.
The V50 is fast, but not as much fun to drive. It impresses me more as a fast wagon than a sports car. The Volvo has more cargo space, and probably a much better bad weather car. The V50's bias is more towards utility.
The Bimmer can be had under $40k if you are careful with the options. I'm hoping it is a better blend of performance and function than either the A3 or the V50.
What are your thoughts? Did I omit any car I should be considering???