this is probably the first of many threads about looking for my first car. i feel like it would help to ask around for advice here because a nice slice of my life revolves around snowboarding so my car should have that in mind. plus seeing some threads here i know there are fellow automotive enthusiasts here
my list of wants for the car, going from most to least important would be:
-reliability (if the car breaks down, the 'rents are definitely not bailing me out)
-safety (one of my classmates died an an accident this summer, i watched another get t-boned last week)
-turbo, FUN (i love turbos, and tiptronic transmissions. manual is cool too, or an automatic if there are enough gears)
-awd (i'm on this forum, need i explain more?)
-low(er) miles (i'd prefer to stay below 100k, but if i can get another 100k without the car becoming a mechanical nightmare i'm ok with that)
and i know that everything here screams subaru, and don't get me wrong i love them. however, a wrx is too expensive to insure and i'm having trouble finding one to meet all of my wants. the legacy gt is what i really want; wagon or sedan. but the tiptronics weren't introduced until 2005, and if i want one that new for my price range it would have 150k miles on it. i also want to keep it safe and get side airbags. the 2002 gt limited has side airbags, but no tiptronic option. i would want to get a manual too since the automatic transmission for that generation sucks.
i was also looking at a 2000 volvo s70 with 86k for $5500 on autotrader. it also had an auto, but it met most of the things on my list. but i have watched german cars fall apart many times and that's a huge turnoff. if they were reliable, i would jump on a passat but my brother in law spent 1.5 times the cars value in two years on repairs before selling it. if anyone is going to tell me to get an suv or truck, i want to have one at some point in my life but right now i want to have something fun to drive on the street. the saab 9-3/5's are really nice and thanks to the depreciation value i can afford quite a nice one. but are they reliable enough? also the awd option is really hard to find.
i have $3500 saved now and will buy a car now should the opportunity arise, but if i keep saving i'll have $5000 next summer. given that huge restriction, can anyone suggest any models to look at in my range?
furthermore, if anyone here is selling a car or knows of someone who is feel free to let me know!