Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mid Week Match-Up: A $7k Car For Oakland Jeff

It's Wednesday, so time for another episode of Mid Week Match-Up, the weekly matching game where we help our readers pick the best car for their budget.  Today's MWMU request comes from Oakland Jeff who writes:

The trusty BMW wagon is getting a little long in the tooth...'02 325i (e46) with earth to the moon mileage. I talked the wife into a lower mileage (sub 120k?) 330i with a manual trans (woohoo!). Still has 4 doors & room for the 4 year old and associated gear, much more fun than the slush box wagon.

Here's is problem. Kelly blue book maxes out at around $5k but all the craigslisters around here seem to think their car is special ($8 -12k on up). Budget is ~$7k including purchase price and the list of things my trusted mechanic will want to do to bring it up to excellent cond., tax & lic., etc...

-Dream car is 330i 6 speed, black (ZHP is prolly too much to ask). 5 speed OK, other, non-douchey, colors OK -Yes, unlike the guy last week I'm a BMW driving tool. I'd consider other makes but Japanese and american cars give me a rash. Anything that smells like a VW is off the list for obvious reasons. Not sure if I have unrealistic expectations. IF so please feel free to grab me by the lapels and shake some sense into me.

DT E-i-C Vince: The easy thing to suggest is a BMW E39 540 6-speed like this one, but instead I'm going to suggest this 2005 Cadillac CTS equipped with the 255 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 and 5-speed manual gearbox offered for $5,200 located in Fischers, IN.


  1. These drive reasonably well and the manual transmission is probably a price reduction on these.

    I'll throw out my list of negatives, just for purposes of discussion, not that any or even all of them is intended to shoot down this recommendation:

    The shape is a little clunky, and outward visibility's not as good as, say, an E46 or E39 BMW but still not as bad as some others.

    The interior materials in the first-gen CTS are an odd pastiche of textures and finishes, and may come off as a bit rude compared to a BMW or Audi.

    I believe the early CTS had a pedal-type fly-off parking brake; if you spend much time nosing through traffic around, say, Telegraph Hill in SF there's times you'll really, really wish you had a handbrake.

  2. How about a first-gen Volvo S60, 2001-2009 (facelift in '05). If you're lucky, can find one with a stick. By the '05 facelift they were very sorted, reliable, and safe. No need for the AWD R model--still too expensive.


  3. i would like to update that i got a 2016 Honda Sport that replaces a 2013 sport white pearl paint is stunning.

  4. That Caddy look's like a nice find any one know what mpg is for this car ? High 20's or 30 mpg on freway ?


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