This week’s Mid Week Match-Up, victim is DT logo guru and godfather Kaibeezy who is looking for something to replace the Citroen Xantia that has only driven a few miles since he picked it last year for about the price of a used set of snow tires. I guess you get what you pay for and Kaibeezy is looking for something else interesting to drive on the little Island community in the North Europa region known as the UK.
£10k budget, give or take. I want a car worth keeping and maintaining long term, even if at some expense. Something that will age well and has a good chance of becoming a classic.
Manual transmission — stick, not paddles — is non-negotiable. Doesn’t have to be a raging bull or ballerina, just not too boring. There are speed cameras on the freeways and main arteries guaranteeing fast-car-slow frustration, whereas the minor roads can offer a lot more slow-car-fast fun. Even the major roads can be very narrow, and big trucks will take the single-track country lanes, so I want reasonably modern safety.
I drive sparingly, so it’s not going to get beaten or have maintenance be a constant drain. It should have a nice-to-very-nice back seat, which is the key to the family wanting to take my car once in a while instead of the family truckster Land Cruiser. Road salt means it needs some resistance to rust (lookin at you, Italy). Snow begets snow tires, so I’m OK with front, rear or all wheel drive.
If I got a Saab 95, the question is: How low should I go?
– top dog V6 petrol 300hp Aero AWD – might be 3 of those in existence – goes down from there
– skip the AWD
– 4 cyl petrol 220hp
– twin turbo diesel 190hp
Should I go on a snipe hunt for the SportWagon? Released from pre- production only, never made it to dealers, so there are only a handful. Alas, probably all LHD.
- E28 – Maybe too old.
- E34/E39, E38 – Solid option, conservative.
- W124/126/140/other – Classic but risk of boredom. Maybe there’s a secret model. C126 with a custom engineered stick transplant being a particular fantasy.
- Phaeton – Some with a stick, but possibly LHD only.
- Citroen C6 – Big, plush, modern, rare (tip of hat to tip from Hunsbloger).
- Jag – A higher performance model of some kind, but would have to have more than a rudimentary back seat.
- Bentley/Rolls – Why not consider it?
- Panamera – Pretty sure it’s not in my price range yet, haven’t even looked.