It is Wednesday, so that means time for another episode of William's Wacky Reviews of German Sausages...wait...that's not right...Wednesday is time for DT's Mid Week Match-Up. Today's request comes from Matt who writes:
My daily driver is an E36 BMW convertible, bought before my wife and I had any kids. Now, we have two small children - both old enough not to need a rear-facing car seat, but sometimes I've got to tote the two of them around in my car instead of the wife's Camry, and I'd like my next car to have enough room to carry both kids comfortably in the back seat even when the driver's seat is all the way back.
So, what's so difficult about that? Even if it's a family car, I want my daily driver to be not totally boring to drive - and I insist on a manual transmission, which isn't very common in family cars these days. Sure, it would be nice if I could just pick up a Chrysler 300 with the 5.7 Hemi and a T56 transmission - but that's not going to happen unless I weld in a different transmission tunnel or find someone's project car where they've already done this. What can the DT crowd come up with on a $6000 budget?
DT E-i-C Vince: I've got a weird one that I think meets the requirements and is often overlooked. The first generation Cadillac CTS was sold from 2003-2007 and was available new with a base 2.6/2.8 liter V6 that was a dog, but the upgraded 3.2 liter (and later 3.6) was much better. The trick is that you could get either of those base engines with a 5-speed Getrag 260 manual gearbox and then it is a fun car. About 10 years ago I had a chance to flog a CTS on an autocross style environment versus a BMW 3-series and a comparable Volvo sedan (at a GM sponsored ride & drive event) -- and the CTS was the clear winner. This 2004 Cadillac CTS with 3.2 liter V6 is high in miles and hideous trim, but it's got a 5-speed gearbox and the price is right, find it here on eBay.
Got another suggestion? Put it below. Want to be the subject of a Mid Week Match-Up? Send your car needs here: firstname.lastname@example.org