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Looking for used AWD Performance Vehicle Recommendations for year round driving ($10k - $15k)

olympic1olympic1 Posts: 2
edited January 2018 in General
I live in a northern climate where we often have snow on the ground for about 4 months or so. Pondering whether to sell my C5 Z06 and possibly get something that could be driven year around. I have a teen driver that will be making use of our daily drivers so changing out the Z06 to something more functional for a couple/few years might make sense giving me another car in the stable that is still fun to drive and can be driven anytime it's needed.

In looking at AWD options here would be my preferences:
- ability to seat 4 (not required but a plus)
- decent fuel economy (20+ city/hwy combined mpg)
- looks sporty
- fun to drive
- strong performance (~14 sec 1/4 mile or less)
- reliable
- not a big fan of hatchbacks, prefer sedan
- something desired that should hold some resale value
- not horrible on insurance (I have a teen on my policy)
- reasonably comfortable to ride in

Ideally I'd like to stay in the $10k - $15k for the price range for this vehicle and ideally one that doesn't have the reputation of being expensive to maintain. This gives me a bit for some upgrades or repairs if needed.

Some candidate vehicles and my initial thoughts (most of these probably fall into the 2000-2010 model years):
  • Subaru WRX / WRX STI - more of a younger persons car?
  • BMW 335xi - reliability? maintenance costs?
  • VW Golf R32 - it's a hatchback but here because of good reviews
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - might be tough to find in price range
  • Mazdaspeed6 - performance?
  • Audi A4/A6 - reliability? maintenance costs? performance?
  • Audi S4/S5 - reliability? maintenance costs? fuel mileage?
What vehicles am I missing that I should be considering? Thoughts on any of the above?


Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Looks like the Mazda comes closest to all your parameters. The Subaru and Evo are really fun to drive, but are definitely a young person's car in style and comfort (pretty rough around the edges), and you don't really want a hatch, so that pretty much kicks the VW out. The BMW maintenance costs on an out-of-warranty example could be horrendous, and an older Audi A4/A6 has spotty reliability, and the S4, again, could potentially put you in financial distress.
  • Looks like the Mazda comes closest to all your parameters. The Subaru and Evo are really fun to drive, but are definitely a young person's car in style and comfort (pretty rough around the edges), and you don't really want a hatch, so that pretty much kicks the VW out. The BMW maintenance costs on an out-of-warranty example could be horrendous, and an older Audi A4/A6 has spotty reliability, and the S4, again, could potentially put you in financial distress.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and provide your insight. I haven't looked much into the Mazda's so looks like I need to do a bit of research there. If you can think of any vehicles I should also be considering in this quest feel free to mention them.
  • You can get a CPO Equinox with a turbo engine for around that price as well.
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