Mid Week Match-Up: A $10k 4-Door For Anthony

It is Wednesday so that means another time for a Mid Week Match-Up (TM)! This week’s request comes from Anthony who writes:

I just accepted a job offer that will increase my commute from 1
mile round trip to 95 miles round trip.  The new gig is much better, and
so worth the sacrifice, but I don’t think my ’89 300SE with 200k miles
on the clock is up to the challenge.  I need to pick up a new used ride for around $10k.

…with the following constraints:

– Minimum total
cost of ownership, factoring purchase price/depreciation, likely
insurance costs, maintenance/repair, and fuel cost.

– Can be found with a manual (commute doesn’t involve that much traffic).

– Wife won’t roll her eyes when I suggest it (see 25 year old MBZ above).

– I only really need to live with it for 1 year as we will likely move closer to the new office next summer.

– Must have 4 doors and 5 seat belts so that I can haul the brats around occasionally if needed.

– Prefer a hatch or wagon.

– I’m in the US (specifically SF Bay Area).

know this likely doesn’t result in a list of sexy cars, and of course I
can think of some that fit the bill (Scion xA for example), but I love
optimization challenges and believe that the DT commentariat can
probably come up with some unexpected options that uniquely maximize for
the constraints I’ve listed.

The suggestion that I’m going to make is a Pontiac G8 — unfortunately for $10k you can’t touch the 6.2 liter V8 6-speed G8 GXP, or even the 6.0 liter V8 G8 GT.  You’ll need to step down to the base G8, powered by a 3.6 liter “High Feature V6” that same 256 horsepower engine that propels the base CTS sedan around.  This 2008 G8 currently bidding here on eBay for $9,000 reserve-not-met and $11,500 buy-it-now located in Evanston, IL would make a nice daily driver. 

Finally, Anthony mentioned in another e-mail that his beloved 2007 KLR with a yellow NY license plate was stolen from his Bay Area home, so the need for a commuter is even more critical.

What do you suggest? Comments below.