Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Ryan asks: I live in Minnesota so am looking for something good in winter driving. It should have some room for people and stuff, but nothing huge – I do not want a massive SUV or pickup truck. I’m thinking either a small-medium SUV/crossover, or a wagon or hatchback body style.The new vehicle should be maybe 2-6 years old (don’t want to buy brand-new and incur the first-year depreciation) and preferably have as little nanny-assist technology as possible. I’m partial to wagons and for years have had my eyes on the VW Diesel Jetta TDI wagon as my next vehicle… but that option has been stolen from us by our least-favorite Uncle. I’m now thinking maybe a Subaru would be best – perhaps an Outback or Forrester? I don’t need anything ultra-luxury, but I do want a high-quality, reliable vehicle that’s going to last me for a long time. As background, my current car is a two-door ’02 Civic, and it’s about to hit 300,000 miles… Hopefully my next car will last just as long! Any particular make or model years you think I should check out? Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work on your site. Your ability to review cars while simultaneously articulating Libertarian principles in a level-headed and informative manner is a breath of fresh air. You’re required reading in my book.
My reply: I was going to mention Subarus – and then you beat me to it! But a different Subaru. Specifically, the Crosstrek wagon. I think you’ll really like it. It’s very affordable, even new – and used you should be able to find a 2-6 year-old example in great shape for $15k or so. It is available with a manual transmission, which you may be interested in – and the earlier models are (for a modern car) impressively free of over-tech and Big Brother riding shotgun. It has ample ground clearance and – being a Subaru – an excellent standard AWD system, for winter weather grip.
An Outback is also a fine choice. You might also try to find a VW Sportwagen – especially with the TDI diesel engine but even if not, these wagons are great fun, very practical and space-efficient.
Hope that helps – and thanks for the kind words!
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