Talk about problems. Let's say you've got approximately $20,000 to buy a car but nothing in that NEW price range stirs your emotions. Yup, you're a genuine car snob.

Let's help this lad -- John -- out. Apparently he's a car nut and loves to jump from car to car. He has nearly $20 large ones to spend but it cannot be a Lexus. It MUST have a standard gearbox, four doors and he would like to take it up to approximately 150,000 miles without too much harm done in terms of greenbacks.

Personally speaking, I would rather just suck it up and buy new but hey, you have to keep up with the Joneses, right?

What do you suggest, Spies?

John writes:

Long time listener, first time caller.  I find myself in the yuppie’s dilemma – $18k to spend and infinite possibilities.

Some background: I’ve always loved a great ride and I’ve been promiscuous….my last five cars have been a 1991 535i, a Nissan 200SX, Mazda Millenia, 1997 740il, and I currently drive a 2008 Subaru WRX under lease ($260 a month with $0 down, about the only time a lease has ever made sense to me).  When the lease is up, so is the jig.  I’m a newly minted lawyer at a large law firm making way more money than I should at 27, and my wife’s a nurse doing just the same.  We want to keep the purchase under $20K and I’ve seriously toyed with everything from a 2011 Sonata to a Z3 to 530xi to an A8 and everything in between.

The 2007+ g35s are a great car, but seems uninspired.  My dream is a later-model 545i with around 75k miles, but I just can’t bear to think of the maintenance costs.  That’s the reason we ditched our two previous Bimmers, but no matter how I rationalize, I just keep going German…love the smell, the look, the composure at freeway speeds. So help me out!  What should a yuppie drive?  Some prerequisites we’ve now settled on: manual tranny, 4 doors, take it to 150k without too much out of pocket. Don’t even suggest a Lexus!

[Source: The Truth About Cars]

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