Mid Week Match-Up: Hatch For Ray

Todays Mid Week Match-Up request comes from Ray from prizmgsi.com and Hooniverse – and he needs an SUV/Wagonish/Hatchy thing for commuting, etc: Take it away Ray:

I recently was able to acquire my high school dream car – a sweet, nicely preserved ’92 Geo Prizm GSi. With this addition, we now have three cars in our two-car driveway and with just my wife and myself as licensed drivers, while that is awesome, it’s also kinda silly. So we are looking at consolidating. 

 Currently in addition to the GSi, we have my wife’s 2008 Mazda3 2.3l and my 2005 Ford Escape with the same 4 cylinder – easy swap in case one of the engines grenades. Ideally, a replacement would take the best qualities of the two, but generally the following: (1)reliable – we live in a small town without too many repair shop options. I have limited resources for fixing – small jobs are not a big deal, but I’m not swapping out a transmission here; (2)not huge, reasonable mpg- but not deciding factor as we don’t drive a ton; (3)some sort of cool factor – wife doesn’t want to be just another crossover or SUV in the pre-school pick up line; (4)flexible interior space – we’ve got one kid, 5 years old now, and we pack pretty light, but there are somewhat frequent Home Depot runs; (5)hatchbacks or wagons preferred, but interesting options considered. Budget is around $10-12k. Auto transmission is preferred but not necessary. We are located in the Pacific Northwest – fly and drives are possible, but may end up in divorce, so choose wisely (mostly an internal monologue there). Do your worst/best!

DT E-i-C Vince: I think that this 2009 Audi A3 2.0T  here on eBay offered for $10,625 buy-it-now located in Los Angeles, CA is an interesting alternative to the VW Golf and Focus hatch that might be your first choice.  The Audi is a few years older, but offers something more interesting for your cash.

What do you guys think Ray should get?  Comments below.